You can only get the best value for your money if you buy the best graphics card for your needs. It’s not enough to spend a lot of money on the most powerful GPU and expect to be able to play games and make content quickly. It’s not just its raw speed that makes it the best GPU, though.
It’s now easier to get your hands on the best graphics cards from Nvidia GeForce and AMD. But even the best GPU for your gaming PC can be very expensive. Yes, prices are starting to drop a lot from where they were a few years ago, so now is a great time to buy a new graphics card. But if all you do on your PC is stream movies and shows and play the occasional PC game, do you really need to spend money on an RTX 4090?
We come in at this point. We’ve tested almost all of the best GPUs from top brands like MSI, Gigabyte, and Asus, as well as Nvidia and AMD reference cards, so we know the best graphics cards that will let you play the best PC games, work easily with cutting-edge video editing and 3D rendering software, and occasionally edit your family vacation photos.
We’ll help you find the best GPU by putting together our top picks, which range from the most expensive to the least expensive. Whether you need one of the best 1440p graphics cards, the best 4K option, or the best 1080p graphics card, the list below should help you find the right one for your needs.
The Top 5 Best Graphics Cards In 2023
1. AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
When it came out at the end of 2022, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX had a lot to prove. However, it does a great job of being the most powerful gaming GPU on the market for less than $1,000 while outperforming Nvidia’s RTX 4080, which costs 20% more.
With the new 2nd-gen ray accelerators in the RX 7900 XTX, you can play 4K games on ultra settings with ray tracing. This is something that the RX 6950 XT, AMD’s previous top-of-the-line card, couldn’t quite do. It has some problems, like not being as good at ray tracing as the Nvidia RTX 4000-series (while still being better than the Nvidia RTX 3090) and not being as good at creative workloads as the Nvidia RTX 3090, but overall, this is the one graphics card we would recommend to anyone who wants to finally upgrade their GPU after years of shortages.
- Stream Processors: 4,864,
- Core Clock: 1,900MHz (2,500MHz Boost)
- Memory: 24GB GDDR6
- Memory Clock: 20Gbps (960GB/s bandwidth)
- Outputs: 1 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x DisplayPort 2.1, 1 x USB Type-C
- Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin
2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
Is AMD no longer the best place to get a good GPU? With its price to performance ratio, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti puts that claim at risk. This graphics card is one of the newer ones in the RTX 3000 line. It has a performance that could rival that of the RTX 2080 Super, but its price is so low that most people can afford it. That includes the very cool ray tracing. We’ve never seen 1080p gaming be so good or so cheap.
During our tests, we found that it could even play games in 4k, if only just. You’ll have to give up on ray tracing and make some adjustments to the settings. Besides that, there’s not much else wrong with the 3060 Ti. It stays as cool as a cucumber and looks great if you like to show off what’s inside your PC. Most people will agree that this is the best graphics card.
- Stream Processors: 4,864
- Core Clock: 1.41 GHz (1.67 GHz boost)
- Memory: 8 GB GDDR6
- Memory Clock: 14Gbps
- Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
- Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin (adapter to 1x 12-pin included)
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
In the last few years, the best graphics cards all had one thing in common: they were very expensive. This has a lot to do with the shortage of graphics cards we’ve all been dealing with, but it’s also because Nvidia and AMD had ignored the budget graphics card market for too long.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is finally here, which is good news. Even though it’s a lot more expensive than Nvidia’s 50-series cards used to be, this GPU is still much cheaper than almost everything else on the market right now. With the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, we could play almost every game on high settings. And esports gamers will love this card because it is relatively cheap and can run games like Overwatch and League of Legends without much trouble.
- Stream Processors: 2,560
- Core Clock: 1.78 GHz
- Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Memory Speed: 12Gbps
- Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin
- Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI
4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 does cost a lot of money. It also needs an adapter or connector with 16 pins. And, it’s very, very big. But the first product in Nvidia’s new 4000-series is a powerhouse that can do anything you want. It has the most power of any GPU.
