Best Graphics Card

Last Update: July 6, 2021

Best Graphics Card

The high-definition picture quality and smooth experience in the game are all inseparable from the good graphics cards.

When it comes to assembling or upgrading a game console, the graphics card is definitely the focus of our consideration.

Of course, you may also want a good CPU, memory and hard drive, but the GPU is the most essential part of the display, and a good mainstream CPU can basically make the best of all the best graphics cards. performance.

All of the graphics cards we recommend are at least 3GB, which is sufficient for high quality or even high quality game settings. If you are looking for a suitable graphics card, then look down carefully.

What to look for in graphics cards?

If you want to shop beyond the scope of our picks, know that finding the right graphics card can be tricky. Various vendors offer customized versions of every GPU. For example, you can buy different Radeon RX 570 models from Sapphire, XFX, Asus, MSI, and PowerColor.

To help narrow down the options and find the right card for you, you should consider the following things when doing your research:

  • Overclocks: Higher-priced custom models are often overclocked out-of-the-box to varying degrees, which leads to higher performance.
  • Cooling solutions: Many graphics cards are available with custom coolers that lower temperatures and fan noise.
  • Length: Many graphics cards are of a similar size, but longer and shorter models of many GPUs exist. Double-check that your chosen graphics card will fit in your case before you buy.
  • Compatibility: Not all hardware supports a wide range of connectivity options. Higher-end graphics cards may lack DVI ports, while lower-end monitors may lack DisplayPorts.

How We Test Graphics Cards

Determining pure graphics card performance is best done by eliminating all other bottlenecks — as much as possible, at least. Our current graphics card testbed consists of a Core i9-9900K CPU, MSI MEG Z390 Ace motherboard, 32GB Corsair DDR4-3200 memory, and an XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB SSD.

We test across the three most common gaming resolutions, 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, at medium and ultra settings. Our current test suite of games consists of 12 titles, though we’re currently in the process of changing up our games and retesting. The data in the following charts is from testing conducted in 2021.

AMD vs. Nvidia

First off, what does a graphics card do? And do you really need one?

If you’re looking at any given pre-built desktop PC on the market, unless it’s a gaming-oriented machine, PC makers will de-emphasize the graphics card in favor of promoting CPU, RAM, or storage options. Indeed, sometimes that’s for good reason; a low-cost PC may not have a graphics card at all, relying instead on the graphics-acceleration silicon built into its CPU (an “integrated graphics processor,” commonly called an “IGP”). There’s nothing inherently wrong with relying on an IGP—most business laptops, inexpensive consumer laptops, and budget-minded desktops have them—but if you’re a gamer or a creator, the right graphics card is crucial.

A modern graphics solution, whether it’s a discrete video card or an IGP, handles the display of 2D and 3D content, drawing the desktop, and decoding and encoding video content in programs and games. All of the discrete video cards on the consumer market are built around large graphics processing chips designed by one of two companies: AMD or Nvidia. These processors are referred to as “GPUs,” for “graphics processing units,” a term that is also applied, confusingly, to the graphics card itself.

The two companies work up what are known as “reference designs” for their video cards, a standardized version of a card built around a given GPU. Sometimes these reference-design cards are sold directly by Nvidia (or, less often, by AMD) themselves to consumers. More often, though, they are duplicated by third-party card makers (companies referred to in industry lingo as AMD or Nvidia “board partners”), such as Asus, EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, Sapphire, XFX, and Zotac.

