Best GPU 2023 – best graphics cards for gaming in August
An In-depth Look At The Best GPUs
Looking for a new GPU, don’t settle for anything other than the best graphics card in 2023. If you’re looking for an upgrade you’re starting fresh, we will find the card for you. We have tons of experience in the sector to know what to expect from the cards and manufacturers, so you’re in good hands. Our team of dedicated PC enthusiasts is constantly reviewing, benchmarking, and comparing the latest graphics cards so you don’t have to.
With that in mind, the following article will be a closer look at only the best graphics cards the market has to offer. We keep this page constantly updated with the latest products. We’ll be comparing price, performance, aesthetics, and cooling, ensuring our selection are the best overall value-for-money products you can buy. Right now the best graphics card on the market is the RTX 4090 from Nvidia, which we have reviewed extensively and can highly recommend.
Best graphics cards 2023
ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4090 OC
Core Clock Speed
2,640 MHz boost
357.6 x 149.3 x 70.1mm
- Excellent air cooling solution
- Pushes performance above the rest of the selection
- Updated design cooling and aesthetically focused
- A more expensive choice over the rest of the picks and will cost a lot to run
The RTX 4090 is more than enough for any gamer out there. Like the 3090 before it, it is made for far bigger uses and not just in gaming. As it performs much better than the previous offering. With built-in new and improved technology that pushes the limits of GPUs above previous options. Such as the use of DLSS 3 technology can further improve performance as well as improved ray tracing cores and a smaller foundry process allows a denser core and design.
In terms of specifications, it features an AD102- 300 GPU variant. Created with TSMCs 4N process moving back from Samsung of the last gen. It means the 608mm² die fits in 76.3 billion transistors. This features 16,384 CUDA cores, 512 TMUs, 1786 ROPs, 512 Tensor cores, and 128 RT cores. In this generation, the speed at which they function has also been improved. With a base clock of 2,235 MHz, it breaks the 2GHz marker like AMD could last gen. Now the Strix model is able to achieve a boost clock of 2,610 MH, a big improvement that can be pushed even further.
For its memory, it does further push its performance of it. With 24GB of GB of GDDR6X memory, it still has a 384-bit bus. So with its 21.2 Gbps clock, it produces a bandwidth of 1,018 GB/s. While this does lead to the large 450W TDP that requires a new power connector and improved cooling to function properly. This leads to gigantic-sized cards, with the ROG Strix reaching a quad-slot size. Measuring 357.6 x 149.3 x 70.1mm it does have a significant weight behind it. Meaning there is a p potential for bending and damage over time with how the cards are currently installed if not supported properly.
The power also requires a recommended 850W power supply to function. The Strix asking for at least 1000W for stability and safety. A lot of power to unlock the card’s full potential but it is capable of great performance. With plenty of improvements across the board as well as new tech to take advantage of.
Best last gen graphics card
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G
1815MHz Boost Clock (OC)
TRI FROZR Cooling Solution
- Extremely attractive 3080
- Very quiet thermal design
- High out-the-box clock boost
- Excellent build quality
- Lies within the higher end of the 3080 price spectrum
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is quite simply the best gaming GPU on the market right now for 4K gaming. AMD’s competing card, the 6800 XT, has slight advantages at 1080p and 1440p, but it doesn’t come with the features of the RTX 3080. Although both the AMD RX 6900 XT and Nvidia’s own RTX 3090 are more powerful cards than the RTX 3080, the former card is $300 more expensive with inferior ray-tracing performance, and the latter card is geared more towards high-end workstation users with a price tag to match (expect to pay at least $800 more for the RTX 3090). In some cases, the RTX 3080 can actually compete with these higher price cards on certain games and at certain settings, particularly the AMD RX 6900 XT which does not justify such a big markup.
At an RRP of at least $699, the RTX 3080 is not cheap, but when you consider that it can beat the older gen RTX 2080 Ti by a substantial margin (around 30% in some cases), and that card originally retailed for $1,200, then this shows the superb generational uplift that this card represents on power to price basis.
Besides the raw power generated by the 8,704 CUDA cores, with a boost clock of between 1,710 – 1,815 MHz depending on the AIB you go with, the thing which just about separates this card from the competing AMD RX 6800 XT is the superior ray-tracing and DLSS technology. With their latest 30-series GPUs, Nvidia has really nailed ray-tracing technology, and the RTX 3080 is capable of running games at a better FPS performance with ray-tracing turned on compared to what the 2080 Ti could do, even with the feature switched off! The only real downside of all this gaming power is the high electrical power required to run it – the GeForce RTX 3080 requires an 850W PSU at a minimum.
All in all, if you have a definite interest in playing games that come with ray-tracing, and you can handle the additional $50 price markup over the competing AMD RX 6800 XT card, then the RTX 3080 is the best gaming GPU currently available. We’ve selected the MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G as our favorite AIB of this model card, though you can have a look at our best RTX 3080 GPU page to see if there’s a different variant you might prefer.
