The best graphics cards bring your gaming PC to life — they're the heart, lungs, and maybe even brains that get the stunningly rendered pixels to your display. No single solution will be right for everyone, so we're here to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. Whether you're after the fastest graphics card, the best value, or the best card at a given price, we have recommendations for every budget. Balancing performance, price, features, and efficiency is important because no other component impacts your gaming experience as much as the graphics card.
Where our GPU benchmarks hierarchy ranks all of the cards based purely on performance, our list of the best graphics cards tries to look at the whole package. Price, availability, performance, features, and efficiency are all important, though the weighting becomes more subjective. Cryptocurrency mining profitability has trailed off, and while we're not out of the woods just yet, GPU prices on eBay have fallen about 30% since the beginning of the year. More importantly, graphics cards are actually in stock at many online stores, usually at less than the going eBay rate, meaning overall GPU costs have come down 40–50% in the past four months. There's still room for further price cuts, but reasonably priced graphics cards are now in sight.
Our latest update adds the RTX 3090 Ti to our testing results, and while the price is obscene, for those that want the absolute fastest graphics card available it clearly displaces the RTX 3090. On the budget end of the spectrum, the Radeon RX 6500 XT should satisfy people looking for an upgrade that doesn't cost much more than $200, which is far lower than the going rate of competing cards like the GTX 1650 Super. The GeForce RTX 3050 offers far more performance, but also costs 50% more, pushing it firmly into midrange territory. Finally, we continue to wait for Intel Arc Alchemist, which is sort of available for laptops now but isn't slated to arrive on desktop until perhaps June.
Graphics Card Deals
If you're looking for an good deal on a new graphics card, check our RTX 3080 deals, RTX 3070 deals, and RTX 3060 deals pages where we suggest some ways to save on a new graphics card. Generally speaking, the best deals will only cost 15–25% more than the nominal MSRPs. You might also consider buying a pre-built PC if you're looking for a complete system upgrade, as often those have better prices on the GPU.
|GPU||Performance Rank||DXR Rank||Value Rank – online (MSRP)|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti||1 – 132.4 fps||1 – 84.4 fps||13 – $2,000 ($1,999)|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080||4 – 116.3 fps||2 – 66.3 fps||12 – $949 ($699)|
|AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT||2 – 130.6 fps||3 – 49.8 fps||11 – $1,020 ($999)|
|AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT||3 – 124.5 fps||4 – 46.1 fps||10 – $920 ($649)|
|AMD Radeon RX 6800||5 – 111.7 fps||6 – 39.3 fps||9 – $800 ($579)|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||7 – 91.5 fps||5 – 43.3 fps||7 – $580 ($399)|
|AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT||6 – 96.0 fps||8 – 30.5 fps||6 – $515 ($489)|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060||9 – 70.2 fps||7 – 32.3 fps||5 – $390 ($329)|
|AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT||8 – 78.2 fps||9 – 23.6 fps||4 – $410 ($379)|
|AMD Radeon RX 6600||10 – 66.7 fps||11 – 19.7 fps||3 – $325 ($329)|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050||11 – 51.4 fps||10 – 22.8 fps||2 – $300 ($249)|
|AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT||12 – 30.4 fps||12 – 5.6 fps||1 – $210 ($199)|
Note: Prices on most of the graphics cards are still above MSRP, but prices have begun to drop rapidly. We previously used average prices from eBay, since that was about the only place you could buy many GPUs. We're now able to find every GPU available for less money at an online retailer (typically Newegg), so we're showing those prices, along with the official launch MSRPs.
You'll note that the above list now consists entirely of current generation cards. That's because prices have changed enough that they're the best deals available, with many previous generation cards severely overprice. For example, the GTX 1650 Super $335 online, though you can get it off eBay for closer to $200 if you want to go that route. The RTX 3050 meanwhile offers far better performance and features with a starting price of $300 online.
We sorted the above list in order of performance (considering both regular and DXR performance), but the order of cards listed below is based on other factors as well. Our subjective view includes performance along with price, power, and features adjusted by our own opinions. Others may offer a slightly different take, but any of the cards on this list are worth considering.
Best Graphics Cards for Gaming 2022
Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 sports Nvidia's latest Ampere architecture. It's over 30% faster than the previous gen 2080 Ti, and supposedly costs $500 less. When we tested the new RTX 3080 Ti, it didn't manage to supplant the incumbent, thanks to its significantly higher pricing. However, do keep an eye out for the RTX 3080 12GB cards, which at present seem to carry about a $50 price premium — a premium well worth paying in our book.
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, unless you're running the latest ray tracing games, in which case DLSS support should also help performance. 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 using even more ray tracing effects, the RTX 3080 is your best bet at playing games in all their ray traced glory without nuking the piggy bank.
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 and Unity. Nvidia's RT and DLSS performance are also quite a bit faster than what you get from AMD's new RX 6000 cards, which is a good thing as Nvidia sometimes falls behind in traditional rasterization performance.
The biggest problem with RTX 3080 by far is going to be finding one in stock at
reasonable price. We've seen the 3080 go for over $1,500 much of the past year, so the current sub-$1,000 prices by comparison are great, but it's still about 35% over the MSRP. It's still a much better bargain than the 3080 Ti and 3090, so this remains our best pick for a fast GPU right now.
Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Review
AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT is the best card for Team Red. In our testing, the RX Radeon 6900 XT is technically about 5-7 percent faster, but it theoretically costs 54 percent more. That's not a great deal, especially since you don't get more VRAM or any other extras. Do pay attention to the current online prices, however, as the 6900 only costs about $100 extra and might be worth the spend right now. The RX 6800 XT provides a massive boost in performance and features relative to the previous generation RX 5700 XT. It adds ray tracing support (via DirectX Raytracing or VulkanRT), and is 70-90% faster across our test suite.
The Navi 21 GPU was affectionately dubbed 'Big Navi' prior to launch by the enthusiast community, and we got exactly what we wanted. It's over twice the size of the previous generation 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 TBP, slightly lower than the RTX 3080's 320W TBP.
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 DXR games are more likely to be optimized for Nvidia's RTX GPUs, but overall the 6800 XT comes in slightly behind 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's FidelityFX Super Resolution can help, but it's not as widely used and doesn't match the quality of DLSS. FSR 2.0 might change that, but it's not out yet.
Price and availability, as with all recent GPUs, isn't great. At least the RX 6800 XT can now be found online for less than a grand, but it's only about $30 less than the RTX 3080, which we prefer thanks to its improved feature set. There's also word of an incoming RDNA2 refresh with "6x50 XT" models, which might be worth the wait as they'll reportedly include 18 Gbps GDDR6 memory.
Read: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Review
For some, the best card is the fastest card — pricing be damned! Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090 Ti caters to this category of user. At nearly triple the official price of the RTX 3080, performance is only moderately better (20-30%) in most workloads. It's also only 5–10% faster than the previous RTX 3090, with an even higher MSRP. But looking at online prices, the 3090 Ti may only cost a couple hundred more than a 3090, and who are we kidding: Anyone seriously considering either of these probably doesn't need to worry about a few Benjamins.
The RTX 3090 Ti will reign as Nvidia's top GPU until the next generation Ada Lovelace GPUs arrive. It sports a complete GA102 chip with 84 SMs, so there's no room or time for a new Titan card. Nvidia has said as much as well, that the 3090 Ti brings Titan-class performance and features (specifically the 24GB VRAM) into the GeForce brand. If you simply must have the fastest graphics card available, the RTX 3090 Ti isn't likely to be surpassed until this fall.
It's not just about gaming, of course. The RTX 3090 Ti has 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 35% 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 apps, where Titan RTX has additional features turned on in its drivers that aren't enabled for GeForce cards. (You'll need the even more expensive Nvidia RTX A6000 for the full professional driver suite.)
AMD's RX 6900 XT challenges the RTX 3090 Ti in traditional rasterization performance and wins in a few SPECviewperf tests. But if you want the absolute fastest graphics card right now, Nvidia wins, especially if you run games with ray tracing and DLSS enabled. Do note that the Ada AD102 GPU destined to replace GA102 is rumored to have up to 144 SMs, however, which means we could see potentially 70% more performance from Nvidia's next-generation extreme graphics card.
Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Review
Start with the Navi 21 GPU and then cut down the various functional units to create a smaller die that can sell at lower prices and you have AMD's Navi 22 and the RX 6700 XT. It has the same number of GPU cores as the previous generation RX 5700 XT, but significantly higher clock speeds and more cache give it about a 25% boost to performance (at higher settings and resolutions, at least).
When we tested AMD's RX 6700 XT, it hit clock speeds in excess of 2.5GHz during gaming sessions — and that's at stock, on the reference card. With some tuning and overclocking, we were able to hit speeds of 2.7-2.8GHz, still without cooking the GPU. That's very impressive, and factory overclocked cards can push even higher clocks.
