For PC gamers, there isn't a more important component than your graphics card, but it can be tough to find the best graphics card for you. GPU reviews don't always tell the full story, and tracking down the graphics card that offers the best value between cost and performance isn't as simple as shopping online.
We dug through our graphics card reviews to bring you a definitive ranking of the best GPUs for gaming. The competitiveness between AMD and Nvidia is hotter than it has been in years, and we have several options from both brands regardless of if you're looking for a great value GPU or a 4K gaming behemoth.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
The best GPU for gaming
- Smooth 4K gaming performance
- Nvidia DLSS makes ray tracing possible
- A massive number of great third-party options
- Very expensive at the moment
Why should you buy this: Although almost half the price of the 3090, Nvidia's 3080 delivers near-comparable performance at 4K.
Who’s it for: Gamers with a 4K display who want to play the latest AAA games at high frame rates.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080:
The RTX 3080 is best suited for the 4K gamer who doesn't want to compromise. It outpaces last gen's RTX 2080 Ti by a significant margin while launching at about half of the price. It can maintain above 60 frames per second for 4K gaming in titles like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, offering smooth gameplay in even the most demanding games.
Its features shouldn't go unnoticed, either. This Nvidia graphics card comes packed with the latest ray-tracing cores for accurate gaming lighting, and you can leverage the Tensor cores for dynamic upscaling through Nvidia Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). The RTX 3080 offers enough performance to warrant a purchase, and these two features push it over the edge.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is the best graphics card for 4K gaming. It hits a sweet spot in the high-end market, delivering enough power to handle the most demanding AAA titles without bogging down the card with extra memory that isn't useful for the majority of gamers. Just try to save some money by avoiding the 12GB RTX 3080.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
The best midrange graphics card
- Cheaper than the RTX 3080, but still great
- Fantastic for 1440p and suitable for some 4K gaming
- Maintains 60 fps in AAA titles
- May struggle in some games at 4K
Why should you buy this: The RTX 3070 Ti is the sweet spot in Nvidia's current line-up, offering up enough power to push some games to 4K without the price of an RTX 3080.
Who's it for: The mainstream PC gamer that wants a lot of power at a reasonable price.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti:
The RTX 3070 is a great graphics card, but we'd recommend the upgraded RTX 3070 Ti for most people. It's only slightly faster than the RTX 3070; about 8% based on our testing. But you'll typically find the Ti and non-Ti models in stock for around the same price, making the Ti model effectively a free upgrade.
Although the RTX 3070 Ti is a 1440p graphics card, it can manage 4K in a lot of titles. The extra boost over the base model allows you to play games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla at 60 fps if you tweak a few graphics settings. With DLSS on offer, you can even play games like Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K.
The RTX 3070 Ti is for the reasonable gamer. It might not last as long as the RTX 3080, and you might have to turn down a few graphics settings, but the RTX 3070 Ti balances price and performance unlike any graphics card you can buy right now.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
The best GPU for 4K gaming
- Excellent power efficiency
- Fantastic 4K performance
- DLSS 3 support
- Solid ray tracing performance
- Large and bulky
- Not as good of a value as the RTX 4090
Why should you buy this: The RTX 4080 is expensive, but it feels tailor-made for 4K gaming.
Who's it for: 4K gamers who need above 60 fps in the most demanding games.
What we thought of the Nvidia RTX 4080:
The RTX 4080 is too expensive for what it is, but it's still a highly capable 4K GPU. Below the price of the monstrous RTX 4090, the cheaper RTX 4080 still delivers high frame rates at 4K, even in demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077.
Although the RTX 4080 isn't quite as powerful as the RTX 4090, features like DLSS 3 help fill in the gap. That makes ray tracing possible at 4K, even at high frame rates. DLSS isn't new, but the addition of frame generation on the RTX 4080 can massively boost your frame rate in demanding titles.
The card is big and bulky, but unlike the RTX 4090, it doesn't require a ton of power. It stays at the same wattage as the previous generation, and in real-world use, it actually consumes about 50W less.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
The best 1440p graphics card
- Fantastic cost-to-performance ratio at MSRP
- Great for 1440p gaming
- Close to the RTX 3070, but cheaper
- Not the best option for 4K
Why should you buy this: The RTX 3060 Ti punches well above its weight class.
