You’re going to need one of the best graphics cards if you want to take advantage of everything PC games have to offer these days. Especially now that so many PC games run on next-generation technology like ray tracing and upscaling tech like DLSS, having a great graphics card is more important now than ever before.
Now that there are three different manufacturers of the best graphics cards, picking the right one is more complicated than ever. You have Nvidia graphics cards, which are more expensive, but have access to better performance on average, plus access to exclusive features like DLSS. But then, there’s the AMD Radeon cards that are generally a tad more affordable, and usually come with a few redeemable bonus games after purchase. Intel has also thrown its hat in the ring recently, but its first-generation ARC graphics cards that are a strictly mid-range affair. That will likely change in the near future, but for now, Team Red and Team Green are still on top in the GPU world.
TL;DR – These are the Best Graphics Cards:
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition
- MSI Mech Radeon RX 7600 OC
- Asus TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC Edition
- XFX Speedster MERC310 RX 7900XT
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition
Best Graphics Card
Nvidia has finally released a mid-range option in their RTX 4000 series of graphics cards. For around $600, you can snag the GeForce RTX 4070, and with it comes the same Ada Lovelace architecture as the insanely expensive, GeForce RTX 4090. Of course, it can’t compete with that top-tier card, but you’ll still enjoy excellent performance thanks to 5,888 CUDA cores, 46 RT cores, and 184 Tensor cores.
The RTX 4070 has no problem hitting high frame rates in 1440p, even with ray tracing enabled. DLSS 3.0 support even makes it a contender for some 4K gaming. The card itself is also relatively compact and extremely efficient, making it a great match for almost any PC build
2. MSI Mech Radeon RX 7600 OC
Best Budget Graphics Card
Not all graphics cards require you to spend a small fortune. Just look at the Radeon RX 7600, which sets you back under $300 and delivers solid gaming performance. In this day and age, that’s an impressive price, especially for those building a budget PC. It’s also more compact than many graphics cards and needs just one 8-pin connector, so it’s bound to fit in almost any build.
Is the Radeon RX 7600 a good 4K option? No, but the graphics card still proves highly capable when 1080p gaming. Now, it isn’t going to shine in Full HD all the time, especially if you’re playing games that use a lot of ray tracing effects, like Cyberpunk 2077 or Hitman 3. However, ray tracing is technically supported thanks to the card’s RDNA 3 architecture, even if it’s probably best to keep it off.
3. Asus TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC Edition
Best Nvidia Graphics Card
The best graphics cards are more expensive than ever, with both Nvidia and AMD raising prices over last-generation GPUs. So if you want a powerful RTX 4000 or Radeon 7000 GPU, you’ll have to fork over more cash than ever. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti offers decent bang for your buck, delivering powerful performance for hundreds less than other higher-tier RTX 4000 series GPUs. But even it clocks in at over $800.
This graphics card cruises through PC games with ray tracing on. It’ll have no problem hitting decently high frame rates at high resolutions. Heck, the RTX 4070 Ti regularly trades blows with the more-expensive AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, even beating it outright in games like Cyberpunk 2077.
4. XFX Speedster MERC310 RX 7900XT
Best AMD Graphics Card
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT has a confusing name – the next higher tier Radeon card is the 7900 XTX – but while the latter is an expensive high-end graphics card that’s supposed to take the RTX 4080 head on, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT strikes a much better balance between price and performance.
This $899 graphics card can easily power any PC game at 4K 60 fps. There are plenty of games where the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT manages to match the performance of the much-more expensive RTX 4080 at a much-lower price. And while the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a bit more powerful than this card, it’s not by much. The extra $100 you’ll spend on the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is simply not worth it with the performance the Radeon RX 7900 XT offers.
5. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
Most Powerful Graphics Card
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is the graphics card you get when you’ll accept no compromises. There is absolutely no contest when it comes to raw GPU performance, especially at 4K with ray tracing. The RTX 4090 is packed with a mind-blowing 16,384 CUDA cores and 24GB of VRAM, which will not only play all the best PC games now, but those for years to come.
