Best graphics cards 2023 – every gamer’s guide to performance
An In-depth Look At The Best GPUs
Looking for a new GPU, don’t settle for anything other than the best graphics card in 2022. If you’re looking for an upgrade you’re starting fresh, we will find the card for you. Either if you’re looking at going for an AMD GPU or an Nvidia one we’ll have a choice.
Whatever the reason, purchasing the right GPU for your needs can be quite stressful. Here at WePC, we like to take the stress of product research and comparison away. Our team of dedicated PC enthusiasts is constantly reviewing, benchmarking, and comparing the latest graphics cards so you don’t have to.
With that in mind, the following article will be a closer look at only the best graphics cards the market has to offer. We’ll be comparing price, performance, aesthetics, and cooling, ensuring our selection are the best overall value-for-money products on the market.
List of best graphics cards for PC gaming in 2022
- ASUS ROG Strix OC RTX 4090
- MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10GB
- ASUS AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT ROG Strix LC OC 16GB
- ASUS GeForce RTX 3060 Ti ROG Strix Gaming OC
- ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5600 XT
How we choose the best graphics card
With so many GPUs out there it’s hard to pick out just one for the best graphics card in 2022. So it’s not an easy job to find which one is the best one with many hours going into the research and testing.
We test the performance and benchmarks of the graphics card to find which performs best under load. Take a look at reviews when possible to see what the user experience is like for the particular cards.
Alongside our expert knowledge of the market and constantly keeping up with new releases, we can gather the best choices. With tried and tested cards we know what makes the good cards stand out and avoid the bad solutions. Along with a wider variety of choices to make sure to provide something for everyone.
How we test
Testing the products we recommend is a huge part of the overall selection process in our best of guides. It’s a way to make sure what we recommend is, without a doubt, the best option in its specific category.
To be sure a product is “the best,” it must show excellent performance in our tests, and display better qualities and features than the competition it faces.
Most of the products we recommend here at WePC have gone through a strict testing process that involves everything from the price and performance, to build quality, efficiency, and aesthetics. Each product is pushed to the limit to see how it performs under intense stress to make sure it warrants our coveted top spot.
Doing this enables us to provide you with the most accurate review of how the product performs and, ultimately, whether it’s worth your hard-earned cash.
Best graphics card: buying tips
Ultimately, it comes down to your requirements and specific needs. We take a look at some of the key factors that affect decisions about choosing the best graphics card in 2022.
If you’re on a budget and can’t buy tech often, you’ll likely be looking for either the best value pick or the best budget GPU you can find. In this situation, we recommend going for value, even if it’s a bit more expensive than entry-level. That way you can make the most of your purchase and enjoy it for the longest time.
If budget isn’t a concern, you should still probably be smart and do your research. You wouldn’t want to drop $1K on a last-gen or overpriced GPU, for instance. You also wouldn’t want to buy super high-end when there’s a new generation of GPU around the corner.
If you’re somewhere in between, just make sure your needs are being met. If you only game at 1080p, for instance, you’re best with going for a mid-range card that will satisfy your needs. If you need to push a high refresh rate or high resolutions, you may want to consider a higher-end option. Make sure you can achieve what you need without overspending or missing out on those targets.
The resolution you want to play at has a major impact on the graphics card you should choose. Because higher resolutions utilize more pixels, you are increasing the demand that’s put on your GPU by increasing the resolution. If you currently play on 1080p but want to increase to 1440p, you will almost certainly need a much more powerful GPU.
The monitor’s refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and tells us how many times the monitor refreshes the image it’s displaying per second. The refresh rate has a major impact on the quality of your gaming experience and requires similar (if not higher) frame rate output to see the best results. There’s no point in getting a 144Hz monitor if your GPU can only push 60FPs.
Depending on what you’re doing, the graphics card’s cooling can be very important. If you plan to overclock or use a case with poor airflow, you’re going to want the best possible cooling you can afford. Cooling solutions come in many forms, so choosing the right one for your needs is essential.
Remember, a hot GPU will work less efficiently than a cool one. It will also run the risk of having a reduced lifespan too. So a cool GPU is key and there are many ways to lower GPU temperatures to help out.
Understanding the specifications
Taking a look at what makes up the best graphics card there can be a lot of confusing terms. We take a look at some of the key specs that will affect how it performs.
- Clock Speed – Measured in MHz, clock speed represents the cycle rate of the silicon core within the graphics card. How fast it processes instructions along doesn’t determine relative performance, but boosting your core clock speed via overclocking can give you some free performance bonuses.
- VRAM – Stands for video random access memory, also known as video RAM, and acts as a frame buffer between your CPU and GPU. The more VRAM your GPU has the more efficiently it can process graphics. Also able to store the high pixel counts of higher resolutions.
- GDDR6X – The latest VRAM available, it has more capacity and increased bandwidth making it the most powerful VRAM on the market.
- GDDR6 – The most common modern VRAM standard. Decently fast, shouldn’t bottleneck in most situations.
- Memory Bus – In massively-simplified terms, the wider the memory bus, the faster the core and VRAM are able to communicate with one another. Higher-end cards utilize these with higher VRAM for a better advantage.
- Cores – these make up the GPU die itself and each manufacturer has different architectures to get these to work. Different cores have specializations to work on particular processes, like ray tracing or shading.
- RT Cores – for specific cores, we take a look at ray tracing cores. This specialized hardware allows for accelerating ray-traced graphics in real-time.
- Tensor Cores – another set of specific hardware is tensor cores. Also a recent addition, they work on upscaling featured in Nvidia’s DLSS.
- TDP – this is the thermal design power of the GPU. It is a measure of how much energy it can output as heat and how much power it takes. Consideration for the cooling solution to handle and how power-hungry your machine will be.
Best graphics cards
ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4090 OC
Core Clock Speed
2,640 MHz boost
357.6 x 149.3 x 70.1mm
- Excellent air cooling solution
- Pushes performance above the rest of the selection
- Updated design cooling and aesthetically focused
- A more expensive choice over the rest of the picks and will cost a lot to run
The RTX 4090 is more than enough for any gamer out there. Like the 3090 before it, it is made for far bigger uses and not just in gaming. As it performs much better than the previous offering. With built-in new and improved technology that pushes the limits of GPUs above previous options. Such as the use of DLSS 3 technology can further improve performance as well as improved ray tracing cores and a smaller foundry process allows a denser core and design.
In terms of specifications, it features an AD102- 300 GPU variant. Created with TSMCs 4N process moving back from Samsung of the last gen. It means the 608mm² die fits in 76.3 billion transistors. This features 16,384 CUDA cores, 512 TMUs, 1786 ROPs, 512 Tensor cores, and 128 RT cores. In this generation, the speed at which they function has also been improved. With a base clock of 2,235 MHz, it breaks the 2GHz marker like AMD could last gen. Now the Strix model is able to achieve a boost clock of 2,610 MH, a big improvement that can be pushed even further.
For its memory, it does further push its performance of it. With 24GB of GB of GDDR6X memory, it still has a 384-bit bus. So with its 21.2 Gbps clock, it produces a bandwidth of 1,018 GB/s. While this does lead to the large 450W TDP that requires a new power connector and improved cooling to function properly.
This leads to gigantic-sized cards, with the ROG Strix reaching a quad-slot size. Measuring 357.6 x 149.3 x 70.1mm it does have a significant weight behind it. Meaning there is a p potential for bending and damage over time with how the cards are currently installed if not supported properly.
The power also requires a recommended 850W power supply to function. The Strix asking for at least 1000W for stability and safety. A lot of power to unlock the card’s full potential but it is capable of great performance. With plenty of improvements across the board as well as new tech to take advantage of.
MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G
1815MHz Boost Clock (OC)
TRI FROZR Cooling Solution
- Extremely attractive 3080
- Very quiet thermal design
- High out-the-box clock boost
- Excellent build quality
- Lies within the higher end of the 3080 price spectrum
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is quite simply the best gaming GPU on the market right now for 4K gaming. AMD’s competing card, the 6800 XT, has slight advantages at 1080p and 1440p, but it doesn’t come with the features of the RTX 3080. Although both the AMD RX 6900 XT and Nvidia’s own RTX 3090 are more powerful cards than the RTX 3080, the former card is $300 more expensive with inferior ray-tracing performance, and the latter card is geared more towards high-end workstation users with a price tag to match (expect to pay at least $800 more for the RTX 3090). In some cases, the RTX 3080 can actually compete with these higher price cards on certain games and at certain settings, particularly the AMD RX 6900 XT which does not justify such a big markup.
