Updated on April 23, 2022
The greatest graphics cards are capable of delivering excellent frame rates even at 4K resolution, but they are also the best on a tight budget in some cases.
When it comes to upgrading your gaming desktop, there should be no greater joy than acquiring the most powerful video card that money can buy for the money. Unfortunately, obtaining one has proven to be more difficult to come by in recent years than winning the lottery. Except for the time spent feverishly pushing the F5 button on numerous internet merchants in the hopes that they would eventually replenish stock, it is feasible to make the search for a graphics processing unit (GPU) into a full-time job.
We were able to obtain many difficult-to-find graphics cards in the meantime and put them through a rigorous cycle of benchmarking tests, the results of which will be published as soon as they are made available to the public. The purpose of this essay is to provide a succinct list of the eight best graphics cards available on the market today that are well worth your hard-earned money and time to investigate. It will be really beneficial while shopping for the best prebuilt gaming PC because, to be absolutely honest, it may be the quickest and most convenient way to get your hands on the top graphics cards available in 2019.
It can also be beneficial to learn how each of these graphics cards works independently while looking for the best prebuilt gaming PC, which is likely to become your best bet if you’re in the market for a new graphics card in 2022.
You might be wondering where to begin your search for a graphics card, and we have a number of options drawn from the most recent Nvidia and AMD product lines to help you out. Continue reading to find out more information about this subject.
While Covid-19 and cryptocurrency price increases (among other causes) have contributed to the GPU market being stretched to its maximum capacity, we have managed to evaluate every new graphics card from the most current generation of computers. Our gaming benchmark test bench has put each GPU through its paces, with detailed analysis comparing thermal performance, power draw measurements taken with dedicated tools, average frequencies and frame timings, among other factors.
As seen by our research and testing of a variety of GPU products, the GPU industry is now regaining its former competitive strength. Immediately following the release of the Radeon RX 6800 XT, the battle for first place in the best graphics card category became significantly more fierce, with both Nvidia and AMD contending for the title of best in class. With the debut of its Arc Alchemist graphics card, which will be available in the near future, Intel will become the first firm to enter the race for the best graphics card. As a result, navigating the GPU environment will become a little more difficult in the foreseeable future.
With the introduction of Nvidia’s Ampere GPU generation, the performance threshold for potential competitors has been lifted substantially. Despite the fact that the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 are two of the most powerful graphics cards currently available, the RTX 3080 12GB is unreasonably pricey, making it impossible to recommend either of these cards to a colleague. RTX 3080’s remarkable graphics performance is closely followed by that of AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT, which achieves results that are on par or better than the RTX 3080’s exceptional results at the top of the spectrum. If Intel’s improvements are successful in making it into the final version of the programme, we will have to wait and see.
We’ve seen a number of new mid-range GPUs from Nvidia and AMD recently, such as the RX 6600 XT and RTX 3060 12GB. In conclusion, the RTX 3050 and RX 6500 XT graphics cards, which are among the most competitively priced of the bunch, deserve to be mentioned.
Best graphics card
Right now, the best video card for PC gaming is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
8,704 CUDA cores are available.
Base clock frequency is 1,440 MHz.
Boost clock frequency is 1710 MHz.
TFLOPs (teraflops per second): 29.76
10GB of GDDR6X memory is available.
Memory clock speed is 19 GT/s.
Memory bandwidth is 760 gigabytes per second.
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REASONS TO PURCHASE +Outstanding generation-on-generation performance +Makes the 2080 Ti appear mid-range +Ray tracing is no longer a trade-off
REASONS TO AVOID -Requires a powerful power supply -Is in great demand
Okay, so the RTX 3080 is now as scarce as pigeon eyelashes, but there is no doubt that Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 graphics card is the greatest graphics card available today. It represents a significant generational performance improvement over the previous RTX 20-series graphics cards. The fact that this $699 card can not only match but vastly surpass the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti makes it all the more stunning when compared to the RTX 2080 or 2080 Super is particularly eye-opening.
In our tests, the most noticeable difference is the improvement in ray-tracing performance as a result of the optimization. The first generation of ray tracing-capable graphics cards needed such a significant frame rate sacrifice that most consumers were reluctant to use them; however, this is no longer the case with the second generation of GPUs.
That this is a whole different beast is evident when you can now achieve ray-tracing performance that exceeds the frame rates you’d get out of the top card in the RTX 20-series while not using it. Furthermore, the RTX 3080 is capable of running Crysis.
Nvidia has accomplished this by including a significant increase in the number of CUDA cores in its 8nm GPU, as well as upgraded Tensor Cores (for further DLSS goodness) and second-generation RT Cores to help with the ray-traced effects.
The RTX 3080 may require a significant increase in power (you’ll need at least an 850W power supply) and may be difficult to obtain, but it is the most desirable graphics card available right now. Perhaps this is also why it is so difficult to obtain a hold of it.
See our entire Nvidia RTX 3080 review for more information (10GB Founders Edition).
Photograph of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT reference graphics card taken from above and against a grey background
(Image courtesy of AMD)
AMD’s RDNA 2 technology at its peak performance SPECIFICATIONS & DESCRIPTIONS
4,608 RDNA cores were found.
Base clock frequency is 1825 MHz.
Boost clock frequency: 2,250 MHz
TFLOPs (teraflops per second): 20.74
16 GB of GDDR6 memory is available.
16 GT/s for the memory clock
Memory bandwidth is 512 GB per second.
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REASONS TO BUY +Excellence in 4K +Much less expensive than just an RTX 3080
REASONS TO AVOID -Modest ray tracing performance -Slower than the 3080 at 4K Advertisement -Slower than the 3080 at 4K Advertisement
The RX 6800 XT is a superb red team option to Nvidia’s elevated graphics cards, and there have been few better in its class. A highly competitive card that comes so close to its competition, with only a minor performance difference between it and the RTX 3080, is truly an enthusiast card that should be considered by any PC gamer who has their sights set on 4K gaming in the near future.
It’s a toss-up between it and the RTX 3080, but the latter edges AMD out with the finishing touches, á la the RTX 2080. The RX 6800 XT is $50 less expensive than the RTX 3080 and offers superior 4K performance as well as a significant increase in VRAM. Nonetheless, it’s easy to argue that spending an extra $50 on the RTX 3080 is money well spent: it’s a tiny thing to pay for enhanced 4K performance, much improved ray tracing, and dynamic light scrubbing technology. All of these products are available immediately, and a two-year supply of developer support is included. AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution is gaining popularity among game creators, and it provides good upscaling that is worth activating in games that are compatible with the technology.
Despite this, we remain enthusiastic about what AMD has accomplished with the RX 6800 XT, which represents a return to form for the Radeon Technology Group and provides much-needed competition to the GPU market while also serving as a respectable red team alternative for any high-end gaming PC build.
See our whole AMD RX 6800 XT review for more information.
Photograph of the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition graphics card taken from above against a white background.
a more reasonably priced alternative Ampere\sSPECIFICATIONS
CUDA cores totaling 4,864 at 1,410 MHz with a base clock of 1,410 MHz
The frequency of the boost clock is 1,665 MHz.
TFLOPs per second: 16.20 TFLOPs per second
Memory: 8GB GDDR6 (Graphics Display RAM) (Graphics Display RAM).
14 gigabytes per second is the clock speed of the memory.
The bandwidth of the memory is 448 gigabytes per second.
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Finally, there are some convincing arguments in favour of making the transaction. Something a little more reasonably priced + Exceptional 2080 High-Definition Performance for Under $400.00
DANGEROUS REASONS TO AVOID
advertisement -Uncomfortable 12-pin power connector -Not quite up to 4K resolution
The RTX 3060 Ti is remarkably similar to the RTX 3070, and it is the best value for money Ampere on the market at the time of writing. In addition to sharing the same GA104 GPU (with the exception of the RTX 3060 Ti, which has less SMs enabled), both cards also share the same 8GB of GDDR6 RAM connected to the GPU via a 256-bit memory bus.
Because of its lower core count than the RTX 2080 Ti (which is 17 percent lower), the RTX 3060 Ti compensates for this by making strategic use of GPU Turbo frequencies (which are 17 percent higher). While operating at a disadvantage due to silicon restrictions, the RTX 3060 Ti may achieve performance that is within 17 percent to within single digits of the RTX 3070, which is a remarkable result. Not too shabby for a card that retails for $399. (if you can find it for that price).
The following is the information you need to know if you haven’t already done the calculations: Because the RTX 3060 Ti is 20 percent less expensive than the RTX 3070, the performance per dollar spent with the little graphics card is growing as a result. Due to the fact that it is a superb GPU for gaming at a wide range of resolutions, as well as having powerful ray tracing capabilities due to the inclusion of second-generation RT Cores, we absolutely enjoy it.
For those who believe that purchasing the RTX 3080 or RTX 3070 will be out of reach for them, the RTX 3060 Ti represents a great alternative that is still reasonably priced. The fact that it constantly surpasses the RTX 2080 Super in virtually every benchmark is perhaps the most impressive part of this graphics card when compared to the previous 20-series generation.
For more information, please see our complete Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti review (Founders Edition).
The Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition graphics card was captured at an angle on a grey worktop.
The following image is courtesy of Future).
Finally, a compelling argument for any 10-series gamer to consider upgrading.
5,888 CUDA cores are available.
Base clock frequency is 1500 MHz.
Boost clock frequency is 1725 MHz.
TFLOPs (teraflops per second): 20.37
Memory: 8GB GDDR6 (Graphics Display RAM).
Memory clock speed: 14 gigabytes per second
Memory bandwidth is 448 gigabytes per second.
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Frame rates that are unbeatable + Relatively low power consumption +
This FE card is absolutely smol.
BEWARE OF -Annoying 12-pin power connector -Avoid at all costs
The RTX 3070 is maybe the only high-end Ampere that comes even near to being competitively priced. It is also notable for its ability to compete with the top-tier Turing graphics card, the RTX 2080 Ti, at a fraction of the cost of the latter.
At $499, it’s certainly a large sum by any measure (we’re talking about next-gen console pricing here), but it’s hardly an outrageous sum when compared to the best graphics chips available for PC gaming right now (see below). In exchange, you’ll receive a 4K-capable graphics card that doesn’t take a lot of adjusting to achieve playable, if not high, framerates without much effort. And there’s no doubt that it’ll look incredibly stunning at 1440p resolution.
While the RTX 3070’s game performance credentials are undeniably outstanding, it is the complete Nvidia ecosystem that supports the RTX stack that makes it our top option for the rational PC gaming connoisseur. Other features such as Broadcast and Reflex go a great way toward sweetening the bargain, as does the use of DLSS, which improves performance with only a minimal loss in clarity.
See our entire Nvidia RTX 3070 review for more information (Founders Edition).
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The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT reference graphics card was photographed from above against a white background.
If you have a lot of money to burn,
5,120 RDNA cores were found.
Base clock frequency is 1825 MHz.
Boost clock frequency: 2,250 MHz
TFLOPs (teraflops per second): 23.04
16 GB of GDDR6 memory is available.
16 GT/s for the memory clock
Memory bandwidth is 512 GB per second.
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REASONS TO PURCHASE +Occasional RTX 3090 performance… +…but at a lower price.
REASONS TO AVOID -At times, it can lag behind the RTX 3080.
-Poor ray-tracing performance is a problem.
The RTX 3090 may have launched undefeated at the top of the graphics performance food chain, but it wouldn’t be long until AMD whipped out a worthy rival in the form of the RX 6900 XT, sometimes known as the ‘Big Navi’ card. The RX 6900 XT is attempting to knock Ampere’s finest from its position on top of the world and send it crashing back down to the surface of the planet. And it comes close, too, with 4K performance that is just a hair behind the RTX 3090—and all for a third of the price of the RTX 3090.
Therefore, for any PC gamer who is not motivated by pro-creator motives, it is unquestionably the better purchase. However, there is a reason why it is not ranked first in our graphics card guide today, and that is simply because it is not significantly better than an RTX 3080, and in some cases, it is not significantly better at all. Although it’s an additional $300 on top of the RTX 3080’s sticker price, you’d expect it to deliver better performance in both rasterized and ray tracing workloads. However, it is inevitable that its ray-tracing acceleration will lag behind that of the competition.
The RX 6900 XT, on the other hand, provides assurances that the RTX 3080 cannot match, such as its 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which is a full 6GB more than the 10GB of (faster) GDDR6X memory on the green team card. With that in mind, the RX 6900 XT is a more affordable option to the RTX 3090 for pure gaming performance, but it is still a victim of its own exorbitant price tag.
See our whole AMD RX 6900 XT review for more information.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU is displayed on a grey background.
(Image courtesy of Nvidia)
The new reigning GeForce gaming emperor
The number of CUDA cores is 10,240. The base clock is 1,365MHz.
Boost clock frequency is 1,665 MHz.
TFLOPs (teraflops per second): 34.10
DDR6X memory with a memory frequency rate of 19 GT/s is used.
Memory bandwidth is 912.4 gigabytes per second.
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REASONS TO PURCHASE +Excellent 4K performance +Nearly as powerful as an RTX 3090 for a lower price +Excellent ray tracing capability
REASONS TO AVOID -It is significantly more expensive than the RTX 3080 -It is quite power hungry at 350W -It runs extremely hot
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is not the most powerful GeForce graphics card that the company produces. That honour goes to the RTX 3090 by a hair, and it will likely be taken over by the RTX 3090 Ti when it is released later this year. When all is said and done, it is the incredibly powerful RTX 3080 Ti that we would recommend to any PC gamer seeking to go all-in on their next build, regardless of price or performance.
With performance that is comparable to the RTX 3090 at 4K, the RTX 3080 Ti is every bit as good as its predecessor as a gaming graphics card. Thanks to a large number of CUDA Cores and fast GDDR6X memory, this card is capable of destroying virtually any game you throw at it with reasonable ease. In addition, because to its 80 RT Cores, it is more than capable of doing real-time ray tracing.
The reason this card does not appear higher on our list of the top graphics cards is due to the fact that it is more expensive than the others. With a starting price of $1,200, it’s only a few hundred dollars more expensive than the $1,499 RTX 3090. Regardless of whether prices are massively inflated or whether there is a scarcity of inventory.
See our entire Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti review for more information (Founders Edition).
Graphics card Zotac RTX 3060 Twin Edge RTX 3060 Twin Edge
(Photo courtesy of Zotac)
Nvidia’s aim at a more inexpensive Ampere GPU
CUDA cores: 3,584
Base clock: 1,320MHz
Boost clock: 1,777MHz
Memory: 12GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 15GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 360GB/s
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REASONS TO BUY
+Ready for 60fps at 1440p or more
+Good generation-on-generation performance increase
In pre-built PCs, +more readily available
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEND
However, RTX 2060’s aren’t necessarily substantially faster.
-At $399, the RTX 3060 Ti is a better deal.
At first, and in many respects today, the decision to pack the RTX 3060 with 12GB of GDDR6 RAM seemed odd. With greater memory than the RTX 3080 but slower performance, it surpasses even the RTX 3060 Ti. In practise, the RTX 3060 outperforms the RTX 2060 by a wide margin in most games and by a significant margin in the remainder.
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(Photo by 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 likely option.
In terms of generation-on-generation increase and performance, the RTX 3060 12GB is an excellent graphics card. If you’re looking to get your hands on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or RTX 2060, this is a good option. It’s worth noting, though, that this card is typically included in pre-built gaming PCs at a reasonable price.
Read our comprehensive review of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 12GB (Zotac Twin Edge).
GPU: Gigabyte’s RTX 3050
(Gibrabyte image credit)
In theory, the greatest graphics card around $300.
Over 2,560 CUDA processors
One millisecond every second.
1,777MHz Boost Clock
Memory: GDDR6: 8 GB
14 GT/s is the memory bus speed.
224 GB/s of memory bandwidth.
Amazon Prime Video Reasons to Buy +DLSS and Ray Tracing Support +Much quicker than an RX 6500xt
BEWARE -Should be capable of RTX 2060 performance or better.
Uncertainty about long-term stock and pricing.
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.
Like any good PC gamer, we’d prefer the RTX 3060 12GB over the RTX 3050 because it is a considerably smaller GPU. With that in mind, the RTX 3050 will still provide the performance and benefits of DLSS if your budget won’t go much further.
It has support for ray tracing, but its weak-heart internals aren’t going to be able to handle it for long.
If you’re looking for a prebuilt gaming PC, the RTX 3050 is the best option on the market. However, RTX 3060 12GB PC discounts may be found rather frequently, and with a little patience, you may be able to get a considerably more powerful graphics card for a lower price.
Check out our comprehensive review of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050. (Gigabyte Eagle).
Graphics card FAQ
How do I get a GPU in the graphics card shortage?
As a first step, you might try to manually refresh every store page in the hope that the next replenishment will yield some luck. Alternatively, you may download reliable software that does all the legwork for you, such as RetailMeNot. It isn’t a bot that seeks to overpay for stock; it simply performs the refreshing for you.
Apps like HotStock in the UK and Stock Informer in the US offer a comparable service, although we haven’t personally used them to score stock.
Many free Discord servers, such as the well-known StockDrops server, include specialised stock alert bots and keen community members.
Twitch feeds should not be overlooked either. 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. For Nvidia GPUs, we recommend Falcodrin on Twitch, but there are many of generous folks doing the same thing elsewhere.
A new graphics card can be purchased in an uncomplicated manner.
Buying a prebuilt gaming PC may not be for everyone, but if you want a current graphics card for less than MSRP this year, this is the way to go. If you’re planning a complete rebuild in the future, it’s a good idea to keep this in mind. A more reliable supply of graphics cards appears to be allowing system builders to get their hands on a PC with a graphics card in place, even if some still foresee delays.
GTX vs. RTX: Which one is better?
Prefixes like GTX and RTX are no longer used to identify older Nvidia graphics cards that lack advanced AI and ray tracing capabilities. When Nvidia first announced the RTX 20-series three years ago, the RTX prefix was created to indicate which cards have the sufficient GPU power to perform real-time Ray Tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling on the fly.
RTX cards only have ray tracing capabilities?
Only Nvidia GPUs with dedicated ray tracing hardware are designated with the RTX prefix; nevertheless, they still use the same DirectX Raytracing API that Microsoft developed and that AMD’s RDNA 2 GPUs employ. It is possible to run real-time ray tracing on these AMD GPUs, however it does so at a cost to performance.
The Alchemist graphics cards will be the first to employ Intel’s Xe-HPG GPUs, which will allow ray tracing using Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing API when they are released early next year.
If so, is it still relevant?
SLI or CrossFire used to be the best way to get the most out of your graphics card. It’s becoming more usual for large games to simply neglect multi-GPU players. DXR games are included in this. Additionally, there are fewer next-generation cards that can be linked together. Just the $1,500 RTX 3090 from Nvidia has NVLink connections, and that’s only for creative software.
As a result, the answer is no. It doesn’t exist.
Is a 4K graphics card required?
If you have a 4K gaming monitor, the obvious answer is yes. It’s not only the type of games you play that’s important here. When it comes to ultra-competitive shooters, you’ll want to go for the highest possible frame rates. The best resolution for this is 1440p or 1080p at this time.
But the more DLSS-enabled games like Call of Duty: Warzone that come out, the more Nvidia cards will be able to produce 4K-like images on a 4K panel while maintaining greater frame rates.
The Founder’s Editions of the RTX 20-series from Nvidia feature factory overclocks. To make things easier, Nvidia has started making the original “Founders Edition” cards again as a standard for benchmarking newer cards against one another.