The best graphics cards 2021
Cards like the Radeon RX 6800, RTX 3060 Ti, and RTX 3060 are able to deliver on performance and price. Meanwhile, if you can spring for the more expensive options, the best graphics cards like the Nvidia Geforce‘s RTX 3090, RTX 3080, or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT work like a dream, showcasing their prowess in games like the new Resident Evil Village.
- Protect your graphics cards. Upgrade to one of the best PC cases.
With the world getting back to its feet and the new stock of the best graphics cards slowly trickling in and at their market price, now’s an ideal time to find out which GPU will suit your needs. Here are our picks below. No matter what tasks you’re putting your computer through, you’ll need one of these to properly tackle the best PC games or an intensive project in Adobe Premiere.
Once you’ve decided on which one you want, read one of our guides on where to buy the RTX 3080, RTX 3070, RTX 3060 Ti, and RTX 3060 to find your next graphics card. If you prefer AMD, check out where to buy AMD Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6900 XT, and Radeon RX 6800 XT as well.
Best graphics cards at a glance
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
- AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
- AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
- AMD Radeon RX 6800
- MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G
- PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC
Is AMD no longer the king of great value GPUs? The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti certainly threatens that claim with its price to performance ratio. The newest arrival in the RTX 3000 line, this graphics card punches way above its weight class, delivering a performance that could rival that of the RTX 2080 Super while keeping its price tag incredibly affordable for most people. And, that’s with impressive ray tracing included. 1080p gaming has never been this good and this affordable.
Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
With the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, 4K gaming just became a lot more accessible. Before, you had to shell out more than $1,000/£1,000 to get playable framerates with the RTX 2080 Ti. However, with the next generation of Nvidia graphics cards, the price of 4K gaming has been cut nearly in half, thanks to the RTX 3080. It boasts one of the largest generational leaps in GPU history, delivering a 50-80% performance boost over the RTX 2080 and a 20-30% boost over the RTX 2080 Ti, all while keeping the same price point as the RTX 2080. This is both an absolute powerhouse of a graphics card and a great value, if you have a bit of extra cash lying around.
Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
You can’t beat the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 when it comes to performance. With a whopping 24GB of RAM, no game or, more importantly, heavy graphics project will suffer performance issues. In fact, you can even get some 8K performance at 60 fps out of the 3090. It is an incredibly expensive unit, and quite large too, so it will probably be too much GPU for most users. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is, in essence, a replacement for the Titan so it’s meant more for the creative user tackling intensive 3D and video rendering than for the avid gamer. Even so, it comes with a massive reduction in price compared to the Titan, even if it’s still out of most people’s budget.
Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
- We just tested the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
If you’re looking for the best graphics card out there for 1080p gaming, you might want to look into what the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT has to offer. This AMD card beats the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with its more affordable price tag, delivering high frame rates and plenty of software features while requiring less power. Sure, it doesn’t have the competition’s ray tracing and deep learning supersampling (DLSS), but for raw performance and value, AMD’s contender comes out the winner.
Read the full review: AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
The best graphics card on the market for most people, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 delivers excellent performance – on par with the RTX 2080 Ti even – without costing an arm and a leg. Before this card, 4K gaming was out of a lot of people’s budget. The RTX 3070, therefore, brings it to the mainstream for the first time, and that’s without you having to compromise on settings for most games. And did we mention the fact that this GPU is incredibly cheap? A cheap price tag plus 4K gaming on quality settings equals great value, and that’s why the RTX 3070 tops our list.
Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
Those comfortable messing with your BIOS and looking for a 1440p graphics card that’s slightly more accessible, price-wise, will appreciate AMD’s latest high-end offering. This Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti rival delivers a solid 1440p performance with ray tracing to boot. It comes at the right time as well, with 1440p gaming monitors’ growing popularity. Its price is a bit closer to the more powerful RTX 3070, but if you’re an AMD fan, it’s still an excellent contender.
Read the full review: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
If you think AMD is still stuck in the budget and mid-range markets, think again. The AMD Radeon RX 6800 marks AMD’s return to the high-end graphics card market, and it’s a premium ace without the incredibly premium price. This GPU delivers a solid 4K gaming performance and impressive ray tracing at 1440p while being a better value than its direct rival, the RTX 3070, thanks to its VRAM. Plus, AMD’s Smart Access Memory technology will make it even faster.
Read the full review: AMD Radeon RX 6800
If you’re after the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, you’re going to want one with a cooler that’s more than powerful enough to handle the full brunt of the power on offer. The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio has the cooling power not only to handle this GPU at its stock settings but has enough oomph to overclock it to make it even more powerful. For a GPU that already laughs in the face of all PC games at 4K, this extra power is just icing on the cake.
Read the full review: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio
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 to 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
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
Michelle Rae Uy has also contributed to this article.