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Best graphics cards 2019: the best GPUs for gaming

The search for the best graphics cards has never been more exciting, with AMD recently unleashing its next generation AMD Navi GPUs and Nvidia releasing its Nvidia Turing cards like the all-powerful RTX 2080 Ti and the new Super RTX cards. The race is on, and it’s closer than ever before, which only benefits us as prices start to drop. And, that’s without mentioning Intel throwing its hat in the ring with its Intel Xe graphics.

Of course, different users have different needs. Hardcore gamers might be willing to drop a significant chunk of change on a flagship GPU, while others might want the best budget option, like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660. Content creators, on the other hand, might want a GPU with serious VRAM and excellent multi-threaded performance.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 XC Ultra Gaming: $429 $379 at Best Buy
This EVGA model of the GeForce RTX 2060 is is ready to offer high-end gaming performance. It can handle high frame rates at Full HD and even 1440p while also delivering Nvidia’s ray tracing.View Deal

Regardless of what your needs might be, the best graphics cards are capable of running the best PC games like Rage 2 and the newly released Control, as well as the most demanding applications for video editing and design. Since the graphics cards market is saturated with options, we handpicked the best of the best for you and rounded them up on this list. We’ve thoroughly tested every single one of our picks and can attest to each of them. So, dig into our list and let us guide you to the best graphics cards for your needs.

Best graphics cards at a glance

  1. AMD Radeon RX 5700
  2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
  4. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
  5. AMD Radeon VII
  6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
  7. Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini
  8. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G
  9. PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

AMD Radeon RX 5700

For what it offers and how much it costs, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 well-deserving as the best graphics card of 2019. (Image credit: AMD)

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

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the most formidable graphics card short of getting a professional graphics solution. (Image credit: Nvidia)

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 Super

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super offering exceptional 1440p gaming. (Image credit: Nvidia)

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 GTX 1660 Super

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super is a bit faster than the GTX 1660, but only ten bucks or quid more. (Image credit: Nvidia)

4. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

The best Full HD graphics card

Stream Processors: 1,408 | Core Clock: 1,530MHz (1,785MHz boost) | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-DL

Affordable

Excellent performance

No RT cores

When Nvidia put out the GTX 1660 and the GTX 1660 Ti, they excelled at Full HD gaming at a price that wouldn’t make you wince. And, now that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super is here, both of those cards are practically irrelevant. This new graphics card is just a bit faster than the GTX 1660, but is only ten bucks or quid more, while it reaches the same level as the GTX 1660 Ti while being significantly cheaper. If you’re looking for a graphics card for Full HD gameplay, you really should take a look at the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super – it really is one of the best graphics cards out there.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

AMD Radeon VII

With the AMD Radeon VII, Team Red has attempted to reclaim a piece of the high-end graphics market. (Image credit: AMD)

5. AMD Radeon VII

The best graphics card for creatives

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

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super is the best graphics card for VR gaming. (Image credit: Nvidia)

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

The Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini is among the best graphics cards to power your microATX. (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

With the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G, you’re getting a healthy factory overclock and all the outputs you’ll ever need. (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

The PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC made next-generation performance become accessible to everyone. (Image credit: PNY)

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.

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