Computers Feature

In 2022, the best graphics cards for any budget

best graphics card

With GPU prices finally lowering, now is the time to invest in one of the best graphics cards available. We rank Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 as the best GPU you can buy right now after testing the major options from AMD and Nvidia. It has superb 4K gaming performance and a wealth of additional features.

The best graphics cards for any budget

It isn’t, however, the best graphics card for everyone. In 2022, AMD and Nvidia have a tonne of alternatives, making it easy to find a GPU for 1080p, 1440p, or 4K gaming. We’ll be concentrating on Nvidia’s Ampere and AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics cards, which are the most recent models and offer the best performance and features available from these firms.

GeForce RTX 3080 from Nvidia

best graphics card

The best graphics card in general

Pros

  • Exceptional 4K gaming performance
  • Nvidia’s DLSS enables ray tracing.
  • A plethora of great third-party choices

Cons

  • Right now, it’s rather pricey.

Amazon charges $1,199.

Why should you buy it: Despite being nearly half the price of the 3090, the Nvidia 3080 delivers near-comparable 4K performance.

Who it’s for: Gamers who want to play the latest AAA games with high frame rates on a 4K monitor.

What we thought of the GeForce RTX 3080 from Nvidia:

The RTX 3080 is best for 4K gamers that don’t want to make any compromises. It outperforms the RTX 2080 Ti from last generation by a large margin while costing roughly half as much. In games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, it can keep above 60 frames per second for 4K gaming, ensuring seamless gameplay in even the most demanding games.

Its features should also not be overlooked. This Nvidia graphics card features the most up-to-date ray-tracing cores for precise gaming lighting, as well as Tensor cores for dynamic upscaling using Nvidia Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). The RTX 3080 has enough power to justify a purchase, but these two extra features push it over the top.

The best graphics card for 4K gaming is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. It strikes a sweet spot in the high-end market, delivering enough power to run the most demanding AAA titles without bloating the card with extra RAM that most gamers won’t utilise. Simply ignore the 12GB RTX 3080 to save some money.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

The best graphics card in general

Amazon charges $1,199.

Take a look at our in-depth assessment.

Pros

  • Less expensive than the RTX 3080, but still great
  • Excellent for 1440p and capable of 4K gaming
  • Maintains 60 frames per second in AAA titles

Cons

  • At 4K, some games may be difficult to play.

Amazon: $889

Why should you buy it: The RTX 3070 Ti is Nvidia’s current sweet spot, providing enough power to push select games to 4K without the price of an RTX 3080.

Who it’s for: The average PC gamer looking for a lot of power at a low price.

What we thought of the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti from Nvidia:

The RTX 3070 is a great graphics card, but most people should recommend for the RTX 3070 Ti. According to our testing, it’s only 8% quicker than the RTX 3070. However, you can usually find both the Ti and non-Ti models in stock for approximately the same price, thereby making the Ti model a free upgrade.

Despite the fact thats the RTX 3070 Ti is a 1440p graphics card, it can handle 4K in a lot of titles. If you alter a few graphics settings, you can play games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 60 frames per second, thanks to the extra boost over the original model. You may even play games like Cyberpunk 2077 in 4K with the offer of DLSS.

The RTX 3070 Ti is designed for the average gamer. It won’t last as long as the RTX 3080, and you’ll have to lower a few graphics settings, but the RTX 3070 Ti strikes a unique mix between price and performance that no other graphics card on the market can match.

GeForce RTX 3090 from Nvidia

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

For pros, the best graphics card is

Pros

  • The best graphics card money can buy
  • Appropriate for both gamers and professionals
  • Effortlessly completes practically every task

Cons

  • It’s exorbitantly priced
  • It’s enormous.

Walmart $2,050

Why should you buy it: The RTX 3090 is a beast of a graphics card with unrivalled performance for the money.

Who it’s for: PC aficionados who want the best of the best and can afford it.

What we thought of the GeForce RTX 3090 from Nvidia:

Nvidia took a different approach with its 30-series GPUs, replacing the Titan RTX from previous generation with the GeForce RTX 3090 (at least, that’s what we discovered in our RTX 3080 vs. 3090 comparison). It’s a monster GPU with 24GB of GDDR6X memory, 10,496 CUDA cores, and a boost frequency of 1.7GHz, so don’t put it in an external GPU box. The RTX 3090 is best suited for those who want the best of the best and are willing to pay for it.

However, you should only buy the RTX 3090 if you can benefit from its large amount of memory. In terms of 4K gaming performance, the RTX 3080 Ti and the RTX 3080 are nearly comparable. The best use case for the RTX 3090 is for gaming with some productivity chores thrown in for good measure. It can obliterate jobs like rendering and 3D animation, as well as CAD programmes.

