The Best Video Card

If you play on PC, you’ll need the greatest graphics card in your system to ensure it can run the newest game releases. Whether you’re building or upgrading your gaming PC, make sure you pick a GPU that can handle anything you could throw at it, especially if you’re a content producer or hardcore gamer. But what is the best one right now? Read our guide about the best video cards of 2022 and find out now!

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 9:09AM 7/5/2022

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There are great video cards out there, whether you’re playing Runescape or Cyberpunk 2077. I will start by noting that Nvidia and AMD produce some of the best graphics cards every year. Finding the best graphics card for your needs, however, can be a tall order. Good video cards may give you a case of sticker shock, while the value you get for your money varies. Knowing how to evaluate the various options on the market can keep you from making a choice you might regret.

Although the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT video card was a tempting choice that promised to boost performance in graphics, I just bought an Nvidia RTX 3070 card, as it all depends on how you prioritize various features.

The current state of the world

The availability of graphics cards, like the availability of a number of products these days, can vary from one extreme to the other. In general, the current shortage of graphics cards is challenging for those shopping for video cards.

If something catches your eye here and you click one of our links to look up the price online, you may find that the graphics card you want is not available at this time. All I can suggest is to revisit the site in a few days and hope for better news, or you could ask the shop to alert you when they have the graphics card back in stock again.

I have no inside knowledge about delivery times for your card, and while faster delivery is always desirable, all I can advise is to be prepared to exercise patience. As you practice your Zen attitude, you can use the graphics card shortage to take the time to learn about the best graphics card for your particular needs.

#1 MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X

The best graphics card of 2022

Scores 9.8 out of 10

This is a graphics card that promises to be an excellent choice that will not need to be replaced any time soon. This future-proof powerhouse is ready for all the challenges that lie ahead.

This top performing video chip may generate a fair amount of heat, but you can opt to add water cooling to moderate its temperature.

  • VRAM: 24GB GDDR6X
  • Max. clock speed: 1875 MHz
  • Memory bandwidth: 384 bit
  • Maximum resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Virtual reality: Compatible
  • Minimum power supply: 750 watts

#2 MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT

The best buy graphics card of 2022

Scores 9.1 out of 10

MSI is dominating our top 5 list, as you can see. This particular model gives good video value and performance for the price tag.

The Radeon RX 5700 XT provides enough current generation VRAM to handle most current games sold today and features a respectable clock speed at an affordable price. All this performance and it is attractive, too.

  • VRAM: 8GB GDDR6
  • Max. clock speed: 1980 MHz
  • Memory bandwidth: 256 bit
  • Maximum resolution: QHD (1440p)
  • Virtual reality: Compatible
  • Minimum power supply: 750 watts

The 5 best graphics cards at a glance

  1. MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X – This tops our list as the best graphics card on the market.
  2. MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT – This graphics card gives great value for the money.
  3. Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT – This is the best AMD-driven graphics card.
  4. Asus Dual GeForce RTX 2060 Mini OC 6GB – This graphics card is a solid choice for midrange performance.
  5. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Super OC 4G – This is a reasonably priced graphics card that still delivers good performance.

The scarcity of graphics cards

Almost all retailers online are falling seriously short in their supplies of graphics cards. In particular, the most recent releases are almost impossible to purchase.

There was a shortage of graphics cards in 2020 due to all the cryptocurrency miners using high-end graphics cards to generate Bitcoins and the like. Although cryptocurrency miners are not gobbling up video cards quite as fast these days, the dearth of graphics cards is now aggravated by production delays and slow deliveries.

Not only is there a shortage, but when you can find a card to buy the prices have skyrocketed. People who buy great graphics cards in bulk and then make a profit reselling them at a higher price are adding to the pinch.

One work-around available to you, instead of tearing your hair out looking for graphics cards, is buying a heavy-duty network card and then subscribing to a game streaming service.

Details on the best graphics cards

#1: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X

The best graphics card of 2022

  • VRAM: 24GB GDDR6X
  • Max. clock speed: 1875 MHz
  • Memory bandwidth: 384 bit
  • Maximum resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Virtual reality: Compatible
  • Minimum power supply: 750 watts

The GDDR6X graphics card is an update of the MSI GDDR6 that went on the market around 2018. It has more than respectable specifications and performance that should be everything you need and then some — provided you are willing to pay for all that.

MSI co-produced the GDDR6X with Nvidia. It is a lot faster than the previous model, so that even with further advancements in its energy efficiency, it still will burn more power.

