The best graphics cards 2019: all the top GPUs for gaming

best graphics cards

Now that Nvidia Turing heavy hitters like the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2060 have arrived, the best graphics cards are more powerful (and expensive) than ever before. So, do you splurge on an expensive flagship? Or, do you go for a more budget friendly graphics card, like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 – perfect for 1080p gaming? No matter what you choose, you’ll be able to use the best graphics cards to play the best PC games from Anthem to Devil May Cry 5.

Keep in mind that the best graphics card for your build is going to depend on the type of PC you’re aiming for – finding the right GPU is an involved process. Fortunately, we’re here to help: we’ve gathered up the best graphics cards on the market, each tested and reviewed here at TechRadar. So, before you go out to pick up that shiny new graphics card, we’ll help you find the perfect one for your rig. 

Best graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

Value comes to Turing

Stream Processors: 1,920 | Core Clock: 1,365MHz (1,680MHz boost) | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x DVI

Ray traced 1080p gaming
Runs cool
More expensive than previous gen

When Nvidia’s Turing cards started rolling out, we couldn’t help but balk at the high prices. However, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 turns things around, bringing value to the Turing lineup – or, at least, more value than what was there already. The RTX 2060 is already popular, due to the fact that it can handle pretty much anything at 1080p (or even 1440p) at max settings. And, there’s also the fact that it’s the most affordable way to experience RTX features, well, as long as you stick to 1080p. 

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

Best 4K graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Power overwhelming

Stream Processors: 4,352 | Core Clock: 1,350MHz (1,635MHz boost) | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C

 High fps 4K gaming 
 Spearheading ray tracing revolution 
 Extremely expensive 

If you’re looking for the best graphics card, and you’re not ok with compromising, you may want to consider the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Without a doubt, this is the most powerful graphics card you can buy without going for a professional solution. And, especially now that games like Battlefield V and Metro Exodus actually use the RTX features, there’s never been a better time to jump on the raytraced bandwagon. Just brace yourself for that price tag.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 

Best QHD graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

Turing, meet 1440p

Stream processors: 2,304 | Core clock: 1,410 | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory clock: 14Gbps | Power connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 2 x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x DVI, 1 x USB-C

Handles both 1440p and 4K gaming
Lower power consumption
Too expensive

If you want to stick to QHD, with some brief forays into 4K, you might want to check out the RTX 2070. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 brings the new Turing architecture to the mid range with performance that dwarfs the GTX 1070 that came before. Not only will you be able to play everything at 1440p, but you’re going to get insane performance – up to 120fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. However, you should consider that the RTX 2070 is significantly more expensive than its predecessor, so that trade off in price-to-performance may not be worth it – especially if you’re coming from a Pascal card.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

Best Full HD graphics card: PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

Value and performance

Stream Processors: 1,536 | Core Clock: 1,500MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 12Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DVI

Affordable
Excellent 1080p performance
Limited memory bandwidth

When Nvidia first launched its Turing lineup, it was hard to find a model that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. However, with the launch of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and specifically the PNY XLR8 Gaming OC model, next-generation performance is attainable for everyone. You won’t be able to do 4K 60 fps gaming with this card, but it’s absolutely perfect for anyone still using a 1080p panel. At that resolution, you’ll have trouble running into any title that slows you down. There aren’t any RTX features here, but since there are only a few games that use them, that’s not really a dealbreaker.

Read the full review: PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

Best graphics card for creatives: AMD Radeon VII

The first 7nm graphics card is a powerhouse

Stream Processors: 3,840 | Core Clock: 1,400MHz (1,800MHz boost) | Memory: 16GB HBM2 | Memory Clock: 2Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

Plenty of VRAM 
Runs cool 
Weak DirectX 12 performance 

AMD hasn’t put out a high end consumer graphics card since 2017’s Radeon Vega 64, and a lot has happened in the GPU world since – namely Nvidia Turing. And, with the Radeon VII, AMD wanted to reclaim a piece of the high-end graphics card market, and it certainly did, but maybe not in the way AMD intended. The AMD Radeon VII holds its own in gaming, but where it really shines is content creation. Packed with 16GB of HBM2 memory, the AMD Radeon VII is going to excel in creative applications, and will easily compete with much more expensive cards.

Read the full review: AMD Radeon VII 

Best VR graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080

The king of VR gaming

Stream Processors: 2,944 | Core Clock: 1,515MHz (1,800MHz boost) | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C

Solid 4K performance
Dedicated VR connections
Expensive

If you’re trying to play the best VR games, you’re going to need the best graphics card for the job. And, these days, that’s going to be the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080. Packed with the latest Turing architecture and the VirtualLink VR connector, you won’t have to worry about choppy VR performance making you sick. And, outside of VR, you should be able to play all your favorite PC games at 1440p and 4K without breaking a sweat. 

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080

Best mini graphics card: Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini

Best mini graphics card: Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini

Stream processors: 3,584 | Core clock: 1,506 | Memory: 11GB GDDR5X | Memory clock: 10Gbps | Power connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x DL-DVI-D

World’s smallest 1080 Ti
SLI support
Inferior performance
Runs hot and loud

If you’re setting out to build a microATX or a mini-ITX gaming PC, you shouldn’t have to settle for a low-end GPU. You can find mini graphics cards like the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini. And, sure it’s not the latest and greatest GPU out there anymore, but the 1080 Ti has a lot of life left in it. Plus, when you can get that power in a card that’s just 211 x 125 x 41mm, the loss in performance is totally worth the beautiful mini PC you’ll get.

Best Budget graphics card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

The best bargain graphics card, perhaps ever

Stream Processors: 1,408 | Core Clock: 1,530MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | Memory Speed: 8Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

Extremely affordable
Great entry-level performance 
GDDR5 memory

These days, with all the expensive graphics cards, more budget-friendly products sometimes slip through the cracks. We think that’s a shame. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 deserves all the spotlights, delivering fantastic 1080p performance at a budget price. With the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G, you’re also getting a healthy factory overclock and all the outputs you’ll ever need, so you can play all your favorite games and have plenty of monitors attached. We’d call that a bargain, maybe the best we’ve ever had.

Read the full review: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

Best eSports graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Competitive for both eSports and in price

Stream Processors: 768 | Core Clock: 1,290MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Memory Clock: 7Gbps | Power Connectors: PCIe | Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, DL-DVI

Solid 1080p performer
Good overclocking potential
Greater than 75W TDP

Any eSports player will tell you that high frame rates are far more important than beautifully rendered graphical details – and that’s where the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti shines. In a time where graphics cards cost as much as rent, it’s an affordable, but potent GPU that can play most eSports games well above 60fps. It’s a bit pricier than the lower-end Nvidia GTX 1050, but you’ll appreciate the extra power behind this card to play future eSports titles, as well as the odd AAA title. 

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti