There are some lower cost options you can use. However, most seasoned gamers will advise you to go for the top-tier desktop graphics cards if you're looking for seamless virtual reality gaming. Desktop Graphics Cards. Power Search. In Stock. ON OFF. GeForce RTX Radeon Vega Series.
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No single solution will be right for everyone, so we're here to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. Whether you're after the fastest graphics card, the best value, or the best card at a given price, we have recommendations for every budget. Balancing performance, price, features, and efficiency is important because no other component impacts your gaming experience as much as the graphics card.
Where our GPU benchmarks hierarchy ranks all of the cards based purely on performance, our list of the best graphics cards tries to look at the whole package. Price, availability, performance, features, and efficiency are all important, though the weighting becomes more subjective. There's still room for further price cuts, but reasonably priced graphics cards are now in sight.
Our latest update adds the RTX Ti to our testing results, and while the price is obscene, for those that want the absolute fastest graphics card available it clearly displaces the RTX Finally, we continue to wait for Intel Arc Alchemist , which is sort of available for laptops now but isn't slated to arrive on desktop until perhaps June. If you're looking for an good deal on a new graphics card, check our RTX deals , RTX deals , and RTX deals pages where we suggest some ways to save on a new graphics card.
You might also consider buying a pre-built PC if you're looking for a complete system upgrade, as often those have better prices on the GPU. Note: Prices on most of the graphics cards are still above MSRP, but prices have begun to drop rapidly. We previously used average prices from eBay, since that was about the only place you could buy many GPUs. We're now able to find every GPU available for less money at an online retailer typically Newegg , so we're showing those prices, along with the official launch MSRPs.
You'll note that the above list now consists entirely of current generation cards. That's because prices have changed enough that they're the best deals available, with many previous generation cards severely overprice. We sorted the above list in order of performance considering both regular and DXR performance , but the order of cards listed below is based on other factors as well.
Our subjective view includes performance along with price, power, and features adjusted by our own opinions. Others may offer a slightly different take, but any of the cards on this list are worth considering. When we tested the new RTX Ti , it didn't manage to supplant the incumbent, thanks to its significantly higher pricing.
If you're serious about maxing out all the graphics settings and you want to play at 4K or p, this is the card to get. It's mostly overkill for p gaming, unless you're running the latest ray tracing games, in which case DLSS support should also help performance. With potentially double the ray tracing performance of Turing, and games like Cyberpunk using even more ray tracing effects, the RTX is your best bet at playing games in all their ray traced glory without nuking the piggy bank.
Ampere also brings improved tensor cores for DLSS, a technology we're bound to see more of in future games now that it doesn't require per-game training by a supercomputer. We're seeing a lot more games with DLSS 2. The biggest problem with RTX by far is going to be finding one in stock at reasonable price.
It's still a much better bargain than the Ti and , so this remains our best pick for a fast GPU right now. In our testing, the RX Radeon XT is technically about percent faster, but it theoretically costs 54 percent more. That's not a great deal, especially since you don't get more VRAM or any other extras. The Navi 21 GPU was affectionately dubbed 'Big Navi' prior to launch by the enthusiast community, and we got exactly what we wanted.
It's over twice the size of the previous generation Navi 10, with twice the shader cores and twice the RAM. Clock speeds are also boosted into the 2. We're confident that few if any games in the coming years are going to need more than 16GB, so the XT is in a great position in that area. What's not to like? Well, the ray tracing performance is a bit mediocre.
FSR 2. Price and availability, as with all recent GPUs, isn't great. For some, the best card is the fastest card — pricing be damned! But looking at online prices, the Ti may only cost a couple hundred more than a , and who are we kidding: Anyone seriously considering either of these probably doesn't need to worry about a few Benjamins. If you simply must have the fastest graphics card available, the RTX Ti isn't likely to be surpassed until this fall. It's not just about gaming, of course.
Just watch out for lower than expected performance in some of the SPECviewperf apps, where Titan RTX has additional features turned on in its drivers that aren't enabled for GeForce cards. But if you want the absolute fastest graphics card right now, Nvidia wins, especially if you run games with ray tracing and DLSS enabled.
With some tuning and overclocking, we were able to hit speeds of 2. That's very impressive, and factory overclocked cards can push even higher clocks. Still, if we include pretty much any games with DLSS or ray tracing, the XT comes in behind the Ti and almost looks like a competitor. Even better, and the reason this card has moved up in our overall rankings, is that the RX XT is currently available at prices very close to the MSRP.
