Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2019

Your computer's graphics card or GPU is the most important component when it comes to determining gaming performance (followed by the CPU). To help you choose the right graphics card for your rig, we thoroughly review and stress test all the major cards, ranking each platform in our GPU hierarchy. Below, we publish our list of specific make and model recommendations.

Deal Alert (7/15): Prime Day is here and so are a number of intriguing GPU deals, from both Amazon and its competitors. Among our favorites are a  Zotac RTX 2080 for $609, reduced from $687, and an MSI Radeon RX 590 for $179, down from $219.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: Shutterstock

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).

After the release of the less-than-stellar GTX 1650 from Nvidia, news about new cards was fairly slow. We took a look at the premium mid-range GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming OC 6G from Gigabyte. And mention of AMD Radeon 640 and 630 recently surfaced in AMD's Adrenaline driver. But looking at the device IDs, it seems likely these cards are just re-brands of existing low-end Polaris silicon.

More substantively, at Computex 2019, AMD's CEO Lisa Su revealed more details about its upcoming Navi cards, including branding, which will be Radeon RX 5000 series. AMD revealed many more details about the RX 5700 XT flagship and the lesser RX 5700 during E3. While we expect these cards to compete primarily with Nvidia's RTX 2070 and RTX 2060, we'll have to wait for full performance details (and official pricing) until we get closer to July 7, when the cards are slated to officially launch.< /p>

Nvidia has preemptively responded to AMD's Navi by launching a new line of RTX 20 Super cards. The RTX 2070 Super in particular brings move value into its $500 price range. But given that AMD's new cards are just days away, we are holding off on specific new recommendations until we get a better lay of the new GPU landscape.

Best Graphics Cards for Gaming

Nvidia RTX 2080 TiNvidia RTX 2080 Ti

1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Best Overall (When Price is No Object)

Rating: 4.5 / 5 (Editor's Choice)

GPU: Turing (TU102) | Core Clock: 1,350 MHz | Video RAM: 11GB GDDR5X | TDP: 260 watts

Pros: Smooth performance at 4K, High Settings • Packed with future-looking tech • Great thermal solution supports boost clocks

Cons: 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 Ti’s halo features aren’t used in many games yet, but as those come online, the Turing architecture is expected to shine even brighter. That said, Nvidia's recent driver release unlocks ray tracing support on non-RTX cards. So if you have a capable previous-generation Pascal (10-series) card, you can at least try out those snazzy lighting and shadow effects. 

Nvidia also did a good job improving the cooler on its Founders Edition version of the 2080 Ti, 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

Nvidia RTX 2070Nvidia RTX 2070

2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

Best for VR Gaming

Rating: 3.5 / 5

GPU: Turing (TU106) | Core Clock: 1,410 MHz | Video RAM:  8GB GDDR6 | TDP: 185 watts

Pros: Faster than GTX 1080 • Quiet under load • Good cooling

Cons: Expensive

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 most 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

Nvidia GTX 1660 TiNvidia GTX 1660 Ti

3. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6GB)

Best for 2K Gaming

Rating:4.5 / 5 (Editor's Choice)

GPU:  Turing (TU116) | Core Clock: 1,500 MHz | Video RAM: 6GB GDDR6 | TDP: 120 watts

Pros: Great performance at 1920 x 1080 • Acceptable frame rates at 2560 x 1440 • Retains Turing's video encode/decode acceleration features • 120W board power compares favorably to AMD competition

Cons: No RT/Tensor cores mean you won't be able to try ray tracing or DLSS

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is the card to beat for high-refresh gaming at 1920 x 1080 and solid performance at 2560 x 1440 (1440p), delivering frame rates similar to the previous-generation GeForce GTX 1070.

Stepping up to the GeForce RTX 2060 will get you higher frame rates at 1440p, while also bringing the company’s Tensor/RT cores to the table. But with a tiny number of current games supporting those features, the 2060 doesn’t look as good in our performance-per-dollar charts, making the 1660 Ti a better value for most 1080p-plus gamers.

That said, if you have a high-refresh 2K screen and / or are particularly excited about what DLSS and ray tracing will bring to more games in the coming months and years, the RTX 2060 is worth paying the extra $70 (£50) or so for.