In our performance testing, the RX 6700 XT traded blows with the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti. It's a bit faster than the latter, and a bit slower than the former, so the launch price of $479 is reasonable. Still, if we include pretty much any games with DLSS or ray tracing, the 6700 XT comes in behind the 3060 Ti and almost looks like a 3060 competitor.
Even better, and the reason this card has moved up in our overall rankings, is that the RX 6700 XT is currently available at prices very close to the MSRP. There's currently an MSI RX 6700 XT Mech 2X for just $515 after a $15 rebate, just a 7% increase over AMD's recommended starting price. That's $75 less than the cheapest RTX 3060 Ti and nearly $100 less than the least expensive RTX 3070, for comparable performance.
Read: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review
As we approach the lowest end of the price and performance ladder with Nvidia's desktop Ampere lineup, the cuts to processing power may have gone too far. This is the first GA106 card, with a 192-bit memory interface and 12GB VRAM, which is quite a bit better than the RTX 3050 but still a big step down from GA104. With 26% fewer GPU cores compared to the 3060 Ti, and less memory bandwidth, overall performance is only on the level of the RTX 2070. So, two and a half years later, you can now match a $500 graphics card with a $330 alternative.
Or that's the theory. Demand still surpasses supply, but at least we're now seeing RTX 3060 starting at $390. That card shows as backordered, with an ETA of several days ago, but we've seen the RTX 3060 go in and out of stock for $400 or less over the past couple of weeks. Given the performance we saw in our testing, the RTX 3060 is the overall value, factoring in ray tracing and DLSS performance.
VRAM capacity isn't a problem, and there are a few instances where the 3060 starts to close the gap with the 3060 Ti. It never quite gets there, however, and the 3060 Ti would be the better choice if you could find one at a reasonable price. At present, it's a $200 jump to the 3060 Ti, making this or one of AMD's offerings a much better value.
On the other hand, discounting ray tracing and DLSS, in our testing the RTX 3060 ends up being roughly the same performance as AMD's RX 5700 XT, 18 months later. Not exactly something to set the world on fire, but then that's typical of mainstream parts. With DXR and DLSS, however, the 3060 can even trade blows with AMD's RX 6800.
Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Review
AMD's answer to the RTX 3060, sort of, comes via the Navi 23 architecture. Normally, we'd expect a 32 CU variant of Navi 22, dubbed the RX 6700 non-XT, but AMD trimmed CU counts, memory interface width, and Infinity Cache sizes to get a smaller and less expensive chip that still performs well.
Performance ends up slightly above the previous gen RX 5700 XT, which is impressive considering the memory bus has been cut in half to just 128 bits. There's a reasonable concern with the 8GB of VRAM, however, and there are certainly cases where the RTX 3060 ends up as the better choice. Still, it's surprising how much even a 32MB Infinity Cache seems to boost performance, when you look at the memory bandwidth. This is basically a chip that's smaller than Navi 10, built on the same TSMC N7 node, and it delivers 10–15% better framerates at 1080p.
There are instances where it struggles, however, ray tracing being a big one. Several games that we tested with DXR (DirectX Raytracing) support couldn't even do 20 fps at 1080p. Nvidia's RTX 3060 was about twice as fast, without using DLSS (where available). FSR doesn't really fix that, either, since it provides a similar boost in performance to both AMD and Nvidia — and even Intel — GPUs. After delivering impressive amounts of VRAM on the other Big Navi chips, the RX 6600 XT feels like a letdown.
The $379 starting point for a GPU that's ostensibly a replacement to the previous generation RX 5600 XT ($279 launch price) doesn't garner any goodwill. However, in these days of overpriced graphics cards, you can now find the Radeon RX 6600 XT starting at $390 (after rebate). Yeah, that's pretty much MSRP!
Read: AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Review
When we tested the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, we felt it might be the best of the bunch for Nvidia's Ampere GPUs. It has all the same features as the other 30-series GPUs, with a starting price of just $399. In theory, of course, as it naturally sold out just as quickly as all the other new graphics cards. Currently, the lowest price we can find is this MSI RTX 3060 Ti Ventus for $590, which is still nearly 50% more than the nominal MSRP. <Sigh>
The 3060 Ti beat the previous gen 2080 Super in our testing, winning in every game we ran. It's also only about 9 percent slower than the RTX 3070 but costs 20 percent less. If you're still sitting on an older GTX 1070 or RX Vega 56, the 3060 Ti is up to twice as fast — sometimes even more, in the latest games.