As we approach the lowest end of the price and performance ladder with Nvidia's desktop Ampere lineup, the cuts to processing power may have gone too far. Or that's the theory. VRAM capacity isn't a problem, and there are a few instances where the starts to close the gap with the Ti. It never quite gets there, however, and the Ti would be the better choice if you could find one at a reasonable price. Not exactly something to set the world on fire, but then that's typical of mainstream parts.
Performance ends up slightly above the previous gen RX XT, which is impressive considering the memory bus has been cut in half to just bits. Still, it's surprising how much even a 32MB Infinity Cache seems to boost performance, when you look at the memory bandwidth. There are instances where it struggles, however, ray tracing being a big one.
Yeah, that's pretty much MSRP! In theory, of course, as it naturally sold out just as quickly as all the other new graphics cards. It's also only about 9 percent slower than the RTX but costs 20 percent less. If you're still sitting on an older GTX or RX Vega 56, the Ti is up to twice as fast — sometimes even more, in the latest games.
The only real concern is the lack of VRAM. Of course you can drop the texture quality a notch, and you might not even notice the difference, but deep down inside you'll feel regret. Not really — high settings often look indistinguishable from ultra settings. That's why it's above this card in our listing of the best graphics cards.
Budget to midrange graphics cards are a competitive arena, and the RX has to compete against both the new RTX series as well as the previous generation RTX series. It ended up delivering near-RTX performance, at least in non-ray tracing scenarios. With ray tracing enabled, however, it struggled badly, barely averaging 30 fps in our DXR test suite at p medium.
If you're not worried about ray tracing, though, the RX definitely warrants a look. But now there are a few cards that only cost slightly more than that, and prices continue to drop. The same red flags are still present as well, like the mediocre ray tracing performance and lack of a direct alternative to DLSS. In short, if you want the best RT experience right now, Nvidia still wins not that you need RT to enjoy games.
Again, we're expecting an RX series refresh in the next month or so, pairing all of the XT variants with 18Gbps GDDR6 memory and boosting clocks a bit, likely at the expense of power use. It's a reasonable compromise, but we think the XT is the better option all things considered. Hint: Run at a lower resolution, or use Nvidia Image Scaling, and you get comparable performance gains and quality. We'd grab an RX more for the rasterization prowess and not worry so much about ray tracing.
Hopefully that will happen before the end of , but the future RDNA 3 and Ada architectures will likely arrive by then. Except, the Navi 24 chips really got cut down on the chopping block, with only a bit memory interface, 16MB Infinity Cache, an x4 PCIe link, older video codec support, and only two display outputs. That's a lot of potentially interesting features that got hacked off. But right now, the only place to buy a Super without overpaying is on eBay.
We'd much rather have a GTX series card, or even an RX XT 8GB, but we'd also prefer buying new hard — buying a used graphics card represents a risk, with many miners likely offloading cards that have been used hard for the past two years. Determining pure graphics card performance is best done by eliminating all other bottlenecks — as much as possible, at least. We test across the three most common gaming resolutions, p, p, and 4K, using 'medium' and 'ultra' settings.
But now there are a few cards that only cost slightly more than that, and prices continue to drop. The same red flags are still present as well, like the mediocre ray tracing performance and lack of a direct alternative to DLSS. In short, if you want the best RT experience right now, Nvidia still wins not that you need RT to enjoy games. Again, we're expecting an RX series refresh in the next month or so, pairing all of the XT variants with 18Gbps GDDR6 memory and boosting clocks a bit, likely at the expense of power use.
It's a reasonable compromise, but we think the XT is the better option all things considered. Hint: Run at a lower resolution, or use Nvidia Image Scaling, and you get comparable performance gains and quality. We'd grab an RX more for the rasterization prowess and not worry so much about ray tracing. Hopefully that will happen before the end of , but the future RDNA 3 and Ada architectures will likely arrive by then.
Except, the Navi 24 chips really got cut down on the chopping block, with only a bit memory interface, 16MB Infinity Cache, an x4 PCIe link, older video codec support, and only two display outputs. That's a lot of potentially interesting features that got hacked off. But right now, the only place to buy a Super without overpaying is on eBay. We'd much rather have a GTX series card, or even an RX XT 8GB, but we'd also prefer buying new hard — buying a used graphics card represents a risk, with many miners likely offloading cards that have been used hard for the past two years.
