I told my friend to buy the worst GPU of the year. Here’s why

Trending 2 months ago
Logo connected nan RTX 4060 Ti graphics card.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The RTX 4060 Ti 8GB was nan most disappointing GPU I reviewed this year. That was existent when I reviewed it astatine launch, and I guidelines by that connection today.

But recently, I recovered myself recommending that aforesaid GPU to a friend of excavation who was building a PC. I wasn’t trying to sabotage his PC — I promise. And truthful far, he’s having a awesome clip playing games pinch nan card. So really tin a GPU beryllium some disappointing and thing I’d urge to a friend?

It sounds for illustration a contradiction, but from nan position of personification who reviews PC hardware and also makes hardware recommendations to friends and family, it’s simply really things play retired sometimes. It’s what makes buying a GPU truthful complex successful today’s scenery and demonstrates why sometimes you person to spell beyond merchandise reviews to prime nan champion constituent for your PC.

Don't Miss:

Price is simply a awesome factor

A manus holding nan RTX 4090 GPU.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There are immoderate products wherever value isn’t a factor, aliases astatine nan very least, it takes a backmost spot to different elements. Take nan Lenovo Legion 9i laptop aliases Sony Bravia A95L arsenic examples. They’re some products that are truthful costly astatine supra $3,000 that they’re retired of scope for astir buyers. Still, arsenic nan value increases, it becomes little important. If you look astatine a $2,800 laptop and a $3,000 laptop, and nan second is intelligibly better, you’re astir apt going to walk nan other $200. If we use that aforesaid quality to a $400 laptop and a $600 laptop, however, nan value becomes a overmuch much important factor.

This conception tin use to graphics cards, too. The RTX 4090 launched astatine $1,600, and you’ll astir apt request to walk $2,000 to get 1 today. That’s an obscene value for a GPU. It’s for illustration releasing a gaming laptop that costs $5,000 — that’s excessively expensive. But if you’re successful nan marketplace to walk that overmuch money connected a GPU, past yeah. It’s nan champion point you tin buy. Price fades into nan inheritance arsenic location are different factors — highest capacity successful nan lawsuit of nan RTX 4090 — that return priority.

That’s not nan lawsuit for astir graphics cards. Nvidia and AMD are very observant to person a soft gradient of prices passim their merchandise stacks. Looking only astatine current-gen graphics cards, present are lowest prices (on Newegg) for each paper from AMD and Nvidia:

  • AMD RX 7600 — $270
  • Nvidia RTX 4060 — $300
  • Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti 8GB — $400
  • AMD RX 7700 XT and Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti 16GB — $450
  • AMD RX 7800 XT — $520
  • Nvidia RTX 4070 — $550
  • AMD RX 7900 XT — $780
  • Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti –– $800
  • AMD RX 7900 XTX — $980
  • Nvidia RTX 4080 — $1,200
  • Nvidia RTX 4090 — $2,200 (list value $1,600)

From $270 to $550, location are 7 GPUs, pinch a full value quality of $280. From $780 upward, location are six GPUs representing a $1,420 value difference. Lower down nan stack, nan grouping of GPUs is overmuch tighter than it is higher up. That makes mini differences successful value a large woody erstwhile looking astatine a GPU purchase.

RTX 4060 Ti sitting connected a pinkish background.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Let’s get backmost connected nan RTX 4060 Ti 8GB. I recommended nan to my friend, which is presently connected Newegg for $410. He purchased it astatine $350 connected sale. You tin reference nan database of prices supra to spot really large of a quality that $60 savings makes.

At database value for this MSI card, you would only beryllium spending an other $40 to get nan adjacent measurement up successful capacity and redeeming $110 if you spell pinch nan adjacent measurement down. That’s why successful our RTX 4060 versus RTX 4060 Ti comparison, we urge nan RTX 4060. The Ti exemplary offers a capacity improvement, but nan value is excessively precocious for what it offers.

1080p capacity for nan RTX 4060 and RTX 4060 Ti.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

That mathematics gets thrown disconnected pinch a sale. At $350 connected sale, you’re now only redeeming $50 to measurement down nan lineup and spending an other $100 to measurement up. That’s a monolithic change.

In nan expansive strategy of a PC build, $50 doesn’t make overmuch of a difference. But erstwhile you’re trying to maximize nan worth retired of each constituent successful your system, those mini wins tin adhd up to a PC that is faster and cheaper than what you had primitively envisioned. That’s why value is specified a important facet erstwhile choosing a graphics card.

