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The best graphics cards 2019: all the top GPUs for gaming

best graphics cards
(Image credit: Future)

There has never been a better time to be on the market for the best graphics cards. Whether you’re updating an older PC or researching the upgradable options on that new PC you're about to buy, you’re going to be looking at options like the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2060, powered by Nvidia Turing architecture or AMD’s recently unveiled next generation of AMD Navi GPUs or even the new Super RTX cards.

However, the best graphics cards for some people might not be the best for you. Do you want to drop the equivalent of a new PC on just the GPU, like top-of-the-line flagships, or do you want a budget card that will just get the job done, like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660? It all depends on what your priorities are. Whatever that might be, the best graphics cards will still handle the best PC games from Rage 2 to Sekiro Die Twice.

And yes, finding that perfect GPU available right now can be a confusing process so let us make it a bit easier. Each of the best graphics cards we’ve listed has been thoroughly tested here at TechRadar. So take a look at our recommendations for the best graphics cards before you break open that piggy bank.

What you need to know about Black Friday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner and are shaping up to be the best time to build a new PC. Not only are we expecting plenty of Best Buy Black Friday graphics cards deals, but from other retailers too. And, if you can't wait to get those sweet, sweet frame rates, we'll help you find the best graphics card deals right now, too. 

AMD Radeon RX 5700

(Image credit: Future)

1. AMD Radeon RX 5700

The best graphics card for most people

Stream Processors: 2,304 | Core Clock: 1,465 MHz (1,725 MHz boost) | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin and 1 x 6-pin | Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, 1 x HDMI with 4K60 Support

Excellent performance
Affordable
No ray tracing

This absolute behemoth of a graphics card is still basically brand new, and it’s already topping our list of the best graphics cards, booting former reigning champion and its direct rival, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, off the top spot. At $349, this powerful mid-range card brings 1440p gaming at Ultra or Max settings to the masses, making it affordable and accessible to everyone. At that price point, it doesn’t need to be perfect – those looking for ray tracing will have to wait. But, for what it offers and how much it costs, it’s well-deserving of its title as the best graphics card of 2019 for most people.

Read the full review: AMD Radeon RX 5700

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

The best 4K graphics card

Stream Processors: 4,352 | Core Clock: 1,350MHz (1,635MHz boost) | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C

 High fps 4K gaming 
 Spearheading ray tracing revolution 
 Extremely expensive 

If you need the best graphics card, and you don’t want to settle, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti may be one of the best graphics cards for you. This is the most formidable graphics card you can buy without jumping for a professional graphics solution. And, now that games like Battlefield V, Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider actually implement the RTX features, there’s never been a better time to jump on the ray tracing bandwagon. Just prepare yourself for that sky-high price.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super

The best QHD graphics card

Stream processors: 2,560 | Core clock: 1,605 | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory clock: 14Gbps | Power connectors: 6 pin + 8 pin | Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-DL

Founders Edition cheaper than original 2070
More CUDA cores
1440p gaming with ray tracing
Still kind of expensive
Founders Edition card is heavy

The souped up Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super isn’t just remarkable because it’s a supercharged version of the very popular RTX 2070, offering exceptional 1440p gaming. It’s also striking because it offers all that power at a very reasonable price, making it a compelling buy for most users, even for those on a budget. Plus, if you’re wondering about ray tracing, here’s the best card to jump in – you don’t have to break open that piggy bank for the RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti anymore.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

(Image credit: Future)

4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

The best Full HD graphics card

Stream Processors: 1,920 | Core Clock: 1,365MHz (1,680MHz boost) | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 2 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB Type-C, 1 x DVI-DL

Ready for 4K @ 30fps gaming
Silky ray traced 1080p gaming
Runs much cooler than previous
Slightly pricier than predecessor
RTX heavily impacts performance at QHD and 4K

While the GeForce RTX 2060 Super is now taking the 1440p gaming world by storm, its predecessor, the RTX 2060, is still king of 1080p gaming. This mid-range GPU will get you in the door with ray tracing maxed out at 1080p. Plus, it is more than capable of handling 1440p experiences, as well as 4K ones, if you don’t mind the less remarkable frame rate of 30 fps. And, while this card was more expensive at launch than the one it replaced, its fantastic 1080p performance should be enough to make that price tag irrelevant.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