The only real concern is the lack of VRAM. 8GB is mostly enough, for now, but some games are starting to push beyond that threshold. Of course you can drop the texture quality a notch, and you might not even notice the difference, but deep down inside you'll feel regret. (Not really — high settings often look indistinguishable from ultra settings.)
AMD's RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT give the 3060 Ti some stiff competition, however. Nvidia's part is still faster, particularly in ray tracing games, but the RX 6600 XT currently sells for over $180 less than the 3060 Ti. That's why it's above this card in our listing of the best graphics cards. Also, 8GB feels a bit stingy, considering the GTX 1070 had that much memory over five years ago, and even Nvidia's lower tier RTX 3060 has 12GB now.
Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Review
The Radeon RX 6600 takes everything good about the 6600 XT and then scales it back slightly. It's about 15% slower overall, just a bit behind the RTX 3060 as well, but in our testing it was still 30% faster than the RTX 3050. We're also seeing the cards in stock and on sale, starting at $325 for the MSI RX 6600 Mech 2X (after $15 rebate).
That's actually less than AMD's official $329 MSRP, which felt a bit high at launch — not that we ever saw those prices in meaningful quantities until now. But with some cards shipping at or slightly below MSRP, for now this represents AMD's best bang for the buck, and some might even put it ahead of the RTX 3060.
Budget to midrange graphics cards are a competitive arena, and the RX 6600 has to compete against both the new RTX 30-series as well as the previous generation RTX 20-series. It ended up delivering near-RTX 2070 performance, at least in non-ray tracing scenarios. With ray tracing enabled, however, it struggled badly, barely averaging 30 fps in our DXR test suite at 1080p medium.
If you're not worried about ray tracing, though, the RX 6600 definitely warrants a look. AMD's Infinity Cache does wonders for what otherwise looks like a somewhat underpowered GPU, and the card only needs about 130W, far less than competing GPUs.
Read: AMD Radeon RX 6600 Review
The RX 6900 XT currently represents the ultimate performance from the RDNA2 architecture, though we suspect we'll see an RX 6950 XT in the not too distant future. AMD set the MSRP at a rather high $999 at launch, which then ended up being much lower than street prices for the past 18 months. But now there are a few cards that only cost slightly more than that, and prices continue to drop.
The RX 6900 XT boasts slightly more GPU cores than the RX 6800 XT, which results in a relatively small performance increase for a rather large jump in price. However, at present the different is more like $100, so you can certainly make the argument for AMD's top card over the penultimate Team Red offering.
The same red flags are still present as well, like the mediocre ray tracing performance and lack of a direct alternative to DLSS. Basically, FSR works on everything, but DLSS only runs on Nvidia and has a three year head start on getting game developers to use it. In short, if you want the best RT experience right now, Nvidia still wins (not that you need RT to enjoy games).
Those who just want the fastest AMD GPU will still be happy with the 6900 XT. Again, we're expecting an RX 6000 series refresh in the next month or so, pairing all of the XT variants with 18Gbps GDDR6 memory and boosting clocks a bit, likely at the expense of power use. If you haven't already purchased an AMD card, waiting to see what the rumored RX 6950 XT costs and how it performance makes sense.
Read: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT review
Take everything great about the new Navi 21 GPU that powers the 6800 XT (above), then trim it by about 10–15% and you get the vanilla RX 6800. You still get the full 16GB GDDR6 and 128MB Infinity Cache, but only 96 ROPs, fewer GPU cores, and lower clock speeds. It's a reasonable compromise, but we think the 6800 XT is the better option all things considered.
Right now the RX 6800 starts at $800 online, about $120 less than the 6800 XT and a bit more than the RTX 3070 Ti. The RX 6800 puts up a good showing against Nvidia's RTX 3070 Ti, winning the non-ray tracing benchmark suite in our testing. However, the Nvidia GPU was 35% faster in our ray tracing benchmarks, not even accounting for the additional 20–50% DLSS quality mode can prove.
AMD's FSR 2.0 as a DLSS alternative could help long-term, but the current FSR implementation is more about improving performance than image quality. (Hint: Run at a lower resolution, or use Nvidia Image Scaling, and you get comparable performance gains and quality.)
