Amd graphics card review

Amd graphics card review DEFAULT

GPU Benchmarks and Hierarchy 2021: Graphics Cards Ranked

Our GPU benchmarks hierarchy ranks all the current and previous generation graphics cards by performance, including all of the best graphics cards. Whether it's playing games or doing high-end creative work like 4K video editing, your graphics card typically plays the biggest role in determining performance, and even the best CPUs for Gaming take a secondary role.

The following table sorts everything solely by our performance-based GPU gaming benchmarks. We have a separate article that lists the best graphics cards, which looks at all factors, including price, graphics card power consumption, and overall efficiency. For this GPU benchmarks hierarchy, the most recent addition is AMD's Radeon RX 6600 XT that launched on August 11, along with the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti that launched in June. The next card slated for launch looks to be the Radeon RX 6600, currently rumored to launch on October 13.

Deals on new graphics cards are still non-existent. Everything is selling out, at higher than "suggested" pricing, so there's no incentive for any company to cut prices. In fact, most of the AIB (add-in board) graphics card manufacturers have jacked up prices by 30% or more relative to the AMD and Nvidia 'official' starting prices. With continuing chip shortages across the globe affecting all industries, we don't expect pricing to improve on graphics cards until 2022. The profitability of Ethereum mining continues to be a major influence on GPU prices, despite the volatility of Ethereum and Bitcoin prices.

If you're looking to buy a graphics card right now, unfortunately the options are limited. You can always give the Newegg Shuffle a try, but fair warning: I've done that on most days and have only been selected for the opportunity to buy an overpriced bundle three times, and if you limit your selections to the better deals, your chances will be substantially worse. Otherwise, eBay has cards, at even more extreme prices — our GPU price index has the details on what you should expect to pay there, which usually means 50% to 100% over MSRP. With the chip and substrate shortages expected to last well into 2022, by the time retail outlets have inventory just sitting on the shelves, we might be looking at Nvidia's 5nm Lovelace GPUs and AMD's RDNA3 architecture.

Which graphics card do you need? To help you decide, we've created this GPU benchmarks hierarchy consisting of dozens of GPUs from the past four generations of hardware. Everything is ranked from fastest to slowest, using the results from our test suite consisting of nine games for our GPU benchmarks, running at 'medium' and 'ultra' settings with resolutions of 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. For comparison purposes, the fastest card, based on the combination of all nine GPU benchmarks, three resolutions, and two settings, gets normalized to 100 percent, and all others are graded relative to it.

Not surprisingly, the fastest cards use either Nvidia's Ampere architecture or AMD's Big Navi. We're not testing with ray tracing or DLSS here, as most of the previous generation cards don't support those features, but even in traditional rasterization rendering the new GPUs come out on top. You can check out full launch reviews of Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, GeForce RTX 3070, GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, and GeForce RTX 3060 12GB; and there's also AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT, Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6700 XT, and now Radeon RX 6600 XT. At present, only one of the ten highest performance GPUs doesn't use either Ampere or RDNA2 — and that's the Titan RTX, which hardly counts.

Of course it's not just about playing games. Many applications use the GPU for other work, and we've covered some professional GPU benchmarks in our RTX 3090 review. But a good graphics card for gaming will typically do equally well in complex GPU computational workloads. Buy one of the top cards and you'll can run games at high resolutions and frame rates with the effects turned all the way up, and you'll be able to do content creation work equally well. Drop down to the middle and lower portions of the list and you'll need to start dialing down the settings to get acceptable performance in regular game play and GPU benchmarks.

It's not just about high-end GPUs, of course. We also recently tested Intel's Xe Graphics DG1, which basically competes with integrated graphics solutions. The results aren't pretty, and we didn't even try running any of those at settings beyond 1080p medium. Still, you can see where those GPUs land at the very bottom of the GPU benchmarks list.

Again, all of the games and settings we're using for testing have to conform to the lowest common denominator. That means ray tracing and proprietary tech like Nvidia's DLSS aren't enabled, even where they're supported. You can see how the GPUs stack up in DXR performance in our AMD vs. Nvidia ray tracing article, and we've also included RT and DLSS results in recent reviews like the RX 6600 XT, RTX 3070 Ti, and RTX 3080 Ti launch reviews. None of those scores are factored into the GPU benchmarks rankings, but the short summary is that Nvidia is usually quite a bit faster at RT, and DLSS provides a significant boost to performance for a minimal loss in image quality.

If your main goal is gaming, you can't forget about the CPU. Getting the best possible gaming GPU won't help you much if your CPU is underpowered and/or out of date. So be sure to check out the Best CPUs for gaming page, as well as our CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy to make sure you have the right CPU for the level of gaming you're looking to achieve.

GPU Ranking

GPU Benchmarks: Which Cards Ranked Highest?

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 takes top honors for raw performance, with a composite score of 152.7 fps across all 54 tests. That's the 100% mark, though it's worth noting that it also scored 98.7 fps at 4K ultra. It's nominally a $1,500 graphics card, which is out of reach of most gamers, but current shortages have rocketed pricing up to the $2,500 range. So much for "less than Titan" affordability.

Not too far behind the 3090 are the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and GeForce RTX 3080, theoretically priced at $1,200, $1,000, $650 and $700, respectively (good luck finding any of those in stock for anything close to official launch prices). The RTX 3080 Ti lands in an odd spot, with only slightly lower pricing and performance than the 3090. It's basically at the old Titan price of $1,200, but at that point why not just spend the extra $300 for the 3090? Similarly, the 6900 XT is a minor bump in performance for a relatively large bump in price compared to the 6800 XT, and we'd generally recommend sticking with the latter.

The 6800 XT is also technically faster (barely, by a basically meaningless amount) than the RTX 3080 by our ranking formula, though as mentioned above, ray tracing and DLSS very much change the picture. Add those in and the 3080 easily beats even the 6900 XT. This is why we continue to rank the RTX 3080 as the best overall graphics card, though that's contingent on actually finding one for a price at least somewhat close to the $700 MSRP (anything under $1,000 would be worth a shot these days).

The new GPUs make all of AMD's and Nvidia's previous generation GPUs look a bit weak. The Radeon RX 6800, GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, and GeForce RTX 3070 match or beat the outgoing RTX 2080 Ti with a theoretical starting price of just $580, $600, or $500, respectively. The RTX 3060 Ti meanwhile leads the old 2080 Super in performance and potentially costs 42% less. Only the RTX 3060 12GB seems a bit lackluster, with performance basically at the level of the old RTX 2070 (non-Super) that launched 2.5 years ago. If the $329 official launch price were anywhere to be found, it would be a great deal, but it's not.

AMD's Navi 21 GPUs, aka Big Navi, finally break into the top three overall, even including Titan cards. That's something AMD hasn't managed since the Vega 64 launch (where it came in third). AMD is also mostly at feature parity with Nvidia now, with both companies supporting ray tracing. Except, Nvidia has Tensor cores that help with other tasks like DLSS, Nvidia Broadcast, RTX Voice, and potentially future applications, plus Nvidia's ray tracing performance is definitely still faster in the majority of DXR (DirectX Raytracing) games. The first Navi 22 card, the RX 6700 XT, lands in the ten spot if we discount the Titan RTX, while the first Navi 23 card, the RX 6600 XT, sits down in position 20, just ahead of its RX 5700 XT predecessor.

If you're in the market for a new sub-$500 graphics card right now, the best options are the RTX 3060 Ti and the RX 6700 XT. Neither one actually sells for under $500, sadly, but if you keep searching you can probably find a card for close to $500. The RTX 3060 Ti is only a bit slower than the RTX 3070, while the RX 6700 XT falls between the two Nvidia cards.

If you're willing to pay eBay prices, right now the RX 6700 XT costs around $700, as does the RTX 3060, while the RTX 3060 Ti costs closer to $1,000. Again, whatever GPU you're hoping to buy, it's still a terrible time to buy a graphics card, as all of the most desirable GPUs are either out of stock or seriously overpriced. In the Newegg Shuffle, for example, we routinely see graphics cards priced at 25% to 50% above the nominal MSRP, and your chances of getting selected are quite slim in our experience.

If you can find a reasonable deal on a latest generation GPU right now, great! But don't pay more for a previous gen GPU just because there aren't enough RX 6000-series or RTX 30-series GPUs to meet the current demand. Eventually, supply will catch up, and that will be the right time to buy. If you can't wait, our advice is to just try and find any old GPU that still works to hold you over. Based on current eBay prices, the best FPS per dollar card you can find — used — is the relatively ancient GTX 970. <Sigh>

That brings us to the bottom third of the list, the home of budget GPUs like the GTX 1650 Super, RX 5500 XT, and more. These cards give up a lot of performance in order to keep pricing down, and there are older generation GPUs that can perform just as well (or better) if you shop around. But component shortages have affected even these, with $300 and higher prices even on relatively weak cards like the GTX 1650 and RX 5500 XT 4GB — and we can't blame miners, as mining performance on 4GB cards is very poor these days.

Theoretically, the GTX 1660 Super, GTX 1650 Super, and RX 5600 XT are the best budget options, or at least they used to be before prices launched into the stratosphere. The higher you go on price, the worse things get, so take a careful look at historical pricing before you buy anything. GTX 1660 Super should cost $250, and GTX 1650 Super should cost around $175. The best prices we can see right now are around $450 and $375, respectively. Hard pass.

Unless you already have the hardware, or can get it for cheap, we don't recommend going below the GTX 1650 Super. Wait out the current shortages, and spend some time with indie games that can often run just fine on ... well, practically anything, even Intel's integrated graphics solutions! And you don't even need to buy a graphics card if you go that route. AMD's APUs are an even better option if you're on an extreme budget.

If you're looking at something like an RX 550 or GT 1030, you should consider AMD's integrated graphics on its Ryzen APUs as a viable alternative. If you have an older PC and are looking at adding a GPU, a motherboard and CPU upgrade might end up being a better option. Or not, as even a basic motherboard, CPU, and RAM can set you back $200 or more. Plus, the APUs are also sitting at inflated prices now. <Sigh again>

AMD did launch its latest Ryzen 5000G series processors, with the fastest integrated graphics we've seen so far. Prices aren't too bad, all things considered, but you get performance roughly on the level of the GT 1030 — a card that can actually be found in stock for around $125. Meaning, you could skip the full motherboard, RAM, and CPU upgrade and just get a low-end dedicated card to try and pass the time until things return to 'normal.'

