When it comes to gaming PCs, nothing matters more than your graphics card. To push as many pixels as possible you’re going to want the fastest graphics card you can afford—but ever-shifting prices and product lineups make it difficult to keep track of what’s available.
In honor of keeping frame rates high, we decided to rank all the major available discrete GPUs from Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon, starting with the fastest graphics card available and working on down. This list focuses on each company’s most current GPU lineup, and doesn’t include older graphics cards.
We’ve verified this information through hours of blood, sweat, and benchmarking. Feel free to hit up the individual reviews to see our work in greater detail. Or, if you want more concrete buying advice for your specific budget or display resolution, be sure to read our guide to the best graphics cards for gaming. It provides much more information than this simple list, complete with discussion about considerations like form factors and what to look for in a customized model. (Concrete example: The original GeForce RTX 2080 is technically more powerful than the GeForce RTX 2070 Super, and hence higher on this list, but it’s awfully close and the GeForce option is significantly cheaper, making it a better buy.)
But if you just want to know if GPU A is faster than GPU B, starting with the current consumer gaming champion, read on. The higher up a graphics card is on this list, the faster and more powerful it is.
Editor’s note: This article was last updated on December 20, 2019 to add Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 Super and AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 XT.
You’ll also find (literally) lower-powered consumer graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 1650, GeForce GTX 1030, and Radeon RX 550 available, which can all be powered by your motherboard alone in their stock configuration. Unless you’re extremely budget-constricted, however, or can’t accommodate additional power connections, avoid everything below the Radeon RX 570.
AMD’s RX 570 provides an incredible amount of value at the $130 sale price you can consistently find it for—often while bundled with free games—and damned fine 1080p gaming if you don’t mind dialing visual settings back from Ultra. Its GeForce rival, the GTX 1650, isn’t as fast as the Radeon RX 570 and costs more with a $150 starting price, damned near the cost of the much-superior GTX 1650 Super and Radeon RX 5500 XT.
…But that’s beyond the scope of this list. Again, be sure to check out our guide to the best graphics cards for gaming if you want our GPU recommendations for any budget and other helpful information designed to help you choose the best graphics card for you.