Best graphics cards 2022: finding the best GPU for gaming
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For PC gamers, there isn't a more important component than your graphics card, but it can be tough to find the best graphics card for you. GPU reviews don't always tell the full story, and tracking down the graphics card that offers the best value between cost and performance isn't as simple as shopping online.
We dug through our graphics card reviews to bring you a definitive ranking of the best GPUs for gaming. The competitiveness between AMD and Nvidia is hotter than it has been in years, and we have several options from both brands regardless of if you're looking for a great value GPU or a 4K gaming behemoth.
If you're new to building PCs, make sure to read our answers to common GPU questions. We also have a full guide on how to install a graphics card so you can upgrade your PC.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
The best GPU for gaming
Read our in-depth review Pros Fantastic value for the RX 7900 XTX
Playable ray tracing performance
High refresh rate 4K gaming
Standard 8-pin power Cons Disappointing generational improvements
Loud and hot
Why should you buy this: It offers some of the best 4K gaming performance you can find today, and at a reasonable price.
Who’s it for: High-end gamers who need high frame rates, but don't care much about ray tracing.
What we thought of the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX:
The lineup of current-gen GPUs all have one thing in common: they're expensive. That makes choosing the best GPU tough, but AMD has a compelling offer this time around. The RX 7900 XTX offers flagship performance at an excellent value amid the inflated landscape of GPU prices right now.
For raw performance, the RX 7900 XTX is capable of running the most demanding PC above 60 frames per second (fps), and in the case of titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Horizon Zero Dawn, it can even hit around 100 fps. It can go toe-to-toe with Nvidia's RTX 4080, all while costing anywhere from $200 to $400 less.
In addition, it's smaller, and it calls for standard 8-pin power rather than the 12-pin connector featured on Nvidia's most recent GPUs. That doesn't mean the RX 7900 XTX is without faults. It gets loud and it runs hot, and compared to Nvidia, it lacks prowess in ray tracing games.
Even with those caveats, the RX 7900 XTX is an excellent graphics card that can power high-end gaming in demanding titles like Cyberpunk 2077.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX The best GPU for gaming
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
The best midrange graphics card
Read our in-depth review Pros Cheaper than the RTX 3080, but still great
Fantastic for 1440p and suitable for some 4K gaming
Maintains 60 fps in AAA titles Cons May struggle in some games at 4K
Why should you buy this: The RTX 3070 Ti is the sweet spot in Nvidia's current line-up, offering up enough power to push some games to 4K without the price of an RTX 3080.
Who's it for: The mainstream PC gamer that wants a lot of power at a reasonable price.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti:
The RTX 3070 is a great graphics card, but we'd recommend the upgraded RTX 3070 Ti for most people. It's only slightly faster than the RTX 3070; about 8% based on our testing. But you'll typically find the Ti and non-Ti models in stock for around the same price, making the Ti model effectively a free upgrade.
Although the RTX 3070 Ti is a 1440p graphics card, it can manage 4K in a lot of titles. The extra boost over the base model allows you to play games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla at 60 fps if you tweak a few graphics settings. With DLSS on offer, you can even play games like Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K.
The RTX 3070 Ti is for the reasonable gamer. It might not last as long as the RTX 3080, and you might have to turn down a few graphics settings, but the RTX 3070 Ti balances price and performance unlike any graphics card you can buy right now.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti The best midrange graphics card
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
The best GPU for 4K gaming
Read our in-depth review Pros Excellent power efficiency
Fantastic 4K performance
DLSS 3 support
Solid ray tracing performance Cons Large and bulky
Not as good of a value as the RTX 4090
Why should you buy this: The RTX 4080 is expensive, but it feels tailor-made for 4K gaming.
Who's it for: 4K gamers who need above 60 fps in the most demanding games.
What we thought of the Nvidia RTX 4080:
The RTX 4080 is too expensive for what it is, but it's still a highly capable 4K GPU. Below the price of the monstrous RTX 4090, the cheaper RTX 4080 still delivers high frame rates at 4K, even in demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077.
Although the RTX 4080 isn't quite as powerful as the RTX 4090, features like DLSS 3 help fill in the gap. That makes ray tracing possible at 4K, even at high frame rates. DLSS isn't new, but the addition of frame generation on the RTX 4080 can massively boost your frame rate in demanding titles.
