Best Graphics Card For Overwatch 2021 (Ultimate Buyer's Guide)

By: Lorenzo  |  Updated: May 30, 2020

Getting the best graphics card for Overwatch can mean tricky business due to the number of different factors you have to consider before making a purchase decision.

You want to ensure that your graphics card runs at full power, and doesn't bottleneck as a result of your CPU's inability to handle all of your GFX card's power.

Bottlenecking: This occurs when your CPU is too weak and limits the amount of power your GPU can produce, resulting in lesser quality graphics.

Luckily, Overwatch isn't an overly graphic-intense game, and you don't need to break the bank to get a video card that can run Overwatch on Epic settings (the highest graphics).

That being said, you don't just use a graphics card specifically for Overwatch...

Maybe you want to play even more hardcore, graphic-intense games, or you're a freelancer who does photoshop work and needs to be accurate and precise with your pictures. A graphics card will help with the quality of those images.

Regardless of what tasks you'll be using the graphics card on, we have compiled a list of the 5 best graphics cards for Overwatch, which can run Overwatch on Epic settings, without sacrificing FPS.

Before you continue on if you travel a lot, or like the convenience of a laptop instead of a PC, you can check out our best laptop for Overwatch guide, which will be better suited for you.

Now without further ado, let's dive in…

TL:DR: Best 5 Graphics Cards For Overwatch

EVGA RTX 2060 KO Graphics Card
EVGA RTX 2060 KO Graphics Card
9.7
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Core Clock: 1680MHz
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC Graphics Card
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC Graphics Card
9.4
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Core Clock: 1830MHz (Factory Overclock)
Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 Graphics Card
Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 Graphics Card
9.3
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Core Clock: 1340MHz (Boostable To 1366MHz)
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Graphics Card
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Graphics Card
9
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Core Clock: 1316MHz (Boostable to 1455MHz)

The 5 Best Graphics Cards For Overwatch

This list was curated in comparison to other graphics cards within their respective price ranges.

We researched these graphics cards through customer reviews, review videos, user benchmarks, and GPU comparisons.

There should be a graphics card within every price point that should suit your PC needs and allow you to play on Epic settings in Overwatch.

Bear in mind that your GPU needs to be paired with an equally strong CPU and a recommended minimum of 8GB of RAM.

Having a strong GPU but weak CPU will result in your GPU bottleneck and inability to reach its full potential.

So in this list, I will be putting the minimum requirement CPU to go alongside the GPU for maximum potential.

EVGA RTX 2060 KO (6GB)

Best Value Graphics Card

  • VRAM: 6GB (GDDR6)
  • Core Clock: 1680MHz
  • Minimum PSU Wattage: 500W
  • Minimum Required CPU: Ryzen 5 2600/3600
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The RTX 2060 KO is a high-end graphics card with some stripped features so that you are able to enjoy the perks of a high-end GFX card at a lower price point.

So in terms of performance per dollar, it's definitely a worthy investment, and what makes this GFX card unique is the introduction to a new and upcoming feature - ray tracing.

Ray tracing is a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects.

For a more in-depth analysis of ray tracing, check out this video.

Ray tracing is the term for using the light to create a more realistic-type of imagery… and the RTX 2060 includes ray-tracing capabilities.

NVIDIA has stated that the RTX 2060 KO is the baseline for ray tracing games, which means, it's not the highest quality if running ray-tracing in-game, but is an excellent starter that can run next-generational graphics.

The 2060 KO is futureproofed and will be able to handle some of the next-level AAA games coming out within the next 3 - 4 years.

For Overwatch, you won't have a problem running the game on a very consistent high FPS and will pair very well with a 144Hz monitor if you want even less input lag.

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (8GB)

Best Premium High-Performance Graphics Card

  • VRAM: 8GB (GDDR6)
  • Core Clock: 1830 MHz (Boosted)
  • Minimum PSU Wattage: 650W (Recommended)
  • Minimum Required CPU: Ryzen 5 3600/3700X or Intel i5-9700K(F)/i7-9600K(F)
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Pros
  • Can play on 1080p @ 60Hz with consistently high FPS on any game
  • Can play on 1440p @ 144Hz with consistently high FPS on any game
  • One of the stronger GPU's on the market that will perform excellently in GPU-intensive games for the years to come
  • Perfect for larger monitors (with higher resolutions)
  • Will last you years without needing to upgrade
Cons
  • Software isn't user friendly and a pain to use
  • The GFX card is massive and needs a decently sized tower to fit it.
  • Does not come with NVIDIA's GPU bundle including free games

If you want something that can run any game, at 144Hz, at 1440p resolution, with 100+ FPS and is definite overkill for Overwatch?

