Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2018

At 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

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

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?