The card is big and bulky, but unlike the RTX 4090, it doesn't require a ton of power. It stays at the same wattage as the previous generation, and in real-world use, it actually consumes about 50W less.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 The best GPU for 4K gaming More
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
The best 1440p graphics card
Pros Fantastic cost-to-performance ratio at MSRP
Great for 1440p gaming
Close to the RTX 3070, but cheaper Cons Not the best option for 4K
Why should you buy this: The RTX 3060 Ti punches well above its weight class.
Who's it for: 1440p gamers who want all of the visual bells and whistles.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti:
The RTX 3060 Ti is an extremely powerful graphics card, considering its spot in Nvidia's Ampere gaming lineup. Below the RTX 3070, the 3060 Ti still delivers 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit bus and features only a slight reduction in clock speed — 1.67GHz on the 3060 Ti versus 1.72GHz on the 3070. It's best suited for 1440p gamers that want high frame rates without the high price.
In benchmarks, the RTX 3060 Ti scores above last gen's GeForce RTX 2080 Super. The card can deliver above 70 fps in demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 with Ultra settings at 1440p. In games like Control, you can take advantage of features like DLSS to boost your performance, too.
The RTX 3060 Ti shines as the best graphics card for 1440p. It's incredibly capable, offering frame rates north of 60 fps in demanding AAA titles, even with all the sliders turned up. Ray tracing would normally be a problem for a card like this, but thanks to DLSS, you can still hit performance marks with all the visual bells and whistles.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti The best 1440p graphics card More
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
The best 1080p graphics card
Read our in-depth review Pros Smooth gaming at 1080p
Doesn't require a lot of power
Capable of 1440p gaming
Support for FidelityFX Super Resolution Cons A little too expensive
Lackluster content creation performance
Poor ray tracing performance
Why should you buy this: It's the best 1080p gaming graphics card around, and secondhand models are cheaper than the Nvidia RTX 3060.
Who’s it for: The 1080p gamer with a high refresh rate display.
What we thought of the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT:
The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT isn't great value — but in a time when GPU options are so overpriced, that hardly matters. What matters for the RX 6600 XT is that it outperforms Nvidia's RTX 3060 by a decent margin, and on the secondhand market, it's as much as $150 cheaper.
In an average of five gaming benchmarks, the RX 6600 XT offered about an 11% improvement over the RTX 3060 at 1080p. Across our benchmarks, it averaged 117.6 fps, making it an ideal option for 1080p gamers with a high refresh rate display. It's simply one of the best 1080p graphics cards you buy right now.
Even in a game as demanding as Cyberpunk 2077, the Radeon RX 6600 XT can put up above 60 fps with all of the sliders turned up. Except for ray tracing, of course, which remains one of the most demanding gaming tasks for a graphics card. The RX 6600 XT doesn't handle ray tracing as well as its Nvidia counterpart, but neither card is really cut out for it.
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT The best 1080p graphics card More
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
The best graphics card for enthusiasts
Read our in-depth review Pros Huge leaps in 4K gaming performance
Excellent ray tracing performance
High power and thermals, but manageable
DLSS 3 performance is off the charts Cons Very expensive
DLSS 3 image quality needs some work
Why should you buy this: It's the most powerful graphics card you can buy today, hands down.
Who’s it for: High-end enthusiasts that want the best of the best regardless of price.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090:
The RTX 4090 is a nonsense graphics card, and we mean that in the best way possible. It's $1,600, which is hard to justify spending on any graphics card. But if you want the best of the best, the RTX 4090 is it, and by a significant margin.
The previous GPU champion, the RTX 3090 Ti, looks puny by comparison. Based on our testing, the RTX 4090 is nearly 70% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti, and almost 90% faster than the RTX 3090. It's a 4K graphics card that enables features like ray tracing in the most demanding games available today.
It's overkill for most people, and it comes with some high demands. You'll need a power supply with a lot of wattage, and you'll need a case to accommodate the card's massive size. It's a reasonable trade-off for high-end enthusiasts, though, especially with features like DLSS 3 on offer.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 The best graphics card for enthusiasts More
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
The best AMD graphics card
Pros Comparable to the RTX 3080
Great overclocking capabilities
Suited for 4K gaming Cons Best used without ray tracing
Why should you buy this: The RX 6800 XT is as powerful as the RTX 3080, and even more powerful if you overclock it.
Who's it for: AMD fans who are interested in overclocking.
