There has never been a better time to pick up one of the best graphics cards for gaming. The last few years have seen a massive influx in processing power, and recent events have driven prices to an all-time low. What’s this mean for PC gamers? You can achieve exceptional performance from your gaming rig without breaking the bank.

Play in HD or UHD resolution and reach the highest FPS for incredible immersion and a maximum competitive advantage. Pick up a card with high overclocking potential, and you’re set to game with the pros for years to come. There are countless benefits to snagging a graphics card for gaming, and we’ve narrowed down the top 10 best Nvidia and Radeon options of 2019 to help you make the smartest decision possible. If you’re ready for breathtaking graphics and peak performance, let’s get started.

Top 10: Best Graphics Card for Gaming of 2019

The following list contains our picks for the top 10 best graphics cards currently available.

1. EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC Gaming Graphics Card

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC ULTRA GAMING, 8GB GDDR6, Dual HDB Fans & RGB LED Graphics Card 08G-P4-2183-KR

Our pick for overall best GPU for gaming

The EVGA RTX 2080 XC just hit the market, and boy does it deliver. It’s loaded with 8GB of the latest GDDR6 memory, and it boasts clock speeds up to 14,000! Moreover, it features NVIDIA’s new Turing Architecture to streamline your gaming experience and optimize your play for maximum FPS and overall performance. It handles 4K with ease, and it excels in the VR department as well. Overall, the EVGA 2080 XC is one of the best NVIDIA video cards on the market.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x8
  • Ram: 8GB GDDR6 Memory
  • Performance: 14,000 MHz clock speeds; 4K compatible
  • Includes LEDs & NVIDIA GameWorks Tech

2. Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX AMD Graphics Card

ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 570

Our pick for best 4GB graphics card for gaming

Asus is back with a new ROG Strix model, but this time it’s loaded with AMD Radeon processors. Naturally, can expect superb graphical performance thanks to 4 gigs of GDDR5 memory and Asus’ proprietary Auto-Extreme technology. This model also boasts high overclocking potential thanks to a plethora of cooling features including direct-GPU contact heatpipes, Fan Connect, and a patented wing-blade design. As for style? The ROG Strix features a sexy sleek shell accented by Aura Sync LEDs.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x16
  • Ram: 4GB GDDR5 Memory
  • Performance: 1,300 MHz clock speeds; HD compatible
  • Features RGB LEDs & Auto-Extreme Tech

3. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Graphics Card

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 2GB GDDR5 128 Bit PCI-E Graphic Card-min

Our pick for best 2GB graphics card for gaming

If you’re seeking an NVIDIA GPU that’s cost-effective and powerful enough for all your HD gaming needs, the Gigabyte GTX 1050 is the only choice. This 2GB graphics card packs quite a punch with 7,000 MHz clock speeds, and it’s even got Boost Clock tech for those straining in-game moments. Play at 1080p resolution to your heart’s content, and expect 60 FPS throughout the entire game.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x16
  • Ram: 2GB GDDR5 Memory
  • Performance: 7,000 MHz clock speeds; HD compatible
  • Includes NVIDIA Architecture for easy overclocking

4. MSI RX Vega 64 Graphics Card

MSI RX Vega 64 AIR Boost 8G OC Computer Graphics Cards-min

Our pick for best AMD graphics card

AMD just released a new lineup of GPUs, and the MSI RX Vega 64 makes full use of their unbelievable processing power. Play your favorite titles in either QHD or 4K for incredible immersion, and take advantage of 8GB of memory for maximum overclocking. Immerse yourself in your favorite titles, and play without ghosting, tearing, or choppy frames. This unit features all the necessary cables and connectors, and it’s been specially designed for quick and easy installation.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x16
  • Ram: 8GB GDDR5 Memory
  • Performance: 1,600 MHz clock speeds; QHD/4K compatible
  • Features Polaris Architecture for premium performance

5. MSI GeForce GTX 1050 TI Gaming Graphics Card

MSI Computer Video Graphic Cards GeForce GTX 1050 TI Gaming X 4G-min

Our pick for best video card for multiple monitors

The GTX 1050 TI is an exceptional NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Card that’s perfect for gamers and casual users alike. How so? For starters, it boasts a versatile design that integrates effortlessly with your favorite displays, as well as a budget-friendly price tag. In terms of performance, you can expect over 7,000 MHz clock speeds at full HD resolution for all your gaming and movie activities. Plus, it’s packed with state-of-the-art cooling components including a Twin Frozr VI Heatsink, Torx 2.0 Fan, and ZeroFrozr Tech.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x16
  • Ram: 4GB GDDR5 Memory
  • Performance: 7,100 MHz clock speeds; HD compatible
  • Includes Torx Fan & 3x monitor support

6. Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 Graphics Card

Sapphire 11265-05-20G Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB-min

Our pick for best graphics card under $200

If you’re looking for one of the best AMD video cards under $200, the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 is the perfect option. It features 8 full gigs of respectable DRAM and provides smooth and consistent frame rates at high resolution. Moreover, its versatile form factor works in a number of PC builds, and it’s also one of the best graphics cards for laptops. Plus, combined with its powerful pulse technology, the Sapphire 580 is a great model all-around.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x16
  • Ram: 8GB DRAM Memory
  • Performance: 1,800 MHz clock speeds; HD compatible
  • Features Radeon Pulse Tech for burst performance

7. Zotac GeForce 2060 RTX Gaming Graphics Card

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 AMP 6GB GDDR6 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card-min

Our pick for best 4K graphics card

This is the least expensive 4K graphics card on our list, but don’t let that fool you— It’s a beast of a card, and it performs on par with today’s top models. The Zotac 2060 Amp boasts 6GB of cutting-edge GDDR6 memory, and it tops the clock speed charts at an incredible 14,000 MHz. In addition, it’s loaded with NVIDIA’s full suite of built-in tech including Ansel, G-Sync, and the Turing Architecture system. With 3 display ports and 1 HDMI connection slot, you’re in for some kick-ass multi-screen gaming.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: SATA 6.0 Gb/s
  • Ram: 6GB GDDR6 Memory
  • Performance: 14,000 MHz clock speeds; 4K compatible
  • Features Ice Storm 2.0 & Nvidia Turing Architecture

8. MSI AMD R7 240 Radeon Graphics Card

MSI AMD Radeon R72402364P 2GB-min

Our pick for best value graphics card

If you’re on the market for the best graphics card under $100, this AMD GPU is just the ticket. Its low profile design boasts the Radeon R7 240 Chipset that’s packed with 2GB of GDDR3 video memory and a decent clock speed. As for connection slots? You’re looking at modern HDMI ports, as well as DVI and D-Sub for excellent adaptability. The MSI R7 240 is one of the best low profile graphics cards on the market, and it’s the perfect option for newbies and budget builds alike.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x16
  • Ram: 2GB DDR3 Memory
  • Performance: 600 MHz clock speeds; HD compatible
  • Features MSI Afterburner Overclocking for low-cost performance

9. EVGA Geforce RTX 2080 TI Gaming Graphics Card

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming-min

Our pick for best NVIDIA graphics card

If you usually choose the top tech on the market, the EVGA RTX 2080 TI is just the ticket. This NVIDIA GeForce graphics card is among the best consumer options on around, and it’s packed with everything you need to play any game on the market- in 4K, VR, or any other format. What makes it so special? Well, i’s loaded with 11GB of the newest DDR6 memory, ensuring the highest resolution graphics possible. It also reaches the peak of the major benchmark tests, and it’s adored by industry experts and consumers alike. Overall, it’s the best option on our list.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x8
  • Ram: 11GB DDR6 Memory
  • Performance: 14,000 MHz clock speeds; 4K compatible
  • Offers EVGA Precision & Turing Tech for unrivalled gaming performance

10. PowerColor Radeon 590 Graphics Card

PowerColor Radeon AXRX 590 8G-min

Our pick for best DDR5 graphics card

The PowerColor Radeon 590, also known as the Red Devil, is an exceptional graphics cards that offers a great balance between features and cost. It’s got 8 gigs of memory built in, and it’s compatible with a number of modern technologies including DirectX, FreeSync, and Radeon VR. This unit also boasts ultra or silent overclocking, as well as LEDs and a smart fan for increased airflow. Combine that with the budget-friendly price, and you have a respectable card that rounds out our top 10 list.

Snapshot:

  • Connectivity: PCI Express x8
  • Ram: 8GB DDR5 Memory
  • Performance: 2,000 MHz clock speeds; HD compatible
  • Features Silent Overclocking, LEDs, and more

What is a Graphics Card for Gaming?

Top Graphics Card

A graphics card, aka video card, for gaming is a printed circuit board that’s designed to generate high-quality images from game software. It achieves this through the built-in GPU, or graphics processing unit. The best gaming GPUs utilize the latest generation of NVIDIA or AMD processors to transfer image output from the game to a video display such as a computer monitor or TV set.

In addition to the GPU, each graphics card for gaming includes a:

  • Memory System
  • Cooling Apparatus
  • Output & Motherboard Interface
  • BIOS

These components work together to maximize your graphics output while communicating with your gaming motherboard and peripherals for optimal performance. To achieve this, most graphics cards are either integrated into the main CPU or sold separately as a dedicated unit. While integrated graphics cards have come a long way, most pro gamers and technophiles choose to insert a dedicated card for better performance and enhanced graphics. Combined with modern rendering technologies like OpenGL and DirectX, this results in HD 1080P or better resolutions at the highest possible frames per second. Naturally, a dedicated graphics card is a must for competitive players and those seeking full gaming immersion.

GeForce

How do Graphics Cards Work?

You boot your computer and launch Apex Legends. As the visuals load, your graphics card springs to life to handle the bulk of the rendering for better system performance. You land on the main title screen and launch right into the game world.

As you enter the game, you see the giant map below you filled with beautiful 3D graphics rendered in stunning detail. Fortunately, your dedicated graphics card is built for gaming, and your 144hz monitor displays the scene with ease. You land safely on the ground, reach for a gun, and begin collecting gear. Then— an enemy approaches!

Things heat up as more strain is put on the graphics card. You manage to take the enemy down, but his squad mates approach. The fan on the graphics card whirs to life to handle the resource load. You keep your cool as your PC maintains 60 FPS per second. A shotgun pump and one more goes down. You crouch behind a nearby wall, then step out with guns ablazing. Pop, pop, pop, and the last opponent drops! Your squad marches on to victory, all thanks to the best graphics card for gaming.

Benefits of Gaming Graphics Cards

The best graphics cards include a number of unique specs to benefit gamers:

  • The Latest Tech. Due to the high system requirements of many popular titles, the best graphics cards for gaming are loaded with cutting-edge tech. So cutting-edge, in fact, that the same tech is used in the world’s most powerful super computers.
  • Immersive Graphics. Breathtaking graphics and vivid details are among the greatest features modern video games have to offer. And— the right graphics card will immerse you in the game world whether you’re playing in 1080P, 4K, or a virtual headset.
  • Unbeatable Performance. Top of the line graphics cards pack loads of processing power, memory, and extra built-in features. This ensures top-notch performance as well as excellent overclocking potential.
  • A Competitive Edge. The coolest part about snagging one of the best graphics cards on our list is the gameplay advantage. They’ll help you maximize your FPS and draw distances, while minimizing frustrating setbacks like ghosting and screen tear.

Top graphics cards come loaded with their own unique specs that vary depending on type and manufacturer. For a rounded summary, take a look at our snapshots and be sure to inspect the product listings themselves.

GTA GPU

Choosing the Best Graphics Card for Your Rig

The downside to so many great options is that you have to choose just one! Let’s take a look at the top considerations:

  • Purpose & Compatibility
  • Specifications
  • Performance Ratings
  • Extras & Price

If you’re a hardcore gamer playing the newest titles, a current generation NVIDIA graphics card is the way to go. However, if you take things more casually, an AMD or slightly older graphics card will probably do the trick. Regardless of your desired brand, be sure to check out the specs and customer reviews of your favorite models for compatibility and performance purposes. Also consider taking a look at expert benchmark tests to see how they perform in action.

It can be hard to stay within your budget when there are so many extra perks like LEDs, cooling systems, and software options out there. Our advice? Aim for that sweet spot between dream card and what your budget allows for, but do note that splurging a little now can save you from a costly replacement down the line.

How to Install a Graphics Card for Gaming

The graphics card installation process is relatively easy. Simply plug it into a dedicated PCIe lane on the motherboard, configure the BIOS, and you’re good to go. If you’re a seasoned technophile, this is probably second nature. However, even newbies can breeze through the process with the right tutorial.

To assist in the matter, we’ve pulled the following video by Linus Tech Tips over on YouTube. He takes you through the entire setup process from locating the correct installation slot to configuring your graphics BIOS. Check out the video below: