The best graphics card in 2024: top GPUs for all budgets

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REASONS TO AVOID
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The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, a top pick for the best graphcis card, against a two-tone magenta background

(Image credit: Future / AMD)

1. Quick list
2. How to choose
3. How I test
4. FAQs
5. Top picks in depth
●     Best overall
●     Best Nvidia
●     Best budget
●     Best 4K
●     Best 1440p
●     Best 1080p
●     Best Intel
●     Best performance
●     Best gaming

The best graphics card can unlock incredible gaming, content creation, and AI development capabilities, regardless of your budget. 

With so many options available, finding the perfect fit can be a challenge, especially for first-time buyers. Our top pick, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE, offers an unbeatable balance of performance, price, and resolution, making it ideal for 4K content and 1440p gaming without breaking the bank. 

From the high-end Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 for 4K enthusiasts to the budget-friendly AMD Radeon RX 7600 for 1080p gamers, we've extensively tested over three dozen graphics cards in the last 18 months to help you find the best graphics card for your needs and budget, whether you're a gamer, content creator, AI enthusiast, or all fo the above.

The Quick List

Recent updates

This guide was updated on April 20, 2024, to add the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE as the best graphics card on this list, as well as update benchmark data for each entry.

Written by
John Loeffler
Written by
John Loeffler

John has been working with computers since he was a teenager, long before he ever started writing about computer hardware or working on his Master's degree in Computer Science. Needless to say, he knows computers inside and out, and he has personally tested (and retested) all of the graphics cards on this page, regardless of whether he wrote our original review, and has validated the results you'll find here. 

How to choose the best graphics card for you

A man's hand holding the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

There are a couple of important things to consider when buying a graphics card, with the first and foremost being your monitor resolution. If you have a 1080p monitor, then a 4K graphics card is going to be far more powerful that you probably need, and since 1080p graphics cards are much cheaper, buying something more powerful than your monitor can handle is a waste of money.

For 1080p, you should look at the AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT or Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti and lower. These two cards are the high end of what the best 1080p graphics card will offer you, but the AMD Radeon RX 7600 is still excellent for 1080p use.

For 1440p, you should consider the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT or Nvidia RTX 4070 Super or RTX 4070. The AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT can also hold its own at 1440p, and the Intel Arc A770 and Arc A750 are also good choices for 1440p performance on a tighter budget.

For 4K, you will need a minimum of an AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE or Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti, though realistically, you'll need an AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT or Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super to get good enough 4K performance. The RX 7900 XTX and RTX 4080 Super are also fantastic choices in this category, though skip the base RTX 4080 unless you can get it for less than a grand.

For creatives, generally speaking, the Nvidia RTX lineup is going to give you better creative performance for video editing and 3D modeling, while the AMD Radeon cards are slightly better at dealing with rasterization workloads like Adobe Photoshop. Serious video or 3D creatives will need at least an Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super, as it has 16GB VRAM for chewing through creative pipeline workloads. Photographers and graphic designers can get by with much less, like an RTX 4070 or RX 7700 XT, though the RX 7800 XT and RX 7900 GRE are also both good options.

For gaming, AMD has generally been better during this generation when it comes to gaming performance, especially now that AMD FSR 3 introduced Fluid Motion Frames to compete with Nvidia's DLSS 3 Frame Generation tech. AMD's cards still lag Nvidia's when it comes to ray tracing, but that difference has considerably narrowed into a difference of a handful of frames between the two, in my experience.

For AI/Machine Learning, I don't really have to tell you that you need to get an Nvidia card. Nvidia's tensor cores are simply light-years ahead of what AMD and Intel can offer, and most ML tools expect you to be using Nvidia hardware, so you'll just have to lean into this one. If you're a more casual researcher or hobbyist, something with 12GB VRAM is good enough, but any Nvidia cards with 16GB VRAM or higher are preferred, even if they're last-gen cards like the Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti.

How I tested the best graphics cards

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 on a wooden desk in front of a white panel

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to the best graphics cards, it's incredibly important to make sure I'm testing everything on an equal playing field. That's why, whenever a new graphics card comes out, I test it with a suite of around 7-10 games and across several resolutions, all on current drivers. 

That means that I re-test all current-generation graphics cards (as well as last-gen cards if a card is replacing an existing card in the market) in a given card's performance class or market segment for each review. I make sure that all of the cards are tested on the same hardware, which means the same processor, the same memory at the same speed, the same motherboard, and the same SSD. That way, I can be sure that I'm measuring how the graphics card itself is performing relative to other cards. I also make sure to use the best possible components for my testing to give each graphics card I benchmark the most amount of room to perform at its best without worrying about CPU, RAM, or SSD bottlenecks.

I make sure to log how much power each card is consuming as well as the temperatures it reaches under load to make sure we can recommend it to people who may be concerned about high power draw or system temperatures. 

I examine any new features that a card might introduce or might be able to leverage for the first time, such as new updates to their upscaling tech, and compare these to rival cards in its class.

Finally, I gather scores across Synthetic, Creative, and Gaming categories using system tools like 3DMark, PugetBench for Creators, and built-in gaming benchmarks like Cyberpunk 2077's. In each category, I use a geometric mean formula to average scores to reduce the weight of extreme outlier test results (so averaging a score of 200,000 and 5,000 isn't as dramatically skewed) to come up with a final score for that category.

I then take the geomean of the three category scores, mitigating somewhat the outsized values of synthetic benchmarks with scores in the tens or hundreds of thousands that can overpower gaming benchmarks that report results in double or triple-digit values. This geomean gives us a card's final score, which I then divide by its US MSRP to come up with its final value score.

The best graphics card: FAQs

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card

(Image credit: Future)

Which graphics card is best for gaming?

Generally speaking, the best graphics card for gaming is going to depend on several factors, but principally, your budget and monitor resolution will dictate the best card for gaming on your system. 

For 4K gaming, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is as good as it gets, while the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT is the best 1440p graphics card. For 1080p, the Nvidia RTX 4060 is the way to go, while the AMD Radeon RX 7600 is the best budget graphics card of this generation, though the Intel Arc A770 and Intel Arc A750 offer compelling alternatives for the budget-conscious.

What is the best brand for graphics cards?

The age-old question of whether Nvidia or AMD is the best brand for graphics cards will likely never go away, especially now that Intel is also throwing its hat into the GPU ring. 

Right now, AMD and Nvidia are basically on equal footing, though AMD's cards this generation have been especially strong. Intel is on its first generation of discrete graphics cards, so there are a lot of growing pains there still to be worked out. 

Generally, if you like ray tracing, Nvidia will probably have the edge for you, while AMD offers great rasterization and gaming performance while generally being cheaper. 

The best graphics card in 2024: in-depth

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

(Image credit: AMD)

Below, you'll find detailed write ups for each of the best graphics card picks on this list. I've extensively tested each of them and have the gaming and other performance data you need to make the right choice for your needs and budget.

The best graphics card in 2024

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The best graphics card overall

The best graphics card overall

Specifications

Core Clock: 1,500MHz
Shaders: 5,376
Ray Processors: 84
AI Processors: 336
Memory: 16GB GDDR6
Memory Clock: 2,500MHz
Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 2.1, 1 x HDMI 2.1
Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin
TGP: 300W

Reasons to buy

+
Best-in-class performance
+
16GB VRAM
+
Costs the same as the RTX 4070

Reasons to avoid

-
Still expensive
-
No AMD reference card
-
Still loses to Nvidia cards in 3D modeling
Buy it if

✅You want fantastic overall performance: Other than 3D modeling work, this card has some of the best performance at this price I've ever seen.
✅You don't want to spend a fortune on a great graphics card: While this is still a pricier midrange offering, it's cheaper than Nvidia's rival card and sits just within range of what gamers are likely willing to spend on a new GPU.
✅You want some creative performance as well: While its 3D modeling performance is lacking, it's fantastic with photo editing, video processing, and other creative workloads.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're not looking to game at 4K: If all you plan on doing is gaming at 1440p, the RX 7800 XT or RX 7700 XT might be better options that'll save you a good bit of money.
❌ You do a lot of 3D modeling work or machine learning research: AMD isn't the best when it comes to 3D modeling, which is tied heavily to Nvidia's CUDA graphics language, and this card isn't immune to that deficit. Likewise, its AI/machine learning hardware lags behind Nvidia's tensor cores.

