Graphics cards are an essential component if you want to run 3D intensive applications or want to improve performance in applications that support GPU acceleration. There are discrete graphics cards for just about every budget, but many are poor choices even when compared to other graphics cards at the same price point.
We’ve gone through the listings and compiled a list of the best graphics cards according to their purpose and price. Let’s start with the most inexpensive cards and end up with GPUs that can make almost any wallet cry.
Better than integrated graphics: Biostar Radeon RX 550 2GB – $ 82.99
Not everyone wants to use their GPU for gaming, but they can still use decent GPU power. While the integrated graphics in the CPU are improving every year, there is no reason to dwell on their relative lack of power in the desktop.
If you are using integrated graphics on a system with an older processor, there is a good chance that while your processor is still serviceable, the integrated graphics really fail to handle modern applications.
You can also build a system with a high-performance processor without any integrated GPU In this case, the RX 550 is also a great graphics card for adding premium general-purpose graphics performance to non-gaming systems.
Entry-level gaming option: ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB – $ 149.99
Overall, we can’t recommend anyone buying a 4GB GPU in 2020, but if you’re looking for a ticket to mainstream PC gaming, the GTX 1650 is a big step up from integrated CPU graphics. – /
This model from Zotac is a compact single fan model at a very reasonable price. If you are playing at 1080p or lower and are happy with the low-to-medium settings in modern games, then the GTX 1650 will give you great performance.
If you’re a content creator and use tools that can take advantage of Nvidia’s “CUDA” acceleration feature, the 1650 can also make them much more efficient. It’s a great all-round card that still delivers a decent gaming experience in modern games and a great experience for games that are even more in the PC catalog.
The Mainstream Gaming King: MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super Card – $ 249.99
There are three models of Nvidia GTX 1660 GPUs: 1660, 1660 Super, and 1660Ti. The Super is the newest model in the lineup, and although it has slightly fewer CUDA cores than the Ti, its gaming performance is no more than 3%.
For a factory overclocked model such as this unit from MSI, there is almost no difference. This means you can channel the money saved to another component (like CPU or RAM) for more balanced performance.
If you’re gaming at 1080p and don’t care about ray tracing, then the 1660 Super is the best graphics card you can get. It should play most modern games at 60 frames per second at medium to high settings. Most often this happens with all game settings at a high level, depending on the name.
The MSI version of the card is also one of the coolest and quietest versions of the card, so we recommend it. If you’re using other software that takes advantage of GPU acceleration (like video editors), the 1660 Super will give them a significant boost as well. This is a really nice graphics card.
Ray-tracing Taste Bait Test Device: MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB – $ 449.99
The RTX 2060 is a pretty decent graphics card, delivering raw performance on par with the GTX 1080, which was the previous generation’s flagship starter card. This is already a big leap, but Nvidia has followed that card with the RTX 2060 Super. A card that comes close to the RTX 2070 in performance, but with a significant price cut.
Probably the best all-around mid to high tier card. It can handle anything you can throw at it for 1080p gaming. It will also handle 1440p games at 60fps, perhaps with slight cuts here and there. However, what really sets the RTX 2060 Super apart from others is its dedicated technology. Like other RTX cards, the 2060 Super has dedicated ray tracing hardware as well as dedicated deep learning hardware.
It has enough RTX cores for you to experience the main benefits of ray tracing while maintaining reproducible frame rates. You also get access to technology like Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), which can give a serious boost to high-resolution gaming by using AI to restore low-resolution rendering to your original screen resolution. If this sounds like exciting technology to you and is the limit of your budget, the 2060 Super is a great graphics card.
The Compact Assassin: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Mini ITX OC – $ 388.81
If you’re looking to build a small form factor computer, either to save space on your desk or as a pseudo console mounted under your TV, finding a graphics card that will fit in these cases can be tricky.
This Gigabyte graphics card fits an impressive RTX 2060 into a tiny mini-ITX compatible form factor. The 2060 is a killer 1920 Ã— 1080 card in modern games, and will handle ultra-wide 1080p and 1440p resolutions without much pretense, although you may have to lower some gaming settings by a notch or two.
Sure, there are more powerful cards of this size, but we think this 2060 card is the best place for price and performance in this relatively niche video card segment.
1440p option: XFX RX 5700 XT Triple Dissipation 8GB – $ 379.99
If you’re not interested in ray tracing or machine learning features like DLSS and just want raw performance, this is your graphics card. The 5700XT performs roughly the same as the 2060 Super, but consistently sells for a lower price.
