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Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2020

The Best Graphics Cards: GeForce RTX 3080 FE
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The best graphics cards sit at the heart of any gaming PC, but quantifying what is 'best' can be tricky. There's no single solution that's right for everyone: Some want the fastest graphics card, others the best value, and many are looking for the best card at a given price. Balancing performance, price, features, and efficiency is important because no other component impacts your gaming experience as much as the graphics card.

We test and review all the major GPUs, and we've ranked every graphics card in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy based on performance. We've also done extensive testing of graphics card power consumption, using proper hardware, and we've looked at the broader AMD vs Nvidia GPUs breakdown. For those not running a top-end Intel CPU, we've also tested the top ten current GPUs on AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X and compared performance with the same GPUs running on Core i9-9900K. Here we cut things down to a succinct list of the best graphics cards you can currently buy.

We've provided 10 options for the best graphics cards, recognizing that there's plenty of potential overlap. Nvidia just dropped the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090, which blow away the competition. The 3080 comes in at a lower price than the outgoing RTX 2080 Ti, while the 3090 delivers 10-20% higher performance (depending on the game or app) at more than twice the price. Sadly, availability of Nvidia's latest GPUs is limited, at best. We're coming up on one month since the RTX 3080 release, and everywhere we look it's still sold out—and Nvidia's CEO suggested that could remain the cause until 2021.

You can also see how the RTX 3080 scales with CPU performance. Hint: You'll want something made in the past few years, preferably with at least 6-cores and 12-threads. There's still the upcoming GeForce RTX 3070 this month—also using the new Ampere architecture. AMD's Big Navi will be revealed on October 28, with an expected launch date of some time in November. Hopefully AMD does better at meeting demand, as the RX 6000 performance looks promising, but we suspect demand will be too much for Big Navi as well.

If you're looking to buy a new high performance GPU, no one should pay more today for hardware that's soon to be outdated. We might see a few price drops on existing product lines, but Nvidia at least likes to discontinue rather than discount, and prices on many PC components are on the rise, likely related to COVID-19 shortages. With the arrival of the RTX 3080 and Ampere, basically everyone looking at the $400 price point or above should either buy the RTX 3080, or wait for the 3070 and Big Navi to arrive and then make a decision. Maybe we'll even get RTX 3060 or RTX 3060 Ti before the end of 2020 rolls around.

Our current recommendations reflect the changing GPU market, factoring all of the above. The GPUs are ordered mostly by performance, but price, features, and efficiency are still factors so in a few cases a slightly slower card may be ranked higher. We expect to a massive shakeup at the top of the performance rankings in the next few weeks, naturally.

Quick Shopping Tips

When buying a graphics card, consider the following:

• Resolution: The more pixels you're pushing, the more performance you need. You don't need a top-of-the-line GPU to game at 1080p.
• PSU: Make sure that your power supply has enough juice and the right 6- and/or 8-pin connector(s). For example, Nvidia recommends a 650-watt PSU for the RTX 2070 Super, and you'll need two 8-pin and/or 6-pin PEG connectors.
• Video Memory: A 4GB card is the minimum right now, 6GB models are better, and 8GB or more is strongly recommended.
• FreeSync or G-Sync? Either variable refresh rate technology will synchronize your GPU's frame rate with your screen's refresh rate. If your monitor supports G-Sync tech (for recommendations, see our Best Gaming Monitors list), you'll need a GeForce GPU. AMD's FreeSync tech works with Radeon cards, and Nvidia has certified some FreeSync displays as being G-Sync Compatible.

The Best Graphics Cards Shortlist
GPUPerformance RankValue Rank (fps/$)
RTX 30802 (142 fps)6 ($699?)
RTX 30901 (153 fps)10 ($1,499?)
RTX 2080 Super3 (102 fps)9 ($700)
RTX 2070 Super4 (91 fps)8 ($480)
RX 5700 XT5 (87 fps)4 ($365)
RTX 2060 Super6 (77 fps)7 ($398)
RX 5600 XT7 (71 fps)1 ($260)
RTX 20608 (68 fps)5 ($290)
GTX 1660 Super9 (58 fps)3 ($230)
GTX 1650 Super10 (43 fps)2 ($160)

