Searching For the Best Graphics card for Ryzen 5 2600? This guide will help you find the best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600x.
Released back in 2018, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 was the best mid-range desktop gaming processor in the market for quite some time. Based on the 12nm Zen+ architecture, this SMT-enabled hexa-core CPU delivered exceptional performance in both games and productivity workloads without much power draw – and it didn’t even cost that much.
Still to this date, the R5 2600 is a great value-for-money processor that can be found for a very cheap price. Chances are you already have one in your current system and plan to pair it with a suitable graphics card to play the newest games, which is what brought you here in the first place.
Since the Ryzen 5 2600 is a capable 6C/12T CPU, you can pair it with the most recent NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards, except for the very high-end models (e.g., RTX 3080, RX 6800 XT) as they can result in performance bottlenecks.
If you don’t know what to go for, continue reading this guide to the best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600 and check out our suggestions. Whether you are planning to game at 1080p or 1440p, we will help you buy the perfect graphics card that meets your requirements.
- 1 Quick Tips for Buying a GPU for Ryzen 5 2600
- 2 Our Selections for the Best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600
- 3 Things to Consider when buying the best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
- 5 Conclusion
Quick Tips for Buying a GPU for Ryzen 5 2600
- Whether you have a 1080p or 1440p monitor, make sure to get a graphics card that actually allows you to run the latest games at those resolutions with high in-game settings.
- If your monitor supports higher refresh rates like 144 Hz or 240 Hz, consider buying a GPU that can deliver framerates closer to such refresh rates. Fortunately, even the most entry-level cards can reach 144 FPS or beyond at 1080p in eSports titles.
- Verify whether your PC case has enough clearance for the graphics card you plan to buy. Also, make sure to check if your power supply has enough watts to spare for your GPU, along with all the required power connectors.
- Check the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of the graphics card you are considering to pair with your Ryzen 5 CPU beforehand. Due to the recent increased demand and silicon supply issues, almost every graphics card has seen an astronomical increase in price.
Our Selections for the Best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600
Below is a succinct list of the best graphics cards for Ryzen 5 2600. Since there’s no single solution that suits everyone’s needs, we had to carefully sort out the most popular GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD at various price points. Hopefully, it should make your purchase decision a lot simpler and less time-consuming.
- GPU: TU116 (Turing)
- GPU Cores: 1280
- VRAM: 4 GB GDDR6 (up to 12 Gbps)
- Boost Clock: 1725 MHz
- TDP: 100 W
Let’s begin with one of the most affordable graphics cards from NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 1650 Super. It’s a 16-series card based on the company’s Turing architecture, which is one gen behind the latest and greatest Ampere. Coming at an MSRP of $160, it replaces the AMD Radeon RX 570 in the same price range, a Polaris refresh from 2017.
Compared to the RX 570, the 1650 Super offers almost 30% higher performance while drawing significantly less power. However, it does require a 6-pin power connector, unlike the previous-gen GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti Pascal cards from NVIDIA.
Its dedicated sixth-gen NVENC encoder should allow you to stream lighter eSports titles (e.g., CSGO, DOTA 2, Valorant, LoL) and older AAA games without much of a negative impact on framerates. It’s also helpful when using video-conferencing apps.
When paired with a Ryzen 5 2600, the GTX 1650 Super can handle most modern titles at med-high settings and delivers a respectable 1080p gaming experience. Unfortunately, if you are on a limited budget, it’s pretty difficult to find a 1650 Super at MSRP, at least at the time of writing due to global chip shortage.
|1080p-capable gaming card||4 GB video memory can be a limiting factor in the future|
|Runs most modern titles at respectable framerates||Requires a 6-pin power connector|
|Uses the latest NVENC encoder, great for streaming|
- GPU: Navi 14 (RDNA 1.0)
- GPU Cores: 1408
- VRAM: 4 GB GDDR6 (up to 14 Gbps)
- Boost Clock: 1845 MHz
- TDP: 100 W
The Radeon RX 5500 XT from AMD shares the same retail price as the GeForce GTX 1650 Super. They perform similarly in games, delivering more or less the same framerates. If you are aiming for an all-AMD system, this entry-level GPU is a viable choice.
When paired with a capable processor like the Ryzen 5 2600, the RX 5500 XT can run most modern AAA titles at 1080p and medium to high preset, albeit at framerates closer to 60 FPS. This is with a 4 GB variant of the card, so you may need to turn down texture quality in VRAM-intensive games.
The 5500 XT also has an 8 GB variant that retains the same specifications as the regular 4 GB flavor, except double the video memory capacity. It should let you crank up the texture settings to Ultra in modern titles for better visual fidelity without hitting the VRAM limit, but the 8 GB card comes at a relatively higher price.
However, just like the GTX 1650 Super, the price for a 4 GB RX 5500 XT graphics card is messed up right now due to the silicon shortage. An RDNA 2-based Radeon RX 6500 is rumored to launch soon at a sub-$200 price range, but whether you will be able to buy one at MSRP remains a mystery for now.
|Capable enough to run any current game at playable framerates||4 GB video memory is a limiting factor|
|Uses power-efficient 7nm process||Requires a 6-pin power connector|
|The 4 GB version is significantly cheaper than the 8 GB model|
- GPU: GA104 (Ampere)
- GPU Cores: 4864
- VRAM: 8 GB GDDR6 (up to 14 Gbps)
- Boost Clock: 1665 MHz
- TDP: 200 W
NVIDIA’s latest generation of Ampere cards are plenty powerful and offer great ray-tracing performance. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is currently one of the more affordable graphics cards in the 30-series lineup, with a starting price of $400.
The RTX 3060 Ti outperforms the last-gen, Turing-based RTX 2080 Super in both gaming and productivity benchmarks. Compared to an RTX 3070, it’s only 9% percent slower on average but costs almost 20% less. The 3060 Ti is also 40% faster on average than its last-gen predecessor, the RTX 2060 Super. It’s twice as fast as a Pascal-based GTX 1070 card, and sometimes more in most recent AAA titles.
If you have a Ryzen 5 2600 or 2600X in your current system, the RTX 3060 Ti is an excellent choice for high-framerate gaming at up to 1440p resolution. Thanks to its better DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) support, you can enable ray-tracing in supported games and experience next-gen visual fidelity without too much of a negative impact on framerates.
One small caveat of the RTX 3060 Ti is its 8 GB of video memory. Although it should be enough for now, a handful of games have already begun to push beyond that number. Of course, you can always turn down the texture quality by a notch and not even notice the difference.
At the time of writing, the RTX 3060 Ti is the king of mid-range graphics cards, and there are no RDNA 2-equivalent of it from AMD yet. However, it’s also really really difficult to find the 3060 Ti for sale since most of its already-limited stocks are going to crypto miners.
If you can overlook the VRAM capacity and inflated pricing, the RTX 3060 Ti is by far the best graphics card for Ryzen 5 2600.
|Solid 1440p gaming performance||8 GB VRAM might not be enough in the long run|
|Support for RT and DLSS upscaling||Hard to get one in the current market|
|Best frames per dollar value in the Ampere lineup|
- GPU: Navi 23 (RDNA 2)
- GPU Cores: 2048
- VRAM: 8 GB GDDR6 (up to 16 Gbps)
- Boost Clock: 2589 MHz
- TDP: 160 W
The Radeon RX 6600 XT is AMD’s answer to NVIDIA’s RTX 3060 (not the Ti version) and is the most affordable current-gen GPU from the company. It’s based on the same RDNA 2 architecture as its better-performing sibling, the RX 6700 XT, but has fewer compute units, inferior memory bus width, and smaller Infinity Cache size to cut down the costs.
The RX 6600 XT ends up beating the last-gen RX 5700 XT by a considerable margin even though it’s the memory bus width has literally been cut in half to 128 bits. Given the chip is slightly smaller than Navi 10 and is built on the same 7nm TSMC node, the performance boost is very impressive.
Compared to a non-Ti RTX 3060, it manages to deliver 10-15% better 1080p gaming performance on average, though the gap closes a bit when running newer titles at 1440p. That said, its 8 GB of VRAM still falls behind RTX 3060’s 12 GB offering and can result in a disadvantage in games and applications that use a lot of video memory.
