This article is updated regularly. Bookmark it (Ctrl + D) to get redirected to the latest version.

The best graphic cards for gaming?

By that, I mean the graphic cards that offer the best performance in video games.

I do realize that you may not have the time to read reviews and to understand graphic card specifications.

Why I write this guide for you: To help you save your time and money by doing the research for you.

Prices for B&H as of November 19th 2020. Click on Amazon links to see prices. Prices and availability are subject to change.
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links so that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Summary

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you, or scroll down to see them all, in this order.

The Best graphic cards for gaming:

  1. Best Budget Graphic Cards
  2. Best Mid-range Graphic Cards
  3. Best High-end Graphic Cards
  4. Best Enthusiast Graphic Cards

Best Budget Graphic Cards:

GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB
– $159.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
Dual fans: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $169.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB
– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $179.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB V.S. Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB

The Radeon RX 5500 XT and GeForce GTX 1650 Super offer similar performance, trading blows depending on the game. Power consumption is also similar and not a factor in my recommendation.

I usually tend to recommend the GeForce GTX 1650 Super, seeing as it’s usually slightly less expensive than the Radeon RX 5500 XT. Thing is, the GTX 1650 Super is hard to find in stock right now, while the just as good Radeon RX 5500 XT is in stock.

What about the 8GB Radeon RX 5500 XT?
Well, it’s even more expensive and only a few % faster at 1080p, so it’s hardly worth the price premium. It’s a tough recommendation when it’s priced so close to the $200-210 GTX 1660 which offers better performance.

What video games can the GeForce GTX 1650 Super and Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB run smoothly?

Most games will run at 1920 x 1080, but with newer, more demanding games, you’ll have to turn down visual quality to get acceptable frame rates, otherwise the game play might not be as smooth, with lower frame rates, depending on how demanding the game is.

If you plan on running games 1080p, or higher resolutions, with Ultra settings, opt for a more powerful graphic card with more memory.

Best Mid range Graphic Cards:

For playing video games at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with higher frame rates and higher visual quality
GeForce GTX 1660:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $209.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

GTX 1660 Super:

Single fan: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $229.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
Dual fans: – Click here to see the price on Amazon
$229.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

GTX 1660 versus GTX 1660 Super

Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX 1660 Super on October 30th 2019. It’s the successor to the GeForce GTX 1660, with GDDR6 memory instead of GDDR5.
Performance wise, it offers on average 10% more performance than the GeForce GTX 1660 and is only 3% slower than the $279 GTX 1660 Ti, according to AnandTech.

If you hesitate between the regular 1660 non-Super and the 1660 Super: Better spend just a bit more to get that extra 10% in performance in my opinoon.

Don’t be fooled by the name:
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super is based on the same Turing architecture as the GeForce GTX 1660, 1660 Ti, RTX 2060, 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti.

Then why is it called GTX 1660 Super and not say, RTX 1660, or RTX 2050?
Because to reduce die size and thus costs, Nvidia removed the dedicated ray tracing hardware cores.

GeForce GTX 1660 V.S 1660 Super V.S. GTX 1660 Ti V.S. RX 590 V.S. Radeon RX 5700:
Which one should you pick?
– The GTX 1660 remains a good choice and is a worthwhile alternative is you have less to spend.
– The GTX 1660 Super is roughly 10% faster and $20 more than the GTX 1660 non-Super
– The Radeon RX 590 was slower than the GTX 1660 Non-Super and is no match for the GTX 1660 Super.
– The GTX 1660 Ti is only 3% faster than the 1660 Super and costs $50 more, so it makes no sense to recommend it.
– The Radeon RX 5700 is a lot faster, but also $100 more.

Basically, the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Super are the best bang mid-range graphic cards to get at the moment.

What video games can the GeForce GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Super 6GB can run smoothly?

They are capable of running games smoothly at a resolution up to 1920 x 1080 smoothly with high/max details with high frame rates.

Gaming at 2560 x 1440 is also possible, but I’d recommend an higher-end card with 8GB of memory.

