Updated on August 14, 2022
As a result, the best graphics card for PC gaming in today’s market is one that enhances performance without costing an arm and a leg. With the current GPU generation, Nvidia and AMD have provided lots of high-end cards, but getting your hands on one has become increasingly difficult. It’s because the retail price isn’t being met. It’s getting easier to overprice greeting cards on Ebay, yet the problem persists.
Despite this, we were able to play around with the latest graphics cards and put them through their paces. List of the greatest graphics cards currently available in order to come up with a definitive list (at around MSRP). Consider this information if you plan to buy a prebuilt gaming PC in 2022. Honestly, that may be the simplest way to get your hands on the most powerful graphics cards.
It’s at least a good thing that the GPU market is back in the game again. As a result of AMD’s debut of the Radeon RX 6800 XT, the two companies are now competing for supremacy. The GeForce RTX 3080 is just a hair ahead of the rest of the pack. There are few graphics cards that are better than the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3070. This GPU environment will be further complicated by Intel’s upcoming Arc Alchemist graphics card.
Our graphics card buying guide will help you if you’re not sure where to start. If you’re still unsure, have a look at our recommendations from Nvidia and AMD’s most current GPUs.
Best Graphics Cards
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
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
Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 is unquestionably the greatest graphics card on the market today, despite the fact that it’s currently as scarce as pigeon eyelashes. Over the previous generation of RTX 20-series, it represents a substantial generational performance gain. To put it another way: When you consider that this $699 card can match and even surpass the $1,200 version of the RTX 2080 Ti, it is very astounding.
The difference in ray-tracing performance is what truly stands out in our tests. Most consumers were put off by the massive frame rate drop required by the first generation of ray tracing-capable cards, but that’s no longer the case with this generation.
When you can achieve ray-traced performance that exceeds the frame rates you’d get out of the top card in the RTX 20-series when operating without it, you know this is a whole new beast. The RTX 3080, on the other hand, can run Crysis.
Nvidia’s 8nm GPU features a lot more CUDA cores, upgraded Tensor Cores (for additional DLSS awesomeness), and second-generation RT Cores to generate ray-traced beauty.
You’ll need an 850W power supply for the RTX 3080, and it may be difficult to locate, but this is the most sought-after graphics card on the market right now. That’s why it’s so hard to get your hands on.
One piece of advice for anyone considering purchasing a GeForce RTX 3080 would be to get your hands on the Founders Edition if you can afford it. Because the RTX 3080 Founders Edition is so ****ing good, choose your profanity accordingly. Due to its new cooler and improved PCB, the Ampere 3080 RTX is more than simply the ‘flagship’ Ampere graphics card; it’s the ultimate embodiment of the 3080. As for the fine-ass GPU, I’m afraid you’ll be feeling a little shortchanged if you get a different model.
Most likely, you’ll be forced to improvise. As with the third-party models from the likes of Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Palit, and Colorful to mention a few only, the Founders Edition cards aren’t mass-produced in the same way. You’ll be satisfied with whichever RTX 3080 you can get your hands on, given the supply limitations. This is particularly true if you can find one for less than the MSRP. In addition, some of these third-party cards’ cooling options are outstanding in and of themselves, so it’s not all awful.
Performance gains over prior generations are enormous and nearly unheard of, regardless of which card you choose. The tiny difference between the GTX 1080 Ti and the RTX 2080, for example, may indicate that we’ve become accustomed to more incremental generational deltas. As a result, we’re going to keep reiterating that it’s still astounding that the $699 GTX 3080 outperforms the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti by an incredible margin.
The RTX 3080 from Nvidia establishes a new standard for both high-end 4K gaming performance and ray tracing with its exceptional performance. This generation’s finest GPU will soon be available to anyone if Nvidia and Samsung produce more.
Read the entire review of the Nvidia RTX 3080. (10GB Founders Edition).
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
This card is one of the greatest red team alternatives to Nvidia’s high-end graphics cards. It’s worth considering if you’re a PC player who wants to play at 4K resolution. Compared to the RTX 3080, it’s a very competitive card that’s only somewhat sluggish.
However, this is the best and most affordable AMD RDNA 2 GPU yet, despite the fact that a number of them have been released since the RX 6800 XT in 2013. To offer the red team a short-term advantage over the blue team, AMD’s graphics cards are returning to a more reasonable price point sooner than Nvidia’s.
Memory battles between Nvidia and AMD have taken place on both the bandwidth and capacity fronts. As of this writing, the Radeon RX 6800 has 16GB of GDDR6 distributed across an 8-bit bus. To put it another way, when it comes to sheer bandwidth, AMD’s 10GB RTX 3080 is on the verge of being overtaken by the Nvidia RTX 3080’s 10GB model.
The ‘effective bandwidth’ of AMD graphics cards is greatly increased by Infinity Cache, a feature available only on AMD graphics cards. There has been a 3.25-fold boost in raw bandwidth for AMD’s RX 6800 XT. When it comes to video games, the experience will be nearly identical, regardless of how wildly different their underlying technology are.
There’s a lot of competition, but the RTX 3080’s RTX-inspired finishing touches give it an edge. In spite of the fact that the RX 6800 XT costs $50 less than the RTX 3080, it still offers excellent 4K performance and a considerable increase in VRAM. Increased 4K performance, greatly enhanced Ray Tracing and DLSS, and a $50 price increase on the GTX 3080 is a small price to pay for these improvements. Currently, all of these products can be found on the market, and their creators have been working on them for quite some time.
AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution, which has gained a lot of traction among developers, makes upscaling compatible games easier.
After releasing the RX 6800 XT, AMD is in a fantastic position to take advantage of the industry’s attention and provide gamers with an excellent value proposition from the start. Engineers at Zen and RDNA have a long-standing working connection that has been widely publicised.
The RX 6800 XT is a fantastic graphics card built on AMD’s RDNA architecture, which was already impressive. It’s also impressive how rapidly it’s caught up to Nvidia in terms of performance. It may take some time before RTG regains market share lost to the green team, but the RX 6800 XT is a good start.
For any high-end gaming PC, AMD’s RX 6800 XT restores the Radeon Technology Group as a viable red team option. Our admiration for what they’ve accomplished is undiminished.
The full review of the AMD RX 6800 XT can be found here.
Read our full AMD RX 6800 XT review.
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
The RTX 3060 Ti is very closely related to the RTX 3070 as the finest 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).
The RTX 3060 Ti, which is 17 percent less powerful than its more expensive sister, makes up for it with appropriate GPU Boost frequencies. That explains in part why the RTX 3060 Ti, although being at a silicon disadvantage, can compete with the RTX 3070 by only 17 percent to a few tenths of a percent. It’s not bad for a $399 card! (if you can find it for that price).
Do the math if you haven’t already. The RTX 3060 Ti is 20% less expensive than the RTX 3070, thus performance per dollar is on the rise with the little graphics card. Why we appreciate it so much is because it is a wonderful GPU for all resolutions and has a decent ray tracing capability as a result of the second-generation RTC Cores.
While the RTX 3060 Ti may not be as powerful as the GTX 10-series, it’s still very impressive when compared to the RTX 20-series, which is a generational leap forward. For the price of a laptop, you’re getting top-notch 1080p and 1440p performance in a little package that would have cost you nearly twice as much a few years ago. And I think that’s fantastic.
High-quality 4K gaming is possible, but you’ll need to tweak some settings in order to get a stable 60fps in some of the more demanding games. It takes a lot of fiddling to keep your GPU running at frame rates higher than 60fps, and that’s just for averages. As a result, 4K gaming might sometimes be less enjoyable than it was to begin with. At 1440p, things run much more smoothly, and at 1080p, you can just much do whatever you want.
DLSS, Reflex, and even Nvidia Broadcast, among other Nvidia goodies, can aid here as well. RTX and the Nvidia package have a firm foundation of fantastic capabilities, and Ampere merely enhances them further, none more so than ray-tracing performance.
RTX 30-series introductions to date have all been plagued by a same issue: availability. This card’s very existence has been undercut by price increases, and until it returns to anything like its MSRP of $399, it just isn’t as appealing a card.
The RTX 3060 Ti, on the other hand, is a solid alternative for those who cannot afford the RTX 3080 or 3070. The fact that it beats the RTX 2080 Super in practically every test is perhaps the most stunning proof of what this card has accomplished.
Read our full Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti review (Founders Edition).
Reasons to Buy
Turing-topping frame rates
Relatively low power
This FE card is smol
Reasons to Avoid
There aren’t many high-end Ampere cards that can compete with the RTX 2080 Ti’s performance for less than half the price. The RTX 3070 is one of those rare cards.
With a list price of $499, it’s not exactly a bargain when compared to today’s top PC graphics silicon, but it’s still a hefty investment (we’re talking next-gen console similar pricing). A 4K-capable graphics card that doesn’t require much tweaking to get reasonable framerates is your reward. No doubt about it, the 1440p version will be a slam dunk.
When you look closely, you’ll notice that the Founders Edition of the RTX 3070 uses the same 12-pin power connector as the RTX 3080. This means that you’ll need the included 12-to-8-pin converter. Once again, Nvidia has delivered a PCB that is far smaller than the RTX 3080’s, making the entire shroud smaller.
However, despite the presence of two front-loading fans, a spinner located at the card’s tail appears to enhance the cooling performance of this smart little GPU.
There’s also support for the GeForce Experience app, ShadowPlay recording, and a new Broadcast suite in addition to Nvidia’s trustworthy driver stack and RTX IO’s latent potential, which could bring next-gen consoles’ most powerful feature to the PC via Nvidia’s dependable driver stack. Additionally, you have the ever developing DLSS upgrades and raytracing.
For many folks, that’s a significant boost on top of the RTX 3070’s already amazing raw performance.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your PC gaming, Nvidia’s xx70 line of cards is a great place to start. You can get a real boost in performance for the great majority of us with this Ampere card for an almost unbearable price. You can finally get rid of your GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti if you’ve been sitting on it for the entire RTX 20-series cycle.
Read our full Nvidia RTX 3070 review (Founders Edition).
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
There may have been no opponent to the RX 3090 when it was first released, but it wasn’t long before the AMD RX 6900 XT, or “Big Navi,” was put together. The RX 6900 XT aims to knock Ampere’s best off its perch and send it hurtling back to Earth. For a third of the price, you get 4K performance a bit behind the RTX 3090, but it’s still better than most other cards on the market today.
So, for any PC gamer who isn’t interested in supporting pro-creator causes, this is the superior option. There is a reason why it is not ranked first in our graphics card list today, and that is because it is only marginally better than an RTX 3080. Adding $300 to the recommended price of the RTX 3080, you’d expect it to perform better in rasterized and ray-tracing workloads, respectively. Its ray-tracing acceleration, on the other hand, always falls short of the competition.
No compelling reason to choose this over more cheap alternatives exists even within AMD’s product line. Even though it costs $350 more, the RX 6900 XT is only 5.25 percent faster than the RX 6800 XT when it comes to gaming performance, making it a poor value for your money.
That’s why AMD is making a big deal about the RX 6900 XT being a card designed for ‘gaming first,’ which is odd. The RTX 3090 is billed as a pro-creator card with significantly more RAM than the second-run gaming card below by Nvidia, who also avoided this blunder.
The RX 6900 XT is significantly more difficult to justify its price, given that it has many of the same attributes as much cheaper cards and delivers only a marginal performance boost from its few enhancements.
As a fan of RDNA 2, and impressed by how quickly it has been able to compete at this level, I find the RX 6900 XT’s performance to be less than stellar. Even if you’re looking for a high-end graphics card, this isn’t the best option for most gamers. The RTX 3080 remains the best GPU for most people.
There are a few of advantages to the RTX 3080, including as having 10GB of (faster) GDDR6X RAM, but the RX 6900 XT has a whole 6GB more than the green team card. While the RTX 3090 is more expensive, the RX 6900 is less expensive when it comes to pure gaming. It’s still a victim of its own inflated price tag, unfortunately.
Read our full AMD RX 6900 XT review.
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 award was first given to the RTX 3090, however the RTX 3090 Ti has since reclaimed it. All things considered, the RTX 3080 Ti is the card we’d suggest to the most extreme PC gamer seeking to spend as much money as possible on their next setup.
The debut of the Ampere generation greatly reduced the uncomfortable or finicky nature of 4K gaming, but the RTX 3080 Ti really smothers it… Setting up for high-performance 4K gaming still costs a lot of money, but you don’t have to be as picky as you used to be when it comes to individual games. At 4K, you can play games at high or ultra settings and still achieve playable frame rates.
At 4K, you don’t want to have to lower the graphics quality settings, and that shouldn’t be necessary with the RTX 3080 Ti’s performance at 3840 x 2160.
Even though the more expensive RTX 3090 looks to gain just somewhat from increased core and memory counts, the RTX 3080 Ti lags behind by by a few percentage points.
The RTX 3080 Ti is a gaming graphics card in the same vein as the RTX 3090, with 4K performance comparable to the latter. With a vast bounty of CUDA Cores and speedy GDDR6X memory, this card demolishes any game you can throw at it with relative ease. In addition, it has 80 RT Cores for real-time ray tracing.
In spite of the card’s expensive price, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is an amazingly powerful graphics card that can save some money on ultra-high-end gaming PC configurations while still claiming top performance. There is a lot to be said for cramming more Ampere architecture into a small, inconspicuous black and grey casing.
Even at 4K resolution, though, it does exactly what it set out to do: break the backs of just about every game or API or graphics-intensive application. Although the RTX 3080 Ti FE doesn’t have the same high-end price-to-performance advantage as the RTX 3080, it’s still a better deal than an RTX 3090.
However, the card’s pricing keeps it from earning a higher spot on our list of the top graphics cards. The RTX 3090 is just a few hundred dollars away from the $1,200 RTX 3090. Regardless of the high price or lack of stock.
Read our full Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti review (Founders Edition).
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
The decision to pack the RTX 3060 with 12GB of GDDR6 RAM was a curious one at first, and in many respects it still is. It’s more RAM than the RTX 3080, after all, albeit slower stuff, and it tops out the RTX 3060 Ti too. However, the RTX 3060 wields it well, managing to dispatch the RTX 2060 by a big margin in most games, and by enough of a gap in the others to make it useful.
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And we’re not going to turn our noses up at 12GB of VRAM when 6GB is the likely alternative.
Perhaps the most significant shake-up for the Nvidia RTX 3060 came with the announcement of a hash rate limiter, which was designed to keep the card from running at its peak capabilities while mining Ethereum, the currency of choice for GPU mining. Nvidia hoped that’d persuade miners towards its new CMP line-up, created from off-cut GPUs not appropriate for gaming consumption, while presumably 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 1080p and 1440p, the RTX 3060 12GB is a graphics card easily argued for.
It’s also nominally cheaper than the RTX 2060 was on launch day, though it’s not so simple to find it as a distinct number currently. That said, this card commonly shows up within pre-built gaming PCs, and at a fair price all-inclusive too.
The RTX 3060 Ti remains the mid-range champion. The Nvidia RTX 3060 strays a little too far from the pack of high-end Ampere to have the same impact generation on generation. But in that same breath, it must be acknowledged that the RTX 3060 is an excellent upgrade for a 10-series or older card, especially if at close to the MSRP, and one that will likely get you confidently through the next several years of major game releases.
Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 12GB review (Zotac Twin Edge).
Reasons to Buy
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. However, AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT was easily defeated by NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070. Although the RTX 3050 is an excellent GPU, it’s still tough to recommend enthusiastically because it isn’t generally available or affordable enough.
It goes without saying that the larger, more powerful RTX 3060 12GB is the better choice for PC gamers. In that case, the RTX 3050 will give GTX 1660 Ti performance with DLSS if you’re on a tight budget.
As a result, you’ll have a graphics card that can handle 1080p on most settings, however some games will drop you well below the 60fps mark. Despite the fact that this is the most affordable Nvidia graphics card this generation, it’s still a significant investment when you can’t play your favourite game at maximum settings.
The RTX 3050 also has capability for ray tracing, but its weak heart won’t be able to handle much of it.
A GTX 1660 Ti with some RTX icing was all that was needed to meet our expectations. As far as I can tell, this is just another example of Nvidia’s silicon magic being showcased at its lowest possible price point in order to meet the needs of a pandemic and scarcity of GPUs.
The RTX 3050 is the best option for a prebuilt gaming PC on a limited budget. With some patience, though, you may be able to get your hands on an RTX 3060 12GB PC for a fraction of its retail price.
Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 review (Gigabyte Eagle).
How do I get a GPU in the the graphics card shortage?
One approach would be to manually refresh each store page in the hopes of hitting the jackpot on the next replenishment. Alternatively, you may download a reliable software that does all the legwork for you, such as RetailMeNot. Unlike other bots, this one doesn’t try to buy stock in the improper way; instead, it refreshes the page so you don’t have to.
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.
Many free Discord servers, such as the well-known StockDrops server, include specialised stock alert bots and keen community members.
Streams on Twitch are also worth noting. Those who are obsessed with locating your stock will typically sound the alarm with a piercing klaxon as soon as it is discovered. For Nvidia GPUs, we recommend Falcodrin on Twitch, but there are many of generous folks doing the same thing elsewhere.
Is there an easy way to get a new graphics card?
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. At the very least, it’s something to think about if you’re planning a complete rebuild in the near future. System builders appear to have a more stable supply of graphics cards, and while some still foresee delays, you are at least assured a PC with a GPU in place at some point in time.
Which is better GTX or RTX?