Best graphics cards in 2024: the GPUs I recommend for every budget

The best graphics card is objectively Nvidia's RTX 4090. Subjectively, however, you're going to want to weigh up the pros and cons of spending $1,600 or more on a single GPU. It's not for everyone. That's why we've tested every new GPU made by AMD, Intel, and Nvidia to find the best card across multiple price points.

For the high-end gamer, the best $600 to $800 graphics card is the RTX 4070 Ti Super and just below that price point, the best $500 to $600 graphics card is the RTX 4070 Super. They're both fast and feature-rich, with superior ray tracing performance, upscaling, and frame generation than the competition, though they are quite pricey.

While AMD's best graphics card is the top-end RX 7900 XTX, its lower-spec models are great value for money. The best $350 to $500 graphics card is the RX 7800 XT and in the $250 to $350 range, the RX 6700 XT is by far the best card you can get. When it comes to saving as much as you can but still getting good performance, the best budget graphics card is AMD's Radeon RX 7600.

You've also got quite a lot of other models to choose from, beyond those recommended above. I've listed those specific graphics cards in different categories below, but I've also lined up the most relevant GPUs, all in order of gaming performance. The best graphics card might be too expensive for most PC gamers but that doesn't mean there isn't a great GPU for your budget.

Curated by...
Jacob Ridley headshot on colour background
Curated by...
Jacob Ridley

Jacob has loads of experience with the latest and greatest graphics cards, reviewing many generations of Nvidia and AMD GPU over the years. He's au fait with the latest architectures, even Intel's Arc, and makes sure to rotate through the latest cards from all three major manufacturers to get first-hand experience of what they're like to game with. Not just of their performance, but also which offer the most useful features and have the most reliable drivers.

The quick list

Recent updates

Updated May 31, 2024 to check over our recommendations, update the review copy, and expand the FAQ section a little.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090

(Image credit: Future)
The best graphics card

Specifications

Shaders: 16,432
Boost clock: 2,520 MHz
TFLOPs: 82.6
Memory: 24GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 21 GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 1,008 GB/s
TGP: 450 W

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent gen-on-gen performance
+
DLSS Frame Generation is magic
+
Super-high clock speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Massive
-
Ultra-enthusiast pricing
-
Non-4K performance is constrained
-
High power demands
Buy if...

You want the best: The RTX 4090 is simply the most powerful GPU you can buy for your gaming PC today. The silicon inside it is monstrously powerful, and along with DLSS3 and Frame Generation, it provides a truly next-gen experience.

You want to nail 4K gaming: This is the card that makes 4K gaming buttery smooth. That 24GB frame buffer means you're not going to run out of VRAM any time soon.

You're a creator as well as a gamer: Time is money if you do any sort of professional GPU work, and the RTX 4090 could start to pay for itself right away given its incredible rendering and compute power.

Don't buy if...

You need to ask the price: It's fair to say that it's one of the best value Ada GPUs given its relative price-performance ratio, but it's still $1,600 at best. That's far cheaper than the RTX 3090 Ti was, and the RTX 3090 if you take inflation into account.

You have a compact rig: This thing is BIG. Like, comically big. You'll struggle to fit it in some cases, so make sure you measure first.

The bottom line

🪛 The RTX 4090 is the true next-gen experience that we simply haven't seen from any of the other AMD or Nvidia cards from this new generation. And that almost makes it worth that exorbitant price tag.

The best graphics card right now is Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 and there's nothing subtle about this ultimate gaming performance monster. It's a hulking great lump of a pixel pusher, and while there are some extra curves added to what could otherwise look like a respin of the RTX 3090 shroud, it still has that novelty graphics card aesthetic.

It looks like some semi-satirical plastic model made up to skewer GPU makers for the ever-increasing size of their cards. But it's no model, and it's no moon, this is the vanguard for the entire RTX 40-series GPU generation, a complete beast of a gaming component that leaves all others in the dust.

On the one hand, it served as a hell of an introduction to the sort of extreme performance Ada can deliver when given a long leash, and on the other, made for a slightly tone-deaf release in light of a global economic crisis that makes launching a graphics card for a small, very loaded minority of gamers feel a bit off.

