Best Graphics Cards

At the time of purchase, PC gamers need to know what the best GPU for the money is. And if you don’t have the time to research the benchmarks, fear not, we've compiled a simple up-to-date list of the best GPUs for gaming at the most popular resolutions, virtual reality, and eSports.

MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Roundup

MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Roundup

April 2017 updates

After ceding the spotlight to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 Ti last month, AMD is front and center in April with three Radeon RX 500-series graphics cards. Two of them are re-branded versions of existing products, while the third is based on an entirely new GPU.

Starting down low, Radeon RX 550 sports a Polaris 12 processor with 512 Stream processors, 32 texture units, 16 ROPs, and an aggregate 128-bit memory bus populated with 7 Gb/s GDDR5. AMD says the card should serve up playable performance at 1920x1080, particularly in popular e-sports titles. Indeed, our benchmarks show the RX 550 to be competent across a wide range of games, so long as you turn their quality settings down enough.

Still, relative to the dismal HD Graphics you get on Intel’s mainstream CPUs, the new Radeon is a veritable turbocharger. Here’s the thing, though: AMD still has Radeon RX 460s on sale for as little as $90. That’s just $10 more than Radeon RX 550’s starting point. In graphics-bound games, even on a meager Core i3-based platform, the 896-shader RX 460 is 40 or 50% faster than RX 550. We’re value-seekers, to be sure. But spend the extra money and enjoy better frame rates or a higher quality preset. The Radeon RX 460 retains our base-level recommendation for e-sports and HD gaming.

So long as you’re willing to dial down the details a bit at 1920x1080, there’s still room in our line-up for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, one step up from the Radeon RX 460. This recommendation does not change.

Where we may be able to save you some money, though, is maxed-out quality at FHD. Starting at $170, the Radeon RX 570 is fast enough to make those settings accessible, even if it can’t quite catch the RX 480s still selling for $200+. To summarize our?AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB Review, this card is a near-facsimile of the previous-gen RX 470, except for higher clock rates. That’s enough to push it out in front of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 3GB (which exhibited serious issues when we tested it against the RX 570).

But AMD also just launched a Radeon RX 580. And while our coverage (AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB Review) focused on a $290 model from Sapphire, 4GB cards start right around $200. Sporting 2304 Stream processors, that’s the configuration we’re recommending for folks serious about gaming at 1920x1080 with quality cranked up or 2560x1440 at relaxed detail settings.

The lack of compelling competition further up our hierarchy results in Nvidia retaining its high-end recommendations. GeForce GTX 1070, 1080, and 1080 Ti are simply unbeatable in their respective categories.

Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

Best @ 720p & eSports

MORE: Best Cpus

MORE: Best Memory

Good @ 1080p

MORE: Best Cases

MORE: Best Cooling

Best @ 1080p | Good @ 1440p

MORE: Best Monitors

MORE: Best motherboards

Best @ 1440p & SLI | Good @ VR

MORE: Best Power Supplies


Good @ 4K | Best @ VR

MORE: Best Virtual Reality Headsets

Best @ 4K

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