The best graphics cards are the beating heart of any gaming PC, and everything else comes second. Without a powerful GPU pushing pixels, even the fastest CPU won't manage much. While no one graphics card will be right for everyone, we'll provide options for every budget and mindset below. Whether you're after the fastest graphics card, the best value, or the best card at a given price, we've got you covered.
Where our GPU benchmarks hierarchy ranks all of the cards based purely on performance, our list of the best graphics cards looks at the whole package. Current GPU pricing, performance, features, efficiency, and availability are all important, though the weighting becomes more subjective. Factoring in all of those aspects, these are the best graphics cards that are currently available.
We've tested the RX 7800 XT, RX 7700 XT, and RTX 4060 Ti 16GB. Of these, only the 7800 XT has made our list of the best graphics cards, replacing the previous generation 6800 XT. Most of this generation of new GPUs has been disappointing, with only a few exceptions.
Our list now includes AMD's RX 7800 XT, which effectively replaces in price and performance the previous generation RX 6800 XT, plus a few extras. All current generation GPUs are now selling at or below their respective MSRPs, but generational pricing has trended upward in many cases.
AMD and Nvidia have now wrapped up their latest generation GPU lineups, unless there are still plans for an RTX 4050 at the bottom of the stack. It's not clear what such a chip might entail at this point, possibly 8GB of memory on a 128-bit interface (again), or could Nvidia try foisting a 96-bit 6GB card on the market? Hopefully the former rather than the latter.
Intel's Arc Alchemist GPUs meanwhile still rate more as previous generation hardware, as they're manufactured on TSMC N6 and compete more directly against the RTX 3060 and RX 6700 10GB instead of newer parts. However, Arc A750 priced at $199 remains a very competitive option, if you don't mind the occasional driver snafus and higher power use.
|Graphics Card||1080p FPS||1440p FPS||4K FPS||Price (MSRP)||Power|
|GeForce RTX 4090||179.7||133.2||84.8||$1,599 ($1,600)||311W|
|GeForce RTX 4080||159.3||108.3||62.7||$1,100 ($1,200)||245W|
|Radeon RX 7900 XTX||144.4||96.6||56.3||$940 ($1,000)||338W|
|Radeon RX 7900 XT||134.1||86.2||47.8||$750 ($900)||301W|
|GeForce RTX 4070||125.5||73.7||39.5||$590 ($600)||184W|
|Radeon RX 7800 XT||115.3||69.7||37.7||$500 ($500)||245W|
|GeForce RTX 4060 Ti||100.4||55.5||27.4||$374 ($400)||142W|
|Radeon RX 6700 XT||80.4||44.3||22.8||$330 ($480)||210W|
|GeForce RTX 4060||82.6||44.3||22.0||$280 ($300)||127W|
|Radeon RX 7600||68.6||34.3||—||$258 ($270)||153W|
|Intel Arc A750||66.6||36.8||—||$220 ($250)||193W|
|Intel Arc A380||25.0||—||—||$120 ($140)||71W|
Note: We're showing current online prices alongside the official launch MSRPs in the above table, with the GPUs sorted by performance. Retail prices can fluctuate quite a bit over the course of a month; the table lists the best we could find at the time of writing.
Our list now consists mostly of current generation cards, with only a single previous generation part still hanging around (RX 6750 XT) — unless you want to classify Arc as previous gen. Those older parts are near the bottom of the performance list, though they can still offer an incredible value if you're not after maximum performance or efficiency.
The performance ranking (above) incorporates 15 games from our updated test suite, with both rasterization and ray tracing performance included. While we previously had DXR (DirectX Raytracing) as a separate column, we feel there are enough RT-enabled games now to aggregate the scores. Note that we are not including upscaling results in the table, which would generally skew things more in favor of Nvidia GPUs, depending on the selection of games, but the DXR games at least partially account for that.
The above table is sorted by performance, which is why the RTX 4090 sits at the top, and why the RTX 4070 edges past the 7800 XT. Our subjective rankings below factor in price, power, and features colored by our own opinions. Others may offer a slightly different take, but all of the cards on this list are worthy of your consideration.