But we can't ignore it for this guide to the best GPUs simply because, as it stands today, no alternative to the RTX 4090 can get anywhere close to its performance. It's unstoppable and will stay ahead of the pack given that AMD's highest-performance graphics card, the RX 7900 XTX, is more of an RTX 4080 competitor.

This is a vast GPU that packs in 170% more transistors than even the impossibly chonky GA102 chip that powered the RTX 3090 Ti. And, for the most part, it makes the previous flagship card of the Ampere generation look well off the pace. And that's even before you get into the equal mix of majesty and black magic that lies behind DLSS 3 and all its upscaling and Frame Generation trickery, boosting its performance further into the stratosphere.

Look, it's quick, okay. With everything turned on, and especially with DLSS 3 and Frame Generation joining the party, the RTX 4090 is monumentally faster than the RTX 3090 that came before it. The straight 3DMark Time Spy Extreme score is twice that of the biggest Ampere core, and before even ray tracing or DLSS come into it, the raw silicon offers twice the 4K frame rate in Cyberpunk 2077, too.

There's no denying it is an ultra-niche ultra-enthusiast card, and that almost makes the RTX 4090 little more than a reference point for most of us PC gamers. We're then left counting the days until Ada descends to the pricing realm of us mere mortals, which looks unlikely to happen until we see what the next generation of cards brings.

In itself, however, the RTX 4090 is an excellent graphics card and will satisfy the performance cravings of every person who could ever justify spending $1,600 on a new GPU. And it will deservedly sell to those who can afford it because there's no other GPU that can come even close to it right now.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 review.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super

Essentially the same RTX 4080 card, but with the $999 sticker price we wanted all along.

Specifications

Shaders: 10,240
Boost clock: 2,550 MHz
TFLOPs: 58
Memory: 16GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 23 GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 736 GB/s
TGP: 320 W

Reasons to buy

+
Priced at a more understandable level
+
Great gaming performance
+
Super efficient GPU

Reasons to avoid

-
Still priced too high
-
No tangible performance gains over RTX 4080
-
AMD's RX 7900 XTX remains stiff competition
Buy if...

You can find an MSRP card: The price cut is the real strength of the Super variant, so you'll really want to find one at its $999 MSRP to get the maximum price/performance benefit.

You want good 4K ray traced gaming performance: Ada is efficient and really good at dealing with the rigours of ray tracing. Add DLSS 3 and Frame Generation to the mix and the RTX 4080 Super excels at delivering solid 4K frame rates.

Don't buy if...

Ray tracing means nothing to you: In pure rasterised gaming terms, the RX 7900 XTX from AMD can often outperform the RTX 4080 Super, and that makes it a very tempting option, especially if you can find one cheaper than the Nvidia card. 

The bottom line

🪛 The RTX 4080 Super is a far more tempting prospect now it's had a $200 price cut over the standard RTX 4080. That brings it to the same price as the AMD 7900 XTX and the balance of features and ray tracing performance brings us down on the side of Nvidia. Now the RTX 4090 is ludicrously expensive, it's fast become the top GPU you can buy for a somewhat reasonable price today.

Less is more, right? I mean, technically the RTX 4080 Super is actually more is less when you consider you're now getting the full AD103 GPU for less cash. But it's the pricing change which is the real kicker for the new card as it's the only tangible difference.

Though it's not like you'd ever need to weigh up the differences between the RTX 4080 and the RTX 4080 Super; the older version has effectively been killed, and it's just the overpriced legacy cards left, getting ever more dusty as they sit, unloved and unwanted, on the shelves of any retailer unlucky enough to still be holding onto stock.

So, it's all about weighing up how much of a difference that price cut has made to the positioning of the RTX 4080 Super. Let's be honest, with a $999 MSRP, it's still nobody's idea of cheap, and arguably should still be cheaper than what we're left with here.