However, if you plan to enjoy your favorite games with ray-tracing enabled, you would be left disappointed. While the card does have DXR (DirectX Raytracing) support, AMD’s first-gen ray accelerators can’t compete with NVIDIA’s more mature RT cores. This is where the GeForce RTX 3060 offers twice as high framerates in supported titles, and that’s even without using DLSS. It’s worth mentioning that the card supports FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) upscaling technology, but it isn’t nearly as advanced or effective as NVIDIA’s solution.
If you care more about raw rasterization performance over ray-tracing, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is the best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600X or 2600 in its price range. With that said, this card is nowadays hard to come by at MSRP despite having a good supply on its initial launch – Again, all thanks to silicon shortage.
|Excellent 1080p card that can also game at 1440p||$100 more expensive than its predecessor, the RX 5600 XT|
|Performs better than the RTX 3060||Terrible ray-tracing performance|
|Doesn’t draw too much power||8 GB VRAM on a 128-bit bus width|
- GPU: TU116 (Turing)
- GPU Cores: 1408
- VRAM: 6 GB GDDR6 (up to 14 Gbps)
- Boost Clock: 1785 MHz
- TDP: 125 W
If you are working with a limited budget for a gaming card, the GeForce GeForce GTX 1660 Super is a compelling choice. Like the previously mentioned GTX 1650 Super, the 1660 Super is based on the same 12nm TU116 GPU that uses the last-gen Turing architecture, albeit with slightly higher boot clock frequency and more CUDA mores. It also has 6 GB of GDDR6 video memory.
Compared to the standard GTX 1660, the 1660 Super offers 10-15% additional gaming performance on average, and up to 20% performance than the 8 GB RX 5500 XT from AMD. It’s also up to 1.5X faster than the Pascal-era GTX 1060, which is still the most popular video card on the Steam hardware survey chart.
The 12nm TU116 GPU has almost the same power draw as AMD’s 7nm Navi 14 chip that’s found in the RX 5500 XT. Still, the GTX 1660 Super manages to deliver marginally better 1080p performance than AMD’s entry-level GPU in every game. It’s also a decent choice for streaming as it uses the new and more efficient NVENC encoder.
Pairing the GTX 1660 Super with the Ryzen 5 2600 makes sense because of the $250 price range. If you are fine with running the latest titles at Full HD resolution and high graphics quality, then this NVIDIA card should satisfy your needs.
Whether you can buy the GTX 1660 Super at its $220 starting price depends on the current market conditions. As long as the shortages continue, you may have to pay a premium for the card or wait patiently for a better deal.
|Good 1080p gaming performance even at higher presets||Lacks hardware ray tracing and DLSS capabilities|
|Comes with GDDR6 memory unlike the regular GTX 1660|
|NVENC is great for streaming|
Things to Consider when buying the best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600
When buying a graphics card for your Ryzen 5 2600, make sure to take the following specifications into account:
The more the video memory, the higher the texture settings you can push in a game. Thus, make sure to choose a GPU with at least 6 GB of VRAM, and preferably 8 GB or more for gaming. However, if you are on a budget, cards with 4 GB VRAM should suffice, but you need to turn down the graphics settings a bit.
The memory bandwidth of a GPU is important as faster memory makes one card perform better than another. For instance, the GTX 1660 Super has GDDR6 memory. The increase in memory bandwidth makes the card up to 15% faster than the original GTX 1660, which uses previous-gen GDDR5 memory.
Every GPU has a reference base and boost clock frequency. However, AIB manufacturers like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, Zotac, and XFX don’t necessarily follow NVIDIA or AMD’s reference specifications and tweak the clock speeds slightly higher or lower. It can make small variances in the same model of GPUs from different brands.
Though it’s worth noting that memory bandwidth, core counts, and the GPU architecture also play a big role in performance. Additionally, cards that have better cooling systems in place can maintain higher clock speeds for longer times.
Like clock speeds, core counts also indicate the theoretical performance of a graphical processing unit. However, comparing core counts within different architecture isn’t meaningful since the cores themselves go through significant changes too. Thus, looking at NVIDIA Ampere vs. Pascal CUDA core count doesn’t make sense.