Radeon RX 5600 XT:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $284.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Radeon RX 5600 XT versus GTX 1660 Super
In January 2020, AMD launched the Radeon RX 5600 XT, with a MSRP of $279. It offers performance that’s 11% higher than the GTX 1660 Ti, 15% higher than the $219 GTX 1660 Super, 6% lower than the ~$320 RTX 2060 and ~17% lower than the $350 Radeon RX 5700.

Considering the current prices, it makes sense to recommend it. At $280, it fits between the $230 GTX 1660 Super and the $350 Radeon RX 5700.

As for the GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, I find it hard to recommend: It costs roughly $40-60 more for only 6% higher performance. At that point, might as well spend $70 more to get 17% higher performance with the Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB.

What video games can the Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB can run smoothly?

It is capable of running games smoothly at a resolution up to 1920 x 1080 smoothly with high/max details with high frame rates.

Gaming at 2560 x 1440 is also possible, but I’d recommend an higher-end card with 8GB of memory, such as the recommendations below.

Great for 1080p with max details

AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB
– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $359.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 V.S. AMD Radeon RX 5700

Launched in July 2019, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 on based on AMD new 7nm RDNA architecture.

The RX 5700 outperforms the RTX 2060 by 11-12% on average. With both at similar prices and with similar power consumption, the Radeon RX 5700 is easy to recommend here.

Not to mention, the Radeon RX 5700 has 8GB of VRAM, as opposed to 6GB for the GeForce RTX 2060.

Best High End graphic cards:

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $389.99 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Launched in July 2019, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT on based on AMD new 7nm RDNA architecture.

Nvidia replied with the GeForce 2060 Super, which is replacing the GeForce 2070 (which has been discontinued).

The RX 5700 XT outperforms the RTX 2060 Super by 10-11% on average.

The Radeon RX 5700 XT even competitive with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 Super, being 5% slower on average, while costing a lot less!

Great for 1440p with max details

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 8GB:

– Click here to search the RTX 3070 on Amazon
– Starting at $499.99 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Launched on October 15th 2020. Due to very high demand, availability is limited, hence why I linked to search results pages on Amazon and B&H.

According to Techpowerup, it offers:
Similar performance to the RTX 2080 Ti
About 50% more performance than the RTX 2070
30% more performance than the RTX 2070 Super
42% more performance than the Radeon RX 5700 XT

AMD Radeon RX 6800 16GB:

– Click here to search the RX 6800 on Amazon
– Click here to check availability on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Launched on November 18th 2020. Due to very high demand, availability is limited, hence why I linked to search results pages on Amazon and B&H.

According to Techpowerup, it offers:
8-9% higher performance than the RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti
15% lower performance than the RX 6800 XT
19% lower performance than the GeForce RTX 3080

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 V.S. AMD Radeon RX 6800:

If I had to pick one, summary:
– For 1080p and 1440p gaming, I’d get the RTX 3070, seeing as you’re getting most of the performance for less money and less of a performance hit with ray tracing.
– For 4K gaming, I’d go with the Radeon RX 6800, with its higher performance and its larger memory capacity that is useful at 4K.

Which one would I pick, detailed answer:

For 1080p or 1440p gaming: You cannot go wrong with either one: Both are good cards at their respective price points.

If you care about raytracing, opt for the RTX 3070, which suffers less of a performance loss with raytracing turned on compared to the Radeon RX 6800.

Don’t care about raytracing and only care about brute performance? Go with the Radeon RX 6800.

Regarding the memory size: 8GB of VRAM (RTX 3070) is plenty enough if you play at 1080p or 1440p, which is what these cards are marketed for.

Now, if you plan on 4K gaming at ultra settings, I’d opt for the Radeon RX 6800, seeing as you need all the performance that you can get and that yes, the 8GB of VRAM on the RTX 3070 isn’t quite enough at 4K in some games already, let alone in the future.

That said, for 4K gaming, depending on the games that you intend to play and how high of a framerate you want, you’d probably be better off with the more powerful Radeon RX 6800 XT or the GeForce RTX 3080.

