Overwatch Video Card Recommendation List – Buyer’s Guide for PC Graphics Cards
This video card buyer’s guide for Overwatch is designed to find you the best value video card to maximize performance within your budget. It includes FPS benchmarks for each card as well as updates on the best sales and deals!
I’ve done all the research on video cards quality, performance within Overwatch, and overall user reviews. This article also has a huge benefit: I’ve hunted down the best deals, sales and rebates available.
Overwatch Minimum Requirements and Recommended System Specs
The minimum requirements for Overwatch video cards on PC are an Nvidia Geforce GTX 460 or Radeon HD 4850. The recommended specs are an Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7950 or better. For a quick and dirty rundown, if you want to play Overwatch at a solid 60 frames per second at maximum (epic) settings at 1080p resolution, you’ll need to spend about $200 on a card. However if you’re willing to lower graphics settings a bit, you can get a solid 60 fps even on a $100 budget.
Entry Level Budget Video Card Choices
Despite being a fast-paced, modern first person shooter, where every frame counts, Overwatch is fairly forgiving when it comes to video cards. This is thanks to the use of stylized, illustrative graphics (as opposed to ultra high resolution textures and lighting effects) as well as good optimization on part of Blizzard. Because of this, even the entry level cards can give you a great experience at 1080p resolutions and below.
Best Video card for Overwatch – $100 Budget
This was a pretty easy choice. The Nvidia GTX 750Ti has always been a great value. The Asus and EVGA models have the highest user ratings of all the GTX 750Ti manufacturers. Both are great options, however the Asus version wins out because it regularly offers rebates, lowering the price by about $20 (nearly 20% off!) We can confidently recommend the Asus model listed below as the best value at or below $100!
GTX 750Ti FPS Benchmarks: 48 FPS Average at 1080p Resolution on Ultra settings. (38 FPS lowest). We would recommend dropping the quality settings to High in order to get a solid 60 FPS at 1080p in Overwatch with this card.
$20 Rebate available right now at Amazon (final price will be $20 lower than shown below)
Best Video Card for Overwatch – $150 Budget
The GTX 950 line of cards is the clear best choice at the $150 price range. The only real alternative would be the Radeon R7 370, however the GTX 950 handily beats it in almost all tests. We recommend the EVGA GTX 950 FTW as the best value right now. The EVGA GTX 950 has multiple different versions, here’s a quick rundown of the differences, starting from most powerful to least: FTW (highest clock speed, comes with backplate) > SSC slightly lower clock speed, no backplate > SC+ lower clock version with dual fans > SC lower clock version with single fan. The FTW version is actually cheaper right now so definitely go with it. ACX 2.0 simply refers to EVGA’s custom cooling system.
Overwatch Benchmarks for GTX 950:
- 52 FPS Average – 1080p on Epic Settings
- 68 FPS Average – 1080p on Ultra Settings
The Best Graphics Card for Overwatch, $200 or less
Spending around $200 gives you access to the GTX 960 and Radeon 380X line of cards, which are listed at around $230 retail prices. While the two cards perform similarly in benchmarks, the GeForce cards will use a little less power, and so far we have seen better driver performance in most games (including Overwatch) with the GeForce cards. Because of this we will once again go with the Nvidia GPU offering at this price.
Graphics Card for Overwatch Under $200 – Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 4GB OC
You can choose between 2GB and 4Gb versions of GTX 960s. At 1080p resolutions, you generally won’t be seeing a big difference in performance between the two in many situations. However, we’ve located a great deal on the 4GB version of the Gigabyte GTX 960. This card has a great build and solid cooling system, with plenty of room for overclocking. Every other 4GB GTX 960 is going to run no less than $199, however this card comes in at $185 PLUS it has a $20 rebate right now, for a grand total of $165! You’re essentially getting a $200-$220 GPU for $165.
Overwatch FPS Benchmark Performance for the GTX 960:
- 60 FPS Average – 1080p on Epic Settings
- 78 FPS Average – 1080p on Ultra Settings
$20 Rebate live now at Amazon! Price will be $20 lower than shown below!
The Best Video Card for Overwatch – $300 Budget or Less
The Best Video Card for Overwatch – $300 or less – EVGA GTX 970 4GB SC ACX 2.0
The GTX is a rock solid presence at the $300 price range for GPUs. Its direct competitor from AMD, the Radeon 390, runs hotter, requires more power, and often has lesser performance in its drivers. Here we are recommending the EVGA GTX 970 4GB SC (SuperClocked) ACX 2.0 version. ACX 2.0 refers to EVGA’s special cooling system, which is dead silent at low fan speeds, and has improved heatsinks and fans. If you’d like to spend a little more you can splurge on the EVGA GTX 970 FTW (For the Win) version of the card, but the only difference is a slightly higher clock speed. You can achieve the same performance on this SC model with a bit of overclocking.
If you’ve done some research, you may have heard the last 0.5 GB of the 4GB of VRAM on the GTX 970 cards runs slower. This is true, however it simply does not affect performance in real world gaming situations. The GTX 970 also meets the requirements for running Virtual Reality (VR) games in the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive — something to consider for the future!
Overwatch Benchmarks for the EVGA GTX 970 4GB:
- 98 FPS Average – 1080p resolution on Epic Quality
- 127 FPS Average – 1080p resoultion on Ultra Quality
The Best GPU for Overwatch PC – $400 Price Range
The best Graphics Card for Overwatch around $400 – MSI ARMOR 2x GeForce GTX 980 4GB OC
At this price point you’ll have no problem maxing out the settings while maintaining a blazing framerate at 1080p. In fact, if you only plan to play at 1080p (1920 x 1080) or similar resolutions, like 1920 x 1200, this card may be a bit of overkill. Especially in Overwatch, you won’t notice too much difference: around 110 average FPS with the GTX 980 vs around 100 average FPS with the $100 cheaper GTX 970. The real difference comes in if you want to play at higher resolutions like 1440p, where the GTX 980 will safely clear the 60 FPS threshold by a good margin (75 FPS average at 1440p on Epic).
GTX 980’s are in high demand and somewhat short supply right now, partly due to this card’s great performance in Virtual Reality applications and games. This MSI Armor 2x GTX 980 is available right now and includes a big discount via the rebate.
GTX 980 Benchmarks in Overwatch:
- 139 Average FPS – 1080p on Ultra Settings in Overwatch
- 109 Average FPS – 1080p on Epic Settings
- 76 Average FPS – 1440p on Epic Settings
- 41 Average FPS – 4K Resolution on Epic Settings
$25 Rebate currently available at Amazon! Final price will be $25 lower than shown below:
Conclusion and Editor’s Choice Picks – the Best GPUs for Overwatch
With Overwatch, as with any fast paced game, your minimum goal should be to reach a solid 60 FPS at your monitor’s native resolution (usually this is 1080p, or 1920×1080). You can manage close to 1080p 60 FPS with even the $100 Asus GTX 750 Ti card recommended above, although you will need to turn down some graphics settings to high or medium, and will see some frame dips in heavy action. Ideally for entry level you should shoot for the $150 price range to get the EVGA GTX 950 FTW which will allow you to run all graphics on Ultra and stay above 60 FPS.
At the $200 price point, you can max out the graphics at 1080p and still stay above a solid 60 FPS with the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 4GB OC. This is our editor’s choice for value. From there, we go to our Editor’s Choice for performance: the $300 price point for the EVGA GTX 970 4GB SC ACX 2.0 which will net you nearly 100 FPS at max (epic) settings in Overwatch. If you plan to play at higher 1440p resolutions, we would recommend stepping up to the $400 MSI Armor 2x GeForce GTX 980 4GB OC.
Editor’s Choice for Value (around $200): Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 4GB OC
Editor’s Choice for Performance (around $300): EVGA GTX 970 4GB SC ACX 2.0
We’ll keep an eye on sales and rebates for cards and will update this article as necessary. Any questions, comments, or discussion are welcome in the comments section below!