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Best graphics card 2020: every major Nvidia and AMD GPU tested

Replacing your graphics card is the number one upgrade you can make for your PC and the most profound in terms of improving gaming performance, so it makes sense to spend some time researching your options. Choosing the right card depends on many factors, so we’ve streamlined that process for you. Right here, you’ll find strong graphics card recommendations for budget 1080p gaming PCs all the way up to 4K and high refresh rate beasts, based on our extensive testing of every graphics card on the market.

If you just want our direct, no-nonsense GPU upgrade recommendations, that’s not a problem.

  • Right now, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is our top pick for the best graphics card. If you want the highest possible frame-rates in games, plus support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing and other modern techs, then the RTX 2080 Ti stands head and shoulders above any other consumer card from Nvidia or AMD.
  • If you’re looking to maximise your performance per dollar, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 offers excellent 1080p and 1440p frame-rates and is the cheapest card with hardware-accelerated ray tracing. That makes it our pick for the best value graphics card.
  • In terms of our lower tier picks, we’ve targeted a degree of longevity and better-than-console throughput for our best budget graphics card – in this case, the old but still powerful AMD Radeon RX 570.

While these are our top picks, we’ve also highlighted a few alternatives for each category, so look out for those after each major recommendation.

Graphics card buyer’s guide

While gaming desktop PCs tend to be last longer than the average games console or gaming laptop, the graphics card is one component you’ll need to replace regularly if you want to keep getting good performance in the latest games. Where processors might get faster by only a few percentage points every few years, graphics cards can see gains of 25 per cent from one generation to the next – and sometimes, the increase in performance is even more substantial. For example, the Intel Core i7 2600K launched back in 2011 and still holds up pretty well in modern games, yet graphics cards of a similar vintage will struggle even at low quality settings.

Choosing the right graphics card is important because this is the component that does most of the heavy lifting that brings your games to life. Graphics hardware capable of easily running triple-A titles starts at around the £110/$110 mark, with Nvidia’s GTX 1050 and AMD’s RX 560 offering (on paper at least) significantly more graphics processing horsepower than the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That means that every major multi-platform title should run at least with ballpark equivalent performance. From there, it’s all about paying more and scaling up, with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti sitting at the current top of the pile.

Of course, it’s also important to avoid building a bottle-necked system, so you should aim to pair your video card of choice with a suitably powerful CPU, RAM and other components. We generally recommend system builders plump for at least 8GB of system RAM, with 16GB being a worthwhile upgrade. If you’re using an AMD Ryzen or a mainstream Intel CPU, using two RAM modules in dual or even quad-channel mode ensures you’re not handicapping your performance. Your choice of processor is also crucial to building a balanced system. AMD’s Ryzen 5 and Intel’s Core i5 are the price/performance champions for 60fps gaming, but if you’re looking to run the latest games at the highest possible frame-rates, particularly on a high refresh rate display, we would recommend the Intel Core i7 8700K or its ninth-generation successors.

Thankfully, we’ve reached the point where even the cheaper end of the discrete GPU market offers some good results if you’re prepared to put just a little effort into tweaking your in-game graphical settings. Beyond that, there’s seemingly a graphics card for every kind of use-case – and that’s where this guide comes in. Every GPU worth considering is included in this exhaustive guide, and if you’re looking for more detailed performance metrics, we can link you through to the some of the most detailed gaming benchmarks around so you can see exactly what kind of performance you should expect.

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Nintendo confirms up to 160,000 accounts accessed in huge privacy breach

UPDATE 2PM UK: Nintendo has now published an English language statement on today’s announcement its account system has suffered a privacy breach affecting up to 160,000 people.

In the statement, Nintendo says that, at present, there was no evidence to suggest Nintendo’s own databases, servers or services have been accessed. This again suggests the log-in data used to access accounts was obtained elsewhere – a tactic known as credential stuffing.

To protect accounts going forward, Nintendo will not detail more of how the attack took place.

Finally, as we reported earlier, log-in via Nintendo Network ID has been disabled and all users are highly recommended to enable two-factor authentication immediately.

Nintendo’s statement follows in full:

Important Notice

We would like to provide an update on the recent incidents of unauthorised access to some Nintendo Accounts.

While we continue to investigate, we would like to reassure users that there is currently no evidence pointing towards a breach of Nintendo’s databases, servers or services. As one action in our ongoing investigation, we are discontinuing the ability to use a Nintendo Network ID to sign in to a Nintendo Account. All other options to sign-in to a Nintendo Account remain available.

As a further precaution, we will soon contact users about resetting passwords for Nintendo Network IDs and Nintendo Accounts that we have reason to believe were accessed without authorisation.

In addition, we also continue to strongly encourage users to enable two-step verification for their Nintendo Account as instructed here: How to set-up two-step verification for a Nintendo Account.

If any users become aware of unauthorised activity, we encourage them to take the steps outlined in the article about the Nintendo Account recovery process.

During the investigation, in order to deter further attempts of unauthorised sign-ins, we will not reveal more information about the methods employed to gain unauthorised access.

