Best Graphics

At the time of purchase, PC gamers need to know what the best GPU for the money is. And if you don’t have the time to research the benchmarks, fear not, we've compiled a simple up-to-date list of the best GPUs for gaming at the most popular resolutions, virtual reality, and eSports.

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

April 2017 Updates

After ceding the spotlight to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 Ti last month, AMD is front and center in April with three Radeon RX 500-series graphics cards. Two of them are re-branded versions of existing products, while the third is based on an entirely new GPU.

Starting down low, Radeon RX 550 sports a Polaris 12 processor with 512 Stream processors, 32 texture units, 16 ROPs, and an aggregate 128-bit memory bus populated with 7 Gb/s GDDR5. AMD says the card should serve up playable performance at 1920x1080, particularly in popular e-sports titles. Indeed, our benchmarks show the RX 550 to be competent across a wide range of games, so long as you turn their quality settings down enough.

Still, relative to the dismal HD Graphics you get on Intel’s mainstream CPUs, the new Radeon is a veritable turbocharger. Here’s the thing, though: AMD still has Radeon RX 460s on sale for as little as $90. That’s just $10 more than Radeon RX 550’s starting point. In graphics-bound games, even on a meager Core i3-based platform, the 896-shader RX 460 is 40 or 50% faster than RX 550. We’re value-seekers, to be sure. But spend the extra money and enjoy better frame rates or a higher quality preset. The Radeon RX 460 retains our base-level recommendation for e-sports and HD gaming.

So long as you’re willing to dial down the details a bit at 1920x1080, there’s still room in our line-up for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, one step up from the Radeon RX 460. This recommendation does not change.

Where we may be able to save you some money, though, is maxed-out quality at FHD. Starting at $170, the Radeon RX 570 is fast enough to make those settings accessible, even if it can’t quite catch the RX 480s still selling for $200+. To summarize our AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB Review, this card is a near-facsimile of the previous-gen RX 470, except for higher clock rates. That’s enough to push it out in front of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 3GB (which exhibited serious issues when we tested it against the RX 570).

But AMD also just launched a Radeon RX 580. And while our coverage (AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB Review) focused on a $290 model from Sapphire, 4GB cards start right around $200. Sporting 2304 Stream processors, that’s the configuration we’re recommending for folks serious about gaming at 1920x1080 with quality cranked up or 2560x1440 at relaxed detail settings.

The lack of compelling competition further up our hierarchy results in Nvidia retaining its high-end recommendations. GeForce GTX 1070, 1080, and 1080 Ti are simply unbeatable in their respective categories.

MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Roundup

MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Roundup

Best @ 720p & eSports

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Good @ 1080p

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Best @ 1080p | Good @ 1440p

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Best @ 1440p & SLI | Good @ VR

MORE: Best Memory

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Good @ 4K | Best @ VR

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Best @ 4K

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14 comments
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  • compulsivebuilder
    The 1080Ti Founders Edition arrived yesterday. It's exactly what we expected - awesome :-)
    0
  • Th3pwn3r
    "you’ll find the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition in stock and selling for $700."

    Well this certainly isn't the case. Not finding it in stock and it's also not at that price.
    -3
  • BaRoMeTrIc
    We all knew the 1080 ti was coming you should have reserved it @ 700 if you wanted one. Or else pay the premium if you can't wait for partner cards
    -1
  • sshortguy1
    too much hype , like a lot thought that as to the gtx 1080s being as fast as 2 980s in sli but wasn't correct , especially after you had 2 970s in sli couldn't reach the frame rates like I could with thre 970s 1 of the reasons I went with 2 gtx 1070s
    0
  • dannik931
    Author - Your recommendation of the GTX 1050 Ti links to the general 1050 review, which *doesn't* recommend the Ti over the cheaper, plain 1050: "The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti at $140 doesn’t do enough beyond the vanilla 1050, at least in the case of our power-limited GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4G OC, to warrant spending extra on it." What accounts for your warming to it, and where is that documented on the site? I haven't seen any clues in other 1050-related coverage in the intervening months; did I miss something?
    1
  • decembermouse
    I would love to see a roundup of small GPUs. This is fast becoming a market segment that, for enthusiasts, was neglected for too long. Now that we have more options, we're slowly working towards a tipping point where smaller gaming computers will become the norm. As single GPUs become more powerful, it becomes increasingly realistic to only need one in a system. And with only one GPU, for most gamers there's no reason to get a full ATX motherboard. mITX will be the next big thing in gaming, and some even let you overclock. You can still have an i7, still have 16 or 32GB of RAM, still use liquid cooling, all that good stuff. With a good liquid loop, or good normal air cooling and ventilation, there's little point in having all that dead space and wasteful extra motherboard real estate.

    Full ATX towers which are heavy, hard to move and easy to damage, and take up too much space, will eventually largely become a thing of the past. Help us get there by showcasing what's possible with smaller setups, starting with what can be done with smaller form factor GPUs.
    1
  • sshortguy1
    Anonymous said:
    We all knew the 1080 ti was coming you should have reserved it @ 700 if you wanted one. Or else pay the premium if you can't wait for partner cards

    they're no better the the ref. cards I bought a gtx 1080 gaming x and classified cards but didn't help on their speeds
    1
  • Th3pwn3r
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    We all knew the 1080 ti was coming you should have reserved it @ 700 if you wanted one. Or else pay the premium if you can't wait for partner cards

    they're no better the the ref. cards I bought a gtx 1080 gaming x and classified cards but didn't help on their speeds


    Well there's more to a card being better than another based on speed alone. I have never heard my Gigabyte Xtreme 1080 make a sound yet :D The large, triple fan setup seems to be pretty good. 4k gaming too.
    1
  • compulsivebuilder
    My preorderd Founder's Edition 1080 Ti arrived the day after official release. It's fast, cool, and quiet.

    To be honest, on my current monitor (a curved 34" 3440x1440) I don't see much speed difference over a 1080 (although I do have all the eye-candy turned on), but I'm planning on a 4k monitor fairly soon. I've enjoyed playing Rise of the Tomb Raider, Witcher III, and Mass Effect Andromeda on it.

    Feel free to tell I didn't need to buy the 1080 Ti, but I'm very happy with it (and the guy who bought my GTX 1080 is very happy, too!).
    0
  • allawash
    RX580 full review link is broken, takes you to the 550.
    0
  • Fiqar_
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti looks absolutely amazing and is exactly what I expected. Although, I can already feel my pockets getting substantially lighter. Sometimes, you can't help but wonder the profit margin for these manufacturers.
    0
  • oxford373
    I hope AMD fixed their driver issues; in 2015 I ended up with two damaged graphics cards because of AMD's drivers, the cards started artifacting after the driver update, after that I tried the cards on multiple builds, I tried going back in drivers , no matter what I do the cards artifating, I searched youtube and found lots of people are having the same problem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZzYoE1rbIA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjG5Y3tVGmo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvrb6ltKC34
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DQWRqQeKt0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkMIHabCzvQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nwzEjl87Dw
    And of course people complaining about the same problem in forums, you could find more if you search
    https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=251318.0
    https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=258544.0
    contacted AMD first they suggested to install the latest drivers, when I clearly stated I tried installing multiple drivers on multiple builds, the second time, they suggested to contact the seller for warranty, and sadly we only have 1 year warranty here
    its good to know AMD doesnt always keep its drivers issues as a secret
    http://gearnuke.com/amds-new-crimson-drivers-bugged-killing-graphics-cards-report/
    I would like to know if AMD driver still kill its graphics cards
    1
  • Jazguy
    There's an error on rx580 review link, the link directs to rx550 review instead of rx580.
    0