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The Core i5-9600K from Intel is more than one and a half years old but it still packs a solid gaming punch. This 6-core CPU doesn’t have hyper-threading but it can still be used to play even the most demanding games. If you own the i5-9600K and looking to pair it up with a new graphics card, we’ve prepared lots of recommendations depending on what you play and in which resolution. If you own a different gaming CPU well, visit our graphics cards section for more GPU buying guides.
Our list of the best graphics cards for i5-9600K features the best GPUs for 1440p 60Hz performance, best graphics cards for playing esports titles, best cards for 1080p gaming, and more. Before we begin, let’s just make one thing clear. This is an article with GPU recommendations for current owners of the 9600K. If you plan on getting this CPU and are looking for a GPU to pair it up with, don’t. The 9600K is a very bad buy at the moment.
The 9600K offers a very similar performance to the 9700K and 9900K when paired with the RTX 2080Ti. The issue is that 1 percent lows and max framerate in CPU intensive titles (AC Odyssey, Shadow of the Tomb Raider) are noticeably lower when using the 9600K. And while max framerates tend to normalize at 1440p, the one percent lows are still below the other two CPUs.
This is why we wouldn’t recommend the RTX 2080Ti for the i5-9600K. You should get the RTX 2080 Super instead. This is the best overall GPU for the 9600K we would recommend. You’ll be able to use its full potential and save a lot of money.
The EVGA RTX 2080 Super Black Gaming can be used for zero compromises 1440p high refresh rate gaming as well as for 4K gaming with some (or more than some in certain games) compromises.
This card’s also powerful enough to run any future title at 1080p or 1440p, with max visual details. If you’re interested in high-refresh rate 1440p monitors check out our best 1440p 240hz monitor list.
Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT: Best AMD 1440p 60fps gaming graphics card for i5-9600K
1440p 60fps gaming can be done even with the GTX 1660 Super if you’re ready to turn off enough graphic options. But here, we’re talking about a 1440p 60fps AAA gaming experience with all visuals maxed out. For that kind of gaming experience, the best AMD GPU for the 9600K is the RX 5700 XT.
This card is more than enough for 1440p 60fps gaming. You can run any AAA game at 60fps. In case you own a high refresh rate 1440p monitor, you’ll be able to play esports and fps games at a high refresh rate without any compromise. You’ll also be able to run AAA games at frames noticeably higher than 60, with all settings maxed out.
MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X: Best Nvidia 1440p 60fps gaming GPU for i5-9600K
The RTX 2070 is the more powerful card of the two and the best Nvidia GPU for the 9600K if 1440p gaming is on your mind. The bonus you get with the RTX 2070 is RTX and DLSS support. The latter can give you a massive performance boost in titles that support it.
As for the RTX performance, it isn’t great. You could achieve 60fps at 1440p in older titles that support RTX effects. But if you ask us, you shouldn’t get the RTX 2070 Super if RTX 1440p gaming is what you plan to do. But for regular games and esports titles, the RTX 2070 Super is more than enough for enjoyable 1440p gaming experience.
ASUS GTX 1660 Super OC: Best 1080p gaming graphics card for i5-9600K
The GTX 1660 Super OC is our pick for the best 1080p gaming GPU for 9600K. The card can run any AAA game at 60 frames with all settings cranked to the max without any issues.
On top of all that, the card’s pretty silent and doesn’t create lots of heat, even during long gaming sessions. When it comes to esports titles, you can run them at high refresh rates at 1080p without issues.
Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT: Best 1400p high refresh rate gaming GPU for i5-9600K
The 9600K can run any game at high refresh rates both 1080p and 1440p. For the best high refresh rate 1440p performance the RTX 2080 Super is the obvious choice but keeping in mind the price of the 9600K we would rather pick the RX 5700 XT.
It has enough horsepower to run any multiplayer title and most FPS games at 100 frames and higher. Its performance with AAA titles is pretty solid. You can reach around 100 frames in most titles by lowering some graphical options.
EVGA RTX 2060 KO Gaming: Best high refresh rate gaming graphics card at 1080p gaming
For 1080p high refresh rate gaming, we recommend the RTX 2060. The card is a pretty solid choice for this resolution and can run any AAA title at around 80-90fps or higher with all effects turned on. When it comes to esports and multiplayer games, this card will eat them for breakfast and spit at speeds higher than 100fps.
The RTX 2060 is the best video card for the 9600K In case your main gaming interests lie in esports and multiplayer titles, with an occasional dip into AAA titles. 6GB of memory is still enough even for the most demanding titles at 1080p resolution. And when it comes to esports, 6 gigs of video memory will be enough for years to come.
Zotac Gaming RTX 2070 Super Mini: Best 9600K graphics card for SFF builds
The Zotac RTX 2070 Super Mini is the best SFF card for a 9600K-based ITX build. The card can fit into almost any Mini-ITX case, even some ultra-portable HTPC cases. If you need ideas for your next ITX case, jump to our best Mini-ITX cases article.
When it comes to performance, this model is as powerful as the RTX 2070 Super reference card from Nvidia. That means perfect 1440p gaming performance with 60fps or more in AAA games and 100fps or higher in esports and multiplayer titles.
Now, if you plan on building an ultra-compact SFF PC do check out best low-profile graphics cards article. It includes a couple of affordable low-profile cards that can be used for gaming.
Gigabyte GTX 1650 Super OC: Best esports 1080p gaming GPU for Core i5-9600K
If your main (or the only) gaming interest lies in esports and multiplayer titles you don’t have to spend a lot for a quality graphics card. At 1080p even the GTX 1650 Super can be an excellent choice.
It can run even the most demanding multiplayer titles, such as Battlefield 5 or Apex Legends at 60fps or higher. Older titles such as Rainbow Six Siege can run at 100fps or higher frames.
In other words, you can use the GTX 1650 Super for running esports and multiplayer titles at high refresh rates if you want. All it takes is to lower some visual settings. When it comes to AAA games, the GTX 1650 can run them at 60fps or a bit lower. Older AAA games will run flawlessly, at frames much higher than 60.
ASUS GTX 1660 Super OC: Best esports 1440p gaming graphics card for 9600K
When it comes to 1440p esports gaming the best bang for the buck is the GTX 1660 Super OC. You should reach 60fps without issues in any esports title with most settings on max.
The good news is that even newer AAA games should play at more than decent frame-rates. Don’t expect 60 frames per second in every title with max or high graphics. But if you’re ready to do some tweaking the 1660 Super can run AAA games at 60fps.
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