What we thought of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT:
The Radeon RX 6800 XT is AMD's answer to the RTX 3080, and it's the best AMD GPU you can buy right now. It's positioned to compete directly with Nvidia's flagship card, but it's packed with wildly different specs. The most interesting spec is 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Nvidia's card uses faster memory, but AMD's card offers more. You should buy this card if you want to play in 4K but don't want the price tag of an Nvidia GPU.
For performance, the Radeon RX 6800 XT matches the RTX 3080 in most titles with ray tracing turned off. If you're willing to overclock your graphics card, the 6800 XT actually edges ahead. AMD's Infinity Cache that shows up on the RX 6800 XT allows the card to hit very high clock speeds, resulting in serious performance gains. It's best suited for gamers who don't care about ray tracing, though.
Ray tracing changes things a bit, as DLSS adds a huge boost in performance to Nvidia cards. That said, AMD introduced the Super Resolution feature as part of the FidelityFX suite, which is similar to DLSS. The suite also includes a variety of other visual enhancements, such as Contrast Adaptive Sharpening, which restores sharpness to an image after temporal anti-aliasing is applied. The Radeon RX 6800 XT can take advantage of all the FidelityFX features.
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT The best AMD graphics card More
Intel Arc Alchemist A750
The best value graphics card
Read our in-depth review Pros Great 1080p and 1440p gaming performance
Competitive ray tracing performance
Relatively inexpensive Cons Resizable BAR is necessary
XeSS needs some work
Why should you buy this: It's a great graphics card for the price, minus a few bugs.
Who's it for: Gamers looking for a great deal that don't mind dealing with a few bugs.
What we thought of the Intel Arc Alchemist A750:
Intel's Arc A750 isn't a perfect graphics card. It has some problems with older games, and Intel still needs to further optimize its drivers. But it still offers a fantastic value. For around $290, it's competitive with Nvidia's RTX 3060, which runs around $400.
AMD usually is the budget alternative to Nvidia, and although that's still true, Nvidia has been the way to go if you want to turn on ray tracing. The Arc A750 has competitive ray tracing, unlike its AMD counterparts, meaning it can truly go toe-to-toe with the RTX 3060.
On top of that, the card also supports Intel's XeSS upscaling feature, which uses AI to upscale your games and improve performance. It's not available in a ton of games, but Intel should add support in more titles over the coming months.
Intel Arc Alchemist A750 The best value graphics card More
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 mobile
The best graphics card for laptops
Pros Available in a ton of laptops
Adequate for 1080p gaming
Huge improvement over previous gens Cons Not ideal for hardcore gamers
Why should you buy this: It offers great performance without adding undue bulk to modern laptops.
Who's it for: Power gamers on the move.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 mobile:
Nvidia's RTX 3060 is one of the latest iterations of its leaner mobile gaming solutions, but that doesn't mean it lacks power. It offers a greater number of CUDA cores than previous generations of Nvidia graphics card mobile chips and delivers a sizable performance improvement over the past generation.
Although the GeForce RTX 3060 falls behind its full-scale desktop and mobile counterparts, its real strength lies in not outputting anywhere near the level of heat generated by big-scale GPUs. That means you'll still find the RTX 3060 in laptops that are sleek and thin and don't weigh too much. You can see the results in this older Razer Blade that we previously used in testing that weighs just 4.5 pounds and offers performance that in years gone by you'd only find in chunky gaming machines that weigh close to double that.
There are some solid alternatives in this space, with both AMD and Nvidia offering mobile options with greater and lesser performance depending on your needs. In our opinion, RTX 2070 Max-Q offers all the performance most users could want, all in a low-profile chipset. It's a great solution for those who want optimal video performance from a smaller laptop. If you’re a gamer or just want some enhanced graphics on your small form factor laptop, this is a great choice.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 mobile The best graphics card for laptops More
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know which graphics card will best suit your needs? Finding the graphics card that will best suit your needs comes down to the resolution of your display and the kinds of games you play. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is great for 4K, for example, but it's overkill for 1080p where the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT shines. The lower your display's resolution, the less you need to spend on a graphics card. Beyond that, consider the games you want to play and at what frame rates. You can use the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super for everything from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Borderlands 3, but you might need to step up to the GeForce RTX 3070 to play games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla. How much should you spend on a graphics card? As a rule of thumb, you should dedicate about 30% of your budget to a graphics card for a gaming PC. For 1080p, you should spend around $300 to $400; for 1440p, around $400 to $500; and for 4K, $600 or above. The Radeon RX 6600 XT targets 1080p at $379, the GeForce RTX 3070 is great for 1440p at $500, and the GeForce RTX 3080 is the perfect video card for 4K at $700. Graphics cards are vastly overpriced in 2022, though. As it stands now, you can expect to pay double what you should for each resolution. Hopefully, that will change in the coming months. How can you find the right power supply for a graphics card? Nvidia and AMD recommend power supply wattage for their most recent graphics card. The Radeon RX 6800 XT, for example, draws 300W of power and AMD recommends a 750W PSU at least. Similarly, the GeForce RTX 3080 video card draws 320W and Nvidia recommends a 750W PSU. These recommendations aren't always perfect, though, so we recommend using a PSU calculator.