Also worth noting is that the scoring assigned to each GPU uses all six test resolutions and settings, except on integrated graphics where we scale the result — because, come on, no one is going to try and run Borderlands 3 at 4K on an iGPU. (It will probably just crash.) If you want to check performance at just 1080p medium, or one of the other options, you can see the ranking order for the main GPUs in the charts below.

Test System for GPU Benchmarks

Our overall GPU benchmarks scores are based on the average frames per second (fps) of our testing of Borderlands 3, The Division 2, Far Cry 5, Final Fantasy XIV, Forza Horizon 4, Metro Exodus, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Strange Brigade. If you want to do your own GPU benchmarking, see our complete list of the best GPU tests, which includes a lot more games and synthetic tests as well.

That's nine games, six settings and over 40 cards from the current and previous generations. We have a solid mix of game genres and APIs, plus AMD and Nvidia promoted titles, making this the definitive GPU benchmarks and performance hierarchy for gaming purposes. Due to the mix of various generations of GPUs, note that we don't include ray tracing or DLSS testing in any of the figures. That does penalize Nvidia's RTX cards quite a bit, and the RX 6000 series as well, since previous generation GPUs can't even try to run ray tracing in most games.

GPU Benchmarks and Performance Hierarchy Charts

Here you can see the average performance charts for our testing at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K (medium and ultra on all three). If you want to see the full suite of individual game tests, check out the charts in our Best Graphics Cards article. We've focused on the 'executive summary' and have omitted individual game charts as well as a few GPUs that don't fully qualify. We've left off the integrated graphics solutions as well as many older GPUs. That gives us 28 GPUs in the charts, color coded for your viewing pleasure. You can find additional charts with the 'retired' GPUs below the main charts.

Again, our GPU benchmarks scoring uses the average of all 54 scores (nine games, three resolutions, two settings). Including all 54 scores means the fastest cards are somewhat penalized because they run into CPU limitations at 1080p and even 1440p — especially at medium settings — and the slower GPUs can also end up penalized because they were never intended to run games at 1440p or 4K — especially at ultra settings.

If you intend to play at 1440p or 4K, the charts below can help you focus in on just those results. For example, the RTX 3080 overall scored 20.8% higher than the RTX 2080 Ti, but if you only look at 4K ultra performance, it's 33.5% faster.

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Here's the same information as above, this time with all the older GPUs (which we generally aren't retesting on a regular basis these days). This chart also includes all the Titan GPUs, which we don't generally count as full participants in our GPU rankings due to cost. Not that price seems to matter much these days...

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AMD graphics cards: the best AMD GPUs you can buy today

If you don’t want to break the bank, the best AMD graphics cards are the perfect upgrade for your PC. But, the company’s offerings aren’t just cheaper alternatives to Nvidia’s lineup of  GPUs. These cards manage to provide the kind of performance that can stand up to Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series graphics cards. Even Nvidia fans should take notice.

That combination of power and price make these AMD graphics cards an excellent value. If you take a look at our recent Resident Evil Village tests, you’ll see that they slightly outperform their Nvidia rivals, albeit without ray tracing. Though Nvidia has come out with their own budget offerings like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, AMD is still the king of value.

It’s no wonder that creative professionals and gamers on a budget gravitate toward the best AMD graphics cards. Regardless of your needs, AMD has something that will fit the bill, whether that’s for creating 3D designs, doing some video editing, or booting up the latest PC games. From the affordable Radeon RX5700 XT to Radeon RX 6800 XT and the AMD Radeon RX 6800, here are our top picks.

The best AMD GPUs at a glance

  1. AMD Radeon RX 6800
  2. AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
  3. AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT 
  4. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
  5. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  6. AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
  7. MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming X 
  8. AMD Radeon RX 570
  9. MSI Aero Radeon RX 560

1. AMD Radeon RX 6800

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


Stream Processors: 3,840

Core Clock: 1,815 MHz (2,105 MHz boost)

Memory: 16GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 16Gbps

Power Connectors: 2 x 8 pin

Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, 1 x HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Finally, AMD ray tracing+Low power consumption

Reasons to avoid

-Ray tracing performance behind the competition-More expensive than RTX 3070

Nvidia no longer sits uncontested in the high-end market, with AMD making a grand comeback with the AMD Radeon RX 6800. Going head to head with Nvidia’s RTX 3070 in 4K gaming, this GPU also brings AMD ray tracing to the table, although it isn’t quite as good as Nvidia’s at 4K. Still, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 is more than able to deliver a solid 4K 60 fps experience, and ray tracing at 1440p is impressive.

Read the full review: AMD Radeon RX 6800

2. 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

Reasons to buy

+Excellent 1440p performance+Ray tracing+Lightweight card with no sag

Reasons to avoid

-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

3. AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

A 1080p powerhouse


Stream processors: 2,048

Core clock: 1,968

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 16Gbps

Power connectors: 1 x 8-pin

Outputs: 1.4 with DSC DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL

Reasons to buy

+Strong 1080p performance+Great thermal efficiency+Low power consumption

Reasons to avoid

-Should be cheaper-Only slightly better than the RTX 3060

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is the perfect solution to get top-notch 1080p performance. On top of that, it doesn’t use a lot of power so you can install it in a system with a smaller power supply. It also has great thermal efficiency so you don’t need a super expensive water cooling system built into your PC. Sadly,  it is a bit pricier than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, its direct competition, and doesn’t come with ray tracing.

Read the full review:AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

4. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

Best 1440p AMD graphics card


Stream Processors: 2,560

Core Clock: 1,605 MHz (1,905 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

Reasons to buy

+Excellent 1440p gaming performance+Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-No ray tracing

If you’ve got a lot of cash to spare, splurging a little on the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT might be a sound investment. This graphics card directly rivals the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 in terms of performance, and like the cheaper Radeon RX 5700, this one is a true powerhouse, giving you excellent 1440p gaming at the highest settings. The only reason that it’s not higher on our AMD graphics cards list is its price. It could be cheaper, especially since the Super RTX cards that Nvidia just rolled out.

Read the full review:AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

5. Radeon RX 6800 XT

Best 4K graphics card


Stream Processors: 4,608

Core Clock: 2,015 MHz (2,250 MHz 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

Reasons to buy

+Ray tracing for AMD+Strong DX11 performance

Reasons to avoid

-Doesn't dethrone Nvidia

It’s been a while since Nvidia has been given a proper challenge in the high-end sphere. But with AMD rolling out its Radeon RX 6800 XT, Team Green is seeing a decent contender, one that delivers a solid performance in DirectX 11 games and may be unlocked for a 10% extra juice if you dig around in your BIOS. This doesn’t exactly knock Nvidia off its premium throne, but it’s a promising start to what could be AMD’s epic revival in the high-end GPU market.

Read the full review: Radeon RX 6800 XT

6. AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT

AMD Navi hits the budget segment


Stream Processors: 1,408

Core Clock: 1,717 MHz (1,845 MHz boost)

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 14Gbps

Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pincompu

Outputs: 1.4 with DSC, 4K60 HDMI Support

  1. Re stand for
  2. Brass wall hangers
  3. Dababy go bpm

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)


The AMD Radeon R3 is an integrated DirectX 12 graphics card found in some AMD APUs (for example, the A4-6210 or A4 Micro-6400T). It offers 128 shader cores across two Compute Units and is based on the GCN architecture. Clock speeds can be up to 350 MHz on a Mullins APU, 600 MHz on a Beema APU or 686 MHz on a Carrizo-L APU. The GPU does not have dedicated VRAM and will access the main system memory(depending on the APU: single-channel DDR3L-1333 or DDR3L-1600).

Using its UVD (Unified Video Decoder), the GPU can support the CPU when decoding videos up to 4K. In addition, the chip integrates a specialized video encoder called VCE. Video streams can output via VGA, DVI, HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 to up to two external monitors.

The performance of the Radeon R3 varies greatly between different APUs as there is a very wide range of clock speeds. While the fastest models reach speeds similar to a Radeon HD 8400, slower versions offer a performance closer to a Radeon HD 8250. Typically, only older or very undemanding games like FIFA will play fluently.

CPU in Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)GPU Base SpeedGPU Boost / Turbo
AMD A4-72104 x 1800 MHz, 12-25 W? MHz686 MHz
AMD A4-62104 x 1800 MHz, 15 W? MHz600 MHz
AMD A4 Micro-6400T4 x 1000 MHz, 4.5 W? MHz350 MHz
min. - max.? MHz350 - 686 MHz


Performance Rating - 3DMark 11 + Fire Strike + Time Spy

3 pt (3%)


AMD Radeon HD 8280 -17%

AMD Radeon HD 7400G -15%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -14%

Intel UHD Graphics 605 -14%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G -7%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) -7%

Intel HD Graphics 4000 -6%

Intel HD Graphics (Haswell) -2%

AMD Radeon HD 8350G -1%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

Intel HD Graphics 4200 1%

AMD Radeon HD 7620G 2%

Intel HD Graphics 5300 2%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 3%

Intel HD Graphics 505 6%

AMD Radeon R4 (Beema) 9%

AMD Radeon HD 8610G 12%

AMD Radeon HD 7500G 12%

AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L) 13%


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop) 2634%

3DMark - 3DMark Cloud Gate Score

min: 1638     avg: 2296     median: 2391 (3%)     max: 2763 Points

+ 4 benchmarks and specifications- 4 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell) -13%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) -11%

AMD Radeon HD 8280 -11%

AMD Radeon HD 7500G -9%

AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge) -9%

AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge) -9%

Intel HD Graphics 500 -7%

AMD Radeon HD 7520G -6%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -5%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

Intel HD Graphics (Haswell) 5%

AMD Radeon HD 8450G 6%

AMD Radeon HD 8610G 7%

AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri) 13%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 14%

Intel HD Graphics 3000 15%

Intel HD Graphics 2500 16%

AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics 17%

AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L) 20%


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile 2236%

3DMark - 3DMark Cloud Gate Graphics

min: 2099     avg: 2847     median: 3049 (2%)     max: 3191 Points

+ 4 benchmarks and specifications- 4 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