10 Best Graphics Cards for 2021:

NameGraphics RAM SizeDimensions
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB4 GB11.5 x 9 x 3 in
RTX 2080 Ti11 GB12 x 5.1 x 2.1 in
Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Super8 GB10.5 x 1.7 x 4.6 in
Radeon RX 560 4GB4 GB8.3 x 1.6 x 4.4 in
GeForce GTX 1660 Super6 GB9.5 x 5.1 x 2.1 in
GeForce GTX 1070 Ti8 GB10.5 x 3 x 5.06 in
AMD Radeon RX 5908 GB13.4 x 9.5 x 3.2 in
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti11 GB12.8 x 2.8 x 9.5 in
RTX 2060 Super8 GB10.6 x 1.5 x 4.4 in
GeForce GTX 1060 3GB3 GB6.8 x 1.5 x 4.38 in

1. AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB

AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB

While nowhere near the top of our list for performance, this is a great value pick if you’re looking to game on a budget. AMD’s Polaris architecture has been around a few years, and while it’s beginning to show its age, it’s also significantly cheaper now than when it launched. It’s an excellent card to tackle the current 1080p era of gaming, and if you’re still leaning on integrated graphics or an older card, it’s a cheap upgrade.

Overall, the RX 570 4GB is a close match with Nvidia’s GTX 1650 but falls behind the GTX 1650 Super. Game choice and settings are a factor, as well as current prices.

Depending on where you live, it’s a tossup between this and the 1650 Super. It draws more power than Nvidia’s Turing-in-a-GTX-shell 16-series of cards and the 1060, but it can also regularly be had for $30-40 less than Nvidia’s closer competitors.

Most desktops are more than capable of running this 150W card without any difficulty, though you’ll need at least a 6-pin power connector, or possibly an 8-pin connector. Sales often drop the price of RX 570 4GB cards to $110-$120, though with the launch of the RX 5500 XT supplies of Polaris may finally be drying up.

Regardless, so as long as your PSU is up to snuff, the RX 570 pretty much kills off the market for anything lower. If you’re building a budget PC or upgrading from an older, outdated GPU, the RX 570 is a great starting point.

Pros /Cons
  • Good for 1080p gaming
  • Often faster in DX12
  • ‘Budget’ pricing
  • Uses more power than GTX 1660/1060
  • Only 4GB VRAM

2. RTX 2080 Ti

RTX 2080 Ti

If you’re looking for the no-holds-barred champion of graphics cards, right now it’s the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. If you’re serious about maxing out all the graphics settings and you want to play at 4K or 1440p, this is the card to get — it’s mostly overkill for 1080p gaming, though enabling all ray tracing effects in games that support the feature makes 1080p still reasonable.

Nvidia’s Turing architecture is at the heart of the RTX 2080 Ti, boosting performance even if you don’t enable ray tracing or DLSS.

Concurrent floating-point and integer execution means that even with only moderately higher theoretical performance compared to the previous generation Pascal (GTX 10-series) GPUs like the GTX 1080 Ti, in practice the 2080 Ti is 35-40 percent faster at higher resolutions and settings.

There are three main reasons to not buy the 2080 Ti. First is of course the price — with cards starting at $1,050 and many selling for $1,200 or more, just the graphics card costs more than an entire mid-range gaming PC.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if money is really no object, there’s still the Titan RTX: Double the price for a meager 3-5% increase in performance! Yeah, no thanks. Perhaps most importantly, the RTX 2080 Ti is nearing its two year mark. If you didn’t buy one in 2019 or 2018, buying now doesn’t make much sense, what with Nvidia’s Ampere expected to launch later this year.

Pros /Cons
  • The fastest non-Titan graphics card
  • Can legitimately do 4K high/ultra at 60 fps or more
  • Factory overclocked models are readily available
  • For most of us, price is an object
  • Card is 18 months old now, so you might as well wait for Ampere
  • Generally overkill for 1080p displays

3. Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Super

Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Super

The brand new RTX 2080 Super is now the best card on the market now in terms of peak performance and price (not to be confused with the infamous $/frames ratio). While it’s still an expensive proposition at a retail price of $700, Nvidia isn’t charging a Founder’s Edition tax for this latest refresh which means it’s actually $100 less than it’s predecessor (which it outperforms by 5-10%).

On the other hand, the 2080 Ti, remains more powerful, the additional $400-$500 isn’t worth it for a relatively marginal increase in computing power (between 10 and 30 percent), especially considering the relatively limited use cases for ray tracing that exist at the moment. While we’re seeing more ray traced games looming on the horizon, including Wolfenstein: Youngblood, the Call of Duty reboot, and Control, the current pool of games with DXR or Vulkan RT support remains relatively shallow.