We apologise for the inconvenience and concerns caused to our customers, and we will continue working hard to safeguard the security of our users’ data.

ORIGINAL STORY 12PM UK: Nintendo has confirmed that up to 160,000 Nintendo Accounts have been accessed in an enormous privacy breach.

If you were affected, your private data such as your nickname, email, date of birth, gender and country/region were potentially viewable by a third party.

Credit card data was not accessed, though as Eurogamer reported earlier this week, linked payment methods were used in some cases to make unauthorised purchases.

In a statement on its Japanese support site, Nintendo confirmed the issue was related to the company’s own Nintendo Network ID (NNID) log-in system – one of several methods used to log into your Nintendo account.

NNID usernames and passwords were obtained illegally outside Nintendo’s service, the company said, and then used to access accounts and make purchases.

As a result, log-in to your Nintendo account via the NNID method has been disabled. All affected NNID passwords will be reset.

Three days ago, Nintendo told Eurogamer it was “investigating” a growing wave of reports we had heard from Switch owners saying their accounts had been accessed.

Some people whose accounts had been accessed had seen charges on their account via linked payment methods for up to £100 worth of digital items – most commonly, Fortnite’s VBuck currency.

Today, Nintendo said the hacking attempts had been ongoing since early April.

Nintendo Account users will now be contacted via e-mail to reset their passwords with a unique passcode not used elsewhere. Nintendo recommends you use a different password for your NNID and Nintendo account, and set up two-factor authentication.

News of the breach has so far only filtered through from that Japanese support page. Nintendo has yet to make an official English-language statement, though Nintendo UK has now tweeted to acknowledge NNID is no longer available as a sign-in method.

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PUBG adding bots to public matches on console

It’s almost inevitable: once a multiplayer game’s been out for some time, veteran players tend to pull ahead to a point where newer players just can’t keep up. The situation is the same for PUBG, which has now developed a player base so proficient that new joiners are simply being flattened before they can improve.

“We’ve seen the general skill level of our players grow significantly over the last three years”, PUBG Corp explained in a blog post today. “We’re seeing more often that many newer players are being eliminated early with no kills – and oftentimes with no damage dealt.”

It’s a serious problem for developers who want to keep their live service games populated, as a skill gap can alienate new players who are needed to refresh the pool. And so, to solve the skill gap issue, PUBG is adding bots to its public matches on console.

“You’ve been telling us for a while that the widening skill gap is creating a more and more challenging environment for some of our players and we’re now ready to talk about our plan to help this,” PUBG Corp explained. “In an effort to provide more ways for players to hone their skills and be able to fully enjoy what PUBG has to offer, we’ve decided to introduce bots with Update 7.1.”

PUBG

In order to reassure players that the bots will be properly programmed, PUBG explained a little about how the bots will be implemented. Navigation meshes will ensure that bots will detect environmental hazards instead of throwing themselves off cliffs like lemmings, while PUBG’s bots will also “consider bullet physics when shooting”.

“What this means is that players will be able to dodge the bots’ bullets if they use the same evasive maneuvers as they would in any other firefight. But of course, a computer would still be better at calculating bullet trajectory, so systems were put in to make sure that the bots’ accuracy differs based on range.”

And, finally, the quality of the loot dropped by bots will increase as the game progresses, meaning the loot pool should remain balanced, and none of the bots will come at you with an SKS as soon as your feet touch the ground.

PUBG hopes that introducing bots will help new players get “the full battle royale experience”, but there’s some good news for veteran players worried about encountering dozens of bots. According to the blog post, you are “less likely to engage bots the higher your MMR is”, while the Ranked system is due to get an upgrade next month, which will not have any bots.

Despite these attempts to reassure players, it seems many are already upset about the idea of introducing bots. One reason is that it’s seen to dilute the exhilarating battle royale experience of facing an island full of people you know are real. Another frequently-aired concern, which PUBG Corp tried to address in the blog post, is that bot behaviour can often be rather silly and somewhat immersion-breaking, so we’ll have to see if these ones will be well-implemented.

PUBG isn’t the first battle royale to introduce bots on console: Fortnite already made the leap last year, and according to our news editor Tom Phillips, these vary from a selection of player bots tuned to skill level which are “designed to be a relatively easy kill for those who would otherwise get none”, to NPC bots which “often attack en masse with pretty deadly results”.

PUBG Mobile has also had bots for a long time, and from my experience, they were unfortunately quite easy to spot: they would pace around up and down next to buildings, until you shot near them, at which point they would lie down on the ground. Let’s hope PUBG’s console bots are a bit smarter.

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Iratus: Lord of the Dead Leaves Early Access Today On PC

Unfrozen’s Iratus: Lord of the Dead leaves early access today on Steam. If you haven’t heard of it, it draws plenty of inspiration from Darkest Dungeon with one major catch – you’re the bad guy.

Instead of taking on misshapen dungeon denizens, you craft an undead army (quite literally, by assembling horrible creatures from parts) and take on those that would attempt to stop your necromantic rise to power.