AMD Radeon HD 8210 -18%

AMD Radeon HD 7400G -15%

AMD Radeon HD 8280 -12%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -10%

Intel HD Graphics 2500 -9%

Intel HD Graphics 3000 -9%

AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L) -7%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G -5%

AMD Radeon HD 8610G -3%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 8400 1%

AMD Radeon HD 8350G 3%

Intel HD Graphics 500 6%

AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge) 8%

AMD Radeon HD 7520G 12%

AMD Radeon R4 (Beema) 15%

AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge) 17%

AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L) 18%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) 18%


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop) 5971%

3DMark - 3DMark Fire Strike Standard Score

min: 219     avg: 360     median: 396.5 (1%)     max: 427 Points

+ 4 benchmarks and specifications- 4 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


Intel HD Graphics 2500 -19%

AMD Radeon R6 (Mullins) -16%

AMD Radeon HD 8280 -16%

Intel HD Graphics 500 -11%

Intel HD Graphics (Haswell) -10%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -9%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G -8%

AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics -5%

AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L) -2%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 8350G 3%

Intel HD Graphics 4200 3%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 6%

Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail) 8%

AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge) 9%

Intel UHD Graphics 600 10%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) 13%

Intel HD Graphics 5300 15%

Intel HD Graphics 505 16%


AMD Radeon RX 6800M 7279%

3DMark - 3DMark Fire Strike Standard Graphics

min: 253     avg: 384     median: 419.5 (1%)     max: 444 Points

+ 4 benchmarks and specifications- 4 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


AMD Radeon HD 8240 -24%

Intel HD Graphics 2500 -17%

AMD Radeon HD 7400G -15%

AMD Radeon HD 8280 -15%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G -11%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -9%

Intel HD Graphics 500 -7%

Intel HD Graphics (Haswell) -3%

AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L) -3%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 8350G 1%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 5%

Intel HD Graphics 4200 7%

Intel UHD Graphics 600 10%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) 13%

Intel HD Graphics 505 17%

Intel HD Graphics 5300 18%

Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell) 21%

AMD Radeon HD 8610G 24%


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop) 10294%

3DMark - 3DMark Ice Storm Graphics

min: 22434     avg: 31629     median: 33757 (4%)     max: 36567 Points

+ 4 benchmarks and specifications- 4 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


NVIDIA GeForce 910M -10%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -8%

Intel HD Graphics 3000 -8%

AMD Radeon HD 7620G -8%

AMD Radeon HD 7400G -6%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) -3%

Qualcomm Adreno 630 -2%

AMD Radeon HD 7520G -1%

AMD Radeon R7 M270 -1%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

Intel HD Graphics 4000 1%

Intel HD Graphics 4200 2%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G 3%

NVIDIA Quadro M520 7%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 7%

AMD Radeon HD 8350G 7%

Intel HD Graphics 505 7%

Intel HD Graphics (Haswell) 8%

AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge) 11%


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop) 1294%

3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance Score

min: 444     avg: 619     median: 686 (2%)     max: 740 Points

+ 6 benchmarks and specifications- 6 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


AMD Radeon R6 (Mullins) -6%

NVIDIA GeForce 610M -5%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -4%

AMD Radeon HD 6470M -4%

Intel HD Graphics 4000 -3%

NVIDIA NVS 4200M -2%

AMD Radeon HD 7500G -2%

Intel UHD Graphics 600 -1%

AMD FirePro M3900 0%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 7520G 3%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) 4%

AMD Radeon HD 7450M 5%

Intel HD Graphics 4200 7%

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX 8%

AMD Radeon HD 6490M 10%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 11%

AMD Radeon HD 8350G 12%

Intel HD Graphics 505 12%


AMD Radeon RX 6800M 4365%

3DMark 11 - 3DM11 Performance GPU

min: 394     avg: 576     median: 620 (1%)     max: 668 Points

+ 4 benchmarks and specifications- 4 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


AMD Radeon HD 8280 -14%

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M -13%

NVIDIA GeForce 610M -11%

NVIDIA NVS 4200M -10%

AMD Radeon HD 7470M -9%

Intel HD Graphics 4000 -9%

AMD Radeon HD 6470M -8%

AMD Radeon HD 8330 -8%

Intel UHD Graphics 600 -5%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 7450M 1%

AMD Radeon HD 7520G 1%

AMD Radeon HD 7500G 2%

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX 4%

AMD Radeon HD 6490M 4%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) 6%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 7%

AMD Radeon HD 8350G 8%

Intel HD Graphics 4200 8%


AMD Radeon RX 6800M 7141%

3DMark Vantage
3DM Vant. Perf. total +

3DMark Vantage - 3DM Vant. Perf. total

min: 1331     avg: 1815     median: 1814.5 (2%)     max: 2298 Points

+ 2 benchmarks and specifications- 2 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


Intel HD Graphics 3000 -14%

AMD Radeon HD 6480G -14%

AMD Radeon HD 7600G -10%

NVIDIA GeForce GT 130M -7%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G -5%

AMD Radeon HD 7470M -4%

NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GT -4%

NVIDIA GeForce 9650M GS -2%

AMD Radeon HD 6470M 0%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

NVIDIA GeForce 320M 0%

AMD Radeon HD 6520G 0%

Intel HD Graphics 2500 2%

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3850 4%

NVIDIA GeForce 410M 6%

AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri) 8%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 11%

NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT 12%

Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell) 15%


NVIDIA RTX A3000 Laptop GPU 3829%

3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX +

3DMark Vantage - 3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX

min: 1100     avg: 1512     median: 1511.5 (1%)     max: 1923 Points

+ 2 benchmarks and specifications- 2 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


Intel HD Graphics (Braswell) -12%

Intel HD Graphics 3000 -12%

Intel HD Graphics 2500 -9%

NVIDIA GeForce GT 130M -9%

AMD Radeon HD 7600G -9%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G -2%

NVIDIA GeForce 9650M GS -2%

AMD Radeon HD 6470M -1%

NVIDIA GeForce 410M 0%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 8330 0%

AMD Radeon HD 7470M 0%

AMD Radeon HD 6620G 2%

NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GT 2%

NVIDIA GeForce 320M 2%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 9%

NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT SLI 10%

NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT 12%

Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell) 14%


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop) 5028%

3DMark 06 3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 +

min: 2547     avg: 3595     median: 4010 (7%)     max: 4229 Points

+ 3 benchmarks and specifications- 3 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


AMD Radeon HD 6480G -3%

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 540v -3%

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 -2%

NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS -2%

Intel UHD Graphics 605 -2%

Intel HD Graphics 4200 -2%

AMD Radeon HD 8400 -2%

AMD Radeon HD 8610G -2%

Intel HD Graphics 500 -1%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 6620G 0%

AMD Radeon HD 7470M 1%

AMD Radeon HD 6480G + HD 7450M Dual Graphics 1%

NVIDIA GeForce 9500M GS 2%

NVIDIA Quadro FX 380M 3%

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145 4%

AMD Radeon HD 7420G 4%

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 545v 5%

AMD Radeon HD 7600G 6%


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU 1215%

Unigine Heaven 2.1 - Heaven 2.1 high

min: 5.2     avg: 5.5     median: 5.5 (1%)     max: 5.7 fps

+ 2 benchmarks and specifications- 2 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) -49%

AMD Radeon HD 8610G -21%

Intel HD Graphics (Braswell) -10%

AMD Radeon HD 7600G -8%

AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L) -6%

AMD Radeon HD 7640G -6%

Intel HD Graphics 2000 -3%

AMD Radeon HD 6520G -1%

AMD Radeon HD 7470M -1%

AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)

AMD Radeon HD 6480G 1%

Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge) 5%

Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail) 5%

AMD Radeon HD 6470M 14%

AMD Radeon HD 6490M 23%

AMD Radeon HD 7450M 26%

AMD Radeon HD 7520G 26%

NVIDIA GeForce 310M 28%

Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell) 36%


NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop) 9661%

Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) +

Cinebench R10 - Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit)

min: 2090     avg: 2732     median: 2908 (14%)     max: 3021 points

+ 4 benchmarks and specifications- 4 benchmarks and specifications   + Show comparison chart- Hide comparison chart


AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L) -6%

NVIDIA GeForce G210M -6%

NVIDIA GeForce G 102M -5%

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 -5%

NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS -5%

AMD did NOT disappoint me - RX 6800 Series Review

Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2021

The best graphics cards are the lifeblood of any gaming PC — they're they're the beating heart pumping out stunningly rendered pixels to your screen. While there's no single solution that's right for everyone, we're here to sort out the must haves from the wanna bes. Some want the fastest graphics card, others the best value, and many are looking for the best card at a given price. Balancing performance, price, features, and efficiency is important because no other component impacts your gaming experience as much as the graphics card.

Where our GPU benchmarks hierarchy ranks all of the cards based purely on performance, our list of the best graphics cards tries to look at the whole package. Price, availability, performance, features, and efficiency are all important, though the weighting becomes more subjective. Unfortunately, despite China's crackdown on cryptocurrency mining, Bitcoin and Ethereum prices have rebounded (again, after a slump at the end of September), which potentially means miners may want to try to expand. GPU mining profitability has dropped from where it was earlier this year, but it's not low enough to stop miners completely.

AMD's Radeon RX 6600 XT has now joined our benchmarks, and unlike Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, we've given it a spot on our list of the best graphics cards — contingent upon people actually finding them in stock, naturally. We'll have to see how availability and street pricing shape up over time (hint: not great, but better than any other AMD RX 6000-series card so far). AMD is also rumored to have the vanilla Radeon RX 6600 coming in the middle of this month. Nvidia's cards also implement Nvidia's hashrate limiter, and LHR (Lite Hash Rate) models have replaced all of the other RTX 30-series GPUs, except the RTX 3090, potentially making those cards less enticing to miners.

Team Red also recently launched AMD FSR, FidelityFX Super Resolution. A GPU-agnostic upscaling algorithm that competes against DLSS sounds great, and performance and image quality at the higher settings are good. Now we just need for it to get used in more games, preferably stuff that lots of people are playing. At present, none of the games in our core suite of benchmarks support FSR.

We're going to list the best graphics cards that are theoretically available right now, along with their nominal prices. As an example of the problem we face, the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB sells for over $700 on eBay, and the Radeon RX 6700 XT goes for over $800 — more than double the suggested etail pricing (SEP). If you're desperate for a new GPU, you could maybe justify paying 25% more than the launch price, but double or triple the MSRP is simply too much. If you need to upgrade, we recommend taking a look at pre-built gaming PCs instead. Or just wait, but prices might not get back to anything close to 'normal' until some time in 2022.

We test and review all the major GPUs, and we've done extensive testing of graphics card power consumption, using proper hardware. We've also looked at the broader AMD vs Nvidia GPUs breakdown. More recently, ourRadeon RX 6800 XT andGeForce RTX 3060 Ti launch articles have included test results for the latest GPUs running on Core i9-9900K, Core i9-10900K, and Ryzen 9 5900X. Mostly, the three CPUs are pretty close, though things vary depending on the game and settings (and motherboard firmware and RAM). Here we cut things down to a succinct list of the best graphics cards that are currently in production, that might even be available to buy if you search around or get lucky.

Choosing the Best Graphics Card for You

We've provided a dozen options for the best graphics cards, recognizing that there's plenty of potential overlap. The latest generation GPUs consist of Nvidia's Ampere architecture cards and AMD's RDNA2 architecture offerings. You can check our launch reviews of the GeForce RTX 3090, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, GeForce RTX 3070, GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, and GeForce RTX 3060 12GB for Nvidia, along with AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, Radeon RX 6700 XT, and Radeon RX 6600 XT. RDNA2 brought ray tracing support to Team Red for the first time and greatly improved performance compared to the previous generation GPUs. That's a dozen new GPUs in about as many months, and we'll likely see additional options using scaled down GA106 and Navi 22/23 GPUs in the future.

Theoretically, cards like the RTX 3070 and RX 6800 cost less than half as much as the previous generation RTX 2080 Ti, and generally match or beat it on performance. Meanwhile, the RX 6800 XT and RTX 3080 are 30% to 35% faster than the 2080 Ti for less money, and the RTX 3090 is 10-20% faster than the 3080 — at more than twice the price. You can also see how the RTX 3080 scales with a wider range of CPUs. Hint: You'll want something made in the past few years, generally with at least 6-cores and 12-threads, and 8-core and above add a few extra percent in performance.

Unfortunately, that's only in theory, as cryptocurrency mining combined with an already limited supply have caused a massive jump in GPU prices — see our GPU price index. Our advice: Don't pay more today for yesterday's hardware. If you want an RTX 30-series or RX 6000-series graphics card, be patient and you'll eventually be able to buy one at close to the official MSRP. If you already own a decent GPU, stick with it — or sell it for a premium and save the money until prices come down (assuming you have a spare you can live with in the interim). Or, hell, just give Ampere and RDNA2 a pass and wait for Lovelace and RDNA3, which will probably arrive in late 2022 and will hopefully have better availability (don't count on that yet!)

If your main goal is gaming, you can't forget about the CPU. Getting the best possible gaming GPU won't help you much if your CPU is underpowered and/or out of date. So be sure to check out the Best CPUs for Gaming page, as well as our CPU Benchmark hierarchy to make sure you have the right CPU for the level of gaming you're looking to achieve.

Our current recommendations reflect the changing GPU market, factoring in all of the above details. The GPUs are ordered mostly by performance, but price, features, and efficiency are still factors so in a few cases a slightly slower card may be ranked higher. There's been a massive shakeup at the top of the performance rankings already, and provided you can find the various cards in stock, these are the best graphics cards.

Quick Shopping Tips

When buying a graphics card, consider the following:

• Resolution: The more pixels you're pushing, the more performance you need. You don't need a top-of-the-line GPU to game at 1080p.
• PSU: Make sure that your power supply has enough juice and the right 6- and/or 8-pin connector(s). For example, Nvidia recommends a 550-watt PSU for the RTX 3060, and you'll need at least an 8-pin connector and possibly a 6-pin PEG connector as well.
• Video Memory: A 4GB card is the minimum right now, 6GB models are better, and 8GB or more is strongly recommended.
FreeSync or G-Sync? Either variable refresh rate technology will synchronize your GPU's frame rate with your screen's refresh rate. Nvidia supports G-Sync and G-Sync Compatible displays (for recommendations, see our Best Gaming Monitors list), while AMD's FreeSync tech works with Radeon cards.
• Ray Tracing, DLSS, and FSR: The latest graphics cards support ray tracing, which can be used to enhance the visuals. DLSS provides intelligent upscaling and anti-aliasing to boost performance with similar image quality, but it's only on Nvidia RTX cards. AMD's FSR works on virtually any GPU and also provides upscaling and enhancement, but on a different subset of games.

Note: Prices on most of the graphics cards remain seriously messed up right now. We've listed the official MSRPs, which is what we would expect to pay under normal circumstances. You shouldn't pay significantly more than the above prices, and nearly all of the top GPUs remain out of stock.

While we sorted the above list in order of performance, we've sorted the cards below based on performance as well as our own subjective rankings. We look at performance, price, power, and features and then adjust things accordingly, though opinions naturally differ. Plus, it's very hard to know how to rank anything given the current prices.

Best Graphics Cards for Gaming 2021

1. GeForce RTX 3080

Best Graphics Card Overall, for 4K and More


GPU: Ampere (GA102)

GPU Cores: 8704

Boost Clock: 1,710 MHz

Video RAM: 10GB GDDR6X 19 Gbps

TDP: 320 watts

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Reasonably priced compared to 3090 and 6900 XT+Can legitimately do 4K ultra at 60 fps or more+Substantially faster than previous gen GPUs

Reasons to avoid

-Availability is severely limited-Requires 320W of power-Overkill for 1080p displays-Only 10GB VRAM

Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 sports the new and improved Ampere architecture. It's over 30% faster than the previous gen 2080 Ti, for $500 less. The new RTX 3080 Ti didn't manage to supplant the incumbent, thanks to its significantly higher pricing. If you're serious about maxing out all the graphics settings and you want to play at 4K or 1440p, this is the card to get — it's mostly overkill for 1080p gaming, though enabling all ray tracing effects in games that support the feature makes 1080p still reasonable.

If you skipped the first round of RTX GPUs, the RTX 30-series might finally get you you on board the ray tracing train. With potentially double the ray tracing performance of Turing, and games like Cyberpunk 2077 using even more ray tracing effects, the RTX 3080 is your best bet at playing games in all their ray traced glory without nuking the piggy bank.

Ampere also brings improved tensor cores for DLSS, a technology we're bound to see more of in future games now that it doesn't require per-game training by a supercomputer. We're seeing a lot more games with DLSS 2.0 these days, helped by the fact that it's basically a toggle and UI update to get it working in Unreal Engine and Unity. Nvidia's RT and DLSS performance are also quite a bit faster than what you get from AMD's new RX 6000 cards, which is a good thing as Nvidia sometimes falls behind in traditional rasterization performance (which is what our raw numbers are based on).

The biggest problem with RTX 3080 by far is going to be finding one in stock, at prices that aren't straight up terrible. Given the high price of the 3080 Ti, though, this remains our best pick for a fast GPU right now.

Read:Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Review

2. Radeon RX 6800 XT

Best AMD GPU, Forget About DLSS


GPU: Navi 21 XT

GPU Cores: 4608

Boost Clock: 2,250 MHz

Video RAM: 16GB GDDR6 16 Gbps

TDP: 300 watts

Reasons to buy

+New RDNA2 architecture provides excellent performance+Beats 3080 in rasterization games+Easily handles 4K and 1440p+Lots of VRAM for the future

Reasons to avoid

-Weaker ray tracing performance-FSR needs wider adoption-Supply might be even worse than Nvidia

AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT is the best card for Team Red. The RX Radeon 6900 XT is technically about 5-7 percent faster, but it costs 54 percent more. That's not a great deal, at all, especially since you don't get more VRAM or any other extras. The RX 6800 XT provides a massive boost in performance and features relative to the previous generation RX 5700 XT. It adds ray tracing support (via DirectX Raytracing or VulkanRT), and is 70-90% faster across our test suite.

The GPU was affectionately dubbed 'Big Navi' prior to launch by the enthusiast community, and we got exactly what we wanted. Navi 21 is over twice the size of Navi 10, with twice the shader cores and twice the RAM. Clock speeds are also boosted into the 2.1-2.3 GHz range (depending on the card model), the highest clocks we've ever seen from a reference GPU by about 300 MHz. And AMD did all this without substantially increasing power requirements: The RX 6800 XT has a 300W TDP, slightly lower than the RTX 3080's 320W TDP.

A big part of AMD's performance comes thanks to the massive 128MB Infinity Cache. It improves the effective bandwidth by 119% (according to AMD). We're confident that few if any games in the coming years are going to need more than 16GB, so the 6800 XT is in a great position in that area.

What's not to like? Well, the ray tracing performance is a bit mediocre. Maybe it's because current games are more likely to be optimized for Nvidia's RTX GPUs, but overall the 6800 XT is just barely ahead of the RTX 3070 in ray tracing performance, and there are several games where it falls behind by up to 25%. And that's without turning on DLSS, which even in Quality mode can improve performance of RTX cards by 20-40% (sometimes more). AMD is working on FidelityFX Super Resolution to compete with DLSS, but it's not here yet and it's very much needed.

Read:AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Review

3. GeForce RTX 3090

Fastest Graphics Card, Great for Creators


GPU: Ampere (GA102)

GPU Cores: 10496

Boost Clock: 1,695 MHz

Video RAM: 24GB GDDR6X 19.5 Gbps

TDP: 350 watts

Reasons to buy

+The fastest GPU, period+4K and maybe even 8K gaming+24GB is great for content creation workloads+Up to 30% faster than 3080 in professional apps

Reasons to avoid

-Over twice the cost of 3080 for 10-15% more performance-Extremely limited availability for now-High power requirements-Titan price without Titan enhancements

For some, the best card is the fastest card — pricing be damned! Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090 caters to this category of user. At more than double the price of the RTX 3080, performance is only moderately better (10-15%) in most workloads. It's basically a replacement for the Titan RTX, at a still extreme price. Which is fine if that's what you're after — the 12GB RTX 3080 Ti doesn't reduce the price enough to shake things up.

