Graphics cards in 2023: the best launches so far and what’s coming next

An Nvidia RTX graphics card against a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

With the launch of Nvidia Lovelace and AMD RDNA 3, this has been a great year for PC gamers and builders looking to finally upgrade to a next-gen graphics card. That's especially true considering the nightmare of the cryptobubble making last-gen cards all but unattainable for over a year after their 2020 and 2021 launch.

What's more, we got some incredible releases this year that more than made up for the extremely long wait for many, especially those who were hoping to upgrade from a GTX-era graphics card during the pandemic.

That said, there have been some flops as well, and as we move into the second half of 2023, there are also some conspicuous absenses that we hope to see rectified in the months ahead.

So let's dig into what 2023 brought us on the graphics card front, and what we expect to see in the second half.

Graphics cards in 2023: what have been the biggest launches so far this year?

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti graphics card on a wooden table with its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future)

The year started off with quite a bang as the Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB — Oops, I mean the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti — launched on January 5, 2023. While Nvidia obviously isn't keen on talking about the RTX 4080 12GB unlaunching. As such, it hasn't officially confirmed that the RTX 4070 Ti is the lower-memory RTX 4080 in new packaging, this card really is the RTX 4080 we should have gotten at launch (with the actual Nvidia RTX 4080 being more like an RTX 4080 Ti, even down to matching the launch price of the RTX 3080 Ti).

So don't let the 4070 Ti branding fool you, this is the RTX 4080, and it absolutely plays the part. Whether it's DLSS 3 or creative workloads on a budget, this card is one of the best graphics cards ever made, and no matter what you need it to do, it can do it very well (except 8K gaming, that 12GB VRAM would get minced).

Nvidia followed this up with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, which on balance is my pick for the best graphics card of this generation so far. Put down the pitchforks, I know the Nvidia RTX 4090 is the most powerful GPU on the consumer market. I wrote a whole Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 review, after all. 

But most powerful doesn't always mean best. The Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti was the RTX 4090 of its day but its downright insulting price point for marginally better performance really made it a nonstarter for just about everyone except enthusiasts with money to burn.

No, the RTX 4070 gets my vote. It's under $600/£600 (about AU$900) at MSRP, and it has some seriously respectable performance, even if there are a few quibbles I have with it. But with 12GB VRAM, it will chew through 1440p gaming, which really is the sweet spot as far as I'm concerned.

An AMD Radeon RX 7600 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

I'm talking about Nvidia quite a bit, and unfortunately that's because AMD has only released one graphics card this year, the AMD Radeon RX 7600, about six months after the release of the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Radeon RX 7900 XT.

Fortunately, this card is the best cheap graphics card you can find right now, offering exceptional gaming 1080p performance at a much lower price point ($269, about £210/AU$400) than many of Nvidia's current-gen lineup. That includes the Nvidia RTX 4060, which is about 12% more expensive at an MSRP of $299.

Oh yeah, the Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti 8GB was released as well, but it's performance is not very impressive gen-on-gen, so I wouldn't blame you if you just skipped right over that one.

Graphics cards in 2023: what launches are we expecting during the rest of the year?

An AMD RX 7900 XTX graphics card seen from an overhead angle

(Image credit: AMD)

Heading into the remainder of 2023, we should actually get a number of graphics card launches, nearly all of them from Team Red. Nvidia still has to release its 16GB RTX 4060 Ti, which we should be getting shortly, but AMD has at least two tiers of graphics card it needs to launch at some point: the RX 7800-series and the RX 7700-series.

This presumably includes the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT and Radeon RX 7800, as well as the Radeon RX 7700 XT and Radeon RX 7700. We should also see an AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT as well at some point, but AMD is being very tight-lipped about its plans for these cards right now.

It's also worth mentioning that Intel is now in the discrete graphics card game, and while Intel Arc Alchemist seems to have run its course, all signs point to Intel's staying in the GPU ring, with Arc Battlemage and Arc Celestial orders already in with TSMC.

Unfortunately, I can't imagine a world where Intel launches Battlemage this year, or even next year, so I wouldn't expect much from Team Blue on this front this year. 

As for Nvidia, we might be getting an RTX 4050 Ti and RTX 4050 at some point this year, but it's too soon to say. I also wouldn't expect an RTX 4090 Ti or Nvidia Ada Titan card this year either, but if something like that does come in 2023, it'll likely be at the very tail end, though a CES 2024 announcement/launch seems more likely in that case.

Regardless of what drops though, you can be sure I'll be here to put these new cards through their paces so you'll know if any of the remaining GPUs this year are worth your hard-earned time and money.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).