In addition to an impressive 64 GB of VRAM, the GDDR6X runs at 1860 MHz (with a boost to 1875 MHz). Package those two features along with 384-bit bandwidth and you get a card that is head and shoulders above the rest.

It also offers ray tracing performance (more on that below) that produces incredibly realistic light effects in games and 3D designs.

In short, the GDDR6X absolutely kills its competition when it comes to benchmarking tests and sizzling speed with the best graphics. If cost is no object and you are aiming for the best graphics you can get, this may be the graphics card for you.

The ray tracing technique is showing up more and more in PC games, and Nvidia gives a nod to the PC gaming world with some flashy RGB lighting. (See below for an explanation of ray tracing.)

The company’s real target audience for this card, however, is graphic designers and people who do a lot of video editing, especially those aiming to climb the career ladder. While professionals employed by large corporations might be using one of Nvidia’s Quadro cards, the people seeking to join them (or overachieving gamers) could do quite well with this card and an ultrawide monitor with resolution approaching 4K for the best graphics.

The recommended set-up for this card and a monitor is an HDMI 2.1 connection, or alternatively using one of the three DisplayPort 1.4b inputs.

Questions and suggestions

Nvidia’s claim is that the GDDR6X can handle gaming up to 8K, but this seems debatable as it doesn’t always reach the full 60 FPS (frames per second) even at 4K in heavy-duty PC games like Cyberpunk 2077.

The GDDR6X’s strong performance also uses a lot of energy. You should have (or buy) a power supply of at least 750 watts to play games if you want to make the most of this graphics card. The card alone needs about 420 watts, which is ± 330 before powering other components. Think about replacing the power supply in your gaming PC if you want to revel in optimal graphics.

The card uses three quiet fans to push away the heat it produces, and it gets even hotter during peak use. We recommend using additional water cooling if you plan to use the card intensely and often.

Advantages

  • The GDDR6X graphics card can handle most anything.
  • It can use water cooling if needed.
  • The lighting is attractive.
  • It runs quietly even at top speed.

Disadvantages

  • The price tag is not for the faint of heart (or wallet).
  • The card generates a lot of heat.
  • It needs to be used with a heavy duty power supply.

#2: MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT

Best buy graphics card of 2022 for gaming PCs

  • VRAM: 8GB GDDR6
  • Max. clock speed: 1980 MHz
  • Memory bandwidth: 256 bit
  • Maximum resolution: QHD (1440p)
  • Virtual reality: Compatible
  • Minimum power supply: 750 watts

This Radeon graphics card gives top-notch graphics gaming performance, especially considering the price. It seems unlikely that buyers will get features like these anywhere for a similar price.

For the very best graphics in PC gaming, the Radeon RX 5700 XT should be used with a monitor offering 1440p resolution. Use one of the card’s three DisplayPort 1.4a inputs for this or try an HDMI 2.0 cable.

MSI says that you can go up to 8K at 60 Hz, but since even the RTX 3090 graphics card mentioned above hardly approaches this with more intensive calculation tasks, you could be forgiven for having skepticism.

Nevertheless, the Radeon RX 5700 XT well worth what you pay for it. It has 8 GB of GDDR6. You are likely to be quite pleased with the card in your gaming PC as long as you stick to the maximum resolution of 1440p.

The advantage of GDDR6 over its newer relative is that it will burn through less energy. It does not quite reach the peak speeds of the more affordable GDDR6X, but it’s a speed difference that won’t have much impact on your gaming.

While the Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card does not offer ray tracing, it has Radeon Image Sharpening, which can sharpen images without causing strange effects on the screen or a decline in the counter ratio.

Competitive gamers trying to shave every millisecond off their moves (and others) will be pleased with the anti-lag measures on this capable graphics card. In addition, it runs much cooler and quieter than AMD’s version of the card, which is also harder to find. The heat output may be as much as 10 °C lower, while the card makes roughly 11 dB less noise (± 32 dB).

While you could get by with a 500-watt power supply for the Radeon RX 5700 XT, if you don’t want to sacrifice gaming performance you should have a power supply that puts out 750 watts.

Advantages

  • The Radeon RX 5700 XT has a reasonable price for the performance it offers.
  • It can handle exacting games just fine.
  • The card is quieter and cooler than AMD’s version.

Disadvantage

  • This card cannot do ray tracing.

#3: Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16G Best AMD Graphics Card

  • VRAM: 16GB GDDR6
  • Max. clock speed: 2250 MHz
  • Memory bus bandwidth: 256 bit
  • Maximum resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Virtual reality: Compatible
  • Minimum power supply: 750 watts

The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is a newer and more powerful version of the RX 5700 XT above. This AMD Radeon RX variant of Gigabyte boasts good looks and has three fans to keep it from overheating.

And because it has 16 GB GDDR6, the three fans are a definite necessity. Not only is gaming effortless once you have this card, but you will also enjoy its video editing and 3D design capability.

All this is possible on displays with resolutions up to 4K. Again, I would rather go for a 1440p resolution to avoid stuttering and unnecessary energy consumption. This is still a great advantage for those working in the graphics field who want to keep more of their hard-earned cash.

This AMD Radeon graphics card includes Infinity Cache as a ploy in its competition with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. In short, if you pair this with the fast GDDR6 memory, you can get 2.4 times more bandwidth per watt than the VRAM would have without this feature. This puts the AMD Radeon graphics card in direct competition with GDDR6X for speed.

In addition, this video card can do ray tracing! Ray tracing is still in its infancy for AMD compared to the Nvidia GeForce RTX, but AMD is expected to improve its ray tracing performance quickly.

While the RTX 3080 – its closest rival – is out in front of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, I venture to say that the AMD Radeon will continue catching up, which would be an understandable reason for there to be an attack of nerves among Nvidia’s engineers.

The extra power, of course, also means it burns up more energy. We recommend you have a power supply with at least 750 watts to support this AMD Radeon RX video card.

Advantages

  • The card can perform AMD first gen ray tracing
  • The card runs cool.
  • This card boasts top performance as well as a lower price than its direct competitor.

Disadvantage

  • It is not quite on the level with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080.

#4: Asus Dual GeForce RTX 2060 Mini OC 6GB

Best Midrange Graphics Card

  • VRAM: 6GB GDDR6
  • Max. clock speed: 1765 MHz
  • Memory bus bandwidth: 192 bit
  • Maximum resolution: Full
  • HD (1080p)
  • Virtual reality: Not compatible
  • Minimum power supply: 500 watts

The RTX 2060 is a happy medium that combined mid-range power with a medium format. The conventional wisdom seems to be that the RTX 2060 is a bit of a lightweight compared to the RTX 2070 and RTX 2080, but that is unfair. The RTX 2060 packs a punch for the price.

A lot of the punch comes from its 6 GB of GDDR6 memory. Like the RTX 2070, it uses a modified Turing TU106 GPU (graphics processing unit). You might call it a slimmed down version that still has a lot of the same power. It also allows overclocking if you want to do that; more on overclocking below.

Gaming works well on FullHD screens (over HDMI 2.0b; DisplayPort, generation unknown; and DVI-D) if you stay away from the highest graphics settings when you run Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

The most recent games are more likely to be successful if run on medium settings to maintain around 60 FPS. The more demanding games can still be played, provided you don’t mind less impressive graphics.

This graphics card has the least RT and Tensor Cores of the RTX card line-up. It nonetheless remains capable of Nvidia’s recent tech feats like ray tracing and DLSS.

Running the card using higher resolutions and the ultra settings will bring down FPS in a big way. When used appropriately, the cooling system manages fine and the card doesn’t consume too much energy, so if your power supply has 500 watts, you’ll be fine.

Advantages

  • Nvidia is offering its best technology in this card while charging a very affordable price.
  • On FullHD, this card’s ray tracing performance is perfect.
  • The card runs acceptably cool.

Disadvantage

  • At higher resolutions and heavier settings, the card has mediocre ray tracing performance that lacks in smoothness.

#5: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Super OC 4G Best graphics card for smaller budgets

  • VRAM: 4GB GDDR6
  • Max. clock speed: 1740 MHz
  • Memory bus bandwidth: 128 bit
  • Maximum resolution: Full HD (1080p)
  • Virtual reality: Not compatible
  • Minimum power supply: 350 watts

Nvidia is back in business with the GeForce GTX 1650 when it comes to shoppers with a budget of less than £200. This price will buy you a compact video card perfect for FullHD displays that can be connected using DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b or DisplayPort 1.4b.

If you want to push the card’s 4 GB GDDR6 to the limit, it does allow overclocking, even if the results of that overclocking isn’t very impressive. Overclocking won’t let you play Red Dead Redemption 2 on ultra-high settings, but it really produces improvements in games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

The GeForce GTX 1650 does not include ray tracing among its features, which is kind of a pity but quite understandable for a video card in this price range. You will still have plenty of fun gaming without ray tracing.