But we can't get too bent out of shape over what might have been; this is about the product I have in front of me, and the RTX 4080 Super is the same super-powerful graphics card it was 14 months ago when its predecessor launched. It's a card which makes the once top GPU of the Ampere age look utterly laggardly—and incredibly inefficient—by comparison. Now, at $999, it looks even better when put up against the $1,500 RTX 3090 of the previous gen.

The price cut and slight performance bump also now make it tougher for AMD's best RDNA 3 card by comparison, though it is still very tight. Our two original reference RX 7900 XTX cards were beset by thermal issues and performed very badly, but third-party cards, and subsequent driver improvements, resulted in a Radeon GPU that was generally priced below the $1,200 RTX 4080 but in pure raster terms often outperformed it.

Now, with a much more competitive $999 MSRP, the RTX 4080 Super doesn't change the game in terms of comparative performance—on average 2% slower at 4K settings—but it does make it generally cheaper than the speedy third-party OC RX 7900 XTX cards. Combine that with the weight of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation support, and that just about swings it for the RTX 4080 Super.

But it is still a close-run thing, and I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone picking the RX 7900 XTX over the latest GeForce GPU if they could find it for less.

However, after a year of reportedly poor RTX 4080 sales—and worse press around its launch and pricing—the RTX 4080 Super does feel like a pretty successful relaunch. It's got a pretty new shroud, and the same great performance but for a lower price. 

The RTX 4080 Super is a serious bit of gaming hardware, and if you've got serious cash for a majorly fast GPU and want to take advantage of Nvidia's extra goodies, all without stretching to RTX 4090 prices, here's where you probably want to be.

Read our full Nvidia RTX 4080 Super review.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

At $999 it would have been a great high-end gaming GPU

Specifications

Shaders: 9,728
Boost clock: 2,505 MHz
TFLOPs: 48.8
Memory: 16GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 22.4 GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 717 GB/s
TGP: 320 W

Reasons to buy

+
Bests both the RTX 3090 and 3080 Ti
+
Has the glitzy Frame Generation magic
+
Svelte, efficient GPU

Reasons to avoid

-
Over-priced
-
Over-sized
Buy if...

You find a significant discount: At its $1,200 price or above it's a poor deal, but if you can find the RTX 4080 below $999 it might be worth a punt for the serious gaming performance it offers, although the RTX 4080 Super variant should be hovering around that price level as well.

Don't buy if...

You can find an RTX 4080 Super for less: The RTX 4080 Super is often the cheaper card, and given the incredibly similar performance makes for a much better buy due to the price difference.

The bottom line

🪛 The RTX 4080 is almost impossible to recommend at its $1,200+ price point. At $999 or under it becomes a lot more tempting owing to its seriously impressive performance and DLSS 3 support, although realistically you should be able to find the RTX 4080 Super for similar.

The Nvidia RTX 4080 is a speedy graphics card, and when you take DLSS 3 into account you are getting on for twice the performance of the similarly priced RTX 3080 Ti from the last generation. 

But reviewing the RTX 4080 is tougher than being Jen-Hsun's spatula wrangler. For a start, it's been pretty much entirely superseded by the RTX 4080 Super, a card that basically cuts the retail price of the original model while also delivering blink-and-you'll-miss-it performance gains. 

Seriously, we found the Super version to be just 1% faster than the OG at 1440p, and around 2% faster at 4K. That's practically margin-of-error differences, but the fact that the RTX 4080 Super has a $200 cheaper MSRP means you shouldn't really pick up the RTX 4080 standard unless you can find one cheaper than the Super variant.

However, if you do manage to find a good deal, you'll also find that the RTX 4080 comfortably outperforms the similarly priced cards from the previous generation, most notably the $1,200 RTX 3080 Ti, and therefore really hit that gen-on-gen performance uplift we craved back when the card was released. But in all honesty, of neither these GeForce cards should ever have been a $1,200 GPU.

Nvidia has pared the silicon back a whole lot to create the AD103 GPU in comparison to the AD102 chip of the RTX 4090. Generalising, it's 60% the size, has 60% of the transistors, and 60% of the CUDA cores, and yet was 75% of the price of the RTX 4090. If you wanted to do some simple maths the RTX 4080 really ought to have been around $960, and if you can find one for that price over the Super, you'll have spotted a great deal indeed.

