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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 are the pulsating heart of any gaming PC worth its salt. Of course, 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 purely 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. More recently, our Radeon RX 6800 XT launch article included test results for the five most recent GPU launches, running on Core i9-9900K, Core i9-10900K, and Ryzen 9 5900X. Mostly, the three CPUs are pretty close, though things vary depending on the game and settings (and motherboard firmware and RAM). Here we cut things down to a succinct list of the best graphics cards you can currently buy.

Black Friday Graphics Card Deals

With Black Friday deals season upon us, you can find savings on some GPUs, mostly in the low and mid-range tiers. We're tracking the best sales on our best Black Friday graphics cards deals page and discounts on other components and devices on our best Black Friday tech deals page. Sadly, the continuing GPU shortages on the latest models mean we're not likely to see any discounts on the fastest cards.

For more savings, check our list of best Black Friday deals overall, best Black Friday monitor deals, best Black Friday SSD deals, best Black Friday CPU deals, best Black Friday graphics card deals, best Black Friday laptop deals, best Black Friday gaming PC deals and best Black Friday Raspberry Pi deals.

Choosing the Best Graphics Card for You

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, GeForce RTX 3090, and GeForce RTX 3070, which basically blew up our old picks and reset our expectations. AMD continues the upheaval with its Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 launch, bringing ray tracing support to Team Red for the first time, and also boasting greatly improved performance compared to the previous generation GPUs.

Cards like the RTX 3070 and RX 6800 cost less than half as much as the outgoing RTX 2080 Ti, and generally match or beat it on performance. Meanwhile, the RX 6800 XT and RTX 3080 are 30 to 35% faster than the 2080 Ti, and the 3090 is 10-20% faster than the 3080 — at more than twice the price. 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.

If you're looking for great deals on a new graphics card, unfortunately, we have some bad news. It's still a terrible time to buy a graphics card. Not because the GPUs are bad, but supply isn't even coming close to keeping up with demand, leading to price gouging and out of stock notifications. Even previous gen hardware is often out of stock or overpriced.

Nvidia's CEO suggested limited supplies could continue until 2021. Even after delaying the launch by two weeks to help build up supply, the RTX 3070 still sold out within minutes. AMD's Radeon RX 6800 series fared no better, and was perhaps worse. Third-party cards weren't even stocked at all for many retail outlets, apparently.

Our advice: Don't pay more today for yesterday's hardware. If you want an RTX 30-series or RX 6000-series graphics card, be patient and you'll eventually be able to buy one. We'll likely have additional choices in the coming days as well, like the RTX 3060 Ti. With the arrival of Ampere and Big Navi, basically everyone looking at the $400 price point or above should either try to buy the RTX 3070 or RTX 3080, or AMD's RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT.

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. There's been a massive shakeup at the top of the performance rankings already, so here's our current recommendations (if you can find the various cards in stock).

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 30803 (141.9 fps)9 ($699)
RX 6800 XT2 (142.3 fps)8 ($649)
RTX 30901 (152.5 fps)10 ($1,499)
RTX 30705 (116.6 fps)5 ($499)
RX 68004 (127.3 fps)7 ($579)
RX 5600 XT6 (71.1 fps)1 ($279)
RTX 20607 (68.6 fps)6 ($309)
GTX 1660 Super8 (57.9 fps)3 ($239)
GTX 1650 Super9 (43.5 fps)2 ($179)
RX 5500 XT 4GB10 (43.3 fps)4 ($179)

Note: Prices on most of the graphics cards are seriously messed up right now. We've listed what we would expect to pay, under normal circumstances. You shouldn't pay significantly more than the above prices, and of course many of the top GPUs remain out of stock.

Best Graphics Cards for Gaming 2020 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

1. GeForce 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 severely limited
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. We're seeing a lot more games with DLSS 2.0 these days, helped by the fact that it's basically a toggle and UI update to get it working in Unreal Engine. Nvidia's RT and DLSS performance are also quite a bit faster than AMD's new RX 6800 XT, which is a good thing as Nvidia otherwise can fall behind in traditional rasterization performance.

The biggest problem with RTX 3080 by far is going to be finding one in stock. Nvidia says it expects the shortages to continue until at least January 2021, which makes sense. After seeing the unprecedented demand in September, it's basically a 5-6 month wait to get more wafers going at Samsung and then getting those GPUs into actual cards on shelves.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Review

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

2. Radeon RX 6800 XT

Best AMD GPU, Forget About DLSS

GPU: Navi 21 XT | GPU Cores: 4608 | Boost Clock: 2,250 MHz | Video RAM: 16GB GDDR6 16 Gbps | TDP: 300 watts

New RDNA2 architecture provides excellent performance
Beats 3080 in rasterization games
Easily handles 4K and 1440p
Tons of VRAM for the future
Weaker ray tracing performance
No DLSS alternative right now
Supply might be even worse than Nvidia

AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT is the fastest card for Team Red, at least until the RX 6900 XT launch on December 8. It's also a massive boost in performance and features relative to the previous generation RX 5700 XT. Not only does it add ray tracing support (via DirectX Raytracing or VulkanRT), but it's also 70-90% faster. It's technically even a bit faster than the RTX 3080 in our current test suite.

The GPU was affectionately dubbed 'Big Navi' prior to launch by the enthusiast community, and we got exactly what we wanted. Navi 21 is over twice the size of Navi 10, with twice the shader cores and twice the RAM. Clock speeds are also boosted into the 2.1-2.3 GHz range (depending on the card model), the highest clocks we've ever seen from a reference GPU by about 300 MHz. And AMD did all this without substantially increasing power requirements: The RX 6800 XT has a 300W TDP, slightly lower than the RTX 3080's 320W TDP.

A big part of AMD's performance comes thanks to the massive 128MB Infinity Cache. It improves the effective bandwidth by 119% (according to AMD). We're confident that few if any games in the coming years are going to need more than 16GB, so the 6800 XT is in a great position in that area.

What's not to like? Well, the ray tracing performance is a bit mediocre. Maybe it's because current games are more likely to be optimized for Nvidia's RTX GPUs, but overall the 6800 XT is just barely ahead of the RTX 3070 in ray tracing performance, and there are several games where it falls behind by up to 25%. And that's without turning on DLSS, which even in Quality mode can improve performance of RTX cards by 20-40% (sometimes more). AMD is working on FidelityFX Super Resolution to compete with DLSS, but it's not here yet and it's very much needed.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

3. GeForce 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.

AMD still has the RX 6900 XT coming to challenge the 3090, but based on what we've seen so far, we expect Nvidia to maintain its lead. Especially if you run games with ray tracing and DLSS enabled.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4. GeForce RTX 3070

Best Graphics Card for $500

GPU: Ampere (GA104) | GPU Cores: 5888 | Boost Clock: 1,730 MHz | Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps | TDP: 220 watts

2080 Ti performance at half the cost
All the Ampere enhancements
Most efficient Ampere so far
Totally sold out
Can't do 4K ultra in some games at 60 fps
Radeon RX 6800 maybe?

The third new Nvidia Ampere GPU continues the march of next-gen architectures. It's a sizeable step down from the 3080, however, and has less than half the VRAM of AMD's RX 6800 cards. However, the 3070 also costs less than AMD's new cards and still has generally superior ray tracing performance, plus DLSS. It's too bad all of the 3070 cards also sold out within minutes, but more are on the way (and will likely continue to sell out for quite some time).

The GeForce RTX 3070 still makes all the pre-existing cards above the $400 price point effectively obsolete — not obsolete in the sense of needing to upgrade, but obsolete in that you shouldn't buy anything right now that costs $400 or more unless it's sporting an Ampere or Big Navi GPU. Compared to the next step down on our hierarchy, the 3070 is 35% faster than the RX 5700 XT, for about $100 more (25%) in cost. Performance is just a hair slower than the old RTX 2080 Ti, except it costs less than half as much.

