Best graphics cards 2019: Nvidia RTX | Radeon VII | GeForce GTX | RX Series

Get the best GPU for you with the help of T3's best graphics card of 2019 buyer's guide

Best graphics cards best GPU Nvidia AMD Radeon
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Shopping for the best graphics card of 2019? We're here to help you pick through the wealth of cards on offer to find the top choice for your budget, your demands, and your current setup.

From state-of-the-art Nvidia graphics cards with advanced ray tracing technology, to graphics cards comparisons in terms of benchmarks, and onto analysis of budget AMD graphics cards that deliver incredible bang for your buck, we've got a fantastic selection of top pixel-pushers and a suite of useful information to help you find the perfect one for you.

With this guide to hand, finding the out and out best graphics card for gaming, or the best graphics card on a budget or best cheap graphics cards, or the best graphics card for price spent will be easier than finding another fake news "Half-Life 3 confirmed" report online.

That's because searching for the right graphics card often mean trawling through specs and benchmarks for hours on end, as well as dealing with buckets of confusing jargon, but not only have we picked out the key graphics card models you need to know about in this guide, but we've also explained why they've been chosen.

In other words, we've done most of the hard work of choosing the best graphics card for you: you can simply get on with making the right choice for you and then benefiting from the higher frame rates, additional processing power and a far more immersive and spectacular gaming experience.

And, right now as we enter the peak trading period, it is a great time to be shopping for a graphics card deal. Black Friday deals are, already, starting to drop at major online GPU retailers like Amazon and Walmart, while more specialist computer hardware stores like Newegg.com, Overclockers.co.uk and Scan.co.uk are also starting to discount cards that are in this very guide.

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Best graphics cards GPU Nvidia AMD Radeon

(Image credit: Nvidia)

1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

The best graphics card for raw performance

Reasons to buy
+4K, 60 fps gaming prowess+Nvidia ray tracing support+Dual fan cooling system

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is without question the top of the pile when it comes to the best graphics cards of 2019: it's the most powerful card you can buy right now, with support for 4K resolutions at 60 fps, Nvidia's latest ray tracing technology, and just about all the extras you could ask for.

It's quite simply a powerhouse, with a size to match its performance. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti comes so highly recommended because of the improvements Nvidia has made with its Turing architecture, wringing every last drop of 4K performance out of this particular model.

You get  11GB of GDDR6 VRAM, 4,352 CUDA cores and a boost clock of 1,635 MHz packed in here, with Nvidia's first ever self-implemented 90 MHz factory overclock reaping substantial benefits. RT and Tensor cores come built in to handle ray tracing and deep learning algorithms respectively.

The only downside is the price: if you want the best graphics card of 2019 powering your setup, then you're going to have to be prepared to pay for it. Note that you're also going to need some very decent components in the rest of your rig to avoid hitting bottlenecks too.

Best graphics card AMD Radeon VII GPU

(Image credit: AMD / XFX)

2. AMD Radeon VII

The best graphics card for creatives

Reasons to buy
+Packed with 16GB of VRAM+Keeps pace with the best GPUs+Capable of 4K output

Invest in the AMD Radeon VII and you're not going to be disappointed: it fully earns its place on our best graphics card 2019 list. It might not quite match the grunt of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, but it's still going to display your favourite titles in stunning detail and at excellent frame rates.

The first GPU to be producing using AMD's 7nm lithography process, the focus of the card is on speed and and memory (all 16GB of it) – even without the cutting edge AI and ray tracing of Nvidia's top-end cards, it's a worthy high-end entry from AMD.

With so much VRAM on board, this is going to appeal to creative types as well as gamers – those who need to work with lots of large files at the same time through the course of their day. It's perhaps a little overpriced for what you get, but the benchmarks are hard to argue with.  

With 3,840 of AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) cores on board, and a maximum boost clock of 1,800 MHz to take advantage of, the AMD Radeon VII is worth some serious consideration for gamers and creatives wanting top-level performance from their next graphics card.

best graphics cards

(Image credit: Zotac Gaming)

3. GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB

The best graphics card for mid-range value seekers

Reasons to buy
+Overclocking potential+Balance of power and price+Turing architecture

Further towards the mid-range of the market, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB is a very appealing choice for those wanting to balance power with price: it features the latest Nvidia Turing architecture but without the cost of some of the high-end cards.