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE is a game-changer in the midrange GPU market, offering an unbeatable combination of performance and features that puches way above its price point. From 4K gaming to dabbling in machine learning, the RX 7900 GRE is, on balance, the best graphics card you can buy right now.

Originally launched as a China-only exclusive, the RX 7900 GRE is now available globally starting at $549, making it a direct competitor to the weaker Nvidia RTX 4070 while going toe-to-toe with the more expensive RTX 4070 Super and even coming out on top in some key areas. 

My benchmarking shows that this card excels in rasterization and shows strong ray tracing performance that narrows the gap between AMD and Nvidia in this market segment. In gaming especially, it actually manages to surpass the RTX 4070 Super when upscaling is turned on, which is a real testament to how for AMD's FSR upscaling technology has come. 

Additionally, it's a capable creative card, making it an excellent choice for graphic designers, photographers, and video editors, though 3D modeling is still this card's Achilles' heel when it comes to content creators. 

While it may not completely outperform the RTX 4070 Super, overall it is a surprisingly powerful card that offers incredible value for its price.

Read the full AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE review

The best Nvidia graphics card

The best graphics card from Nvidia

Specifications

Core Clock: 1,980MHz (2,475MHz Boost)
Shaders: 7,168
Memory: 12GB GDDR6X
Memory Clock: 21 Gbps effective
Outputs: 1 x HDMI 2.1, 3 x DisplayPort 1.4
Power Connectors: 1x 16-pin
Power draw (TDP): 220W

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic performance
+
Same price as RTX 4070 launch MSRP
+
Higher core count and base clock
+
Gorgeous design

Reasons to avoid

-
Gamers will be better off with RX 7900 GRE
-
Still just 12GB VRAM
-
Higher power draw
-
Still expensive for a midrange card
Buy it if

✅You want fantastic midrange performance: Given the strength of this card in all categories, on balance, it's one of the best graphics cards you're going to find in the midrange.
✅You want very strong ray tracing performance: With the maturity of its ray tracing cores, the RTX 4070 Super is the best ray tracing GPU in the midrange, for sure.
✅You want some creative performance as well: With its strong CUDA backbone, the RTX 4070 Super is a great option for those looking to get into creative content work.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to spend a fortune: Given the price of the competition, there are better graphics cards for your money than the RTX 4070 Super
❌ You don't care about ray tracing or compute performance: The strongest assets this card brings to the table are its ray tracing and tensor cores, but if you don't care about ray tracing or machine learning tasks, the RX 7900 GRE will offer a better overall gaming performance.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super meets the high expectations we had for this card when it was announced at CES 2024, offering compelling performance at the same price as its predecessor. 

This newcomer outshines the RTX 4070, offering more SMs for enhanced processing and a swifter base clock speed. However, its 12GB GDDR6X VRAM limits its 4K prowess, so for optimal 4K performance, the Nvidia RTX 4080 Super is a better bet. For top-tier 1440p gaming, though, the RTX 4070 Super excels thanks to its robust specs, DLSS 3 with Frame Generation, and Nvidia Reflex technology.

And while the RTX 4070 Super generally outperforms the RX 7800 XT, particularly in ray tracing, AMD holds the edge in gaming performance with the RX 7900 GRE, especially now that AMD's frame generation tech for FSR has hit the scene.

Despite stiff competition, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super still stands out as the best Nvidia graphics card for most people, especially for midrange users seeking a balance of gaming prowess, content creation capabilities, and sheer performance.