There are a few noteworthy points, however. While 1440p and 4K gaming are totally possible, 4K at maximum quality often drops below 60 fps. DLSS can fix that, if a game supports it, but ray tracing even with DLSS often means 40-50 fps at 4K. We're also a bit concerned with the 8GB of GDDR6. Not only is that less memory on a narrower bus than the 3080, but it's clocked quite a bit lower. We've already encountered a few games where 8GB starts to be a bit limiting at maximum quality, and that's only going to get worse in the future. AMD's choice to put 16GB on its Navi 21 GPUs makes Nvidia's 8GB look even worse. 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.

If you want a fast Nvidia GPU for the lowest price possible, the RTX 3070 is currently that card. RTX 3060 Ti will likely arrive soon, and probably RTX 3060 will show up in the next month or two, reducing performance in lockstep with price. AMD may have lower tier Navi 2x parts in the near future as well. But for now, this is easily the best mainstream $400 GPU on the market.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Review

AMD Radeon RX 6800 reference model (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

5. Radeon RX 6800

Great 1440p Graphics Card, Okay Ray Tracing

GPU: Navi 21 XL | GPU Cores: 3840 | Boost Clock: 2105 MHz | Video RAM: 16GB GDDR6 16 Gbps | TDP: 250 watts

Excellent overall performance
Lots of VRAM and Infinity Cache
Easily beats the 3070 in non-RT
Completely sold out
Middling RT performance
No DLSS alternative yet
Not much cheaper than 6800 XT

Take everything great about the new Navi 21 GPU that powers the 6800 XT (above), then trim it by about 10% and you get the vanilla RX 6800. You still get the full 16GB GDDR6 and 128MB Infinity Cache, but only 96 ROPs and slightly lower clock speeds. It's a reasonable compromise, but we think the 6800 XT is the better option all things considered (unless pricing eventually drops a bit more on the vanilla cards).

The RX 6800 also puts in a good showing against Nvidia's new RTX 3070. In our current 9-game test suite, it's 9% faster overall. Of course it also costs 16% more, but we think having twice as much VRAM a fair trade.

The real concerns are the same as with the 6800 XT: Ray tracing performance looks a bit soft, basically matching Nvidia's previous generation RTX 2080 Super. The lack of a DLSS alternative is even more of a problem. Take the RTX 3070 in DXR performance. Without DLSS, the 3070 is already 12% faster. Turn on DLSS Quality mode and the gap increases to more than 50%! Also, DLSS can be used without ray tracing, and typically looks better than temporal AA.

So, AMD needs to get FidelityFX Super Resolution out the door, and then it needs game developers to actually implement the feature. It's open source, plus AMD RDNA2 GPUs are in all of the next generation consoles, which means Super Res will probably see plenty of uptake… eventually. For now, we'd grab a 6800 more for the rasterization prowess and not worry so much about ray tracing. Not that you can find one in stock.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6800 review

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (Image credit: AMD)

6. RX 5600 XT

Best Previous Gen Graphics Card

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

Destroys GTX 1660 Super
Also faster than RTX 2060
Big improvements over old GCN architecture
No support for ray tracing technology
Avoid the 12 Gbps GDDR6 models
Lacks RDNA2 enhancements

There's a good reason to not buy any previous generation graphics card right now, but the new cards currently stop at $500. What if you don't want to spend that much? That's where the Radeon RX 5600 XT comes into play.

You're giving up some features and performance for sure, but it's one of the few mainstream GPUs that can still be found at relatively reasonable prices. Which isn't to say the prices are great right now. Earlier this year, RX 5600 XT was routinely selling for $250-$270, especially if you were willing to deal with rebates. Right now, the cheapest 5600 we can find is the ASRock Phantom for $300. That's still a much better option than a $363 RTX 2060, we think.

