Graphics Cards

Best Graphics Cards for Gaming (Updated 2020)


In the process of becoming a PC gamer? You’ll need a top-notch graphics card in that case, so here are the best graphics cards in 2020.

Does your current computer lag when you start a new round of Call of Duty: Warzone? Or is your desktop always overheating the moment it boots up? Whatever the case may be, you’ll need a killer graphics card to make sure everything runs smoothly. Whether you’re looking to play the best PC games or tackle graphics-intensive endeavors on the side like video editing and web design, you need one of the very best graphics cards. They deliver more than just a pretty picture on the screen; they provide a much smoother and more immersive computing experience overall, making them a vital component under the hood of that new PC you’ve got going on.

Whether you typically spend hours on new releases of games or just enjoy having more than 12 Chrome tabs open at once, do yourself a favor and invest in one of these graphics cards. We at CBR have handpicked the top-performing ones out there and rounded them up on this list, so let’s go ahead and take a look!

When most people look at graphics cards to buy for their upcoming rigs, they are usually looking at a major name like Nvidia. However, there is a section of the gaming populace who indeed wants some incredible power to play the latest titles with quality framerates and graphics options. The XFX Radeon RX 570 is an excellent fit for your system.

The 570 packs quite the punch, and it does so in a pretty streamlined form factor. This is one of the first AMD cards that require only an 18-pin connector for power, which is an improvement from its former connection. The card is capable of long stretches of gaming with a moderate increase to the clock speeds as well, seeing the performance difference with its preceding versions can make someone decide as to whether or not that extra cost justifies the performance leap for them.

When playing games like PUBG, the 570 feels so much smoother at 1080p on PC than it does on any console, which is one of the reasons why a gamer would look into using this card. Moving onto 1440p gets the 570 in a difficult spot – while the graphics are still not bad, it does produce choppier results when gaming. Luckily, 1080p is still on the table, considering that’s what you will most likely use as a resolution when trying to eliminate other players.

The XFX RX 570 is not a 4K gaming card, but you could possibly tweak options to make 4K playable if you so desired. In terms of using the graphics card for more than gaming, the piece is worth it. Making it one of the cheapest graphics cards for mining on the net, it does provide value in the long run. But, if you’re looking to get a better 1080p experience than consoles can offer, the XFX Radeon RX 570 is a great way to go.

Key Features

  • Software-controlled clock speeds can be hindered by overall computer performance
  • XFX’s True Clock has hardware-controlled clock speed performance optimization
  • RX Series cards have an OC+ rating, tested at the factory to go even beyond XFX’s True Clock
  • Engineered to reducing dB noise by 5% of average graphics cards

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 7000MHz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 8GB
  • Included Components: Video Card, Driver CD
  • Brand: XFX

Pros

  • Overclockable
  • Great 1080p performance
  • Incredibly quiet

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When Radeon wants upgrades, it means upgrades. The new XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT Thicc III Ultra makes sure that you get more than its predecessor. Swapping out the dual 100mm chrome fans of the original with two 90mm and one 100mm fans, and bolstering the cooling design under the shroud to fix heating concerns of the original, it does a damn well job at having your PC perform in the direst situations (we’re talking 20 open tabs on Google Chrome).

Then, Radeon cranked up the power draw even more to push clocks even higher. The end result? A still-gorgeous, high-performing, quietly purring muscle car of a graphics card that fixes the flaws of its predecessor.
XFX builds upon the base of the original. The Thicc III Ultra pushes the pedal with a blistering 1,935MHz Game Clock in Performance Mode. More power demands more power, and this iteration requires a pair of 8-pin power connectors rather than 6-pin and 8-pin connectors. Rated for 230 watts, it’s a beast of a component that is focused on power efficiency.

The brand also lengthened the heatsink – hence the extra size of the card – and gave the GDDR6 modules a copper cooling plate rather than an aluminum one to provide less heat consumption. Added together, the cooling tweaks provide a substantial quality of life improvement.

The XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT Thicc III Ultra remains drop-dead beautiful. The card rocks an ultra-clean, ultra-solid-looking black vibe with chrome accents, going so far as to outfit the end of the card with a chrome grille that enhances the roadster look. If you’re searching for a card that can up your desktop aesthetic, this small but powerful piece will have you gaming in style in no time.

