When it comes to PC gaming, which graphics card you buy is just about the most important decision you can make in terms of performance. Fortunately, it's also the most modular of components so you're free to change your mind and upgrade whenever you want without worrying too much about motherboard compatibility, what sockets it uses, or any of the other potentially fiddly sides of gaming.
Ultimately, the graphics card you choose is going to come down to price. The more you spend, the better your PC gaming frame rates. For those who want to game at 1080p or lower, a budget graphics card will do. Anything shooting for AAA games at 4K will have to fork out for a top-tier graphics card.
Here we've outlined five of the best graphics card to buy right now, ranging from the best budget GPU all the way up to the best that money can buy. We will continually update this article as better options at these price points become available, including the imminent launch of the GeForce RTX Super and AMD Radeon 5000 series.
Radeon RX 570 - BUY
Suitable for: 1080p
For gamers on a tighter budget, it’s hard to look past the Radeon Rx 570 4GB. It may be getting on a bit in terms of age but the Radeon RX 570 4GB can still deliver excellent 1080p. In terms of raw frame rates, the RX 570 can deliver frame rates in excess of a GTX 1060 3GB for a much cheaper price. Solid gaming performance at 1080p in AAA titles can be had for as low as $130. Pair it with a Ryzen 2200G and you’ve got yourself a potentially fantastic 1080p gaming build for less than $500 all-in.
Best Price to Performance
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti - BUY
Suitable for: 1080p
While it could easily be dismissed as the inferior cousin of the RTX 2060, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti offers up its own distinct advantages. The GTX 1660 Ti utilises a similar Turing GPU core to the2060, sans ray-tracing and DLSS support. This means you can find a GTX 1660 Ti for a much cheaper price tag, while still offering gaming performance which absolutely steamrolls through 1080p gaming. The GTX 1660 Ti could even be used on 1440p at a push, but it’s at 1080p where it excels. Its low 120W TDP also makes it this graphics card fairly cool and power efficient and makes a gray pairing with a mid-range processor such as a Ryzen 2500X or Intel Core i5-8500.
Best for 1440p
GeForce RTX 2060 - BUY
Suitable for: 1080p, 1440p
If you’re planning on enabling all those juicy DXR/RTX features then the GeForce RTX 2060 will be best suited for 1080p. However, in games without ray-tracing, the GeForce RTX 2060 offers incredibly strong performance at 1440p for the price. The nearest competition here in terms of price to performance at 1440p is AMD’s RX Vega 56. However, the RTX 2060 edges it in terms of typical frame rates while offering the silver lining of DXR support.
Best for VR
GeForce RTX 2070 - BUY
Suitable for: 1080p, 1440p, High Refresh Rate & VR
VR was demanding when it first arrived, and not much has changed since. The likes of Valve continue to push up the resolution and therefore the graphical demands. In order to enjoy VR without compromise, a very capable graphics card is required. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 fits the bill perfectly, offering up extremely capable performance paired with 8GB high-speed GDDR6 VRAM.
At launch, the GeForce RTX 2070 was a high-value proposition but you can now pick one of these up for less than $500 and enjoy a top-of-the-line virtual reality experience.
The Fastest Graphics Card
GeForce RTX 2080 Ti - BUY
Suitable for: 4K and High Refresh Rate
It’s coming up to a year old and the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is still the absolute performance champ. For those who want the best of the best, no expense spared, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the big daddy. In terms of gaming performance, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is untouchable right now. It’s here where you’ll find top-of-line single-GPU 4K gaming performance, as well as the most reliable ray-tracing frame rates.
In terms of value for money, you’re paying a price premium for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in order to guarantee the best of the best. With the GeForce GTX Super series on the horizon, it may not remain the best for long though.