We'd grab an RX 6800 more for the rasterization prowess and not worry so much about ray tracing. But really, we'd wait for prices to get down to reasonable levels, like $600 or less for this particular card. Hopefully that will happen before the end of 2022, but the future RDNA 3 and Ada architectures will likely arrive by then.
Read: AMD Radeon RX 6800 review
Nvidia tried to create a "budget" RTX 30-series card with its GeForce RTX 3050, though the $250 recommended price still puts it firmly in the mainstream category. It's also selling at $300 or more right now, which is better than the launch prices but not as low as we'd like to see, considering it ended up being 7% slower than the previous generation RTX 2060 in our testing. Still, we'd rather pay for an RTX card than plunk down a similar amount of cash for a GeForce GTX 1660 Super or RX 5500 XT 8GB (note that you can find better prices for those on eBay if you're willing to buy a used GPU).
We've done the testing (see below) and the RTX 3050 was about 15% faster than a GTX 1660 Super, plus it can legitimately run ray tracing games and it also supports DLSS. That's more than we can say for AMD's RX 6500 XT, which probably should have skipped RT support in exchange for more VRAM and bandwidth..
The biggest problem is that $300 or more is still a lot to pay for mainstream levels of performance, and we wouldn't be surprised to see prices drop another 20% or more by the end of the summer (assuming the improving supply doesn't get derailed). If you don't care so much about ray tracing, look at the RX 6600, which only costs a bit more and delivers 30% higher performance at 1080p ultra in our standard test suite.
Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
The budget realm of GPUs often ends up going to older hardware, but the Radeon RX 6500 XT at least uses AMD's RDNA 2 GPU. Except, the Navi 24 chips really got cut down on the chopping block, with only a 64-bit memory interface, 16MB Infinity Cache, an x4 PCIe link, older video codec support, and only two display outputs. That's a lot of potentially interesting features that got hacked off.
Still, if price is your driving concern, the RX 6500 XT starts at $210, which makes it less expensive than most other options. We'd encourage most gamers to try saving up for the RTX 3050 or RX 6600, as they're both substantially better, and performance on the 6500 XT can't quite match the GTX 1650 Super. But right now, the only place to buy a 1650 Super without overpaying is on eBay.
With supplies and previous generation GPUs seemingly not improving, the RX 6500 XT mostly wins our budget recommendation by default. We'd much rather have a GTX 1660 series card, or even an RX 5500 XT 8GB, but we'd also prefer buying new hard — buying a used graphics card represents a risk, with many miners likely offloading cards that have been used hard for the past two years.
Read: AMD Radeon RTX 6500 XT 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 2022 graphics card testbed consists of a Core i9-12900K CPU, MSI Z690 DDR4 motherboard, 32GB Corsair DDR4-3600 CL16 memory, and Crucial P5 Plus 2TB SSD, with a Cooler Master PSU, case, and CPU cooler.
We test across the three most common gaming resolutions, 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, using 'medium' and 'ultra' settings. 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 would 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 dozen options for the best graphics cards, recognizing that there's plenty of potential overlap. The latest generation GPUs consist of Nvidia's Ampere architecture cards and AMD's RDNA2 architecture offerings, and the Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs should arrive in the next couple of months. Conveniently, Arc Alchemist, RDNA2, and 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 only costing 25% more than MSRP, plenty of people seem ready to upgrade, and supply also looks to be improving. Whether that will continue until the next-gen GPUs arrive remains to be seen.
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 at close to the official MSRP. At this point, you might just give Ampere and RDNA2 a pass and wait for Ada and RDNA3.
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- and/or 8-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.
• Video Memory: A 4GB card is the 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 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, DLSS, and FSR: 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.
Graphics Cards Performance Results
Our current test suite of games consists of eight 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.
AMD's FSR, FidelityFX Super Resolution, has now been out for a few months, and Nvidia's DLSS has been around for a few years, but none of the games in our core suite of benchmarks support FSR. That means we're running at native resolution for all of these tests. We have a separate article looking at FSR and DLSS, and the bottom line is that DLSS improves performance with less compromise to image quality, but FSR works on any GPU.
The charts below contain all the current generation RTX 30-series and RX 6000-series, plus previous generation GPUs where applicable (meaning, non-RT cards can't run our DXR benchmarks). 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/grey and Nvidia in blue/black to make it easier to see what's going on.
The following charts are up to date as of April 15, 2022. 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
Besides performance, we also test graphics card power consumption. We tested all current GPUs using Powenetics equipment and software, and while Nvidia generally had an efficiency lead on previous generation parts, AMD's RDNA2 GPUs now rate as the most efficient options in most cases. Here are the main power charts from our testing.