Key Features

  • Built with style & dynamic cooling power in mind to yield lower temperatures
  • Heightened performance is adapted to the intensity of the moment
  • 2 90mm & a 100mm fan to keep the PC to stay cool & quiet
  • Built for high-performance & high resolution gameplay
  • Experience smooth gameplay performance at 1440p & 4K

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 1400Hz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 8GB
  • Included Components: Video Card, Driver CD
  • Brand: XFX

Pros

  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Dual-BIOS switch
  • Cool & quiet

Cons

  • No real-time tracing capabilities

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Armed with 192 Shader processors, the MSI GT 710 is the latest product lineup of Nvidia’s GeForce 700 series graphics cards. The card runs close to 950MHz with a 2GB 64-bit DDR3 memory setup. This beast enables increased productivity by supporting the use of multiple monitors, and is optimized to run demanding creative software such as design and publishing programs – not just gaming.

The GT 710 is equipped with top-quality components for durability, which also helps those who would like to squeeze every last bit of performance out of their cards with the MSI Afterburner. With various connectors and a maximum resolution of 4096×2160 at 24Hz, all of the features and small details of this card are built with the best components, including all solid capacitors. This ensures a 10-year long lifetime for the components and the card as well. Solid capacitors have a very low resistance, lower operating temperature, and are more efficient than older components. Not to mention, its aluminum core also ensures higher stability.

When used with MSI’s famous Afterburner overclocking utility, users can control the MSI GT 710 core and memory clock speeds for fine-tuned performances in their creative apps and high-quality gaming rounds. Afterburner supports the video capturing function Predator and can even be used on smartphones to monitor and control the graphics card in desktop computers. Combined with the Kombustor burn-in testing feature, Afterburner is an essential tool for everyone looking to get the most out of their graphics card.

With that, the MSI GT 710 graphics card is an absolute must if you’re looking for some more horsepower in your steed. Packed with some essential features needed to get more than gaming done on your system, this card will assure you that it’ll be best friends with all the other components in your PC.

Key Features

  • Configures more than 2 monitors for your various tasks
  • VGA, DVI, HDMI, DualLink connectors available for versatility
  • HDMI connectors bring a maximum resolution of 4096×2160

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 1600Mhz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 2GB
  • Included Components: Graphics Card, Components
  • Brand: MSI Gaming

Pros

  • Compact
  • Simple
  • Versatile connectors

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MSI Gaming offers 7 GeForce RTX 2060-based graphics cards as of this moment. Four of them have different physical designs, while the others have various degrees of overclocking. The RTX 2060 Ventus OC is an overclocked version, which means that it’s similar but physically shorter than the other models, designed for compact builds. It’s a premium mid-level graphics card, well-suited for high-FPS gaming at 1080p and 1440p resolutions. It’s capable of 4K gaming but not ideal, as you’ll have to dial back the visual quality settings in most of today’s AAA titles to get a top-tier performance.

Even though it comes with MSI pre-overclocked, the RTX 2060 has headroom for further overclocking. Achieving a 1,813MHz boost clock, overclocking with this piece is painless. That being said, the card does have a limit to its overclocking headroom, so don’t expect to set records.
The twin-fan cooling solution on the RTX 2060 does a fine job at keeping the board running cool and quiet, with the GPU temperature holding steady near 70 degrees. It’s a dependable choice for a premium mid-level graphics card with its various features. Its mild factory overclock makes it an ever-so-slightly better performer than the other models in the lineup. Being the best overclocker, the piece is priced accordingly. With the performance it provides, it’s excellent. Unfortunately, the RTX 2060 does not support VR gaming, but its neighbors do offer the mentioned feature. If you’re not interested in VR gaming in the near future, consider this as your next upgrade for your PC.

Key Features

  • Fuses together real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence & programmable shading
  • Ray tracing is the solution for lifelike lighting, reflections & shadows
  • Comes loaded with next-gen GDDR6 memory, support for DirectX 12 features & more
  • VENTUS proudly displays its industrial shapes in neutral colors to fit any build

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 1400Hz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 6GB
  • Included Components: Graphics Card, Cables & Connectors
  • Brand: MSI Gaming

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Quiet cooling
  • Can be overclocked

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Long ago, the GeForce GT 730 was the big hitter in the graphics card market. Now, after a year of dominance, Nvidia is ready to challenge AMD’s entry-level position with the GT 1030. Gigabyte’s GT 1030 utilizes an all-new graphics processor called the GP108, composed of 1.8 billion transistors. Being such a small thing at just 70mm squared, it packs a punch.

The GT 1030 is a spiritual successor of the GT 730 since Nvidia never created a 900-series product. Unlike mainstream cards that use a 128-bit memory bus, the GT 1030 uses a 64-bit bus, accessing 2GB of GDDR5 memory at 6GHz. It’s not actually aimed at gaming but in general use desktop computers that need a “real” video card. That’s not to say it doesn’t work at all, considering that you can still play Dota 2 or Skyrim – both high-processing games – with no problem.

