Your computer's graphics card (GPU) is the most important component when it comes to determining gaming performance. To help you choose the right graphics card for your rig, we thoroughly test and review all the major cards, ranking each platform in our GPU hierarchy and publish our list of specific make and model recommendations on this page.
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 top-of-the-line to game at 1080p.
- PSU: Make sure that your power supply has enough juice and the right 6 or 8-pin connector. For example, AMD recommends a 750-watt PSU for the Radeon VII.
- Video Memory: We recommend at least a 4GB card for 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 (QHD resolution) play at the highest quality settings and at least 8GB of memory for 3840 x 2160 (4K resolution).
- FreeSync or G-Sync? If your monitor supports AMD's FreeSync anti-tearing tech, you need a Radeon card. G-Sync-capable displays require Nvidia GeForce cards to do their magic, although Nvidia is now certifying some previously FreeSync-only monitors to work with variable refresh using Nvidia graphics cards.
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Best Overall (When Price is No Object)
GPU: Turing (TU102) | Core Clock: 1,350 MHz | Video RAM: 11GB GDDR5X | TDP: 260 watts
Rating: 4.5 / 5
- Smooth performance at 4K, High Settings
- Packed with future-looking tech
- Great thermal solution supports boost clocks
- Price is out of reach for most users
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the first card we’ve tested able to deliver smooth frame rates at 4K with detail settings maxed out, something the previous-generation GeForce GTX 1080 Ti couldn’t quite manage. The GTX 2080’s halo features aren’t used in many games yet, but as those come online, the Turing architecture is expected to shine even brighter.
Nvidia also did a good job improving the cooler on its Founders Edition version of the card, leading to high sustained clock speeds. That said, the $1,200 (£1,100/$1,900 AU)-plus price means this card is out of reach for the vast majority of gamers. Only those who are truly after a no-compromise 4K gaming experience should consider this card. Both the GTX 1080 Ti, and the one-step-down RTX 2080 are capable of smooth UHD gaming, providing you’re willing to switch off a few settings.
Note that we've also tested Nvidia's RTX Titan. It's a more powerful card based around the same silicon as the RTX 2080 Ti, with more memory. But it's not significantly faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, not aimed specifically at gamers, and it's priced at $2,500 (£2,400). The Titan runs games very well, but we don't recommend buying it strictly for gaming purposes.
Read Review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
2. Nvidia RTX 2070
Best for VR
GPU: Turing (TU106) | Core Clock: 1,410 MHz | Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 | TDP: 185 watts
Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Faster than GTX 1080
- Quiet under load
- Good cooling
Enthusiasts with VR headsets need to achieve a certain level of performance to avoid jarring artifacts. An Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 is fast enough to keep up with the 90 Hz refresh rates of modern head-mounted displays (HMDs). Moreover, it includes a VirtualLink port for connecting next-generation headsets with a single cable. That’s not really a useful feature today, but it will likely come in handy the next time you consider upgrading your VR headset.
While stock remained high for the previous-generation GeForce GTX 1080, keeping prices low, it was easy to recommend that card over newer RTX options. But now that’s no longer the case, and pricing for the RTX 2070 has occasionally slipped below the starting MSRP of $499 (£450, $800 AUD). With more than enough pixel punch to handle smooth VR and prices generally below that of the older GTX 1080, the GeForce RTX 2070 is our new pick for VR. Those who want more performance future-proofing may also consider the GeForce RTX 2080, but with pricing for that card starting around $700 (£642, $1,120 AUD), the 2070 is easily a better value for a couple hundred dollars less.
Read Review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
Best for 2K Gaming
GPU: Turing (TU106) | Core Clock: 1,365 MHz | Video RAM: 6GB GDDR6 | TDP: 160 watts
Rating: 4.5 / 5
- Better performance than GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
- Only requires one 8-pin auxiliary power connector
- Playable performance in Battlefield V with DXR enabled
While we wouldn’t say the same for other Turing cards, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 gives us very little to gripe about. It’s an excellent card for gaming at 2560 x 1440. A price tag of $350 (£330, $600 AU) puts GeForce RTX 2060 in the same territory as GeForce GTX 1070. It’s less expensive than AMD’s Vega 56 and Nvidia’s 1070 Ti. Yet, it beats both cards more often than not. The geometric mean of RTX 2060’s average frame rate across our benchmark suite at 2560x1440 is 77.9 FPS.
The other interesting take-away from the launch is that Nvidia’s hybrid rasterization/ray tracing approach is still viable down at the 2060’s price point. As far back as our first deep-dive into the Turing architecture, we wondered how useful 36 RT cores would be on TU106 compared to TU102’s 68 RT cores. Now, we have a derivative GPU with just 30 RT cores, and it’s capable of over 60 FPS at 1920x1080 with all options, including DXR Reflection Quality, set to Ultra in Battlefield V.
