Last month, the RTX 3080 of Nvidia ushered in the next 4K gaming generation with an incredible output leap over the 2080 model it replaced. Although the flagship card of Nvidia was designed to push 4 K, the $499 RTX 3070 is $200 less costly and still promises major performance improvements over the RTX 2080 and even the RTX 2080 Ti of the previous generation. The RTX 3070 can also take advantage of ray tracing and Nvidia's AI-powered DLSS technology, like all of Nvidia's RTX cards before it, to improve frame rates and yet retain great image quality.

This combination of efficiency and cost places the RTX 3070 in the perfect 1440p gaming sweet spot. The vast majority of PC gamers still use 1080p displays, and without the high expense of an RTX 3080 and the additional power draw, the RTX 3070 provides an upgrade path to 1440p.

Ahead of its October 29th debut, I've spent the past week testing the RTX 3070 at both 1440p and 4 K, and it's safe to say this card will give you a lot of headroom for games coming in 2021 and beyond as long as you play at or below 1440p. If you consider the switch to 1440p, if you want to be future-proof along the way, the RTX 3070 is the more budget-friendly choice.