The best 1440p graphics cards for sharper, crisper picture quality without burning a hole in your pocket. Kitting your computer with the most powerful GPU can get very expensive, but if a 4K-capable GPU is out of your budget, especially if you want to game, it's not the end of the world.
You can still step up the quality of your gaming experience with one of the best GPUs available for 1440p workloads. 1440p gaming is a happy compromise between performance and value, and you’ll certainly experience a noticeable difference over your current 1080p gaming PC setup. Pair it with a 1440p monitor, and you might not even miss 4K gaming at all.
Whether you’re not able to afford a high-end GPU for your gaming PC or don’t want to splurge on a pricier 4K monitor that you'll need to maximize a 4K-capable graphics card, considering a 1440p GPU is our expert advice. We've tested most of the budget, mid-range, and high-end graphics cards on the market in the last few years, and we know that the best 1440p graphics are more than up to the task when tackling gaming and creative workloads.
We gathered our top recommendations here to help you choose the ideal one for your needs and included the best prices available so you can save even more. Here are the best 1440p graphics cards on the market right now. If you have a manufacturer preference, you should also check out our best AMD GPUs and best Nvidia graphics cards list.
The best 1440p graphics cards 2023
When we first fired up the NVidia GeForce RTX 3070, we were impressed by how well this mid-tier card did, especially when compared to the previous generation’s flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti, especially considering how much cheaper it is. In essence, the RTX 3070 is able to deliver incredibly smooth 1440p performance on maxed out settings and is even capable of running demanding games in 4K without too much compromise on those settings as well. It also is fairly efficient, requiring just 220W to run.
While it might not be the most powerful card on the market, it’s powerful enough to meet the demands of most gamers. Just be aware that if you spring for the founder’s edition, it comes with a 12-pin power connector that might require an adapter so consider a third party card if that’s a concern.
Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 review
While the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is an amazing card for 1080p gaming, it’s quite capable of delivering stellar results in 1440p as well. When we tested it in 1440p, we were able to get over 60 fps in games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Metro Exodus. And, it stayed cool under pressure. There may not be a cooler GPU out there, literally. So, you can push it without worrying about thermal throttling. Another point in its favor is the fact that it doesn’t require a giant power supply to run.
Unfortunately, it’s slightly more expensive than the RTX 3060, which provides a similar amount of power. Its ray tracing performance is also not quite as good as that of an Nvidia card. But, for what it offers and how much it costs, it’s a fantastic card for anyone wanting to play in 1440p without breaking the bank.
Read our full AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT review
While AMD has been successfully battling Intel with its CPU offerings, it’s had a harder time differentiating itself from Nvidia when it comes to graphics cards. It doesn’t help that some of its most recent GPUs such as the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT are not really any cheaper than its direct competition.
With that being said, the 6700 XT doesn’t need to be cheaper since its performance is so superb. We found this card to run graphics-intensive games in 1440p without breaking a sweat. In some instances, it matches the performance of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. We were able to run Metro Exodus on high settings and get 74 fps, for instance. Unfortunately, that changes when we turn on ray tracing. While ray tracing is on hand here, it’s not yet perfected so we suggested turning it off or lowering the resolution to 1080p.
Read our full AMD Radeon 6700 XT review
With the AMD Radeon RX 6800, Team Red proved that it could compete not just in the budget and mid-range markets but on the premium side as well. In particular, it gives its direct rival, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, a run for its money in both performance and value.
We were not only impressed by its thermal efficiency and low power consumption but by its feature set, which includes Radeon Boost for competitive gamers looking for an edge as well as Smart Access Memory which allows you to boost performance when paired with certain AMD CPUs, though you have to go into the BIOs of your computer for that.
Of course, the RX 6800’s performance is on point. Though it can handle 4K gaming, the RX 6800 shines most at 1440p when ray tracing has been enabled.
Read our full AMD Radeon RX 6800 review
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a very powerful GPU, bridging the gap between 1440p and 4K gaming. It can dabble in that higher resolution for some games, though we found it to struggle a little bit when pushed. But, when it comes to 1440p, the RTX 3060 Ti is rock solid.
Now that ray tracing has been around for a generation, the 3060 Ti does an excellent job of implementing it without too many hits to the performance. While a superb graphics card, and probably more than what most people looking at gaming in 1440p need, it’s not perfect as it comes with an annoying 12-pin power connector that’s not standard. But, you do get an 8-pin adapter. On the plus side, this GPU stays much cooler than its predecessors when running graphically intensive tasks.
Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti review
How to choose the best graphics card for you
How to choose the best graphics card for you
You need to consider your graphical demands. You shouldn't settle for what you can afford right now if it's not powerful enough to handle your 1440p needs. You're better putting it off for a bit and saving up until you can afford the GPU that's the right fit.
You need to take a look at the vital specs: GPU memory, GPU size, Thermal Design Power or TDP, and ports and power connectors are all important. As are the number of teraflops (or GFLOPS) it has since that indicates the theoretical performance of that graphics card.
If you want the best ray tracing experience, Nvidia is still the king of the castle. However, we're sure that AMD will be upping its ray tracing game in order to compete. If you're into VR games and experiences, you should also make sure that it supports VR as well.
What is the best card for 1440p gaming?
Currently, the best 1440p graphics card remains the Nvidia RTX 3070, but the AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT offers a compelling value proposition if you are strictly interested in gaming.
What is the cheapest GPU that can run 1440p?
The Nvidia RTX 3060 is capable of running 1440p graphics at acceptable frame rates for most AAA games at high-ish settings, but it's definitely pushing the bounds of what it can do at that resolution. The Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti is a much better option, though it does cost a bit more. If you're able to stretch your budget a bit, definitely go for the RTX 3060 Ti.
How we test graphics cards
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When picking the best graphics cards, we make sure to test everything on an equal playing field. S, whenever a new graphics card comes out, we test it in a suite of around 11-12 games and across several resolutions, all on current drivers.
We also re-test all current-generation graphics cards whenever a new one comes out and make sure that they're all are tested on the same hardware. That means the same processor, with the same memory at the same speed, on the same motherboard, with the same SSD. This is the only way to ensure that we're measuring how the graphics card itself is performing, and we can more reliably compare it against its rivals.
We make sure to log everything, including how much power it's consuming and the temperatures it reaches under load. We also take a look at the features that each graphics card offers, though usually these don't really change generation-to-generation.