Determining pure graphics card performance is best done by eliminating all other bottlenecks — as much as possible, at least. We test across the three most common gaming resolutions, p, p, and 4K, using 'medium' and 'ultra' settings. Where possible, we use 'reference' cards for all of these tests, like Nvidia's Founders Edition models and AMD's reference designs.
Most midrange and lower GPUs do not have reference models, however, and in some cases we only have factory overclocked cards for testing. We do our best to select cards that are close to the reference specs in such cases. For each graphics card, we follow the same testing procedure. If the two runs are basically identical within 0. If there's more than a small difference, we run the test at least twice more to determine what "normal" performance is supposed to be.
If we see games where there are clear outliers i. Due to the length of time required for testing each GPU, updated drivers and game patches inevitably come out that can impact performance. We periodically retest a few sample cards to verify our results are still valid, and if not, we go through and retest the affected game s and GPU s.
We may also add games to our test suite over the coming year, if one comes out that is popular and conducive to testing — see our what makes a good game benchmark for our selection criteria. We've provided a dozen options for the best graphics cards, recognizing that there's plenty of potential overlap.
We've listed the best graphics cards that are available right now, along with their current online prices, which we track in our GPU prices guide. Whether that will continue until the next-gen GPUs arrive remains to be seen. Our advice: Don't pay more today for yesterday's hardware. If your main goal is gaming, you can't forget about the CPU.
Our current recommendations reflect the changing GPU market, factoring in all of the above details. The GPUs are ordered using subjective rankings, taking into account performance, price, features, and efficiency, so slightly slower cards may end up higher on our list. You don't need a top-of-the-line GPU to game at p. Either variable refresh rate technology will synchronize your GPU's frame rate with your screen's refresh rate.
DLSS provides intelligent upscaling and anti-aliasing to boost performance with similar image quality, but it's only on Nvidia RTX cards. Our current test suite of games consists of eight titles. The data in the following charts is from testing conducted during the past several months. Only the fastest cards are tested at p and 4K, but we do our best to test everything at p medium and ultra. That means we're running at native resolution for all of these tests.
Our GPU benchmarks hierarchy contains additional results for those who are interested, along with performance testing from our suite running on a Core iK. The following charts are up to date as of April 15, All current generation and previous generation GPUs are included. Besides performance, we also test graphics card power consumption. Here are the main power charts from our testing. Our full GPU Benchmarks hierarchy ranks all current in previous generation GPUs by performance, using aggregate data from the gaming test suite.
Below is the abbreviated hierarchy with all the cards you can still buy plus a few extras ranked in order of performance, from best to worst. The score represents aggregate performance, scaled relative to the fastest card, the RTX Ti. With all the GPU shortages these days, you're unlikely to see huge sales on a graphics card, but you may find some savings by checking out the latest Newegg promo codes , Best Buy promo codes and Micro Center coupon codes. Want to comment on our best graphics picks for gaming?
Let us know what you think in the Tom's Hardware Forums. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance. Tom's Hardware Tom's Hardware. Included in this guide:.
GeForce RTX GPU Cores: Boost Clock: 1, MHz. TBP: watts. Reasons to avoid - Online prices remain inflated. Radeon RX XT. Boost Clock: 2, MHz. Reasons to avoid - Weaker ray tracing performance. Specifications GPU: Navi Boost Clock: MHz. Reasons to avoid - Weaker RT performance.
Reasons to avoid - Tied with the old RTX Boost Clock: 2,MHz. Reasons to avoid - Still very overpriced at present. Radeon RX Reasons to avoid - Not good for ray tracing. Reasons to avoid - Middling RT performance. Reasons to avoid - Slower than the RTX Image 1 of 9. Image 2 of 9. Image 3 of 9. Image 4 of 9. Image 5 of 9. Image 6 of 9.
Image 7 of 9. Image 8 of 9. Image 9 of 9. Image 1 of 7. The RTX may need a fair chunk more power—you'll want at least an W PSU—and be tricky to get hold of, but this is the most desirable graphics card around today. Which I guess is also why it's so tricky to get hold of.