At an RRP of at least $699, the RTX 3080 is not cheap, but when you consider that it can beat the older gen RTX 2080 Ti by a substantial margin (around 30% in some cases), and that card originally retailed for $1,200, then this shows the superb generational uplift that this card represents on power to price basis.
Besides the raw power generated by the 8,704 CUDA cores, with a boost clock of between 1,710 – 1,815 MHz depending on the AIB you go with, the thing which just about separates this card from the competing AMD RX 6800 XT is the superior ray-tracing and DLSS technology. With their latest 30-series GPUs, Nvidia has really nailed ray-tracing technology, and the RTX 3080 is capable of running games at a better FPS performance with ray-tracing turned on compared to what the 2080 Ti could do, even with the feature switched off! The only real downside of all this gaming power is the high electrical power required to run it – the GeForce RTX 3080 requires an 850W PSU at a minimum.
All in all, if you have a definite interest in playing games that come with ray-tracing, and you can handle the additional $50 price markup over the competing AMD RX 6800 XT card, then the RTX 3080 is the best gaming GPU currently available. We’ve selected the MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G as our favorite AIB of this model card, though you can have a look at our best RTX 3080 GPU page to see if there’s a different variant you might prefer.
ASUS AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT ROG Strix LC OC 16GB
Clock Speed (Base/Boost)
HDMI x 1 DP x 2 USB Type C x 1
- Full-coverage gold plate
- On-board cooling for power-delivery is handled by a blower-style fan and low-profile heatsink
- 600mm tubing for compatibility with EATX chassis and alternative mounts
- Very fast card
- Very expensive
For the first time in years, 2020 saw AMD try and take on Nvidia at not just the middle range of GPUs, but also the higher end of the price and performance spectrum. With big Navi and in particular the Radeon RX 6800 XT they almost, but not quite, succeeded in knocking Nvidia’s RTX 3080 off the top spot, nevertheless, for certain consumers, the 6800 XT may actually be the better option.
AMD’s ray tracing functionality exists but it doesn’t yet match Nvidia’s at all, but if this isn’t a feature you particularly care about (it is after all still limited to a relatively small amount of games), then the $50 cheaper RX 6800 XT might be a better choice. Although it depends on the title, overall the RX 6800 XT actually performs slightly better than the RTX 3080 on 1080p and 1440p titles, but the RTX 3080 has the edge on 4K performance.
Equally, if you’ve got one of the latest AMD CPUs, the Smart Access Memory feature which synergizes the performance of the two might also sway the RX 6800 XT in your favor. In reality, the much-vaunted Smart Access Memory has been fairly underwhelming – on some titles making no difference, on others actually reducing performance – however, there are certain games you can get a 10%+ FPS uplift on, so if you identify these titles you can easily switch on the feature as and when it is needed.
Although the RTX 3080 might have the edge in terms of software features and pull ahead slightly in 4K gaming performance, the RX 6800 XT has its advantages on lower resolutions. Ultimately the fight between the AMD RX 6800 XT and Nvidia RTX 3080 is a close race, and whichever card you pick you will end up with one of the best on the market. It may be that the cheaper price of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and its somewhat greater availability makes it more favorable for your needs. We have picked the ASUS AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT ROG Strix LC OC 16GB variant for this article, but check out our guide on the best RX 6800 XT to see which AIB of this card would be right for you.
ASUS GeForce RTX 3060 TI ROG Strix Gaming OC
1890MHz Boost Clock (OC)
Axial-tech Triple Fan
- Excellent aesthetic design
- Great cooling solution
- High boost clock speed
- On the higher end of the price spectrum
The Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti is below the RTX 3070 in the GeForce hierarchy as you’d expect, but shares many features with the more powerful card, including the same 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and the same 256-bit memory bus. Despite having a lower core count than the RTX 3070, depending on the game you can expect FPS to fall behind the more expensive card by only around 15%-1% less. Considering the RTX 3060 Ti has an RRP of $399, $100 less than the RTX 3070, this is a great value.