Read Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6GB)

AMD Radeon RX 580AMD Radeon RX 580

4. AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB)

Best for 1080p Gaming

Rating: 4/5

GPU: Polaris 10 (GCN 4.0) | Core Clock: 1,411 MHz | Video RAM: 4GB/8GB GDDR5 | TDP: 185 watts

Pros:
Smooth frame rates at 1920 x 1080 • Low power consumption with multiple monitors • Available in both 4GB and 8GB capacities

Cons: Higher power consumption than Radeon RX 480

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 8GB

AMD Radeon RX 570 (4GB)AMD Radeon RX 570 (4GB)

5. AMD Radeon RX 570 (4GB)

Best Budget GPU

Rating: 3.5 / 5

GPU: Ellesmere | Core Clock: 1,206 MHz | Video RAM: 4GB GDDR5 | TDP: 150 watts 

Pros: Slightly faster than Radeon RX 470, excellent 1080p performance • AMD maintains competitive pricing • Ample memory (4GB GDDR5) proves valuable in comparisons to GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

Cons: Less-capable thermal solutions than Radeon RX 580 • Little overclocking headroom • Confusion caused by re-branding existing hardware

There’s been lots of turmoil in the budget gaming card space over the last couple years, despite a general lack of substantively new hardware. For a long time, the crypto-ming craze kept AMD’s RX 570 card priced high (and often made it hard to find in stock), keeping it out of our budget considerations. But now that’s over and an abundance of AMD cards has pushed the price of the 2017-era RX 570 (itself a re-work of 2016’s RX 470) down to around $130 (£127) and up for 4GB models. That makes AMD’s card easy to recommend over our previous recommendation, the 3GB GTX 1050, which currently sells for about $30 (£20) more.

The Radeon RX 570 appeals specifically to folks gunning for high-detail gaming at 1920x1080 (1080p), who don’t have the budget to step up to an RX 580. That said, with 8GB RX 580s often dipping below the $200 (£154) mark these days, AMD’s stepped-up card is arguably a better buy. That’s particularly true for those looking for long-term gaming performance at 1080p or interested in experimenting with high-resolution texture packs. The additional 4GB of memory will likely become increasingly important in future memory-hungry titles, making the RX 580 a card with more gaming performance longevity.

Read Review: AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB

All GPUs Ranked

We've tested all the current AMD and Nvidia GPUs and ranked them in order of performance, from best to worst.


Score
GPU
Base/Boost
Memory
Power
Buy
Nvidia Titan RTX100TU1021350/1770 MHz24GB GDDR6280W $2499.00Amazon
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti98.4
TU1021350/1635 MHz11GB GDDR6260W $2499.00Amazon
Nvidia GeForce RTX 208096.1
TU1041515/1800 MHz8GB GDDR6225W $745.99Walmart
Nvidia Titan Xp
96.0
GP102
1405/1480 MHz12GB GDDR5X
250W
$1200Nvidia
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
96.0GP102
1480/1582 MHz11GB GDDR5X
250W
$999.77Amazon
AMD Radeon VII
92.4Vega 20
1400/1750 MHz
16GB HBM2
300W
$885.00Amazon
Nvidia GeForce RTX 207087.2
TU1061410/1710 MHz8GB GDDR6185W $449.99Amazon
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
84.4
Vega 10
1274/1546 MHz8GB HBM2180W $399.99Newegg
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
84.3
GP104
1607/1733 MHz
8GB GDDR5X
295W
$699.99Amazon
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
78.5
GP104
1607/1683 MHz8GB GDDR5
180W
$604.99Amazon
Nvidia GeForce RTX 206077.5TU1061365/1680 MHz6GB GDDR6160W $350Newegg
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
76.7
Vega 10
1156/1471 MHz8GB HBM2
210W
$1069.61Amazon
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
71.4TU116
1365/1680 MHz
6GB GDDR6
120W
$269.99Walmart
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
69.9
GP104
1506/1683 MHz8GB GDDR5
150W
$484.95Amazon
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660~
TU1161530/1785 MHz6GB GDDR5120W $234.99Walmart
AMD Radeon RX 590 8GB
60.7
Polaris 30
1469/1545 MHz8GB GDDR5225W
$215.99Walmart
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
57.9
Polaris 10
1257/1340 MHz8GB GDDR5
185W
$212.00Amazon
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
53.2GP106
1506/1708 MHz6GB GDDR5
120W
$249.99Monoprice.com
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
49.4
GP106
1506/1708 MHz3GB GDDR5
120W
$199.99eBay
AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB
48.3
Polaris 10
1168/1244 MHz4GB GDDR5
150W
$289Newegg
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
33.1
GP107
1290/1392 MHz4GB GDDR5
75W
$349.22Walmart
AMD Radeon RX 560
28.6Polaris 11
1175/1275 MHz4GB GDDR5
80W
$109.99Newegg
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
28.1
GP107
1354/1455 MHz2GB GDDR5
75W
$139Newegg
AMD Radeon RX 550
17.9
Polaris 12
1100/1183 MHz4GB GDDR5
50W
$153.69Newegg
Nvidia GeForce GT 1030
13.0
GP108
1228/1468 MHz2GB GDDR5
30W
$91.89Walmart