Read Review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
4. AMD Radeon RX 580
Best for 1080p Gaming
GPU: Polaris 10 (GCN 4.0) | Core Clock: 1,411 MHz | Video RAM: 4GB / 8GB GDDR5 | TDP: 185 watts
- Smooth frame rates at 1920 x 1080
- Low power consumption with multiple monitors
- Available in both 4GB and 8GB capacities
AMD’s Radeon RX 580 is based on the same Polaris 10 GPU as the Radeon RX 480 that preceded it. AMD simply dialed in higher clock rates to improve performance. While we’re always appreciative of higher frame rates, this also had the side-effect of increasing power consumption. Still, Radeon RX 580 generally outperforms the similarly-priced GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, particularly in DirectX 12 games, earning it a spot on our list.
The newer AMD Radeon RX 590 that debuted in late 2018 is yet another refresh of the same Polaris GPU, which bumps up performance compared to the competing Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. But better performance comes at the cost of higher power consumption, necessitating larger coolers that sometimes chew up three expansion slots on your motherboard. Factor in a $279 (£240, $480 AU) MSRP and AMD’s newer card becomes tough to recommend when so many similar-performing RX 580s are still available for significantly less money.
Read Review: AMD Radeon RX 580
5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (3GB)
Best Budget GPU
GPU: Pascal (GP107) | Core Clock: 1,392 MHz | Video RAM: 3GB GDDR5 | TDP: 75 watts Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Smooth 1080p fps at reduced settings
- Generally faster than the 2GB version
- No need for an auxiliary power cable
- Can't do VR
Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 3GB is mostly an upgrade over the older 2GB GTX 1050 version, offering reasonable performance at 1920 x 1080, so long as you're willing to dial back quality. In our gaming tests, the card delivered between 45 and 110fps at medium settings. Older 2GB 1050 cards should perform nearly as well, but in most cases in our testing, the 3GB versionperformed slightly better.
The 50 percent increase in physical memory for the 3GB model should come in handy for high-res texture packs and future titles that demand more memory. Most of these cards are also compact enough to fit in Mini-ITX systems and get all the power they require from the PCIe x16 slot. But of course size, power requirements, and other features (like ports) can vary between models. So be sure the card you’re considering meets your needs before buying.
Read Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (3GB)
All GPUs Ranked
We've tested all the current AMD and Nvidia GPUs and ranked them in order of performance, from best to worst.
|Nvidia Titan RTX||100||TU102||1350/1770 MHz||24GB GDDR6||280W|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||98.4||TU102||1350/1635 MHz||11GB GDDR6||260W|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080||96.1||TU104||1515/1800 MHz||8GB GDDR6||225W|
|Nvidia Titan Xp||95.7||GP102||1405/1480 MHz||12GB GDDR5X||250W|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||95.7||GP102||1480/1582 MHz||11GB GDDR5X||250W|
|AMD Radeon VII||92.4||Vega 20||1400/1750 MHz||16GB HBM2||300W|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070||87.2||TU106||1410/1710 MHz||8GB GDDR6||185W|
|AMD Radeon RX Vega 64||84.4||Vega 10||1274/1546 MHz||8GB HBM2||180W|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080||84.3||GP104||1607/1733 MHz||8GB GDDR5X||295W||
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti||78.5||GP104||1607/1683 MHz||8GB GDDR5||180W|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060||77.5||TU106||1365/1680 MHz||6GB GDDR6||160W||:button:|
|AMD Radeon RX Vega 56||76.7||Vega 10||1156/1471 MHz||8GB HBM2||210W|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070||69.9||GP104||1506/1683 MHz||8GB GDDR5||150W|
|AMD Radeon RX 590 8GB||60.7||Polaris 30||1469/1545 MHz||8GB GDDR5||225W|
|AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB||57.9||Polaris 10||1257/1340 MHz||8GB GDDR5||185W|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB||53.2||GP106||1506/1708 MHz||6GB GDDR5||120W|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB||49.4||GP106||1506/1708 MHz||3GB GDDR5||120W|
|AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB||48.3||Polaris 10||1168/1244 MHz||4GB GDDR5||150W|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti||33.1||GP107||1290/1392 MHz||4GB GDDR5||75W|
|AMD Radeon RX 560||28.6||Polaris 11||1175/1275 MHz||4GB GDDR5||80W|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050||28.1||GP107||1354/1455 MHz||2GB GDDR5||75W|
|AMD Radeon RX 550||17.9||Polaris 12||1100/1183 MHz||4GB GDDR5||50W|
|Nvidia GeForce GT 1030||13.0||GP108||1228/1468 MHz||2GB GDDR5||30W|