Then look no further, the RTX 2070 SUPER is a high-end graphics card that can be placed into premium builds and pack some serious power.

The RTX 2070 includes ray tracing technology that is powerful enough for you to enjoy ray-tracing at its full potential.

And as I said earlier, it was born to be used for 1440p, 144Hz gaming, it doesn't need to be overclocked unless you're doing some crazy graphics-intensive work/gaming, and best of all, doesn't go over 60° which is amazing for a premium graphics card.

With great power comes great responsibility, or in this case - size, and you need a more prominent tower to fit this beast into your computer.

One downside to the card is that the software isn't user-friendly and can be a pain to use, but if you're not interested in customization, then you won't have to worry about this.

So, if you want a card that can run any AAA game @ 144Hz, with 1440p without problems, the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 SUPER is an excellent choice.

And if you play on 1080p resolution, this graphics card will exceed your FPS expectations, and allow you to play at any graphic settings.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC (6GB)

Best Mid-Tier Graphics Card

  • VRAM: 6GB (GDDR5)
  • Core Clock: 1830MHz (Factory Overclock)
  • Minimum PSU Wattage: 450W
  • Minimum Required CPU: Ryzen 5 2600/3600 or i5 9400F
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Pros
  • Can be overclocked to run at a high 1830MHz
  • Can run Overwatch on Epic settings with no hassles at all
  • Is the middle ground between a regular 1660 and a 1660 Ti
  • Will last you 3 - 4 years before next-gen graphics will surpass the
  • GFX card's ability to run games.
Cons
  • Won't be able to play some of the high-end GPU-intensive games at 60FPS (will dip to the 50s)

When it comes to GPU's above $200, you are starting to reach a new level of performance that can run Overwatch on Epic settings with no hassles, but also play some of the GPU-heavy AAA games on Ultra with consistent FPS.

What's great about the GTX 1660 OC is that it will last 3 - 4 years (or longer depending on what you plan on playing) since it can handle itself pretty well with some of the newer next-level generation graphics.

The GTX 1660 has a massive jump in core clock speeds, starting at 1830MHz, which is powered through a 6GB of sweet VRAM.

Bear in mind that this is the OC version, not a regular GTX 1660 or GTX 1660 Ti. It's the middle child between the two 1660 versions.

Although it's part of the same family, it does offer some significant leaps in performance compared to the GTX 1660.

This GFX card can run modern games on Ultra, such as Hitman 2, at a consistent 60 - 70 FPS, and if you only care about playing at 1080p resolution, you could get a smooth and steady 90 - 100 FPS.

For Overwatch, it's a no-brainer. You should be able to play on Epic settings while averaging well over 100+ FPS.

Sapphire Radeon RX 580 (8GB)

Best Value Under $200

  • VRAM: 8GB (GDDR5)
  • Core Clock:  1340MHz (Boostable To 1366MHz)
  • Minimum PSU Wattage: 225W (500W is recommended for upgradeability)
  • Minimum Required CPU: Ryzen 2600 or i5 8400
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Pros
  • 8GB of VRAM allows for more significant screen resolutions and a lot of space to work with
  • Can play on 1440P @ 60FPS depending on other specs (this is because of their 8GB VRAM)
  • Can run Overwatch on Epic settings @ 100+ FPS consistently
  • Perfect upgrade if you're looking to get into more graphics-heavy AAA games
Cons
  • Core clock falls short in comparison to the VRAM available
  • Runs hot when pushed to its limits

If you're looking for a video card that's more substantial and can play Overwatch on the highest settings with a consistently high FPS, and be able to run higher AAA games... then the RX 580 (8GB) is an excellent choice for its price.

The RX 580 has 8GB of VRAM, which is massive for a mid-tier GFX card. It also includes decent clock speeds and overclockable features should you want to increase the performance.

Radeon's RX 580 is an even stronger GPU than the 1050 Ti and is paired seamlessly with an Intel i5-8400, or even the Ryzen 5 1500X (overclockable version).

Some of the newer CPU's that it can pair with is the R5 2600 or even the more modern R5 3600, and having this combo will allow you to play AAA titles on 1080p/1440p with a constant 60 FPS.

What's impressive about the RX 580 is the vast amount of VRAM, which allows you to play at any screen resolution you want (just make sure it's native to your monitor).

The clock speed is a little low compared to the amount of video memory you have, so the processing of everything will be slower, which is where the graphics card falls short.