So how does the original card stack up against the Radeon RX 7900 XTX? We're looking at a very close-run thing. The AMD card performs at a roughly similar level to the RTX 3090, and for a $999 card that would have made it tempting compared to the slightly quicker $1,200 RTX 4080, especially with its improved ray tracing capabilities. 

Now the RTX 4080 Super delivers roughly the same performance as the old card for a $999 price tag, I'd plump for that particular model over the AMD instead, mostly thanks to DLSS 3 and Frame Generation support.

The original is still in this guide as a reference, but once again, you should only be looking here if you can find a great deal. Otherwise, the RTX 4080 Super makes much more sense at its cheaper MSRP.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 review.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX

The best AMD graphics card

Specifications

Shaders: 6,144
Boost clock: 2,500 MHz
TFLOPs: 61.4
Memory: 24GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 20 GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 960 GB/s
TGP: 355 W

Reasons to buy

+
Much faster than an RX 6950 XT at 4K
+
Less power hungry too
+
$999 price tag
+
Much improved ray tracing capabilities
+
Frickin' chiplets!

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a consistent RTX 4080 competitor
-
Runs real hot
-
Consumes a lot of power
-
Low average clock speed
Buy if...

You want the best AMD can offer: This is the pinnacle of AMD's RDNA 3 technology right now, and the fact the red team has got a chiplet GPU running so well in its first generation is really impressive.

You need a lot of video memory: With a full 24GB of GDDR6 at its disposal, for a lot less than the RTX 4090, the RX 7900 XTX has a lot to offer the creator.

Ray tracing's not for you: If you care not a jot for ray tracing, the raster performance of the Navi 31 GPU is excellent. It has improved RT skill compared with AMD's last generation, but it's still behind Nvidia on that score.

Don't buy if...

The AMD reference card is the only option: Normally we're big fans of both AMD and Nvidia's reference cards, but the RX 7900 XTX had a heat issue with the reference cooler not found on third-party versions. We experienced the problem on both the review cards AMD provided for testing.

You're looking for consistent RTX 4080 Super performance: We'd hoped for a more regularly competitive gaming experience from the RX 7900 XTX, but sometimes it's a long way behind Nvidia's second-tier card.

The bottom line...

🪛 As the finest Radeon ever made, the AMD RX 7900 XTX has a lot going for it. If it was closer to the RTX 4080 in gaming terms, more regularly, we'd have no hesitation recommending this top red team GPU.

The best AMD graphics card right now is easily the Radeon RX 7900 XTX. We're used to seeing GPU generations that arrive on smaller process nodes, redesigned architectures, larger caches, reworked shaders, more memory—the list goes on. But all of that, all at once? That's what RDNA 3-powered RX 7900 XTX delivers: the whole lot in one fell swoop. 

At its original $999 price tag, the RX 7900 XTX is a superb 4K graphics card. The highest-tier AMD card from the previous generation, the RX 6950 XT, is nowhere near its full price today ($1099) and is usually on sale at $800 or less. The newer RDNA 3 card has enough pace to justify its higher price by comparison, as it generally outperforms the older RDNA 2 card by 20% and in some games, a whole lot more. 

That's because the RX 7900 XTX has 20% more shaders, 8% higher boost clocks, twice as many FP32 units per shader, and 67% more memory bandwidth than the RX 6950 XT. The increase in memory capacity from 16GB to 24GB with the RX 7900 XTX is also a nice bonus, and the ray tracing performance on RDNA 3 is much more convincing to make me part with my money.

Yet as an RTX 4080 or RTX 4080 Super competitor, the RX 7900 XTX is less convincing. It's rarely able to match either card. The RTX 4080 is up to 28% faster in my testing, though it's more like 15% on average. For an RTX card that asks at least 20% more cash than the RX 7900 XTX, that stat is not a dealbreaker, but it does make the XTX's gains more moderate by comparison.

What helps the XTX's value proposition is that it has more memory and, on rare occasions, actually beats the RTX 4080, Super or otherwise. If you're only playing Far Cry 6 then you're laughing with an XTX, but let's be honest, you're not.