Best Graphics Cards for Gaming 2020 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

1. RTX 3080

Best Graphics Card Overall, for 4K and More

GPU: Ampere (GA102) | GPU Cores: 8704 | Boost Clock: 1,710 MHz | Video RAM: 10GB GDDR6X 19 Gbps | TDP: 320 watts

The second fastest current graphics card
Reasonably priced compared to 3090 and 2080 Ti
Can legitimately do 4K ultra at 60 fps or more
Substantially faster than previous gen GPUs
Availability is limited at launch
Requires 320W of power
Overkill for 1080p displays
RTX 3090 for bragging rights

The king is dead, long live the king! Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 has arrived, sporting the new and improved Ampere architecture. It's over 30% faster than the previous gen 2080 Ti, for $500 less. 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.

If you skipped the first round of RTX GPUs, the RTX 30-series might finally get you you on board the ray tracing train. With potentially double the ray tracing performance of Turing, and games like Cyberpunk 2077 on they way with even more ray tracing effects, the RTX 3080 is your best chance south of $1,500 to play games in all their ray traced glory.

Ampere also brings improved tensor cores for DLSS, a technology we're bound to see more of in future games now that it doesn't require per-game training by a supercomputer. The biggest problem with RTX 3080 right now is going to be finding one in stock, at less than scalper prices. By the time the supply increases, we may also have RTX 3070 and RX 6900 XT cards as an alternative.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

2. RTX 3090

Fastest Graphics Card, Great for Creators

GPU: Ampere (GA102) | GPU Cores: 10496 | Boost Clock: 1,695 MHz | Video RAM: 24GB GDDR6X 19.5 Gbps | TDP: 350 watts

The fastest GPU, period
4K and maybe even 8K gaming
24GB is great for content creation workloads
Over twice the cost of 3080 for 10-15% more performance
Extremely limited availability for now
High power requirements
Titan price without Titan enhancements

For some, the best card is the fastest card — pricing be damned! Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090 caters to this category of user. At more than double the price of the RTX 3080, performance is only moderately better (10-15%) in most workloads. It's basically a replacement for the Titan RTX, at a still extreme price.

The RTX 3090 is likely to reign as Nvidia's top GPU for a while as well. It sports nearly a complete GA102 chip, based off the Ampere architecture, so there's not really room for a new Titan card. Nvidia has said as much as well, that the 3090 brings Titan-class performance and features (specifically the 24GB VRAM) into the GeForce brand. If you simply must have the fastest graphics card available, that's the RTX 3090.

It's not just about gaming, of course. The RTX 3090 is the only GeForce Ampere with NVLink support, which is arguably more useful for professional apps and GPU compute than SLI. The 24GB of GDDR6X memory is also helpful in a variety of content creation applications. Blender for example frequently showed 30% higher performance compared to the 3080, and over twice the performance of the Titan RTX. Just watch out for lower than expected performance in some of the SPECviewperf 13 apps, where Titan RTX has additional features turned on in its drivers that aren't enabled for GeForce cards.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Review

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super (Image credit: Nvidia)

3. RTX 2080 Super

Look for Price Discounts, or Wait for RTX 3070

GPU: Turing (TU104) | GPU Cores: 3072 | Boost Clock: 1,815 MHz | Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 15 Gbps | TDP: 250 watts

One step down from 2080 Ti at a better price
Fastest GDDR6 in a graphics card
Pointless with RTX 3080 arriving soon
Can't do 4K ultra in many games at 60 fps
RTX 3070 will also be faster than this

It's not a good time to buy a brand new RTX 20-series GPU, at all. Our list of the best GPUs is in the midst of some serious upheaval, what with the RTX 3080 and 3090 launches and the upcoming 3070 and RX 6000 launches. The problem is, 30-series cards are probably going to sell out, or sell at highly inflated prices, for the next couple of months.

In the meantime, maybe you can find a good deal on the RTX 2080 Super. Don't pay more than $500 for such a card, and probably not even that, but the 2080 Super is still very capable. It's just not RTX 3080 levels of capable. 1440p and 4K gaming are totally possible, just not always at maximum quality (especially 4K). The good news is that the difference between ultra and high quality in many games is difficult to see, while the jump in performance can be significant.