The GT 1030 has two advantages: its small size and its low power consumption. While it may not be the perfect graphics card for gaming, this product still provides great service when working on high-consuming software for creative editings in Photoshop, FL Studio, or iMovie. As mentioned, gaming can still be done; just don’t expect to get the perfect headshot on Call of Duty: Warzone if you’re an esports athlete. So, if you need a graphics card for a computer that doesn’t require ultra high GPU performance, the GT 1030 is a great choice.

Key Features

  • The custom-designed cooler has a 80mm fan along with the aluminum base
  • Delivers an effective heat dissipation capacity for higher performance at lower temperatures
  • Engineered with the high-quality chokes & capacitors, this graphics card delivers outstanding performance & durable system lifespan
  • Equipped with a DVI-D & a gold-plated HDMI port, the card can deliver smooth 4K video playback

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 6008Mhz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 2GB
  • Included Components: Graphics Card, Connectors
  • Brand: Gigabyte

Pros

  • 4K compatibility
  • Excellent for software
  • Heat dissipation

The Radeon lineup from AMD has a new winner in town, and it’s the RX 580. At first, the 580 didn’t prove much in its performance, but after a few years, the card has managed to deliver on the “fine wine” promise that AMD attaches to all of its silicon. It’s now the graphics card that is recommended as the best GPU to drop into your gaming rig for a great price.

The RX 580 is only a tad bit behind the newer RX 590 in terms of overall performance, and generally, there are only ever a few frames per second on average between them. That’s something of a surprise given the significantly higher clock speeds offered by the updated 12nm cards. When you take a step up in gaming resolution, the improved memory subsystem of the AMD card comes to the forefront. With another 2GB of GDDR5 memory and a wider 256-bit memory bus, the RX 580 is better able to deal with the rigours of high-res textures and the extra overall pixel count. The RX 580 is hands-down the best-value graphics card on the market today. With the pricing problems a few years ago, the RX 580 cards can be picked up for under $200, and that’s a great bargain for that much power. That’s still a large amount of money for most of us to spend on a single component for our gaming PCs. Sure, we’d all love to be able to drop $1,000 on the RTX 2080 Ti without pause, but in the real world, even ducking under that $200 mark can be daunting. It’s still the best value around right now, so best get on that wave of the RX 580 to get ready for online tournaments.

Key Features

  • Features the latest Polaris architecture which includes 4th gen GCN graphics cores, brand new display engine & new multimedia cores
  • Equipped with XFX double dissipation cooling technology for optimal cooling & performance
  • AMD VR ready to experience a new generation of compelling virtual reality content
  • The card couples with LiquidVR technology delivers a virtually stutter-free, low latency experience

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 1386MHz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 8GB
  • Included Components: Video Card, Driver CD
  • Brand: XFX

Pros

  • VR-ready
  • Edges out the competition
  • Great price

Cons

  • Not a huge improvement from predecessors

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When Nvidia launched their GTX 1660Ti lineup equipped with their latest Turing architecture, people were blown away with the performance itself. The GTX 1660 is a great graphics card for those who are looking to get the best price to performance ratio in 1080p gaming with the graphical settings cranked up. It has a base clock speed of 1530MHz and the actual Boost Clock can vary from game to game depending on actual system conditions.

The performance results of the GTX 1660 is seen neck-to-neck against the RX 580 (also on this list) in various games. In terms of generational performance improvements, it definitely came a long way from the GTX 1060. With the local SRP of Php13,900, the GTX 1660 will ultimately replace the GTX 1060 in the entry-level GPU market and take the crown for being the most popular Nvidia GPU for streamers because of its built-in NVENC encoder for aspiring esports athletes for 1080p competitive play. Performance-wise, the GTX 1660 is great for entry-level lookers, recommending it for people who are intending to game on 1080p resolution at high/ultra settings, especially if you’re upgrading from a much older GPU.

The new graphics card designs from MSI’s aesthetics department is really the cherry on top. The simplicity is excellent, with no RGB-lighting or funky edges. The cooler is also able to maintain excellent temperatures, along with the impressive Boost Clock provided. MSI has tweaked this card quite nicely with boosts at almost 30% above the original clock of the GTX 1060. With that, the GTX 1660 Ventus XS from MSI Gaming has our approval of being an excellent entry-level graphics card.