The RTX 2080 Super doesn’t have any flashy new tricks up its sleeve. Instead, it feels like a mid-generation refresh, obviously targeted at taking the wind out of AMD’s sails around the launch of Red Team’s new RX 5000-series.

While it’s counter-marketing success is a matter of a much debate, one fact is undeniable: the 2080 Super is the best (borderline) mainstream graphics card on the market right now, delivering excellent 4K performance (and blistering QHD) for the best price point we’ve seen thus far for that level of performance.

Pros /Cons
  • Excellent 1440p and 4K performance
  • Same price as the original 2080
  • Outperforms the base 2080 and 1080 Ti
  • No headlining new features
  • Still fairly pricey

4. Radeon RX 560 4GB

Radeon RX 560 4GB

The RX 560 4GB’s main competitors come from Nvidia’s 1050 and 1050 Ti, and its overall graphics performance is somewhere in between, but at a lower price than any of them, making it a more affordable option.

This is not a high-performance graphics card, suitable for games with less demanding screens, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Overwatch.

In the low and medium quality settings, it can easily reach 1080P 60FPS in most games.

It is important to understand that the graphics performance of the Radeon RX 560 is slightly lower than that of the previous generation R9 390, and closer to the R9 370 or R7 370.

Pros /Cons
  • Cheap price
  • No power adapter required
  • Suitable for 1080P
  • Can’t run some newer games perfectly

5. GeForce GTX 1660 Super

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When Nvidia put out the GTX 1660 and the GTX 1660 Ti, they excelled at Full HD gaming at a price that wouldn’t make you wince. And, now that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super is here, both of those cards are practically irrelevant.

This new graphics card is just a bit faster than the GTX 1660, but is only ten bucks or quid more, while it reaches the same level as the GTX 1660 Ti while being significantly cheaper.

If you’re looking for a graphics card for Full HD gameplay, you really should take a look at the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super – it really is one of the best graphics cards out there.

Pros /Cons
  • Affordable
  • Excellent performance
  • No RT cores

6. GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

Since its launch, Nvidia’s GTX 1070 has been on the hot list of purchases, but it has now been replaced by a similar but faster GTX 1070 Ti.

It is 10% faster than the 1070 and in most cases is faster than AMD’s competing model Vega 56 and consumes less power.

Nvidia’s Pascal architecture enhances overall performance, primarily thanks to 16nm FinFET transistors, which not only reduce the size of the GPU, reduce power leakage, but also allow for higher clock frequencies.

So which GTX 1070 Ti should you buy? Unless you prefer the founder version of the blower cooler, we will choose a reliable AIB version.

For most people, the cheapest option might be the best option, unless you’re looking for a longer warranty period or are willing to pay a higher premium for the brand effect.

Pros /Cons
  • Perfect performance
  • Great for 1080P and 1440P games
  • Efficient Pascal architecture
  • Expensive
  • The memory type is only GDDR5, but no GDDR5X

7. AMD Radeon RX 590

AMD Radeon RX 590

Originally a $280 graphics card, the RX 590 now routinely sells for around $200 or less.

That makes a world of difference in value, and performance is still good. The GTX 1660 is roughly tied with the RX 590, at the same price, and it’s a more efficient card. However, there are games where the 6GB on the Nvidia card can be a bit limiting. We rate the RX 590 just ahead of the GTX 1660 for performance, though that’s splitting hairs.

Depending on where you’re located, AMD’s new RX 5500 XT 8GB card may be a better value. Performance is basically tied, though the 5500 XT does use quite a bit less power. The RX 590 is also about 20 percent faster than the older RX 580 8GB.

If you’re looking at building a complete PC and not just a graphics card upgrade, we recommend faster GPUs even if they cost more. But if you’re trying to keep the GPU cost under $200, RX 590 is still a good option. Just make sure you have a PSU with a the necessary 8-pin and 6-pin power connections that most 590 cards use.

