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CS:GO is one of the most popular games around at the moment. It’s also a very competitive game, so you want to make sure you have a decent rig that can run it smoothly to give yourself as much of an advantage as possible.
What you might not realise is that CS:GO doesn’t actually require a particularly powerful GPU, even to run at high FPS. In this guide, we will run you through a few things you need to consider first. Then we will look at the best GPUs for CS:GO to help you pick the perfect card, whatever your circumstances.
Things to Consider
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single best GPU for CS:GO. The best GPU for you will depend on a few factors which we will look at now.
- Monitor resolution – Your monitors resolution will have an influence on which is the best GPU for you. For example, if you have a 1080p monitor, it won’t require as much graphical power as playing on a 1440p monitor (assuming you play at a 1440p resolution in game).
- Monitor refresh rate – Your monitors refresh rate is also important. If you have a monitor with a high refresh rate, say 240hz, you will want to make sure you buy a GPU that can get as close to 240 FPS as possible to make good use of the monitor.
- Other games you play – CS:GO isn’t a particularly demanding game. This means you don’t need a beastly graphics card to run it. However, if you will be playing other games which ARE more demanding, you will need to take that into consideration and perhaps purchase a more powerful GPU.
- Your CPU – As I mentioned in the last point, CS:GO isn’t particularly GPU intensive. However, it is fairly CPU intensive. You will want to make sure you have a decent CPU as well to make sure you’re getting the best performance possible. Check out Game Debate to see what your hardware is capable of.
The Best GPUs for CS:GO
Below you can find some of the best graphics cards for CS:GO. For each one, I will run you through the kind of performance you can expect, and who they are best suited for. They are listed in order of price/performance.
1. Nvidia Geforce GT 1030
$293.64 – Buy on Amazon
The Nvidia Geforce GT 1030 is a good choice if you’re on a tight budget and have a 60hz or 144hz 1080p monitor. You should expect to see above 100 FPS in CS:GO most of the time at 1080p (as long as the rest of your build is good enough), although at some points you may see drops as low as 50 – 60 FPS. It’s also good for playing other low demand/e-sports games and can technically run most AAA titles. However, you should only expect 30 – 40 FPS and I would definitely recommend a more powerful card if you will be playing anything other than CS:GO or other low demand games. Although this card is great if you’re looking to spend as little as possible, if you can invest a little bit more, I would suggest checking out the GTX 1050 (the next card in our list). You will get quite a bit more power for not much more money with the GTX 1050.
- New Pascal Architecture
- 2GB (6.0 GHz) 64-bit GDDR5. Game Ready Drivers
- Supported OS: Windows 10 / 8 / 7 (32/64-bit)
- 1 x HDMI (2.0b), 1 x SL-DVI-D
2. Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050
$255.44 – Buy on Amazon
In my opinion, the best overall GPU for CS:GO is the GTX 1050. It performs very well in e-sports games and isn’t too expensive either. At 1080p, you should get well above 100 FPS most of the time in CS:GO. You may see some drops below 100 FPS but not nearly as bad as the GT 1030. The GTX 1050 is also good for playing CS:GO on a 1440p monitor and you should still get around 100 FPS even at this higher resolution. The other good thing about the GTX 1050 is that it is capable of running many AAA titles. You will have to turn some settings down but you can expect to get around 60 FPS in many games which is perfectly playable in my opinion. Some highly demanding games will struggle to run though. For low demand games like CS:GO and some light AAA gaming, this is a great card. However, if you will be playing AAA games more frequently, I would recommend the last game in out list – the GTX 1060.
- New NVIDIA pascal architecture delivers improved performance and power efficiency
- Classic and modern games at 1080P @ 60 FPS. Recommend operating system is windows 10, windows 8 and windows 7
- Fast, smooth, power-efficient gaming experiences
- Support for the latest DirectX 12 Features. Recommended PSU-300W. Multi-view-3. Digital max resolution-7680x4320
3. Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060
$473.99 – Buy on Amazon
The Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 is another good card for CS:GO, although it will be overkill in some circumstances. If you have a 1440p or 240hz monitor, this is a good card to get the most out of the monitor. At 1080p in CS:GO, you should get over 200 FPS most of the time, and even at 1440p you should get over 100 FPS. The GTX 1060 is also good if you will be playing more demanding AAA games as well as CS:GO. If you turn the settings down, you should be able to get well above 60 FPS in many games, although more demanding games like The Witcher 3 will struggle to hit 60 FPS. If you will ONLY be playing CS:GO, you don’t really need a card this powerful, but it’s a great GPU if you will be doing some AAA gaming too. Anything more powerful than the GTX 1060 will of course run CS:GO very well. However, I haven’t included them in this list because if you will primarily be playing CS:GO, anything more powerful will be overkill.
- Product Type: Graphic Card, API Supported: OpenGL 4.5, API Supported: DirectX 12, Number of Monitors Supported: 3, Chipset...
- Standard Memory: 6 GB, Memory Technology: GDDR5, Bus Width: 192 bit, DisplayPort: Yes, Number of DisplayPort Outputs: 1,...
- Form Factor: Plug-in Card, Cooler Type: Fan Cooler, Height: 1.5", Width: 4.5", Length: 9.6", Weight (Approximate): 1.23 lb,
- Platform Supported: PC, Environmentally Friendly: Yes, Environmental Certification: RoHS, Limited Warranty: 3 Year,
Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API