AMD Radeon VII

Image credit: TechRadar

5. AMD Radeon VII

The best Full HD graphics card

Stream Processors: 3,840 | Core Clock: 1,400MHz (1,800MHz boost) | Memory: 16GB HBM2 | Memory Clock: 2Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

Plenty of VRAM 
Runs cool 
Weak DirectX 12 performance 

We’ve been longing for a new top-of-the-line graphics card from AMD since 2017’s Radeon Vega 64, but things have drastically changed in the graphics market since then – most notably Nvidia Turing. With the AMD Radeon VII from the Vega II lineup, Team Red has attempted to reclaim a piece of the high-end graphics market, and it largely triumphed. The AMD Radeon VII holds its own in 4K gaming, but it particularly excels in content creation. Packed with 16GB of HBM2 memory, the AMD Radeon VII can keep up with much more expensive creative-focused competitors, making it one of the best graphics cards 2019 has on offer.

Read the full review: AMD Radeon VII 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super

(Image credit: Future)

6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super

The best VR graphics card

Stream Processors: 3,072 | Core Clock: 1,650MHz (1,815MHz boost) | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 15.5Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x DVI-DL

Great 1440p and 4K gaming performance
Cheaper than original RTX 2080
FrameView software is useful
Still expensive
Minimal performance gains over RTX 2080

If you’re all about the best VR games, you’re going to need the best graphics cards to do that job. And, nowadays, that honor goes to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super. VR-ready and filled with the latest Turing architecture, you won’t have to worry about a rough VR experience that will make you sick. Outside of VR, it should also be able to handle all your favorite PC games at 1440p and 4K without any issue. The best part might just be that it’s a lot cheaper than the RTX 2080, offering a much better value.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini

Image credit: Zotac

7. Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini

The best mini graphics card

Stream processors: 3,584 | Core clock: 1,506 | Memory: 11GB GDDR5X | Memory clock: 10Gbps | Power connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x DL-DVI-D

World’s smallest 1080 Ti
SLI support
Inferior performance
Runs hot and loud

Looking to put together a microATX or a mini-ITX gaming PC? You shouldn’t need to settle for a low-end GPU. Take a look at mini graphics cards like the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini instead. It’s not the latest and greatest GPU out there now, but the 1080 Ti still has a lot of juice, and it’s among the best graphics cards to power your microATX. And, when you can get that power in a card that’s only 211 x 125 x 41mm, the tiny loss in performance is absolutely worth the beautiful mini PC you’ll get.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

Image credit: Gigabyte

8. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

The best Budget graphics card:

Stream Processors: 1,408 | Core Clock: 1,530MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | Memory Speed: 8Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

Extremely affordable
Great entry-level performance 
GDDR5 memory

With all those fancy (read: expensive) graphics cards cornering the market, the budget-friendlier ones sometimes fly under the radar. That’s unfortunate, particularly since cards like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 deserve a spot in the limelight for delivering excellent 1080p performance at a very affordable price. With the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G, you’re also getting a healthy factory overclock and all the outputs you’ll ever need, so you can play all your favorite games with several monitors attached. We’d call that a bargain, maybe even the best we’ve ever had, and it certainly warrants a spot in our best graphics cards list.

Read the full review: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

(Image credit: TechRadar)

9. PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

The best eSports graphics card

Stream Processors: 1,536 | Core Clock: 1,500MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 12Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DVI

Affordable
Excellent 1080p performance
Limited memory bandwidth

When Nvidia first revealed its Turing lineup, it was hard to find a model that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Nonetheless, with the launch of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti – especially the PNY XLR8 Gaming OC model – next-generation performance became accessible to everyone. You won’t have access to 4K 60 fps gaming with this card, but it’s one of the best graphics cards for anyone still using a 1080p display, and it can handle most esports games well above 60fps. At that resolution, you’ll have trouble running into any title that it can’t handle.

Read the full review: PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

Welcome to TechRadar's PC Gaming Week 2019. We're celebrating the most powerful gaming platform on Earth with in-depth articles, exclusive interviews and essential buying guides that showcase everything PC gaming has to offer. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2019 page to see all our coverage in one place.

Michelle Rae Uy has also contributed to this article.