Best graphics card 2023: the top GPUs for PC gaming
The best GPUs can have a transformative effect on your PC gaming experience
Building one of the best gaming PCs? Then you’ll need one of the best graphics cards. Your choice of GPU will determine which games you can play and how good they’ll look and perform. But with so many options available, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.
While top-of-the-line graphics cards like the Nvidia RTX 4080 and AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX offer incredible performance, they also come with an eye-watering price tag. You also need to consider the size of your PC case, your power supply unit, and what CPU you have.
Once you’ve got those aspects nailed down, finding the best GPU for your needs means balancing price and performance. If you’re on a budget, a last-generation GPU like the RTX 3060 is a great option to play the best PC games. And once Nvidia releases the RTX 4060 Ti, finding the right balance should be even easier.
No matter what your needs are, we’re here to help you find the best graphics card for your gaming PC. And if none of the options on our list seem quite right, just let us know and we’ll help you find the perfect GPU for your needs.
5. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
A great 4K graphics card if you can’t afford the RTX 4090
➕ Excellent 4K gaming performance
➕ Cheaper than the RTX 4090
➖ RTX 4090 provides better bang for the buck
Specs: Shader cores: 9,728 | VRAM: 16GB GDDR6 | GPU power: 320W | Clock speed: 2.51 GHz
Want to experience the latest generation of PC gaming? The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 is the most affordable way to do it. Starting at $1,199, it’s $400 cheaper than the flagship Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 and offers an incredible 4K gaming experience with ray tracing.
But before you make your decision, consider this: for just 33% more, you can get the RTX 4090 and enjoy up to 50% more performance. That’s a price-to-performance ratio that’s definitely worth considering. After all, when you’re investing in a high-end graphics card, you want it to last as long as possible before needing to upgrade.
So while the RTX 4080 is a great option if you’re on a strict budget, we think the RTX 4090 is worth the extra investment for its superior performance.
Read our Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 review.
4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
A budget graphics card that you can rely on
➕ Very affordable
➕ Solid 1080p performance
➖ More expensive than prior “budget” cards
Specs: Shader cores: 2,560 | VRAM: 8GB GDDR6 | GPU power: 130W | Clock speed: 1.76 GHz
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 still provides a great gaming experience without breaking the bank. With an entry price of just $249, this budget-friendly graphics card offers impressive performance in even the most demanding games.
We’re still pleasantly surprised by its capabilities. And despite being released towards the end of the RTX 3000 series lifespan, it holds its own against more expensive options.
While budget graphics cards used to be even cheaper – remember when you could get an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 for just $139? – those days are unfortunately over. But with the RTX 3050, you can still enjoy a fantastic gaming experience without spending a fortune.
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
The no-compromises GPU
➕ The fastest graphics card out there
➕ No holds barred 4K gaming
➖ Ludicrously expensive
Specs: Shader cores: 16,384 | VRAM: 24GB GDDR6X | GPU power: 450W | Clock speed: 2.52 GHz
If you’re looking for the absolute best gaming experience and price is no object, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is the graphics card for you. Starting at a whopping $1,599, this top-of-the-line GPU offers unbeatable performance – even compared to Nvidia’s second-fastest graphics card, the RTX 4080.
But with great power comes great power consumption. We found that the RTX 4090 can consume up to 434 watts of power. So while it’s definitely not a budget-friendly option, if you’re willing to pay for the best of the best, the RTX 4090 is an incredible choice.
2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti
Nvidia’s 1440p masterpiece
➕ Solid price to performance
➕ Excellent 1440p gaming
➖ Still a little expensive for the performance
Specs: Shader cores: 7,680 | VRAM: 12GB GDDR6X | GPU power: 285W | Clock speed: 2,310 MHz (Game Clock)
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is a great choice for those searching for a graphics card that can deliver excellent performance at 1440p resolution. This GPU is built on the same architecture as the powerhouse RTX 4090 and can handle even the most demanding games with ease.
While it does come with a higher price tag than some previous models, it’s a worthy successor to the RTX 3080 at the same price point. And with features like DLSS 3.0, you’ll be able to enjoy high frame rates in even the most demanding games.
Of course, choosing the best GPU for your needs always comes down to which games you play and how you play them. But if ray tracing and DLSS are important to you, the RTX 4070 Ti is definitely worth considering.
Read our Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti review.
1. AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
AMD’s return to high-end value GPUs
➕ Excellent 4K gaming experience
➕ Finally has good ray tracing performance
➖ High price tag
Specs: Shader cores: 6,144 | VRAM: 24GB GDDR6 | GPU power: 355W | Clock speed: 2,300 MHz (Game Clock)
For years, Nvidia dominated the high-end graphics card market. But with the release of the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, that’s all changed. This RDNA 3-based GPU is a huge leap forward from its predecessor, the Radeon RX 6950X, and offers impressive ray tracing performance even at high resolutions.
In fact, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is so powerful that it’s a true 4K graphics card. But perhaps the best thing about this GPU is its value. It offers a similar performance to the RTX 4080 but costs $200 less. So if you’re looking for a premium gaming experience without draining your bank account, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is definitely worth considering and is the best graphics card of 2023.
Read our AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX review.
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Updated: March 24, 2023