Best graphics cards in 2023: GPUs for every budget

The best graphics card is objectively Nvidia's RTX 4090. Subjectively, however, you're going to want to weigh up the pros and cons of spending $1,600 or more on a single GPU. It's not for everyone. That's why we've tested every new GPU out of the Nvidia, AMD, and now Intel stables to find the best card across multiple price points. The results might surprise you.

For the high-end gamer, you've plenty of new cards to choose from. Nvidia has its RTX 40-series led by the RTX 4090, and that thing really is a beast of massive proportions. No seriously, it's huge. Then there's the RTX 4080, which is a bit too pricey for us, and the RTX 4070 Ti. The RTX 4070 Ti also costs a heap more cash than we'd like, but at least it's more reasonable than Nvidia's finest for a perfectly 4K capable card.

On the other end of the market, there's not much new to write about. Nvidia has a rather uninspired upgrade in the RTX 4060. We also met the release of AMD's RX 7600 with a shrug, but at least it's cheap enough now to feel more competitive. And Intel still has a dog in the budget game: the Arc A750. When this card drops down to around $200, it's a steal, though the drivers aren't always up to the standard we'd like to see. That leaves AMD's RX 7600 as the best budget graphics card today, mostly for being a boringly safe pick.

We suggest avoiding the high-end RX 6950 XT and RTX 3090 Ti nowadays, as these cards are generally being pushed out by similarly priced newer options. The only last-gen card we still really rate is the RX 6700 XT, which still offers a decent spec and performance for $320. I've listed the specific graphics cards we recommend in different categories below, but I've also lined up the most relevant GPUs of this latest generation (with a few guest appearances by still worthwhile last-gen cards) all in order of gaming performance.

Curated by
Jacob Ridley headshot on colour background
Curated by
Jacob Ridley

Jacob has loads of experience with the latest and greatest graphics cards, reviewing many generations of Nvidia and AMD GPU over the years. He's au fait with the latest architectures, even Intel's Arc, and makes sure to rotate through the latest cards from all three major manufacturers to get first-hand experience of what they're like to game with. Not just of their performance, but also which offer the most useful features and have the most reliable drivers.

The quick list

Recent updates

This article was updated October 3, 2023 to include AMD's latest graphics cards, the RX 7800 XT and RX 7700 XT, which impressed us in testing. Also AMD's RX 7600 is now our front of the pack for the budget gamer, with Nvidia's RTX 4060 and Intel's Arc A750 slightly behind.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090

(Image credit: Future)
The best graphics card

Specifications

Shaders: 16,432
Boost clock: 2,520MHz
TFLOPs: 82.6
Memory: 24GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 21GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 1,008GB/s
TGP: 450W

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent gen-on-gen performance
+
DLSS Frame Generation is magic
+
Super-high clock speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Massive
-
Ultra-enthusiast pricing
-
Non-4K performance is constrained
-
High power demands
Buy if...

You want the best: The RTX 4090 is simply the most powerful GPU you can buy for your gaming PC today. The silicon inside it is monstrously powerful, and along with DLSS3 and Frame Generation it provides a truly next-gen experience.

You want to nail 4K gaming: This is the card that makes 4K gaming buttery smooth. That 24GB frame buffer means you're not going to run out of VRAM any time soon.

You're a creator as well as gamer: Time is money if you do any sort of professional GPU work, and the RTX 4090 could start to pay for itself right away given its rendering and compute power.

Don't buy if...

You need to ask the price: It's fair to say that it's one of the best value Ada GPUs given its relative price performance ratio, but it's still $1,600 at best. Still, it's far cheaper than the RTX 3090 Ti was, and the RTX 3090 if you take inflation into account.

You have a compact rig: This thing is BIG. Like, comically big.

The bottom line

🪛 The RTX 4090 is the true next-gen experience that we simply haven't seen from any of the other AMD or Nvidia cards from this new generation. And that almost makes it worth that exorbitant price tag.

There's nothing subtle about Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card. It's a hulking great lump of a pixel pusher, and while there are some extra curves added to what could otherwise look like a respin of the RTX 3090 shroud, it still has that novelty graphics card aesthetic.

