Entry-level PC Gaming FTW

Never before has the entry-level PC gaming scene looked so good. A few short months ago, AMD's RX 460 impressed us enough to have made it as the recommendation for our PC buying guide's Budget Box. We thought the RX 460 2GB was an exceptional value when it was $110 and now it should start becoming available at just $100.

The reason for this is of course Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 1050, which we have to admit is even more impressive than we anticipated.

Throughout the review we compared the 1050 2GB with the RX 460 4GB and yet Nvidia's new budget GPU came out on top delivering almost 10% more performance on average. Compounding the problem for AMD is the fact that the 1050 series consumes less power and overclocked slightly better (assuming 1050 cards with 6-pin power connectors don't overclock much better).

Taking the latest information into account, the RX 460 2GB costs 9% less with AMD's recently administered price cut and the RX 460 4GB that we used for testing in this review was on average 8% slower than the standard 1050 based on the eight games we tested. So, assuming the RX 460 2GB isn't a great deal slower, which we don't believe it to be, then the RX 460 2GB and GTX 1050 2GB provide a similar level of value.

The question is, should you even bother with the GTX 1050 when the faster Ti is available? While we were impressed with the performance of the standard 1050 at $110, the 1050 Ti managed to be around 20% faster and although it's almost 30% more expensive, we're only talking about $30 here.

For that extra money you get twice the VRAM capacity and that looks as though it could be important going forward, especially if you really care about image quality.

Personally, I would be tempted to splurge on the GTX 1050 Ti and call it a day, but if your budget only allows for $110 then the GTX 1050 is fine, too, I just hope we see models such as MSI's GTX 1050 2G OC selling at that price.

Reiterating what I said earlier: entry-level gaming PC has never looked so good. With graphics cards such as the RX 460 and GTX 1050 available, the PC Master Race is as superior as ever.

Shopping shortcuts:


Pros: Extremely efficient. Aggressively priced. Ultra-compact without external power connectors. MSI's models are whisper quiet.

Cons: Nothing comes to mind... It's hard to knock something that sets a new standard for entry-level PC gaming graphics cards.