There's still the question of what will happen with ray tracing adoption in the future, of course. The first round of DirectX Raytracing (DXR) games has often seen performance drop by 30-40% when the feature is enabled. DLSS can often make up for that drop, but the implementations of both DXR and DLSS vary by game. If you take a game like Control, which features ray traced reflections, contact shadows and diffuse lighting — the most complete implementation of ray tracing in a game to date (not counting Quake II RTX and Minecraft RTX, which are special cases of porting an old/simple game to full path tracing) — performance dropped by half, and DLSS 2.0 only mostly recovers the lost fps.

When games in the future start using more ray tracing effects, even the 2080 Super may not keep up. That doesn't mean you should ignore ray tracing hardware, however. Just keep your expectations in check.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Review 

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Image credit: AMD)

4. RX 5700 XT

Best AMD GPU Right Now (But Not for Long)

GPU: Navi 10 | GPU Cores: 2560 | Boost Clock: 1,755 MHz | Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps | TDP: 225 watts

New RDNA architecture provides for better performance and efficiency
The 5700 XT is nearly as fast as the Radeon VII for half the price
Great for 1440p gaming and can do 4K high in a pinch
RDNA 2 coming in October
AMD's fastest GPU still can't touch Nvidia's top models
No support for ray tracing, via hardware or software
AMD at 7nm only matches Nvidia efficiency at 12nm

Like all of the other GPUs other than the RTX 3080, right now is a tough time to recommend any high-end card. AMD's RX 5700 XT is reasonably priced for previous gen GPUs, but in the next month or two we could very likely see a big jump performance for the same $400 asking price. The RX 6000 performance preview suggests Big Navi could be 80% faster than RX 5700 XT, for example.

What's more, AMD's Navi 10 architecture doesn't support hardware or software ray tracing, though in traditional rasterization techniques AMD's RDNA architecture is very competitive. AMD's GPUs also tend to do better in games that use either DirectX 12 or the Vulkan API, while DX11 games favor Nvidia. Overall, across our test suite, the 5700 XT beats the RTX 2060 Super by about 7% in performance (as well as the earlier RTX 2070 by 4%), and typically costs less. There have been some concerns with AMD's drivers since Navi launched, but the latest updates appear to have addressed the biggest problems.

Compared to AMD's own previous generation products, the RX 5700 XT does put up an impressive performance. It basically matches the Radeon VII at 1080p and 1440p, all while using 75W less power. That's partly the benefit of the 7nm FinFET manufacturing process, something Nvidia will utilize in Ampere, but the foundational RDNA architecture definitely improved resource utilization over the previous GCN architecture cards. Our biggest concern is that AMD's RDNA 2 will add ray tracing later this year, and apparently 50% higher performance per watt. That's definitely worth waiting for at this point.

We've also nixed the vanilla RX 5700 from our list, as current prices are nearly the same as the faster 5700 XT.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super (Image credit: Nvidia)

5. RTX 2070 Super

A Good 1440p Graphics Card

GPU: Turing (TU104) | GPU Cores: 2560 | Boost Clock: 1,770 MHz | Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps | TDP: 215 watts

Nearly RTX 2080 performance at a significantly lower price
No more Founders Edition price premium
All the ray tracing and deep learning features of the Turing architecture
Nothing new compared to the non-Super RTX cards
Ampere and RTX 3070 are coming October 15

You know the drill by now: Wait for Ampere and Navi 2x GPUs. But if you can't wait, or if you can find a good deal on an RTX 2070 Super, it's still a good card. The law of diminishing returns is in full effect as you move up to the top of the GPU hierarchy, which means you'll pay more for proportionately less performance every additional step. The best way to avoid that is to drop back a few notches, which is where you'll find the RTX 2070 Super. 4K gaming is a stretch, but 1440p ultra is still viable.

Just as the RTX 2080 Super is a sensible step down from the 2080 Ti, the 2070 Super is only about 10% slower than the 2080 Super but costs almost 30% less. It's also only a few percent slower than the earlier vanilla RTX 2080, and you still get 8GB of GDDR6, ray tracing and DLSS, and a card that beats the previous generation GTX 1080 Ti — along with every current AMD GPU. This is all at the same nominal price as the slightly older and slightly slower RTX 2070, and there's no Founders Edition tax this round.

But the GeForce RTX 3070 with the new Ampere architecture is waiting in the wings, so it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money right before new graphics cards come out. The 2070 Super isn't bad, but it's yesterday's high-end card staring in the shop windows at the shiny new Ampere GPUs.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super Review 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super (Image credit: Nvidia)

6. RTX 2060 Super

Best Nvidia Card for 1080p Ultra and 1440p High

GPU: Turing (TU106) | GPU Cores: 2176 | Boost Clock: 1,650 MHz | Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps | TDP: 175 watts

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
Again: Ampere is coming

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 other RTX models — but performance and pricing end up being eclipsed by AMD's 5700 XT. In a direct face off between the RX 5700 XT and the RTX 2060 Super, we gave AMD the edge. Still, the 2060 Super handles 1080p and 1440p gaming without difficulty, but anyone paying $400 or more for a 2060 Super will likely end up with buyer's remorse in the next month or so.

We know, we're sounding like a broken record, but the RTX 3070 and possibly even RTX 3060 Ti are coming. AMD also have Big Navi in the works. These newer and faster GPUs should all arrive by November, so keep using what you've got if possible and wait for the new hotness to release. Or keep an eye out for a good clearance. We'd suggest aiming for $300 or less on the 2060 Super at this point. Yes, things have changed that much, and arguably more.

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 when an RTX 3060 shows up that performs better and costs less later this year or in early 2021.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super Review 

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (Image credit: AMD)

7. RX 5600 XT

Best Affordable 1080p Graphics Card

GPU: Navi 10 | GPU Cores: 2304 | Boost Clock: 1,375 MHz | Video RAM: 6GB GDDR6 12/14 Gbps | TDP: 150 watts

Easily beats Nvidia's GTX 1660 Super and 1660 Ti in performance
AMD's Navi / RDNA architecture is a welcome improvement over GCN
No support for ray tracing technology
Avoid the 12 Gbps GDDR6 models
Navi 2x coming soon

The Radeon RX 5600 XT launch is the perfect showcase for how competitive the mid-range graphics card market has become. Initially intended to compete with the GTX 1660 Ti at the $280 price point, it would have easily won that matchup — it's about 15% faster. Then Nvidia preemptively dropped the price on the RTX 2060 Founders Edition to $299, and worked with EVGA to launch a special RTX 2060 KO for $300. That's when things got interesting.

AMD responded with a last-minute BIOS update that increased clock speeds on the RX 5600 XT, and allowed partners the option to run the memory at 14 Gbps instead of the 'reference' 12 Gbps. Needless to say, a 17% increase in memory bandwidth and GPU clocks helps quite a bit.

Now that the dust has settled, all current RX 5600 XT models should support 14 Gbps, either out of the box or via a BIOS update. Prices have also dropped, and the RX 5600 XT is currently the best overall value. If you have to find something to tide you over for a few months, a $250 RX 5600 XT is a sound choice.

Of course it lacks features like ray tracing and DLSS, and while we don't know what Navi 2x will do to compete with DLSS, we do know it has ray tracing support. Hopefully in the next month or so we'll hear about an RX 6600 or RX 6700 card that offers better performance, more features, and doesn't cost too much more.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Review 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (Image credit: Nvidia)

8. RTX 2060

Best Entry Level Ray Tracing and Potent 1080p

GPU: Turing (TU106) | GPU Cores: 1920 | Boost Clock: 1,680 MHz | Video RAM: 6GB GDDR6 14 Gbps | TDP: 160 watts

Plenty fast with a price cut on some models making it far more palatable
Includes all the latest hardware ray tracing features
Faster than previous generation GTX 1070 Ti
Enabling ray tracing usually requires DLSS (ie, rendering at 1280x720 and upscaling)
Many models still cost $350 or more
6GB VRAM could prove limiting in future games

Nvidia's RTX 2060 was a decent card when it launched in January 2019, and dropping the price on the Founders Edition one year later keeps it in the running. In a direct head-to-head between 'reference' RTX 2060 and RX 5600 XT models, Nvidia eked out a win, but lower prices have now pushed our recommendation back to AMD. A lot of it will depend on current pricing, the features you get, as well as potential factory overclocks. Non-reference RX 5600 XT cards beat the stock 2060 FE, but non-reference RTX 2060 cards like the EVGA RTX 2060 KO Ultra swap things back.

