Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2018

The performance of your graphics card determines the resolution and quality at which you’re able to play games. Picking the right one is key to building a balanced PC, so we review every model in depth to help guide your choice.

Right now, 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 GTX 1080 Ti is our top pick. At the other end of the spectrum, AMD’s Radeon RX 560 stands in as a solid budget-oriented option for great frame rates in eSports titles and serviceable 1080p performance. 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 1920x1080 2560x1440 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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