If your budget is on a tight budget and RTX features don’t matter, then saving $ 50 on GPU costs you could upgrade to another component instead. AMD may not be doing too well with the current line of graphics cards, but the RX 5700XT does take a comfortable place in the market.
King of Evolved Value: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 Super XC – $ 600
When the RTX line of graphics cards first launched, the RTX 2080 was the flagship model at a flagship price. The huge amount of dollars you had to part with was only mitigated by the fact that the 2080 was truly the first viable native 4K GPU on the market.
Although the official starting price was $ 699, in reality these cards changed hands for much more. Even today, you’ll see used 2080s on sale for $ 1,000, though hardly anyone would pay that price.
One of the reasons nobody pays this premium is because the RTX 2070 Super’s performance is below 2-3% of 2080 performance. However, unlike in 2080, there is no shortage of this more mature silicon. You can actually get one for $ 700 or less. As with the EVGA version of the card, there are excellent factory overclocking options here.
The 2070 Super is a great graphics card on its own, but it’s worth looking out for in the market as its market price is dangerously close to the next card on our list.
King of Premium Performance Value: EVGA RTX 2080 Super – $ 719.99
With about 12-16% more performance than the standard RTX 2070 Super, the 2080 Super is hard to skip given that at market prices it is only $ 50 more than the 2070. That seems like a good deal – paying about 7% more for increase in productivity by 12%.
Keep in mind, however, that the RTX 2070 can be purchased in smaller physical sizes, and is generally quieter and cooler. He also needs a power supply with 50-100 W more output power. So if you need to upgrade your PSU or case to make room for the 2080 Super, the 2070 Super is sure to be your best bet.
If your PSU and case already fit, then the 2080 Super makes more sense, but that’s only true if you don’t need to update other components to match it.
Owned game cards: Asus ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080TI Overclocked – $ 1,500
The RTX 2080 Ti is the undisputed king of gaming graphics cards. It is way ahead of the 2080 Super to justify its price tag. If you want to play games at native 4K resolution and increased levels of detail, this is truly the only viable card at a “reasonable” price point. That being said, the raw performance numbers for the 2080 Ti look pretty much the same as the upcoming Xbox Series X system.
On the one hand, this means the 2080Ti must prepare your system for the next generation of basic cross-platform gaming. On the other hand, we recommend waiting for Nvidia 30-series cards to arrive at this stage, as their more average price will likely match the 2080Ti when the new cards are released.
Entry-level professional powerhouse: PNY NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 – $ 889.99
The Quadro cards are not meant for gaming (although they certainly can), but for professional workstation applications. So while the RTX 4000 performs about the same as the 2060 Super, it costs the same as the RTX 2080 Super.
What are you paying for? Quadro cards are tested and certified with professional applications such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, 3D modeling software, CAD and more. If your GPU work is critical and downtime costs you money, then a Quadro card is right choice. The name of the game is stability, reliability and accuracy. The RTX 4000 is the cheapest Quadro card we recommend everyone to buy.
Quadro in Disguise: The Titan RTX (reference model) – $ 2,499.99
If you want to own the fastest single GPU solution out there at the time of writing, then the RTX Titan is literally, objectively, the only choice.
The RTX Titan costs a staggering $ 2,499 – the exact opposite of an impulse buy. We categorically do not recommend this card to anyone looking for a game solution. If you want the best graphics card for video games, choose the RTX 2080 Ti.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a cheap card for a professional workstation, this might be a good alternative. With a whopping 24GB of RAM, a bunch of machine learning, and all the latest RTX features, it’s an â€œaffordableâ€ way to get workstation-class performance for both GPU and general purpose GPU tasks.
The caveat is that you are not getting Quadro certification, support, or drivers from Nvidia. If you’re looking to spend that much money on a gaming system, just buy two 2080 Ti cards and plug them in for some really insane performance.
Ultimate Professional Card: PNY Quadro RTX 8000 48 GB – $ 5,500
The RTX 4000 is the entry level professional graphics, but the RTX 8000 is at the top of that range. For a whopping five, this is strictly appropriate for use cases where the card pays off.
High-performance workstations that create the next Hollywood blockbuster computer graphics, sophisticated computer simulations and cutting-edge artificial intelligence projects fit this description. In truth, everyone who needs one of these cards already knows about it. However, we mere mortals always enjoy staring at something as special as this.
A choice issue
Each of these 12 cards represents, in our opinion, the â€œbestâ€ product for its intended purpose. Which does not always help to make the right choice in accordance with your needs.
So if you still don’t know which graphics card is best to buy, read our article on how to choose a graphics card Hopefully we’ve been able to narrow down the options a bit to make your decision easier.