Which Graphics Card Should I choose to Play in 1440p: Minimum level, Recommended and Optimal

Which Graphics Card Should I choose to Play in 1440p:
Minimum level, Recommended and Optimal


When choosing a graphics card to play we must take into account many things to avoid making a wrong decision, but without a doubt the most important is the screen resolution that we are going to use. It is essential because the resolution is the basis of any game, it represents the total number of pixels that we will see and therefore determines the sharpness of the image.

Think for a moment, of a monitor that has a native resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. If we accompany it with a graphics card that offers a good experience in resolutions of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, we will fall short, and we may have to considerably reduce the image quality. The reason is very simple, with a higher resolution, more pixels on the screen, and more workload for the graphics card.

Continuing with the previous example, the numbers do not lie. If we play in 1440p the graphics card will have to move 3,686,400 pixels, while in 1080p that figure drops to 2,073,600 pixels. As we see in the first, almost twice as many pixels are used as in the second, a very simple but effective comparison to understand why resolution matters so much.

More resolution implies a higher image quality due to sharpness and definition due to the greater number of pixels, but we must balance this value with the image quality. It is not a trivial issue since configuring a game in 1440p with low quality will offer a lower overall result than we will have if we configure it in 1080p and high quality. The difference can be huge, especially since aspects like textures and shadows set to low quality usually appear dull, "dirty" and blurry.

In the end it's all a matter of balance, and choosing a graphics card to play with is no exception. We were already talking about the subject at the time when we published our guide dedicated to which graphics card to choose to play in 1080p, and today we are going to focus on doing the same but to play in 1440p, a resolution widely used because it offers a good value in terms of image quality, performance and cost of the hardware necessary to enjoy it.

As we did in that guide we are going to move on three different levels: minimum recommended, and optimal, following the patterns that we saw at the time:

  • Minimum:  we can play in 1440p with high qualities and maintain more than 40 FPS in almost all cases.
  • Recommended: it will allow us to play in 1440p very high qualities enjoying 60 stable FPS in most cases.
  • Optimal:  we will be able to play all the current games in 1440p with maximum qualities and total fluidity.

It is important to remember that to get a good experience, our PC must have, at least, a Core i7 4770 processor or a Ryzen 5 1500X (four cores and eight threads) and 8 GB of RAM, although in the latter case the ideal would be to have 12 GB to avoid experiencing any type of micro stuttering in those games that consume more than 8 GB.

Which graphics card to choose: previous considerations


Before I start I want to make some important things clear. The first thing is that we are going to limit ourselves to choosing new models, that is, we will not take into account the second-hand market. The reason is simple, I prefer to leave that topic to shape independent articles instead of bringing it all together here and running the risk of confusing our readers.

Secondly, I remind you that each game is a world and that therefore no existing graphics card today offers completely uniform performance in various games. For example, a specific graphics card may be able to move a well-optimized 1440p title smoothly, but with more demanding others it may have serious problems. Therefore, we have chosen to weigh this reality and we have chosen each graphics card taking into account its average performance, valuing both its performance in the best and worst possible scenario.

We have taken that approach because the last thing we want is to over-tune and recommend a model that is viable in 1440p, but not in all cases. This forces us to go for slightly more expensive graphics cards, but in return we will be able to play with greater guarantees and we will enjoy a longer useful life.

I remind you, before starting, that when choosing each graphics card we have given priority to value for money, that is, we have not limited ourselves to choosing the most powerful solutions, but those that offer a better price-performance ratio.

What graphics card do I need to play in 1440p: minimum level


Thanks to the fierce war that NVIDIA and AMD have waged in recent years, it is possible to find powerful and well-priced graphics cards that allow us to play in 1440p without having to "break the bank ". We have plenty of options that could fit quite well at the minimum level, but certainly, the one that offers more solid value is the 8GB Radeon RX 580.

 With the Radeon RX 580 8 GB we can enjoy most of the current games in 1440p and high or very high qualities while maintaining good fluidity. As we have said in the previous considerations section, the performance varies greatly depending on each specific game, but with this model we will have the security that at no time will we have to lower the quality excessively to maintain a good experience.

In some more demanding and less optimized titles, such as Control and Red Dead Redemption 2, we will have to adjust the graphic quality at medium-high levels, but we will enjoy a good overall experience. Thanks to its 8 GB of graphic memory, we will be able to configure, without problems, the quality of the textures at maximum levels in any current title.