PC hardware reviews deed differently

Two RTX 4070 graphics cards sitting broadside by side.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Most reviews are trying to reply a azygous question: Should you bargain nan product? GPU reviews are a small different. Ultimately, we’re trying to reply nan aforesaid mobility pinch a GPU review, but we’re besides looking overmuch person astatine value and factoring humanities discourse into nan reappraisal successful a much important way.

For GPUs, we’re looking astatine conscionable 3 companies: AMD, Nvidia, and much recently, Intel. Because of that, a large facet successful a GPU review, aliases a PC hardware reappraisal successful general, is nan generational improvement. We’re not conscionable looking astatine nan GPU successful nan discourse of what other you tin bargain today, but besides what nan institution delivered connected its erstwhile attempt.

This is an important move to guarantee that nan fewer companies releasing GPUs proceed to present new, breathtaking products to customers. Reviewers expect a definite level of betterment from each procreation to make judge buyers are getting much capacity for their dollar. Without that cheque successful place, PC hardware tin extremity up successful a spot akin to Intel’s 14nm days, wherever each procreation hardly moves nan needle successful position of performance.

Generational improvements are besides important because nan crux of a PC hardware reappraisal is mostly focused connected performance. If we look astatine laptops arsenic an example, we perpetually spot brands move to a caller procreation pinch nan aforesaid aged hardware and small aliases nary capacity improvement. These products tin warrant a caller procreation successful different ways — a amended design, a nicer screen, a much comfortable keyboard, etc. For these types of products, capacity is only 1 of galore factors, truthful it’s weighed little significantly.

RTX 4060 Ti capacity successful Returnal.The RTX 4060 Ti is faster than nan RTX 3060 Ti successful Returnal, but we were hoping for more. Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

PC hardware is mostly weighted connected performance, truthful if location are insignificant uplifts from 1 procreation to nan next, it impacts nan last information much heavily. If a caller portion of PC hardware only provides a 5% capacity improvement, it’s disappointing and it will beryllium reviewed arsenic such. But it’s still faster than nan point it’s replacing, truthful it still mightiness beryllium nan correct acquisition for you.

We tin use these ideas to nan RTX 4060 Ti. The paper is faster than nan GPU it’s replacing, and for nan aforesaid price. If you person a strict fund astatine $400, nan RTX 4060 Ti is nan GPU you should buy. That doesn’t mean it should person a affirmative review. For this peculiar card, nan generational capacity improvements are disappointing and it has a constrained representation interface that holds backmost its early potential. A GPU reappraisal isn’t conscionable answering if you should bargain nan paper aliases not, but besides seeing really good it satisfies nan expectations for a peculiar people of card.

Look astatine nan scope

The Hyte Y60 pinch an RTX 4090 installed.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I conscionable went heavy connected really important capacity is to wherever a GPU lands successful reviews, but it’s important not to return that thought excessively far. If we did, nan RTX 4090 would beryllium nan best graphics card and nan RX 7600 would beryllium nan worst, and neither of those are true. You request to facet successful nan scope of a GPU and what you’re trying to do pinch a PC.

For my friend, he was looking for thing that could present framework rates supra 60 frames per 2nd (fps) successful astir games astatine Ultra settings, while occasionally dabbling successful Nvidia’s DLSS 3.5. Originally, I recommended nan RTX 4060, which has immoderate of its ain problems arsenic you tin publication successful our RTX 4060 review. The RTX 4060 Ti past went connected sale, truthful we changed gears connected nan build.

Both of these cards person problems, but they fresh successful nan scope of nan PC my friend was trying to build. The RTX 4060 Ti whitethorn beryllium nan astir disappointing GPU of nan year, but it satisfied nan needs of my friend who was building a PC astatine a peculiar price. For his situation, it was nan champion GPU to buy, nary matter what reviews opportunity astir nan card.

When you’re building your PC, you should return that aforesaid approach. Read arsenic galore reviews arsenic you tin and see each of your options — moreover if that intends buying a lower-class paper aliases allocating much of your fund to a higher class. But erstwhile it’s clip to yet make nan purchase, make judge you’re getting a paper that meets your needs for nan PC.

Editors' Recommendations

  • I’ve utilized ultrawide monitors for a decade. Here’s why I’ve fixed up connected them
  • Graphics cards are trading again, and that worries me
  • Brighter isn’t amended for OLED monitors. An master told maine nan astonishing logic why
  • This basal GPU characteristic isn’t arsenic elemental arsenic you think
  • Nvidia is ‘no longer a graphics company’