If you or a loved one wants to build or upgrade a beefy PC-gaming rig this holiday, you’re gonna want a new video card. The GPU is the heart of the system. It is the biggest factor in determining how well games will run.

So if you’re out shopping this holiday or looking for deals online, here are the graphic cards I would keep an eye out for.

This is part of our PC building guide series. Here’s why you should build a PC right now. For more part guides, click here.

Top of the line

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Why it’s great

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful graphics card on the market. It is also really difficult to find. I am bringing it up here because if you absolutely have to have the best, this is the one to get. It also just launched in September, so don’t expect any deals this holiday season.

Any holiday deals?

No.

Best high-end bang for your buck

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

Why it’s great

The $500 range is not the “sweet spot” for graphics cards, but it’s among the sweetest. If you have a lot of money to build a rig, but you still want to stretch every dollar as far as it can go, the RTX 2070 is your best bet. It just came out, so Nvidia is going to support it for years to come. It is powerful enough to handle almost any game at 1440p with high framerates. And it can even dabble in ray tracing.

Any holiday deals?

Amazon and Newegg are both offering some of the more expensive and faster RTX 2070 variants at slight discounts.

MSI GeForce RTX 2070 DUKE 8G OC for $526 ($20 off regular price) 

Beginning November 21:

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC for $530 ($50 off regular price)

Beginning November 23:

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

Why it’s great

The 2070 is an OK deal at this point, but if you want to go home with a great deal, you should look to the last-generation GTX 1070 Ti. This is an excellent card for everything up to (but not including) 4K. If I had to pick one card on this list to suggest to the budget-conscious gamer who still really wants great performance beyond 1080p60, it would be the 1070 Ti.

Any holiday deals?

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Mini 8GB GDDR5 for $350 ($190 off regular price)

Beginning November 19:

EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Blower Reference for $350 ($180 off regular price)

Beginning November 23:

EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Ultra for $350 ($220 off regular price)

Beginning November 23:

AMD Radeon Vega 56/64

Why it’s great

The last one in this category is AMD’s Radeon Vega 56 and Vega 64. These are both powerful cards that are powerful enough to handle 1440p gaming at high framerates. The 56 is normally a better deal, but the Vega 64 at $400 is not bad at all. If you can’t find a 1070 Ti for $350, the Vega 56 at $350 or Vega 64 at $400 are some excellent alternatives. I especially like the Vega 64 at $400.

Any holiday deals?

Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB for $399

ASRock Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX VEGA 56 8GB for $350 with free shipping

Best bang for your buck

AMD Radeon RX 580

Why it’s great

The Radeon RX 580 is the card to get if you are using a 1080p 60 Hz monitor. Anything else is usually overkill. You could go with the recently released RX 590, but that’s really just a spruced up RX 580. It’s also more expensive. If you just want to get great performance at a great price, you can’t beat the RX 580.

Any holiday deals?

  • XFX – AMD Radeon RX 580 GTS Black Edition 8GB GDDR5 for $199
  • Asus DUAL-RX580-O8G Radeon RX 580 OC 8GB GDDR5 for $200 with free shipping