best video card

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 top 10 list profiles every card worth buying, starting at under $100 for a simple drop-in upgrade for older systems, through low-profile cards favored by Home Theater enthusiasts, and going up to the fastest gaming cards on the market!

For Winter 2019-20, Nvidia continues to dominate the ultra-high-end with its RTX 2000 series, which includes the RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2080 Super, while the mainstream is locked up by its new GTX 1660 Super GPU. But in the middle, AMD's Navi series of cards knocks Nvidia's feet out from under it, offering better performance and higher efficiency at a lower price. We therefore no longer recommend the RTX 2060 (or its successor, the RTX 2060 "Super"). And gamers on a strict budget (i.e., under $200) should stick to AMD as well, where the older Radeon RX 580 8GB offers unbeaten value (although Nvidia still gets the nod for home theater PC use).

Of note, the GeForce RTX cards were launched to great fanfare with Nvidia's new Ray Tracing Cores (hence the name RTX), which enable next-gen effects in games like Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Control. Since then, however, Nvidia has thought better of it and enabled Ray Tracing effects on all current cards, including its newer GTX 1600 series cards. It just didn't sit well with consumers that the latest cards didn't have the latest capabilities. That said, the RTX models still offer a bigger boost with these awesome next-gen effects.

Looking forward a bit, we hope AMD will release a true high-end card at CES 2020. We'll see soon enough - in fact, we'll be there!

Prices shown in this guide use real-time pricing engines, so they are always up-to-date. Note that we also include country-specific links for our readers in Canada, the UK, and Germany. 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. And keep in mind that once you start throwing a lot of GPU power at existing systems, you'll quickly reach the limits of older CPUs, which are taxed more heavily at higher settings. Feel free to check out our Builder's Guides to get a sense of what we consider to be balanced systems in terms of CPU and GPU power. 

Video Cards - Winter 2020

  • Video Card:

    MSI GeForce GT 1030 2G LP OC

    Nvidia offers up some serious performance with the single-slot, low-profile GeForce GT 1030. While it isn't a big deal when it comes to gaming, it is a very big deal when it comes to HTPC use. And there's one simple reason: HDMI 2.0, which allows 4K/60Hz output for an excellent home theater experience. Note that anything less expensive than the GT 1030 at this point isn't worth buying, as it would be slower than the built-in video processing on most modern CPUs.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model also has a Displayport output, which is extremely rare in budget cards. It can drive a monitor at resolutions up to 4K, meaning this card can actually support dual 4K monitors!

  • Video Card:

    Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC LP 4GB

    If you need a low-profile card that you can truly game on, the GTX 1050 Ti is the one. It's by far the fastest low-profile card ever released. Plus, it doesn't need additional power connectors, meaning it uses less than 75W at maximum load. That makes it a safe bet for just about any power supply. It's not the best value in terms of performance/dollar, but it's the only true gaming card that can fit where standard-sized cards can't!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that no low-profile versions of Nvidia's GTX 1600-series cards have been released yet. Two were announced, by Zotac and MSI, but none came to the retail market.

  • Video Card:

    XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS Black Edition 8GB

    Thanks to some very big price cuts, the RX 580 8GB is now our pick for the best bang-for-the-buck GPU on the market. Priced at under $200 (at least when it's in stock!), it's the clear pick for anyone who wants to do serious gaming while sticking to a strict budget. And thanks to having 8GB of VRAM, it will be able to handle all the latest games without hitting a VRAM bottleneck.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This card is far faster than the GTX 1050 Ti Low Profile listed above, but of course it's neither low-profile nor an energy miser!

  • Video Card:

    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6G

    Step up to a true gaming GPU with the GTX 1660 Super, which pulls well ahead of the RX 580 for only a bit more money. If you're willing to spend over $200 on a GPU, this is what you should buy!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This GPU in fact offers the greatest performance per dollar of any GPU released in history!

  • Video Card:

    PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5700 8GB

    Offering far more value than the higher-end RTX models listed below, the RX 5700 is a true bargain, offering up performance better than the last-gen GTX 1070, it's capable of driving nearly any game at resolutions up to 2560 x 1440.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model comes with a great cooler.

  • Video Card:

    Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 5700 XT

    It's a whole new world, and in the critical $300-$400 market, AMD is now king. Released on July 7th, the RX 5700 XT 8GB is simply leaps and bounds better than Nvidia's similarly-priced RTX 2060 6GB, offering better performance, as well as 2GB more VRAM, which adds a whole lot of future-proofing (lack of VRAM kills GPU performance faster than anything else).

    The Guru's Tip:

    Nvidia launched the RTX 2060 "Super" 8GB to counter the RX 5700 XT, but at $400, it makes no sense.

  • Video Card:

    MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Ventus OC

    The RTX 2070 Super 8GB blows past the original RTX 2070 by 15%, and in so doing also beats the former king-of-the-hill GTX 1080 Ti, still the benchmark by which many cards are judged. It truly delivers ultra-high-end performance at a mainstream price.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We like this version due to its effective cooler and very competitive price - it's among the only 2070 Super models to land at Nvidia's MSRP!

  • Video Card:

    MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Super Ventus XS OC

    The RTX 2080 Super 8GB is the card you want for true 4K gaming capability. It will easily drive any game on the market to 4K with all settings maxed out!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The RTX 2080 Super is about 6% faster than the original RTX 2080, which isn't night and day, but the big deal is that it costs the same or less!

  • Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition

    If you want the ultimate gaming card, the RTX 2080 Ti is your only option! Beating the previous king-of-the-hill GTX 1080 Ti by more than 30%, it's capable of running any game today at 4K with max settings, and can even hold its own at 4K/120Hz, which is going to be the new standard to beat going forward!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is one of the least expensive RTX 2080 Ti models, yet has an extremely effective and very quiet cooler.

  • Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti XC Hybrid

    OK, so if you actually need the fastest gaming setup in the world, what you want is dual liquid-cooled RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI. Nothing can come close to the performance on tap here, even Nvidia's high-priced RTX Titan.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note to get SLI working on RTX cards, you need an NV-Link adapter. SLI adapters included with motherboards won't work. Most motherboards require a 3-slot adapter, but some will require a 4-slot model.