Best Graphics Cards for Gaming 2023
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For some, the best graphics card is the fastest card, pricing be damned. Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 caters to precisely this category of user. It was also the debut of Nvidia's Ada Lovelace architecture, and will represent the most potent card Nvidia has to offer, possibly until 2025 when the next generation GPUs are slated to arrive.
The RTX 4090 offers a larger gap between itself and the next closest Nvidia GPU. Across our suite of gaming benchmarks, it's 35% faster overall than the RTX 4080. It's also 51% faster than AMD's top performing RX 7900 XTX — though it also costs about 60% more.
Let's be clear about something: You really need a high refresh rate 4K monitor to get the most out of the RTX 4090. At 1440p its advantage over a 4080 shrinks to 23%, and it's only 13% at 1080p — and that includes some demanding DXR games. The lead over the RX 7900 XTX also falls to only 24% at 1080p. Not only do you need a high resolution, high refresh rate monitor, but you'll also want the fastest CPU possible to get the most out of the 4090.
It's not just gaming performance, either. In professional content creation workloads like Blender, Octane, and V-Ray, the RTX 4090 is up to 45% faster than the RTX 4080. And with Blender, it's over three times faster than the RX 7900 XTX. Don't even get us started on artificial intelligence tasks. In Stable Diffusion testing, the RTX 4090 is around four times faster than the 7900 XTX for 512x512 images, and nearly seven times faster for 768x768 images.
There are numerous other AI workloads that currently only run on Nvidia GPUs. In short, Nvidia knows a thing or two about content creation applications. The only potential problem is that it uses drivers to lock improved performance in some apps (like some of those in SPECviewperf) to its true professional cards, i.e. the RTX 6000 48GB.
AMD's RDNA 3 response to Ada Lovelace might be a better value, at least if you're only looking at rasterization games, but for raw performance the RTX 4090 reigns as the current champion. Just keep in mind that you may also need a CPU and power supply upgrade to get the most out of the 4090. At least we're routinely able to find RTX 4090 cards selling for close to the $1,600 launch MSRP these days.
Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Review
The Red Team King is dead; long live the Red Team King! AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XTX rates as the fastest graphics card from AMD, and lands near the top of the charts — with a generational price bump to match. Officially priced at $999, the least expensive models now start at around $950, and supply has now caught up to demand. There's good reason for the demand, as the 7900 XTX comes packing AMD's latest RDNA 3 architecture.
That gives the 7900 XTX a lot more potential compute, and you get 33% more memory and bandwidth as well. Compared to the RX 6950 XT, on average the new GPU is 40% faster at 4K, though that shrinks to 30% at 1440p and just 24% at 1080p. It also delivers that performance boost without dramatically increasing power use or graphics card size.
AMD remains a potent solution for anyone that doesn't care as much about ray tracing — and when you see the massive hit to performance for often relatively mild gains in image fidelity, we can understand why many feel that way. Still, the number of games with RT support continues to grow, and most of those also support Nvidia's DLSS technology, something AMD hasn't fully countered even if FSR2 can at times come close. If you want the best DXR/RT experience right now, Nvidia still wins hands down.
AMD's GPUs can also be used for professional and content creation tasks, but here things get a bit hit and miss. Certain apps in the SPECviewperf suite run great on AMD hardware, others come up short. However, if you want to do AI or deep learning research, there's no question Nvidia's cards are a far better pick. For this generation, the RX 7900 XTX is AMD's fastest option, and it definitely packs a punch. If you're willing to step down to the 7900 XT, that's also worth considering (see below), as it tends to be priced better now.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX review
The Radeon RX 7600 and its Navi 33 GPU have replaced the previous generation Navi 23 parts, mostly as a sideways move with a few extra features. Performance ends up just slightly faster than the RX 6650 XT, while using about 20W less power, for about $20 extra. The extras include superior AI performance (if that matters), AV1 encoding and decoding hardware, and DisplayPort 2.1 UHBR13.5 outputs.
