A few days ago we recommended a PC to be able to play CS:GO without a graphics card, but with an AMD APU with an integrated GPU. The reason was the high price that GPUs now have, so in this article, instead, we will give you some tips to choose a suitable graphics card to play the most popular game for Steam without spending a kidney on it.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is not a technically advanced game, its graphics engine is Source, which was developed in the early 2000s for Half-Life 2 and with DirectX 9 in mind. In other words, at a time when shader programs were much more limited and the concept of computing through GPUs was still a long way off. So despite the fact that the title came out in 2012, it was already intended for very modest teams at the time.
However, the fact that it is based on Source even today is a double-edged sword, because many of the functions of DirectX 9 are no longer necessary in current graphics cards and in order to maintain backwards compatibility it What is sought is to emulate them through shader programs. We also have to take into account that as it is a graphically very simple game, it does not occupy all the resources of the GPU. And it is that the performance of a graphics chip by its nature depends on keeping all its cores busy as much as possible and CS:GO is not good for graphics cards for that reason.
What is the ideal graphics card to play CS:GO?
The first thing we are going to make clear is that it does not make sense to buy a graphics card with a lower power than any APU that you can find on the market, since it is a waste of time and money. The second point is that we will not settle for just the game running at 60 FPS, but rather we are looking to play at professional levels without having to “sell our kidneys” in the process.
Our advice is that if what you are interested in is an exclusive graphics card for CS:GO, then do not look at graphics card models belonging to more modern generations, their prices are inflated by mining and CS:GO does not take advantage of new technologies. What should we look for then? For example, you can opt for a mid-range or high-end graphics card from the NVIDIA 900 series as a GeForce GTX 960 with 4 GB of VRAM You will get a higher return per euro spent than choosing any inflated price model of the 1000 series.
Obviously, this graphics card has been out of the market for years and you will have to get it second-hand, but you can find it for 150 to 200 euros depending on where you buy it. Its performance is a little better than a GTX 1050, but it puts out a higher frame rate and usually costs between 50 and 100 euros less depending on where you get it.
Of course, we recommend you follow our tutorial on buying second-hand graphics cards when it comes to getting said graphics card. This card will give us enough power to play CS:GO at 1440p resolution and rates of more than 120 frames per second without problems.
What if I have a better configuration?
If you are lucky enough to have a PC equipped with a more powerful graphics card, then don’t worry as you have more than enough to enjoy this game smoothly. Although first of all we have to remember that the recommendation of the previous section is in order to be able to play at high frame rates and enter the competitive game without spending a lot of money. Of course, there are much better options on the market, but at the time of writing this article we don’t think it’s a good idea to pay a premium to play a game that doesn’t take advantage of the technology that the most powerful GPUs.
So if you’re a fan of Valve’s game and you spend long hours on this game day after day, you have to know that the fact that it uses such a simple graphics engine today is a huge advantage, since it allows you to search the market of second-hand GPUs.