Read the full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super review

The best budget graphics card

The best budget graphics card

Specifications

Core Clock: 1,720 MHz (2,655 MHz Boost)
Shaders: 2,048
Ray Processors: 32
AI Processors: 64
Memory: 8GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 18 Gbps effective
Power connectors: 1 x 8-pin
Power Draw (TDP): 165W
Outputs: 1 x HDMI 2.1a, 3 x DisplayPort 2.1

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic price
+
Outstanding 1080p performance
+
Decent enough 1440p performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 8GB VRAM
-
Ray tracing and FSR lag behind Nvidia
Buy it if

✅ You want outstanding 1080p performance: In 1080p gaming, especially straight rasterization performance, this card is absolutely fantastic.
✅ You want to dabble at 1440p: You won't be able to do everything at 1440p, but with tweaks, you can get some great QHD gaming.
✅ You're on a tighter budget: This is definitely one of the best cheap graphics cards you can buy right now.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want heavy ray tracing in your games: While the ray tracing is better than its predecessor, it's not all that great on this card.
❌ You want a cheap creative graphics card: With 64 AI cores, you might be tempted to use this card for creative workloads, but it's going to struggle.

The AMD Radeon RX 7600 is here to bring AMD RDNA 3 to the under-$300/£300 segment, and it's got plenty of performance despite its lower price tag.

Its 1080p performance is absolutely fantastic for the price, even giving the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti 12GB a run for its money. Its 1440p performance is also pretty decent considering that the card only has 8GB VRAM and a 128-bit memory bus.

In terms of gaming performance, you can easily get 60 fps on all of the best PC games at 1080p, with most of those running on the highest graphics settings. For more demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, there might need to be some settings tweaks, but it's still definitely doable, especially with AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution.

Its ray tracing performance is still behind Nvidia's last-gen midrange cards, but RDNA 3 has closed much of the gap between the two, so you don't have to sacrifice ray tracing completely just by going with a cheaper AMD card. 

Read the full AMD Radeon RX 7600 review

The best 4K graphics card

The best 4K graphics card for most people

Specifications

Core Clock: 2,295MHz MHz (2,550 MHz Boost)
Shaders: 10,240
Ray Processors: 80
AI Processors: 320
Memory: 16GB GDDR6X
Memory Clock: 23 Gbps effective
Outputs: 1 x HDMI 2.1, 3 x DisplayPort 2.1
Power Connectors: 1 x 16-pin
TDP: 320W

Reasons to buy

+
Better performance than RTX 4080
+
Much cheaper than RTX 4080
+
Gorgeous finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Still very expensive
-
Still power hungry
-
Size might make for a tight fit in your rig
Buy it if

✅ You want great 1440p performance: In 1080p gaming, especially straight rasterization performance, this card is absolutely fantastic.
✅ You're on a budget: For a card with this level of performance, the overall value is its biggest selling point.
✅ You want hardware ray tracing and upscaling: Intel's hardware ray tracing and AI processors are surprisingly powerful for a first-generation graphics card.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to play older PC games: Intel's graphics driver has gotten much better, but it still lags behind Nvidia and AMD on older titles.
❌ You want a powerful creative GPU: While Intel's hardware is great, it's not very good for creative work.
You don't want to deal with Intel's growing pains: Intel is constantly improving its drivers and game support for Arc graphics cards, but there are still bumps along the way that you might not want to deal with.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super is a powerhouse of a graphics card, offering unparalleled 4K performance at its sub-$1000/£1000/AU$1,500 price point. 

With a 1.4% performance gain over the RTX 4080 and a 7% advantage over the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, this card is the perfect choice for enthusiasts seeking top-notch 4K graphics. It even comes close to the RTX 4090's performance, at a 40% lower cost. 

The RTX 4080 Super is, on balance, the best 4K graphics card available, making it an ideal choice for those seeking exceptional 4K performance without breaking the bank. 

Its impressive performance and competitive pricing make it a standout option in the market, and its sleek design (at least for the Founders Edition from Nvidia) makes it a showpiece for those who want to flaunt their gaming setup. 

While it may not be the best choice for those on a budget or seeking mid-range options, the RTX 4080 Super is a premium purchase that delivers exceptional results.

Read the full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super review

The best 1440p graphics card