Prices have dropped about $20 since the RX 7600 first appeared, though the previous generation RX 6600-class GPUs have generally kept pace. Specs are similar as well, with the same 8GB GDDR6 and a 128-bit memory interface. Both the 6650 XT and RX 7600 also use 18 Gbps memory, so bandwidth likewise remains the same.
Across our test suite of 15 games, the RX 7600 outperformed the RX 6650 XT by 4% overall at 1080p, and just 1% at 1440p ultra. There really is almost no discernable difference, though there are a few outliers — Metro Exodus Enhanced performance was quite a bit better on the 7600, while Forza Horizon 5 performance was worse. (Newer drivers may have changed those results, however.)
Price-wise, there's not really a direct Nvidia competitor. The RTX 4060 costs $40–$50 more, while the RTX 3050 now costs about $20 less but is on the way out. AMD gets an easy win over the anemic 3050, delivering 40% more performance, but we never really liked that card. The RTX 4060 meanwhile offers roughly 25% more performance for 16% more money.
Buy the RX 7600 if you're mostly looking for acceptable performance and efficiency at the lowest price possible, and you don't want to deal with Intel's drivers and don't care about ray tracing. Otherwise, give the Arc A750 and RTX 4060 a thought. The RX 6600 also warrants a look, depending on how low you want to go on pricing — that card often sells for less than $200 now, though performance ends up being quite a bit lower than the RX 7600 (22% slower across our test suite).
Read: AMD Radeon RX 7600 Review
Nvidia's RTX 4070 didn't blow us away with extreme performance or value... but it's generally equal to the previous generation RTX 3080, comes with the latest Ada Lovelace architecture and features, and costs $100 less (though note that the RTX 3070 and above are effectively discontinued now). Also, the RTX 4070 costs $200 less than the next step up, the RTX 4070 Ti: 85% of the performance for 75% of the price.
Nvidia's not going to win any awards for offering a great value, as it charges the absolute maximum it feels it can get away with. At the same time, it looks better than a lot of other possibilities. In our overall performance rankings, it's basically tied with AMD's new RX 7800 XT — slightly slower in rasterization, faster in ray tracing, plus it has DLSS support — but the real advantage is in power requirements. With a 200W TGP, it uses about 60W less power than the reference RX 7800 XT.
Nvidia is always keen to point out how much faster the RTX 40-series is, once you enable DLSS 3 Frame Generation. As we've said before, these generated frames aren't the same as "real" frames and increase input latency. It's not that DLSS 3 is bad, but we prefer to compare non-enhanced performance, and in terms of feel we'd say DLSS 3 improves the experience over the baseline by 10–20 percent, not the 50–100 percent you'll see in Nvidia's performance charts.
The RTX 4070 has been pretty much available at MSRP since it launched, which again speaks to the lack of demand for "upper mainstream" parts that carry high-end pricing. Factory overclocked cards with extra RGB cost the usual $20–$50 extra. We still can't help but feel the cards are a bit overpriced, but there's no question the RTX 4070 easily beats the previous generation RTX 3070 Ti in performance at the same $599 price point — it's about 23% faster overall.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Review
With the launch of the RTX 4060, Nvidia has just about wrapped up this generation of desktop graphics cards based on the Ada Lovelace architecture. There's still potentially a desktop 4050 in the works, as well as refresh parts if needed (i.e. we could see a new variant of the RTX 20-series 'Super' models), but for now this is as low as Nvidia goes for the RTX 40-series.
There are certainly drawbacks. Nvidia opted to cut down the memory interface to just 128 bits, which in turn limits the memory capacity options. Nvidia could do a 16GB card if it really wanted, but 8GB is the standard configuration and we don't expect anything else — only the 4060 Ti 16GB has the doubled VRAM option, and we weren't particularly impressed by that card. The 4060-class cards also have an x8 PCIe interface, though in practice that shouldn't matter.
The good news is that, as promised, performance is faster than the previous generation RTX 3060, by about 20% at 1080p and 1440p. There are edge cases in some games (meaning, 4K at max settings) where the 12GB on the 3060 can pull ahead, but performance is already well below the acceptable level at that point. As an example, Borderlands 3 ran at 26.5 fps on the 4060 versus 28.9 fps on the 3060 at 4K Badass settings; neither is a great experience, even though the 3060 is technically faster.