In our tests, it worked much better than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090. It was two to four times as fast in synthetic benchmarks, and some games had frame rates that were up to 100% faster. Also, the DLSS 3 that comes with it could be the next big thing in gaming once it’s fully used.
Still, most people don’t need this much GPU. People who are creative or want to play 8K games will like how powerful this graphics card is. Just make sure you have a power supply and case that are strong enough to run it.
- Stream processors: 16,384
- Core clock: 2,235 MHz
- Memory: 24GB GDDR6X
- Memory clock: 21.2Gbps
- Power connectors: 1 x 16-pin
- Outputs: DisplayPort 1.4a x3, HDMI 2.1a
5. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
When it comes to performance, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is hard to beat. With a huge 24GB of RAM, no game or, more importantly, any project with a lot of graphics will run slowly. We were even able to get 8K at 60 frames per second out of the 3090. It is very expensive and quite big, so most users will probably find it to be too much GPU for their needs.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is basically a replacement for the Titan. Because of this, it’s more for creative users who do a lot of 3D and video rendering than for gamers who play a lot of games. Even so, it costs a lot less than the Titan, which makes it a great deal for creative professionals who are used to spending a lot of money on their tools.
- Stream Processors: 10,496
- Core Clock: 1.40 GHz (1,70 GHz boost)
- Memory: 24 GB GDDR6X
- Memory Clock: 19.5Gbps
- Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin
- Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
How to decide which graphics card is best for you
Since the best graphics cards are back on the market, you can be more picky about which one you want. You would have more choices in a range of prices, so you would have to decide how much you are willing to spend.
Of course, you also have to think about your graphic needs. You shouldn’t settle for what you can afford right now if it’s not powerful enough to meet your daily needs. You should put it off for a while and save money until you can afford the right GPU.
To figure out which one it is, you should look at the important specs: All of the following are important: GPU memory, GPU size, Thermal Design Power, or TDP, ports, and power connectors. As is the number of teraflops (or GFLOPS) it has, because that shows how well it should work in theory.
Nvidia is still the best place to go if you want the best ray tracing experience. But we’re sure that AMD will improve its ray tracing to stay in the game. If you like VR games and experiences, you should also check to see if it works with VR.
Where can you buy graphics cards online that are the best?
There are a lot of big online stores that sell graphics cards right now, and many of them have great deals on a lot of the best ones on our list. Since it’s been hard to find graphics cards at MSRP for the past two years, we’re going against our usual pattern and giving you the best deals we’ve found on the cards on our list so you can buy them right away.
What is the best graphics card for games?
In general, the best graphics card for gaming will depend on a number of things. Things like what kind of games you like to play, what resolution you play at, and whether or not you care about cool features like ray tracing and DLSS are very important.
For example, you can get by with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 or an AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT if all you want to do is play all the latest games at 1080p with high settings. But if you want to play everything at the highest settings with ray tracing at 4K, you’ll probably want something like the RTX 3080 Ti.
Which brand makes the best graphics cards?
The question of whether Nvidia or AMD graphics cards are better will probably never go away. At the moment, both GPU manufacturers are pretty much on the same level, and what’s best for you might not be best for someone else.
If you like ray tracing, you’re probably better off with Nvidia. In the past, AMD was better for those on a tight budget.
How we check out the best video cards
When looking for the best graphics cards, it’s very important to make sure everything is tested on the same level. So, when a new graphics card comes out, we test it in a set of 11–12 games at different resolutions and with the latest drivers.
This means that every time a new graphics card comes out, we have to test all of the ones we already have. And we make sure that all of the cards are tested on the same hardware, which means the same processor, the same memory at the same speed, the same motherboard, and the same SSD. So, we can be sure we’re measuring how well the graphics card itself works, and we can compare it more accurately to its competitors.
We also keep track of how much power it uses and how hot it gets when it’s working hard, so we can recommend it to people who may be worried about their PCs getting too hot.
we look at the features of each graphics card, which usually don’t change much from one generation to the next. But the performance can change when something like ray tracing is turned on.