The Best Video Card Buyer’s Guide – Summer 2021

By Ari Altman | Published August 5, 2021 | Updated August 5, 2021

XFX Radeon 6900 XT MERCGet Your Game On!

If you’re a PC gamer or HTPC enthusiast looking for the best graphics cards on the market at every price point, you’ve come to the right place! Our list profiles every card worth buying, starting at under $300 and going up to the fastest gaming cards on the market!

The Good News and the Bad News!

For Summer 2021, things continue to be a bit crazy in the GPU market, thanks to the lasting effects of the longest cryptocurrency mining boom ever. Luckily, a number of GPUs are now in stock at retail outlets every day, and while they are marked up 1.5-2x MSRP. While that’s a whole lot better than earlier in 2021, when everything was 2x-3x MSRP, and only available from unreliable scalpers on eBay!

In terms of our recommendations, Nvidia holds onto the lower-end and mid-range with some of its older GPUs, but all of its older GTX 1600 and RTX 2000 series GPUs are still out of stock. That means we turn to AMD and its awesome, game-changing Radeon 6000 series for high-end gaming needs. We anticipate that Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series GPUs won’t be available at retail until the end of the year.

Parting Thoughts

Products shown in this guide will link to Amazon or Newegg in the US, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for our readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU. If you decide to purchase one of the cards we profile, please use the links we provide, which helps support continued development of this guide.

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB

    $300

    This powerful and efficient GPU offers 4GB of fast GDDR6 VRAM and an efficient cooler to keep noise and temps down, making it perfect regardless of how much you push it!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This card is a great stepping-stone into gaming, and also the perfect home theater PC GPU!

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 6GB

    $560

    The GTX 1660 is the card that unleashed true high-end gaming potential at a mainstream pricepoint. With 6GB of VRAM on board, it’s a great match for running the latest games at 1080p, and it’s massively efficient, making this model cool and quiet.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Take a step into serious gaming with this card!

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB

    $490

    Offering high performance in a compact package, along with very low power use, the GTX 1660 Super 6GB set new standards for GPUs at its pricepoint. It’s significantly faster than the original 1660 due to a much more advanced memory subsystem.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Sometimes Nvidia has added "Super" without much of a boost, but this really is a whole lot faster than the standard 1660!

  • Video Card

    MSI GeForce RTX 2060 6GB

    $700

    The GeForce RTX 2060 6GB offers excellent performance and efficiency in a compact package. This dual-fan model runs cool and quiet, while keeping up with the latest games.

    The Guru’s Tip

    The RTX class of products add dedicated Ray Tracing cores, which was a huge leap beyond GTX-class models.

  • Video Card

    PowerColor Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB Red Devil

    $850

    It’s time to get gaming again! This Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB from PowerColor has impressive gaming power, going head to head with the RTX 3070, while actually being available to order today! Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but it’s pretty clear at this point that prices have been reset permanently, so rather than wait for a price drop that will never come, grab a great GPU today and get into your games!

    The Guru’s Tip

    We'd say 12GB of VRAM is the sweet spot today for future-proofing, as it will be enough for at least as long as any GPU sold today will be viable for gaming.

  • Video Card

    PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 16GB Red Dragon

    $1170

    It’s time to get gaming again! This Radeon RX 6800 16GB has impressive gaming power, matching the RTX 3070 Ti, while actually being in stock and ready to game today! Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but it’s pretty clear at this point that prices have been reset permanently, so rather than wait for a price drop that will never come, grab a great GPU today and get into your games!

    The Guru’s Tip

    AMD really caught Nvidia flat-footed with the RX 6800 series. These cards are fast!

  • Video Card

    Gigabyte Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB Gaming OC

    $1320

    It’s time to get gaming again! This Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB has impressive gaming power, matching the RTX 3080, while actually being in stock and ready to game today! Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but it’s pretty clear at this point that prices have been reset permanently, so rather than wait for a price drop that will never come, grab a great GPU today and get into your games!

    The Guru’s Tip

    While this card is the equivalent of Nvidia's RTX 3080 10GB, it has 60% more VRAM, which will pay dividends in future games!

  • Video Card

    XFX Radeon RX 6900XT Speedster MERC319 Black 16GB

    $1700

    Long name, but this one’s earned it! Step into gaming today with a video card that puts Nvidia non-existent GPUs to shame, the 6900XT Speedster MERC319 from XFX. Clocking in at a boost frequency of 2365MHz, this massive card can take on any game and put up amazing framerates! Plus, the custom triple-slot, triple-fan cooler looks great and works even better! Sure, the price is above the original MSRP, but everything’s been reset by the cryptocurrency mining craze, and this is a card that makes an RTX 3090 tremble!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Before the RX 6000 series launched, no one could have imagined AMD would release a GPU this fast!

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