Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2018

At least least until the launch of Nvidia’s RTX 2070 in October, the best balance between performance, pricing, and power comes from Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070. Of course, if price is no object and you own a 4K monitor, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is our top pick. At the other end of the spectrum, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 3GB takes the place of AMD’s Radeon RX 560 for solid budget-oriented performance at 1080p in your favorite games. Although it costs $10 more, the GeForce is significantly faster. See below for our full list of graphics card recommendations.

Best GPUs For Gaming

News and Product Updates

This week we finally got to take a look at the performance of Nvidia’s most-affordable RTX card, the GeForce RTX 2070. And while it consistently outperforms a GTX 1080, the Founders Edition model sells for $600, making it tough to recommend, especially since we still don’t know the oh-so-important details about how it—and the other RTX cards—perform in games that take advantage of the company’s ray tracing and AI features. In other words, we’re still waiting on too many of Nvidia’s Turing promises.

Why Trust Us

Tom's Hardware has been reviewing PC components for more than two decades. We put each graphics card through a bevy of benchmarks that quantify everything from performance in real-world games to power consumption, noise, and operating temperatures. We've tested every major model, along with third-party configurations based on the same GPUs.

Quick Shopping Tips

When choosing a graphics card, consider the following:

  • First, identify your monitor’s native resolution. That’s a good target to aim for when you go graphics card shopping. We call out optimal resolutions with each of our recommendations.
  • Ensure the rest of your platform is up to snuff. If you upgrade to a Radeon RX Vega 64, for instance, AMD suggests owning at least a 750W power supply. Double-check to be sure your PSU has the six- or eight-pin connectors to support your card of choice.
  • On-board memory matters, kind of. In general, we recommend at least a 4GB card for 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440 at the highest quality settings, and 8GB of memory for gaming at 4K.
  • If your monitor supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh technology, you need a Radeon card to enable it. Similarly, G-Sync-capable displays must be paired with a GeForce card for the feature to work.

MORE: AMD Radeon RX 480 Roundup

MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Roundup

MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Roundup

MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Roundup

Best Budget Pick

Best For FHD

Best For QHD

Best For VR

Best For 4K

For even more information, check out our Graphics Card Buyer's Guide.

MORE: GPU Performance Hierarchy

MORE: All Graphics Content

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  • 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.
  • 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?
  • dshumilak
    1070 Simple. Runs Well,, Can Hold A Very Large PUSH.
  • dshumilak
    Oh and Remember don't run it on a shit CPU.
  • spdragoo
    Anonymous 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).
  • 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.
  • 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
  • apk24
    Anonymous 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.