In fact, we’d say that the RTX 3060 Ti currently offers the best power-to-price of any card on this list. It actually beats the previous-gen 2080 Super across all resolutions, despite retailing for less money. The card offers respectable FPS at 1080p and 1440p, making it a great option for those with a 1440p monitor not looking to break the bank, although 4K gaming is beyond its power (unsurprising at this price point).
Finally, the RTX 3060 Ti comes with the same ray-tracing technology as the more expensive cards in the series, giving it an edge over similarly priced AMD cards.
If the RTX 3060 Ti seems the right card for you, have a look at our guide on the best RTX 3060 Ti variants to see which AIB of the card would suit you best. Here we have listed the ASUS GeForce RTX 3060 TI ROG Strix Gaming OC but a cheaper variant might suit you better.
ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5600 XT
Game Clock Speed
Memory Bus Width
- High boost speeds
- Triple Axial-tech fan design
- Dual BIOS
Before the recent price hikes are driven by supply shortages, the RX 5600 XT had an RRP of $279. This compares very favorably to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060, which barely inches ahead of the Radeon card in most titles, but has a retail price of $339. Although the RTX 2060 has an advantage in terms of coming with ray-tracing, the capability of the technology in 20-series cards leaves something to be desired – leading to significant FPS drops unlike with later 30 series models. On balance then, the RX 5600 XT is a much better value card.
Although the VRAM is limited to 6GB GDDR6 the card still comes with a respectable 2,304 stream processors and a boost clock of 1,560 MHz. Ultimately this translates to a very solid performance at 1080p on medium-high settings on the latest games, though at 1440p you’ll potentially need to turn things down a notch on the presets, depending on the title.
All-in-all the RX 5600 XT is a great value graphics card from AMD. See our best Radeon RX 5600 XT guide to find the right variant of the card for your needs.
That’s the lineup for the best graphics card in 2022. With options ranging from best-performing GPUs to best-budget graphics cards, you can be sure to find your next card. There are always more cards on the way that you can expect to come out and compete for your money.
In fact, you have the likes of the RTX 4000 series emerging and soon-to-be-released RDNA 3 cards. These all will offer more options that always improve the offering. With more performance but possibly coming in at steeper pricing. So there is a bit of consideration when it comes to choosing a card.
Best of pages
For a wider selection of options, check out our best of pages for a bigger selection of graphics cards
Best graphics card FAQs
What is graphic card in computer?
The graphic card in a computer is an add-in component in your PC that outputs the graphics to the display. Also known as a GPU the graphics processing unit, is a processor not too dissimilar from a CPU but solely focused on image and graphics creation.
What is graphic card used for?
A graphics card calculates instructions with the units that make up the die and stores those in the VRAM. This frame buffer allows there to be a build-up between the CPU and GPU and produces graphics quicker. Solely focused on graphics means the card can work hard to produce much better graphics and take on more work.
Do graphics cards help?
Yes, they very much do. With the card being a separate component they can be much bigger than onboard graphics. Allowing bigger parts to be used and better cooling solutions can be used on them. This means they can have many more powerful components that work much better than onboard graphics. These perform much better than onboard graphics found in CPUs.
Can PC work without graphics card?
If your CPU has onboard graphics then your PC can work without a graphics card. This is since you need a video output from your PC to your monitor for it to work and be useful.
For AMD CPUs the G SKUs have onboard graphics. Whereas for Intel any non-F CPUs will have the ability to display. So these will allow PCs to work simply without a GPU but they don’t have the power of discrete graphics cards.
Will there be new graphics cards in 2022?
Yes, we have seen the launch of the RTX 4000 series with both the 4080 and 4090 out. Those are the only two expected from Nvidia in 2022, but there is also AMD’s RDNA 3 on the way. These will come in mid-December so there will be some competition to expect.
Which GPU is best for gaming?
Currently, the new RTX 4090 is the best pick for the best GPU for gaming. It is the newest and greatest of cards that will give you best choice of card with nothing held back.
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