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The best graphics cards in 2022: top performers for today's PC games
The best graphics cards are experiencing a serious shake-up. After the chip-shortage years brought on by the pandemic, we now finally have an ample supply of GPUs at their most affordable prices. More than that, the 40 Series cards are currently releasing, and with AMD's Radeon RX 79000 cards out as well, it's an exciting time to be shopping around.
The latest releases from AMD and NVIDIA feature A.I. upscaling technology, ray tracing support, and can handle high frame rates in 4K. They also might require you to make some serious space in your PC case, especially if you're keen to get an RTX 4090, which is genuinely enormous.
We're currently in the process of testing out some of the 40 Series cards. While we haven't included them in the list below quite yet, we surely will do in a future update. It's worth noting that the newest GPUs are the least affordable, and hardest to get a hold of, so in our list below, we've tried to cater to a wide range of budgets and requirements. That way, you can find the latest and greatest option without blowing a hole in your pocket.
GPU prices have finally started to recover after the drought of the past few years. This means you can pick up a readily available 30 Series card at daresay - normal prices. To that end, finding the right GPU for you may not cost as much as you think - especially with successor ranges from both companies hitting the shelves. Whether it's a (strong) entry level RTX 3050, or a high-end AMD RX 6900, you'll boost your rig into the realms of the best gaming PCs imaginable with the best graphics cards we've detailed below.
The best graphics cards in 2022
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(Image credit: Future)
1. Nvidia RTX 3080 The best graphics card (for now) Specifications GPU cores: 8,704 Graphics processor: GA102 Base clock: 1440 MHz Boost clock: 1710 MHz Memory: 10GB GDDR6X (FE) Memory clock: 1188 MHz Memory bandwidth: 19 Gbps Memory bus: 320-bit Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Built with 4K firmly in mind + Far more affordable than RTX 3080 Ti + Now available in 10GB and 12GB versions Reasons to avoid - Harder to find since RTX 3080 Ti launch
Until we're done testing the new 40 Series cards, and until they become a bit more affordable, the RTX 3080 is the one to beat. Having said that, it's getting harder to recommend with every minute that passes given that the RTX 4080 has released. As long as you're aware of that, we can proceed.
This Ampere GPU proved super-fast 4K gaming on PC, and gives the best performance for your money against the 3090. With the 4080 now on the shelves you may find it start to get cheaper, and more discount-prone, so that's something to keep an eye on.
Even in 2022, there's nothing that the RTX 3080 can't achieve in 4K, especially when factoring in the benefits of DLSS for the less-well optimized titles on the platform. The numbers are suitably self-evident too. If the RTX 3070 base model could outperform the RTX 2080 Ti (at least in many conditions) then the RTX 3080 absolutely decimates those figures.
A truly fantastic video card, and one that's built to last you through the next few years at the very least Zotac Gaming RTX 3080 review
However, for most circumstances, the RTX 3080 isn't just a flagship GPU, it's a once-in-a-decade performance boost. Also worth considering, is the improved thermal design of the Founders Edition model, and comparatively low temperatures when stacked up against some other RTX 30 series models, meaning it'll tick over like a watch for many years to come.
Read more: RTX 3080 review
(Image credit: AMD)
2. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT The best AMD graphics card Specifications GPU cores: 4,608 Graphics processor: Navi 21 Base clock: 1825 MHz Boost clock: 2250 MHz Memory: 16GB GDDR6 Memory clock: 16 Gbps Memory bandwidth: 512.0 GB/s Memory bus: 256-bit Today's Best Deals View at Ebuyer (opens in new tab) View at Overclockers UK (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Built on RDNA 2 architecture + Fast performance in 1440p and 4K + 16GB VRAM for futureproofing Reasons to avoid - Doesn't quite rival the RTX 3080
At release, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT was poised to take on Nvidia's RTX 3080, and while this card doesn't quite take that GPU's crown, it does position itself as one of the best graphics cards from AMD. In 1440p, there are definitely instances where the RX 6800 XT is neck and neck with the RTX 3080, such as in Watch Dogs: Legion at Ultra settings, though 4K is where the divide starts to show the most.