Nevertheless, it can still run Overwatch efficiently well above 60 FPS, so if you have a slightly larger budget, this is a better choice than the GTX 1050 Ti in terms of performance and is an excellent recommendation overall.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB)

Best Budget Graphics Card

  • VRAM: 4GB (GDDR5)
  • Core Clock:  1316MHz (Boostable to 1455MHz)
  • Minimum PSU Wattage: 300W (500W is recommended for upgradeability)
  • Minimum Required CPU: Ryzen 5 1500 or Intel i5 8400
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Pros
  • Can play Overwatch on Epic settings @ 60+ FPS
  • Can be overclocked to run at 1455MHz
  • Perfect entry-level GFX card
  • Can pair well with older modeled/weaker CPU's
  • Plays well at 720p - 1080p resolutions
Cons
  • May become obsolete within the next 3 - 4 years (due to next-gen graphics needing more robust resources)
  • Can't run Overwatch on Epic settings above 100FPS

The 1050 Ti is the perfect starter graphics card that's an easy upgrade from integrated graphics, or an outdated graphics card.

It comes with multiple options for clock speeds, and whether or not you want to overclock it for higher performance; the choice is yours.

This graphics card can run Overwatch on Epic settings with a consistent 60+ FPS, as long as your CPU can bring out its full potential.

Even on some of the more graphic-intense games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), you can run on high-ultra settings with a consistent 60 FPS - 65 FPS. However, you will be pushing your card into overdrive with a temperature continuously above 60°, so ensure you have adequate cooling to lower the temperature.

The 1050 Ti can hold on its own, and if only want to game at 720p - 1080p @ 60 FPS, then this is a great starting choice that is best suited for casual gamers.

Overwatch System Requirements

There's no set' baseline' to running Overwatch on Epic settings, as there are many factors you have to consider.

As one Overwatch player to another, it's almost not worth playing on Epic settings, since you want to focus on maximizing your FPS and minimizing lag input (as a result of high FPS).

For a game like Overwatch, you need responsiveness and as little input lag as possible, which means running on lower graphics to improve performance is most beneficial.

That is unless you have the resources to run Epic settings without sacrificing performance.

Below we have compiled some specifications you can follow based on the research.

Bear in mind; you need to have an equally good CPU to go hand-in-hand with your GPU, and preferably at least 8GB of RAM.

60 FPS should be the bare minimum to be able to play the game with little to no performance loss.

Overwatch Requirements - Epic (Ultra) Settings

These are recommendations we are showing based on our research. There are older and customized systems out there with weaker specs that could run Overwatch on Epic, but for simplicity, we searched for some of the latest gear that should at least last you a couple of years.

GPU (Minimum) Paired With A CPU (Minimum)
GTX 1050 Ti or higher Intel i5-7500 or Ryzen 5 1600 or higher

The best way to find this is to see if the two GPU's and CPU's go well together, you can use this calculator to check if your CPU can handle your GPU.

Overwatch Requirements - Minimum & Recommended Settings

Below are the recommended settings straight from Blizzard's website. This is subject to change so ensure you're keeping up to date with the requirements.

Minimum

* Operating System Windows® 7 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 10 64-bit (latest Service Pack)
* Processor Intel® Core™ i3 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8650
* Video NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460, ATI Radeon™ HD 4850, or Intel® HD Graphics 4400
* Memory 4 GB RAM
Storage 30 GB available hard drive space
Internet Broadband internet connection
Media None for the recommended digital installation
Resolution 1024 x 768 minimum display resolution

Recommended

* Operating System Windows® 7 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 10 64-bit (latest Service Pack)
* Processor Intel® Core™ i5 or AMD Phenom™ II X3 or better
* Video NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 or AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 or better
* Memory 6 GB RAM
Storage 30 GB available hard drive space
Internet Broadband internet connection
Media None for the recommended digital installation
Resolution 1024 x 768 minimum display resolution

Buyer's Guide - What To Look For When Buying A GPU For Overwatch

Now that we've established that it's in your best interest to pair your GPU with your other PC parts to maximize performance (specifically your CPU), here are some considerations you can use before purchasing a new graphics card.

Example of the best graphics card for overwatch in action (GTX 970)

Gaming Performance

It's no secret that lowering your graphics will reduce the number of resources your PC uses, while boosting your gameplay's performance and smoothness, and in return, lowering the image quality.

When it comes to Overwatch, you want to focus on 2 things:

  • High, consistent frame rate - this is affected by your computer specs (CPU, GPU & RAM are most important), and the number of resources your computer is handling at once (like your background processes, etc.)
  • Low, consistent input lag (Getting a high consistent frame rate does affect your input lag quite a lot, alongside your peripherals like your Monitor's refresh rate and your in-game settings)

A varying FPS will cause your game to feel laggy and usually occurs when chaos is ensuing on-screen, while input lag can put a slight delay that can alter your shots completely.