The RTX 3090 is likely to reign as Nvidia's top GPU for a while as well. It sports nearly a complete GA102 chip, based off the Ampere architecture, so there's not really room for a new Titan card. Nvidia has said as much as well, that the 3090 brings Titan-class performance and features (specifically the 24GB VRAM) into the GeForce brand. If you simply must have the fastest graphics card available, that's the RTX 3090.

It's not just about gaming, of course. The RTX 3090 is the only GeForce Ampere with NVLink support, which is arguably more useful for professional apps and GPU compute than SLI. The 24GB of GDDR6X memory is also helpful in a variety of content creation applications. Blender for example frequently showed 30% higher performance compared to the 3080, and over twice the performance of the Titan RTX. Just watch out for lower than expected performance in some of the SPECviewperf 13 apps, where Titan RTX has additional features turned on in its drivers that aren't enabled for GeForce cards.

AMD's RX 6900 XT challenges the RTX 3090, and in traditional rasterization it's competitive. It also gets some wins in a few SPECviewperf tests. But if you want the absolute fastest graphics card right now, Nvidia wins, especially if you run games with ray tracing and DLSS enabled.

Read:Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Review

4. GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

Best Bang for the Buck Graphics Card


GPU: Ampere (GA104)

GPU Cores: 4864

Boost Clock: 1,665 MHz

Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps

TDP: 200 watts

Reasons to buy

+Beats the 2080 Super for $300 less+Best overall value (fps/$)+Great for RT at 1440p with DLSS

Reasons to avoid

-Sold out and currently overpriced-4K is a a stretch even with DLSS-8GB might not be 'enough' VRAM long term

Nvidia's Ampere march continues with what might just be the best of the bunch. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti has all the same features as the other 30-series GPUs, with a starting price of just $399. In theory, of course, as it naturally sold out just as quickly as all the other new graphics cards. 

The 3060 Ti ends up beating the previous gen 2080 Super in performance, winning every test we ran. It's also only about 9 percent slower than the 3070 but costs 20 percent less. If you're still sitting on a GTX series or similar GPU, like a GTX 1070 or RX Vega 56, the 3060 Ti is up to twice as fast — sometimes even more, in the latest games.

The only real concern is the lack of VRAM. 8GB is enough, for now, but some games are starting to push beyond that threshold. Of course you can drop the texture quality a notch, and you might not even notice the difference, but deep down inside you'll feel regret. (Not really — high settings often look indistinguishable from ultra settings.)

Until AMD releases its next round of RDNA2 cards, which we expect in the first quarter of 2021, there's nothing else that can challenge the 3060 Ti at anything close to the $399 price point. It's 35-45 percent faster than the 2060 Super, and 25-30 percent faster than the RX 5700 XT, all for the same nominal asking price.

The biggest concern right now is just finding one of these cards for sale. Mining performance pretty much matches the 3070 (at least for the non-LHR models) and AMD's latest gen cards, which means prices are often triple the official launch price. Also, 8GB still feels a bit stingy, considering the 1070 had that much memory over four years ago.

Read:Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Review

5. GeForce RTX 3070

Excellent 1440p Performance


GPU: Ampere (GA104)

GPU Cores: 5888

Boost Clock: 1,730 MHz

Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps

TDP: 220 watts

Reasons to buy

+2080 Ti performance at half the cost+All the Ampere enhancements+Not as power hungry as 3080

Reasons to avoid

-Totally sold out and/or expensive-Can't do 4K ultra in some games at 60 fps-8GB VRAM feels stingy

The GeForce RTX 3070 continues the Ampere onslaught and the march of next-gen architectures. It's a sizeable step down from the 3080, and has less than half the VRAM of AMD's RX 6800 series cards. However, the 3070 also costs less than AMD's new cards and still has generally superior ray tracing performance, plus DLSS. It's too bad all of the 3070 cards will likely continue to sell out for quite some time. The new RTX 3070 Ti delivers slightly better performance for $100 more, but also bumps the power use up by 30%, so we recommend sticking with the non-Ti card for now.

The 3060 Ti's $400 price point makes the 3070 less endearing. It's about 10-12 percent faster but costs 25 percent more. Of course, if you factor in the rest of your gaming PC, that extra $100 probably isn't too big of a problem. For new gaming PC builds, you shouldn't buy anything right now that costs $300 or more unless it's sporting an Ampere or Big Navi GPU. Especially at current shortage-induced prices. We do have some reservations, however.

While 1440p and 4K gaming are totally possible, 4K at maximum quality often drops below 60 fps. DLSS can fix that, if a game supports it, but ray tracing even with DLSS often means 40-50 fps at 4K. We're also concerned with the 8GB of GDDR6. Not only is that less memory on a narrower bus than the 3080, but it's clocked quite a bit lower. We've already encountered a few games where 8GB starts to be a bit limiting at maximum quality, and that's only going to get worse in the future. AMD's decision to put 16GB on its Navi 21 GPUs makes Nvidia's 8GB look even worse, and Nvidia put 12GB on the RTX 3060, which makes the 8GB on the 3070 and 3060 Ti look even worse.

If you want a fast Nvidia GPU for the lowest price possible, the 3060 Ti gets the nod. If you can fork over an extra $100, the 3070 is a reasonable upgrade, which then leads to another $100 for the 3070 Ti, and at that point why not just get the 3080? It's the 'best' overall card, after all. That's the problem with looking at higher cost cards, and the law of diminishing returns. For now, if you've always wanted an RTX 2080 Ti but couldn't justify the cost, the price of entry has been (sort of) slashed in half.

Read:Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Review

6. Radeon RX 6700 XT

Good 1440p Graphics Card, Lower Price


GPU: Navi 22

GPU Cores: 2560

Boost Clock: 2581 MHz

Video RAM: 12GB GDDR6 16 Gbps

TDP: 230 watts

Reasons to buy

+Good 1440p performance+Plenty of VRAM+Comes close to the 3070 in non-RT

Reasons to avoid

-Out of stock like everything else-Mediocre RT performance-FSR can't defeat DLSS

Start with the Navi 21 GPU and then cut down the various functional units to create a smaller die that can sell at lower prices and you have AMD's Navi 22 and the RX 6700 XT. It has the same number of GPU cores as the previous generation RX 5700 XT, but significantly higher clock speeds and more cache give it about a 25% boost to performance (at higher settings and resolutions, at least).

AMD's RX 6700 XT hits the highest clock speeds we've ever seen on a GPU, boosting at 2.5GHz and more during gaming sessions — and that's at stock, on the reference card. With some tuning and overclocking, we were able to hit speeds of 2.7-2.8GHz, still without cooking the GPU. That's very impressive, though we're a bit sad that it 'only' has 2560 GPU cores.

In our performance testing, the RX 6700 XT trades blows with the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti. It's a bit faster than the latter, and a bit slower than the former, so the launch price of $479 seems okay. Except, if we include pretty much any games with DLSS or ray tracing, the 6700 XT starts looking more like a 3060 Ti competitor.

The real issue is the same as with everything else. RX 6700 XT just launched, and it immediately sold out, even at radically inflated prices. Currently, the card shows up at over $1,100 on eBay. It's definitely not worth that, even if you want to mine Ethereum. Unfortunately, the prospects of finding a 6700 XT card at a more reasonable price are slim.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review

7. Radeon RX 6800

Great 1440p Graphics Card, Okay Ray Tracing


GPU: Navi 21 XL

GPU Cores: 3840

Boost Clock: 2105 MHz

Video RAM: 16GB GDDR6 16 Gbps

TDP: 250 watts

Reasons to buy

+Excellent overall performance+Lots of VRAM and Infinity Cache+Easily beats the 3070 in non-RT

Reasons to avoid

-Good luck finding one-Middling RT performance-FSR will take a while to catch up to DLSS-Not much cheaper than 6800 XT

Take everything great about the new Navi 21 GPU that powers the 6800 XT (above), then trim it by about 10% and you get the vanilla RX 6800. You still get the full 16GB GDDR6 and 128MB Infinity Cache, but only 96 ROPs and slightly lower clock speeds. It's a reasonable compromise, but we think the 6800 XT is the better option all things considered (unless pricing eventually drops a bit more on the vanilla cards).

The RX 6800 also puts in a good showing against Nvidia's RTX 3070. In our current 9-game test suite, it's 9% faster overall. Of course it also costs 16% more, but we think having twice as much VRAM is a fair trade.

The real concerns are the same as with the 6800 XT: Ray tracing performance looks a bit weak, basically matching Nvidia's previous generation RTX 2080 Super. AMD's FSR as a DLSS alternative could help long-term, but right now it's only supported in a handful of games and can't quite match DLSS image quality. Take the RTX 3070 in DXR performance. Without DLSS, the 3070 is already 12% faster. Turn on DLSS Quality mode and the gap increases to more than 50%! Also, DLSS can be used without ray tracing, and typically looks better than temporal AA (or at least as good).

With AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution now available, it now needs game developers to implement the feature. It's open source, plus AMD RDNA2 GPUs are in all of the next generation consoles, which means FSR will probably see plenty of uptake… eventually. For now, we'd grab a 6800 more for the rasterization prowess and not worry so much about ray tracing. Not that you can find one in stock.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6800 review

8. GeForce RTX 3060 12GB

An Excellent Mainstream Graphics Card


GPU: Ampere (GA106)

GPU Cores: 3840

Boost Clock: 1,777 MHz

Video RAM: 12GB GDDR6 15 Gbps

TDP: 170 watts

Reasons to buy

+Lowest cost latest gen GPU+Great overall value for 1080p/1440p+Plenty of VRAM for mainstream+Limited mining appeal

Reasons to avoid

-Sold out and overpriced-Some people want to mine-Tied with old RTX 2070 performance-12GB of limited benefit

The lowest price and performance addition to Nvidia's desktop Ampere lineup is where the cuts to processing power might have gone too far. This is the first GA106 card, with a 192-bit memory interface and 12GB VRAM (though we suspect a 6GB model will show up eventually). But with 26% fewer GPU cores compared to the 3060 Ti, and less memory bandwidth, overall performance is only on the level of the RTX 2070. So, two and a half years later, you can now match a $500 graphics card with a $330 alternative.