The ray tracing capabilities of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT may be admittedly disappointing when stacked up with the higher-end Nvidia GPUs, though, it's in that extra VRAM where the speed of Team Red's video card starts to shine. We're starting to see more Radeon-optimized games demand upwards of 11GB of VRAM, which only the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 are capable of at the time of writing, in titles such as Far Cry 6 with HD textures. This is a big jump, and it's likely that we'll see more developers in the near future wanting to utilize upwards of 12GB in this current PC gaming generation we're in.
(Image credit: Future)
3. Nvidia RTX 3050 The best budget graphics card Specifications Graphics processor: GA106 GPU cores: 2560 Memory type: GDDR6 Memory: 8GB Memory bus width: 128-bit Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + 8GB memory + Decent 1080p and 1440p performance + Ray tracing support Reasons to avoid - Reliant on DLSS for 60 FPS
The RTX 3050 is the newest budget Ampere video card designed with 1080p60 in mind, making it perfect for those budget-minded PC gamers in 2022. Armed with the same 8GB GDDR6 memory that you'll find in pricier RTX 30-series GPUs in our roundup, the RTX 3050 is the best budget graphics card that you can get right now.
The RTX 3050 gets a lot right and accurately achieves its 1080p60 goal while pushing Nvidia's latest technologies in full force. Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Eagle OC revie
In our testing, we found that even more demanding titles such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Control, and Metro Exodus ran at a rock-solid 60 FPS with ray tracing and DLSS enabled in Full HD. 1440p is also decent in many games, though it's usually going to be a toss-up between having visual fidelity and performance, as a 60 FPS average normally means disabling ray tracing and going heavier on the DLSS upscaling options. Regardless of how you push to that that smooth frame rate, this video card can keep up well under most circumstances.
You need to keep your expectations in check, of course, as the RTX 3050 is a wallet-friendly GPU designed to replace the likes of the perennially popular GTX 1650 and 1660 lines. 4K is on the cards here, it will just mean your frame rate isn't as high as you may want. If you need a budget GPU that still gives you ray tracing, then you really can't go wrong. The RTX 3050 launched with an MSRP of $250, and at the time of writing, you can find RTX 3050 stock for around the $300 mark if you know where to look.
Read more: RTX 3050 review
(Image credit: Nvidia)
4. Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti The best mid-range graphics card Specifications GPU cores: 6,144 Graphics processor: GA104 Base clock: 1575 MHz Boost clock: 1770 MHz Memory: 8GB GDDR6X Memory clock: 19 Gbps Memory bandwith: 608.30 GB/s Memory bus: 256-bit Today's Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Stellar price-to-performance ratio + Great for Full HD, 1440p and 4K gaming + Bumped up to GDDR6x memory Reasons to avoid - Still using 8GB VRAM
The RTX 3070 Ti may appear on the surface to be an only slightly upgraded version of the original model, but the reinforced edition features one major difference that tips it over the edge - a bump up to GDDR6X RAM as used by the high-end RTX 3080 line and the RTX 3090.
We're also seeing an extra 256 CUDA cores for slightly better ray tracing support, but this difference is very minor overall. The upgraded memory type and faster clock speed over the original RTX 3070 provides a solid 10-15% performance boost whilst meaning it will be able to be pushed further by more intensive games in the future through an allowance for higher bandwidths.
The gaming performance of the RTX 3070 Ti is something to be commended, as it's frequently been able to maintain a solid 60 FPS in 4K in some of the latest titles such as Halo Infinite and Deathloop in high settings. We've been consistently impressed with what this GPU can do, and if you're aiming for 4K60, or 1440p in higher frame rates, then you're going to be very happy with what this video card can do.