For many people, $300 is about as much as they're willing to spend on a graphics card, making this an important part. Sure, the RTX 2080 Ti is almost twice as fast at 4K ultra, but the price is obscene. Even the new RTX 3080 and 3070 are still too much for a lot of gamers. $500 is enough for a complete Xbox Series X, while $300 will get you an Xbox Series S that's far less capable. In fact, the RTX 2060 should beat the Xbox Series X in overall performance (6 TFLOPS vs. 4 TFLOPS).

The 2060 is still great for 1080p gaming, averaging 90 fps in our test suite at ultra settings, though Metro Exodus and Red Dead Redemption 2 both fall short of 60 fps at ultra settings. It's also good to put things in perspective. The RTX 2060 at $300 is nearly 70% faster than the GTX 1060 6GB, and basically twice as fast as the GTX 970. If you're in the market for a new graphics card today and you don't want to wait around to see what Ampere and Navi 2x have to offer soon, this is a great 1080p gaming solution — and it will even handle ray tracing okay, if you enable DLSS.

The big question: When will we get RTX 3060? Rumors suggest that could happen before the end of the year, though launching a card and launching it with sufficient quantity clearly aren't the same thing.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Review 

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super (Image credit: Nvidia)

9. GTX 1660 Super

Best Mainstream Esports/1080p High Graphics Card

GPU: Turing (TU116) | GPU Cores: 1408 | Boost Clock: 1,785 MHz | Video RAM: 6GB GDDR6 14 Gbps | TDP: 125 watts

Nearly as fast as the GTX 1660 Ti, for less money
GDDR6 gives it a healthy performance boost over the vanilla 1660
Turing is very power efficient, even at 12nm
Lots of more expensive models
No hardware ray tracing support

Dipping down closer to $200, we're given the choice between the GeForce GTX 1660 Super for $230, the vanilla GeForce GTX 1660 for around $200, or the RX 5500 XT 8GB starting at around $200. They're all viable candidates, but we've done the testing (see below) and the GTX 1660 Super is 15% faster than the regular 1660, and nearly 20% faster than the RX 5500 XT 8GB. We've looked at the  GTX 1660 vs. RX 5500 XT and declared the Nvidia card the winner, but we also think the GTX 1660 Super is better than the GTX 1660 for just $20-$30 more.

Despite Nvidia's Turing GPUs still using TSMC 12nm FinFET, actual power use is basically identical to AMD's Navi 14 chips made using TSMC 7nm FinFET. The fact that Nvidia is faster and draws the same power while using the older manufacturing node says a lot. For $230, the GTX 1660 Super basically gets you the same level of performance as the older GTX 1070 in a more efficient design, and it's 1% slower than the GTX 1660 Ti (which is basically no longer worth considering). It also comes with the enhanced Turing NVENC that makes it a great choice for streaming video.

The main drawback to the GTX 1660 Super is that the RX 5600 XT isn't that much more expensive, especially considering the performance increase. Plus, we may see Ampere and Navi 2x cards push down into the $250 range in the not-so-distant future. It you can't spend more than $230, fine, but just a bit more cash or a bit of waiting will give a decent boost in performance and features.

Read: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review

Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 Super (Image credit: Future)

10. GTX 1650 Super

Best Budget Gaming Card That's Not Ancient Tech

GPU: TU116 | GPU Cores: 1280 | Boost Clock: 1,725 MHz | Video RAM: 4GB GDDR6 12 Gbps | TDP: 100 watts

Runs every game at decent fps
High efficiency architecture
Latest NVENC is great for video
More expensive than RX 570 4GB
4GB VRAM is limiting

Finally, we get to a card where we're not super worried about Ampere or Navi 2x changing the market in the near future. The budget realm of GPUs often ends up going to older hardware, like AMD's RX 570 4GB that's been kicking around at $120-$140 for nearly two years. Nvidia's GTX 1650 Super finally displaces it, with about 30% higher performance while using substantially less power. Plus, it includes Nvidia's latest Turing NVENC hardware to help with video encoding and decoding. You don't actually need a ton of CPU power to livestream your gameplay, as the 1650 Super is more than capable of doing the dirty work all on its own.