If you encourage it enough, it will play the games mentioned above, with or without a slightly lower FPS and/or with somewhat higher temperatures. Its single fan cooling system keeps temperatures in check until the card gets overworked, which can happen quickly with a less powerful card like this. Speaking of power, the upside of the card’s lack of power is that you get energy efficiency instead. If your power supply puts out 350 watts, you are all set.

All told, the GeForce GTX 1650 is pretty much a traditional video card, but the addition of a (plastic) backplate is a nice add-on that we don’t find much on video cards in this price range.

Advantages

  • This video card is very reasonably priced.
  • The card has plenty of power to let you play everything but the newest games in Full HD (FHD).
  • It keeps its cool admirably.
  • It comes with a backplate (not usually seen at this price).

Disadvantages

  • The speed is just not what it could be.
  • The card does not offer ray tracing or other advanced features.

Buyer’s guide

If you were unsure about any of the technical terms you came across above, you should gain some familiarity with them in order to understand how your new video card performs.

Read on for explanations of the key technical features you may encounter in a graphics card. Then you will know how to evaluate the newest graphics cards on the market.

VRAM

VRAM is an abbreviation for video random access memory. The regular RAM on a laptop acts as temporary storage that can be accessed very quickly. VRAM is a version of RAM that is made to store image data.

For instance, if you are playing a game, the game’s executable files are stored on the computer’s (non-video) RAM. Textures and other features used in rendering the game visually are stored on the VRAM.

The amount of VRAM your graphics card has should be suitable for displaying graphics at the proper resolution for your monitor — whether those graphics are part of a game, a three-dimensional design, or video footage being edited.

Versions of GDDR

GDDR is an indication of VRAM speed. The term stands for Graphics Double Data Rate. The double data rate is also reflected in the specifications of the computer’s RAM. You can have 8 GB of VRAM, but if it’s GDDR2, it won’t get you very far in most modern games.

You may have gathered from the product reviews above that GDDR6 is the standard for the newest graphics cards. GDDR6X is the latest update to this standard. While GDDR6X is theoretically more energy efficient than GDDR6, GDDR6X ends up using more energy anyway because of its extra speed.

There is no need to delve into the technical details, so let’s just say that you should buy a video card with the latest (GDDR6X) or second-to-lates (GDDR6) version of GDDR if you possibly can.

GPU speed

While a CPU determines the speed of the central processing unit in your computer, a GPU or graphics processing unit, which does your computer’s video processing, determines the speed of your graphics card.

Clock speeds are given in megahertz (MHz). The higher the megahertz number is, the faster processors on your graphics card can perform calculations. Each GDDR version has its own clock speed or speeds.

Overclocking

Look for a name ending in “OC” on video cards. OC stands for overclocking. Overclocking a graphics card makes your GPU’s cores perform better. The trade-off with overclocking is that, while the video card does calculate at greater speed (giving you an edge in gaming), overclocking also wears out your video card sooner.

Why use overclocking?

Overclocking is primarily used by experienced gamers and computer manufacturers who want the video card to be able to put out a bit more performance.

For most users, it would make more sense to buy a graphics card with more VRAM and higher base and maximum clock speeds, rather than one that can do overclocking.

Ray tracing

Ray tracing is a graphics technique that makes light in video games behave the same way it does in real life. It uses an algorithm that makes rays of light on the screen follow the same path that real light rays would. This technique allows game designers to simulate beams of light that reflect off on-screen objects realistically and cast shadows in a life-like way.

Memory bus bandwidth

The reviews above list the memory bus bandwidth for each graphics card. The important point here (rather than the technical nuts and bolts) is that the bandwidth of the memory bus is an indication of how fast the card can transfer data.

The transfer in question is moving video data over the cable until it reaches the motherboard (such as PCIe). The higher the number of bits, the faster the data transfer will be.

Ports and slots

Newer graphics cards these days will have at least one port for HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) and at least one for a DisplayPort connection. DVI-D (a digital-only connector) is the oldest type of connection you may still find on new graphics cards.

Look for the number after HDMI and DisplayPorts to see which generation they are. HDMI 2.1 is the most recent HDMI generation. DisplayPort 1.4 is the current generation of that technology. These updates generally provide improvements like faster data transfer to the gaming monitor connected to your computer.

SLI and Crossfire

SLI (from Nvidia) and Crossfire (from AMD) are ways to describe installing two graphics cards and then connecting them together. The SLI technique will only work with two identical graphics cards. The Crossfire is more flexible in that you can connect any two graphics cards provided they use the same architecture.