If there was one bit of advice for buying a GeForce RTX it would be that it's worth trying to get your hands on the Founders Edition if at all possible. Far from just being the reference version of the 'flagship' Ampere graphics card, because of that cooler and redesigned PCB, it is the ultimate expression of the RTX And if you end up with another version of this fine-ass GPU then I'm afraid you're likely to feel a little hard done by.
Chances are you're going to have to make do. The Founders Edition cards are not produced in the same volumes as the third-party versions from the likes of Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Palit, and Colorful, to name but a few. Given the stock shortages, you're going to be happy with whatever RTX you can get your hands on. Especially if you can get one near to the MSRP. And besides, some of the cooling options on these third-party cards are impressive in their own right, so it's not all bad by any stretch.
Regardless of whichever card you get your hands on, the performance uplift you get over the previous generation is huge and pretty much unprecedented. Maybe we've become used to more iterative generational deltas, especially considering the slight difference between the GTX Ti and RTX , for example. Nvidia has gone big with the RTX , and the result is an outstanding gaming card that sets a new benchmark for both high-end 4K gaming performance and for ray tracing.
Now we just need Nvidia and Samsung to make more of them so we can all enjoy the best GPU of this generation. As a red team alternative to Nvidia's high-end graphics cards, there have been few finer than the RX XT. A highly competitive card that comes so close to its rival, with a nominal performance differential to the RTX , is truly an enthusiast card worth consideration for any PC gamer with 4K in their sights. A key battleground for Nvidia and AMD this generation has been on the memory front—covering both bandwidth and capacity.
AMD has an ace up its sleeve in throughput terms in the form of its Infinity Cache, which bolsters the cards 'effective bandwidth' considerably. In gaming terms, it means you're looking at similar performance, despite the very different underlying technologies. All are available today and with years of developer support in the bank. That said, AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution has gained considerable momentum among developers and offers solid upscaling that's worth enabling in supported games.
The RX XT leaves AMD in an incredibly strong position going forward, delivering what is required to get the entire industry to take notice, and with a strong proposition to offer gamers instantly at launch. And it's no surprise to hear the cooperation between Zen and RDNA engineers had a part to play in all this, too.
And not the least bit impressive in just how swiftly it has achieved near performance parity with Nvidia. There's still some way to go to claw back market share from the green team, but step one on RTG's to-do list build a high-end GPU can be confidently checked off with the release of the RX XT.
That's why we love it so; it's a great GPU for the full stack of resolutions and has decent ray tracing capability to boot, courtesy of second-generation RT Cores. The RTX Ti delivers gaming performance that's rather stupendous when you look at generational gains over even the RTX series—next to the GTX series, it's quite frightening, actually. There's exceptional p and p performance in a tiny package here, the likes of which would've set you back something close to twice as much cash a couple of years ago.
And that's pretty great. This card is even capable of dabbling with high-fidelity 4K gaming, although you're going to have to massage some graphics settings in order to really crack a solid 60fps in more demanding games. And that's often just in terms of average framerates, to keep your GPU above 60fps requires a lot of tinkering.
That can sometimes take the fun out of 4K gaming in the first place. It's a much smoother affair at p, and at p you can pretty much max everything out and just go. There's a solid base of genuinely great features behind RTX and the Nvidia package that's only been improved upon with Ampere, none more so than the ray-tracing performance for that matter. There's just the small issue of availability, that which has loomed over all the other RTX series launches to date. Perhaps the most impressive demonstration of what this card has achieved is seeing how it stacks up to the series generation: It topples the RTX Super in nearly every test.
Perhaps the only high-end Ampere that's anything close to reasonably affordable, the RTX is also impressive for its ability to match the top-string Turing graphics card, the RTX Ti, for less than half of its price tag. In return, you're gifted a 4K-capable graphics card that doesn't require too much fiddling to reach playable, if not high, framerates. And it'll absolutely smash it at p, no question about that. It's a little surprising to see the RTX Founders Edition still sporting the pin power connector of the RTX , and therefore it comes with a single 8-pin to pin adapter in the packaging.
Despite coming with two front-loaded fans the spinner at the tail of the card is there to amplify the airflow across the heatpipes and that does seem to aid the cooling performance of this smart little GPU. And of course, you have ray tracing and the ever-improving DLSS enhancements. That's a lot to add onto the impressive raw performance that the RTX offers, and it does make a difference to a lot of people.
Nvidia's xx70 series of cards is often the real sweet spot for PC gamers, and the RTX is ever that. This is the Ampere card which represents a genuine performance upgrade for the vast majority of us, at a price that we can almost swallow. And it gets kind of close, too, with 4K performance a little off the pace of the RTX —and all for one-third off the asking price.
For that reason, it's simply the better buy for any PC gamer without any ulterior motives of the pro-creator variety. But there's a reason it's not number one in our graphics card guide today, and that's simply due to the fact it's not that much better than an RTX , and sometimes not at all. Yet, inevitably its ray-tracing acceleration lags behind the competition. Even within AMD's line-up, there's no pressing argument to pick this up over more-affordable offerings.
Even Nvidia didn't make that mistake, billing the RTX as a pro-creator card with a substantial increase in memory capacity over the second-run gaming card below to help justify the cost. It's far more difficult to justify the cost of the RX XT, sharing as many qualities with far cheaper cards as it does and with the slight performance gain it's able to deliver from its few upgrades.
It's not the easiest card to recommend for the vast majority of gamers, even those that have their sights set on the high-end. For most, the RTX is still the card to beat. It's still a victim of its own extreme price tag, though. Though when all is said and benchmarked, it is the uber high-end RTX Ti that we'd recommend to any PC gamer looking to go all out on their next build. The arrival of the Ampere generation did a lot to diminish the awkwardness or fiddly nature of 4K gaming, but the RTX Ti truly squashes it.
Setting up for high performance 4K gaming remains a pricey investment, but you needn't be as cautious as we once had to be on a game-by-game basis. You can relatively comfortably set your game to high or ultra settings and get comfortable, even high, frame rates at 4K. The last thing you want when gaming at 4K is to turn down graphics quality settings, and with the RTX Ti you shouldn't have to nearly as much as we've come to expect at x The RTX Ti tends to fall a little behind the RTX , although it appears the more expensive card only sees marginal benefit for an increase in core counts and memory—the RTX Ti is only single percentage points off the pace.
It's also more than capable of real-time ray tracing, courtesy of 80 RT Cores. The GeForce RTX Ti remains an impressively powerful graphics card despite some inflexibility ingrained in the price—it will see some save a few pennies on ultra-high-end gaming PC builds and still claim top performance. The Ampere architecture is excellent, and stuffing more of it under that unassuming black and polished grey shroud simply makes for a great gaming chip.
It does, then, achieve what it set out to do: break the back of just about any game, API, or graphics-intensive task, even at 4K, and do so in a way that appeals directly to gamers' sensibilities. The reason we don't rate this card higher up in our list of the best graphics cards, however, is down to its price.
Massively inflated pricing, or lack of stock, notwithstanding. However, the RTX wields it well, managing to dispatch the RTX by a large margin in most games, and by enough of a gap in the rest to make it worthwhile. Best gaming PC : the top pre-built machines from the pros Best gaming laptop : perfect notebooks for mobile gaming. Perhaps the most newsworthy shake-up for the Nvidia RTX came with the announcement of a hash rate limiter , which was designed to keep the card from operating at its full capability while mining Ethereum, the crypto of choice for GPU mining.
Nvidia hoped that'd sway miners towards its new CMP line-up, built from off-cut GPUs not fit for gaming consumption, while supposedly leaving more GeForce cards for gamers. It didn't stop the card from selling out of course. With a decent generation-on-generation improvement and plenty of speed at p and p, the RTX 12GB is a graphics card easily argued for. It's also nominally cheaper than the RTX was on launch day, though it's not so easy to find it as a discrete number nowadays. That said, this card often crops up within pre-built gaming PCs , and for a decent price all-inclusive too.
Best Graphics Cards for Gaming ; 1. GeForce RTX Best Graphics Card Overall, for 4K and More · Ampere (GA) ; 2. Radeon RX XT. Best graphics card ; 1. Nvidia GeForce RTX The best graphics card for PC gaming right now · 8, ; 2. AMD Radeon RX XT. AMD's RDNA 2. 1. Nvidia GeForce RTX Ti · 2. Nvidia GeForce RTX · 3. Nvidia GeForce RTX Ti · 4. Nvidia GeForce RTX · 5. AMD Radeon RX XT.