Want to comment on this story? Let us know what you think in the Tom's Hardware Forums.



MORE: HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which Is Better For Gaming?

65 comments
    Your comment
  • 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?
  • dshumilak
    1070 Simple. Runs Well,, Can Hold A Very Large PUSH.
  • dshumilak
    Oh and Remember don't run it on a xxxx CPU.

    <MODERATOR EDIT>

    TOM'S IS A FAMILY FRIENDLY WEBSITE ...
    PROFANITY IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN, AND IS A BANNING OFFENSE !!!

    WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE !
  • spdragoo
    376137 said:
    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.


    I think they're going to keep it...although I do wish they'd kept a 3rd column for Intel's integrated graphics (as well as the Vega-equipped Ryzen/Athlon chips).
  • SR TEE
    If you want to do 4K gaming I'd hold off on the GTX 2080TI until AMD releases their RX 680 to see what it can do or save yourself some money and get the GTX 1080TI for $450 to $550 cheaper. $1200 is a total ouch for most people I personally know, but if you want the best at the moment and newest Ray Tracing tech(which there's no 100% guaranty it will catch on) and have the money to burn be my guest.

    Just my opinion and please feel free to disagree.

    Happy gaming all.
  • imhassanpiracha
    ZOTAC 1070ti AMP Xtreme should make this list. It is going for around USD $420. Can be overclocked above 2000 MHZ easily. it is one of the most silent cards I have seen with lowest temps at full stress. IMO
  • apk24
    197947 said:
    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?


    The under $100 market has always sucked. If you're looking in that price range, look at buying a generation older cards used. A GTX 960 4GB performs in the neighborhood of a 1050/1050 Ti and can be had for around a 100 if you hunt around craigslist or ebay.
  • suau
    1) The GTX 1050 3GB didn't earn a spot on this list.
    The RX 580 4GB consistenly beats the GTX1050 by a landslide (~20-50% FPS), costs 10$ less AND it comes with the newest Assassins Creed: Odyssey for free (50-60$ value and two other games).
    (PowerColor RED DRAGON Radeon RX 570 is 159.99$ Newegg link below)

    2) The RX 580 8GB is available for 50$ less than displayed here on the same retailer AND it comes with the newest Assassins Creed: Odyssey for free (and two other games).
    (PowerColor RED DEVIL Radeon RX 580 is 229.99$ Newegg link below)

    P.S. No I don't work for PowerColor, I picked the cheapest card with the free game bundles.

    3) Recommending any Nvidia card for the midrange is just plain wrong simply because of G-sync. The best improvement for any gaming machine is adding FreeSync or G-sync to eliminate tearing or avoiding V-sync, which most probably will drop your framerate to 30fps or even 15fps in newer games on those weaker cards.
    24in-1080p-144Hz-FreeSync monitors are available for less than 200$.
    24in-1080p-144Hz-G-sync monitors start around 350$.
    That's a 150$ difference that has to be considered.

    4) Even the not so midrange GTX 1070 isn't a clear winner, as the Vega 56 is in the same price range and has about the same performance, offers a free game bundle (60$+ value) and still has the FreeSync (150$) advantage. No one in their right mind will drop ~400$ on a graphics card and then play without FreeSync/G-sync.
    My take on this tier:
    Buy AMD Vega 56 if:
    - you want to get "Assassins Creed: Odyssey" anyways.
    - you already own a FreeSync monitor or will upgrade your monitor in the foreseeable future.
    - you don't have a monitor yet.
    - you do have a FreeSync TV or plan to buy one and enjoy playing controller/couch-games like Assassins Creed, retro emulators, Street Fighter, GTA, Batman, Dirt etc.
    Buy Nvidia GTX 1070 if:
    - you are upgrading your PC and your Power supply has less than 650W
    - you already own a G-sync monitor

    @chris_angelini
    Not sure if this was just lazy research or biased advice.