Best AMD graphics card
ASUS TUF Radeon RX 7900 XTX OC
Core Clock Speed
1,895 MHz base, 2,395 MHz shader & game, 2,565 MHz boost
352.9 x 158.2 x 72.6 mm
- Great cooling solution that improves thermals and fan curves over reference
- Improved power management from an experienced brand
- High quality build and overclocked for top tier performance
- A slightly more expensive option for its better perfromance and quality
Now for the absolute top spot of the AMD lineup, the new RDNA 3 cards have a lot to offer. With generational improvement, there is a lot of performance uptick in the card. This means now the cards have a great offering instead of the Nvidia counterparts, especially at the top with the RX 7900 XTX. These cards have a great price-to-performance ratio, especially over Team Green’s offering. So there is a lot of appeal to getting them instead. And they have great support in the software, which will allow even more performance on top if you needed.
The Navi 31 XTX GPU is based on TSMCs 5 and 6nm process. As it is an MCM design so the chiplet use means there is a better yield on the chips. So there are 57.7 billion transistors in the 520mm² total die size. It also features 24GB of GDDR6 memory, with a 384-bit memory bus. With a 20 Gbps clock that gives it a bandwidth of 960 GB/s. Whilst the clock speeds are also separated, with a shader clock of 2,269 MHz separate from the others. Like the base clock of 1,855 MHz, a game clock of 2,269 MHz, and a boost clock of 2,499. These frequencies run the 6,144 shading units, 284 TMUs, 192 ROPs, 96 compute units and 96 RT cores.
Best value graphics card
ASUS GeForce RTX 3060 TI ROG Strix Gaming OC
1890MHz Boost Clock (OC)
Axial-tech Triple Fan
- Excellent aesthetic design
- Great cooling solution
- High boost clock speed
- On the higher end of the price spectrum
The Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti is below the RTX 3070 in the GeForce hierarchy as you’d expect, but shares many features with the more powerful card, including the same 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and the same 256-bit memory bus. Despite having a lower core count than the RTX 3070, depending on the game you can expect FPS to fall behind the more expensive card by only around 15%-1% less. Considering the RTX 3060 Ti has an RRP of $399, $100 less than the RTX 3070, this is a great value.
In fact, we’d say that the RTX 3060 Ti currently offers the best power-to-price of any card on this list. It actually beats the previous-gen 2080 Super across all resolutions, despite retailing for less money. The card offers respectable FPS at 1080p and 1440p, making it a great option for those with a 1440p monitor not looking to break the bank, although 4K gaming is beyond its power (unsurprising at this price point).
Finally, the RTX 3060 Ti comes with the same ray-tracing technology as the more expensive cards in the series, giving it an edge over similarly priced AMD cards. If the RTX 3060 Ti seems the right card for you, have a look at our guide on the best RTX 3060 Ti variants to see which AIB of the card would suit you best. Here we have listed the ASUS GeForce RTX 3060 TI ROG Strix Gaming OC but a cheaper variant might suit you better.
Best budget graphics card
ZOTAC GAMING RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC
Core Clock Speed
1822 MHz OC boost, 1777 MHz boost,1552 Base clock
224.1 x 116.3 x 39.2 mm (dual slot)
- Solid build quality
- Options for both overclocked and not
- Efficient heatsink design
- Lower specs than other offerings
As the newer generation of graphics cards has little to offer on the lower, cheaper end of things we have to look to the old choice. There we find the full range of available options no matter your budget, and with lots of time since the launch there is a lot of support behind it to keep it up. We have a full budget graphics card guide which takes you through the latest options available.
As such the RTX 3050 is still a great point of entry into the graphics market when it comes to only relying on 1080p gaming. It can achieve great framerates at that resolution no matter the title. Especially while it’s built on the powerful Ampere architecture with plenty of optimizations and improvements.
With the GA106-150 GPU built into the card, it still uses the Samsung 8nm process. With a die size of 276mm², it fits 12 billion transistors into it. Which by default are clocked at 1,552 MHz and can boost up to 1,777 MHz. It also has 2,560 CUDA cores and 20 RT cores. Supported by 8GB of GDDR6 memory, with a 128-bit bus. The VRAM is clocked in at 14 Gbps to produce a bandwidth of 224 GB/s. So with an MSRP of $249, you can be sure to find a great deal of performance out of it.
Best graphics card for 4k
ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 4080 GAMING OC
Core Clock Speed
2,535 MHz boost, 2,205 MHz base
357.6 x 149.3 x 70.1mm
- Unhindered performance with a great cooling solution
- Cutout cooler design allows unblocked airflow for optimal cooling
- Overclocked card offers the best performance at this tier
- One of the biggest cards to accomodate the cooling solution may not fit many cases
- A popular card it is harder to find and usually more expensive than the other options
When it comes to the best GPU for 4K gaming then there are plenty of potential options. But for the best choice currently, it is better to look at the newest generation, as there we have the improved optimizations and values for the performance. As such we have the RTX 4080 that can offer great performance across the board. Especially when it comes to the 4K textures that require plenty of VRAM. So the 16GB of GDDR6X in the 4080 tackles that challenge easily.
Especially as it is also a 256-bit bus, with a 22.4 Gbps memory clock, which gives a 716.8 GB/s bandwidth. The speed is also supported by the overall clock rate with a 2,205 MHz base clock and 2,505 MHz boost clock. The AD103-300 GPU is made with TSMCs 4nm process. Giving a die of 379mm² in size and fitting 45.9 billion transistors onto it. These provide the 9,728 CUDA cores and 76 RT cores to provide good power.
Although this card does come in with an MSRP of $1,199 USD and so it can be rather a steep choice of card, especially for an 80 model card.
Best graphics card for 1080p
MSI RX 6600 Mech 2X
Core Clock Speed
1626MHz base, 2491MHz boost, 2044MHz game
235mm x 125mm x 46mm (9.3″ x 4.9″ x 1.8″)
- Great 1080p performance
- Minimal and compact design
- RSR compatibility
- Lacking ray tracing performance
Now when it comes to the smaller resolutions these days, such as 1080p, then there isn’t much needed to run it. And so you don’t have to look far up the leaderboard to find the best GPU for 1080p. As such, just the AMD RX 6600, is a great selection of graphics cards for HD graphics. It is a more entry-level card so you don’t even have to spend too much to get into that resolution with good framerates.
The card is based on the Navi 23 XL GPU made on the RDNA 2.0 architecture with TSMCs 7nm process. This creates a size of 237mm² in size and so can fit in 11.06 billion transistors on the die. This gives the card 1,792 shading units with 28 RT cores. Which in turn are clocked at 1,626 MHz with a boost of up to 2,491 MHz, but sit with a game clock of 2,044 MHz.
And the graphics card features 8GB of GDDR6 memory, along with a 128-bit bus. Which clocked at 14 Gbps gives a 224 GB/s bandwidth. So for $329 USD, you get a good performance card. But where it might falter is the ray tracing performance. The hit to performance is much greater than on Nvidia’s side so it can be detrimental. Although it has great upscaling tech behind it to push the bigger gains at the expense of image quality. Especially with the RSR driver upscale that can work across the board, unlike FSR or DLSS which needs to be implemented.
Best graphics card for 1440p
ASUS TUF GAMING Radeon RX 6800 XT OC 16GB
Clock Speed (Base/Boost)
HDMI x 1 DP x 3
- Axial-tech fan design has been enhanced
- An all-aluminum shroud
- GPU Tweak II provides intuitive performance tweaking, thermal controls, and system monitoring
- Good value
- Basic design
In the rising resolution age, 1440p or QHD, the power required to run it increases and so you need some stronger hardware for it. And that’s where the RX 6800 XT comes in. As one of the top choices for RDNA 2, it gives great performance across the board. Even holding up well to the newer generation cards that might be less appealing with that.
The card comes with 4,608 stream processors, with 288 TMUs, 72 compute units, and 72 RT cores. Along with a 16GB of GDDR6, with a 256-bit bus is clocked at 16 Gbps giving a bandwidth of 512 GB/s. In particular, the card can boost up to 2.34 GHz and has a game clock of 2.09 GHz.
So with an MSRP of $649, you’re most likely going to be able to find the card for a cheaper price due to the newer cards coming out. Which gives great performance at 1440p, whilst even being able to push some 4k abilities. But most definitely even high refresh rates that will give you a good experience for years to come as it sits new and with good software support.
How we test and choose the best graphics card
When it comes to evaluating the range of graphics cards, be that a high-end gpu or lower memory bandwidth options, there is a lot to test. With a range of tests to perform and see how the card performs across the board. As well as checking the quality and build to make sure it is worth the money. We also have experience in the sector to know what to expect from the cards and manufacturers. But also a good knowledge of the value and worth of the cards. For more information, you can check out our how we test GPUs page.
Best graphics card buying guide
Ultimately, it comes down to your requirements and specific needs. We take a look at some of the key factors that affect decisions about choosing the best graphics card in 2023 .
If you’re on a budget and can’t buy tech often, you’ll likely be looking for either the best value pick or the best budget GPU you can find. In this situation, we recommend going for value, even if it’s a bit more expensive than entry-level. That way you can make the most of your purchase and enjoy it for the longest time.
If budget isn’t a concern, you should still probably be smart and do your research. You wouldn’t want to drop $1K on a last-gen or overpriced GPU, for instance. You also wouldn’t want to buy super high-end when there’s a new generation of GPU around the corner.
If you’re somewhere in between, just make sure your needs are being met. If you only game at 1080p, for instance, you’re best with going for a mid-range card that will satisfy your needs. If you need to push a high refresh rate or high resolutions, you may want to consider a higher-end option. Make sure you can achieve what you need without overspending or missing out on those targets.
The resolution you want to play at has a major impact on the graphics card you should choose. Because higher resolutions utilize more pixels, you are increasing the demand that’s put on your GPU by increasing the resolution. If you currently play on 1080p but want to increase to 1440p, you will almost certainly need a much more powerful GPU.
The monitor’s refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and tells us how many times the monitor refreshes the image it’s displaying per second. The refresh rate has a major impact on the quality of your gaming experience and requires similar (if not higher) frame rate output to see the best results. There’s no point in getting a 144Hz monitor if your GPU can only push 60FPs.
Depending on what you’re doing, the graphics card’s cooling can be very important. If you plan to overclock or use a case with poor airflow, you’re going to want the best possible cooling you can afford. Cooling solutions come in many forms, so choosing the right one for your needs is essential.
Remember, a hot GPU will work less efficiently than a cool one. It will also run the risk of having a reduced lifespan too. So a cool GPU is key and there are many ways to lower GPU temperatures to help out.
If you’re keen on enjoying a few of the ray tracing games available, then there are only a few specific cards you want to focus on. Nvidia’s RTX range of cards. As its optimization is more focused on that feature and so performs better than the Radeon offering.
Although supported by the RX 6000 onwards, it’s not as efficient as what RTX cards can do. With a bigger hit to performance and worse-off framerates, it’s not an ideal choice to go for.
Another deciding factor between the two companies, there is the upscaling tech available to all the options. These options will let you get even higher performance from your cards at the cost of some image quality.
Nvidia has the option of DLSS for its RTX cards. Using the AI cores in the architecture to achieve the image. As it runs the image at a lower resolution and with AI upscaling can recreate an improved image that gives better framerates from lower rendering.
Now AMD has both FSR and RSR you can utilize. The first is available on any card as long as it’s implemented in the title. But the second is based on AMD Radeon drivers. These work on the driver level and so running a game at a lower res with this one will upscale the whole image to improve the framerates.
So depending on which option you want to opt for, then you can decide on which brand of card you want to aim for.
Understanding the specifications
Taking a look at what makes up the best graphics card there can be a lot of confusing terms. We take a look at some of the key specs that will affect how it performs.
- Clock Speed – Measured in MHz, clock speed represents the cycle rate of the silicon core within the graphics card. How fast it processes instructions along doesn’t determine relative performance, but boosting your core clock speed via overclocking can give you some free performance bonuses.
- VRAM – Stands for video random access memory, also known as video RAM, and acts as a frame buffer between your CPU and GPU. The more VRAM your GPU has the more efficiently it can process graphics. Also able to store the high pixel counts of higher resolutions.
- GDDR6X – The latest VRAM available, it has more capacity and increased bandwidth making it the most powerful VRAM on the market.
- GDDR6 – The most common modern VRAM standard. Decently fast, and shouldn’t bottleneck in most situations.
- Memory Bus – In massively-simplified terms, the wider the memory bus, the faster the core and VRAM are able to communicate with one another. Higher-end cards utilize these with higher VRAM for a better advantage.
- Cores – these make up the GPU die itself and each manufacturer has different architectures to get these to work. Different cores have specializations to work on particular processes, like ray tracing or shading.
- RT Cores – for specific cores, we take a look at ray tracing cores. This specialized hardware allows for accelerating ray-traced graphics in real-time.
- Tensor Cores – another set of specific hardware is tensor cores. Also a recent addition, they work on upscaling featured in Nvidia’s DLSS.
- TDP – this is the thermal design power of the GPU. It is a measure of how much energy it can output as heat and how much power it takes. Consideration for the cooling solution to handle and how power-hungry your machine will be.
That’s the lineup for the best graphics card in 2023. With options ranging from best-performing GPUs to best-budget graphics cards, you can be sure to find your next card. There are always more cards on the way that you can expect to come out and compete for your money.
In fact, you have the likes of the RTX 4000 series emerging and soon-to-be-released RDNA 3 cards. These all will offer more options that always improve the offering. With more performance but possibly coming in at steeper pricing. So there is a bit of consideration when it comes to choosing a card.
Other GPU guides
Best graphics card FAQs
Can PC work without graphics card?
If your CPU has onboard graphics then your PC can work without a graphics card. This is since you need a video output from your PC to your monitor for it to work and be useful.
Which GPU is best for gaming?
Currently, the new RTX 4090 is the best pick for the best GPU for gaming. It is the newest and greatest of cards that will give you best choice of card with nothing held back.
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