It looks like some semi-satirical plastic model made up to skewer GPU makers for the ever-increasing size of their cards. But it's no model, and it's no moon, this is the vanguard for the entire RTX 40-series GPU generation and our first taste of the new Ada Lovelace architecture.

On the one hand, it's a hell of an introduction to the sort of extreme performance Ada can deliver when given a long leash, and on the other, a slightly tone-deaf release in light of a global economic crisis that makes launching a graphics card for a tight, very loaded minority of gamers feel a bit off.

But we can't ignore it for this guide to the best GPUs around simply because, as it stands today, there's no alternative to the RTX 4090 that can get anywhere close to its performance. It's unstoppable, and will stay ahead of the pack as we now know AMD's highest performance graphics card, the RX 7900 XTX, is well and truly an RTX 4080 competitor.

This is a vast GPU that packs in 170% more transistors than even the impossibly chonk GA102 chip that powered the RTX 3090 Ti. And, for the most part, it makes the previous flagship card of the Ampere generation look well off the pace. That's even before you get into the equal mix of majesty and black magic that lies behind the new DLSS 3.0 revision designed purely for Ada.

Look, it's quick, okay. With everything turned on, with DLSS 3 and Frame Generation working its magic, the RTX 4090 is monumentally faster than the RTX 3090 that came before it. The straight 3DMark Time Spy Extreme score is twice that of the big Ampere core, and before ray tracing or DLSS come into it, the raw silicon offers twice the 4K frame rate in Cyberpunk 2077, too.

There's no denying it is an ultra-niche ultra-enthusiast card, and that almost makes the RTX 4090 little more than a reference point for most of us PC gamers. We're then left counting the days until Ada descends to the pricing realm of us mere mortals, which is still yet to happen despite the launch of the RTX 4070 Ti.

In itself, however, the RTX 4090 is an excellent graphics card and will satisfy the performance cravings of every person who could ever countenance spending $1,600 on a new GPU. That's whether they're inconceivably well-heeled gamers, or content creators not willing to go all-in on a Quadro card. And it will deservedly sell, because there's no other GPU that can come near it right now.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 review.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

At $999 it would have been a great high-end gaming GPU

Specifications

Shaders: 9728
Boost clock: 2,505MHz
TFLOPs: 48.8
Memory: 16GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 22.4GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 717GB/s
TGP: 320W

Reasons to buy

+
Bests both the RTX 3090 and 3080 Ti
+
Has the glitzy Frame Generation magic
+
Svelte, efficient GPU

Reasons to avoid

-
Over-priced
-
Over-sized
Buy if...

You find a discount: At its $1,200 price it's a poor deal, but if you can find the RTX 4080 below $999 it might be worth a punt for the serious gaming performance it offers.

Don't buy if...

You can realistically afford the RTX 4090: If you're seriously considering $1,200+ an okay spend on a GPU, have a think if you could stretch to an RTX 4090 because it's a significantly better card, more so than the ~$400 difference.

Space is a premium: It's the same size as the RTX 4090, and by that I mean it's absolutely ENORMOUS. Think seriously about the size of your case before you hit the buy button.

The bottom line

🪛 The RTX 4080 is almost impossible to recommend at its $1,200+ price point. At $999 or under it becomes a lot more tempting owing to its seriously impressive performance, and DLSS 3 support. Right now, though, it's hugely overpriced.

The Nvidia RTX 4080 is another speedy graphics card—it bloody should be for $1,200—and when you take DLSS 3 into account you are getting on for twice the performance of the similarly priced RTX 3080 Ti from the last generation. Seriously, Frame Generation is black magic.

But reviewing the RTX 4080 is tougher than being Jen-Hsun's spatula wrangler. Though it's a lot more straightforward now there's only a 16GB version and it doesn't come with some additional 12GB half breed trailing it around. 

During a time of extreme economic difficulty and uncertainty across the globe, it's not a great look for both the main GPU makers to reveal their next generation graphics cards with the starting price being $900 at best. There will be arguments the $1,200 RTX 4080's performance over and above the RTX 3080 Ti renders it an unqualified success. But I have thoughts on that, too.