This may sound like a good idea, but it is an older idea, and we no longer recommend trying it, because:

  1. Some video cards perform extremely well on their own now.
  2. Buying two graphics cards gets expensive in a hurry.
  3. Both techniques may cause compatibility problems when used with current PC games.

Power supplies

Even the snazziest graphics card will be held back in its performance if it is not supported by an adequately powerful power supply. Considering the prices of graphics cards, upgrading your power supply to get the most out of the card is going to be a good investment.

Unless keeping expenditures down is critical, I would urge you to follow the card manufacturer’s recommendations for a power supply. The only way you could get by with a lower wattage power supply is if you aren’t going to use your graphics card to the maximum — but then be sure you aren’t buying a strong graphics card than your computer can run.

Watch out for bottlenecks

Power supplies are not the only component that could decrease a graphics card’s performance. A number of parts, like the computer’s CPU or RAM, can cause a bottleneck. Bottlenecking is what happens when the rest of your computer’s hardware drags down your graphics card’s performance.

This means that you should be certain that the CPU and RAM in your computer will not put the brakes on your graphics card. Imagine your dismay if, after adding a new graphics card, you find that your graphics do not perform as expected because of another component!

Monitors

The screen you use is also a factor in graphics speed, of course. If you have a 4K ultrawide monitor that you want to use to play most games at that resolution, you should buy a more powerful video card, because there will be more detail. If you are gaming at 1440p or Full HD (1080p), the capability of your video card will not be as crucial.

The best graphics cards

Product type Best for Rating Product page

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X 24G

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming XP

Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16 GAMD

Asus Dual GeForce RTX 2060 Mini OC 6GB

GeForce GTX 1650 Super OC 4G

Frequently Asked Questions

Which card will provide the best graphics?

The answer to this depends on your reason for wanting to buy a video card. The quick chart below should give you an idea of which kind you need for which types of uses.

Type of computer use Recommended graphics card

  1. Email, surfing the web An integrated graphics card
  2. Light PC gaming Nvidia GTX 1070, AMD Radeon RX 5700
  3. Intense computing work Nvidia GeForce RTX 30s, AMD Radeon RX 6000s (challenging games, 3D design, video editing)

What is the difference between Nvidia and AMD graphics cards?

These are two different manufacturers. Their video cards do essentially the same calculations with different implementations. AMD graphics cards often have more cores and thus faster processing speeds than Nvidia’s. Nvidia cards often are first to use innovations like new secondary calculation techniques that allow for ray tracing.

What is a dedicated graphics card?

A dedicated graphics card has a couple of extra components:

  1. A processor or GPU of its own
  2. Its own working memory or VRAM

An integrated video card has neither a GPU nor VRAM and comes standard in your computer for everyday video support. A dedicated graphics card can be a beneficial addition to a gaming PC to achieve the best graphics.

Which is your favorite?

After perusing this article and absorbing some of the details in the in-depth reviews, you should be ready to get yourself a sweet gaming monitor if necessary, and then you can enjoy your more powerful graphics card.

Have you chosen a favorite graphics card from our list? If not, look through the article again and focus on features like the GDDR version, the clock speed and the amount of VRAM the cards offer. When graphics cards are in stock again, you will be prepared to buy one of the fine graphics cards mentioned above.

Frequently asked questions

The NVIDIA TITAN V has 12 GB HBM2 memory and 640 Tensor Cores, providing 110 teraflops of performance. It also includes Volta-optimized NVIDIA CUDA for improved performance. GPU-optimized deep learning software is now accessible to TITAN users free of charge on the NVIDIA GPU Cloud.

RTX cards feature two new components in addition to the GTX graphics cards: RT cores and Tensor cores.RT cores are used for real-time ray tracing, whereas Tensor cores are used to speed up deep learning, AI, and HPC.

Video card memory: very important. For gaming at 1080p, get a graphics card with at least 6GB, and preferably 8GB or more. If you play with all the settings turned up, you’ll need more memory. More than 8GB is needed if you’re playing in 4K resolution.

The amount of video memory (also known as VRAM) a graphics card has is one of the most significant features. A video card’s memory is assigned to visual tasks and saves image data for fast retrieval.

If you’re working with video at 1080p, 8 GB is the bare minimum. For 4K, we recommend at least 16 GB. More RAM is beneficial in both situations, but it’s a lesser priority than getting a decent CPU and decent GPU.

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