Or that's the theory. Unfortunately, demand has once again eclipsed supply in a big way, and we're seeing RTX 3060 12GB cards selling on eBay for over $800. That's despite the measures Nvidia took to cut Ethereum mining performance in half, which ended up being meaningless when Nvidia hacked its own drivers (on accident). Word is miners had already found other workaround, and the pricing certainly suggests that's the case.

VRAM capacity at least isn't a problem, and there are a few instances where the 3060 12GB starts to close the gap with the 3060 Ti. It never quite gets there, however, and the 3060 Ti remains the better choice if you can find one at a reasonable price.

AMD's Radeon RX 6700 XT has the same amount of VRAM, but with the large 96MB Infinity Cache it ends up performance quite a bit better — and costing quite a bit more. Maybe an RX 6700 will show up next month to provide some needed competition in the sub-$400 range, though of course those will also sell out.

If you discount ray tracing and DLSS, the RTX 3060 ends up being roughly the same performance as AMD's RX 5700 XT, 18 months later. Not exactly something to set the world on fire, but then that's typical of mainstream parts. We can only hope supply and pricing return to nominal levels sooner rather than later.

Read:Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 12GB Review

8. Radeon RX 6600 XT

Good Mainstream Performance, Weak RT


GPU: Navi 23

GPU Cores: 2048

Boost Clock: 2,589MHz

Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 16 Gbps

TDP: 160 watts

Reasons to buy

+Faster than 3060 and RX 5700 XT+Power efficient design+Good 1080p performance+32MB Infinity Cache still works

Reasons to avoid

-Only 8GB VRAM on a 128-bit bus-Poor ray tracing performance-Expensive for 1080p-Still limited supply

AMD's answer to the RTX 3060 (sort of) comes via the Navi 23 architecture. Normally, we'd expect a 32 CU variant of Navi 22, dubbed the RX 6700 non-XT, but AMD trimmed CU counts, memory interface width, and Infinity Cache sizes to get a smaller and less expensive chip that still performs well. Right now, this is AMD's lowest cost current gen GPU.

Performance ends up slightly above the previous gen RX 5700 XT, which is impressive considering the memory bus has been cut in half to just 128 bits. There's a reasonable concern with the 8GB of VRAM, however, and there are certainly cases where the RTX 3060 ends up as the better choice. Still, it's surprising how much even a 32MB Infinity Cache seems to boost performance, when you look at the memory bandwidth. This is basically a chip that's smaller than Navi 10, built on the same TSMC N7 node, and it delivers 10–15% better framerates at 1080p.

There are instances where it struggles, however, ray tracing being a big one. Several games that we tested with DXR (DirectX Raytracing) support couldn't even do 20 fps at 1080p. Nvidia's RTX 3060 was about twice as fast, without using DLSS (where available). FSR doesn't really fix that, either, since it provides a similar boost in performance to both AMD and Nvidia — and even Intel — GPUs. Perhaps drivers and other tweaks will smooth out some of those idiosyncrasies, but after delivering impressive amounts of VRAM on the other Big Navi chips, the RX 6600 XT feels like a letdown.

Also, $379 as the starting point for a GPU that's ostensibly a replacement to the previous generation RX 5600 XT ($279 launch price) doesn't garner any goodwill. And while the initial launch supply at retail stores was pretty good, the RX 6600 XT is now sold out and commands prices at least 50% higher on places like eBay.

Read:AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Review

10. Radeon RX 6900 XT

AMD's Fastest GPU, Severely Expensive


GPU: Navi 21 XTX

GPU Cores: 5120

Boost Clock: 2250 MHz

Video RAM: 16GB GDDR6 16 Gbps

TDP: 300 watts

Reasons to buy

+Excellent overall performance+Lots of VRAM and Infinity Cache+Second place in non-RT workloads+Good SPECviewperf results

Reasons to avoid

-Almost impossible to find-Not much faster than 6800 XT-Poor value overall

This is the other end of the Navi 21 spectrum. Where the 6800 cuts performance and price a bit, the RX 6900 XT boosts performance a bit and increases the (theoretical) price by over 50%. It's a big jump for small gains, and you don't even get something like more VRAM (the one saving grace of the RTX 3090). Also, good luck finding one for less than $1,500 right now.

AMD pulled out all the stops on the RX 6900 XT. It has a fully enabled Navi 21 GPU, which helps account for its scarcity. It's still a big chip as well, which means AMD is better off making more Zen 3 CPUs or console processors than trying to crank out Big Navi. Even as a mining solution, it's pretty mediocre, as the RX 6800 matches it on Ethereum hashing performance.

The same red flags are still present as well, like the mediocre ray tracing performance and lack of a direct alternative to DLSS. Basically, FSR works on everything, but DLSS only runs on Nvidia and has a three year head start on getting game developers to use it. In short, if you want the best RT experience right now, Nvidia still wins (not that you need RT to enjoy games).

Those who just want the fastest AMD GPU will still be happy with the 6900 XT. Unless by 'fastest' you're referring to mining performance, in which case the old Radeon VII still comes out over 30% faster. (Yeah, it's also selling at extreme prices these days.)

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT review

11. GTX 1660 Super

Best Mainstream Esports / 1080p High Graphics Card


GPU: Turing (TU116)

GPU Cores: 1408

Boost Clock: 1,785 MHz

Video RAM: 6GB GDDR6 14 Gbps

TDP: 125 watts

Reasons to buy

+Available at decent prices+GDDR6 gives it a healthy performance boost over the vanilla 1660+Turing is very power efficient, even at 12nm

Reasons to avoid

-Pricing is trending up right now-No hardware ray tracing support-Last gen tech and no DLSS

Dipping down closer to $200 (sort of), the main choice comes down to the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, the vanilla GeForce GTX 1660, or the RX 5500 XT 8GB


Review amd graphics card

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT review: built for 1080p

AMD has returned to challenge Nvidia with its entry-level RX 6600 XT. This $379 (on paper at least) card is built on the same RDNA 2 architecture that AMD is using for its high-end cards, but it’s designed to boost 1080p gaming instead of reaching the heights of 4K gaming.

Nearly 70 percent of PC gaming on Steam is still at 1080p, so if you’re one of the millions enjoying 1080p gaming with an older card like the GeForce GTX 1060, this latest RX 6600 XT might be a tempting upgrade when it launches on August 11th.

It sits at $50 more (again, on paper) than Nvidia’s RTX 3060, and $20 less than the RTX 3060 Ti. AMD claims the RX 6600 XT should perform around 15 percent better than an RTX 3060 at 1080p, for the extra $50.

But AMD’s latest RDNA 2 cards have barely registered on Valve’s latest Steam hardware survey, suggesting that Nvidia is producing far more RTX cards compared to AMD. So even if AMD can beat Nvidia at the entry level, it needs to make cards that people can actually buy for it to matter.

Good Stuff

  • Good at 1080p
  • AMD’s driver software is great
  • Only need a 500W PSU

Bad Stuff

  • For $20 more, Nvidia will offer greater performance
  • AMD isn’t making enough GPUs
  • Performance issues in Control and Watch Dogs: Legion


AMD isn’t creating its own RX 6600 XT, so it’s relying on board partners like ASRock, Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, XFX, and Yeston to produce cards. I’ve been testing Gigabyte’s version of the RX 6600 XT.

This particular RX 6600 XT has three fans, with the fan in the middle spinning in an opposite direction to help with cooling. There’s a metal back plate that includes a cutout for the air to dissipate from the heatsink below.

Gigabyte’s RX 6600 XT includes a triple-fan design.

As the RX 6600 XT only draws around 160W of power, it only needs a single eight-pin PCIe power connector. The recommended minimum power supply is 500W, so this is ideal for those not wanting to upgrade their entire systems.

At more than 11 inches long, Gigabyte’s version is a surprisingly big card for an entry-level GPU, but it’s lightweight to hold so it shouldn’t put any strain on your motherboard. The card is also a traditional dual-slot width, despite its bulky look.

Gigabyte has equipped its RX 6600 XT with an RGB light system that lights up its logo on the side of the GPU. By default, this will cycle through a rainbow of colors, but with 16.7 million color options and the ability to sync to other Aorus devices, there are plenty of options for customizing this.

At the rear of the RX 6600 XT there are two HDMI 2.1 ports and two DisplayPort 1.4 ports. The card also supports PCI Express 4.0 and includes 8GB of GDDR6 memory.

1080p testing

I’ve been testing the RX 6600 XT with Intel’s latest Core i9 processor. For both 1080p and 1440p tests, I’ve paired this GPU with a 32-inch Samsung Odyssey G7 monitor. This monitor supports refresh rates at up to 240Hz, as well as AMD’s FreeSync support.

I wasn’t able to test the RX 6600 XT directly against Nvidia’s RTX 3060 as I don’t own one of Nvidia’s entry-level cards, but you can see how well the RTX 3060 performed in my colleague Sean Hollister’s review. I’ve been testing the RX 6600 XT against AMD’s RX 6700 XT to see just how much performance you get for $100 less.

I tested a variety of AAA titles, including Microsoft Flight Simulator, Gears 5, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and Control. All games were tested at high or ultra settings on the RX 6600 XT with resizable BAR enabled, and most comfortably exceeded 60fps at 1080p.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (1080p)

BenchmarkRX 6600 XTRX 6700 XTRTX 3060 Ti
Microsoft Flight Simulator59fps70fps71fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider131fps159fps150fps
Gears 5105fps124fps96fps
Death Stranding150fps177fps165fps
Control (RT)54fps70fps79fps
Metro Exodus40fps49fps50fps
Metro Exodus (RT)24fps29fps37fps
Assassin's Creed Valhalla86fps111fps73fps
Watch Dogs: Legion60fps79fps76fps
Watch Dogs: Legion (RT)6fps36fps56fps

Death Stranding topped out at an impressive 150fps on average, while Gears 5 managed 105fps at ultra settings. Even Microsoft Flight Simulator nearly managed 60fps, thanks to a recent update that has greatly improved how the game runs on all hardware.

Where I really saw the 6600 XT struggle was in ray tracing performance. Watch Dogs: Legion only managed a pathetic 6fps with ray tracing settings maxed out, but it held at 60fps without ray tracing turned on. There appears to be some issues with this card and Watch Dogs: Legion, though. AMD supplied a new driver for testing midway through the review period to specifically help with Watch Dogs: Legion, but it didn’t improve ray tracing performance in my tests.