What might make it the best graphics card for you in 2019 is the lack of bloat here. You don't get the ray tracing or deep learning AI extras that come with the most powerful cards in Nvidia's line-up, but you do get some stellar performance.

Based on a 12nm process, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB brings with it 1,536 CUDA Cores and a boost clock top speed of 1,770 MHz, as well as the 6GB of VRAM given away by the name of the model.

Provided you're going to be doing most of your gaming at 1080p, you'll find this is one of those cards that's going to give you a lot of bang for your buck – it concentrates on what the core jobs of a graphics card are, and does them well.

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

4. AMD Radeon RX 570 8GB

The best graphics card for value for money from AMD

Reasons to buy
+Really good 1080p performance+A range of choices available+Comes at some very decent prices

Take a look at the AMD Radeon RX 570 8GB and it's not difficult to see why it's made it into our best graphics cards of 2019 list: you get very decent gaming performance for not all that much money, and this card epitomises why AMD is so often favoured by gamers looking for value for money.

Shopping in the mid-range part of the market does of course mean a few compromises in terms of power, but if you're content with 1080p gaming then the 2,048 stream processors, 1,244 MHz core clock boost speed, and 8GB of on-board memory will do you proud.

Do some shopping around and you should be able to get an RX 570 card for a very decent price – you've got plenty of options to choose from, so it's a card that would suit those who like to put a system together to their exact specifications.

The Polaris architecture isn't AMD's most recent or best-performing architecture any longer, but we reckon that this is still going to get you some very good frame rates in your favourite games, at a price level that's not going to feel like daylight robbery.

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: PNY)

5. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080

The best graphics card for top-end features at a slightly lower price

Reasons to buy
+Some of the best frame rates around+Overclocking is easy to do+Ray tracing included

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 makes it on to our list of the best graphics cards in 2019 because of its sheer power and performance – if you can afford it, it's a card that won't get beaten by many in the benchmarks stakes.

In terms of the headline features of this newest Nvidia series – deep learning AI processing and ray tracing support – you do get them here, just on fewer cores than you'll find on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti up at the top of this list.

Admittedly not too many games support the latest Nvidia ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technologies at the moment, but that's going to change over time. What you have here is a card geared to cope.

The new and improved design on show here is another point in the positives column for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, and while it's not substantially faster than some of the cards just below it in the hierarchy, it's still the second-fastest GPU available on the market right now.

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: MSI)

6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

The best graphics card for affordable 4K gaming

Reasons to buy
+Very respectable performance+Latest Nvidia Turing architecture+Plenty of good value deals

Just below the GeForce RTX 2080 we have the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 – slightly lower performance for a slightly cheaper price. You get the same Turing architecture as the higher models, with the ray tracing and AI processing power included, you just won't hit the same sort of frame rates.

For 4K gaming capabilities that won't break the bank then the RTX 2070 is definitely worth considering, and if you want to experiment with some overclocking then the card is well set up for that as well.

Offering a substantial performance boost over its predecessors, the RTX 2070 is a perfect card if you want a taste of the best features Nvidia can offer in 2019 without paying top-of-the-range prices. The list of games that can take advantage right now isn't a long one, but it should continue to grow.

Note that the Super variants of these cards are now starting to appear, so you need to keep a careful eye on the prices and performance levels to make sure you're getting the best value for money and the right graphics card for your system.

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

7. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

The best graphics card for affordable RTX gaming

Reasons to buy
+Excellent mid-range performance+Big jump from previous version+Prices continue to fall

It might be the entry-level RTX card, but the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 is still a force to be reckoned with, and well worth considering if you're in the market for the best graphics card of the moment – especially if your budget won't stretch to the cards higher up on this list.

While it maxes out at 30 fps for 4K resolutions and is best at 1080p, that's going to be plenty for most folk, and you do get the latest in ray tracing and deep learning processing from the Nvidia lab (provided you're running the games that support it of course).

Although the card could be said to be slightly pricey for what it is, you're getting a big performance jump over the previous generation, which means this is still money well spent. With the new Super model showing up, prices may well drop.

Built with 12nm technology, this is quite simply a stunning mid-range card, with gaming powered by 1,920 CUDA cores, a maximum boost clock speed of 1,680 Mhz, and up to 6GB of VRAM on board. Make sure this is one card on your shortlist when you go shopping.

