Best Graphics Cards (GPUs) for Gaming in 2021

Graphics are evolving all the time in the video game world. Just have a look at games from 5 years ago and compare them to today’s standards. We have definitely come a long way with graphical fidelity. Obviously, the hardware needs to keep up quickly as well.

Speaking of which, graphics cards are an integral part of a gaming rig, as they handle most of the heavy lifting in video games. With that said, it’s not easy to pick from a dozen different GPUs. Boiling it down to one specific card can be a chore. Fortunately, we’re here to save you some time with this quick roundup.

1. Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Ti

It obviously makes a lot of sense to put the fastest consumer video card at the top of our list. The GeForce GTX 2080 Ti is exactly that card. It uses a brand new Turing architecture from Nvidia and is noticeably more power-efficient than Pascal. With 11GB of GDDR6 memory, a boost clock of up to 1545MHz (without overclocking), and new Ray tracing features, this thing is a beast.

Of course, you should be prepared to shell out a lot of cash for this one, but if you need the absolute best rig to play games in 4K and all their glory, the 2080 Ti should be on your radar. It’s also very future-proofed, and with better ray tracing support in the future, get excited to play games in all their glory.

2. Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 Super

We all know that the previous cards from Nvidia like the GTX 970, GTX 1070 and even these non-super variants were great values. This series always finds a home in a lot of people’s rigs. That’s because it tends to be a great value most of the time. The RTX 2070 Super follows that tradition.

It does everything the RTX 2070 does. It supports ray-tracing just like all RTX cards. And with a boost clock of 1770MHz, it can handle a lot of games at 4K with reasonable settings. Honestly, for most people, this is the most power you need. The performance is close to the RTX 2080, and it’s actually the same price as the regular RTX 2070 (founder’s edition).

Also Read: Our Picks For The 5 Best Gaming PC Under $1000

3. AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB

Picking a GPU for our 3rd spot wasn’t an easy decision. It’s pretty tempting to put the RTX 2060 Super in this place because some would argue ray tracing is important for upcoming titles. While that is true, as the largely hyped Cyberpunk 2077 will look quite good with ray tracing. But the RX 5700 beats the RTX 2060 in the framerate department, for the exact same price.

At a $350 price point, this new Navi GPU from AMD is definitely compelling. It can handle every game you throw at it, that too in 1440p. If you want a high refresh rate gaming, but don’t want to sell an organ, this is a really solid choice for a lot of people. Ray-tracing on an RTX 2060 doesn’t perform that great anyway.

4. Nvidia GeForce GTX 2060 Super

Despite what we said above about the RTX 2060 Super, it’s still not a bad option by any means. It’s a very capable GPU that effectively replaces the regular RTX 2070. The RX 5700 and the 2060 Super go toe to toe. Both have 8GB of GDDR6 memory, and both are great performers for 1080p and 1440p gaming.

Maybe you are a hardcore Nvidia fan who just needs to be under the green tent. And if you honestly care about ray-tracing, at 1080p the RTX 2060 isn’t all that bad. Performance does take a hit but if you want it, it’s there. Besides that, it does run a bit cooler than the Radeon card.  Lastly, if you’re not interested in the “Super” variant.

5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 6GB

You can’t have a list of the best GPUs for gaming without throwing in a budget pick. Honestly, the Nvidia lineup is pretty confusing this year, and it’s jam-packed with a lot of cards. The GTX 1660 is close to the price of the GTX 1660 Ti, which is almost close to the RTX 2060.

Yes, it’s a jumbled mess. But trust us, this is the cheapest Turing based GPU from Nvidia, and it is very capable. Priced at $220, this innocent card is very underrated. For 1080p gaming, it absolutely crushes the framerate, and if you overclock it a bit, the performance just gets even better. It can even handle a bit of 1440p action with some settings dialed down. Not bad for a budget card.

Final Thoughts

In all honesty, there is no objective answer to which is the best GPU for consumers. Well, unless we’re talking about just raw performance. It all boils down to how much you are willing to spend. The most important thing is the price/performance ratio. It might be tempting to pick up the highest-end GPU, but you don’t want to get ripped off when there’s a better value for you somewhere else.

That’s why we tried to keep the list fairly balanced, showing you the top GPUs at most price segments. Hopefully, you can pick one of these and enjoy your favorite games.