Best Enthusiast Graphic Cards:

Great for 4K with max details

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB:

– Click here to search the RX 6800 XT on Amazon
– Click here to check availability on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Launched on November 18th 2020. Due to very high demand, availability is limited, hence why I linked to search results pages on Amazon and B&H.

According to Techpowerup, it offers:
25% higher performance than the RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti
18% higher performance than the RX 6800
6% lower performance than the GeForce RTX 3080
16% lower performance than the GeForce RTX 3090

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080

– Click here to search the RTX 3080 on Amazon
– Starting at $719.99 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 was launched on September 16th 2020. Due to very high demand, availability is limited, hence why I linked to search results pages on Amazon and B&H.

It replaces the GeForce RTX 2080 Super. Performance wise, it slots between the the RTX 3070, which was launched October 15th and the GeForce RTX 3090 which launched on September 24th.

According to Techpowerup, at 4K, it offers:
About 32% more performance than the RTX 2080 Ti
About 56% more performance than the RTX 2080 Super

At 1080p, it offers:
About 15% more performance than the RTX 2080 Ti
About 31-32% more performance than the RTX 2080 Super

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 V.S. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT:

If I had to pick one?

You can’t go wrong with either: Both are great cards.

If you care about raytracing, opt for the RTX 3080, which suffers less of a performance loss with raytracing turned on compared to the Radeon RX 6800 XT, especially with DLSS

Don’t care about raytracing and want nearly as good performance for less money? Go with the Radeon RX 6800 XT.

Regarding the memory size: 10GB of VRAM (RTX 3080) is plenty enough even if you play at 4K.

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090

– Click here to search the RTX 3090 on Amazon
– Starting at $1499.99 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 was launched on September 24th 2020. Due to very high demand, availability is limited, hence why I linked to search results pages on Amazon and B&H.

It doesn’t replace any specific previous generation GeForce card. Rather, it slots in price between the previous $1,000 RTX 2080 Ti and $2,500 TITAN RTX.

Performance wise, it has no competition. It is the fastest gaming graphic card, faster than the RTX 3080 and 19% faster than the Radeon RX 6800 XT from AMD.

According to Techpowerup, at 4K, it offers:
About 10% more performance than the RTX 3080
About 45% more performance than the RTX 2080 Ti
About 72% more performance than the RTX 2080 Super

At 1080p, it offers:
About 4% more performance than the RTX 3080
About 21% more performance than the RTX 2080 Ti
About 35% more performance than the RTX 2080 Super

It’s the uncontested leader. That said, it is not a good deal for the price, when you consider that you can get most of the gaming performance for half the price with the RTX 3080. The 3090 is meant for those who want only the absolute best, or professionals who need such performance.

If all you need or want is more VRAM than the 10GB on the RTX 3080, consider the 16GB Radeon RX 6800/6800XT or wait for the Radeon RX 6900XT or the launch of the rumored RTX 3080 20GB, which should slot in price between the $720 RTX 3080 and $1500 RTX 3090.

Two Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090 in SLI?
Not recommended!

It used to be that the solution to get more gaming performance than was available on the highest end graphic card was to get a second one to team them up in SLI (or Crossfire with AMD).

This is no longer the case. Implicit multi-GPU (the classic SLI you know) is not available—only explicit multi-GPU is supported. Explicit multi-GPU requires that game developers invest their own time and money to add support for the technology, which simply isn’t going to happen because of the tiny market size for the feature. Only a handful of games and benchmarks support explicit multi-GPU.

To use even this mode, you’d need to buy a new-generation NVLink bridge separately; the NVLink cable from the RTX 20-series cards won’t physically fit.

On top of that, Nvidia reportedly will stop the developpment of SLI profiles for newer games in 2021.

Closing notes:

I hope that you enjoyed the latest edition of The Best Graphic Cards For Gaming article.

If you have a question or feedback, I invite you to leave a comment below this article.

The most important recommendation regarding graphic cards:

Get the latest version of the graphic card drivers directly from AMD or Nvidia. This will ensure that you get the latest bug fixes and the best performance possible from your graphic card(s). You’d be surprised at how many people run older drivers. Newer drivers do significantly improve gaming performance.