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: MSI)

8. AMD RX Vega 56

The best graphics card for 1440p on a budget

Reasons to buy
+1440p resolutions at a fair price+Attracting plenty of special deals+Overclocking made easy

If you're looking to hit 1440p resolutions with your games without spending a huge amount of cash along the way, then the AMD RX Vega 56 is one of the best graphics cards you should be considering, marrying performance with value.

Not only is it a card that offers excellent value for money right from the off, it's also a card that's attracting its fair share of deals and discounts, so you might well be able to pick it up for less than you originally thought.

With a boost clock of speed of 1,520 MHz, there's also the option of a 50 MHz overclock right out of the box, which is sure to please those of you looking to get the very best frame rates that your system can handle – and this is a card that excels at heat management, too.

While it might be showing its age just a little when compared with the newer cards on the market, this is still a very decent proposition for gaming in 2019, even on the best titles that the market can offer.

best graphics cards

(Image credit: XFX)

9. AMD Radeon RX 590

The best graphics card for mid-range excellence

Reasons to buy
+Excellent performance up to 1440p+Won't break the bank+Noticeably improved efficiency

It might not be one of the newest graphics cards around any more, but the AMD Radeon RX 590 is certainly able to still pack a punch – it's one to weigh up if the prices on the top-level Nvidia cards are leaving you a little dizzy.

Built on 12nm, you get 2,304 GPU cores, a top boost clock speed of 1,545MHz, and 8GB of (GDDR5) VRAM to power through your games with, making this undoubtedly one of the best AMD graphics cards you can pick up right now.

While there's not a massive performance boost over the cards that came before the Radeon RX 590, there is a performance boost, and you're not going to be left disappointed by the frame rates you're getting out of this card (especially at the sort of prices it's now going for).

More than specs, this is a card about improved thermals and efficiency, and it holds up very well against both Nvidia and other AMD cards at this particular price point. Hands down one of the best graphics cards of the moment.

best graphics cards

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

10. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

The best graphics card for 1080p gaming on a budget

Reasons to buy
+Quiet and efficient+Very decent 1080p performance+Appealing discounts

Admittedly we're delving a little way into the past with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti but we'd say it's worth it: this card represented excellent value for money when it first appeared on the scene and that's even more the case now. If you're wanting to build a killer rig for less, pay attention.

The quietness, efficiency, and 1080p performance of the GeForce GTX 1050 are still as impressive as they were when it first came out, and while 4GB of VRAM isn't top drawer these days it'll still get you by.

Not everyone needs the very top-end graphics card hardware of course – indeed most gamers go for budget or mid-range cards – and with that in mind the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is a very good deal indeed, even with newer models on the market.

The Pascal architecture still holds up well even without the very latest in ray tracing and the other technologies ushered in with Turing. Make sure you do your research before buying, as this is available at some very appealing prices.

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Graphics cards: News, Updates

November 11, 2019 - This week's big graphics card news is that MSI has unveiled its 10th Anniversary Edition of the LIGHTNING brand of GPU. The card chosen for the big occasion is the powerhouse GeForce RTX2080 Ti, and this special LIGHTNING version has built on the stock card with extreme overclockers and hardcore gamers in mind.

A boost clock of 1575 MHz and memory speed of 14Gbps, along with 11GB of GDDR6 to call on makes this card look like a monster on paper, while three DisplayPorts, a HDMI port and a USB Type-C port make connecting it up a monitor or TV easy.

Other highlights to this graphics card include the use of three of award-winning TORX fans 3.0 with double ball bearings, a carbon backplate, as well as in-fan RGB lighting.

A killer card, indeed. Although a rumoured price tag of £1,300 sure means that it isn't going to be kind on the wallet.

best graphics cards

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING 10th Anniversary Edition

(Image credit: MSI)

Previous graphics card news

July 9, 2019 - Nvidia has announced its GeForce RTX Super graphics cards, which increase performance over last year's RTX 20-Series by up to 25 per cent. The new Super RTX 20-Series includes a GeForce RTX 2080 Super, GeForce RTX 2070 Super and GeForce RTX 2060 Super.

These cards achieve this new level of performance due to architectural improvements that increase efficiency, as well as advances in the series' ray tracing cores, tensor cores, and GDDR6 VRAM, among other things. An official launch trailer for Nvidia's Super series is viewable below.

