Not all graphics cards are created equal. Both AMD and Nvidia offer a wide range of graphics cards designed for tasks as varied as adding basic video support to a home theater PC to playing gorgeous video games at crushingly high frame rates and resolutions.
Here, we’re going to outline every consumer Radeon graphics card currently offered by AMD, along with the performance you can expect from each—so you know exactly which video card meets your particular needs. Today’s Radeon cards consume quite a bit more power than their GeForce counterparts, but the Radeon RX-500 and Radeon RX Vega series pair damned well with affordable FreeSync monitors that Nvidia has no answer for, bringing buttery smooth, tearing- and stutter-free gaming to the mainstream.
Looking for more of a compare-and-contrast? Check out PCWorld’s guide to the best graphics cards for PC gaming to see how Radeon and GeForce options compare at every price point and resolution.
Editor's note: This article is updated constantly as new Radeon graphics cards appear. It was most recently updated to include custom Vega 64 options.
Radeon RX 550
The Radeon RX 550 is a thrilling entry-level graphics card with a perplexing $80 starting price. This card is essentially the step-up Radeon RX 560 cut in half, but at a mere $20 discount.
It still offers some compelling features for niche use cases, however. The Radeon RX 550 doesn’t need an extra power connector, making it easy to slip into prebuilt “big box” PCs, yet it’s potent enough to drive major e-sports titles at over 100 frames per second (fps) on High graphics settings, or AAA games at Low graphics settings in the 30fps to 40fps range at 1080p resolution. The card’s also ideal for adding modern video support to home theater PCs thanks to its small size, sparse power needs, and cool temperatures.
The Radeon RX 550 starts at $85 on Amazon. Stick to a 2GB model; there’s no point paying more for 4GB considering the card’s modest performance. Nvidia’s competitor is the GeForce GT 1030, which starts at $73 on Newegg.
Radeon RX 560
The Radeon RX 560 is a huge step up from the Radeon RX 550 for a small price increase. As a faster version of the older RX 460, look for it to play AAA games at around 60fps on Medium graphics at 1080p, or a more console-like 30fps to 40fps if you crank up the eye candy to High or Ultra. While the RX 460 could theoretically be powered by your PC’s motherboard alone, AMD cranked up the clocks for the RX 560, so expect to need a supplementary 6-pin power connector with most models.
The Radeon RX 560 starts around $120 on Amazon. Only opt for a 4GB version if you plan to play modern AAA games at High or Ultra settings. But be careful as you shop because AMD quietly made some RX 560s worse. Nvidia offers the similar, yet much more power-efficient GeForce GTX 1050 for prices starting at $100 on Amazon.
Radeon RX 570
The cryptocurrency mining craze has driven prices for all Radeon graphics cards from here on out through the roof. Some are still good buys in today's inflated market, but they're all selling for significantly over suggested pricing.
The Radeon RX 570 is a huge leap in performance from the RX 560. This beast is the best pure 1080p graphics card you can buy, delivering a damned fine 60fps experience in most games with few graphical compromises. The RX 570 can even play some games at 1440p if you dial the eye candy back a bit. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. Most models pack 4GB of memory, though AMD’s hardware partners can double that up if they choose. You can find customized models starting at around $260 on Amazon and Newegg. They're a bad buy with the step-up RX 580 selling for around the same price.
AMD’s card blows away the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, though Nvidia’s card doesn’t require an extra power pin like the Radeon. It also squares up against the $200 3GB GTX 1060 performance-wise, with the Radeon RX 570’s extra memory giving it the edge.
Radeon RX 580
The Radeon RX 580 stands as the current crown jewel in AMD’s lineup and potentially the best mainstream graphics card ever sold. The Radeon RX 580 absolutely screams through 1080p games at 60fps or more with all graphics options cranks to 11, can deliver superb 1440p gameplay if you dial graphics back to High in modern games, and can even power virtual reality experiences. It’s incredibly powerful, incredibly versatile, and theoretically incredibly well priced—again, in theory. In the wake of the card’s launch, stocks are low and prices are inflated, just like with the RX 570.
The 4GB version is the bang-for-buck champion and superb for no-compromises 1080p gaming, but if you’re gaming in VR or at 1440p, consider stepping up to the 8GB model, which officially starts at $230. But right now, you'll find some basic 4GB models starting at $260 on Newegg, with all 8GB selling for $310 or more. Supply and demand is nasty sometimes.
Compared to Nvidia’s GeForce card, the 4GB RX 580’s a no-brainer versus the 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 when prices are equal. You can actually buy 3GB GTX 1060 cards for prices near MSRP, however. The more potent 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 trades blows with the 8GB RX 580 at similar suggested pricing, so be sure to read PCWorld’s Radeon RX 580 review to see the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Radeon RX Vega 56
Don’t feel like playing your games with dialed-back graphics settings? Check out Radeon RX Vega 56. This HBM2-bearing beast delivers a no-compromises 1440p/60fps gaming experience that edges out the GeForce GTX 1070 in many games. It draws more power to do so, and the reference version runs loud. AMD’s card is a great option for everything but 4K gaming, though.
The Radeon RX Vega 56 carries a $399 suggested price, but that's even more theoretical than the other cards we've talked about. Currently, there are no available cards whatsoever on Amazon or Newegg, and when they do pop up, they're usually marked up by $100 or $200.
Radeon RX Vega 64 (air-cooled)
The pinnacle of AMD’s gaming prowess, Radeon Vega 64 trades blows with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 ($510 and up on Amazon). It can drive a 1440p monitor at extremely high refresh rates or even play games in 4K, though you’d probably want to pair it with a 4K FreeSync monitor like the LG 27UD58-B ($340 on Amazon) as frame rates often drop below 60fps in demanding games. The only real reason to opt for Vega 64 over a GTX 1080 is to take advantage of affordable FreeSync monitors, as AMD’s reference version of the card runs hot and loud and draws a staggering amount of power. Sapphire's superb Nitro+ Radeon RX 64 Limited Edition uses a massive cooler to tame the noise and temperatures, but at $659, those improvements come at a big price increase.
Radeon RX Vega 64 theoretically carries a $499 MSRP for the standalone card. In the real world, the cards have been plagued by low stocks and wildly inflated prices. Currently, only a single Vega 64 reference card can be found on Newegg, and it's going for $730.
Radeon RX Vega 64 (liquid-cooled)
Speaking of, AMD also offers a liquid-cooled version of Vega 64. The card is gorgeous and offers a decent performance bump in some games over the air-cooled model, but it still offers roughly GTX 1080-level firepower and is only available as part of a “Radeon Aqua Pack” selling for $699 or more on the rare occasions when you can find it in stock.
At that price, you’re better off buying a much more powerful GTX 1080 Ti graphics card like EVGA’s GTX 1080 Ti SC2 ($770 on Amazon) even if you’ve invested in a FreeSync monitor. PCWorld’s guide to the best graphics cards for gaming can help walk you through your options at every price point.