Best Graphics Cards — Power Consumption
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 fastest card, the RTX 3090 Ti.
|Graphics Card||1080p Ultra||1080p Medium||1440p Ultra||4K Ultra||Specifications|
|GeForce RTX 3090 Ti||100.0% (132.4fps)||100.0% (180.1fps)||100.0% (113.9fps)||100.0% (75.7fps)||GA102, 10752 shaders, 1860MHz, 24GB GDDR6X@21Gbps, 1008GB/s, 450W|
|Radeon RX 6900 XT||98.6% (130.6fps)||103.4% (186.2fps)||94.0% (107.0fps)||83.1% (62.9fps)||Navi 21, 5120 shaders, 2250MHz, 16GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 512GB/s, 300W|
|GeForce RTX 3090||95.6% (126.6fps)||98.9% (178.1fps)||93.6% (106.5fps)||90.9% (68.8fps)||GA102, 10496 shaders, 1695MHz, 24GB GDDR6X@19.5Gbps, 936GB/s, 350W|
|GeForce RTX 3080 12GB||94.0% (124.5fps)||99.0% (178.2fps)||91.3% (104.0fps)||87.6% (66.3fps)||GA102, 8960 shaders, 1845MHz, 12GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 912GB/s, 400W|
|Radeon RX 6800 XT||94.0% (124.5fps)||100.3% (180.7fps)||88.9% (101.2fps)||77.3% (58.5fps)||Navi 21, 4608 shaders, 2250MHz, 16GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 512GB/s, 300W|
|GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||93.2% (123.4fps)||97.1% (174.9fps)||90.8% (103.4fps)||87.8% (66.5fps)||GA102, 10240 shaders, 1665MHz, 12GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 912GB/s, 350W|
|GeForce RTX 3080||87.8% (116.3fps)||96.3% (173.4fps)||83.9% (95.5fps)||80.1% (60.6fps)||GA102, 8704 shaders, 1710MHz, 10GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 760GB/s, 320W|
|Radeon RX 6800||84.3% (111.7fps)||96.8% (174.3fps)||76.9% (87.5fps)||66.7% (50.5fps)||Navi 21, 3840 shaders, 2105MHz, 16GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 512GB/s, 250W|
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||78.6% (104.1fps)||90.2% (162.4fps)||72.5% (82.6fps)||61.9% (46.8fps)||GA104, 6144 shaders, 1770MHz, 8GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 608GB/s, 290W|
|Titan RTX||75.6% (100.1fps)||87.9% (158.2fps)||70.7% (80.5fps)||63.8% (48.3fps)||TU102, 4608 shaders, 1770MHz, 24GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 672GB/s, 280W|
|GeForce RTX 3070||75.3% (99.8fps)||87.5% (157.7fps)||68.0% (77.5fps)||57.0% (43.2fps)||GA104, 5888 shaders, 1725MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 220W|
|Radeon RX 6700 XT||72.5% (96.0fps)||88.7% (159.8fps)||61.9% (70.4fps)||50.9% (38.5fps)||Navi 22, 2560 shaders, 2581MHz, 12GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 384GB/s, 230W|
|GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||72.5% (96.0fps)||84.2% (151.6fps)||66.1% (75.3fps)||58.9% (44.6fps)||TU102, 4352 shaders, 1545MHz, 11GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 616GB/s, 250W|
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||69.1% (91.5fps)||83.1% (149.7fps)||61.2% (69.7fps)||GA104, 4864 shaders, 1665MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 200W|
|GeForce RTX 2080 Super||64.1% (84.9fps)||76.5% (137.8fps)||57.0% (64.9fps)||45.6% (34.5fps)||TU104, 3072 shaders, 1815MHz, 8GB GDDR6@15.5Gbps, 496GB/s, 250W|
|GeForce RTX 2080||62.1% (82.2fps)||73.9% (133.1fps)||54.8% (62.4fps)||TU104, 2944 shaders, 1710MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 215W|
|Radeon RX 6600 XT||59.1% (78.2fps)||76.0% (136.8fps)||48.2% (54.9fps)||Navi 23, 2048 shaders, 2589MHz, 8GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 256GB/s, 160W|
