A graphics card will seem superfluous to most since phones now have near-desktop-level graphics. Even for many gamers, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4’s impressive graphics are sufficient. However, there are still some hard-core gamers, 3D artists and high-end graphic designers who like to build custom machines armed with the biggest and baddest graphics card. For gamers, it pushes the experience to extreme levels of realism, at resolutions of up to 4k and game play at 60 frames per second.

For this faction, the battle between Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), makers of the Radeon series of graphics cards, and Nvidia, with the GeForce series, is as important as the one between Apple and Samsung.

So this year has been an exciting one. In May, Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX 1080, the first of a 10-iteration series, which produced faster and clearer graphics than even the Titan X ultra card it had released last year. It was also half the price of the Titan X though, at more than 50,000, it still seemed overpriced for the Indian market.

A month later, Nvidia followed up with the GTX 1070, which left the last generation of cards in the dust. But it was too expensive. Just when the gaming community was beginning to feel let down by the high pricing, Nvidia released the GTX 1060, a card as fast as the GTX 1070 but at prices starting from 18,000. To get a card that ran anything thrown at it at ultra-graphic settings with smooth frame rates at that price was incredible. Now, all 10 iterations of the GeForce series have been built.

AMD had a dodgy start to the year when its AMD Radeon RX 480 super card was priced at 28,500, plus taxes and distributor costs. After a backlash from gamers, the price was reduced to 26,500 for the 8 GB variant. The RX 480 did not match the performance of Nvidia’s super cards. AMD then launched the Radeon RX 470 and RX 460, both of which bring excellent performance at great price points—starting from 15,000.

The war between Nvidia and AMD has pushed graphical performance up and prices down. If you are a gamer and have been holding out for the perfect card, there has never been a better time to break the piggy bank.

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