July 11, 2019 - AMD's Radeon Business Unit Vice President and General Manager, Scott Herkelman, has confirmed that add-in-board partners will release new designs of the AMD Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards from mid-August. This will no doubt be welcome news to PC gamers who have been considering upgrading to a RX 5700 as AIB editions of graphics cards often come with enhanced designs that can improve cooling and overall performance. Expect multi-fan and water-cooled options, as well as possibly cheaper than stock models as well.

July 17, 2019 – straight from the rumour mill this one, and the speculation is that AMD is about to release a more affordable Navi card in the very near future, slotting below the existing Radeon RX 5700 offerings. That's based on benchmarks spotted on the web, linked to a cut-down 7nm GPU with 4GB of VRAM and a maximum clock frequency of 1,900MHz. This is all speculation for now, but there's no doubt AMD is going to have more Navi cards of some description in the pipeline.

best graphics cards

(Image credit: @TUM_APISAK)

July 22, 2019 - Following the news from July 11 that Nvidia's Super Series of graphics cards are incoming, comes a leaked Final Fantasy XV benchmark that includes the all new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super. As can be seen in the image above, the benchmark graph for a 2560 x 1440 resolution at High Quality settings shows that the 2080 Super posted the fifth best score in FFXV, racking up 8736 points, beating the Nvidia Titan Xp. The cards that scored higher than the 2080 Super include the Nvidia Titan V, Nvdia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia Titan V JHH Special Edition and the Nvidia Titan RTX.

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: Nvidia)

July 24, 2019 - So prices have been locked down now for the Nvidia GeForce RTX Super series of graphics cards, with the RTX 2080 Super ringing in at £669, the RTX 2070 Super costing £475, and the RTX 2060 Super priced at £379. This has, in turn, tweaked down the prices on the non-super variants, with the stock RTX 2080, 2070 and 2060 costing £729, £549 and £329 respectively. We expect there to be further discounts on these official RRP prices, though, and especially so from third  party graphics card makers.

July 25, 2019 - Shots fired! The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (OC) has managed to beat the Nvidia RTX 2080 FE in 3DMark's Fire Strike Ultra benchmark test. Reddit member Redditor achieved the feat by overclocking a stock RX 5700 XT right up to 2.1 GHz (from the stock 1,755 MHz) and with a memory overlock of 900 MHz. At these frequencies the card returned a score of 6533 in Fire Strike Ultra, beating the RTX 2080 FE's 6505 points. Now obviously this victory has come thanks to the aggressive overclock, but it is still pleasing to see what sort of gains you can squeeze out of much cheaper cards if you put the elbow grease in.

July 30, 2019 - Well, here comes the best evidence yet that ray tracing is really being heavily integrated by games makers in terms of the next-generation, as respected graphics researcher Morgan McGuire has confirmed that he believes by 2023 a AAA game will actually require a GPU capable of ray tracing to work at all. "I predict that the first AAA game to REQUIRE a ray tracing GPU to run will ship in 2023, and every gaming platform will offer accelerated ray tracing by that year," notes McGuire's tweet.

August 5, 2019 - Chinese graphics card maker Yeston has surprised gamers around the world with a cutesy, all-pink GPU (see below image). The card itself is a Radeon RX 5700 XT Game Master and it delivers a boosted clock speed of 1,905 Mhz. Yeston is a China-focused maker, and with this card it seems to be targeting the large female gamer and livestreamer demographic in Asia, but there is technically no stopping western gamers who dig the aesthetic getting the card imported. Cool to see third parties really experimenting with graphic card designs.

best graphics card GPU

(Image credit: Yeston)

August 9, 2019 - Now here's some good news for lovers of aftermarket graphics cards that feature some serious chunk. As spotted by VideoCardz.com, quality third-party card maker XFX in releasing the XFX RX 5700 XT THICC2 later this month, with the GPU rocking a 2.5 slot design and wider and longer dual 10cm cooling fan shroud. It also features a cool car-like grill on its side and has a closed back. Pricing and clock speeds have not been confirmed as of yet, but we're expecting the already excellent performance for price delivered by the stock RX 5700 XT to be kicked up a substantial notch. Bam!

Best graphics cards

(Image credit: XFX / VideoCardz)