This article has been just updated: December 13, 2019

When it comes to gaming, the graphics card is by far the most important component. The problem is that you can get a graphics card for as little as $100 or as much as $1,000. We don’t expect that your budget is infinite, which is why we’ve created this list of the top 7 best GPUs in 2018.

best gpuWhen choosing a new graphics card, try to balance it with the rest of your computer. It makes no sense to spend $1,000 on a top-of-the-line graphics card if you have a budget CPU, slow hard drive, and only 8 GB of RAM. On the other hand, you don’t need a flagship CPU to drive a powerful graphics card—all you need is an overall balance of all components.

If you play games in Full HD and don’t intend to move to 2K or 4K resolution anytime soon, just about any mid-range graphics card should satisfy your needs. For ultra-high-resolution gaming at 60 frames per second or more, only the best graphics cards on the market are fit for the job.

CPUBenchmark resultPrice(according to Amazon)
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti16,988$999.99
2. AMD Radeon RX Vega 5611,422$799.99
3. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti14,129$945.00
4. AMD Radeon RX Vega 6411,937$650.00
5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 10504,623$109.99
6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 207014,128$549.99
7. AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB8,418$324.00
 

1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Many people in the gaming industry believe that ray tracing, a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects, is the future of computer graphics. If you want to experience ray tracing right now, you can buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and bring the power of real-time ray tracing to your games. The GPU is powerful enough to ensure smooth frames rates even when playing games in 4K resolution, and its reinvented design allows for maximum overclocking and cooler operation.

best graphics card

Benchmark result: 16,988

Pros: Efficient cooling design. Powerful performance. Support for cutting-edge rendering technologies.

Cons: Ray tracing is not yet widely supported. Expensive.

 

2. AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 is often seen as a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 contender, but the GPU is more than that. It provides a great entry-point into high-end gaming and makes tear-gaming possible thanks to its support for FreeSync technology, which is the brand name for an adaptive synchronization technology for LCD displays that support a dynamic refresh rate aimed at reducing tearing. FreeSync monitors are much more affordable than monitors with support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, and they greatly increase the overall value of the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56.

graphics card comparison

Benchmark result: 11,422

Pros: High-end gaming performance. Faster than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. Support for FreeSync technology.

Cons: Inefficient design. Loud stock fan.

 

3. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is easily the ultimate gaming GPU from Nvidia. Featuring Nvidia’s groundbreaking Pascal architecture, the GPU delivers fantastic gaming performance while being surprisingly efficient. Compared with the previous generation of Nvidia GPUs, which were built on the Maxwell architecture, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti can give you up to 3 times higher frame rates, making it suitable even for graphics-intensive VR gaming applications. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that its price reflects its performance, but high-end PC gaming has always been expensive.

graphics card benchmarks

Benchmark result: 14,129

Pros: Improved design that ensures quiet operation and low temperatures. Impressive VR performance.

Cons: Not necessary unless you’re into 4K gaming.

 

4. AMD Radeon RX Vega 64

If you want the best Radeon graphics card AMD currently offers, look no further than the RX Vega 64. Powered by the Vega architecture, this uncompromising GPU is designed to deliver exhilarating performance in the newest DirectX 12 and Vulkan games, and it does so without much effort. When it was first released, the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 was priced rather high, so it was difficult to recommend it over more efficient graphics cards from Nvidia. But its price has dropped significantly, and we think that buying is a smart decision.

graphics card

Benchmark result:11,937

Pros: Powerful performance at an affordable price. Great for Vulkan games.

Cons: Noisier than competing graphics cards.

 

5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

Console gamers like to say that PC gaming is too expensive. Although PC gaming can be expensive, it certainly doesn’t have to be. You can buy an affordable GPU such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 and comfortably play all popular eSports games such as Fortnite or League of Legends or Overwatch in Full HD and at medium or higher details. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 is extremely compact, so you can fit inside a MicroATX case to save space under your desk.

compare graphics cards

Benchmark result: 4,623

Pros: Small form factor. Tiny power consumption. Everything you need to play popular eSports games such as Fortnite.

Cons: Limited amount of video memory. Not great for more demanding games.

 

6. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

If you want to enjoy all the technology that makes the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti such a wonderful GPU but are not willing to pay what Nvidia is asking for it, the GeForce RTX 2070 is your next best option. It’s powered by the same Turing GPU architecture and the all-new RTX platform as its more expensive sibling, but it costs only half the price of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Perhaps because the RTX 2070 is so much more affordable than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, it doesn’t support pairing multiple GPUs through SLI. So, if you would like to do a multi-GPU setup, you have to pay more for Nvidia’s high-end GPU.

best graphics card for gaming

Benchmark result: 14,128

Pros: Great value. Low energy consumption. Relatively compact design.

Cons: Doesn’t support SLI.

 

7. AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB

The AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB is very comfortable with AAA games at Full HD, and it does surprisingly great even at 2K. Instead of being a brand-new card, think of it as a successful refinement of the RX 480, which was released in 2016 and instantly became a huge mid-range success. Just like its predecessor, the RX 580 supports FreeSync technology for tear-free gaming, and it’s not afraid to take on VR experiences.

gpu benchmark

Benchmark result: 8,418

Pros: Decent 2K and great Full HD performance. Support for FreeSync. Great value for money.

Cons: Large and power-hungry.


Conclusion

In 2018, the GPU market is as healthy as ever. Regardless of what your performance requirements are, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a suitable GPU that can meet them with flying colors and fit into your budget at the same time.