“We are aware of some lingering performance issues when DXR is enabled at max settings in Watch Dogs: Legion,” says an AMD spokesperson. “In our findings, reducing quality settings with DXR enabled delivers a better user experience.”

Control seemed to run well with ray tracing enabled, but you’re cutting performance in half if you want this visual quality and there’s no DLSS, or FSR in AMD speak, to make up for it yet. Metro Exodus was practically unplayable with ray tracing and settings maxed out, averaging 24fps.

So this isn’t a ray tracing card, but for an entry-level budget GPU, I wasn’t really expecting it to be. For everything else, it performs well for its price point at 1080p. When you compare it to the RX 6700 XT, with its $100 price premium, you’ll get around 20 percent more performance if you’re willing to pay extra.

Performance in Gears 5 was 18 percent better on the RX 6700 XT over the RX 6600 XT, ranging all the way up to 29 percent better in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and 31 percent with Watch Dogs: Legion. Given the issues with Watch Dogs: Legion on the RX 6600 XT, that’s a gap that may be closed with driver updates, though.

Where things get really interesting is when you consider Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti. At a $20 price premium (in theory at least) over AMD’s RX 6600 XT, you’ll get between 10 percent and 25 percent better performance in the majority of games. There are some rare exceptions where games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are clearly optimized for AMD, but it’s certainly worth paying extra if pricing and availability is realistic.

1440p testing

While AMD might be marketing the RX 6600 XT at 1080p, lots of PC gamers are still considering the move to 1440p, even at the entry-level side of the market. I also tested the RX 6600 XT at 1440p to see if it could stretch to this resolution, and to be honest... the results were better than I expected.

Gears 5 manages 70fps on average at ultra 1440p settings, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla hits 62fps. I was surprised that Control didn’t manage better during my tests at 1440p, though. While it hits 60fps on average, it dropped to the 30fps range at more demanding parts of the game. If you enable ray tracing in Control at 1440p, it makes the game really unplayable in lots of spots.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (1440p)

BenchmarkRX 6600 XTRX 6700 XTRTX 3060 Ti
Microsoft Flight Simulator40fps50fps55fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider83fps110fps104fps
Gears 570fps86fps70fps
Death Stranding107fps130fps124fps
Control (RT)34fps44fps52fps
Metro Exodus30fps37fps38fps
Metro Exodus (RT)15fps18fps25fps
Assassin's Creed Valhalla62fps82fps59fps
Watch Dogs: Legion46fps60fps58fps
Watch Dogs: Legion (RT)3fps25fps38fps

AMD’s RX 6700 XT manages 81fps on average in Control; that’s a surprising 42 percent performance jump over the RX 6600 XT. Elsewhere, the performance gap ranges from Death Stranding running at 21 percent better on the 6700 over the 6600, up to Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla with a 32 percent gap.

Still, Fortnite managed 75fps on average with everything maxed out, and Death Stranding got all the way up to 107fps during my tests. There’s certainly room here to play at 1440p with this card, but you’ll likely need to adjust image quality to get there in a lot of titles. Metro Exodus was unplayable in lots of parts of the game at extreme settings and 1440p, and Watch Dogs: Legion crawled along at just 3fps with ray tracing enabled (clearly due to some driver issues).

I wouldn’t recommend this card for 1440p gaming, nor is it really designed for it. As more demanding games arrive this year and next, you’ll undoubtedly need to keep adjusting settings down if you really want to pair an RX 6600 XT with a 1440p monitor.

If you’re willing to stretch another $20, if you can actually get a card at retail price, then Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti excels at 1440p in comparison. There’s a decent gap of 25 percent or more in most games, and frame rates are closer to 60fps or above in the majority of games.

AMD’s new FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) could help with the longevity of the RX 6600 XT either way. Much like Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), AMD’s FSR aims to upscale games from a lower resolution to provide smoother frame rates without a noticeable compromise in image quality.

It’s really early days for FSR, so none of the games we’ve been testing for this review have FSR support. FSR is off to a promising early start in the games that do support it, offering higher frame rates at the flick of a switch. But you shouldn’t necessarily expect it to help at 1080p: like Nvidia’s DLSS, the machine-learning upscaling technique seems to offer worse image quality at lower resolutions. If anything, FSR could help push the RX 6600 XT into 1440p territory, but only if AMD manages to get widespread support for its technology into games.

AMD will also have to match that widespread support for FSR with more widespread availability of its GPUs. As I mentioned earlier, the latest Steam hardware survey suggests that AMD’s struggling to produce enough GPUs, and while it’s not the most accurate way of tracking GPU sales, it does show how well Nvidia’s RTX 30-series cards are making their way into PC gamers’ hands despite a global chip shortage.

With the exception of ray tracing performance, AMD is now competing with Nvidia both in entry-level GPUs and at the $599 price point. There are plenty of gaps elsewhere in AMD’s lineup, but the $379 RX 6600 XT fills an interesting one between the $329 RTX 3060 and the $399 RTX 3060 Ti. If you’re able to spend the extra $20 on an RTX 3060 Ti (if it’s even available at that price) then it will outperform AMD’s entry-level card in the majority of games. AMD still packs a bunch at the entry level here, but only if its board partners can create enough cards to make the RX 6600 XT a potential option for those on a budget.

AMD GPU buyers guide - Which graphics card is the best for you? October 2019

The best graphics cards in 2021

The best graphics card may seem like an elusive concept at the moment, with stock expected only to trickle in over the holidays. As of only a few months ago, it was impossible to source a new GPU, but the struggle has now lifted somewhat. And while GPUs fluctuate in price a lot as supply and demand balance out, we do have some tips as to how to buy a graphics card if you're still having trouble.

Although Covid-19 and cryptocurrency booms (among other things) have stretched the GPU market to it's limits, we've still managed to test every new graphics card from the most recent generation. Each one we've diligently put through our gaming benchmark wringer on our test bench, with in depth analysis comparing thermal performance, power draw measurements with dedicated tools, and even average frequencies and frame times.

One of our most major findings is that the GPU scene is finally getting competitive again. The launch of the Radeon RX 6600 XT made things very interesting, with Nvidia and AMD both now in the running for the title of top GPU. Next year, Intel will even be offering The Intel Alchemist graphics card, a new player in the GPU landscape.

Nvidia's Ampere generation has set the bar high for any prospective contenders. The GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 are two of the best graphics cards to date, and AMD isn't far behind with the Radeon RX 6800 XT—it rivals even the RTX 3080's stellar graphical performance at the high end.

Best graphics card

1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

The best graphics card for PC gaming right now


CUDA cores: 8,704

Base clock: 1,440 MHz

Boost clock: 1,710 MHz

TFLOPs: 29.76

Memory: 10GB GDDR6X

Memory clock: 19 GT/s

Memory bandwidth: 760 GB/s

Reasons to buy

+Incredible gen-on-gen performance+Makes 2080 Ti look mid-range+Ray tracing no longer a sacrifice

Reasons to avoid

-Needs a beefy PSU-In high demand

Okay, right now, the RTX 3080 is rare as pigeon eyelashes, but there is no doubt Nvidia's new RTX 3080 is the best graphics card today. It represents a huge generational performance boost over the previous RTX 20-series. That's impressive when put up against either the RTX 2080 or 2080 Super, but when you consider that this nominally $699 card can not just match but massively outperform the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti, it really hits home.

The thing which really stands out from our testing is the difference it makes to ray-tracing performance. The first generation of ray tracing-capable cards required such a huge frame rate sacrifice that most people shied away from turning it on, but that's no longer the case with this generation.

When you can now get ray-traced performance that exceeds the frame rates you'd get out of the top card of the RTX 20-series when running without it, you know that this is a whole different beast. And hey, the RTX 3080 can actually run Crysis.

Nvidia has managed this by adding a whole load more CUDA cores to the mix in this 8nm GPU and updated Tensor Cores (for extra DLSS goodness) and second-gen RT Cores to make with the ray-traced pretties.

The RTX 3080 may need a fair chunk more power—you'll want at least an 850W PSU—and be tricky to get hold of, but this is the most desirable graphics card around today. Which I guess is also why it's so tricky to get hold of.

Please read our full Nvidia RTX 3080 review (Founders Edition).

2. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

AMD's RDNA 2 architecture at its best


RDNA cores: 4,608

Base clock: 1,825 MHz

Boost clock: 2,250 MHz

TFLOPs: 20.74

Memory: 16 GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 16 GT/s

Memory bandwidth: 512 GB/s

Reasons to buy

+4K excellence+Cheaper than an RTX 3080

Reasons to avoid

-Moderate ray tracing performance-Slower than the 3080 at 4K

As a red team alternative to Nvidia's high-end graphics cards, there have been few finer than the RX 6800 XT. A highly competitive card that comes so close to its rival, with a nominal performance differential to the RTX 3080, is truly an enthusiast card worth consideration for any PC gamer with 4K in their sights.

It's a tough call between it and the RTX 3080, but the latter pips AMD to the post with the final touches à la RTX. The RX 6800 XT is $50 cheaper, delivers high 4K performance and a hefty VRAM increase over the RTX 3080. However, it's easy to argue that an extra $50 dropped on the RTX 3080 is money well spent: a small price to pay for greater 4K performance, much-improved ray tracing, and DLSS. All are available today and with two year's worth of developer support in the bank.

Yet we're still big fans of what AMD has managed to accomplish with the RX 6800 XT, a return to form for the Radeon Technology Group that injects some much-needed competition into the GPU market and offers a worthy red team alternative for any high-end gaming PC build.

Read our full AMD RX 6800 XT review.

3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

More affordable Ampere


CUDA cores: 4,864

Base clock: 1,410 MHz

Boost clock: 1,665 MHz

TFLOPs: 16.20

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 14 GT/s

Memory bandwidth: 448 GB/s

Reasons to buy

+Finally! Something a little more affordable+2080 Super performance+Under $400

Reasons to avoid

-Annoying 12-pin power connector-Not quite good enough for 4K

The best value Ampere to date, the RTX 3060 Ti, is very closely related to the RTX 3070. Both utilize the same GA104 GPU (the RTX 3060 Ti has fewer SMs enabled), with the same 8GB of GDDR6 memory across a 256-bit bus.