    Links:

    PowerColor RED DRAGON Radeon RX 570
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131717&cm_re=rx_570-_-14-131-717-_-Product

    PowerColor RED DEVIL Radeon RX 580
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131713&cm_re=RX_580-_-14-131-713-_-Product

    GTX 1050 3GB vs RX570 4GB:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7snPy5O48m0
  • suau
    Sorry typo in my comment above
    "The RX 580 4GB consistenly beats the GTX1050" ... should be "The RX 570 4GB"
  • dang10010
    Here's my version
    $100 - $120 budget card- the RX 560 https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007709%20601296397
    These cards are almost neck and neck with the 1050 in most games and is currently $70 less than the 1050.

    $150 - $175 FHD- the RX 570 https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20601296379%20601296377&IsNodeId=1
    The RX 570 has come back down to Earth in the past month or so and has plenty of power to game at the 1080 resolutions plus you get AMD freesync, it's also $100 cheaper than the rx 580, look around for an open box or sale and you just might pick up a 580 for $10 - $20 more.

    $400 QHD- the 1070ti https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20601305993&IsNodeId=1
    Why not spend another $10 to $20 and get the ti version instead, for most games it's neck and neck with the 1080 and consumes less power. Use a rebate and it's under $400. This is also a very good card for pushing past that 120 fps limit if high frames is your thing.

    $750 Best for VR- the 2080 https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20601321570&IsNodeId=1
    Spend a few more dollars and get a new generation card, wait for Xmas and save $?

    Obviously the fastest card out there is a 2080ti, so go out and get one now after you sell your car and start taking the bus.
  • tejayd
    I think we all loved the gpu hierarchy table. Mostly as an easy way to compare our older gpu's. I am a fan of the "best for" rankings they use in these articles. Just to help put it in perspective for amateur builders.
  • thealmightyeyeball
    I think there should be some AMD options at the top just because of the fact that Freesync costs about $200 less than G-Sync for those who want a nice system but are on a tighter budget.
  • hectormifflin
    rx 570 is the best value by far.
  • vaughn2k
    For U$320, Vega 56 will kick the ass off that 1070, Even the Vega 64 at U$380.00.. 'cmon...
  • zthomas
    I got a titan xp before there was even a hint of new cards coming out.. the card has worked perfectly since plugging in replacing four year old used 980.. that started have a few issues with the newest games. Love seeing blowing hair and steam and fire radiating from a battle bruised in titan2
  • bobbl1235
    Shouldn't the graphic at the beginning of the Article list the RTX 2080 Ti (shown as GTX 2080 Ti) be corrected?
  • araczynski
    my 1080Ti is rocking 4k quite nicely is most games. Granted I'm playing on a 49" Sony TV and not a 1000MHZ monitor, nor wasting time with AA at 4K.
  • turgaism
    Competely agree! Please keep the GPU Performance Hierarchy Table going!

    MARKBANANG 1 month ago
    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.
  • hasnat.main
  • elbert
    197947 said:
    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?


    It did as the 1030 was well into the $90's but now I see some getting down to $69. Not a great price for the bottom of the barrel 1030's. Give it about a month or two for the prices to return back to pre-cryptocurrency levels. The 1030 DDR4 should be in the $50's so they are also a bit high priced still. Most of the AMD 550 and 560's are also returning to normal pricing but they need a bit longer as well and possible a discount or game bundle.
  • none12345
    Just yesterday toms posted an article about a $160 4gb 580. Anyone who is buying a $140 1050 is an idiot vs spending $20 more for a 580. +70-80% performance for +15% price is an absolute no brainer. (unless you absolutely need a card without a power connector, as the 1050 is the fastest card that does not need a power connector).

    Its like the right hand doesnt know what the left hand is doing at toms.
  • Garrek99
    Shouldn't the 2070 replace the 1080 for best VR pick?
    It's cheaper and faster and adds ray tracing.