Higher graphics can also mean adding unnecessary visual clutter, like reflections, ambient occlusions, fog and bushes, which can make it harder to see your enemies.

Of course, nowadays, having colorful, crisp graphics is just satisfying to look at, and if you're GPU can handle it, be super smooth and get you to appreciate the amount of work and detail the devs and designers put into the game.

You do have the option to have a combination of both Epic and Low graphics to get the best of both worlds (get rid of unnecessary clutter while still allowing your graphics to look incredible), you can do this by playing with your in-game settings.

So choose how you want your graphic settings to be like; lower graphics settings will give you leeway to get a more budget-friendly GPU, playing on Epic settings you will need more of a mid-tier GPU, and if you want Epic settings but be able to play more high graphic-intensive games, then a premium-tier GPU would be best.

Video RAM

Video RAM, aka VRAM, is the buffer between a computer's processor and the images display, also commonly known as a frame buffer.

It plays an integral role in displaying complex image textures or rendering polygon-based 3D structures, which are most commonly used in video games or 3D graphic design programs.

For gaming, you need high VRAM for quicker loading times, and higher-level image quality; the higher your VRAM, the higher your quality of graphics will be. 

Think of it as your regular computer memory (RAM), but for your GPU, having a lot of VRAM space will allow your GPU to handle more tasks.

And for graphics-heavy AAA games, you'll need all the VRAM you can get, since nowadays games are increasing their graphics at an exponentially alarming rate.

Below is a list of the recommended VRAM you need to play on a specific graphics level:

  • 720P = 2GB VRAM
  • 1080P = 2GB - 6GB VRAM
  • 1440P = 4GB - 8GB VRAM
  • 4K = 8GB+ VRAM

Core Clock Speeds

While VRAM plays an essential part in the quality of your graphics, clock speed is needed to speed up your GPU's ability to process information.

The faster your clock speed is, the faster your information will be sent to your display, so if you have a lot of VRAM, you will want a fast core clock speed that will process all that information quickly.

Having a lot of 1, but not enough of the other, can limit your GPU's full capabilities and will overall result in lower performance.

So, having a fast core clock will result in you getting better FPS and less input lag, which is vital when playing a game like Overwatch.

Many GPU's also offer an overclocking feature (AKA boosting) that can increase your clock speeds to be even faster. You will need a 3rd part software like MSI Afterburner to overclock it manually.

Overclocking will also result in higher temperatures, so make sure your case has excellent ventilation, and your GPU has adequate cooling.

Cooling System (Liquid Nitrogen or Water)

Cooling is always a big part of keeping your performance high and your computer parts safe.

Overheating can cause performance issues and can cause your PC's components to go into overdrive while outputting a fraction of its actual potential.

If your PC/laptop is continuously at high temperature, you will wear out your computer parts and your computer will become laggier overtime. Prolonging this can also damage your equipment.

Hence why there are always multiple fans or even a cooling system of sorts in any high-end gaming rig, these are usually directly installed on or facing the CPU, and the GPU themselves.

The CPU and GPU process tons of information regularly, so ensuring that these two parts have sound cooling systems is vital.

GPU's usually come in 1 - 3 fans, depending on the size and quality. More fans aren't necessarily better, as it depends on the heatsinking capabilities and how the overall airflow in the PC's case is.

You can get cooling systems like liquid nitrogen or water, but this would be more if you're streaming Overwatch or playing more GPU-intensive games. You won't need a cooling system if you're a casual gamer or even a competitive gamer who has mid-tier PC parts.

If you do a lot of CPU/GPU-intensive work or want to play on the maximum graphic settings on graphics-heavy games, you'll need a high-end rig with some sort of advanced cooling system, so your system doesn't overheat from the amount of power its producing.

Power Supply

Of course, you need power for everything to run efficiently, and computers are powered by PSU's (power supply units).

There are recommended wattages that your GPU needs to be able to run efficiently.

The stronger your GPU is, the more power it's going to consume, so for low-mid tier, GPU's, getting a standard 500W PSU will give you all you need. If you go more high-end, an 800W - 1000W is best.

A higher PSU wattage will allow you to upgrade your parts in the future without having to worry about upgrading your PSU.

Here's a breakdown on PSU's by Corsair:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Graphics Card Do I Need For Overwatch?