Even if price is your driving concern, saving $40 to end up with an older and less efficient architecture doesn't really make sense. Polaris first launched in 2016, and while the 1650 Super won't necessarily pay for itself in power savings (it would take a couple of years to break even on power cost at eight hours per day of gaming), more performance, better efficiency, and better video support make this an easy recommendation.

If you want to stick with AMD hardware, the RX 5500 XT 4GB offers nearly identical performance, though it still uses up to 25% more power, and we'd suggest the 8GB model that costs $20-$40 more … which then leads back to the 1660 Super above. You can also look at the vanilla GTX 1650 (or the GTX 1650 GDDR6) to save $10-$20, but the TU117 GPU in those cards uses the less capable Volta/Pascal NVENC hardware.

If you just need any old GPU, there are less costly options like the GT 1030 and RX 550, but those have even less performance. They're not really good for anything beyond very light gaming, though the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti are the fastest GPUs right now where you don't need a 6-pin PCIe power connector.

Read: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super

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 CL16 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.

Where possible, we use 'reference' cards for all of these tests, like Nvidia's Founders Edition models. Most mid-range and lower GPUs do not have reference models, however, and in some cases we only have factory overclocked cards for testing. One specific card deserves a call-out: the RX 580 8GB card we tested is a heavily overclocked Sapphire Nitro+ Limited Edition, which is why it sometimes even manages to beat the RX 590. It's the only 580 currently in our GPU labs, however, so we rolled with it. (A 'normal' RX 580 would be about 10% slower.)

Our current test suite of games consists of nine titles. The data in the following charts is from testing conducted in June 2020. Note that a few games (Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Division 2) may not run on all GPUs, and we have interpolated data for the overall score to keep the charts consistent. You need at least a 4GB card for 1080p ultra in RDR2, and 6GB or more for 4K ultra. (Omitting the results for RDR2 skews the average performance chart slightly, which is why we interpolated results.)

The following charts contain 42 of the most common GPUs of the past six years, give or take. We have included everything from the RTX 3090 and Titan RTX down to the 'ancient' GTX 970 and R9 390, and nearly everything in between. The charts are color coded with AMD in red/grey and Nvidia in blue/black to make it easier to see what's going on.

1080p Medium

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1440p Ultra

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4K Medium

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Best Graphics Cards 4K medium charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K medium charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K medium charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K medium charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K medium charts

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4K Ultra

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Best Graphics Cards 4K ultra charts

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Besides performance, we also test graphics card power consumption. We recently retested all current GPUs using Powenetics equipment and software, and found that Nvidia generally maintains an efficiency lead. Here are the main power charts from our testing:

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Best Graphics Cards Power Consumption Charts

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Best Graphics Cards Power Consumption Charts

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All GPUs Ranked

Our full GPU benchmarks hierarchy ranks all current in previous generation GPUs by performance, using aggregate data from the gaming test suite. Below is the abbreviated hierarchy with all the cards you can still buy (plus a few extras) ranked in order of performance, from best to worst. The score represents aggregate performance, scaled relative to the RTX 3090.