The huge amount of VRAM is also a huge boon to creative professionals. If you have to do a lot of work in Adobe Premiere or Blender, this is the graphics card to beat – at least unless you want to drop thousands of dollars on a pro GPU.
One thing to be aware of with the Nvidia RTX 4090, though, is the power requirements. This baby is rated for 450W, so you’re going to want to pair it with one of the best power supplies.
6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
Best 4K Graphics Card
While the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is the most powerful graphics card on the market, it’s also extremely expensive. If you’re looking to get the ultimate 4K gaming experience, you can do so without dropping nearly $2,000. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 is more than capable of playing any game you throw at it at 4K with all the eye candy cranked up to 11.
Sure, if you really think about it and split hairs the Nvidia RTX 4090 provides a better value from a pure dollars-per-frame perspective. But at the end of the day, the Nvidia RTX 4090 is still $500 more expensive. And, hey, $500 is $500.
7. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
Best 1080p Graphics Card
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is the perfect card to pair with a 1080p gaming monitor. You’ll find it has no problem running games in Full HD with ray tracing. However, it’s only equipped with 8GB of VRAM, so when you bump up to 1440p, there's a drop in performance, especially where ray tracing is concerned.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti uses the same efficient Ada Lovelace architecture seen in Nvidia’s other 4000 series GPUs, making it not only great for ray tracing in 1080p but also DLSS, thanks to the fourth-gen tensor cores. The 160W power requirements is a drop from the RTX 3060 Ti with its 200W, letting you keep things running cooler while sucking less energy from the PSU. This card is also one of Nvidia’s more “budget-minded” options costing around $400.
Where to Get the Best Graphics Cards in the UK
There aren't too many differences when it comes to the graphics cards you can pick up in the UK, but the main takeaway is where you can purchase them. All of the following links have been updated with UK vendors, saving you some time and money if you're interested in picking up any of the graphics cards we've mentioned. Don't see the graphic cards below? Click here.
Best Graphics CardAsus TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC Edition Best Budget Graphics CardMSI Geforce RTX 3050 Gaming X Best AMD Graphics CardXFX Speedster MERC310 RX 7900XT Best 4K Graphics CardNvidia GeForce RTX 4080
What to Look for in a Graphics Card
How do I pick a graphics card?
Just like anything in your gaming PC, there’s no one right graphics card for everyone. When you’re going out shopping for one of the best graphics cards, know what you’re going to be using it for; which games you want to play and what resolution you’re going to play them at.
Someone who just wants to play League of Legends at 1080p, for instance, is going to need a completely different graphics card than someone that wants to play games like Returnal and Atomic Heart at 4K. You also have to consider your budget. Graphics cards can cost as little or as much as your budget allows, so you want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.
AMD or Nvidia? Or Intel?
When it comes to which brand of graphics card you should get, it ultimately comes down to your personal preference – even if each brand has its own unique advantages. Intel graphics cards are the most affordable option on the market right now, but its graphics cards aren’t exactly the fastest in the land. On the other hand, Nvidia makes the most powerful GPUs around, but you’re going to have to pay out the nose for that performance.
AMD graphics cards strike a pretty good balance between the two, but while the company loves to use open-source graphics APIs, it means you don’t get access to some of the exclusive features that Nvidia owners enjoy – features like DLSS. AMD has alternatives for literally every Nvidia software feature, but some of them simply aren’t as good.
What power supply should I get?
Graphics cards, especially high-end ones, are sucking up more electricity with every passing year. If you’re looking to build a new gaming PC, or even upgrade from an older graphics card, you should really consider upgrading to one of the best power supplies.
Some of the graphics cards out there right now can take upwards of 450W of power by themselves, so you may want to consider a 1,000W power supply – especially if you’re going for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090.
Jackie Thomas is the freelance computing queen. You can find her work at Gizmodo, Reviewed, TechRadar and you can follow her @Jackiecobra