The 6 Best Graphics Cards of 2019

Take your gaming to the next level with the next generation of graphics cards

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown:

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Graphics Card

 Geforce RTX 2080

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is simply the top graphics card that PC gamers can get with (a lot of) their money. With lightning-fast 11 GB GDDR6 memory and 616 GB/s bandwidth, it can handle the latest display specs with ease. Gaming at 4K resolution with HDR and a 144Hz refresh rate? No problem. 

But the RTX 2080 Ti isn’t just the fastest graphics card today — it’s also ready to take on the future. The GPU is built on Nvidia’s revolutionary Turing architecture, the first with the power to support real-time ray tracing. Ray tracing renders 3D visuals by tracing individual paths of light, simulating how light bounces off objects in the real world and creating stunningly realistic reflections and shadowing. The list of games supporting ray tracing (like Battlefield V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider) is still limited but growing. The GPU also includes 544 Tensor cores for machine learning tasks, using artificial intelligence to improve performance through Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology. 

While you can get the RTX 2080 Ti in customized builds from a number of third-party manufacturers, the Founders Edition straight from Nvidia offers a worthwhile high-end experience. In a first for the company, it comes pre-boosted at a 1635MHz clock speed. The cooling system, with two 13-blade fans and a vapor chamber, is quiet and effective. In addition to DisplayPort and HDMI connections, there’s a USB-C VirtualLink port designed to support virtual reality (VR) headsets.

Best Nvidia: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 Super XC Ultra Gaming

Hot on the heels of AMD’s next-generation Radeon RX 5700 graphics card launch, Nvidia introduced its own new competitors: The GeForce RTX “Super” line. These enhanced models will replace the base RTX versions at various levels, representing better performance for lower price points. The RTX 2070 Super, for example, costs the same as the vanilla RTX 2070 but delivers speeds similar to the RTX 2080. With a Turing GPU, 2,560 CUDA cores, and 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, it supports real-timing ray tracing, DLSS AI technology, and more advanced processing goodness. 

EVGA’s XC Ultra Gaming card puts the RTX 2070 Super to work at an overclocked 1800MHz, cooled by a pair of quiet hydraulic bearing fans. It uses 2.75 slots, a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connector, and at least a 650-watt power supply. Adding a few style points are RGB LED lighting effects, customizable through EVGA’s own robust control software. 

Nvidia GeForce video cards now also have the benefit of working with more displays that support variable refresh rates (dynamically matching screen refresh rates with source frame rates to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering). Nvidia cards used to only support G-Sync technology while FreeSync was exclusive to AMD. Now Nvidia GPUs are compatible with a number of FreeSync displays as well, some officially and others to varying degrees.

Best AMD: XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT

While the typical state of the graphics card market sees Nvidia at the top of the heap, AMD may be getting a foothold with its Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT. The latest generation marks a significant overhaul in AMD’s architecture. All Navi 10 GPUs are built on the 7nm process, for better performance with lower power consumption, and each pioneer the Radeon DNA (RDNA) architecture. As a result, the RX 5700 XT yields striking visuals, whether you're gaming or rendering extensive Ultra HD video projects.

As the top-end option among the new offerings, the RX 5700 XT is a bit on the power-hungry side, yet it's still an improvement over older models. When pitted against Nvidia’s comparable GeForce RTX Super products, AMD actually has the advantage in performance. Even stacked up against the next-tier Nvidia RTX 2070 Super, the RX 5700 XT pulls off better performance per dollar. Of course, you don’t get the most advanced technologies like ray tracing and DLSS support, and the blower-based cooling runs somewhat hotter and louder than comparable setups. Some may want to wait and see if future board partners can make the card cooler and quieter with fan- or water-based cooling solutions.

Best for 1440p: Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060

Gaming at the 2560x1440-pixel (1440p or Quad HD) resolution serves as an exacting benchmark for mid-range consumer graphics cards, and at that level, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 excels. The RTX 2060’s Turing GPU gives gamers fast, smooth 1440p frame rates at even the highest quality settings, especially nice if you want to take advantage of a monitor with a high refresh rate. And if you’re playing at 1080p (Full HD) resolution, you’ll have no problem exceeding 60 frames per second (fps) at maximum quality. 

Adding even more to love, Asus has embellished this particular RTX 2060 model with its signature Republic of Gamers (ROG) design scheme. To some, its appearance is striking, ideal for showing off through a tempered glass window. The RGB lighting has fully customizable lighting and effects you can match to other Asus products. But it's more than just a pretty case; the Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 also has a sturdy build, housing three quiet wing-blade fans that aim to keep temps low and dust particles out.  

Best for 1080p: XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition

Contrary to popular belief, it's possible to find a powerful graphics card at an affordable price, especially now that the cryptocurrency mining craze has died down and demand has settled. And for strong 1080p performance at a competitive price, you won’t have to look much further than the AMD Radeon RX 580. While you can pick up one of the various 4GB SKUs, opt for the 8GB version and you’ll get of 256GB per second of bandwidth from the GDDR5 memory. Combine that with the 1386MHz overclocked speed of XFX’s XXX Edition, and you’ll be able to enjoy blazing framerates on essentially any title at 1080p and high settings. You can even manage decent frame rates at 1440p, and some form of 4K content is possible, too. 

The two-slot XXX Edition is fairly big, measuring about 10.5 inches long and under 5 inches wide. Its dual-fan construction cools it well, and dynamic technology further helps the card save power, lower its temperature, and increase performance. It even comes VR-ready if you have a virtual reality headset to throw on. 

Best for Professionals: Nvidia Quadro P4000

PC gamers aren’t the only ones who need state-of-the-art graphics processing technology. Powerful graphics cards are also crucial for designers, architects, engineers, media creators, and other professionals who regularly use heavy-duty 2D-imaging, 3D-modeling, or video-rendering software as part of their livelihoods. That’s why professional-level graphics cards like Nvidia’s Quadro line exist. They’re specifically and carefully designed to power those types of applications, all while maintaining reliability and offering technical support options in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong.

The Quadro P4000 falls in a popular sweet spot for professional cards, consolidating ample performance and features into a small, low-power, and single-slot package without the imposing price tag typical of a premium graphics card. Using the Pascal architecture, 8GB of GDDR5 memory, and 1,792 of Nvidia’s CUDA cores, the P4000 produces 5.3 teraflops of computing power, enough to run CAD programs and other demanding professional tools. It can drive four 5K-resolution displays at the same time and supports VR output as well.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best AGP graphic cards.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 4.5 hours researching the most popular graphics card on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 34 different graphics cards overall and read over 10 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.