While 17% less capable in core count, the RTX 3060 Ti makes up for it with some judicious GPU Boost frequencies. That partially explains why the RTX 3060 Ti can be within 17% to just single digits off the pace of the RTX 3070, despite operating at a silicon disadvantage. Not bad for a $399 card (if you can find it for that price).

If you haven't already done the maths: At $399, the RTX 3060 Ti is 20% cheaper than the RTX 3070, so performance per dollar is on the up with the diminutive graphics card. That's why we love it so; it's a great GPU for the full stack of resolutions and has decent ray tracing capability to boot, courtesy of second-generation RT Cores.

If the RTX 3080 or RTX 3070 seem out of reach, the RTX 3060 Ti certainly makes for a decent stand-in. Perhaps most impressive of this graphics card is how it stacks up to the 20-series generation: It topples the RTX 2080 Super in nearly every test.

Please read our full Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti review (Founders Edition).

4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

Finally, a reason for every 10-series gamer to upgrade


CUDA cores: 5,888

Base clock: 1,500 MHz

Boost clock: 1,725 MHz

TFLOPs: 20.37

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 14 GT/s

Memory bandwidth: 448 GB/s

Reasons to buy

+Turing-topping frame rates+Relatively low power+This FE card is smol

Reasons to avoid

-Annoying 12-pin power connector

Perhaps the only high-end Ampere that's anything close to reasonably affordable, the RTX 3070 is also impressive for its ability to match the top-string Turing graphics card, the RTX 2080 Ti, for less than half of its price tag.

At $499, it's still a significant sum by any means—we're talking next-gen console equivalent pricing here—but it's hardly an exorbitant sum when compared to PC gaming's top graphics silicon today. In return, you're gifted a 4K-capable graphics card that doesn't require too much fiddling to reach playable, if not high, framerates. And it'll absolutely smash it at 1440p, no question about that.

Its gaming performance credentials are undoubtedly impressive, but what makes the RTX 3070 our pick for the sensible PC gaming connoisseur is the entire Nvidia ecosystem underlying the RTX stack today. DLSS is a neat trick for improving performance, with only a nominal loss in clarity, and other features such as Broadcast and Reflex go a long way to sweetening the deal.

Please read our full Nvidia RTX 3070 review (Founders Edition).

Best CPU for gaming | Best DDR4 RAM | Best gaming motherboards
Best SSD for gaming | Best gaming laptop | Best gaming monitors

5. AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

If you've money to burn...


RDNA cores: 5,120

Base clock: 1,825 MHz

Boost clock: 2,250 MHz

TFLOPs: 23.04

Memory: 16GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 16 GT/s

Memory bandwidth: 512 GB/s

Reasons to buy

+Occasional RTX 3090 performance…+...but cheaper!

Reasons to avoid

-Can lag behind RTX 3080 at times-Mediocre ray-tracing performance

The RTX 3090 may have sat unchallenged at the top rungs of graphics performance at launch, but it wouldn't be long until AMD rustled together a challenger in the RX 6900 XT, or 'Big Navi.' The RX 6900 XT hopes to knock Ampere's finest from its perch on high and send it spiraling back down to Earth. And it gets kind of close, too, with 4K performance a little off the pace of the RTX 3090—and all for one-third off the asking price.

For that reason, it's simply the better buy for any PC gamer without any ulterior motives of the pro-creator variety. But there's a reason it's not number one in our graphics card guide today, and that's simply due to the fact it's not that much better than an RTX 3080, and sometimes not at all. It's another $300 on top of the RTX 3080's price tag, and you'd hope for higher performance in both rasterized and ray tracing workloads. Yet, inevitably its ray-tracing acceleration lags behind the competition.

But the RX 6900 XT does come with assurances that the RTX 3080 can't make, such as its 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which is a whole 6GB greater than the 10GB of (faster) GDDR6X memory on the green team card. With that in mind, for raw gaming alone, the RX 6900 XT is a cheaper alternative to the RTX 3090 is still a victim to its own extreme price tag.

Read our full AMD RX 6900 XT review.

6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

For the pro-creators, not the gamers


CUDA cores: 10,496

Base clock: 1,395 MHz

Boost clock: 1,695 MHz

TFLOPs: 35.68

Memory: 24GB GDDR6X

Memory clock: 19.5 GT/s

Memory bandwidth: 935.8 GB/s

Reasons to buy

+Confidently top of charts+Massive memory buffer

Reasons to avoid

-Not really for gamers-RTX 3080 isn't far behind

This colossal graphics card is supremely powerful but far more fitting of Titan credentials than GeForce ones. It's not built with your average gamer in mind. Instead, it's targeting creative professionals and compute-intensive application acceleration, and that's why it doesn't come with your average price tag, either.

As immense in price tag as it is in stature, the question on everyone's lips is: Is it worth it? For gamers, no. It's just not much quicker than the RTX 3080. But for pro-creators, for whom time is money and where lower render time has a direct correlation with how much they can earn, that's where the RTX 3090 comes into its own.

It's for that reason that we've placed this card near the bottom of our list, but since we know PC gamers will undoubtedly spend ungodly quantities of cash to save face and ensure bragging rights, it's still worth a mention. After all, it is the most powerful gaming graphics card on the planet right now, whether it's a great deal or not.

Please read our full Nvidia RTX 3090 review (Founders Edition).

7. AMD Radeon RX 6800

Third-tier RDNA 2 feels cut adrift


RDNA cores: 3,840

Base clock: 1,700 MHz

Boost clock: 2,105 MHz

TFLOPs: 16.17

Memory: 16GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 16 GT/s

Memory bandwidth: 512 GB/s

Reasons to buy

+Stellar 1440p card+Often outperforms cheaper RTX 3070

Reasons to avoid

-Doesn't compare well to the RTX 3070-Unexciting ray-tracing performance

As the only one of the AMD RX 6000-series cards to launch without undercutting a direct Nvidia Ampere rival, the straight RX 6800 feels as though it's almost been cut adrift. It's a strange situation because historically, we've always been keen to recommend the second string of any Radeon release. AMD tends to launch main series cards in pairs, one with the full might of the new GPU and a secondary card with a slightly stripped back chip.

Normally they perform at a similar level for a lot less cash. Except for this time, the performance gap is relatively large, and the price difference is not great enough to negate the issue. You've also got the RTX 3070 is priced $80 lower than this RX 6800 card. Sure, the RX 6800 does sometimes outperform the cheaper Nvidia card, but for the money, you'd surely want the only marginally more expensive RX 6800 XT because it's much faster. If I spent this much cash on a new GPU, the extra $70 would absolutely feel worth it.

The RTX 3070 also offers Nvidia's broad gaming ecosystem and, while ray tracing can be seen as a luxury, DLSS is an excellent performance-boosting feature still not matched by AMD. But it does have to be said; the RX 6800 is still a mighty impressive card outside of the ramifications of its place in the stack. This thing makes the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti look bad.

Read our full AMD RX 6800 review.

Graphics cards buying advice

How do I get a GPU in the the graphics card shortage?

You could attempt to manually refresh every store page in the hopes of striking gold on the next restock; that's one way to go about it. Or, you could sign up for a trusty app that goes about trawling major retailers for you. It's not a bot that tries to snap up stock the wrong way; it just does the refreshing, so you don't have to.

We've had success with the app HotStock in the UK, and sites such as Stock Informer offer a similar service in the US, although we've not used this service to score stock personally.

Similarly, you can find plenty of free Discord servers with dedicated stock alert bots and eagle-eyed community members, such as the popular StockDrops server. 

And don't forget Twitch streams. Those dedicated to finding your stock will often fire out a deafening klaxon the moment stock appears. We recommend checking out Falcodrin on Twitch for Nvidia GPUs, but there are plenty of kind souls out there offering a similar service.

Is there an easy way to get a new graphics card?

It's not for everyone, but the best way to ensure you'll receive a graphics card this year, and a modern one at something close to MSRP, is to buy a prebuilt gaming PC. It's a worthy consideration if you're considering a total rebuild at some point in the future, at least. System builders appear to enjoy a more stable supply of graphics cards, and while some still expect delays, you are at least guaranteed a PC with GPU in situ eventually.

Which is better GTX or RTX?

The older GTX prefix is now used to denote older Nvidia graphics cards which don't have the extra AI and ray tracing silicon that the RTX-level cards do. This RTX prefix was introduced three years ago with the RTX 20-series, and highlights which cards have GPUs which sport both the Tensor Cores and RT Cores necessary for real-time ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling.

Is ray tracing only for RTX cards?

The RTX prefix is only used to denote cards which house Nvidia GPUs with dedicated ray tracing hardware, but they are still using the same DirectX Raytracing API Microsoft has created, and which is used by AMD's RDNA 2 GPUs. These AMD GPUs are able to suport real-time ray tracing, though with a higher performance impact than on Nvidia's GPUs.

Intel's upcoming Xe-HPG GPUs, with the Alchemist graphics cards first to use them, will also support ray tracing using Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing API when they launch early next year, too.

Is SLI or CrossFire still a thing?

If you're looking for maximum performance, you used to run two cards in SLI or CrossFire. However, it's become increasingly common for major games to ignore multi-GPU users completely. That includes all DXR games. There's also the fact that fewer of the next-gen cards actually support the linking of two cards. On the Nvidia side, only the $1,500 RTX 3090 comes with NVLink connections, only for creative apps.

So, no. It's not a thing.

Do I need a 4K capable graphics card?

The obvious answer is: Only if you have a 4K gaming monitor. But there are other things to consider here, such as what kinds of games do you play? If frame rates are absolutely king for you, and you're into ultra-competitive shooters, then you want to be aiming for super high fps figures. And, right now, you're better placed to do that at either 1440p or 1080p resolutions.

That said, the more games, such as CoD: Warzone that incorporates DLSS, the more Nvidia cards will be capable of making a close approximation of 4K visuals on your 4K monitor, but at higher frame rates.

What's a Founders Edition graphics card?

The Founders Edition cards are simply Nvidia's in-house designs for its graphics cards, as opposed to those designed by its partners. These are usually reference cards, meaning they run at stock clocks. 

Briefly, for the RTX 20-series, Nvidia decided to offer Founders Editions with factory overclocks. These had made it a little difficult to compare cards, as Founders Edition cards give us a baseline for performance, but Nvidia has since returned to producing them as reference again.


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