The best graphics cards 2021

The best graphics cards 2021
RyDesk

The best graphics cards 2021

Tackle the most demanding games with one of the best graphics cards. With one under the hood of your PC, there’s no game (or video editing tasks) you can’t conquer at high resolutions. Luckily, you no longer have to break the bank to take one home, thanks to new offerings from AMD’s Big Navi and Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series that are more affordable than ever.

There are pricier options if you can spring for ones like Nvidia Geforce‘s RTX 3090, RTX 3080, or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, whose prowess is truly impressive. With the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti on the way, there will be more appealing high-end options out there. However, those with a limited budget won’t get left behind with the Radeon RX 6800, RTX 3060 Ti, and RTX 3060 are able to deliver on performance and price.

For a smooth, seamless, and immersive game or creative process, the best graphics cards are really the best way to go. 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.

  • Protect your graphics cards. Upgrade to one of the best PC cases.

Best graphics cards at a glance

  1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
  2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
  3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
  4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
  5. AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
  6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  7. AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
  8. AMD Radeon RX 6800
  9. MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio
  10. PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

(Image credit: Nvidia)

1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

Best graphics card

Stream Processors: 4,864 | Core Clock: 1.41 GHz (1.67 GHz boost) | Memory: 8 GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin (adapter to 1x 12-pin included)

Excellent 1080p performance
Ray-tracing performance is solid
Only entry-level 4K performance

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

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

(Image credit: Nvidia)

2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

The best graphics card, hands-down

Stream Processors: 8,704 | Core Clock: 1.44 GHz (1,71 GHz boost) | Memory: 10 GB GDDR6X | Memory Clock: 19Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Excellent 4K gaming performance
Low temperatures
Still kind of expensive

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

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

(Image credit: Future)

3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Nvidia’s new Ampere leader

Stream Processors: 10,240 | Core Clock: 1.37 GHz (1.67 GHz boost) | Memory: 12 GB GDDR6X | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Outputs: HDMI, 3x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin

Excellent performance
Beautiful graphics card
Same size as RTX 3080
Very expensive
Power-hungry

There’s a new Nvidia champion in town, and it takes power and performance to an even more accessible price point. Delivering RTX 3090-level performance, an impressive feat in its own right, the long-awaited RTX 3080 Ti comes with an even better price tag, making all that sheer power more accessible than ever. It continues what the RTX 3080 has started – to take 4K gaming into the mainstream arena – with its breathtaking 4K at 60fps performance while slashing a few hundred dollars off the steep 3090 price. This is the best graphics card on the market right now, especially if you care about ray tracing.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

(Image credit: Nvidia)

4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

Best graphics card for creatives

Stream Processors: 10,496 | Core Clock: 1.40 GHz (1,70 GHz boost) | Memory: 24 GB GDDR6X | Memory Clock: 19.5Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

GPU performance to beat
Up to 8k performance
Extremely expensive
Very large

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

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT

(Image credit: AMD)

5. AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT

Nvidia better watch out

Stream processors: 3,584 | Core clock: 1,506 | Memory: 11GB GDDR5X | Memory clock: 10Gbps | Power connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 1.4 with DSC DisplayPort, HDMI with 4K60 Support

Generation-defining performance
Affordable
No ray tracing
Only 6GB of VRAM

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

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

(Image credit: Nvidia)

6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

One of the best graphics cards of all time

Stream Processors: 5,888 | Core Clock: 1.50 GHz (1.73 GHz boost) | Memory: 8 GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin (adapter to 1x 12-pin included) | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Amazing performance
Best value graphics card today
Awesome ray tracing performance
Same inflated prices as Turing
Required 12-pin power connector

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

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

(Image credit: AMD)

7. AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

Another high-end swing from AMD

Stream Processors: 2,560 | Core Clock: 2.32 GHz (2.58 GHz boost) | Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 16 Gbps | Power Connectors: 8 pin + 6 pin | Outputs: HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC

Excellent 1440p performance
Ray tracing
Lightweight card with no sag
Ray-tracing performance is weak
No FidelityFX Super Resolution

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

AMD Radeon RX 6800

(Image credit: AMD)

8. AMD Radeon RX 6800

AMD’s return to the high-end graphics card market

Stream Processors: 3,840 | Core Clock: 1.82 GHz (2.10 GHz boost) | Memory: 16GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 16Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8 pin | Outputs: DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL

Excellent performance
Finally, AMD ray tracing
Divisive design

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

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio

(Image credit: MSI)

9. MSI RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio

For when you need the very best

Stream processors: 2,176 | Core clock: 1,650 | Memory: 24GB GDDR6X | Memory clock: 19.5Gbps | Power connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Outputs: DisplayPort 1.4a x3, HDMI 2.1

Incredibly powerful
Stylish RGB
 So expensive

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

PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

(Image credit: PNY)

10. 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

Michelle Rae Uy has also contributed to this article.

Asus ROG Strix G15

(Image credit: Future)

6. Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

AMD’s swing at the high-end

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800M | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1080pp), 300Hz | Storage: 512GB SSD

Excellent performance
Jaw-dropping battery life
Some growing pains

Powerful great-value laptops aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so when one does come out every now and then, we’re only too happy to test it out. The Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition isn’t just one of the best Asus gaming laptops; it’s also one of the latest best value laptops to hit the streets. It’s AMD’s successful swing at the high-end, boasting AMD’s top processor and GPU. But, it isn’t just its performance that takes center stage here. That battery life is astounding as well, especially considering those powerful specs.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

Asus ROG Strix G15

(Image credit: Future)

6. Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

AMD’s swing at the high-end

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800M | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1080pp), 300Hz | Storage: 512GB SSD

Excellent performance
Jaw-dropping battery life
Some growing pains

Powerful great-value laptops aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so when one does come out every now and then, we’re only too happy to test it out. The Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition isn’t just one of the best Asus gaming laptops; it’s also one of the latest best value laptops to hit the streets. It’s AMD’s successful swing at the high-end, boasting AMD’s top processor and GPU. But, it isn’t just its performance that takes center stage here. That battery life is astounding as well, especially considering those powerful specs.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

Asus ROG Strix G15

(Image credit: Future)

6. Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

AMD’s swing at the high-end

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800M | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1080pp), 300Hz | Storage: 512GB SSD

Excellent performance
Jaw-dropping battery life
Some growing pains

Powerful great-value laptops aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so when one does come out every now and then, we’re only too happy to test it out. The Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition isn’t just one of the best Asus gaming laptops; it’s also one of the latest best value laptops to hit the streets. It’s AMD’s successful swing at the high-end, boasting AMD’s top processor and GPU. But, it isn’t just its performance that takes center stage here. That battery life is astounding as well, especially considering those powerful specs.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

Asus ROG Strix G15

(Image credit: Future)

6. Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition

AMD’s swing at the high-end

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800M | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1080pp), 300Hz | Storage: 512GB SSD

Excellent performance
Jaw-dropping battery life
Some growing pains

Powerful great-value laptops aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so when one does come out every now and then, we’re only too happy to test it out. The Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition isn’t just one of the best Asus gaming laptops; it’s also one of the latest best value laptops to hit the streets. It’s AMD’s successful swing at the high-end, boasting AMD’s top processor and GPU. But, it isn’t just its performance that takes center stage here. That battery life is astounding as well, especially considering those powerful specs.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Advantage Edition