(Image credit: Nvidia)
5. Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti The best graphics card for 1440p Specifications GPU Cores: 4,864 Graphics processor: GA104 Base Clock: 1,410 MHz Boost Clock: 1,665 MHz Memory: 8GB GDDR6 Memory clock: 14 Gbps Memory bandwidth: 448.0 GB/s Memory bus: 256-bit Today's Best Deals View at Scan (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Takes advantage of 8GB memory + Outperforms the RTX 2080 models + Makes the most of ray tracing Reasons to avoid - Don't expect top-performance in 4K
The RTX 3060 Ti offers performance that was previously thought impossible from an entry-level graphics card only three years ago. The benchmarks don't lie; this video card runs circles around the RTX 2080 Super (the previous high-end GPU to beat) while costing half as much. It really is that simple. If you want to marry price to performance up and down this list, this is honestly one of the best options to go for. the 3050 is solid for budget buyers, but if you can stretch to the 3060 or 3060 Ti, we'd recommend doing so, since it will give you a bit more futureproofing.
Now, 4K is more than possible, but won't be the RTX 3060's strong suit. While achieving UHD visuals is doable, it's geared more towards higher frame rates in 1440p and steamrolling through Full HD games pushed to their absolute limit. Again, that's not to say that the GPU can't benefit from Ultra HD, especially with the benefits of DLSS, but it's not a card built with it this resolution in mind.
If you can find the RTX 3060 Ti for a fair price online, then it's going to be ideal for the vast majority of PC gamers.
(Image credit: Nvidia)
6. Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti The best high-end graphics card for gaming Specifications GPU cores: 10,240 Graphics processor: GA102 Base clock: 1365 MHz Boost clock: 1665 MHz Memory: 12GB GDDR6X Memory clock: 19 Gbps Memory bandwidth: 912.4 GB/s Memory bus: 384-bit Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Phenomenal 4K performance + Incredible for ray tracing + Comparable to RTX 3090 in-game Reasons to avoid - Significantly pricier than original model
For as powerful as the RTX 3080 Ti is, especially given its upgrade to 12GB GDDR6X VRAM as opposed to the original model's 10GB, that boost in power comes at a steep price of an additional $500 above the stock RTX 3080, pricing it comparatively closer to the RTX 3090's $1,499 MSRP - which has double the available memory.
Price aside, however, there's little debate that the RTX 3080 Ti is a formidable GPU for high-end 4K gaming as the benchmarks can indicate. We're essentially seeing a noticeable improvement on the stock RTX 3080, but that power difference comes into its own when looking at games such as Cyberpunk 2077 which, at the time of writing, cannot yet hit native 4K60 on anything right now.
Make no mistake, you're getting an incredibly capable and futureproofed GPU that's going to be able to burn through the vast majority of demanding games in 1440p and 4K with no compromises for many years to come.
(Image credit: AMD)
7. AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT The best budget AMD graphics card Specifications GPU cores: 2,048 Graphics processor: Navi 23 Base clock: 1968 MHz Boost clock: 2589 MHz Memory: 8GB GDDR6 Memory clock: 16 Gbps Memory bandwidth: 256.0 GB/s Memory bus: 128-bit Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Holds its own against RTX 3060 + Seriously fast clock speeds + Built for high FPS in 1080p Reasons to avoid - Still using 8GB VRAM - Its ray tracing isn't great
The RX 6600 XT is built first and foremost with being one of the best graphics cards for PC gamers aiming for fast frame rates in 1080p. It's been geared in the marketing primarily towards the Esports crowd, as the competitive games in the circuit may not be too visually demanding, but require super-high FPS to compensate. The RX 6600 XT is a decent rival to Nvidia's base RTX 3060 model, however, if you're thinking of picking this GPU up for 1440p performance then you may need to cast a wider net in the field of AMD.
While the RTX 3060 Ti generally does ray tracing in Full HD better, the benchmarks for the RX 6600 XT really do speak for themselves. AMD published the full list online, where the GPU managed well above 70 FPS in the likes of Far Cry 6, Hitman 3, Resident Evil Village, Deathloop, and more. If you've wanted to max out the latest titles in Full HD, then this video card will serve you well.
