Many gamers play within a budget and don't have $350 and up to spend on a new graphics card. With that that goal in mind, a test of graphics cards that can be purchased for $80-$120 was performed.
For smooth game play you want to keep your minimum FPS(Frames per Second) above 30 FPS. Games can start looking like a slide show below 30 FPS. Games tend to look smoother and are easier to play when you keep your minimum frame rates higher. Generally 50-60 FPS is where games start to look much smoother to most gamers. Some people with 60 Hz monitors prefer to have their minimum FPS never drop below 60 FPS then enable V-sync to reduce the visual effect called screen tearing. Other players have monitors that are capable of 75 Hz, 100 Hz, 120 Hz, 144 Hz, or faster refresh rates and want higher average FPS in game. Minimum and average frame per second are a matter of both game play quality and personal preference and can be limited by the hardware. Maximum FPS isn't as important for game play as minimum FPS and average FPS.
Another advantage of higher frame rates is less input lag and less game lag. You may have a great ping and no packet loss, but if you are averaging 30 FPS it may feel that you have higher ping when you play because there is more lag in the game itself. For example, if you play at 30 FPS, each frame is about 0.0333 seconds. If you play at 60 FPS, each frame is 0.0167 seconds. If you play at 100 FPS, each frame is 0.0100 seconds. To many players, having higher frame rates feels and acts like having a better in game ping. Some players feel that higher FPS in a game makes it easier to hit moving targets in game and to hit smaller targets in game.
World of Tanks version:
There were no significant changes to the game engine between 9.16, 9.17, and 9.17.1 that have an effect on average FPS and minimum FPS. Also World of Tanks 9.16 replays that play in 9.17 had no change in minimum and average FPS when played in version 9.17. Therefore, these results can apply to future world of tanks versions until there are significant game engine updates.
i7 6700K overclocked to 4.6 GHz and water cooled.
32 GB DDR 4 RAM (8GB x 4 sticks)
1 TB Samsung EVO 850 SSD
Seasonic 750 Watt power supply
Windows 10 Pro
Graphics cards tested in the Desktop, the manufacturer's part numbers, and additional information:
GTX 1050 - ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Mini (ZT-P10500A-10L) - The GTX 1050 is Nvidia's new budget GPU. GTX 1050 graphics cards currently cost $100-140. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Mini can be found for $99.99 regularly.
GTX 960 - EVGA GeForce GTX 960 FTW GAMING ACX 2.0+ (02G-P4-2968-KR) - A used 2GB GTX 960 equipped graphics card currently sells for $100-$130.
GTX 950 - EVGA GeForce GTX 950 SC+ GAMING ACX 2.0 (02G-P4-2956-RX) - The GTX 950 was replaced by the GTX 1050. Used and refurbished GTX 950 graphics cards currently sell for $80-$120.
GTX 660 ti - EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti FTW Signature 2 (02G-P4-3664-KR) - The GTX 660 ti was released in August of 2012. Currently, used GTX 660 ti graphics cards sell for $60-$100 on eBay. Occasionally, you can find a pair of them sold together for SLI use for $120-$140
GTX 750 ti - EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti (02G-P4-3751-KR) - A new GTX 750 ti equipped graphics card currently sells for $80-$100 in the U.S. Used GTX 750 ti cards can be found for as low as $60.
RX 460 - PowerColor RED DRAGON Radeon RX 460 (AXRX 460 2GBD5-DH/OC) THe RX 460 is AMD's current budget gaming GPU. RX 460 graphcis cards currently cost $95-140. The PowerColor RED DRAGON Radeon RX 460 can be found for $95-$100 regularly.
R7 370 - XFX R7 370 1050M (R7-370B-CDFR) - The R7 370 has been replaced by the RX 460 and the low end RX 470 models. A Used R7 370 equipped graphics card currently sells for $70-$000 in the U.S.
R7 360 - Gigabyte AMD R7 360 (GV-R736OC-2GD) - The R7 360 has been replaced by the RX 460. A used R7 360 equipped graphics card currently sells for $60-$100 in the U.S.