Best Graphics Cards Windows Central 2020

The graphics processing unit (GPU), often referred to as the graphics card, plays an integral role in your gaming PC. Sure, you can run a PC with nothing but integrated graphics, but for real performance — the kind that nets you smooth framerates in modern games — you need something dedicated. If you're wondering exactly where to start, with either a fresh build or an upgrade project, we've collected the best GPUs available now for several different performance thresholds.

Best AMD for 1440p: Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT

Editor's choice

If 1080p isn't a high enough resolution for gaming, stepping up to smooth framerates at 1440p can be achieved with the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT. It has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM (with 256-bit interface) and a boost clock up to 2,010MHz. Three fans keep it cool, and it has some RGB lighting to spice things up. Two HDMI and two DisplayPort are there for connecting multiple monitors.

Budget NVIDIA Hardware: EVGA GTX 1650 XC Black

Are you looking to keep things as affordable as possible and still get a solid 1080p experience with a lot of games? This NVIDIA GTX 1650 brings 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM (with 128-bit interface), 896 CUDA cores, and a boost clock up to 1,665MHz. It has two DisplayPort and one HDMI for hooking up multiple monitors. It's also small enough with a single fan to fit most compact builds.

Budget AMD Hardware: Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580

Those who love AMD and want twice as much VRAM in your budget card, you can get it from the affordable RX 580. It delivers 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM (with 256-bit interface) and a boost clock up to 1,366MHz. You get two DisplayPort and two HDMI ports for connecting multiple monitors, and dual fans keep it cool under load.

Best AMD for 1080p: PowerColor Red Dragon RX 5600 XT

A killer PC for 1080p gaming will excel with an AMD RX 5600 XT. This card will run pretty much any game at high framerates thanks to 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM (with 192-bit interface), a 1,620MHz boost clock, and 2,304 stream processor units. It includes HDMI and three DisplayPort for connecting multiple monitors, and the price is quite attractive.

Best NVIDIA for 1080p: GIGABYTE OC GG RTX 2060

If you'd rather stick with NVIDIA for solid 1080p gaming, the RTX 2060 will do the trick. Like the RX 5600 XT, it can do well with 1440p, though it excels at FHD. This GIGABYTE option has 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM (with 192-bit interface), 1,920 CUDA cores, and a boost clock up to 1,755MHz. It includes three DisplayPort and one HDMI for connecting multiple monitors.

Best NVIDIA for 1440p: ZOTAC Gaming RTX 2070 SUPER

The NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER is also an excellent pick for gaming at 1440p. It brings awesome performance from 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM (with 256-bit interface), a boost clock up to 1,770MHz, and 2,560 CUDA cores. Dual fans keep it cool, and some RGB lighting is there for added style. It includes three DisplayPort and one HDMI.

Best Overall for 4K: MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 2080 Ti

Ready to go all out? NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti is a beastly GPU available at a rather high price. Still, with 11GB of GDDR6 VRAM (with 352-bit interface), boost clock up to 1,755MHz, and 4,352 CUDA cores, it warrants the price. If you're looking to push 4K gaming or just want the absolute highest framerates at 1440p, this is the card for you.

If we're making some suggestions

Which GPU you finally decide on really comes down to price, what type of performance you'd like to achieve, what kind of monitor you have or would like to get (with either G-Sync or FreeSync compatibility), and any brand allegiance to NVIDIA or AMD. Be sure you don't buy too much GPU for the rest of your hardware, as you'll only see bottlenecks and wasted graphics performance, but also don't buy too little GPU and hope that you'll scrape by. A comfortable gaming experience is all about smooth framerates, and anything less just won't do.

If you're looking for a great mid-range GPU that can easily handle 1080p and push high framerates at 1440p, we recommend checking out the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT. The competitive pricing, robust specs, and sleek design make it a top pick unless you're looking to achieve 4K performance from something like the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti.

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