The RX 6900 XT is a great option to the RTX 3090 if you favour Team Red. The 6900 XT holds the world record for GPU overclocking, and AMD released a liquid-cooled version in 2021 that is even faster than the standard model. The RTX 3090, on the other hand, includes features like DLSS and ray tracing.

Although the newer RTX 3090 Ti is technically more powerful, it’s not the best option for most users because to its high power demands.

GeForce RTX 3060 Ti from Nvidia

best graphics cards

The best graphics card for 1440p

Pros

  • At MSRP, the cost-to-performance ratio is fantastic.
  • It’s ideal for 1440p gaming.
  • Comparable to the RTX 3070, but less expensive

Cons

  • Not the best 4K option

$725 Amazon $776 Newegg $819 Business at Newegg

Why should you buy it: The RTX 3060 Ti is a powerful card that punches way above its weight class.

Who it’s for: 1440p gamers who want the full visual experience.

What we thought of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti from Nvidia:

Given its position in Nvidia’s Ampere gaming lineup, the RTX 3060 Ti is a very powerful graphics card. The 3060 Ti, which is somewhat slower than the RTX 3070, nevertheless features 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit bus and a clock speed of 1.67GHz vs 1.72GHz on the 3070. It’s best for 1440p gamers that don’t mind paying a premium for high frame rates.

The RTX 3060 Ti outperforms the GeForce RTX 2080 Super from last generation in benchmarks. In demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 with Ultra settings at 1440p, the card can generate over 70 frames per second. You can also use features like DLSS to improve your performance in games like Control.

The best graphics card for 1440p is the RTX 3060 Ti. Even with all the sliders set up, it’s quite capable, with frame rates north of 60 fps in demanding AAA titles. Ray tracing would generally be a problem on a card like this, but thanks to DLSS, you can still hit performance benchmarks while enjoying all of the visual frills.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card

best graphics cards

The best graphics card for 1080p

Take a look at our in-depth assessment.

Pros

  • Smooth 1080p gaming
  • Doesn’t necessitate a lot of power
  • 1440p gaming capability
  • FidelityFX Super Resolution support

Cons

  • A little on the pricey side
  • Content creation isn’t up to par.
  • Inadequate ray tracing performance

$550 $603 on Amazon Newegg

Why should you buy it: It’s the best 1080p gaming graphics card on the market, and used versions are less expensive than the Nvidia RTX 3060.

That it’s for: 1080p gamers who want a fast-refreshing display.

What we thought about AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card:

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT isn’t a great deal, but in this day and age, when GPU alternatives are so costly, itmatters a moot time. What matters with the RX 6600 XT is that it outperforms Nvidia’s RTX 3060 by a significant margin, and it’s up to $150 cheaper on the secondhand market.

At 1080p, the RX 6600 XT outperformed the RTX 3060 by around 11 percent on an average of five gaming benchmarks. It averaged 117.6 frames per second in our tests, making it an excellent option for 1080p gamers with a high refresh rate display. It is, without a doubt, one of the best 1080p graphics cards available right now.

Even in a demanding game like Cyberpunk 2077, the Radeon RX 6600 XT can put above 60 frames per second with all sliders cranked up. With the exception of ray tracing, which is still one of the most demanding gaming jobs for a graphics card. The RX 6600 XT doesn’t perform as well as its Nvidia cousin when it comes to ray tracing, but neither card is designed for it.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card

best graphics cards

AMD’s best graphics card

Pros

  • On par with the RTX 3080
  • Excellent overclocking ability
  • It’s perfect for 4K gaming.

Cons

  • It’s best if you don’t use ray tracing.

$1,320 $850 on Amazon Walmart $1,350 Newegg

Why should you buy it: The RX 6800 XT is just as powerful as the RTX 3080, and it can be even more so if overclocked.

That it’s for: AMD fans who want to overclock their systems.

What we thought of AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card:

AMD’s response to the RTX 3080 is the Radeon RX 6800 XT. It’s designed to compete directly with Nvidia’s flagship card, but it’s packed with specs that are vastly different. The 16GB of GDDR6 memory is the most intriguing feature. The Nvidia card has faster memory, while the AMD card has more. If you want to play in 4K but don’t want to buy the high price of an Nvidia GPU, this is the card to get.

With ray tracing disabled, the Radeon RX 6800 XT performs similarly to the RTX 3080 in most games. The 6800 XT actually outperforms the 6800 if you’re prepared to overclock your graphics card. The RX 6800 XT features AMD’s Infinity Cache, which allows the card to hit at extremely high clock speeds, resulting in significant performance benefits. However, it’s best for gamers that aren’t suited with ray tracing.

