The best graphics cards in 2022

Updated on August 14, 2022

If you want the best graphics card for PC gaming, you need to be able to buy it. Nvidia and AMD have both produced some excellent cards this generation, but the entire thing is thrown off by the fact that you can’t actually buy them. At least, not at the recommended retail price.. Cards that are better are more expensive since they are overpriced as a result. Sigh.

All of the latest graphics cards, however, have been obtained and put through our comprehensive testing procedures. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the best eight graphics cards you can buy right now. If you’re looking to buy a prebuilt gaming PC in 2022, this information will come in handy because it’s the quickest way to get your hands on the best graphics cards.

As a side point, the GPU industry is becoming more competitive. With the introduction of the Radeon RX 6800 XT, both Nvidia and AMD were contending for the top prize. The GeForce RTX 3080 comes within a whisker of taking the title. In reality, the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 are two of the greatest graphics cards to date, although Intel’s Arc Alchemist graphics card, due out soon, might muddle the GPU picture a bit.

If you’re not sure where to begin your search for a new graphics card, we’ve got some recommendations from Nvidia and AMD’s latest offerings.

Best graphics card

(Image credit: Future)
The best graphics card for PC gaming right now

SPECIFICATIONS

CUDA cores: 8,704
Base clock: 1,440MHz
Boost clock: 1,710MHz
TFLOPs: 29.76
Memory: 10GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 19GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 760GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

Incredible gen-on-gen performance

+

Makes 2080 Ti look mid-range

+

Ray tracing no longer a sacrifice

REASONS TO AVOID

Needs a beefy PSU

In high demand

If you can get your hands on one, the RTX 3080 is the best graphics card currently on the market. In terms of performance, the RTX 20-series has been replaced by the RTX 30-series. That it can compete with and even exceed the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti, which costs two times as much, is what makes this card so extraordinary.

Our testing revealed that ray-tracing performance has greatly improved. People were reluctant to use ray-tracing cards at first because they sacrificed so much frame rate. As a result, this no longer holds true.

When you can get greater ray-tracing performance than an RTX 20-series top card without it, you’re dealing with a whole other animal. Aside from Crysis, RTX 3080 can run it.

For ray-traced beauty, Nvidia’s 8nm GPU has more CUDA cores, more powerful Tensor Cores (for even more DLSS bliss), and an updated version of the company’s RT Cores.

In spite of the RTX 3080’s high price and limited supply, it remains the most popular graphics card in use today. That is why it is so difficult to obtain.

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All you need to know about the RTX 3080: (10GB Founders Edition).

Edition).

(Image credit: AMD)
AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture at its best

SPECIFICATIONS

RDNA cores: 4,608
Base clock: 1,825MHz
Boost clock: 2,250MHz
TFLOPs: 20.74
Memory: 16GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 16GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 512GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

4K excellence

+

Cheaper than an RTX 3080

REASONS TO AVOID

Moderate ray tracing performance

Slower than the 3080 at 4K

The RX 6800 XT is an excellent alternative to Nvidia’s high-end graphics cards. If you’re a PC gamer who wants to play at 4K, you should definitely consider this card. It’s a very competitive card that’s only slightly slower than its opponent, the RTX 3080.

Even yet, AMD’s RTX 3080 outperforms it in the end because of its RTX-inspired finishing touch. The RX 6800 XT is $50 less expensive than the RTX 3080, but it still provides excellent 4K performance and a significant increase in VRAM. The RTX 3080 costs $50 more, but it’s easy to argue that this is a tiny price to pay for better 4K performance, much improved ray tracing, and DLSS improvements. All of these products are readily available right now, and they come backed by two years of developer support. This means that the developer community is embracing AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution technology, which delivers good upscaling performance and is well worth activating in your favourite games.

The RX 6800 XT is a triumph for AMD’s Radeon Technology Group and a worthy red team alternative in any high-end gaming PC build, but we’re still great fans of what AMD has managed to accomplish with it.

Read our full AMD RX 6800 XT review.

(Image credit: Nvidia)
More affordable Ampere

SPECIFICATIONS

CUDA cores: 4,864
Base clock: 1,410MHz
Boost clock: 1,665MHz
TFLOPs: 16.20
Memory: 8GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 14GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

Finally! Something a little more affordable

+

2080 Super performance

+

Under $400

REASONS TO AVOID

Annoying 12-pin power connector

Not quite good enough for 4K

In terms of value, the RTX 3060 Ti is the best value Ampere to date. In terms of graphics memory, both use the same 8GB of GDDR6 on a 256-bit bus on the same GA104 GPU (the RTX 3060 Ti has less SMs enabled).

In spite of a 17% drop in core count, the RTX 3060 Ti’s GPU Boost frequencies make up for it. That helps explain why the RTX 3060 Ti is able to keep up with the RTX 3070, while operating at a silicon disadvantage, by 17 percent to only a few percentage points. It’s not bad for a $399 card! (if you can find it for that price).

It’s time to do the arithmetic if you haven’t already: The RTX 3060 Ti costs 20 percent less than the RTX 3070 at $399, resulting in better value for the money. This is why we love it so much; it’s an excellent GPU for all resolutions and has decent ray tracing capabilities to boot, thanks to the second-generation RT Cores in its architecture.

If an RTX 3080 or 3070 is out of your price range, the RTX 3060 Ti is a good substitute. In practically every test, it beats the RTX 2080 Super, making it the most amazing graphics card of the 20-series.

Read our full Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti review (Founders Edition).

(Image credit: Future)
Finally, a reason for every 10-series gamer to upgrade

SPECIFICATIONS

CUDA cores: 5,888
Base clock: 1,500MHz
Boost clock: 1,725MHz
TFLOPs: 20.37
Memory: 8GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 14GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

Turing-topping frame rates

+

Relatively low power

+

This FE card is smol

REASONS TO AVOID

Annoying 12-pin power connector

Because it costs less than a third as much as the top-tier Turing card, the RTX 2080 Ti, the RTX 3070 is an especially attractive option for gamers on a budget.

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Although it’s still a large figure, the $499 price tag isn’t astronomical when compared to the most powerful graphics cards on the market for PC gaming today. A 4K-capable graphics card that doesn’t require much tweaking to get reasonable framerates is your reward. At 1440p, there’s no denying that it’ll be a total stomper.

What makes the RTX 3070 our choice for the rational PC gaming aficionado is not just its game performance characteristics, but the whole Nvidia ecosystem supporting the RTX stack today. DLSS is a great technique to boost performance without sacrificing clarity, and other features like Broadcast and Reflex add a lot of value.

Read the complete review of the Nvidia RTX 3070. (Founders Edition).

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(Image credit: AMD)
If you’ve money to burn

SPECIFICATIONS

RDNA cores: 5,120
Base clock: 1,825MHz
Boost clock: 2,250MHz
TFLOPs: 23.04
Memory: 16GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 16GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 512GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

Occasional RTX 3090 performance…

+

…but cheaper!

REASONS TO AVOID

Can lag behind RTX 3080 at times

Mediocre ray-tracing performance

The RTX 3090 may have sat unchallenged at the top rungs of graphics performance at launch, but it wouldn’t be long until AMD rustled together a challenger in the RX 6900 XT, or ‘Big Navi.’ The RX 6900 XT hopes to knock Ampere’s finest from its perch on high and send it spiraling back down to Earth. And it gets kind of close, too, with 4K performance a little off the pace of the RTX 3090—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 3080, and sometimes not at all. It’s another $300 on top of the RTX 3080’s price tag, and you’d hope for higher performance in both rasterized and ray tracing workloads. Yet, inevitably its ray-tracing acceleration lags behind the competition.

But the RX 6900 XT does come with assurances that the RTX 3080 can’t make, such as its 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which is a whole 6GB greater than the 10GB of (faster) GDDR6X memory on the green team card. With that in mind, for raw gaming alone, the RX 6900 XT is a cheaper alternative to the RTX 3090 is still a victim to its own extreme price tag.

Read our full AMD RX 6900 XT review.

(Image credit: Nvidia)
The new king of GeForce gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

CUDA cores: 10,240
Base clock: 1,365MHz
Boost clock: 1,665MHz
TFLOPs: 34.10
Memory: 12GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 19GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 912.4GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

Superb 4K performance

+

Nearly an RTX 3090 for less cash

+

Excellent ray tracing capability

REASONS TO AVOID

A lot pricier than the RTX 3080

Power hungry at 350W

Runs pretty hot

Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Ti is not the most powerful GeForce graphics card. This honour is now held by the RTX 3090, but it will be reclaimed by the RTX 3090 Ti when it is released. Though, after everything is said and done, we would recommend the über high-end RTX 3080 Ti to any PC gamer who wants to go all out on their next build.

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At 4K, the RTX 3080 Ti is as good as the RTX 3090 in terms of gaming performance. This card is capable of crushing any game you throw at it, thanks to its large number of CUDA Cores and lightning-fast GDDR6X memory. It has 80 RT Cores for real-time ray tracing, thus it’s more than capable.

Its price, however, is the reason why this card doesn’t make our list of the top graphics cards. A mere $1,200 separates it from the RTX 3090’s $1,499 price tag. Disregarding outrageous pricing or a scarcity of inventory.

Read our full Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti review (Founders Edition).

(Image credit: Zotac)
Nvidia’s shot at a more affordable Ampere GPU

 

SPECIFICATIONS

CUDA cores: 3,584
Base clock: 1,320MHz
Boost clock: 1,777MHz
TFLOPs: 12.74
Memory: 12GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 15GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 360GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

Ready for 60fps at 1440p or greater

+

Decent gen-on-gen performance improvement

+

More readily available to purchase in pre-built PCs

REASONS TO AVOID

Not always massively faster than an RTX 2060

RTX 3060 Ti is a better buy at $399

First, it seemed like an odd choice to pack RTX 3060 with 12 GB of GDDR6 memory, and in many respects it remains that way now. While slower than the RTX 3080, it has more RAM than the RTX 3060 Ti as well. Although the RTX 3060 has a considerable advantage over the RTX 2060 in most games, it still manages to outperform the RTX 2060 in the majority of cases.

THIRD MACHINE

(Future) (Image courtesy of Future)
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In addition, we aren’t going to turn our noses up at 12GB of VRAM when 6GB is the most probable alternative.

In terms of generation-on-generation increase and performance, the RTX 3060 12GB is an excellent choice for gamers. While the RTX 2060’s launch price was nominally lower than the RTX 2070’s, it isn’t as easy to locate the precise number currently. As a result, it’s common to find this card in pre-built gaming PCs, and at a reasonable total cost.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 12GB review (Zotac Twin Edge).

(Image credit: Gigabyte)
The best sub-$300 graphics card, in theory

SPECIFICATIONS

CUDA cores: 2,560
Base clock: 1,552MHz
Boost clock: 1,777MHz
TFLOPs: 9.098
Memory: 8GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 14GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 224GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+

DLSS and ray tracing support

+

Way faster than an RX 6500 XT

REASONS TO AVOID

Should be at least RTX 2060 performance

Long term stock and pricing unknowable

Except for the GeForce RTX 3050, we don’t suggest any graphics cards under $300. Despite this, the Radeon RX 6500 XT from AMD was easily defeated. Although the RTX 3050 isn’t widely available or affordable, it’s still a challenging GPU to endorse enthusiastically.

A good PC player would prefer the larger RTX 3060 12GB over an RTX 3050, which is smaller. With that in mind, the RTX 3050 will still provide the performance and benefits of DLSS if your budget won’t go much further.

The RTX 3050 can also perform ray tracing, but its flimsy internals won’t allow it to do much.

The RTX 3050 is the superior value for a gaming PC designed from the ground up for those on a tight budget. Having said that, great RTX 3060 12GB PC offers pop up on a regular basis, and if you’re willing to wait, you could end up with a lot more powerful graphics card.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 review (Gigabyte Eagle).

Graphics card FAQ

How do I get a GPU in the the graphics card shortage?

In order to increase your chances of finding the next resupply, you might try refreshing every store page manually. Alternatively, you may sign up for a trusted app that does all the legwork for you. Unlike other bots, this one doesn’t try to buy stock in the improper way; instead, it refreshes the page for you.

For example, we’ve had great success with the app HotStock in the UK, and similar services exist in the US, although we haven’t personally utilised them.

StockDrops, for example, is a popular free Discord server with specialised stock alert bots and a community of savvy investors.

Streams on Twitch are also worth noting. As soon as your stock appears, those who are dedicated to finding it will typically sound an alarm that can be heard for miles away. Although there are many others who offer similar services for Nvidia GPUs, we recommend checking out Falcodrin on Twitch.

Do you know of a simple way to acquire a new graphics card?

It’s not for everyone, but buying a prebuilt gaming PC is the best way to guarantee that you’ll get a contemporary graphics card this year and at a price near to MSRP. At the very least, it’s something to think about if you’re planning a complete rebuild in the near future. System manufacturers look to have a more stable supply of graphics cards, and while some still foresee delays, you are at least guaranteed a PC with a GPU in place at some point in the near future.

What’s better, the GTX or the RTX?

Older Nvidia graphics cards without the RTX-level AI and ray tracing chips are now designated by the GTX prefix. When Nvidia first announced the RTX 20-series three years ago, the RTX prefix was created to indicate which cards have the appropriate GPU power to perform real-time Ray Tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling in real time.

RTX cards only have ray tracing capabilities?

DirectX Raytracing API Microsoft has designed, and which is utilised by AMD RDNA 2 GPUs, is still used by Nvidia’s RTX cards, even though they have dedicated ray tracing hardware. Ray tracing is supported by these AMD GPUs, but it has a greater performance impact than on the Nvidia GPUs.

Alchemist graphics cards, the first to utilise Intel’s Xe-HPG GPUs, will support Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing API as well when it launches in the first quarter of 2019.

If so, is it still relevant?

Traditionally, two graphics cards in SLI or CrossFire were used to achieve the most possible performance. Multi-GPU users are progressively being ignored by popular games, however. All DXR games are included in this. Additionally, there are fewer next-generation cards that can be linked together. The $1,500 RTX 3090 from Nvidia is the only one with NVLink connections, and that’s just for creative software.

No, that’s not true. It doesn’t exist.

Is a 4K graphics card required?

Only if you’re using a 4K gaming monitor, of course. Other factors to consider include the games you enjoy playing. If you’re a fan of ultra-competitive shooters, you’ll want to aim for high fps numbers. Right now, 1440p and 1080p resolutions are the best bets for this.

As a result, the more games like CoD: Warzone use DLSS, the more Nvidia GPUs will be able to make a close approximation of 4K images on your 4K monitor, but at greater frame rates.

What is a Founders Edition graphics card, and how does it differ from other models?
The Founders Edition cards are Nvidia’s own designs for its graphics cards, rather than those produced by its partners. Most of these are stock-clocked “reference” cards.

Nvidia opted to offer Founders Editions with factory overclocks for the RTX 20-series. Founders Edition cards had made it impossible to compare GPUs, however Nvidia has subsequently started producing them again as a standard reference.

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