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What's the best GPU for gaming?
GPUs aren’t nearly as simple as they used to be a few years ago. Not only do they now have a bunch of new technology in them, but they’ve also become notoriously difficult to buy to a point some models may be called vaporware. There are also a ton of great GPUs on the market.
So if you get lucky enough to be able to buy a new GPU, the question is — what is the best GPU for gaming? Among all the models NVIDIA and AMD are offering right now, here are our picks for the best GPU for gaming you can get in 2022.
Relevant: The best gaming PC desktops to get
The best GPU for gaming
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 — The best overall NVIDIA GPU for gaming
- AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT — The best overall AMD GPU for gaming
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti — The best NVIDIA GPU for 4K gaming
- AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT — The best AMD GPU for 4K gaming
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 — The best NVIDIA GPU for 1440p gaming
- AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT — The best AMD GPU for 1440p gaming
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 — The best NVIDIA GPU for 1080p gaming
- AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT — The best AMD GPU for 1080p gaming
Editor’s note: We will continue to update this list of the best GPU for gaming as more are released. Also note that the MSRP of these cards is the intended one, and the current price is likely to vary.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080: The best overall NVIDIA GPU for gaming
NVIDIA has a ton of offerings under the RTX 30 umbrella right now, including the almighty, top-of-the-line GeForce RTX 3090 Ti. But the best card they have on offer is the GeForce RTX 3080. It provides great value for money and can do some solid gaming at 4K resolution.
You get two versions of this card. One is a 12GB version with 8,960 CUDA cores, running at a base clock of 1.26Ghz. The other one is a 10GB version with 8,704 running at a base clock 1.44Ghz. The RTX 3080 starts at $699.99 for the founder’s edition, which is great value for money provided you can find a card around that price.
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT: The best overall AMD GPU for gaming
Next up is the best GPU from the house of AMD — the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT. It’s more or less equivalent to the RTX 3080, delivering solid 4K performance at a great price. It’s the most bang for the buck you can get from an AMD card, even though the raytracing performance isn’t on par with NVIDIA’s equivalent offerings.
You get 4,608 stream processors, with a game frequency of 2.015GHz. You get 16GB of memory, and an Infinity Cache coming in at 128MB. The card starts at $649, which is a good price for what it offers.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti: The best NVIDIA GPU for 4K gaming
While our top GPU picks can game at 4K resolution comfortably, if you want the maximum performance with high-frame-rate 4K gaming, and if your budget isn’t limited, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is the way to go. It offers powerful hardware capable of playing 4K games at a higher quality and frame rate and is the flagship card to buy from NVIDIA right now.
You get the full-fat hardware here, rocking 10,240 CUDA cores, and a base clock of 1.37GHz. The memory configuration for this is 12GB. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti starts at a price of $1,199 and offers better value for money than the RTX 3090. If you want the best GPU for 4K gaming, this one is a no-brainer.
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT: The best AMD GPU for 4K gaming
If you’re looking at getting some high-frame-rate 4K gaming done, but want an AMD GPU, then the AMD Radeon RX 6900 is the way to go. It stacks up quite nicely against the RTX 3080 Ti, and provides great value for money too, especially if you can find it at a price close to its intended MSRP.
The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT comes with 5,120 stream processors, running at a game frequency of 2.015GHz. The memory and Infinity Cache configuration is the same as on the 6800 XT, at 16GB and 128MB respectively. The card costs less than the RTX 3080 Ti, starting at $999.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070: The best NVIDIA GPU for 1440p gaming
While 4K gaming may be cool, it’s not exactly the cheapest. 1440p is the way to go if you want a balance between quality and frame rate. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is the go-to 1440p gaming GPU, offering excellent performance at the resolution, while also offering amazing value for money.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 comes with 5,888 CUDA cores and a base clock of 1.50GHz. You get 8GB of memory, which isn’t too bad either. All of this with a starting price of $499, making for some serious value for money. It’s tough to find one around that price, but if you succeed, it’ll serve you well.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT: The best AMD GPU for 1440p gaming
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is the card to go for if you’re looking for a solid 1440p gaming experience from AMD. It can do 1440p gaming at decent framerates, and comes in slightly cheaper than the RTX 3070, making for an interesting alternative pick.
The GPU packs in 2,560 stream processors, and runs at a game frequency of 2.42GHz. AMD pulls ahead with the memory on offer, with 12GB of it, with 96MB Infinity Cache thrown in. The card starts at $479, which is a solid price for the performance it offers.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060: The best NVIDIA GPU for 1080p gaming
1080p gaming is well and alive, and so are 1080p GPUs. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 is NVIDIA’s wildcard entry in the RTX 30 series, offering great value for money on the lower end. It can comfortably do 1080p gaming, and is also the best budget GPU you can find right now.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 comes with 3,584 CUDA cores, running at a base clock of 1.32GHz. The kicker here is that you get 12GB of memory, which is great for a card of this price and class. The card starts at $329, making it the definite value king of GPUs, even though actual availability may spike that price up to an unreasonable figure.
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT: The best AMD GPU for 1080p gaming
The last pick on our list is the 1080p gaming champion from AMD — the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT. It’s a good alternative to the RTX 3060, even though it doesn’t quite pack in the same punch. Nevertheless, if you want to do 1080p gaming with an AMD card, this is the one to go for.
The AMD Radeon 6600 XT comes with 2,048 stream processors and runs at a game frequency of 2.36GHz. It gets 8GB of memory, and 32MB of Infinity Cache. The starting price is the same as that of the RTX 3060, at $329.