Eliminate your enemies through traditional combat or by embracing fear mechanics to send your enemies fleeing in terror. Build up a base to keep your progress going, even when your minions end up being smashed into dust by the forces of good.

Check out the launch trailer below!

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Coming To Xbox Game Pass In May

Red Dead Redemption II is coming to the Xbox Game Pass subscription on May 7, replacing fellow Rockstar title Grand Theft Auto V.

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Red Dead II can be pre-downloaded now via the Xbox Game Pass mobile app, and before it leaves the service, subscribers can purchase GTA V for 20 percent off.

In case you’ve been mauled by a mountain lion, fallen down a canyon, and weren’t aware of how good a game Red Dead Redemption II is, here’s the review.

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Elijah Wood Animal Crossing Visit Is As Delightful As You Would Expect

Actor Elijah Wood is known for many of his movie roles, none more memorable than Frodo in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, his best role is Elwood in Animal Crossing. Elijah Wood is clearly a big player of the game, and according to an Entertainment Weekly story, even took to Twitter to find the best turnip prices out there. Elijah Wood ended up replying to a tweet of Jessica Kovalick, who took snapshots of her Twitter exchange with Elijah Wood long with the time he spent on her island.

Elijah Wood didn’t just come to make a profit off of his turnips. He spent time chatting with Kovalick, and was incredibly polite, asking if he could pick some fruit.

Kovalick’s joy of the encounter and Elijah Wood politeness in one of the most charming game worlds out there makes for one of the best feel-good video game stories of 2020. Gotta love how his Animal Crossing character looks just like him Elijah Wood.

 

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New Seasons Of Pokémon Anime Coming Exclusively To Netflix

Netflix is the new exclusive home for upcoming seasons of the Pokémon animated series in the United States. The announcement comes alongside a trailer for the next season, titled, “Pokémon Journeys: The Series.”

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You may recall earlier this year, Netflix served as the home of Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution, a CGI remake of Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back.

Pokémon Journeys follows longtime protagonist Ash Ketchum and his loyal partner Pikachu as they embark on a new adventure across multiple regions of the Pokémon world.

The series is set to debut on Netflix on June 12. You can get an idea of what to expect from this season in a trailer released today.

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Microsoft Says We’ll Learn About Xbox Series X Games Soon

Through Xbox Series X, Microsoft is launching its next-generation of video games later this year. We know of the Series X’s power and base capabilities, but we don’t know much about the games that will be adapted for this high-end hardware.

From Microsoft’s first-party efforts, Halo Infinite will launch with the Series X, and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is in development for it.

In terms of ports, Microsoft showed off a little bit of how Gears 5 and other titles will be improved on the platform. From third-party developers, Ubisoft has a slate of games moving to next-gen machines, and CD Projekt Red says a next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 is also on the way. That’s all we’ve really heard thus far.

If system launches of old are a guide for Series X, there should be plenty of other games ready for launch day and even more within the launch window.

On Twitter today, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, said that we’ll learn about the games soon. Whether he’s referencing first-party, third-party, or both remains to be seen. “Reviewed plans yesterday for continued sharing through launch,” Spencer wrote.

“Team is doing great work and adapting. I’ve never been more excited about Xbox plans. We’ve heard you, you want transparency/authenticity. We plan to keep showing that way, the next step is not too much of a wait (games).”

We don’t know anything in terms of the timing for these reveals, but with E3 2020 no longer happening in June, a show Microsoft likely would have used to usher in more Series X details, there’s a chance a digital showcase could occur around the same time. This is just speculation, but if wheels were in motion for E3 and the Series X does indeed release this year, the announcements should happen soon.

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Nintendo Confirms Breach Of 160,000 Nintendo Network ID Accounts

Nintendo has acknowledged the breach of approximately 160,000 Nintendo Network IDs earlier this month, resulting in the possible exposure of some users’ personal data such as their nickname, date of birth, and email.

As a result, Nintendo has disabled the ability to login to Nintendo accounts via a Nintendo Network ID for the time being.

Although credit card information was not a part of the breach, some users have reported unauthorized purchases through the linked payment methods associated with their accounts.

Nintendo is currently investigating the matter, and it has no evidence that Nintendo’s databases, services, or servers have been breached.

The company says it will contact people with affected accounts to reset their passwords, and recommends that all users use two-factor authentication on their account to notify them of any unauthorized access.

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Get Total War: Shogun 2 For Free On Steam

Sega and developer Creative Assembly are offering the classic Total War: Shogun 2 as a free Steam download Monday, April 27 (6:00 pm BST/noon central) until Friday, May 1 (same time). Once you download the title, it is yours to keep.

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During a similar timeframe (April 27-May 4), Creative Assembly is holding a Steam sale of other Total War games.

“The past few weeks have presented unimaginable challenges for many of us,” the developer wrote on its website, “but the remarkable collective effort being made by the global community to overcome this moment of adversity has been truly inspirational.

“With this in mind, we want to continue to encourage you all to stay home and save lives by extending a gift to everyone to help make this difficult situation a little bit easier.”

For more information on the free-to-keep offer, head over to the official FAQ.