Best GPU for PUBG – The Ultimate Guide
If you want to be the best player you can be it is of vital importance that you’re not being held back by your gear. It’s instrumental that you have a mouse that suits you, that your keyboard doesn’t feel unwieldy, and so on. The same can be said about the internals of your gaming system; you can have all the best peripherals in the world, but if your rig is struggling to put out 30 frames per second you’re never going to be playing to your full potential. That’s why we’ve analyzed what’s inside the cases of professional gamers.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the second game where we analyze and compile the GPUs that the professionals are using, and the results aren’t all that surprising after our first foray into GPU usage. We do note that PUBG pros generally tend to use more powerful GPUs, as PUBG can be quite a demanding game if you want everything to run smoothly.
Either way; whether you’re looking for a new GPU to upgrade your rig or you’re just interested in the stuff that the pros are using: we’ve got you covered with this list.
What makes a GPU good for PUBG?
In essence the task of a GPU is simple: it’s responsible for displaying everything that’s on your screen, and ideally it should do just that without any issues or stutters, and at the highest FPS possible. The good thing is that, as opposed to keyboards, mice, and all of that there’s really nothing much that goes into choosing a GPU. You really just want to make sure that it fits your budget and that the performance is up to par.
PUBG isn’t exactly the same as Crysis back in the day where you need a supercomputer to run it properly, but it is a rather demanding game nonetheless. An integrated graphical processor won’t cut it for this game, and if you want to get to the magical 144 Hz mark you’re going to have to spend some money on a decent rig.
Professionals are paid to play the games they play, so it’s only natural that they don’t skimp on their gear. If you want to stay on top of your game you can’t have your machine holding you back, which is why you’ll see a lot of NVIDIA’s high end GPUs in this top 5. The lower end of their lineup is also featured in this list, but their numbers are smaller than what we’ve seen in our Fortnite top 5, which lines up with our thinking that PUBG is a more demanding game than Epic’s BR.
If we dare to take a peek into the future we can also note that NVIDIA’s RTX line of cards will support DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) which is a technology that will utilize deep learning (as you might have gleaned from the name) and AI in order to train the actual GPU to render images faster. As it stands, PUBG is confirmed to support DLSS sometime in the near future – and we can’t wait.
Winner winner, chicken dinner
This has been a trend throughout all the games we’ve been analyzing so far: NVIDIA is the undisputed leader when it comes to GPUs. This is the first time we’ve seen this, but every single analyzed PUBG professional uses an NVIDIA GPU. We’re not here to debate GPU manufacturers or anything like that, but his is the first time that one brand represents 100% of our analyzed pros, so that is quite something.
Whatever you make of this: there is no doubt that NVIDIA makes great performing GPUs, and that’s exactly what you need if you want to run PUBG flawlessly. We’ve talked about this before, but 144Hz really is the competitive standard for shooters, with over 85% of our analyzed PUBG pros using a monitor that’s capable of displaying at least 144 frames per second. Naturally you’d want to use a GPU that’s capable of displaying at least 144 frames per second, so in this list we’ll briefly go over each GPU in the list, as well as give you a rough estimate on the performance you can expect for each GPU.
If you want to make sure your game runs perfectly fine without useless graphical settings dragging down your performance you can check out our guide to do just that right here.
Note: the average FPS you get ingame will severely depend on your ingame settings, as well as the rest of your rig (CPU, RAM, …) so take these estimates with a grain of salt.
Most used GPUs
GTX 1080 TI
RTX 2080 TI
1. GTX 1080 Ti
The old guard
NVIDIA has only just released their 20 series cards, so it’s only logical that not everyone has already switched over to a new RTX card. It’s also not really all that necessary for a game such as PUBG, since the 1080 Ti still packs an incredible punch when it comes to processing power.
PUBG might be a demanding game, but it’s not ‘Crysis back in the day’ demanding so with the 1080 Ti you can very comfortably get over 144 frames per second, provided you don’t crank the graphics all the way up to ultra and use our recommended settings.
If you keep it modest on the eye candy you’re gonna get about 180 FPS on average, crank everything up to ultra and the 1080 Ti will still deliver respectable frames, though it will dip below 144 quite often, evening out at about 125 FPS on average.
The 1080 Ti is still a pretty reliable performer on 1440p, but it obviously won’t reach above 144 frames per second on the regular. If you crank the graphics you can expect about 90 frames per second, on average. Modify some of those settings and you can get it to spit out a little above 100 frames each second. If you really need to be playing at 1440p you can just about get by with the 1080 Ti, but if you really want to get a buttery smooth ingame performance we’d recommend to either lower your resolution or buy a more powerful card.
2. GTX 1080
The 1080 TI’s little brother comes in second place, putting out a respectable 170 frames per second (on average) on our recommended ingame settings.
If you want the game to look a bit sweeter the 1080 has got your back for that too, though you’ll have to sacrifice about 50 frames per second if you want to go all the way, with the 1080 clocking out at about 110 frames per second at ultra. That’s not all too bad, but if you really want to stay competitive you’ll definitely want to sacrifice some graphical fidelity for smoother gameplay.