Ray tracing throws a wrench into the works, as DLSS gives Nvidia cards a significant performance increase. However, AMD launched the Super Resolution feature, which is identical to DLSS, as part of the FidelityFX package. Other aesthetic upgrades in the package include Contrast Adaptive Sharpening, which restores sharpness to an image after temporal anti-aliasing has been applied. All of the FidelityFX features are available to the Radeon RX 6800 XT.

Super Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660

best graphics cards

The best graphics card for the budget

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Maintains an frame rate of at least 30 frames per second in AAA titles
  • Excellent for 1080p

Cons

  • DLSS isn’t supported.

Amazon has a $402 budget.

Why should you buy it: Even with how far graphics cards have come, the GTX 1660 Super can still hold its own.

Who it’s for: 1080p gamers on the lookout for a good deal.

What we thought of the GeForce GTX 1660 Super from Nvidia:

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super may appear modest in comparison to today’s Ampere cards, but don’t dismiss it. The best budget GPU option in 2021 is the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super. It works admirably at 1080p, with frame rates delivering 30 fps in demanding games like Metro Exodus. You can hit significantly higher frame rates if you’re ready to turn a few settings.

Although the GTX 1660 Super can hold today’s games, it lacks graphic features such as ray tracing. The card isn’t an RTX card, thus it doesn’t have specialised ray-tracing cores or support for features like DLSS like the other Nvidia alternatives on this list. Still, it’s difficult to argue with the GTX 1660 Super for a budget option that can decimate most games at 1080p. Also, don’t be fooled by the PCIe version or other specs. The GTX 1660 Super is an excellent choice for a current gaming computer.

The GTX 1660 Super is the card we recommend. In terms of performances, the GeForce GTX 1650 is close, but it falls short. The Nvidia GTX 1660 Super also exceeds the Oculus Rift S’s minimum requirements, making it an excellent choice for VR gaming.

Mobile Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

best graphics cards

The best graphics card

Pros

  • It’s in a tonne of laptops.
  • Sufficient for 1080p gaming
  • Significant advancement over prior generations

Cons

  • Hardcore gamers will find this inconvenient.

Amazon $1,985 Walmart $1,700

Why should you buy it: It offers great performance without bulking up current laptops.

Who it’s for: On-the-go power gamers.

What we thought of the GeForce RTX 3060 mobile from Nvidia:

The RTX 3060 from Nvidia is one of the most recent iterations of the company’s sleeker mobile gaming solutions, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in power. It has more CUDA cores than previous generations of Nvidia graphics card mobile CPUs and offers a significant performance boost over the previous version.

Although it lags behind its full-scale desktop and mobile competitors, the GeForce RTX 3060’s primary strength is that it produces a fraction of the heat generated by large-scale GPUs. As a result, the RTX 3060 will find to be found in laptops that are elegant, thin, and light. The effects can be seen in this older Razer Blade that we previously tested, which weighs only 4.5 pounds yet delivers performance previously only found in hefty gaming computers that weighed close to double that.

There are some good options in this arena, with AMD and Nvidia both providing mobile options with varying levels of performance depending on your needs. The RTX 2070 Max-Q, in our opinion, offers all of the performance that most users might expect in a low-profile chipset. It’s an great choice for people looking for the best video performance on a compact laptop. This is a great pick if you’re a gamer or simply want better graphics on your compact form factor laptop.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

How can you tell which graphics card is best for you?

The resolution of your display and the types of games you play will determine which graphics card is best for you. For example, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is great in 4K, but it’s overkill at 1080p, where the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT excels. The lower the resolution of your display, the less money you’ll need to spend on a graphics card.

Beyond that, think about the games you want to play and at what frame rates you want to play them. You can play everything from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Borderlands 3 on the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super, while games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla may require the GeForce RTX 3070.

What is the right amount to spend on a graphics card?

As a general guideline, a graphics card for a gaming PC should account for roughly 30% of your budget. Spend between $300 and $400 on 1080p, $400 to $500 on 1440p, and $600 or more on 4K. The Radeon RX 6600 XT is priced at $379 for 1080p, the GeForce RTX 3070 is priced at $500 for 1440p, and the GeForce RTX 3080 is priced at $700 for 4K.

Graphics cards, on the other hand, are enormously overpriced in 2022. Currently, you may expect to pay twice as much as you should for each resolution. That should hopefully change in the following months.

What’s the best way to find a graphics card’s power supply?

For their most latest best graphics card, Nvidia and AMD recommend power supply wattage. The Radeon RX 6800 XT, for example, consumes 300 watts of power, and AMD recommends at least a 750 watt power supply. Similarly, the GeForce RTX 3080 video card consumes 320W and requires a 750W power supply, according to Nvidia. However, because these suggestions aren’t usually accurate, we recommend utilising a PSU calculator.

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