Key Features

  • Uses GDDR5 memory for smooth gameplay
  • Larger caches & concurrent execution of float & integer operations are seen
  • Cooling works well with safe temperatures during the most intense gaming
  • Only uses 116W during gaming, being very power-efficient

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 1830MHz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 6GB
  • Included Components: Graphics Card, Cables & Connectors
  • Brand: MSI Gaming

Pros

  • Entry-level
  • Simplistic design
  • Excellent on 1080p

Cons

  • Not so much a pro-level card

For the longest time, the PC gaming world has experienced a drought of new graphics cards, and now it seems we’re amid the great flood. Luckily, there’s one card that stands out from the waters, and it’s Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 1660. It’s a standout version of the GPU model, as it features a decent 45MHz overclock and enhanced cooling. This is a fantastic graphics card for Full HD gaming, especially in the competitive space, or if you’re just starting a streaming channel.

Technically, the GeForce GTX 1660 is still part of the Nvidia Turing family, but it lacks some features. All you get is a GDDR5 memory operating at 8Gbps speeds, but having said that, this graphics card still features a TU116 GPU fitted with Turing-based shaders. Although the GeForce GTX 1660 features a lower number of CUDA cores, it gains a higher base and boost clock speeds to make up for its deficiencies.

The GTX 1660 offers some astounding leaps in performance. It demolishes the AMD Radeon RX 590, a GPU that currently costs significantly more, so that’s a nice score for Team Nvidia. Outside of benchmarks, the GTX 1660 can handle modern games, and even at 1440p resolutions. 4K gaming is even possible, although the gameplay can get a bit clunky with that sort of quality.

Not only is the GTX 1660 a remarkably better graphics card than all the other models at the same level, but it’s also much more affordable than its predecessor, and the low cost puts it in easy reach for many gamers, especially newcomers.

Key Features

  • Features concurrent execution of floating point & integer operations
  • Turing shaders enable awesome performance increases on today’s games
  • A new unified memory architecture is provided with twice the cache of its predecessor
  • Capture & share videos, screenshots & livestreams with perfect quality

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 12000MHz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 6GB
  • Included Components: Graphics Card, Connectors
  • Brand: Gigabyte

Pros

  • Excellent 1080p gaming
  • Affordable
  • NVENC improves streaming

Cons

  • QHD & UHD gaming can vary wildly

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Sapphire has kicked things off with its budget-friendly Pulse lineup. Like its predecessors, it offers some nice features and solid cooler designs at prices that won’t break the bank. And with the Pulse 5700 XT in stock, you’ll be impressed as to how much it can handle.
While the Pulse 5700 XT sticks with 14Gbps GDDR6, the GPU’s base clock and Game boost clock are both 75MHz higher than the reference clocks, and the maximum boost clock is 25MHz higher. It’s Game Clock is supposed to be a conservative estimate of the sort of clock speeds you’ll see in actual games, which is theoretically the same idea as Nvidia’s Boost Clock.

How the Sapphire 5700 Pulse XT performs relative to its closest competition varies by games like Borderlands 3 or World of Warcraft. Overall it ends up being a bit faster than its competition. More important than the minor advantage in performance is the improvements in thermals and noise levels. Those two items are interlinked, so spinning the fans at a higher RPM will improve thermals at the cost of noise, and vice versa.

The Sapphire Radeon Pulse 5700 XT isn’t substantially faster than other RX 5700 cards, but if you’re in the market for one of these, then Sapphire definitely belongs on your wish list. Thanks to the heatsink and dual fans, noise levels and temperatures are both much better than before. Get yours today to have complete silence when focusing on a match in Overwatch.

Key Features

  • Comes equipped with a slew of modern technologies & durable components that ensure a long & stable life
  • Powered by the new RDNA architecture, the heart of AMD’s advanced 7nm technology process
  • Sapphire TriXX features a beautiful interface to gain higher game performances
  • Intelligent fan control is provided to keep the place cool

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 1400MHz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 8GB
  • Included Components: Graphics Card, Connectors
  • Brand: Sapphire

Pros

  • Fast & efficient
  • Cool & quiet
  • Great value

An updated version of its preceding RX 480, the Sapphire Radeon Pulse 580 is a nice development since its last. It boasts two BIOSes with different clock rates: one sets an ambitious 1450MHz boost clock and 1411MHz silent mode. This card is capable of handling some hard-hitting games and a few software for your work-at-home tasks.

From the outside, this card’s understated appearance is neither gaudy nor cheap-looking. It’s classy, but not plain. The fan shroud resembles polished metal, and once you touch it, the cover’s composition is immediately apparent. The cooler’s fins are arranged horizontally, and the end of the card is open to promote air flow. The rest of the bracket is monopolized by display outputs, including a big DVI-D port that’s slowly going out of vogue.

Sapphire promised a fan controller that would react to load charges much more quickly than before, and the company kept its word. Sapphire’s noise levels land right around 36dB in silent mode during gaming, which means it’s quite a silent card. Although there are certainly quieter coolers out there, Sapphire achieves a good balance between size, weight, performance, and noise. Kudos to Sapphire for understand what needs to be done for users to be pleased.

AMD has no qualms about slapping new names on old GPUs. Radeon RX 580 is for the most part Radeon RX 480. To explain, as much as there has not been quite a large step of upgrades, Radeon RX 580 is for gamers for older graphics cards. If you’re still using one that’s more than 5 years old, then the Sapphire Radeon Pulse 580 would be a tremendous step up.

Key Features

  • Game in Full HD with this highly-produced GPU
  • Enjoy the silence & keep your system cool with Intelligent Fan Control III
  • Radeon Chill dynamically regulates framerate based on your in-game movements
  • AMD Radeon FreeSync technology puts an end to choppy gameplay & broken frames

Specifications

  • Memory Clock Speed: 1750MHz
  • Graphics RAM Size: 8GB
  • Included Components: Graphics Card, Connectors
  • Brand: Sapphire

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Cool & quiet
  • Enhanced sync technology

Cons

  • Not a massive improvement

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If you’re buying or building a gaming PC, the graphics card is the most important piece of the puzzle. However, it’s not easy to choose the right one, and it can be overwhelming from the terminology used to the actual design of the hardware. Below are a few things to keep in mind when investing in the next GPU for your system.

AMD or Nvidia?

There are tons of graphic cards from dozens of manufacturers, but two companies really are the podium winners in the industry: Nvidia and AMD. AMD has competitive upper-mid-range and budget GPUs, but Nvidia is uncontested as nothing since AMD can outperform the company’s faster RTX cards today. Unless you need the level of performance you’ll get from something like an RTX 2080 Ti, the best reason to choose one company over the other is whether your monitor supports AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync. Both of these technologies synchronize with the refresh rate between the video card and the display to eliminate tearing. If your monitor supports either technology, then you can go with either brand.

How Much Should I Spend?

The price of graphics cards varies greatly, with really low-end cards starting under $100 to high-end models reaching $1,200. Unless you’re on a tight budget, expect to spend at least $200 for a good mainstream card, $400 for a mid-range model, and $700 or more for the best of the best.

What Specs Matter?

As you learn more about the different numbers, terms, and technical details, from our reviews, you might get curious as about what they refer to. Here’s the low-down.

When it comes to the graphics card memory count, get a card with at least 4GB. Preferably, you should get one at 6GB or more for gaming at 1080p. You’ll need more memory if you play with all the settings turned up or if you install high-resolution texture packs. And if you’re gaming at very high resolutions like 4K, 8GB or more is ideal.

You’ll also have to consider the graphics card’s form, or size. Consider the length, height, and thickness, since all graphics cards vary in shape. Graphics cards can come in half-height, single-slot, dual-slot, and even triple-slot favors. Most gaming-focused cards will be full-height and occupy two expansion slots. Even if a card technically only takes up one or two slots in your case, it can block an adjacent slot. Check the specs, it’ll save you!

As many monitors today have HDMI, others use DisplayPort, and some classic units still rock the DVI input port. Make sure the card you plan to buy has the connectors you need for your monitor so you don’t have to pay extra for an adapter, or potentially a new display.

If you want to use one of the two leading PC VR platforms, the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift, you need at least a mid-range card, with optimal performance coming from a card like the Nvidia RTX 2060 or higher. Keep in mind that, as games and VR headsets increase in quality with newer, higher-resolution games, you’ll need a graphics card that can support the next few years of games.

Now that you have a better understanding of what specs to look into when searching for your next graphics card, you’ll be able to grab the right one for your PC in no time. We hope this guide helps you along your journey of building a powerful beast of a system or acts as a good way to replace your GPU. Either way, best of luck on getting the right card!

We hope you like the items we recommend! CBR has affiliate partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from your purchase. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.

Share this Buyers Guide About The Author Philip Plotnicki (37 Articles Published)

Philip Plotnicki is the Product Review Writer of Comic Book Resources and one of Comic Book Resource’s Affiliate Writers for Tech and Films. Check out Philip on Twitter @plotnickinator or his portfolio at plotnicki.ca

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