Who's it for: 1440p gamers who want all of the visual bells and whistles.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti:
The RTX 3060 Ti is an extremely powerful graphics card, considering its spot in Nvidia's Ampere gaming lineup. Below the RTX 3070, the 3060 Ti still delivers 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit bus and features only a slight reduction in clock speed — 1.67GHz on the 3060 Ti versus 1.72GHz on the 3070. It's best suited for 1440p gamers that want high frame rates without the high price.
In benchmarks, the RTX 3060 Ti scores above last gen's GeForce RTX 2080 Super. The card can deliver above 70 fps in demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 with Ultra settings at 1440p. In games like Control, you can take advantage of features like DLSS to boost your performance, too.
The RTX 3060 Ti shines as the best graphics card for 1440p. It's incredibly capable, offering frame rates north of 60 fps in demanding AAA titles, even with all the sliders turned up. Ray tracing would normally be a problem for a card like this, but thanks to DLSS, you can still hit performance marks with all the visual bells and whistles.
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
The best 1080p graphics card
- Smooth gaming at 1080p
- Doesn't require a lot of power
- Capable of 1440p gaming
- Support for FidelityFX Super Resolution
- A little too expensive
- Lackluster content creation performance
- Poor ray tracing performance
Why should you buy this: It's the best 1080p gaming graphics card around, and secondhand models are cheaper than the Nvidia RTX 3060.
Who’s it for: The 1080p gamer with a high refresh rate display.
What we thought of the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT:
The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT isn't great value — but in a time when GPU options are so overpriced, that hardly matters. What matters for the RX 6600 XT is that it outperforms Nvidia's RTX 3060 by a decent margin, and on the secondhand market, it's as much as $150 cheaper.
In an average of five gaming benchmarks, the RX 6600 XT offered about an 11% improvement over the RTX 3060 at 1080p. Across our benchmarks, it averaged 117.6 fps, making it an ideal option for 1080p gamers with a high refresh rate display. It's simply one of the best 1080p graphics cards you buy right now.
Even in a game as demanding as Cyberpunk 2077, the Radeon RX 6600 XT can put up above 60 fps with all of the sliders turned up. Except for ray tracing, of course, which remains one of the most demanding gaming tasks for a graphics card. The RX 6600 XT doesn't handle ray tracing as well as its Nvidia counterpart, but neither card is really cut out for it.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
The best graphics card for enthusiasts
- Huge leaps in 4K gaming performance
- Excellent ray tracing performance
- High power and thermals, but manageable
- DLSS 3 performance is off the charts
- Very expensive
- DLSS 3 image quality needs some work
Why should you buy this: It's the most powerful graphics card you can buy today, hands down.
Who’s it for: High-end enthusiasts that want the best of the best regardless of price.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090:
The RTX 4090 is a nonsense graphics card, and we mean that in the best way possible. It's $1,600, which is hard to justify spending on any graphics card. But if you want the best of the best, the RTX 4090 is it, and by a significant margin.
The previous GPU champion, the RTX 3090 Ti, looks puny by comparison. Based on our testing, the RTX 4090 is nearly 70% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti, and almost 90% faster than the RTX 3090. It's a 4K graphics card that enables features like ray tracing in the most demanding games available today.
It's overkill for most people, and it comes with some high demands. You'll need a power supply with a lot of wattage, and you'll need a case to accommodate the card's massive size. It's a reasonable trade-off for high-end enthusiasts, though, especially with features like DLSS 3 on offer.
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
The best AMD graphics card
- Comparable to the RTX 3080
- Great overclocking capabilities
- Suited for 4K gaming
- Best used without ray tracing
Why should you buy this: The RX 6800 XT is as powerful as the RTX 3080, and even more powerful if you overclock it.
Who's it for: AMD fans who are interested in overclocking.
What we thought of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT:
The Radeon RX 6800 XT is AMD's answer to the RTX 3080, and it's the best AMD GPU you can buy right now. It's positioned to compete directly with Nvidia's flagship card, but it's packed with wildly different specs. The most interesting spec is 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Nvidia's card uses faster memory, but AMD's card offers more. You should buy this card if you want to play in 4K but don't want the price tag of an Nvidia GPU.
For performance, the Radeon RX 6800 XT matches the RTX 3080 in most titles with ray tracing turned off. If you're willing to overclock your graphics card, the 6800 XT actually edges ahead. AMD's Infinity Cache that shows up on the RX 6800 XT allows the card to hit very high clock speeds, resulting in serious performance gains. It's best suited for gamers who don't care about ray tracing, though.
