The Best Graphics Cards

The Best Graphics Card

Helping you find the best graphics card for your money.

Last updated: March 2017

Your graphics card has the greatest influence on your PC’s gaming performance. This page is a resource to help select the best graphics card for your money.

Take a look through the categories in the table of contents to the right, and figure out which is the best graphics card for you.

For a complete list of graphics card rankings from best to worst, see our Graphics Card Comparison table.

Best Graphics Card Available

NVIDIA Titan Xp ($1200)

The best graphics card currently available is the NVIDIA Titan Xp.

The Titan Xp is 10-15% faster than the older, more expensive Titan X. The Titan Xp, GTX 1080 Ti, and Titan X are the only graphics cards that reach 60 FPS at 4K resolution in the Witcher 3, one of the most demanding PC games available.

Runner Up: NVIDIA GTX 1080 ($500)

The GTX 1080 is the second best graphics card currently available. ~70% of the performance of the GTX 1080 Ti, the GTX 1080 is considered by many to be the more reasonable choice for high-end gaming.

The GTX 1080 is also ~15-20% more powerful than the GTX 1070, and ~30% more powerful than last generation’s GTX 980 Ti and R9 Fury X. Expect to max out many games at 4K, and every game available at 1440p.

Best Graphics Card for the Money

NVIDIA GTX 1070 ($400)

The best graphics card for the money, in our opinion, is the NVIDIA GTX 1070.

This is obviously a subjective category, but we believe the GTX 1070 hits the sweet spot by providing huge performance without an exorbitant price. It’s priced lower than the GTX 1080, but still packs roughly 80% the power of that card. With the 1070, gamers can expect to max out nearly any game with 60 FPS at 1440p resolution, and all games at 1080p. At 1080p, most games will get up to 120+ FPS with max settings. If the 1070 is too expensive for you, or you don't need as much performance as it provides, then the AMD RX 480 4GB recommended below is a better choice.

Runner Up: AMD RX 480 4GB

For anyone who doesn't care about running the latest games with all the graphics turned up at 60+ FPS, the 4GB RX 480 is a really good value. It provides 70% of the performance of the GTX 1070 for half the price.

4GB vs 8GB

The 4GB and 8GB versions of the RX 480 perform almost identically, outside of a few specific games that use more than 4GB of VRAM at maximum settings. These games, such as Mirror's Edge Catalyst and Assassin's Creed Syndicate, can see as much as a 40% performance improvement from the 8GB version. Even in these games, decreasing a setting or two by one tick is enough to equalize performance again. The 4GB version is the better value for most people.

Best Graphics Card Under $300

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB ($250)

This is a tricky recommendation. The GTX 1060 6GB is the best graphics card under $300, but not the best value.

The GTX 1060 6GB provides 75% of the performance of the GTX 1070. Thanks to efficient power use, it's also very cool and quiet, as long as you get one with a decent heatsink, such as the PNY dual fan 1060 we're recommending. This card will give you a smooth 60 FPS in most games at 1080p, and be playable at 1440p with max settings, or 60+ FPS with settings turned down a bit.

3GB vs 6GB

The 6GB 1060 is about 10% more powerful than the 3GB 1060, in addition to having more RAM. The extra RAM helps in a couple of games, such as Mirror's Edge Catalyst and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. The 3GB 1060 is so much cheaper that it falls into the under $200 category. If you're on a budget, the 3GB card below is definitely the better deal.

Runner Up: AMD RX 480 8GB ($220)

At $220, the RX 480 8GB is the best choice for playing any game maxed out at 1080p. It is VR-ready, and roughly 95% as powerful as the GTX 1060 6GB at 1080p gaming, and 100% as powerful at 4K. However, for anyone who doesn't mind turning down a graphical setting or two in a couple of games, the 4GB version is the better deal, providing essentially the same performance in almost all games for less money.

Best Graphics Card Under $200

AMD RX 480 4GB ($190)

There are two really good options righ under $200. The RX 480 4GB has the slight edge in performance and price, so it gets our recommendation. But the GTX 1060 3GB is also very good; slightly slower, but more energy efficient. These cards offer the most performance per dollar, and will run modern games at 1080p smoothly with the settings maxed out, although you might need to turn some settings down a bit to get a steady 60+ FPS. The 1060 and 480 will also play modern games smoothly at 1440p, but with slightly reduced graphical settings and framerates.

Runner Up: NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB ($200)

The GTX 1060 3GB is a good alternative to the RX 480 4GB. Slightly slower performance, but better energy efficiency, cooler, and quieter. Also has better Linux support.

Best Graphics Card Under $150

NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti ($140)

The best graphics card for under $150 is the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti.

The GTX 1050 Ti The GTX 1050 Ti is a midrange graphics card that still packs enough power to play most games well at 1080p. You can still expect 40-50+ FPS in demanding games at 1080p, which is better than what you’d experience gaming on a console.

However, while the GTX 1050 Ti is the most powerful card for under $150, the RX 470 is available for only $30 more, and provides about 30% more performance.

Runner Up: RX 470 ($165)

The RX 470 is more than $150, but it is about tied with the 4GB RX 480 for most performance for the money. It's a great option for playing most games maxed out at 1080p, and will handle games at 1440p with the settings turned down. If you don't care about having all the eye candy or slightly lower framerates in the most demanding games, the RX 470 is a great value. Any cards cheaper than the RX 470 start to provide less performance for the money.

Best Graphics Card Under $100

AMD RX 460 2GB ($100)

The best graphics card for under $100 is the AMD RX 460 2GB.

OK, $99.99 just barely counts as less than $100, but the RX 460 is the best card in this price range. It performs similarly to the older, more expensive R7 370 and GTX 950. The RX 460 is quiet, efficient, doesn't require much power, and overclocks well. It can often get 30+ FPS in new PC games at 1080p, or more with lower settings. It's a great card for playing many games at 900p or 720p resolution. It also packs enough punch to play most MOBA games at higher resolutions and settings.

Below $100 and the RX 460, the performance for price ratio of graphics cards really starts to drop. If you plan on playing games, we highly recommend getting at least an RX 460.

2GB vs 4GB RX 460

The 2GB RX 460 we recommend is the better value. The 4GB RX 460 occasionally performs better, especially at higher resolution or with graphical settings turned up, but is not worth the extra money. Usually the 4GB version of the RX 460 performs exaclty the same as the 2GB version. If you can afford to buy the 4GB RX 460, you would get better performance by choosing a faster card such as the GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti.

Questions?

If you have any questions about choosing a graphics card (or any other PC component), don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, or email us at contact@logicalincrements.com.