Best GPU for Call of Duty: Warzone – The Ultimate Guide
The Battle Royale genre is becoming a saturated one really quickly. With so many gamers absolutely loving this thrilling take on multiplayer gaming it’s of course no surprise that most developers are trying to get a piece of that cake, and while the CoD franchise wasn’t as successful with its first attempt (Call of Duty: Blackout) they’ve now definitely hit the mark with Warzone. Tons of gamers boot the game each day to try and get a taste of victory, and with the game showing no signs of slowing down we thought it was high time to set our analysts loose on it.
We’ve gone ahead and came up with this list of five GPUs that you can consider for your build whether you’re building a brand new system or looking to upgrade your current one. It has cards for every budget tier and competitive ‘framerate step’ so that you will be able to find your perfect card no matter what your budget is.
What makes a GPU good for Call of Duty: Warzone?
If we boil it down to the essence your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is in charge of providing the image on your monitor. The power of your GPU determines how detailed of an image it can produce, but also how fast and smooth it can make said images appear in succession on your screen. The most powerful graphics cards have enough horsepower to render the newest games at the highest details and visual fidelity, but for competitive gaming that’s not really what you want.
Competitive gamers prioritize getting frames per second over anything else, and that’s because getting a high framerate (coupled with a high refresh rate monitor) really does give you a myriad of advantages in the game. The most obvious one is that, if you’re gaming on a monitor that can display all of these frames, the image that you get is much smoother and crisper, but it doesn’t end there. Higher framerates also result in faster response times, and that can mean the difference between winning or losing at the higher levels.
Luckily you don’t really need to get the latest and greatest GPU to achieve decent framerates in most games. Pretty much every competitive gamer lowers a lot of ingame settings (click here to see our settings guide for Warzone) to get higher framerates (and also because some settings that are meant to make the game more beautiful can be distracting) so depending on your budget and the framerate you’re eyeing you’ve got plenty of options.
What is for sure is that you’ll want to make sure you can run the game at 144 frames per second at minimum. Of all of our analyzed professionals across all games, only 1% are still gaming on a 60 fps setup. Almost everyone else is at 144 FPS or higher, with almost half going for a 240 FPS setup. And a 240 FPS setup needs some serious horse power.
Going with Nvidia
As far as GPUs go there seems to be only one manufacturer if we take a look at what our analyzed professionals are using. Almost every pro gamer has an Nvidia card in their rig, so we’ve gone with Nvidia cards for this article as well.
We’ve also chosen to go for cards that are still in production. There’s definitely an argument to be had about using an older GTX card if you can manage to snag one at a sale or second hand from a seller that you trust but since that’s of course a rather unreliable way of obtaining gear we have chosen to leave those cards that are not in production anymore out of this article.
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. All of these expected framerates are at 1080p.
Most used GPU manufacturer in the professional scene
1. RTX 2070 Super
Best pick for 240 Hz
Call of Duty: Warzone isn’t an incredibly difficult game to run but it’s also not in the ‘runs on a toaster’ league so you’ll want a decently beefy graphics card if you’re planning on going for a 240Hz setup. The RTX 2070 Super has been one of our favorite cards ever since it came out due to the way it’s positioned in between the super high tier cards of this world and the mid tier cards so it’s perhaps not so strange to see it show up in this list.
While this RTX 2070 Super doesn’t quite get over the 240 frames per second mark on low settings it’s definitely powerful enough to let your 240Hz monitor shine to the full extent with the frames only dropping low during intense action scenes. If you’re someone who likes to game with the video settings set to high and you’ve got a 144Hz setup this is also a great choice, but if you’re absolutely hellbent on gaming at 240 fps with the settings on high you should look elsewhere.
Overall this card is one of the better buys you can make right now if your budget doesn’t really allow for a top tier card, and our opinion on that doesn’t change when we look at the candidates for Call of Duty: Warzone. The RTX 2070 Super will also serve you well for our other competitive games and is powerful enough to allow you to run newer single player games at high settings, so as an overall gaming card this is a great one.
AVERAGE EXPECTED FPS
2. RTX 2080 Ti
The top tier option
When budget isn’t an issue and you want to get the absolute best performance that you can get at this point in time you’ve got to look at the RTX 2080 Ti. This is the best graphics card on the market right now by quite a margin, and that of course comes with quite the price tag attached to it, but you do get the best performing card out there and you will probably not have to worry about upgrading it for quite some time if you decide to make the investment.
The RTX 2080 Ti is also the ideal card if you want to game at 240 frames per second while still having (most) of your graphical options at high. It doesn’t quite deliver the 240 frames at all times but it certainly gets the job done, and if you lower just a couple of those settings it’ll reliably keep you above the 240 mark.
