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I have been researching on entry-level graphics cards for about a month and I have come down to four options, which I'm not sure how to finalize. The following are the cards.

  1. Sapphire Nitro Radeon Rx 460 4GB OC [ $199 ]
  2. Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC [ $126 ]
  3. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti mini 4GB [ $150 ]
  4. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB [ $149 ]

The costs are more in my country (India) and hence can be substantially different from other retailers around the globe. Please advice.

Note: I haven't provided any precise requirements because I felt that all the 4 listed cards fall in same generation and they all meet similar requirements - budget, mid-1080p performance, decent-good HEVC decoding/encoding, almost similar performance etc. And future proof is being not to invest anything on GPU for at least 3 years. Instinctive and experience based recommendation is what I'm looking for.

Note2: My minimal requirements for the card is to setup an always on HTPC with onboard HEVC decoding and be able to play AAA titles at decent quality for the next 3-4 years. Budget is limited to sub-$200.

  • Without providing more information concerning your precise requirements, this question is highly subjective, and impossible to answer objectively. Speaking personally, I would avoid anything with Radeon in the name, since their drivers used to have (and may still have) a poor reputation, and I quickly learned to avoid them. Since I have never heard of ZOTAC and have had good experiences with Gigabyte kit, No. 4 would be my instinctive choice out of the boards that you list, but that's just my personal opinion. As to what is "future-proof", I have no idea. – Mick Mar 21 '17 at 11:36
  • @Mick.. I haven't provided any precise requirements because I felt that all the 4 listed cards fall in same generation and they all meet similar requirements - budgets, mid-1080p performance, decent-good HEVC decoding/encoding etc. And future proof is being not to invest anything on GPU for at least 3 years. Instinctive and experience based choice is what I'm looking for. I've updated the question with this view. – HymnZ Mar 21 '17 at 11:46
  • Since they all appear to be 4GB boards, look for other differentiators: memory type and bandwidth, number of texel processors, connection types, etc. Without this information, we're back to personal prejudices, as per my answer. – Mick Mar 21 '17 at 12:26
  • Could you be more specific? What do you plan on using the GPU for? Gaming, GPU acceleration etc... – 0-60FPS Mar 21 '17 at 21:37
  • If you could provide links to the exact models of the cards, that would be a start. – MrPublic Mar 21 '17 at 21:38
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Your question is borderline "Primarily Opinion Based", but I'll try to make my recommendation as objective as possible.

Considering your $200 budget. Your best bet will probably be a GTX 1060 3GB (mini). You can find one like this card offered by Gigabyte. for about $185 on Amazon, or for about $195 on Newegg.

Reasons for my Recommendation:

  • Fits all of your [measurable] requirements: costs < $200, supports HEVC and both Amazon and Newegg provide international shipping.
  • Also, according to Passmark which provides benchmarks that I find to be reasonably reputable, the GTX 1060 mini outperforms both the RX460 and GTX 1050ti by a sizable amount.

It can be difficult to determine how "future-proof" this card will be. However, if you plan on playing games with similar performance requirements over the next few years, you should expect similar performance. As for providing decent quality in gaming, this can be difficult to determine as "decent quality" is subjective.

N.B.: You didn't mention the other components in your build. Before making your purchase, you should ensure that your PSU and motherboard are compatible and [ideally] you should check that your other hardware does not bottleneck your GPU selection.

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