RX 580 8GB Specifications

  • Polaris 20 graphic core.
  • 2,304 shaders.
  • GPU at 1,257 MHz-1,386 MHz.
  • 144 texturing units.
  • 32 raster units.
  • 256-bit bus.
  • 8 GB of GDDR5 at 8 GHz effective.
  • 185 Watt TDP. Requires an 8-pin connector. We will need a source with 27A and 500 watts.

NVIDIA alternative:  the closest is a 6 GB GTX 1060, but its value for money is lower, as it is more expensive and increasingly difficult to find.

What graphics card do I need to play 1440p: recommended level


If we have a higher budget and want to play 1440p with guarantees even in titles with poor optimization or a high level of demand, the Radeon RX 5700 XT from AMD is undoubtedly the best option.

It represents a significant performance jump compared to the 8GB Radeon RX 580, as it pays, on average, 46% more than that. Thanks to that, it is able to move almost any current game in 1440p with maximum quality and maintain stable averages of 60 FPS, except in very specific cases, such as RAGE 2, for example, where it is around 55 FPS, and other poorly optimized titles, such as Control. and Red Dead Redemption 2.

RX 5700 XT Specifications

  • Vega 10 graphic core.
  • 2,560 shaders.
  • GPU at 1,605 MHz base frequency, 1,755 MHz game mode, and 1,905 MHz in turbo mode.
  • 160 units of texturing.
  • 64 raster units.
  • 256-bit bus.
  • 8 GB of GDDR6 at 14 GHz.
  • 225-watt TDP. Requires two power connectors, one 6-pin and one 8-pin, and a 600 watt 34A source.

NVIDIA alternative:  the closest is the RTX 2060 Super, a graphics card that also offers a fairly good value, although it is a little more expensive ( from 399 USD) and yields between 4% and 8% less than the RX 5700 XT.

What graphics card do I need to play in 1440p: optimal level


Certain graphic adjustments make the performance drop considerably, and if we add to this the poor optimization of some titles we find that not even a Radeon RX 5700 XT is capable of offering 60 fully stable FPS with maximum qualities and 1440p resolution in all games. current.

Obvious to say that when the arrival of the new generation consoles occurs, scheduled for the end of this year, this reality will get worse. The games will be increasingly demanding and we will need a more powerful configuration to play with guarantees.

If you want to move all current games in 1440p with maximum quality and absolute fluidity, without exceptions, and be prepared to face the transition that will mark the next generation of consoles, you need an RTX 2080 Super. It performs, on average, 25% more than the RX 5700 XT and unlike that it can maintain 60 stable FPS in games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Control with maximum qualities. We can buy it for 699 USD.

RTX 2080 Super Specifications

  • TU104 graphic core.
  • 3,072 shaders.
  • GPU at 1,650 MHz-1,815 MHz.
  • 192 units of texturing.
  • 64 raster units.
  • 48 RT cores.
  • 384 tensor nuclei.
  • 256-bit bus.
  • 8 GB of GDDR6 at 15.5 GHz effective.
  • 250-watt TDP. We need an 8-pin and a 6-pin connector, and a 600 watt 35A source.

AMD Alternative: There is currently no alternative.

Endnotes: the virtue of intermediate points


We can find very different graphic solutions to play within 1440p with very different budgets. Each one offers a clearly differentiated value and allows us to configure the graphic adjustments at a certain level, maintaining a fluidity that varies depending on the demands of each title.

I know someone will think that it is an exaggeration to mention an RTX 2080 Super to play in 1440p, but it is the only graphics card that, at the time of writing this article, can really move any current game in that resolution with all the settings at maximum and keep 60 FPS, and that is precisely the objective of the "optimal" level at which it is framed.

In many cases, when we go from the level of very high graphic quality to the "ultra" or maximum level, there is a significant drop in performance that is rarely duly justified, and the same happens sometimes when going from high to very high settings. By this, I mean that rarely is it really necessary to set a game to maximum quality to truly enjoy it and that with a mix of high and very high settings we will achieve a much better balance in terms of image quality and performance.

Of the three models that we have indicated the graphics card with the best value for money to play in 1440p, the Radeon RX 5700 XT undoubtedly has it, so it should be your main option unless you have a very limited budget.

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