There are other benefits, of course: You get all the latest Ada features, including DLSS 3 support. Also, the power draw is just 115W for the reference model, and typically won't exceed 125W on overclocked cards (like the Asus Dual OC that we used for testing). Oh, and most RTX 4060 cards won't bother with the questionable 16-pin power connector and adapter shenanigans.
AMD's closest alternative is the previous generation RX 6700 XT. You get the usual results: higher rasterization performance from AMD, worse ray tracing performance, and higher power requirements — about 100W more in this case. The new RX 7700 XT meanwhile kicks pricing into a different category, so it's not really competing with the 4060 either. Depending on the games you play, the extra VRAM can put AMD ahead by up to 40% (Borderlands 3), though overall it's only 15% faster at 1440p ultra in rasterization games, and the 4060 is 25% faster in our ray tracing test suite.
An alternative view is that this is an upgraded RTX 3050, with the same 115W TGP and 60% better performance. Too bad it costs $50 extra, though the 3050 was mostly priced at $300 and above until the past few months.
Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Review
AMD has completed it's new RDNA 3 GPU lineup with the release of Navi 32 and the RX 7800 XT and RX 7700 XT. Of the two cards, the 7800 XT is the clearly superior option: It's up to 20% faster and 'only' costs 11% more. Which isn't to say it's a win in every possible way, as it's also only 5% faster than the existing RX 6800 XT and inherits the same $500 going rate of that card. Still, it does have a few advantages.
Performance in general may only be slightly improved, but the 7800 XT uses about 45W less power than the 6800 XT in our testing. Alternatively, it provides basically the same performance as the 6900 XT, while using less power and at a lower online price. It also adds the AV1 encoding support and DP2.1 video output, plus improved compute and AI capabilities — it's about 45% faster than the 6800 XT in Stable Diffusion, for example.
Given Navi 22 powered the RX 6700-class GPUs, it would have made more sense to have Navi 32 likewise power the RX 7700-class GPUs. In that case, the generational upgrade from the 6700 XT would have been excellent, as the RX 7800 XT is about 60% faster. But then we'd also be talking about a new $499 MSRP device replacing a former $479 MSRP card, which is now selling for around $320. The remaining inventory and bang for the buck remains a sticking point for AMD GPUs, in other words.
Compared to the Nvidia competition, the RX 7800 XT greatly outperforms the RTX 4060 Ti, leading by 26% overall at 1440p, and 40% when confining the testing to rasterization games. However, the RTX 4060 Ti costs $100 less (and the 16GB model doesn't really help in a meaningful way). The RTX 4070 meanwhile offers 6% more performance at 1440p, and 27% higher ray tracing performance (rasterization performance is basically tied), while costing $100 extra. So there's no truly direct competition, and AMD carves out a niche at the $500 mark.
Ultimately, it's the usual story from AMD: Better rasterization performance, worse ray tracing, AI, and upscaling results, at a generally competitive price. If the price drops another $50, though, this becomes a far more interesting option.
Read: AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT Review
With prices heading up on many previous generation cards, we're left looking for the best options. AMD's new RX 7900 XT generally beats the RTX 4070 Ti in rasterization performance but trails by quite a bit in ray tracing games — though thankfully the extra difference in MSRP has now effectively evaporated and the 7900 XT starts at a slightly lower $750. That brings some good competition from AMD, with all the RDNA 3 architectural updates.
AMD also doesn't skimp on VRAM, providing you with 20GB. That's 67% more than the competing 4070 Ti. However, you won't get DLSS support, and FSR2 works on Nvidia as well as AMD, so it's not really an advantage (plus DLSS still looks better). Some refuse to use upscaling of any form, however, so the importance of DLSS and FSR2 can be debated.