Our review RX 7900 XTX sample also suffered from an issue with GPU hotspot temperatures exceeding the normal expected range under load. We've since been in contact with AMD about a replacement for retesting, which we've since received, but unfortunately, we've had the same issue strike again. Fun, eh?

You can check out our reviews for the Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7900 XTX OC Edition and Sapphire Nitro+ RX 7900 XTX Vapor-X, as these cards are entirely unaffected by the issue and better show what sort of performance you can expect from this card's spec. The benchmark numbers above for the top AMD card are from the excellent Sapphire Nitro+ version.

All this transpires to leave Nvidia as the top dog in the ultra-high-end segment. Make no mistake, the RX 7900 XTX is a great 4K graphics card for an ultra high-end PC build in 2024. However, the RTX 4080 Super can sit side by side with it, and often eat its lunch. That makes for a tough sell, no doubt, but it's still the best AMD GPU you can buy.

Combined with a high-end CPU and a 4K (or ultrawide) monitor, you'll net superb frame rates with the RX 7900 XTX in your build, and if you're looking for top AMD GPU performance, this is the card to go for.

Read our full AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX review.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT

The second-best RDNA 3 GPU

Specifications

Shaders: 5,376
Boost clock: 2,400 MHz
TFLOPs: 51.6
Memory: 20GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 20 GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 800 GB/s
TGP: 315 W

Reasons to buy

+
Faster than an RX 6950 XT
+
Great design and cooling
+
Lots of memory
+
Slightly cheaper than RX 7900 XTX

Reasons to avoid

-
RX 7900 XTX is too close for comfort
-
Quite power hungry
Buy if...

The price keeps dropping: At launch its $899 sticker price was too close to the superior RX 7900 XTX, but now it's creeping well below $800 it's becoming a more tempting 20GB GPU option.

Don't buy if...

You value Nvidia's DLSS 3 and Frame Generation tech: At more or less the same price as the RTX 4070 Ti, and trading blows at standard raster frame rates, the actually tangible benefits of the complete DLSS 3 package can make a real difference.

The bottom line

🪛 The AMD RX 7900 XT makes things a little more uncomfortable for both the RTX 4070 Ti and RX 7900 XTX because it's now the same price as the former, and considerably cheaper than the latter.

AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XT is a slightly slimmed back version of the Navi 31 GPU and the company's top graphics card, the RX 7900 XTX. Starting at $899, now dropping below $800, it's therefore offering a slightly cheaper way into the RDNA 3 generation, you could also be forgiven for thinking it's not that much cheaper than the best. The RX 7900 XTX is priced tantalisingly close at $999, and there's always the RTX 4080 Super to think about now it's priced the same.

So why would you pick up the cheaper RX 7900 XT? That's a good question, and I'm not sure I have a good answer, apart from the price.

The RX 7900 XT outperforms AMD's previous top card, the RX 6950 XT, in every benchmark I tested and by a good margin, too. Considering the RX 6950 XT launched at over $1,000, and now sits around $800, maybe less, that's a point of pride for the RX 7900 XT.

Overall, I'd say there are a few things the RX 7900 XT does well. For starters, it appears to be a good upgrade on even the RX 6950 XT, and considering the price difference between the two at launch, that's a good sign of AMD's progression with the RDNA 3 architecture. The reference cooler on this also seems pretty capable for the price, with temperatures running relatively cool considering its performance.

There are a few times when the differences between the XT and XTX are minimal, and the performance delta practically non-existent. The XT is also the much more efficient and cooler running of the two. Generally, though, you get what you pay for with the higher-end XTX card, if not a bit more.

Is it better than an RX 6950 XT? Yes. Cheaper than an RX 6950 XT at launch? Yes. An RTX 4080 Super competitor? Nope. Is it worth saving your money on this instead of the XTX? Probably not.

It's a good 4K graphics card if you look at the frame rates in isolation, but with a generally much better card right there for the taking, you best believe I'm going to want to find the extra $100 somewhere in my build and pick up the XTX or the RTX 4080 Super instead.

Read our full AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT review.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super