When it comes to gaming PCs, nothing matters more than your graphics card. To push as many pixels as possible you’re going to want the fastest graphics card you can afford—but ever-shifting prices and product lineups make it difficult to keep track of what’s available.
In honor of keeping frame rates high, we decided to rank all the major available discrete GPUs from Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon, starting with the fastest graphics card available and working on down. This list focuses on each company’s most current GPU lineups, and doesn’t include significantly older graphics cards (yet). Price to performance is not a consideration here—just pure performance. (Concrete example: The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is technically more powerful than the GeForce RTX 3070, and hence higher on this list, but it’s essentially tied in performance and the newer GeForce option is significantly cheaper, making it a better buy.)
We’ve verified this information through hours of blood, sweat, and benchmarking. Feel free to hit up the individual reviews to see our work in greater detail. Or, if you want more concrete buying advice for your specific budget or display resolution, be sure to read our guide to the best graphics cards for gaming. It provides much more information than this simple list, complete with discussion about considerations like value, various form factors, and what to look for in a customized model.
But if you just want to know if GPU A is faster than GPU B, starting with the current consumer gaming champion, read on. The higher up a graphics card is on this list, the faster and more powerful it is.
Editor’s note: This article was last updated on November 4, 2020 to add Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs and mention AMD’s incoming Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards towards the end.
The extravagant GeForce RTX 3090 is a poor value for pure gamers, but a stunning value for creators who can use its massive 24GB of memory. Nvidia’s Founders Edition cooler is exceptional.
The GeForce RTX 3080 delivers a staggering performance upgrade over its predecessor. It lets you play at 1440p and 4K resolution without compromises, even with ray tracing and DLSS enabled. It takes a lot of power, though. Nvidia’s Founders Edition model looks sleek and has a radical cooler, but it offers limited repairability and puts its 12-pin power adapter in an ugly place.
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti costs significantly more than its predecessor, but it’s also the first graphics card capable of gaming well past the 4K/60 barrier. If you can afford it, this graphics card can feed a 4K, 144Hz monitor like no other, and it’s built for the future with dedicated ray tracing hardware.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition delivers performance on a par with last generation’s flagship for $700 less, but compromises on memory capacity. It’s a great graphics card for 4K or high-refresh-rate gaming.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition is the second most-powerful GPU ever released and great for 4K or ultra-fast 1440p gaming, but this modest upgrade loses its unique value proposition in the new-look RTX Super lineup.
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition trades performance blows with an overclocked GTX 1080 Ti, but offers the promise of ray tracing and AI-enhanced games for $100 more. This card delivers an excellent 4K/60 gaming experience.
The Founders Edition of the GeForce RTX 2070 Super delivers performance on par with GPUs that cost $200 more, wrapped in an attractive, quiet package. This is an excellent graphics card.
The Radeon RX 5700 XT delivers excellent gaming performance and power efficiency and is brimming with cutting-edge new technologies.
With the Gigabyte RTX 2070 Windforce delivering such strong performance at $500, there’s little reason to spend more on an RTX 2070 graphics card unless you’re looking for specific features.
The Founders Edition of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super delivers much better performance and a vastly improved memory configuration than its non-Super cousin, for a minimal price increase.
The Radeon RX 5700 delivers excellent gaming performance and power efficiency while moving the goal posts forward on several technological fronts.
The AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT delivers outstanding 1080p gaming, knocking out the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti thanks to a last-minute BIOS upgrade. The need to install that upgrade manually and price cuts from rival Nvidia cards takes off some of its shine, though.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition delivers superb 1440p and 1080p gaming as well as real-time ray tracing in an affordable package. The design of the graphics card is stunning, too.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra strips out fancy extras to focus purely on great performance in all functional areas. It’s an outstanding all-around graphics card for 1080p and 1440p gaming.
This is a great graphics card for 1080p gaming. Swapping out the GTX 1660’s GDDR5 memory for much faster GDDR6 gives the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super a sizable performance boost, while the Asus Dual EVO OC’s design runs cool and quiet with some nice extras. There’s no price premium either.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 and EVGA’s superb XC Ultra custom design result in a new mainstream gaming champion. This is the graphics card you want for 1080p gaming at 60 frames per second.
The Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ delivers superb 1080p gaming performance with few compromises, though the power draw is massive.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 Super is the best budget graphics card you can buy for 1080p gaming, and the custom Asus ROG Strix model is loaded with extras for a mere $10 premium.
AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 XT brings its next-gen navi GPU architecture to the masses, with mixed results. It’s a good budget gaming option that’s priced slightly too high.
The Radeon RX 580 is basically the Radeon RX 480 with a new name, but that still makes it the best mainstream graphics card around. Sapphire’s custom Nitro+ design is stellar.
The Gigabyte Aorus is a gorgeous, well-performing graphics card. The Radeon RX 570 is the best sub-$200 gaming option around—but it isn’t much of a step up over the RX 470.
You’ll also find (literally) lower-powered consumer graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 1650, GeForce GTX 1030, and Radeon RX 550 available, which can all be powered by your motherboard alone in their stock configuration. Unless you’re extremely budget-constricted, however, or can’t accommodate additional power connections, avoid everything below the Radeon RX 570.
Also expect to see some significant shake-up in this list sooner than later. More affordable variations of Nvidia’s RTX 30-series graphics cards will soon start to trickle out, while AMD’s Radeon RX 6000-series counter-punch is scheduled to hit the streets on November 18. They look just as ferocious as Nvidia’s high-end RTX 30 options.
…But that’s beyond the scope of this list. Again, be sure to check out our guide to the best graphics cards for gaming if you want our GPU recommendations for any budget and other helpful information designed to help you choose the best graphics card for you.
Source: Read Full Article