For Epic Settings:

GPU Paired With A CPU
GTX 1050 Ti or higher Intel i5-7500 or Ryzen 5 1600 or higher

For Minimum Settings:

* Operating System Windows® 7 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 10 64-bit (latest Service Pack)
* Processor Intel® Core™ i3 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8650
* Video NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460, ATI Radeon™ HD 4850, or Intel® HD Graphics 4400
* Memory 4 GB RAM
Storage 30 GB available hard drive space
Internet Broadband internet connection
Media None for the recommended digital installation
Resolution 1024 x 768 minimum display resolution

  1. Is Overwatch More CPU or GPU Intensive?

Overwatch is more GPU intensive.

You can run Overwatch on older modeled CPU's with no issue, as long as the GPU can handle it.

For best practice, get GPU's with VRAM specs with:

  • 720P = 2GB VRAM
  • 1080P = 2GB - 6GB VRAM
  • 1440P = 4GB - 8GB VRAM
  • 4K = 8GB+ VRAM

  1. What's A Good FPS For Overwatch?

Here is a list I've compiled for Overwatch FPS based on playability and reducing as much input lag as possible:

  • Below 60 FPS = Bad
  • Consistent 60 FPS = Bare Minimum
  • Same FPS As Your Monitor Refresh Rate = Good
    • E.g. 144Hz = 144 FPS
  • 250+ = Epic

If you're hardcore about Overwatch, you want to maximize performance (FPS) to minimize input lag.

When I mean maximize, I don't mean inconsistently reaching 250+ FPS. Your FPS should be consistently hitting a specific FPS number.

The easiest way to boost performance is to play at the lowest settings to have the most significant performance gains.

Unless you have a premium gaming rig that can run on 250FPS+ on Epic settings, settling on the lowest graphics is the better choice.

  1. Can You Play Overwatch Without A Graphics Card?

Absolutely. The minimum requirements to run Overwatch are:

  • ATI Radeon™ HD 4850
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4400

These usually come pre-installed with the motherboard and are known as "integrated" graphics.

Bear in mind that you may not get the best performance out of integrated motherboard graphics, and it's always better to get an external GPU, even if it's a budget one; just make sure it's a modern one.

Hence why we recommend getting a dedicated GPU for your computer since it will have the ability to run video games with ease.

  1. Overwatch FPS Cap & Max FPS

Overwatch's FPS cap is 300 frames per second.

For best practice, you should be consistently hitting a high FPS, no matter what's happening on screen (ults, 12 people fighting on screen, etc.).

See what your average FPS is, and then set the cap to about -5 FPS below, so your game never dips from that FPS, this will ensure it runs efficiently no matter the chaos ensuing on-screen.

Our Winner: The Best Graphics Card For Overwatch

Overwatch isn't as GPU-heavy as some of the newer games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) or Watch Dogs 2.

So depending on your budget, there's a GFX card there that will suit your setup and allow you to play on Epic settings and still get a consistent FPS.

But depending on what FPS you want to play on is a different story.

In terms of being able to use the graphics card for other resource-hungry games, being able to use GPU-heavy software applications, or simply having the freedom to play at any resolution, on any graphic settings, we've taken all of these into consideration and have chosen our winner.

The best graphics card for Overwatch to get in 2021 is the - EVGA RTX 2060 KO Graphics Card.

Our Winner: Best Graphics Card For Overwatch

  • VRAM: 6GB (GDDR6)
  • Core Clock: 1680MHz
  • Minimum PSU Wattage: 500W
  • Minimum Required CPU: Ryzen 5 2600/3600
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It's a step in the right direction, it's not overly expensive, nor is it cheap. It stands on the perfect middle-ground in terms of budget and will allow you to play any game and enjoy them without any lag or low FPS performance.

For Overwatch, you can run the game on 144Hz at 1080p/1440p, on Epic settings and still get a very high and consistent FPS. Running the game on a higher refresh rate native to your monitor will minimize lag input, which is perfect.

It can run ray tracing in the newer games and still give you a consistent 60 FPS on high/ultra settings, so be sure to have a high CPU and PSU coupled with this GFX card.

You will be able to use this video card for a long time, even over the next couple of years when next-gen graphics come out.

Any GFX card will be able to run Overwatch on Epic settings, so feel free to have a look at your current build, and your budget, and choose accordingly.

Since the age of 6, Lorenzo has enjoyed gaming on computers. Having grown up in the digital age, the technology revolves around him. He enjoyed growing up gaming throughout his high school years and is now a young adult who does most of his work on his computer. Lorenzo's mission is to make buying products and building PC's an easy and fun experience for all.
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