(Image credit: Nvidia)
8. Nvidia RTX 3090 The best graphics card for futureproofing (for now) Specifications GPU cores: 10,496 Graphics processor: GA102 Base clock: 1395 MHz Boost clock: 1695 MHz Memory: 24GB GDDR6X Memory clock: 19.5 Gbps Memory bandwith: 936.2 GB/s Memory bus: 384-bit Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + 24GB VRAM + A behemoth for 4K and even 8K + Huge bandwidth Reasons to avoid - Very expensive - It's massive
The RTX 3090 can easily be considered one of the most powerful video cards, and best graphics cards, ever made, even with the 4090 now on the shelves. The BFGPU utilizes 24GB of GDDR6X memory for unparalleled 4K, and even 8K, performance later down the line. While we test some of the 40 Series cards, we'd still recommend this with the same caveats we provided for the RTX 3080. There is a newer version of this card out, and while it's pricier and harder to get a hold of, it is the newly crowned monarch of the NVIDIA cards. With that out of the way, we can proceed.
When it comes to getting value for money, this GPU sure seemed steep when it was originally released in September 2020. However, considering the sheer power at your disposal here, the RTX 3090 more than justifies its original MSRP. All of that power could honestly be deemed as overkill, since this graphics card is built with the future in mind. This is evidenced by the fact that you're getting a roughly 10% performance increase in 4K over the RTX 3080. With that said, there's nothing else on the market that can compare to what it can do.
(Image credit: Future)
9. Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti The most powerful graphics card for gamers and creators (excusing the 4090) Specifications GPU cores: 10,752 Graphics processor: GA102 Base clock: 1560 MHz Boost clock: 1860 MHz Memory: 24GB GDDR6X Memory clock: 1313 MHz (21 Gbps Effective) Memory bandwidth: 1,008 GB/s Memory bus: 384-bit Today's Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + The most powerful GeForce GPU yet + Achieves almost 1TB/s bandwidth + Futureproofed for many years Reasons to avoid - Massive 450W TDP - It's huge - Iterative on the original
While the RTX 3090 Ti is likely to be complete overkill for the vast majority of PC gamers, there's no denying the kind of performance that the new BFGPU refresh is able to deliver as the most powerful GeForce GPU ever released to date.
In terms of what makes the new Ti variant different from the original model which was released nearly two years ago, you're looking at a bump up to 21 Gbps effective memory and 1,008 GB/s bandwidth alongside 256 more CUDA cores and eight more Tensor cores, and two more RT cores. This extra power gives the RTX 3090 Ti even more frames to work with in the latest games, not to mention effectively futureproofing this model for many years with the 24GB GDDR6X VRAM.
In our testing, we found that there was very little that could rival the RTX 3090 Ti in terms of both our suite of benchmarking software and demanding ray traced games. This hulking video card delivers frame rates far exceeding 4K60 in all but one of the games we tested it in, and easily well above 100 FPS in 1440p with all the slides dialed up to their absolute maximum. There's some serious power under the hood for those who want the best of the best when pushing Ampere GA102 to its absolute limits in 2022.
RTX 3090 Ti is the fastest and most powerful graphics card aimed at gamers Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 3090 Ti review
Keep in mind that the added performance of this newest flagship Nvidia graphics card doesn't exactly come cheap, as the RTX 3090 Ti carries a starting MSRP of $1,999. Make no mistake, it's one hell of an investment, and likely only to primarily appeal to enthusiasts who want to stay on the bleeding edge of PC gaming hardware. But for those who can afford it and value its merits not just in terms of gaming performance but as a productivity video card as well, then the RTX 3090 Ti is sure to find its niche.
(Image credit: Nvidia)
10. Nvidia RTX 3070 Still a great graphics card you shouldn't overlook Specifications GPU cores: 5,888 Graphics processor: GA104 Base clock: 1,500 MHz Boost clock: 1,725 MHz Memory: 8GB GDDR6 Memory clock: 14 Gbps Memory bandwidth: 448.0 GB/s Memory bus: 256-bit Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Incredible ray tracing performance + A 1440p powerhouse + Cost-effective for 4K gaming Reasons to avoid - The RTX 3070 Ti is faster - Harder to find since launch
While it has since been overshadowed by the newer and more powerful RTX 3070 Ti, the RTX 3070 GPU is still very much worth considering if you haven't yet been able to make the jump to Ampere GPU hardware. This graphics card's goal was to provide an affordable entryway to high-end PC gaming, much like how the coveted GTX 970 did many years ago.
The RTX 3070 is powerful enough to fuel the latest titles at 4K, however, its best strengths come into play when considering the outstanding 1440p performance across the board. We've noticed that this resolution has been favored by gamers over the past few years for its sharp image quality and high frame rates, and the RTX 3070 can definitely deliver on that front.
Now that the high-end 40 Series cards are hitting the shelves, the 3070 might be one to watch for discounts and deals. If you were looking to get a 3060, you may find that the 3070 is more affordable if you wait a little while longer.
