The 4 Best Graphics Cards to Give Your Gaming PC the Upgrade You Deserve

A powerful graphics card offers a better and faster performance than the stock GPU in your gaming PC.

best graphics cards 2018
EVGA

The graphics card, or GPU, is a processor specifically designed to handle graphics. It's one of the most important — and most expensive — parts in gaming PCs. Whether you're upgrading your current gaming rig, building a PC, or shopping for a new gaming laptop, you'll want to make sure you have a capable graphics card. We’ve sifted through dozens of cards and separated the best from the rest. You'll want a GPU that has a high clock speed, core count, and memory bandwidth. According to PC Gamer, Nvidia leads the pack over AMD when it comes to high-performance graphics cards.

It's worth noting that as of late, graphics-card pricing has been significantly impacted by shortages after the rise of cryptocurrency mining. This increased demand for graphics cards has led to seriously inflated prices. Some GPUs are even priced more than double their suggested retail price! For an easier update and faster access to games, consider buying a pre-built gaming PC instead. Although you'd be laying out more cash up front, you can rip out its graphics card and install it in your existing machine, then sell the rest of the build to come out ahead or break even, without having to pay premium prices for the GPU by itself.

1 of 4
Nvidia
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
amazon.com
$399.98

Best Overall

The GTX 1070 manages to find the perfect balance between price and performance. It's about 20% slower than the GTX 1080, but it costs a lot less. It's great for 1080p and 1440p gaming, and it's even powerful enough for virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. You'll have no issues running AAA titles at 60 fps with this card.

Related: The Best SSDs for Upgrading Your Gaming PC

2 of 4
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
amazon.com
$829.99

Best for 4K and VR

The previous-generation GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti are some of the fastest graphics cards you buy, but they are frequently out of stock. This one is even faster and hits the sacred 60 fps mark in many modern PC games at 4K resolution with absolutely no struggles at all. It handles VR titles without issue either, and it runs quietly. 

If you have a 4K monitor and want to play the latest and greatest games at high frame rates in full resolution, it's arguably the best graphics card available, and won't require you to drop $3K like the Nvidia TITAN V.

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Nvidia
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
amazon.com
$136.99

Best Budget Buy

Graphics cards are expensive — especially because most are marked up significantly due to shortages. This affordable GPU is great for casual gamers on a budget. It's a small but mighty GPU that pumps out 60 fps without any need for a power adapter. Although we wish it had 4 GB of VRAM (this one has 2 GB), it's still a capable card that gets the job done. If you have a little bit of extra cash to spend, consider opting for the slightly faster 1050 Ti instead.

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Nvidia
Nvidia TITAN V
amazon.com
$3,596.42

Best Splurge

If you want the absolute fastest graphics card money can buy and you have deep pockets, the TITAN V from Nvidia is the best on the market. The card features 12 GB of HBM2 memory, and it produces a full 110 teraflops of computing power. Its cores operate at 1,200 MHz, with the potential to boost to 1,455 MHz.

With such power, you may be surprised to learn that the card isn't designed for gamers, but rather scientists, who require its advanced computational capabilities. If you can swallow its steep price, this graphics card is the most powerful PC GPU available.