The same goes for AMD’s Stream Processors, where comparing Polaris vs. Vega vs. Navi isn’t particularly useful. Similarly, comparing NVIDIA and AMD GPU architectures over core counts is even less helpful.
TDP (Thermal Design Power) is the maximum amount of heat generated by a CPU or GPU that the cooling system in a PC is designed to dissipate. It also refers to the estimated power consumption under maximum load, giving you an idea of how much power you will need to run your processor or graphics card at stock settings.
If you want to pair your 65-watt Ryzen 5 2600 CPU with a graphics card that consumes over 250-watt, you will need a power supply unit (PSU) capable of supplying up to 500 W of clean power. Hence, make sure to verify whether the PSU in your current system is up to the task.
If you are in the market for a power supply, it’s very important to spend the extra money on a good unit from a premium brand. A cheap PSU can blow your entire system, taking out every other component with it!
When choosing a graphics card, it’s very important to check out the connectivity options. Most modern GPUs come with HDMI and DisplayPort, while some older cards include DVI. Newer models also come with a USB-C port specifically for VR headsets.
Thus, make sure the graphics card you plan to purchase has all the connectors you require for your computer display(s). Though if you have a monitor that only has VGA or DVI, you can always use an adapter like Moread HDMI to VGA, Gold-Plated HDMI to VGA Adapter (Male to Female) for Computer, Desktop, Laptop, PC, Monitor, Projector, HDTV, Chromebook, Raspberry Pi, Roku, Xbox and More - Black .
Most gaming-oriented graphics cards nowadays draw more than the 75 W of maximum power that a PCIe x16 slot provides. Such cards ask for separate PCIe power connectors that are available in 6 and 8-pin flavors. Some factory-overclocked, high-end GPUs can have up to three 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors.
If your PSU doesn’t have the required connectors, you have no choice but to buy a better one. Although some adapters allow power draw from SATA or Molex connectors, they are not advisable for long-term usage.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
Q1. What are the best GPUs for 1080p and 1440p gaming?
The GTX 1660 Super from NVIDIA is an excellent choice for 1080p gaming on a budget. It’s nearly 20% faster than the Radeon RX 5500 XT and offers over 30% more performance than the entry-level 1650 Super. Though if you are looking for a high refresh rate gaming at 1080p, the RX 6600 XT is the better choice.
For 1440p gaming, the RTX 3060 Ti represents the best overall price-to-performance ratio in NVIDIA’s current Ampere lineup. It not only supports hardware-based ray-tracing but also allows for DLSS image upscaling technology.
Q2. Is NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire still viable?
Even a few years ago, PC enthusiasts used to run two or more cards in SLI or CrossFire configuration to get the best performance in games. However, it has become increasingly common for AAA titles to be incompatible with multi-GPU systems as developers don’t bother to make engine-level changes and API modifications for such a niche user base anymore. This includes all the newer games that come with DXR (DirectX Raytracing) support.
As a result, only a handful of next-gen GPUs supports the daisy-chaining of two cards. AMD has completely removed support for CrossFire on their Navi cards, while NVIDIA’s top-of-the-line RTX 3090 is the only Ampere GPU with NVLink connectivity for studio applications.
Q3. How can I even buy a graphics card in this supply drought?
Unfortunately, the global semiconductor shortage could drag on until 2023, and the ever-increasing demand will make it even more difficult for gamers to find a graphics card in stock.
Right now, the only thing you can do is keep an eye out for the upcoming restock on websites like StockInformer.com, as well as various community forums, subreddits, and Discord servers with stock alert bots. If you get lucky enough this year, you will be able to purchase a modern graphics card at something close to its MSRP.
In this buying guide, we have discussed the five best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600. Of course, graphics cards are the heart of every gaming PC, so we have carefully picked up the best ones for you to choose from.
If you think a better GPU deserves a spot on this list, do let us know in the comments. Also, it would be awesome if you leave feedback on our best graphics card picks for Ryzen 5 2600.
None of the graphics card prices that we have talked about at an MSRP level reflects the real-world market conditions for buyers today. Thus, we advise you to take this guide as a baseline just in case the situation improves. We can’t guarantee when (or if) you can buy the GPU you are looking for, and at what price; at least in the current marketplace.