How we test graphics cards
At GamesRadar, we take an encompassing approach to testing the best graphics cards with a strict set of benchmarking tools before the GPUs end up on our list. First and foremost, we use the likes of 3DMark for quantified and comparable figures in our extensive write-ups. Secondly, and arguably most importantly, we use demanding games with ray tracing enabled, if applicable, to see how the graphics cards hold up in real-world performance.
You can find out how we test graphics cards in our full GamesRadar Hardware Policy.
Best graphics cards: Frequently asked questions
What graphics card is best to buy? The newly crowned best graphics card on the market is the RTX 4090. It's a behemoth that's capable of incredible performance at 4K, and if you're looking to pin the #1GPU in the world medal on something, the 4090 is tough to beat. It is undoubtedly the most expensive, though, so that's worth keeping in mind. For mere mortals, the RTX 3080 will do the trick. For budget buyers, an RTX 3060 Ti is the one to look for, with the 3050 being a strong fall-back.
How many gigabytes of RAM do graphics cards need in 2022? Our advice is that 4GB GDDR6 memory should be considered the absolute minimum for graphics card gaming performance in 2022. This is because many modern games are pushing the VRAM to new limits due to increased texture sizes, game worlds, and reliance on the speeds afforded by newer storage drives. A good average to look out would be 8GB GDDR6/GDDR6X VRAM, which you can find in some of the best graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia. This would give you enough overhead for high-FPS 1440p gaming as well as 4K60 in most instances.
How many types of graphics cards are there? There are two types of best graphics cards when you consider gaming PCs, integrated graphics and dedicated graphics cards. The former is weaker, and usually baked onto the processor chip in the form of an APU or SOC. Dedicated graphics cards, like all of those models listed above, as discrete models that are slotted into your computer's PCIe Express port, most being two-slot, but some taking up three-slots depending on size, to deliver far greater visual prowess.
Is RTX better than GTX? If you've followed Nvidia's graphics cards for some time then you may not that the company's GeForce lines have rebranded from GTX to RTX. The latter delegation refers to the ray tracing potential of the video cards, which was first seen in the RTX 20-series (Turing) in 2018. Now, since late 2020, with the RTX 30-series (Ampere), the ray tracing performance has been vastly improved. It's currently unknown as to what the successor generation will be known as.
Make sure your rig is up to scratch with the best CPU for gaming, best RAM for gaming, and best PC cases.
And for audio upgrades, check out the best computer speakers and best gaming headsets going.
9 Great Graphics Cards for Upgrading Your PC
A powerful graphics card, or GPU, is the lifeblood of any efficient gaming or creative PC. Without one, you can kiss your gaming or video production needs goodbye. With dedicated graphics cards becoming more mainstream, the latest and greatest in graphics is more accessible than ever.
2020 and 2021 were tough years to buy a GPU. Ongoing chip shortages and sky-high demand pushed prices well-beyond affordable. Thankfully, 2022 has seen normal pricing return, making now a great time to invest in a strong GPU. Gamers and creative professionals alike can leverage the power and performance present in these highly recommended GPUs.
What to Consider
With graphics cards, there is a lot to consider. To start, keep in mind that there is no “best” graphics card. Your GPU works in concert with the rest of your computer to deliver the best performance possible. Sadly, choosing the right graphics card isn’t as simple as buying the latest model available. Instead, keep the following in mind:
Your monitor is a deciding factor in what video resolution your computer can display. If you plan on using an older, 1080p monitor, you should seek a budget-friendly graphics card capable of 1080p graphics. If you plan on using the latest 4K monitors, a newer, more powerful GPU will be necessary to render such detailed graphics.
Most graphics cards today (and those on our list) connect via HDMI or DisplayPort. Check your computer monitor, and make sure it has compatible HDMI or DisplayPort connectivity.
Graphics cards connect to your computer’s power supply, and require a lot of wattage to run. Make sure your power supply has enough wattage output to power your new GPU plus the rest of your PC.
How We Evaluated
Many of these recommendations come from our personal use. For the products we couldn’t test ourselves, we've reviewed content from expert sources like The Verge, PC Gamer, CNET, Tom’s Guide, DigitalTrends, and others, as well as thousands of consumer reviews from online storefronts like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. As for the products themselves, we evaluated them on performance, compatibility, design, and price.
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