ScoreGPUBase/BoostMemoryPowerBuy
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090100.0%GA1021440/1695 MHz24GB GDDR6X350W
Nvidia GeForce RTX 308093.0%GA1021500/1710 MHz10GB GDDR6X320W
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti77.5%TU1021350/1635 MHz11GB GDDR6260WNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super66.9%TU1041650/1815 MHz8GB GDDR6250WGeForce RTX 2080 Super
Nvidia GeForce RTX 208062.6%TU1041515/1800 MHz8GB GDDR6225WGeForce RTX 2080
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super59.7%TU1041605/1770 MHz8GB GDDR6215WGeForce RTX 2070 Super
AMD Radeon VII58.9%Vega 201400/1750 MHz16GB HBM2300WRadeon VII
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti57.8%GP1021480/1582 MHz11GB GDDR5X250WNvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT56.7%Navi 101605/1905 MHz8GB GDDR6225WAMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
Nvidia GeForce RTX 207053.1%TU1061410/1710 MHz8GB GDDR6185WRTX 2070
AMD Radeon RX 570051.4%Navi 101465/1725 MHz8GB GDDR6185WAMD Radeon RX 5700
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super50.6%TU1061470/1650 MHz8GB GDDR6175WGeForce RTX 2060 Super
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6448.5%Vega 101274/1546 MHz8GB HBM2295WGigabyte Radeon RX Vega 64
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT46.6%Navi 10?/1615 MHz6GB GDDR6150WRadeon RX 5600 XT
Nvidia GeForce GTX 108045.3%GP1041607/1733 MHz8GB GDDR5X180WNvidia GeForce GTX 1080
Nvidia GeForce RTX 206044.9%TU1061365/1680 MHz6GB GDDR6160WNvidia GeForce RTX 2060 FE
AMD Radeon RX Vega 5642.8%Vega 101156/1471 MHz8GB HBM2210WRadeon RX Vega 56
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti41.9%GP1041607/1683 MHz8GB GDDR5180WGeForce GTX 1070 Ti
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti38.0%TU1161365/1680 MHz6GB GDDR6120WGeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super37.9%TU1161530/1785 MHz6GB GDDR6125WGeForce GTX 1660 Super
Nvidia GeForce GTX 107036.8%GP1041506/1683 MHz8GB GDDR5150WMSI GTX 1070
Nvidia GeForce GTX 166032.9%TU1161530/1785 MHz6GB GDDR5120WGeforce GTX 1660
AMD Radeon RX 59032.4%Polaris 301469/1545 MHz8GB GDDR5225WRadeon RX 590
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB31.9%Navi 14?/1717 MHz8GB GDDR6130WAMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB30.9%Polaris 201257/1340 MHz8GB GDDR5185WAMD Radeon RX 580
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super28.5%TU1161530/1725 MHz4GB GDDR6100WNvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB28.4%Navi 14?/1717 MHz4GB GDDR6130WAMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB26.5%GP1061506/1708 MHz6GB GDDR5120WNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB25.3%Polaris 201168/1244 MHz4GB GDDR5150WRadeon RX 570
Nvidia GTX 1650 GDDR623.9%TU1171410/1590 MHz4GB GDDR675WGeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB22.3%GP1061506/1708 MHz3GB GDDR5120WNvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 165020.9%TU1171485/1665 MHz4GB GDDR575WGeForce GTX 1650 Gaming OC 4G
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti16.1%GP1071290/1392 MHz4GB GDDR575WNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB12.6%Polaris 211175/1275 MHz4GB GDDR580WPowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 560
Nvidia GeForce GTX 105012.2%GP1071354/1455 MHz2GB GDDR575WGigabyte GeForce GTX 1050

Want to comment on our best graphics picks for gaming? Let us know what you think in the Tom's Hardware Forums.

MORE: HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which Is Better For Gaming?

  • abryant
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3750429/graphics-cards-money.html
    Reply
  • markbanang
    Please don't give up on the GPU Performance Hierarchy Table. I see it's now been renamed "Legacy GPU Hierarchy", so I hope that doesn't mean you intend to stop updating it.

    For many years this table has been the single best resource for quickly comparing graphics cards. Detailed reviews are great for comparing cards within a category, but for quickly dismissing a card or prompting further research, there is nothing else on the web which compares to it. It would be a real shame for it to fall into neglect.
    Reply
  • somidiot
    Dang, what happened to the around $100 and under market? Does it all suck right now? Or have GPU's tied into the CPU advanced that much?
    Reply
  • dshumilak
    1070 Simple. Runs Well,, Can Hold A Very Large PUSH.
    Reply
  • dshumilak
    Oh and Remember don't run it on a xxxx CPU.

    <MODERATOR EDIT>

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    Reply
  • spdragoo
    21334418 said:
    Please don't give up on the GPU Performance Hierarchy Table. I see it's now been renamed "Legacy GPU Hierarchy", so I hope that doesn't mean you intend to stop updating it.