There was a brouhaha revolving around GPU and memory clock speeds at launch, with early cards using 12 Gbps GDDR6 and then requiring a VBIOS update to enable 14 Gbps memory. And we know from experience that some of the cards simply didn't like 14 Gbps. 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.

Of course the RX 5600 XT also lacks features like ray tracing and DLSS. At $300, you're probably not too concerned with ray tracing, but a DLSS-like technology could still be in the works for the RX 5000 cards. Or maybe not. We'll find out more when AMD officially finishes and launches FidelityFX Super Resolution.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Review

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (Image credit: Nvidia)

7. RTX 2060

Least Expensive Ray Tracing and DLSS Solution

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

Plenty fast and has RT and DLSS
Actually in stock today
Beats the GTX 1070 Ti
Ray tracing basically requires DLSS
6GB VRAM can be limiting in some games
RTX 3060 will likely supplant this
Pricing is on the rise

Nvidia's RTX 2060 was a good card when it launched in January 2019, and dropping the price keeps it in the running. Except, all of the prices have gone up in the past few months, to the point where the cheapest cards now cost over $350. So, if you must have a ray tracing capable card and you can't wait for the RTX 3060 Ti or eventual RTX 3060, this is your entry into the world of ray tracing and DLSS.

In a direct head-to-head between 'reference' RTX 2060 and RX 5600 XT models, Nvidia eked out a win, but changing prices have now pushed our recommendation back to AMD. Hence, this card's position one step below the RX 5600 XT.

The RTX 2060 still easily handles 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. It's also good to put things in perspective. The RTX 2060 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 for additional Ampere or Navi 2x parts at similar prices, this is a great 1080p gaming solution.

We do worry about the 6GB VRAM. Two years ago, it was less of a concern. Today, you'll definitely need to step down a notch on texture resolutions to avoid exceeding your GPU memory, which can tank performance. Even 8GB is starting to feel a bit limiting, which isn't too surprising considering we had 8GB GTX 1070 cards four years ago. The bigger question: When will we get RTX 3060? The RTX 3060 Ti is rumored to launch in early December, but while leaked 3060 Ti performance has been popping up everywhere, there's no sign of the vanilla RTX 3060. Which probably means it will arrive in early 2021.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Review 

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super (Image credit: Nvidia)

8. 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

Readily available at decent prices
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
Last gen tech and no DLSS

Dipping down closer to $200, the main choice comes down to the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, the vanilla GeForce GTX 1660, or the RX 5500 XT 8GB. 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. Basically, spend the extra $30 for the performance upgrade is our advice.

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. We used to think the RTX 2060 or RX 5600 XT were even better, though increasing prices on those cards make them less attractive these days. We may see a few deals on the 5600 XT, RTX 2060, or GTX 1660 Super, though, which almost certainly isn't going to happen on the latest and greatest next-gen Ampere and RDNA2 GPUs.

Despite 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. 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 we may see Ampere and Navi 2x cards push down into the $250 range in the not-so-distant future, or at least offer substantially more performance and features for not too much more money. It's a decent card, but just a bit more cash or a bit of waiting should give you quite a bit more bang for the buck.

Read: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review

Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 Super (Image credit: Future)

9. 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
4GB VRAM is limiting
Prices are going up a bit
Still needs a 6-pin power connector

The budget realm of GPUs often ends up going to older hardware, and now that Ampere and RDNA2 have arrived, we're one gen behind the latest and greatest. At least the GTX 1650 Super has now displaced the RX 570 4GB, which was selling for $120-$130 for what seemed like ages. The 1650 Super delivers about 30% higher performance while using substantially less power. It also costs more than the 570, or at least what the 570 used to cost — it seems supplies have finally dried up for the old AMD card. (Pour one out for Polaris.)

Unfortunately, if price is your driving concern, not even the budget GPUs are immune to the current shortages. We used to see pricing of $150-$160 for the 1650 Super, but now it's difficult to find a card for less than $180. We've also seen other GPUs (like the RX 5500 XT 8GB) go up in price, to the point where they now start to encroach on the GTX 1660 Super.

We do appreciate Nvidia including the latest NVENC hardware on the 1650 Super. That means if you want a budget streaming capable PC, this will suffice, especially for lighter fare like CSGO or LoL. It can also help with video conferencing apps, which are becoming increasingly popular in our COVID-pandemic world. Just note that unlike the previous gen GTX 1050 cards, you'll need a 6-pin power connector on the 1650 Super.

Read: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super review

The RX 5500 XT 4GB still has sub-$200 pricing at least

(Image credit: ASRock)

9. RX 5500 XT 8GB

Best AMD Budget Graphics Card

GPU: Navi 14 | GPU Cores: 1408 | Boost Clock: 1717 MHz | Video RAM: 4GB GDDR6 14 Gbps | TDP: 130 watts

Basically matches the GTX 1650 Super
Costs less than $200
Works in most PCs
x8 PCIe link width
No advanced features
Increasing prices

Staying in 'true budget' territory, which basically means less than $200 these days, AMD's Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB basically matches Nvidia's GTX 1650 Super. We would have preferred to go with the 8GB card, but those now cost over $200, which puts them into GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Super territory. AMD's 4GB card ends up with the same compromises as Nvidia's 4GB card.

Budget cards don't really need 8GB, though, as they're better suited to running 1080p and medium to high settings rather than maxing out settings. They're great for eSports games and lighter fare.

Compared to previous generation GPUs, the RX 5500 XT is a bit faster than the RX 570 4GB, and also faster than the old R9 390. It uses substantially less power than either of those GPUs as well. If you have a PC that can't handle the power or heat requirements for faster GPUs, and you at least have a single 6-pin PEG power connector, the RX 5500 XT might be just what you're after. It's also one of the 'best' GPUs right now in terms of fps per dollar spent.

The good news is that the budget market isn't likely to see radical changes in the near future. RX 5500 XT is less than a year old, and the new architectures aren't likely to breach the $200 price point for a while. The bad news: Current prices are about $20 higher than they were a couple of months back.

If you just need any old GPU, there are less costly options like the GT 1030 and RX 550, but those have very weak performance. They're not really good for anything beyond very light gaming.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Review

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. We do our best to select cards that are close to the reference specs in such cases.

Our current test suite of games consists of nine titles. The data in the following charts is from testing conducted during the past several months. 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 32 of the most common GPUs of the past three or four years. We have included everything from the RTX 3090 down to the GTX 1650, and RX 6800 down through RX 5500 XT, and nearly everything in between. We've had to trim most of the GTX 10-series and RX 500 series, just because our charts were getting too long to be legible, and we've also cut earlier GPUs and the Titan cards from the charts. (We have all the test data, though, which is how the scores and sorting are generated for the above table.) 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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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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1080p Ultra

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1440p Medium

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

1440p Ultra

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4K Medium

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4K Ultra

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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Best Graphics Card performance charts November 2020 RX 6800 series update

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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 testing, November 2020 RX 6800 Series update

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Best Graphics Cards power testing, November 2020 RX 6800 Series update

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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%GA1021400/1695 MHz24GB GDDR6X350W
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT93.3%Navi 212015/2250 MHz16GB GDDR6300W
Nvidia GeForce RTX 308093.0%GA1021440/1710 MHz10GB GDDR6X320W
AMD Radeon RX 680083.4%Navi 211815/2105 MHz16GB GDDR6250W
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti77.5%TU1021350/1635 MHz11GB GDDR6260WNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 307076.4%GA1041500/1730 MHz8GB GDDR6220W
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

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