The new Zen 3 CPUs are out and among them, the Ryzen 5 5600X looks like the best base for a gaming-centric build. This CPU is the cheapest Zen 3 processor you can get right now and one of the fastest gaming CPUs available at the moment. Six cores, twelve threads, superb single-core performance, and high boost clocks are great for current and future AAA titles.
Now, a CPU this powerful requires a graphics card powerful enough to follow it. But which graphics card is the best for the 5600X? Well, below you can find an assortment of current GPUs that are, depending on the use case, the best choices for the 5600X-based builds. We have great bang for the buck choices, high-end cards, as well as two budget choices for people who are ready to wait for the NVidia and AMD to stabilize their RTX 3000 and RX 6000 stock.
Yes, we only have two budget choices because let’s be honest, the 5600X isn’t really a budget gaming CPU. We reckon that users going for a Ryzen 5 5600X want a GPU capable of playing games with max details at their resolution of choice, which cannot be achieved with most budget GPUs. Now, let’s check the best graphics cards for Ryzen 5 5600X builds.
1. EVGA RTX 3070 XC3 Gaming & Sapphire RX 6800 Nitro+: Best graphics card for most RX 5600X builds
Okay, most people building a 5600X-based gaming build play games on a 1440p monitor and probably don’t want to spend a small fortune on a graphics card. If you want great 1440p performance either get the RTX 3070 or the RX 6800 from AMD. Both cards are perfect for 1440p high refresh rate gaming if you’re ready to make some sacrifices. Either you’ll play the most demanding AAA titles at double-digit frames on max details or you’ll lower some visual options to achieve 100 frames or higher performance.
On the other hand, esports and multiplayer games should work at 100 frames or more even with ultra settings enabled. Now, both cards have a range of pros and cons. If you want great performance, lots of video memory that will be more than enough for next-gen games, and don’t care much about RTX effects, get the RX 6800. It’s pricier than the RTX 3070 but comes with better rasterization performance and 16GB of VRAM compared to 8GB found on the RTX 3070.
For gamers who like eye candy such as ray tracing effects, those who use their video card for streaming (NVidia’s streaming tech is far ahead of AMD’s), and those who need features such as DLSS (an excellent way to get playable framerates at high resolutions and with RTX effects enabled) and NVidia RTX Voice should get the RTX 3070. Do note that the RTX 3070 has only eight gigabytes of video memory, which already is too low for specific titles at 4K resolution.
Last but not least, if you want a graphics card equally capable of delivering great gaming but also great productivity performance, NVidia RTX 3000 lineup is the best choice. Nvidia RTX 3000 cards are way better for most productivity apps that can utilize GPU power. CUDA cores and better support for rendering apps make any RTX 3000 card a clear winner over its RX 6000 counterpart.
2. ASUS RTX 3080 TUF Gaming & Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro+: Best GPUs for 4K and high refresh 1440p gaming
If you want the best card money can buy, get the RTX 3090 or wait for the RX 6900 XT. But if you want the best gaming performance for less than $1000, either get the RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT. Both cards excel at 4K resolution with the RTX 3080 having a slight advantage. At 1440p the 6800 XT takes the crown, but only by a couple of percent. Both cards offer triple-digit performance in most AAA titles with max details. At 4K, the RTX 3080 is slightly ahead. Also, at the moment, the RTX 3080 is by far the better choice for gamers who want to experience ray-tracing effects. You’ll probably see where this is going.
Users who want to game at 1440p and don’t care about ray tracing effects should pick the 6800 XT. Those who prefer 4K resolution should opt for the RTX 3080. The 6800 XT is slower in most current titles that use ray tracing and while that might change in the future, the RTX 3080 is the best choice at the moment for those who want to experience the full ray tracing experience. DLSS support is also a great thing to have, especially when combined with ray-tracing effects. So, if you want the best ray tracing performance and/or DLSS support get the RTX 3080.
Now, AMD should introduce DLSS equivalent tech sometime in the future but right now, you don’t have access to a DLSS-equivalent on AMD cards. Next, the RX 6800 XT comes with 16GB of memory while the RTX 3080 has only 10. The GDDR6X found on the 3080 is way faster but the Infinity Cache greatly widens the max memory bandwidth of the GDDR6 memory featured on the RX 6800 XT. In the end, the difference in memory bandwidth isn’t an issue for AMD but only 10 gigabytes of memory could become an issue for RTX 3080 cards in the future. Running next-gen games at 4K could use more than 10GB of memory but at the moment, this isn’t a concern.
If you don’t care about running AAA games at higher than 60fps and if you just want a high refresh rate experience in esports titles, you could get the RX 5700 XT or the RTX 2070 Super. Both are great for 60fps 1440p gaming but do note that, due to the current stock issues with RTX 3000 cards, RTX 2070 Super models usually sell at inflated prices that are way overpriced.
3. XFX RX 5600 XT Thicc II Pro & ZOTAC Gaming RTX 2060: Best graphics cards for 1080p gaming
The RX 5600 XT and the RTX 2060 are still pretty capable cards. While they are part of the last-gen lineup from AMD and NVidia they do offer enough performance for high refresh rate 1080p gaming. Most newer AAA games will run at double-digit frames but most older AAA titles and every esports game will easily surpass 100 frames per second.
The NVidia card has DLSS support, which can greatly increase its lifespan. It also supports other RTX tech, such as RTX Voice. The RX 5600 XT on the other hand, is a bit more powerful and a bit cheaper, but it doesn’t feature any kind of ray tracing support. The final choice is up to you.
If you want to future-proof your gaming rig you can get the RX 5700 XT from AMD or RTX 2070 Super from NVidia. Even more performance and lots of potential for future AAA games, at least at 1080p. Another choice would be something like the RTX 3070 or the RX 6800 if you have a 240Hz monitor.
Those who don’t play esports titles and don’t need triple-digit framerates at 1440p but still want to experience games at stable 60 frames per second and with max details should look into getting the RX 5700 XT. It’s a perfect card for 1440p resolution and, if you don’t care about playing AAA higher than 60fps, it can be a great budget choice for 1440p high refresh rate gaming.
NVidia doesn’t have a direct alternative but if you somehow manage to find an RTX 2070 Super card at a normal price (by this we mean for about 60 percent of its MSRP, which is near impossible at the moment), definitely get one.
5. ZOTAC Gaming GTX 1660 Super: Best card to get while waiting for NVidia and AMD to stabilize stock
If you’re waiting for the RTX 3000 and RX 6000 cards’ stock to stabilize (or if you don’t want to buy your new card at an inflated price) before getting a new card but don’t have a GPU to put into your 5600X-based build, get the GTX 1660 Super. This is a capable 1080p performer and can even be used for 1440p gaming, as long as you’re ready to lower some details in the latest AAA titles.
The card’s also relatively affordable and considering the situation with card shortages and delayed releases, we reckon you’ll be able to sell it for a good price once you finally get the permanent GPU upgrade. If you’re looking at the used market, something like the GTX 1070 might be a solid choice. It’s cheap and has a pretty similar performance to the GTX 1660 Super.
In other words, both of these cards are perfect for clearing your backlog and getting your daily multiplayer fix while waiting to finish your 5600X build with a high-end GPU.