For gamers, graphics cards are essential, but do you really need a $500 graphic card to enjoy the latest games as of 2013? Well, it really depends on how happy you are with the quality of graphicws you are getting, some gamers are happy when getting 25-30 FPS in thier games, for hardcore gamers they won’t be happy un till they get 60+ FPS in thier games, but that would come at a cost ofcourse.
The fact is, you can actually enjoy all the latest games even with a budget graphic card, range form $100 - $300, at the moment there are a lot of cheap budget graphic cards less than $200 that will play all the latest games such as Bioshock Infinite, Farcry 3 or Crysis 3 at Medium to high quality, and you will still get a very good playble experiance from the game, it might not run at 60+ FPS at 1080p, but you can get at least 25-30 FPS at high quality, which if you are happy with that, it’s atually a very playable experiance, and you actually save a lot of money as well.
At the moment the GTX 650 from Nvidia is a great option if you are looking at a graphic card under $125, you can even get the GTX 650 from many places at around $100 or under, whis is a great deal as the GTX 650 can play the latest games at a reasonable quality, you can play the latest game with this graphic card even when you have an old CPU. As most of the work load would be handeld by the GPU it self.
If you can increase your budget a little, go for the GTX 660 from Nvidia, with the price tag at only around $200 and lower, you can play all the latest games at Max settings with decent FPS, and the GTX 660 will also future proof your system for all the latest games that are coming out for the next 2-3 years, so if you really think about it $200 is not a bad investment.
Since I stated that the GPU is essential for gamers, then what about CPU and RAM? Well, to be honest, in most modern games the CPU isn’t that important, specially with Nvidia cards, since the physics cauculation’s in game are actually done on the GPU it self, and not putting a heavey load on the CPU at all.
So let’s say if you have a CPU that is at least eqaul or above a Duo-core 2.4 GHz, you are fine when combine with a decent GPU, the last thing you would really have to worry about is how much Ram your PC system has, Ram sticks are cheap now, very cheap, so if you have at least 4 GB of ram in your system, you are good to go!