The Best Graphics Cards
Last updated: October 2018
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 category for you.
For a complete list of graphics card rankings from best to worst, see our Graphics Card Comparison table.
Best Graphics Card Available
RTX 2080 Ti ($1200)
While technically the best single graphics card on the market is the RTX 2080 Ti by a reasonable margin, its price-to-performance ratio is one of the worst among all recent consumer-grade graphics cards.
Users considering this option should also look into prices for getting two GTX 1080 or two GTX 1080 Ti cards and running them in SLI instead.
GTX 1080 Ti ($700)
For that reason, even though it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% less powerful than the RTX 2080 Ti above, the GTX 1080 Ti will remain the best purchase choice for the majority of builders for the time being.
Best Graphics Card Under $500
Runner Up: NVIDIA GTX 1080 ($500)
The NVIDIA GTX 1080 is our pick for the best graphics card currently available for $500 or less. With ~70% of the performance of the GTX 1080 Ti and a lower price by a wide margin, the GTX 1080 is considered by many to be one of the most reasonable choices for high-end gaming currently.
The GTX 1080 is also ~15-20% more powerful than the GTX 1070, and ~30% more powerful than the previous generation’s GTX 980 Ti and R9 Fury X. Expect to max out many games at 4K, and every game available at 1440p.
NVIDIA GTX 1070 ($400)
We believe the NVIDIA GTX 1070 hits a sweet spot in the market 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 most games with 60 FPS at 1440p resolution, and all games at 1080p. At 1080p, most games will even get up to 120+ FPS with max settings.
If you're tempted by the great price-to-performance ratio of this card, but the 1070 is too expensive for you or you don't need quite as much performance as it provides, then the AMD RX 580 recommended below might be a promising choice.
Best Graphics Card Under $300
NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB ($290)
This is a tricky recommendation. The NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB is definitely the best graphics card under $300, but not quite 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 tight budget, the 3GB card below is definitely the better deal.
Runner Up: AMD RX 580 ($260)
At $260, the AMD RX 580 is the best choice for playing any game maxed out at 1080p. It is VR-ready, roughly 95% as powerful as the GTX 1060 6GB at 1080p gaming, and 100% as powerful at 4K (though neither of those cards are likely to give satisfying performance at 4K).
Best Graphics Card Under $200
NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti ($190)
The best graphics card for under $200 is the NVIDIA 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 most consoles.
Runner Up: AMD RX 560 ($165)
The AMD RX 560 is about 20% less powerful than the GTX 1050 Ti, but it offers a great ratio of performance to price. It's a great option for playing most games at 1080p. If you don't care about having all the eye candy or slightly lower framerates in the most demanding games, the RX 560 is a great value. Any cards cheaper than the RX 560 start to provide less performance for the money.
Best Graphics Card Under $150
AMD RX 460 2GB ($120)
The best graphics card for under $150 is the AMD RX 460 2GB.
As the best card in this price range, the RX 460 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 with a discrete graphics card, 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 resolutions 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.
Best Graphics Processor Under $100
Vega 11 iGPU in the AMD R5 2400G CPU (CPU cost: $160)
The best graphics processor for under $100 is the Vega 11 integrated graphics processor of the AMD R5 2400G CPU. Confused by this choice? Read on:
Every one of the above graphics cards will require pairing with a balanced CPU option. The fact that you're taking advantage of an iGPU here means that the proportion of your CPU/GPU build purchases that is dedicated to your graphics processor is well below $100. This is not only some of the best value for money in the budget building world, it is also some of the best integrated graphics performance that has ever been available.
The Vega 11 iGPU should be capable of 60ish FPS in most games at resolutions below 1080p with medium or lower settings. For a more detailed picture of what this integrated GPU is capable of doing, check out our blog article comparing the R5 2400G to similarly priced CPU/GPU combos.
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 email@example.com.