Ray tracing changes things a bit, as DLSS adds a huge boost in performance to Nvidia cards. That said, AMD introduced the Super Resolution feature as part of the FidelityFX suite, which is similar to DLSS. The suite also includes a variety of other visual enhancements, such as Contrast Adaptive Sharpening, which restores sharpness to an image after temporal anti-aliasing is applied. Thecan take advantage of all the FidelityFX features.
Intel Arc Alchemist A750
The best value graphics card
- Great 1080p and 1440p gaming performance
- Competitive ray tracing performance
- Relatively inexpensive
- Resizable BAR is necessary
- XeSS needs some work
Why should you buy this: It's a great graphics card for the price, minus a few bugs.
Who's it for: Gamers looking for a great deal that don't mind dealing with a few bugs.
What we thought of the Intel Arc Alchemist A750:
Intel's Arc A750 isn't a perfect graphics card. It has some problems with older games, and Intel still needs to further optimize its drivers. But it still offers a fantastic value. For around $290, it's competitive with Nvidia's RTX 3060, which runs around $400.
AMD usually is the budget alternative to Nvidia, and although that's still true, Nvidia has been the way to go if you want to turn on ray tracing. The Arc A750 has competitive ray tracing, unlike its AMD counterparts, meaning it can truly go toe-to-toe with the RTX 3060.
On top of that, the card also supports Intel's XeSS upscaling feature, which uses AI to upscale your games and improve performance. It's not available in a ton of games, but Intel should add support in more titles over the coming months.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 mobile
The best graphics card for laptops
- Available in a ton of laptops
- Adequate for 1080p gaming
- Huge improvement over previous gens
- Not ideal for hardcore gamers
Why should you buy this: It offers great performance without adding undue bulk to modern laptops.
Who's it for: Power gamers on the move.
What we thought of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 mobile:
Nvidia's RTX 3060 is one of the latest iterations of its leaner mobile gaming solutions, but that doesn't mean it lacks power. It offers a greater number of CUDA cores than previous generations of Nvidia graphics card mobile chips and delivers a sizable performance improvement over the past generation.
Although the GeForce RTX 3060 falls behind its full-scale desktop and mobile counterparts, its real strength lies in not outputting anywhere near the level of heat generated by big-scale GPUs. That means you'll still find the RTX 3060 in laptops that are sleek and thin and don't weigh too much. You can see the results in this older Razer Blade that we previously used in testing that weighs just 4.5 pounds and offers performance that in years gone by you'd only find in chunky gaming machines that weigh close to double that.
There are some solid alternatives in this space, with both AMD and Nvidia offering mobile options with greater and lesser performance depending on your needs. In our opinion, RTX 2070 Max-Q offers all the performance most users could want, all in a low-profile chipset. It's a great solution for those who want optimal video performance from a smaller laptop. If you’re a gamer or just want some enhanced graphics on your small form factor laptop, this is a great choice.
Finding the graphics card that will best suit your needs comes down to the resolution of your display and the kinds of games you play. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is great for 4K, for example, but it's overkill for 1080p where the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT shines. The lower your display's resolution, the less you need to spend on a graphics card.
Beyond that, consider the games you want to play and at what frame rates. You can use the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super for everything from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Borderlands 3, but you might need to step up to the GeForce RTX 3070 to play games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
As a rule of thumb, you should dedicate about 30% of your budget to a graphics card for a gaming PC. For 1080p, you should spend around $300 to $400; for 1440p, around $400 to $500; and for 4K, $600 or above. The Radeon RX 6600 XT targets 1080p at $379, the GeForce RTX 3070 is great for 1440p at $500, and the GeForce RTX 3080 is the perfect video card for 4K at $700.
Graphics cards are vastly overpriced in 2022, though. As it stands now, you can expect to pay double what you should for each resolution. Hopefully, that will change in the coming months.
Nvidia and AMD recommend power supply wattage for their most recent graphics card. The Radeon RX 6800 XT, for example, draws 300W of power and AMD recommends a 750W PSU at least. Similarly, the GeForce RTX 3080 video card draws 320W and Nvidia recommends a 750W PSU. These recommendations aren't always perfect, though, so we recommend using a PSU calculator.
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