Something else to consider is that while it's possible to run AI workloads on AMD's GPUs, performance can be substantially slower. That's because the "AI Accelerators" in RDNA 3 share the same execution pipelines as the GPU shaders, and FP16 or INT8 throughput is only double the FP32 rate. That's enough for AI inference, but it only matches a modest GPU like the RTX 3060 in pure AI number crunching. Most AI projects are also heavily invested in Nvidia's ecosystem, which makes them easier to get running.
AMD made a lot of noise about its new innovative GPU chiplet architecture, and it could certainly prove to be a game changer... in future iterations. For now, GPU chiplets are more about saving cost than improving performance. Consider that the die sizes of AD104 and Navi 31's GPC are similar, but AMD also has to add five MCDs and you can see why it was supposed to be the more expensive card. And yet, performance still slightly favors Nvidia's 4070 Ti overall — and that's before accounting for DLSS and DLSS 3.
While the RX 7900 XT is good and offers a clear performance upgrade over the prior generation, you may also want to consider the above RX 7800 XT. It costs $250 less (a 33% decrease) and performance is only about 20% lower. Unfortunately, overall generational pricing has generally increased, with new product names to obfuscate that fact. If the 7900 XTX replaced the 6900 XT, then logically this represents a 6800 XT replacement, but that's not the way AMD decided to name things.
Read: AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT Review
AMD's previous generation midrange/high-end offering follows the usual path, trimming down the top model Navi 21 GPU to create a smaller die that can sell at lower prices. That's AMD's Navi 22 and the RX 6700 XT. The RX 6750 XT is the same GPU, with slightly higher clock speeds, memory speeds, and power consumption — about 5% faster overall. Give some thought to the RX 6700 10GB as well, which offers less performance but also costs less.
In terms of pricing and performance, the RX 6700 XT still fills the pricing gap between the new RX 7600 and the RX 7700 XT. It's about $70 more than the former and $120 less than the latter, and it doesn't look like AMD has any plans for a replacement (i.e. an RX 7700 non-XT). The RX 6700 XT trades blows with the new RTX 4060, with the usual better rasterization but worse ray tracing performance. Whether that matters is up to the individual, but AMD also provides 12GB VRAM while Nvidia's new card consumes about 90W less power.
This is the lone remaining holdout for the previous generation, and it's tough to imaging it going away any time soon. Perhaps the RX 7700 XT will come down in price, but while inventory of the 6700-class remains, those would simply drop in response. The 6700 XT still offers a relatively potent upgrade over the RX 7600, outperforming the new chip by 28% at 1440p. Maybe we eventually get an RX 7700 non-XT, but that seems unlikely given AMD's current product stack.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review
AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT review
Testing the Intel Arc A750 was a bit like dealing with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At times, performance looked excellent, sometimes surpassing the GeForce RTX 3060. Other times, Arc came up far short of expectations, trailing the RTX 3050. The drivers continued to improve, however, and with prices now starting at $200, this represents an excellent value — just note that some of the cost savings will ultimately show up in your electrical bill, as it's not as efficient as the competition.
There are some compromises, like the 8GB of VRAM — the A770 Limited Edition doubles that to 16GB, but also costs over $100 extra. Intel's A750 also has to go up against AMD's RX 7600, which is the primary competition at this price. Depending on the game, performance may end up favoring one or the other, though Intel now holds the overall edge by a scant 2% at 1080p ultra. Like Nvidia GPUs, ray tracing games tend to favor Intel, while rasterization games are more in the AMD camp.
Intel was the first company to deliver hardware accelerated AV1 encoding and decoding support, and QuickSync continues to deliver an excellent blend of encoding performance and quality. There's also XeSS, basically a direct competitor to Nvidia's DLSS, except it uses Arc's Matrix cores when present, and can even fall back into DP4a mode for non-Arc GPUs. But DLSS 2 still comes out on top, and it's in far more games.
The Arc A750 isn't a knockout blow, by any stretch, but it's also nice to have a third player in the GPU arena. The A750 competes with the RTX 3060 and leaves us looking forward to Intel's future Arc Battlemage GPUs, even if they're probably a year out. You should also check out the Arc A770 16GB, if you're willing to give Intel a chance, though it's a steep upsell these days.
Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition Review
Intel Arc A770 Limited Edition Review
The RTX 4080 represents everything people dislike about Nvidia's 40-series lineup. It's faster than every previous generation RTX 30-series part, sure, outperforming the RTX 3090 Ti by up to 20%. But the name suggests it's the replacement for the RTX 3080, a card that launched at $699. Nvidia went from $699 for the xx80-class GPU to $1,199 in one generation! Up to 50% higher performance, but also for 71% more money.
Still, the RTX 4080 warrants a look for some people, as it costs about $500 less than the top RTX 4090 and still offers all the same features... just with a bit less performance and VRAM. Overall, it's up to 25% slower than the 4090, for 31% less money. That's not the usual case of diminishing returns we see at the top of the GPU hierarchy, where the previous RTX 3090 was only 20% faster than the 3080 but cost over twice as much. People would give the 4080 a lot more love if it was priced under $1,000.
AMD's competition is also a factor to consider. The RX 7900 XTX matches the RTX 4080 in rasterization performance, for about $150 less. But the 7900 XT doesn't give you DLSS 2, 3, or the upcoming 3.5 with Ray Reconstruction. And the 4080 is already over 30% faster than the 7900 XTX in ray tracing without those features. And for AI, even in Stable Diffusion where there's good support for both AMD and Nvidia hardware, the 4080 is about triple the performance of the 7900 XTX.
The biggest problem is that graphics cards costing over $1,000 have a very limited audience. Basically, they're for gamers with very deep pockets. If you're building an extreme gaming PC, you might be looking at $3,000 or more for all of the parts, including an RTX 4080. At that point, why not just fork over the extra $500 to upgrade to an RTX 4090 instead? The cynics among us would point out that this is probably precisely what Nvidia would like you to do. After all, being second fastest isn't really worth major bragging rights.
Nvidia RTX 4080 Review
What is this, 2016? A brand-new, $399 graphics card launching with only 8GB of memory? We thought we had left that era in the past after the RTX 3060 gave us 12GB, but Nvidia seems more intent on cost-cutting and market segmentation these days. But the RTX 4060 Ti does technically beat the previous generation RTX 3060 Ti, by 10–15 percent overall in our testing.
There are plenty of reasons to waffle on this one. The larger L2 cache does mostly overcome the limited bandwidth from the 128-bit interface, but cache hit rates go down as resolution increases, meaning 1440p and especially 4K can be problematic. At least the price is the same as the outgoing RTX 3060 Ti, and you do get some new features. Also, don't bother with the 4060 Ti 16GB variant, unless you really just need more VRAM capacity — it doesn't really help except at 4K ultra, at which point the performance still tends to be poor.
If you were previously looking at the RTX 3060 Ti, and you don't want to consider an AMD or Intel alternative, this was the least expensive Ada Lovelace / RTX 40-series GPU — but the RTX 4060 above has now taken over that title. The RTX 4060 also has fewer GPU cores and less L2 cache size, so it very much ends up as a GPU that warrants its $299 price tag.
Looking at performance, the 4060 Ti generally manages 1440p ultra at 60 fps in rasterization games, but for ray tracing you'll want to stick with 1080p — or use DLSS. Frame Generation is heavily used in Nvidia's marketing materials, and it can provide a significant bump to your fps. However, it's more of a frame smoothing technique as it interpolates between two frames and doesn't apply any new user input to the generated frame.
Besides that, you get better ray tracing hardware and AV1 encoding support. Nvidia's new mainstream GPU is also about 35% faster than AMD's new RX 7600 in our rasterization tests, for about 50% more money. Factor in ray tracing and it's more like a 50% increase in performance for 50% more money. That's okay, but then the RX 7600 isn't an awesome new offering either. There's a reason this ranks down near the bottom of our list: It's definitely serviceable, but a price cut would go a long way toward sweetening the deal.
Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti Review
Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti 16GB Review
The Arc A380 perhaps best represents Intel's dedicated GPU journey over the past year. Our initial review found a lot of problems, including game incompatibility, rendering errors, and sometimes downright awful performance. A year of driver updates has fixed many of those problems, and if you're looking for a potentially interesting HTPC graphics card, video codec support remains a strong point.
The Alchemist architecture was the first to add AV1 encoding and decoding support, and the quality of the encodes ranks right up there with Nvidia Ada, with AMD RDNA 3 trailing by a decent margin. And the A380 is just as fast at encoding as the beefier A770. Note also that we're reporting boost clocks, as in our experience that's where the GPU runs: Across our full test suite, the A380 averaged 2449 MHz on the Gunnir card that comes with a 50 MHz factory overclock. Intel's "2050 MHz Game Clock" is very conservative, in other words.
Make no mistake that you will give up a lot of performance in getting down to this price. The A380 and RX 6500 XT trade blows in performance, but the RX 6600 ends up roughly twice as fast. It doesn't have AV1 support, though, and costs closer to $200. Ray tracing is also mostly a feature checkbox here, with performance in every one of our DXR tests falling below 30 fps, with the exception of Metro Exodus Enhanced that averaged 40 fps at 1080p medium.
Performance might not be great, but it's still a step up from integrated graphics solutions. Just don't add an Arc card to an older PC, as it really needs ReBAR (Resizeable Base Address Register) support and ideally a PCIe 4.0 slot.
Intel Arc A380 review
How We Test the Best Graphics Cards
Determining pure graphics card performance is best done by eliminating all other bottlenecks — as much as possible, at least. Our 2023 graphics card testbed consists of a Core i9-13900K CPU, MSI Z790 MEG Ace DDR5 motherboard, 32GB G.Skill DDR5-6600 CL34 memory, and a Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 4TB SSD, with a be quiet! 80 Plus Titanium PSU and a Cooler Master CPU cooler.
We test across the three most common gaming resolutions, 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, using 'medium' and 'ultra' settings at 1080p and 'ultra' at 4K. Where possible, we use 'reference' cards for all of these tests, like Nvidia's Founders Edition models and AMD's reference designs. Most midrange 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.
For each graphics card, we follow the same testing procedure. We run one pass of each benchmark to "warm up" the GPU after launching the game, then run at least two passes at each setting/resolution combination. If the two runs are basically identical (within 0.5% or less difference), we use the faster of the two runs. If there's more than a small difference, we run the test at least twice more to determine what "normal" performance is supposed to be.
We also look at all the data and check for anomalies, so for example RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti all generally going to perform within a narrow range — 3070 Ti is about 5% faster than 3070, which is about 5% faster than 3060 Ti. If we see games where there are clear outliers (i.e. performance is more than 10% higher for the cards just mentioned), we'll go back and retest whatever cards are showing the anomaly and figure out what the "correct" result should be.
Due to the length of time required for testing each GPU, updated drivers and game patches inevitably come out that can impact performance. We periodically retest a few sample cards to verify our results are still valid, and if not, we go through and retest the affected game(s) and GPU(s). We may also add games to our test suite over the coming year, if one comes out that is popular and conducive to testing — see our what makes a good game benchmark for our selection criteria.
Choosing Among the Best Graphics Cards
We've provided a baker's dozen of choices for the best graphics cards, recognizing that there's plenty of potential overlap. The latest generation GPUs consist of Nvidia's Ada Lovelace architecture, which improves on the previous Ampere architecture. AMD's RDNA3 architecture likewise takes over from the previous RDNA2 architecture offerings, though we have a few previous generation cards still in our list. Finally, Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs have arrived and provided some competition in the budget and midrange sectors. Conveniently, Arc Alchemist, RDNA2/3, and Ada/Ampere all support the same general features (DirectX 12 Ultimate and ray tracing), though Arc and RTX cards also have additional tensor core hardware.
We've listed the best graphics cards that are available right now, along with their current online prices, which we track in our GPU prices guide. With many cards now costing close to MSRP, plenty of people seem ready to upgrade, and supply also looks to be improving. At the same time, a slumping economy and rising inflation seems to have lowered demand, and the supply of new GPUs isn't being pushed quite as hard as before.