    For many years this table has been the single best resource for quickly comparing graphics cards. Detailed reviews are great for comparing cards within a category, but for quickly dismissing a card or prompting further research, there is nothing else on the web which compares to it. It would be a real shame for it to fall into neglect.

    I think they're going to keep it...although I do wish they'd kept a 3rd column for Intel's integrated graphics (as well as the Vega-equipped Ryzen/Athlon chips).
    Reply
  • SR TEE
    If you want to do 4K gaming I'd hold off on the GTX 2080TI until AMD releases their RX 680 to see what it can do or save yourself some money and get the GTX 1080TI for $450 to $550 cheaper. $1200 is a total ouch for most people I personally know, but if you want the best at the moment and newest Ray Tracing tech(which there's no 100% guaranty it will catch on) and have the money to burn be my guest.

    Just my opinion and please feel free to disagree.

    Happy gaming all.
    Reply
  • imhassanpiracha
    ZOTAC 1070ti AMP Xtreme should make this list. It is going for around USD $420. Can be overclocked above 2000 MHZ easily. it is one of the most silent cards I have seen with lowest temps at full stress. IMO
    Reply
  • apk24
    21334887 said:
    Dang, what happened to the around $100 and under market? Does it all suck right now? Or have GPU's tied into the CPU advanced that much?

    The under $100 market has always sucked. If you're looking in that price range, look at buying a generation older cards used. A GTX 960 4GB performs in the neighborhood of a 1050/1050 Ti and can be had for around a 100 if you hunt around craigslist or ebay.
    Reply
  • suau
    1) The GTX 1050 3GB didn't earn a spot on this list.
    The RX 580 4GB consistenly beats the GTX1050 by a landslide (~20-50% FPS), costs 10$ less AND it comes with the newest Assassins Creed: Odyssey for free (50-60$ value and two other games).
    (PowerColor RED DRAGON Radeon RX 570 is 159.99$ Newegg link below)

    2) The RX 580 8GB is available for 50$ less than displayed here on the same retailer AND it comes with the newest Assassins Creed: Odyssey for free (and two other games).
    (PowerColor RED DEVIL Radeon RX 580 is 229.99$ Newegg link below)

    P.S. No I don't work for PowerColor, I picked the cheapest card with the free game bundles.

    3) Recommending any Nvidia card for the midrange is just plain wrong simply because of G-sync. The best improvement for any gaming machine is adding FreeSync or G-sync to eliminate tearing or avoiding V-sync, which most probably will drop your framerate to 30fps or even 15fps in newer games on those weaker cards.
    24in-1080p-144Hz-FreeSync monitors are available for less than 200$.
    24in-1080p-144Hz-G-sync monitors start around 350$.
    That's a 150$ difference that has to be considered.

    4) Even the not so midrange GTX 1070 isn't a clear winner, as the Vega 56 is in the same price range and has about the same performance, offers a free game bundle (60$+ value) and still has the FreeSync (150$) advantage. No one in their right mind will drop ~400$ on a graphics card and then play without FreeSync/G-sync.
    My take on this tier:
    Buy AMD Vega 56 if:
    - you want to get "Assassins Creed: Odyssey" anyways.
    - you already own a FreeSync monitor or will upgrade your monitor in the foreseeable future.
    - you don't have a monitor yet.
    - you do have a FreeSync TV or plan to buy one and enjoy playing controller/couch-games like Assassins Creed, retro emulators, Street Fighter, GTA, Batman, Dirt etc.
    Buy Nvidia GTX 1070 if:
    - you are upgrading your PC and your Power supply has less than 650W
    - you already own a G-sync monitor

    @chris_angelini
    Not sure if this was just lazy research or biased advice.

    Links:

    PowerColor RED DRAGON Radeon RX 570
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131717&cm_re=rx_570-_-14-131-717-_-Product

    PowerColor RED DEVIL Radeon RX 580
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131713&cm_re=RX_580-_-14-131-713-_-Product

    GTX 1050 3GB vs RX570 4GB:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7snPy5O48m0
    Reply