Pros /Cons
  • Good value and performance for 1080p
  • 8GB of VRAM
  • Uses more power than GTX 1660
  • Same old Polaris architecture

8. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

If you want the fastest graphics card in the world, it’s obviously the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

During our testing, the GTX 1080 Ti was approximately 30% faster than the GTX 1080 and twice as fast as the GTX 970.

If you are considering 1080 Ti, then performance should be a primary consideration, especially considering that current prices are still quite high.

If you are willing to lower a grade, then the price of GTX 1080 is more affordable, or the choice of 1070 Ti is the same, you can wait a little longer until the price cut.

Like other 10-Series graphics cards, the 1080 Ti features an improved architecture, better incremental color compression, and flat rendering optimization. Combined with these two functions, the actual memory bandwidth of 484 GB/s of 1080 Ti can reach 580~726 GB/s under normal working load.

Pros /Cons
  • Fastest GPU
  • Excellent efficiency
  • Expensive

9. RTX 2060 Super

RTX 2060 Super

Out of all the Nvidia RTX cards, the RTX 2060 Super is the hardest to recommend. It’s not that it’s a bad card — it’s plenty fast and has the same features as the other RTX models — but performance and pricing end up being eclipsed by AMD’s 5700 XT, or you can save even more money and only give up a bit of performance with the RX 5700. It’s technically a hair faster than the 5700 overall, but costs nearly $100 more. In a direct face off between the RX 5700 XT and the RTX 2060 Super, we gave AMD the edge, though it’s by no means an insurmountable lead. Both are great cards that handle 1080p and 1440p gaming without difficulty; AMD’s card just costs less.

The good news is that competition from AMD means better pricing for everyone, whether you go with team red or team green. The RTX 2060 Super is nearly the same performance as the earlier RTX 2070 that we’ve recommended in the past (it’s 4% slower), and it costs $100-$200 less. And like the other RTX Super cards, there’s no Founders Edition ‘tax’ this time.

If you want an 8GB card that can do ray tracing, for the lowest price possible, the RTX 2060 Super fills that niche. The extra memory does actually have an impact on ray tracing performance as well, so there are reasons to spring for the upgrade over the vanilla RTX 2060. Just don’t be surprised if an RTX 3060 shows up that performs better and costs less later this year.

Pros /Cons
  • It’s basically a cheaper take on the RTX 2070
  • Plenty fast for 1440p gaming
  • Nothing new to see here, just RTX 2070 redux
  • Big step up in price relative to RTX 2060

10. GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

If you are not experiencing the game at 1440P (or higher) resolution, then the GTX 1060 may be the best choice.

We tried to balance performance and pricing, although 3GB of video memory capacity may be a bit worrying, but most games don’t require more memory, and the difference between high-quality 2GB textures and ultra-high-quality 4GB textures is often negligible.

The GTX 1060 3GB is still a very powerful graphics card, and its power consumption is also good, 120W in normal use. In terms of performance, the 1060 3GB is only slightly faster than the previous generation GTX 970, slightly lower than the RX 570 4GB.

If you are really worried about 3GB of video memory capacity, then it is best to use 1060 6GB or RX 580 8GB. However, the price of AMD graphics is still too high, which is the main reason why we ranked it third.

Pros /Cons
  • Cheap price
  • Good performance
  • Suitable for 1080P
  • Efficient and quiet
  • Only 3GB of video memory capacity

Conclusion

The world of computer graphics is a rapidly changing field. If you find that your system is no longer able to keep up with current mainstream games, chances are that you will need to replace your graphics card.

For those who already have an R9 300 or GTX 900 series (or better) graphics card, they should be able to run any current game, but not necessarily 60FPS and the highest quality.

Today we recommend 10 gaming graphics cards, each with its own characteristics, I hope to help you with your purchase, if you have any questions, please contact us or leave a message.