If you game at competitive/low video settings this card can handle that with ease; with an average of 271 frames per second you’ll never find yourself starved for frames even in the midst of the carnage.
Of course we’re aware that the 2080 Ti isn’t going to be an option for everyone, so we’d recommend this to people who have a really high budget and/or people who really want to future proof their build. If you’re aiming at a 144 Hz setup this card will obviously be a star performer, but we would call this one overkill for that task so you might want to look elsewhere if 144 frames per second is your aim.
AVERAGE EXPECTED FPS
3. GTX 1660 Super
For 144Hz gaming at lower settings
While 240 frames per second is quickly becoming the standard refresh rate for pro gamers we are aware that this comes with a hefty price tag. A 240Hz monitor can already put a dent in your wallet and then you don’t even have the PC to push those frames to your monitor. If your budget isn’t the biggest or you just want to see what the whole high refresh rate thing is about it’s definitely absolutely fine to game on a 144 fps setup.
This GTX 1660 Super is an ideal card for those who want to play with a 144 Hz monitor. It’s powerful enough to give you a good experience at high settings, but if you lower just a couple of those video settings it really starts to shine. It’ll easily go above the 144 frames per second mark if you decide to do so, and if you lower the settings even more you get a very respectable 167 frames per second on average.
This, as such, is a great card for those who don’t mind lowering (just a couple of) video settings in order to game at 144 frames per second, and it does all of that without the premium price tag that our 240 fps options carry.
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AVERAGE EXPECTED FPS
4. RTX 2060 Super
For 144Hz gaming at high settings
If you’re aiming for a 144 frames per second setup but you don’t want to compromise on the graphical fidelity if your game in order to reach that mark this RTX 2060 Super is one of your best bets.
Aside from being one of our favorite budget-oriented cards for its fantastic power/price performance it’s also a fantastic card for Call of Duty: Warzone. With the video settings at high you can expect around 156 frames per second on average, which means that you can play the game without worrying about the frames dropping below your monitor’s refresh rate for any real period of time.
Go for competitive/low video settings and the 2060 Super obviously delivers even more frames. With an average framerate of 193 this can also be used as a perfect card for those people with a 160, 165, or 185Hz monitor.
It’s also powerful enough to allow you to run the newest games at decent settings (though obviously not at max, depending on the game) so if you’re looking for a dedicated overall gaming GPU for your 144Hz build this should get a real good look.
AVERAGE EXPECTED FPS
5. GTX 1650 Super
The budget pick
Pro players and streamers can of course afford to spend a lot of money on their gear: after all it’s part of their job to be the best they can be at the game, and getting the best gear allows them to perform to the best of their abilities. All of these components definitely aren’t cheap so it’s important to also include budget options if you’re asking us.
The GTX 1650 super is a great card to get if you’re on a budget. It won’t quite get to the 144 frames per second mark with the settings at low but the 133 frames that you get will definitely make a huge difference and be a massive improvement over a regular 60Hz setup so you can certainly consider the 1650 Super if you’re looking for a budget 144 Hz card.
While we don’t really recommend gaming on a 60Hz display if you’re really serious about competing this card will be great for a 60Hz monitor, giving you well over the required frames per second even with the settings at high. If you’re currently on a regular monitor and thinking about upgrading to a 144Hz display in the future this can be a good purchase, since it’s going to be a fantastic performer for your current monitor as well as a reliable card for higher refresh rate monitors.
If you can spare a bit more money or you can save up some more we would definitely recommend going a tier higher if you want to become a competitive gamer, but if you’re not interested in all of that and you just want a reliable graphics card for 60Hz (and, to a lesser extent, 144Hz) gaming this is a fantastic option that won’t put a big hole in your wallet.
AVERAGE EXPECTED FPS
Conclusion: The best GPU for Warzone
Call of Duty: Warzone isn’t the heaviest game to run on our list of analyzed games but it’s definitely not the lightest game either. For that reason you’ll want to be looking at the top end of the spectrum if you’re aiming for a 240 frames per second experience.
If you’re after the 144Hz mark things become a little bit easier: if you’re willing to lower your graphical settings there are a bunch of budget options to choose from that’ll get the best out of that fancy monitor without much trouble.
As with most PC components it’s important to have a balanced build, however. If you’re on a limited budget it doesn’t make sense to go for an RTX 2080 Ti if you’re going to be running it with a low tier CPU and on a 144 Hz monitor. A GPU alone won’t push a low tier system to suddenly become a high tier system, so make sure to budget appropriately and get yourself a compatible and evenly distributed build. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter or Discord.
Thanks for reading!