The 1080 seems to be the ideal card if you’re a competitive player who wants to get the best out of your 144Hz monitor at 1080p; it can easily handle those numbers when you opt for a more conservative set of graphical options.
If you’re running a regular (i.e. 60Hz) refresh rate 1440p monitor the 1080 is also an ideal solution. It manages ultra @ 1440p just fine, clocking in at just over 60 frames per second on average.
If you’re willing to lower the ingame settings you can get that number to the high 70s but don’t expect to have ‘competitive framerates’ at this resolution with the 1080.
3. RTX 2080 Ti
If you just want to throw the kitchen sink at PUBG there is the RTX 2080 Ti. NVIDIA’s newest top tier model is an absolute beast, and if you want the best of the best then this is the one to go for. The 2080 Ti delivers around 200 frames per second at our recommend settings, and 160 frames per second with everything set to ultra.
It’s needless to say that the 2080 Ti handles everything PUBG can throw at it with ease. The frames will still drop quite a bit in certain parts of the maps and during intense firefights, but that’s always gonna be the case in PUBG (and many other games, for that matter).
The RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti are also the only cards in this list that are going to be able to use NVIDIA’s DLSS (Deep Learning Super-Sampling) technology. Not all that much is known about DLSS so far, but NVIDIA claims the following:
“If you’re unfamiliar with DLSS, this new RTX technology uses the power of deep learning and AI to train the GPU to render crisp images, while running up to 2x faster than previous generation GPUs using conventional anti-aliasing techniques.”
The RTX 2080 TI is you best bet if you want to run PUBG on ultra at 1440p. It churns out a pretty respectable 130 frames per second on average on ultra. Turn down a couple of settings and you’re above 144 frames per second in all but the most intense firefights.
DLSS should enhance the performance of this card even more in the future, so this is definitely the one to go for if your budget allows it and you want to future proof your build.
4. GTX 1070
Comfortably mid table
NVIDIA’s GTX 1070 is last generation’s mid tier card, and it delivers what you could say is some solid mid tier performance for PUBG. At our recommended settings the 1070 spits out an average of 155 frames per second, which is just perfect when you’ve got a 144Hz monitor, but it starts to struggle once you up the ante in the graphics department. With everything on ultra it puts out just under 80 frames per second, on average, dropping down to the low 40’s during intense firefights.
If you’re willing to keep your ingame settings at around medium and/or you’re only rocking a 1080p 60Hz screen the 1070 is definitely going to give you the best bang for your buck, but for anything above that you’re better off going for something with a bit more horsepower.
Gaming PUBG at 1440p with the 1070 isn’t exactly recommended if you ask us. If you play on lower settings it does get over 60 frames per second (though it drops below that occasionally) but at medium-ultra settings it never even reaches 60 frames per second, which sort of is the bare minimum for PC gaming. It does have to be said that the 1070 doesn’t really drop below 30 frames per second (even on ultra) so if you’re not really interested in getting the maximum amount of frames or fluidity from your game it’s still one to consider.
5. RTX 2080
The second best
The RTX 2080 is NVIDIA’s second most powerful card out there right now and that also means that it’s going to be slightly more budget friendly than the top of the line RTX 2080 Ti.
It does have plenty of horsepower to handle PUBG though; at 190 frames per second (on average) with the graphics turned down a bit. If you want to crank everything you’ll obviously have to make some compromises when it comes to framerate though: the 2080 will churn out around 145 frames per second with the graphics at max. That’s a great result and it means that this is a great card if you’re gaming at 1080p, since it easily reaches the 144 frames per second mark even with everything on max.
The 2080 handles 1440p gaming pretty admirably: with the video settings on max it reaches around 100 frames per second. Turn those settings down to our recommended settings and you’ll get a very respectable 120 frames on average. That means that this is your second best option for 1440p gaming, but if you really want to stay above 144 frames per second we would recommend the RTX 2080 Ti.
Conclusion: The best GPU for PUBG
As is the case with most gear: professionals go for the best. The RTX 2080 TI (and the entire RTX line, for that matter) hasn’t been out for a very long time, but we will probably see more professionals make the switch to an RTX card in the foreseeable future.
PUBG isn’t the most difficult game to run, but it’s also not a CS:GO style ‘runs on a toaster’ kind of game, so if you want to get a comfortable amount of frames per second you will have to make in investment when it comes to your GPU. We do want to reiterate that the average FPS you get out of these cards will depend on your machine and ingame settings. It’s also entirely possible that PUBG gets some updates in the future which enhance (or decrease) performance, so take these results with a healthy grain of salt.
Regardless of that, this list has a bit of everything: there’s a budget card, a super high tier card, and everything in between. We’d encourage you to read through this list and then consider your budget and what you want to get out of the game. It’d make no sense to buy a GTX 1060 if you’re planning on getting a 144Hz monitor and looking to go pro, for example.
We hope that you enjoyed this list, and thank you for reading!