|GeForce RTX 2070 Super||57.7% (76.4fps)||68.9% (124.1fps)||50.4% (57.4fps)||TU104, 2560 shaders, 1770MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 215W|
|Radeon RX 5700 XT||55.7% (73.7fps)||69.9% (125.8fps)||46.8% (53.3fps)||38.6% (29.3fps)||Navi 10, 2560 shaders, 1905MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 225W|
|GeForce RTX 3060||53.0% (70.2fps)||66.0% (118.8fps)||46.2% (52.6fps)||GA106, 3584 shaders, 1777MHz, 12GB GDDR6@15Gbps, 360GB/s, 170W|
|GeForce RTX 2070||51.3% (67.9fps)||61.5% (110.7fps)||44.8% (51.0fps)||TU106, 2304 shaders, 1620MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 175W|
|Radeon RX 6600||50.4% (66.7fps)||65.4% (117.8fps)||40.5% (46.1fps)||Navi 23, 1792 shaders, 2491MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 132W|
|GeForce RTX 2060 Super||49.1% (65.1fps)||58.8% (105.9fps)||42.4% (48.2fps)||TU106, 2176 shaders, 1650MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 175W|
|GeForce RTX 2060||41.7% (55.2fps)||53.8% (96.8fps)||34.0% (38.7fps)||TU106, 1920 shaders, 1680MHz, 6GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 336GB/s, 160W|
|GeForce RTX 3050||38.8% (51.4fps)||49.6% (89.4fps)||33.0% (37.6fps)||GA106, 2560 shaders, 1777MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 130W|
|GeForce GTX 1660 Super||33.6% (44.4fps)||46.0% (82.8fps)||27.6% (31.5fps)||TU116, 1408 shaders, 1785MHz, 6GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 336GB/s, 125W|
|GeForce GTX 1660 Ti||33.1% (43.9fps)||45.4% (81.9fps)||27.7% (31.6fps)||TU116, 1536 shaders, 1770MHz, 6GB GDDR6@12Gbps, 288GB/s, 120W|
|GeForce GTX 1660||30.1% (39.9fps)||41.7% (75.1fps)||25.0% (28.5fps)||TU116, 1408 shaders, 1785MHz, 6GB GDDR5@8Gbps, 192GB/s, 120W|
|Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB||30.1% (39.8fps)||40.3% (72.6fps)||25.0% (28.5fps)||Navi 14, 1408 shaders, 1845MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 130W|
|Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB||25.3% (33.5fps)||37.2% (66.9fps)||Navi 14, 1408 shaders, 1845MHz, 4GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 130W|
|GeForce GTX 1650 Super||25.1% (33.2fps)||37.7% (67.9fps)||20.2% (23.0fps)||TU116, 1280 shaders, 1725MHz, 4GB GDDR6@12Gbps, 192GB/s, 100W|
|Radeon RX 6500 XT||23.0% (30.4fps)||36.3% (65.4fps)||15.8% (18.0fps)||Navi 24, 1024 shaders, 2815MHz, 4GB GDDR6@18Gbps, 144GB/s, 107W|
|GeForce GTX 1650||20.1% (26.6fps)||28.4% (51.1fps)||TU117, 896 shaders, 1665MHz, 4GB GDDR5@8Gbps, 128GB/s, 75W|
|Graphics Card||1080p Medium||1080p Ultra||1440p Ultra||4K Ultra||Specifications|
|GeForce RTX 3090 Ti||100.0% (118.2fps)||100.0% (84.4fps)||100.0% (57.2fps)||100.0% (29.1fps)||GA102, 10752 shaders, 1860MHz, 24GB GDDR6X@21Gbps, 1008GB/s, 450W|
|GeForce RTX 3090||91.7% (108.4fps)||89.7% (75.7fps)||88.7% (50.8fps)||87.2% (25.4fps)||GA102, 10496 shaders, 1695MHz, 24GB GDDR6X@19.5Gbps, 936GB/s, 350W|
|GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||89.3% (105.6fps)||87.6% (73.9fps)||86.0% (49.2fps)||84.6% (24.7fps)||GA102, 10240 shaders, 1665MHz, 12GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 912GB/s, 350W|
|GeForce RTX 3080 12GB||88.5% (104.7fps)||85.8% (72.4fps)||83.7% (47.9fps)||81.4% (23.7fps)||GA102, 8960 shaders, 1845MHz, 12GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 912GB/s, 400W|
|GeForce RTX 3080||81.5% (96.3fps)||78.5% (66.3fps)||76.3% (43.7fps)||72.2% (21.0fps)||GA102, 8704 shaders, 1710MHz, 10GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 760GB/s, 320W|