Our advice: Don't pay more today for yesterday's hardware. If you want an RTX 40-series or RX 7000-series graphics card, be patient and you'll eventually be able to buy one at close to the official MSRP. They're only high-end and extreme offerings right now, but mainstream and budget variants will inevitably arrive.
If your main goal is gaming, you can't forget about the CPU. Getting the best possible gaming GPU won't help you much if your CPU is underpowered and/or out of date. So be sure to check out the Best CPUs for Gaming page, as well as our CPU Benchmark hierarchy to make sure you have the right CPU for the level of gaming you're looking to achieve.
Our current recommendations reflect the changing GPU market, factoring in all of the above details. The GPUs are ordered using subjective rankings, taking into account performance, price, features, and efficiency, so slightly slower cards may end up higher on our list.
Additional 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-, 8- and/or 16-pin connector(s). For example, Nvidia recommends a 550-watt PSU for the RTX 3060, and you'll need at least an 8-pin connector and possibly a 6-pin PEG connector as well. Newer RTX 40-series GPUs use 16-pin connectors, though all of them also include the necessary 8-pin to 16-pin adapters.
• Video Memory: A 4GB card is the absolute minimum right now, 6GB models are better, and 8GB or more is strongly recommended. A few games can now use 12GB of VRAM, though they're still the exception rather than the rule.
• FreeSync or G-Sync? Either variable refresh rate technology will synchronize your GPU's frame rate with your screen's refresh rate. Nvidia supports G-Sync and G-Sync Compatible displays (for recommendations, see our Best Gaming Monitors list), while AMD's FreeSync tech works with Radeon cards.
• Ray Tracing and Upscaling: The latest graphics cards support ray tracing, which can be used to enhance the visuals. DLSS provides intelligent upscaling and anti-aliasing to boost performance with similar image quality, but it's only on Nvidia RTX cards. AMD's FSR works on virtually any GPU and also provides upscaling and enhancement, but on a different subset of games. New to the party are DLSS 3 with Frame Generation and Intel XeSS, with yet another different subset of supported games — DLSS 3 also provides DLSS 2 support for non 40-series RTX GPUs.
Graphics Cards Performance Results
Our updated test suite of games consists of 15 titles. The data in the following charts is from testing conducted during the past several months. Only the fastest cards are tested at 1440p and 4K, but we do our best to test everything at 1080p medium and ultra.
For each resolution, the first chart shows the geometric mean (i.e. equal weighting) for all 15 games. The second chart shows performance in the nine rasterization games, and the third chart focuses in on ray tracing performance in six games. Then we'll have the 15 individual game charts, for those who like to see all the data.
AMD's FSR has now been out for about two years now, with FSR 2.0 now having surpassed the year mark. Nvidia's DLSS 2 has been around since mid-2019, while Intel's XeSS formally launched in October 2023. Twelve of the games in our test suite support DLSS 2, five more support DLSS 3, five now support FSR2, and four support XeSS. However, we're running all of the benchmarks at native resolution for these tests. We have a separate article looking at FSR and DLSS, and the bottom line is that DLSS and XeSS improve performance with less compromise to image quality, but FSR2 works on any GPU.
The charts below contain nearly all of the current RTX 40/30-series, RX 7000/6000-series, and Intel's Arc A-series graphics cards. Our GPU benchmarks hierarchy contains additional results for those who are interested, along with performance testing from our 2020-2021 suite running on a Core i9-9900K. The charts are color coded with AMD in red, Nvidia in blue, and Intel in gray to make it easier to see what's going on.
The following charts are up to date as of September 11, 2023. Nearly all current generation and previous generation GPUs are included.
Best Graphics Cards — 1080p Medium
Best Graphics Cards — 1080p Ultra
Best Graphics Cards — 1440p Ultra
Best Graphics Cards — 4K Ultra
Power, Clocks, and Temperatures
Most of our discussion has focused on performance, but for those interested in power and other aspects of the GPUs, here are the appropriate charts.
Finding Discounts on the Best Graphics Cards
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