The best graphics card is the most important component of any gaming PC, but if you're not familiar with the current lineup of models from Nvidia and AMD, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out how each graphics card stacks up. Confusing branding (is "Super" better than "VII"?), varying features, and constantly changing prices only add to the confusion.
In order to simplify things, we've created this graphics card hierarchy ordered roughly from most powerful (top) to least powerful (bottom). The ranking for each card is based on our own testing of FPS averages from popular games, as well as market research.
Now, a few things to keep in mind. The specifications and ranking for each card are based on the 'stock' models (also referred to as 'reference' models) from either AMD or Nvidia. Most of the graphics cards listed here have overclocked versions available from companies like EVGA, ASUS, MSI, and others that squeeze out a bit more performance. The exact performance also depends on the processor, the RAM, and if you choose to do manual overclocking.
This guide should help you make an informed purchase when the time comes to upgrade your PC (or build/buy a new one). To ensure the list isn't several miles long, it only contains cards you can buy new. For example, while the GTX 1080 and 1070 are still very good graphics cards, Nvidia and other manufacturers have largely stopped manufacturing and selling them.
Boost Clock: 1635MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 4352 | Memory Bandwidth: 616GB/s
Boost Clock: 1815MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 3072 | Memory Bandwidth: 496GB/s
Boost Clock: 1710MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 2944 | Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost Clock: 1770MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 2560 | Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost Clock: 1750MHz | Memory: 16GB HMB2 | Stream Processors: 3840 | Memory Bandwidth: 1000GB/s
Boost Clock: 1905MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Stream Processors: 2560 | Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost Clock: 1620MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 2304 | Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost Clock: 1650MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 2176 | Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost Clock: 1725MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Stream Processors: 2304 | Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
Boost Clock: 1546MHz | Memory: 8GB HBM2 | Steam Processors: 4096 | Memory Bandwidth: 484GB/s
Boost Clock: 1680MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 1920 | Memory Bandwidth: 336GB/s
12. AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
Boost Clock: 1471MHz | Memory: 8GB HBM2 | Stream Processors: 3,584 | Memory Bandwidth: 410GB/s
Boost Clock: 1770MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | CUDA Cores: 1536 | Memory Bandwidth: 288GB/s
Boost Clock: 1785MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | CUDA Cores: 1408 | Memory Bandwidth: 192GB/s
Boost Clock: 1545MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Steam Processors: 2,304 | Memory Bandwidth: 256GB/s
Boost Clock: 1340MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Stream processors: 2,304 | Memory Bandwidth: 256GB/s
Boost Clock: 1708MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | CUDA Cores: 1280 | Memory Bandwidth: 192GB/s
Boost Clock: 1708MHz | Memory: 3GB GDDR5 | CUDA Cores: 1152 | Memory Bandwidth: 192GB/s
19. AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB
Boost Clock: 1244MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Stream Processors: 1328 | Memory Bandwidth: 224GB/s
Boost Clock: 1665MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR6 | CUDA Cores: 896 | Memory Bandwidth: 128GB/s
Boost Clock: 1392MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | CUDA Cores: 768 | Memory Bandwidth: 112GB/s
Boost Clock: 1275MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Steam Processors: 1024 | Memory Bandwidth: 112GB/s
Boost Clock: 1455MHz | Memory: 2GB GDDR5 | CUDA Cores: 640 | Memory Bandwidth: 112GB/s
24. AMD Radeon RX 550
Boost Clock: 1883MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Steam Processors: 512 | Memory Bandwidth: 112GB/s
25. Nvidia GeForce GT 1030
Boost Clock: 1468MHz | Memory: 2GB GDDR5 | CUDA Cores: 384 | Memory Bandwidth: 48GB/s
Boost Clock: 1100MHz | Memory: Shared system RAM | Stream Processors: 512 | Memory Bandwidth: 34.1-51.2GB/s (shared)
So there you have it—all the graphics cards you can buy right now, (roughly) ranked by performance. If you're interested in more detailed comparisons, check out our Best Graphics Cards guide. We also have a frequently-updated list of the best graphics cards deals.
If you have an older GPU and want to know where it sits in the list, here's the quick rundown of Nvidia's 10-series cards. The GTX 1080 Ti ranks just below the 2080, but ahead of the Radeon VII. The GTX 1080 comes in just ahead of the RX Vega 64, with the GTX 1070 Ti effectively tied with the Vega 64 (just a hair slower). The GTX 1070 meanwhile comes in about 5-8 percent below the RX Vega 56, a few percent ahead of the GTX 1660 Ti.
Going back another generation to Nvidia's 900-series and AMD's R9 series, things get a bit messier. The GTX 980 Ti is about 10 percent below the GTX 1070, and the R9 Fury X is about 5-10 percent slower than the 980 Ti. The R9 Fury and R9 Nano drop another 10-15 percent relative to the Fury X, with the Nano being very close to the GTX 980 in performance. The 980 also roughly matches the GTX 1060 6GB, along with the R9 390X. The R9 390 is a bit slower (5-10 percent), but thanks to its 8GB VRAM, it's 10-15 percent faster than the GTX 970. The even older R9 290X is basically a tie with the R9 390, with the R9 290 dropping 10 percent (basically tying the GTX 970). Finally, the R9 380 and 380X typically beat the GTX 1050 Ti, while Nvidia GTX 960 and 950 offer nearly the same performance as the GTX 1050 Ti and 1050, respectively. Anything below these cards is ripe for an upgrade.
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