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||66.3% (78.4fps)||63.0% (53.1fps)||59.2% (33.9fps)||GA104, 6144 shaders, 1770MHz, 8GB GDDR6X@19Gbps, 608GB/s, 290W|
|Radeon RX 6900 XT||63.0% (74.5fps)||59.0% (49.8fps)||55.2% (31.6fps)||51.7% (15.1fps)||Navi 21, 5120 shaders, 2250MHz, 16GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 512GB/s, 300W|
|Titan RTX||62.5% (73.9fps)||58.2% (49.1fps)||55.4% (31.7fps)||52.5% (15.3fps)||TU102, 4608 shaders, 1770MHz, 24GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 672GB/s, 280W|
|GeForce RTX 3070||62.1% (73.4fps)||58.7% (49.6fps)||54.9% (31.4fps)||GA104, 5888 shaders, 1725MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 220W|
|GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||59.2% (70.0fps)||55.1% (46.5fps)||52.0% (29.7fps)||TU102, 4352 shaders, 1545MHz, 11GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 616GB/s, 250W|
|Radeon RX 6800 XT||59.0% (69.7fps)||54.6% (46.1fps)||51.3% (29.4fps)||48.2% (14.0fps)||Navi 21, 4608 shaders, 2250MHz, 16GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 512GB/s, 300W|
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||55.2% (65.3fps)||51.3% (43.3fps)||47.8% (27.4fps)||GA104, 4864 shaders, 1665MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 200W|
|Radeon RX 6800||50.4% (59.6fps)||46.6% (39.3fps)||43.6% (24.9fps)||Navi 21, 3840 shaders, 2105MHz, 16GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 512GB/s, 250W|
|GeForce RTX 2080 Super||49.6% (58.6fps)||45.0% (37.9fps)||41.6% (23.8fps)||TU104, 3072 shaders, 1815MHz, 8GB GDDR6@15.5Gbps, 496GB/s, 250W|
|GeForce RTX 2080||47.5% (56.2fps)||42.5% (35.9fps)||39.1% (22.4fps)||TU104, 2944 shaders, 1710MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 215W|
|GeForce RTX 2070 Super||43.6% (51.5fps)||39.2% (33.1fps)||35.5% (20.3fps)||TU104, 2560 shaders, 1770MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 215W|
|GeForce RTX 3060||41.2% (48.7fps)||38.3% (32.3fps)||35.1% (20.1fps)||GA106, 3584 shaders, 1777MHz, 12GB GDDR6@15Gbps, 360GB/s, 170W|
|Radeon RX 6700 XT||38.8% (45.9fps)||36.1% (30.5fps)||32.6% (18.7fps)||Navi 22, 2560 shaders, 2581MHz, 12GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 384GB/s, 230W|
|GeForce RTX 2070||38.5% (45.5fps)||34.9% (29.4fps)||31.6% (18.1fps)||TU106, 2304 shaders, 1620MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 175W|
|GeForce RTX 2060 Super||36.9% (43.6fps)||33.0% (27.9fps)||29.9% (17.1fps)||TU106, 2176 shaders, 1650MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 448GB/s, 175W|
|GeForce RTX 2060||31.8% (37.6fps)||26.7% (22.5fps)||TU106, 1920 shaders, 1680MHz, 6GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 336GB/s, 160W|
|Radeon RX 6600 XT||30.8% (36.4fps)||28.0% (23.6fps)||Navi 23, 2048 shaders, 2589MHz, 8GB GDDR6@16Gbps, 256GB/s, 160W|
|GeForce RTX 3050||29.4% (34.8fps)||27.0% (22.8fps)||GA106, 2560 shaders, 1777MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 130W|
|Radeon RX 6600||25.8% (30.5fps)||23.3% (19.6fps)||Navi 23, 1792 shaders, 2491MHz, 8GB GDDR6@14Gbps, 224GB/s, 132W|
|Radeon RX 6500 XT||7.9% (9.4fps)||Navi 24, 1024 shaders, 2815MHz, 4GB GDDR6@18Gbps, 144GB/s, 107W|
Finding Discounts on the Best Graphics Cards
With all the GPU shortages these days, you're unlikely to see huge sales on a graphics card, but you may find some savings by checking out the latest Newegg promo codes, Best Buy promo codes and Micro Center coupon codes.
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MORE: Best CPUs for Gaming