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Fallout 4 Video Card Buying Guide – The Best Value and Performance for Your Budget

Here’s a breakdown of the best value video cards for Fallout 4, organized by budget. Select your budget range and easily find the card that will give you the best performance for your money. This article will give you a great comparison of the current graphics card offerings on the market and provide easy to understand reasons on why each card is the best choice.

Best Value Graphics Cards for Fallout 4:

Click a price shortcut to skip to the below section for your budget:

Update (Nvidia Gameworks): The Fallout 4 benchmarks are out and the clear winners are Nvidia cards due in large part to Fallout 4 using Nvidia Gameworks for various graphical effects and enhancements in game. Nvidia cards appear to have about a 10-20% advantage in framerate at equal prices in many cases. We have revised the recommended gpus listed below to lean more heavily toward Nvidia graphics cards, but the best AMD options are still listed for readers who have a brand preference for AMD.

The minimum system specs for Fallout 4 call for an Nvidia GTX 550 Ti 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB. The equivalent in current gen cards would be a GTX 660Ti, GTX 760 for Nvidia. For AMD cards it would be about an R9 270 or R7 370. So to put it in the simplest terms, you will need to spend a bit over $100 on a current gen card in order to hit the minimum recommended graphics card. That’s where we’ll start:

 


$100 – $150 Budget
Low Cost Video Card, Minimum Requirement

In order to have a truly immersive experience, it is recommended to spend a bit more than the minimum. At this level you will just barely beating the official Bethesda recommended system specs. You’ll need to lower some texture settings and turn off antialiasing and other graphics effects and may want to consider a lower resolution.

Recommended in game settings for this minimum graphics card level: Resolutions: 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024,¬† 1440 x 900, or 1280 x 720, 1600 x 900, 1680×1050. Graphics Quality: Medium or High Detail, no antialiasing (AA).

 

Asus GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB

Why?: The definite choice for an entry level card to hit near the minimum recommended specs for Fallout 4. Due to Fallout 4 using Nvidia gameworks for various effects, you’ll want to go for an Nvidia card if your primary concern is playing Fallout as well as possible for this price. The best deal on an Nvidia card in this price range right now is the ASUS GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB. If you prefer the drivers and support of Nvidia cards then we recommend this card with its amazing after rebate price:

Current Price: $109.99 After Rebate!
Click here to view sale on Amazon

 

Asus STRIX Radeon R7 370 Overclocked 2GB

Why?: This is by far the cheapest AMD card currently available that beats the minimum specs. The R7 370 is part of the latest gen of AMD cards and this version comes factory overclocked to maximize performance. The Asus STRIX cooling technology performs “20% cooler and 3x quieter” than the reference R7 370 fan design. If you compare the price and performance to other manufacturer models of the R7 370, the Asus STRIX is the clear best buy right now. However consider that Nvidia cards are more optimized than AMD cards so the above GTX 750 Ti may be a better choice if your main concern is performance specifically in Fallout 4 only.

Price: Currently $109.99 after rebate!
Click here to view sale on Amazon

(Be sure to select the 2GB version on Amazon! Price shown to right is for the 4GB version)

 

 


$200 Budget
Mid Tier Price Range Graphics Card for Fallout 4

Here’s a great sweet spot for the gamer looking to get the absolute best performance, but still save as much money as possible. At this price point you can look forward to getting a steady 60 fps as long as you’re willing to tweak some of the settings. You can also get a card with 4 GB of video memory, which will be more and more important for games in the future.

Recommended Fallout 4 settings at this price range: Resolutions: 1080p, 1600 x 900, 1680 x 1050, 1920 x 1080, 1920 x 1200. Graphics Quality: High to Ultra Detail, some AA (anti aliasing) and most other graphics features enabled.

Gigabyte GTX 960 Overclocked (OC) Windforce

Why?: As mentioned previously in this article, Nvidia cards have the step up on AMD cards in Fallout 4 due to the game using Nvidia Gameworks technology. The Nvidia GTX 960 and the AMD R9 380 cards are fairly close in terms of price and performance with the AMD card sometimes winning out. However in Fallout 4, the Nvidia card wins. The GTX 960 line of cards also consume much less power and run quieter and cooler than competing AMD cards. This Gigabyte GTX 960 features Gigabyte’s higher end Windforce cooling system for even lower operating temperatures. Due to the current rebate on Amazon, the Windforce version of the card can be had for the same price as the regular version. With some very minor tweaking to settings you will be able to achieve a smooth 60 fps at 1080p in Fallout 4 with this card.

Current Price: $199.99 After Rebate
Click here to view sale on Amazon!

 

Sapphire Radeon NITRO R9 380 4GB Dual-X OC

Why?: Normally you’d be looking at over $200 for a card with this performance, but thanks to the current rebate deal it can be had for below $200. While the above Nvidia GTX 960 will perform slightly better than this AMD card in Fallout 4, this AMD card will perform slightly better in benchmarks and in many games that do not use Nvidia Gameworks technology. If it is more important to you to get the most powerful card going into the next couple of years, choose this Sapphire R9 380 over the GTX 960 at the $200 price range.

The Sapphire brand has been around as long as any and their Dual-X cooling system is proven to be effective and quiet. This card also comes factory overclocked to maximize in game performance.

Current Price: $194.99 After Rebate
Click here to view sale on Amazon!

 



$300 Budget
High End Performance, Enthusiast Gamer

Fallout 4 Video Card Settings recommended for around $300 price range: Resolutions: 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 1920 x 1200. Graphics Quality: Ultra Detail, AA and all other graphics features enabled.

Asus STRIX GeForce GTX 970 Overclocked 4 GB

Why?: The GTX 970 line of Nvidia cards has been a standout since it was released. It offers an extremely attractive price to performance and runs cooler and quieter than its AMD competition. Some of the new Radeon cards are able to compete in price and performance, but they run hotter and consume more power across the board. One issue some GTX 970’s face is a sagging effect when installed. This Asus STRIX comes with a backplate pre-installed for the GTX 970, which some manufacturers do not include at all. This backplate provides extra support to prevent sagging.

Current Price: $304.99 After Rebate
Click here to view sale on Amazon!

 


Conclusion

While AMD’s new 300 series of cards match up extremely well against Nvidia’s current offerings in many games and in benchmarks, in Fallout 4 specifically the Nvidia cards will win out. As mentioned previously this is due to Fallout 4 using Nvidia Gameworks effects.

If you are in any doubt at all, we recommend the Nvidia options listed for Fallout 4 over the AMD options. The AMD options are mainly listed due to many people’s personal brand preference. At present there are some amazing deals on all the cards, especially considering the after rebate prices. See the summary of cards listed below.

$100: Asus GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB
$100 Alternate AMD option: Asus STRIX Radeon R7 370 Overclocked 2GB
$200: Gigabyte GTX 960 Overclocked (OC) Windforce – Editors Best Value Choice!
$200 Alternate AMD option: Sapphire Radeon NITRO R9 380 4GB Dual-X OC
$300: Asus STRIX GeForce GTX 970 Overclocked 4 GB

Be sure to check the current rebates and sales on Amazon as the prices may fluctuate. Each video card links to the product page on Amazon. Feel free to post any questions or comments below and good luck surviving the wasteland in Fallout 4!

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