The RTX 4080 comfortably outperforms the similarly priced cards from the previous generation, most notably the $1,200 RTX 3080 Ti, and therefore is really hitting that gen-on-gen performance uplift we crave. But neither these GeForce cards should ever have been a $1,200 GPU.

Nvidia has pared the silicon back a whole lot to create the AD103 GPU in comparison to the AD102 chip of the RTX 4090. Generalising, it's 60% the size, has 60% of the transistors, and 60% of the CUDA cores, and yet is 75% of the price of the RTX 4090. If you wanted to do some simple maths the RTX 4080 really ought to be around $960.

But thanks to the abortive decision to launch with a pair of RTX 4080 cards at $1,200 and $899 respectively—with different levels of memory and wholly different GPUs—Nvidia was locked into this price even once it unlaunched the cheaper 12GB card.

How does it stack up against the Radeon RX 7900 XTX? We're looking at a very close-run thing. The AMD card performs at a roughly similar level to the RTX 3090, and for a $999 card that would make it tempting compared to a slightly quicker $1,200 RTX 4080, especially with its improved ray tracing capabilities.

AMD does lose on performance for the most part but sits comfortably lower in terms of pricing.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 review.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX

The best AMD graphics card

Specifications

Shaders: 6144
Boost clock: 2,500MHz
TFLOPs: 61.4
Memory: 24GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 20GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 960GB/s
TGP: 355W

Reasons to buy

+
Much faster than an RX 6950 XT at 4K
+
Less power hungry too
+
$999 price tag
+
Much improved ray tracing capabilities
+
Frickin' chiplets!

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a consistent RTX 4080 competitor
-
Runs real hot
-
Consumes a lot of power
-
Low average clock speed
Buy if...

You want the best AMD can offer: This is the pinnacle of AMD's RDNA 3 technology right now, and the fact the red team has got a chiplet GPU running so well in its first generation is really impressive.

You need a lot of video memory: With a full 24GB of GDDR6 at its disposal, for a lot less than the RTX 4090, the RX 7900 XTX has a lot to offer the creator.

Ray tracing's not for you: If you care not a jot for ray tracing, the raster performance of the Navi 31 GPU is excellent. It has improved RT skill compared with AMD's last generation, but it's still behind Nvidia on that score.

Don't buy if...

The AMD reference card is the only option: Normally we're big fans of both AMD and Nvidia's reference cards, but the RX 7900 XTX has a heat issue with the reference cooler not found on third-party versions. We've experienced the problem on both the review cards AMD provided for testing.

You're looking for consistent RTX 4080 performance: We'd hoped for a more regularly competitive gaming experience from the RX 7900 XTX, but sometimes it's a long way behind Nvidia's second-tier card.

The bottom line...

🪛 As the finest Radeon ever made, the AMD RX 7900 XTX has a lot going for it. If it was closer to the RTX 4080 in gaming terms, more regularly, we'd have no hesitation recommending this top red team GPU.

Our review RX 7900 XTX sample suffered from an issue with GPU hotspot temperatures exceeding the normal expected range under load. We've since been in contact with AMD about a replacement for retesting, which we've since received, but unfortunately we've had the same issue strike again. Fun, eh?

You can check out our reviews for the Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7900 XTX OC Edition and Sapphire Nitro+ RX 7900 XTX Vapor-X, as these cards are entirely unaffected by the issue and better show what sort of performance you can expect from this card's spec.

Still, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX has a lot going for it. We're used to seeing GPU generations that arrive on smaller process nodes, redesigned architectures, larger caches, reworked shaders, more memory—the list goes on. But all of that, all at once? That's what RDNA 3 delivers: the whole lot in one fell swoop. 

The RX 7900 XTX is a superb 4K GPU at its original $999 price tag. It's ruling its own segment of the market, and it offers a significant performance boost over what RDNA 2's could muster in the ~$1,100 RX 6950 XT or $999 RX 6900 XT. It's expensive, but not any dearer than the card it replaces.

Admittedly the RX 6950 XT is nowhere near its full price today, more like $800 or less. Though the RX 7900 XTX has enough pace to justify its price tag. You're paying around 20% more than an RX 6950 XT as it stands today for a card that generally outperforms it by 20% or, on a few occasions in my benchmarking, a whole lot more. 

The increase in memory capacity from 16GB to 24GB with the RX 7900 XTX is a bonus, and the ray tracing performance on RDNA 3 is much more convincing to make me part with my money.

Yet as an RTX 4080 competitor the RX 7900 XTX is less convincing. It's rarely able to match the RTX 4080. The RTX 4080 is up to 28% faster in my testing, though it's more like 15% on average. For an RTX card that asks at least 20% more cash than the RX 7900 XTX, that stat is not a dealbreaker, but it does make the XTX's gains more moderate by comparison. What helps the XTX's value proposition is that it has more memory and, on rare occasions, actually beats the RTX 4080. If you're only playing Far Cry 6 then you're laughing with an XTX, but let's be honest, you're not.

This leaves Nvidia with rule of the ultra-high-end segment. But AMD has played the hand dealt to it by Navi 31's performance here. It has a card that's not regularly outperforming the RTX 4080, but it's notably cheaper. That absolutely brings the XTX back into consideration at the $1,000 mark. 

If the $999 price tag on the RX 7900 XTX can meaningfully stick around for a while, and by that I mean you have to be able to buy this card for that price tag or similar, the RX 7900 XTX will exist as a great 4K graphics card for an ultra high-end PC build in 2023. Yes, there are better, and the RTX 4090 is now undeniably the top dog for gaming, but It's all about weighing up what you really need and what you can afford—i.e. probably not an RTX 4090. 

Combined with a high-end CPU and a 4K (or ultrawide) monitor, you'll net superb frame rates with the RX 7900 XTX in your build for potentially half the price.

Read our full AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX review.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT

The second-best RDNA 3 GPU

Specifications

Shaders: 5376
Boost clock: 2,400MHz
TFLOPs: 51.6
Memory: 20GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 20GT/s
Memory bandwidth: 800GB/s
TGP: 315W

Reasons to buy

+
Faster than an RX 6950 XT
+
Great design and cooling
+
Lots of memory
+
Slightly cheaper than RX 7900 XTX

Reasons to avoid

-
RX 7900 XTX is too close for comfort
-
Quite power hungry
Buy if...

The price keeps dropping: At launch its $899 sticker price was too close to the superior RX 7900 XTX, but now it's creeping well below $800 it's becoming a more tempting 20GB GPU option.

Don't buy if...

You value Nvidia's DLSS 3 and Frame Generation tech: At more or less the same price as the RTX 4070 Ti, and trading blows at standard raster frame rates, the actually tangible benefits of the complete DLSS 3 package can make a difference.

The bottom line

🪛 The AMD RX 7900 XT makes things a little more uncomfortable for both the RTX 4070 Ti and RX 7900 XTX because it's now the same price as the former, and considerably cheaper than the latter. 

AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XT is a slightly slimmed back version of the Navi 31 GPU and the company's top graphics card, the RX 7900 XTX. Starting at $899, now dropping below $800, it's therefore offering a slightly cheaper way into the RDNA 3 generation, you could also be forgiven for thinking it's not that much cheaper than the best. The RX 7900 XTX is priced tantalisingly close at $999. So why would you pick up the cheaper chip of the two? That's a good question, and I'm not sure I have a good answer apart from price.

The RX 7900 XT outperforms AMD's previous top card, the RX 6950 XT, in every benchmark I tested and by a good margin, too. Considering the RX 6950 XT launched at over $1,000, and now sits around $800, maybe less, that's a point of pride for the RX 7900 XT.

Overall, I'd say there are a few things the RX 7900 XT does well. For starters, it appears to be a good upgrade on even the RX 6950 XT, and considering the price difference between the two at launch, that's a good sign of AMD's progression with the RDNA 3 architecture. The reference cooler on this also seems pretty capable for the price, with temperatures running relatively cool considering its performance.

There are a few times when the differences between the XT and XTX are minimal, and the performance delta practically non-existent. The XT is also the much more efficient and cooler running of the two. Generally, though, you get what you pay for with the higher-end XTX card, if not a bit more.

Is it better than an RX 6950 XT? Yes. Cheaper than an RX 6950 XT at launch? Yes. An RTX 4080 competitor? Nope. Is it worth saving your money on this instead of the XTX? Probably not. It's a good 4K graphics card if you look at the frame rates in isolation, but with a generally much better card right there for the taking, you best believe I'm going to want to find the extra $100 somewhere in my build and pick up the XTX instead.

Read our full AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT review.

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti

The unlaunched 12GB RTX 4080

Specifications

Shaders: 7,680
Boost clock: 2,610MHz
TFLOPs: 40.1
Memory: 12GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 21Gbps
Memory bandwidth: 504.2GB/s
TGP: 285W

Reasons to buy

+
RTX 3090-level performance
+
Frame Generation remains a potent weapon
+
Cool-running
+
Very efficient

Reasons to avoid

-
Weak memory system
-
More expensive than we'd like
Buy if...

You lusted after an RTX 3090 for gaming: With RTX 3090-level gaming frame rates, the RTX 4070 Ti is almost a good-value GPU at its $799 price point. 

Don't buy if...

$800 is too rich for your blood: If you're considering selling a kidney, hold that thought. The RTX 4070 is considerably less expensive and is only around 25% slower. And remember 25% slower still means really high 1440p and even 4K frame rates.

The bottom line

🪛 It's a good card, but like almost every Ada GPU, the RTX 4070 Ti still feels like a price tier too high to feel like a true generational uplift. The RX 7900 XT is also almost the same price now, and sometimes quicker, and the RTX 4070 not a lot slower for less.

The unlaunching and subsequent rebadging and repricing of the RTX 4080 12GB was the best thing to happen to this third-tier Ada GPU. Now and forever to be known as the RTX 4070 Ti, this is the card that now makes it impossible to recommend AMD's RX 7900 XT.

Possibly the most impressive thing to say about the RTX 4070 Ti is that very regularly it's level to, or faster than an RTX 3090. When you think that's the $1,500 GPU of the last generation that looks like a great gen-on-gen uptick in performance, especially when that's at the top 4K resolution.

What's maybe less exciting is that, when you're just talking in straight rasterized gaming terms, it's not a whole lot faster than the old, cheaper RTX 3080 10GB at 4K. It is faster, most especially when you bring those third gen RT Cores into the equation, but it's clear the higher clocks and heftier L2 cache is having to work hard to give it the lead in raw frame rate terms over the older Ampere card.

Where it looks far more positive is up against the new AMD RDNA 3 cards, the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT. It is generally slower than the top Radeon GPU, but against the still more expensive RX 7900 XT the RTX 4070 Ti regularly posts higher 4K performance.

Without any of the DLSS 3/Frame Gen stuff in attendance the RTX 4070 Ti is a very capable performer, but once again the power of Nvidia's upscaling tech is preposterously good. I keep trying to see where the Frame Generation technology fails but I can't do it. Every time I'm like 'aha, there it is, the tell-tale artefact of fake AI frames!' I then check out the native rendering and it looks exactly the same. If not worse.

And with the extra genuine performance of the upscaled frames and the interpolated smoothness of the AI-generated frames, the performance improvement is spectacular where DLSS 3 is available. Which should be more and more often, with Nvidia's Streamline SDK offering devs a one-stop option for enabling it and other vendors' upscaling tech too.

In gaming terms, the 4K performance of the RTX 4070 Ti is impressive even without upscaling, and is rather astounding with it.

There's definitely an argument to be made that in its own price bracket the RTX 4070 Ti is a better option for anyone looking to spend the best part of a grand on their new GPU. With its lower price point the RTX 4070 Ti makes more sense than it did as an RTX 4080 at $899, and with RTX 3090-level gaming performance there's a lot of power under that triple-fan shroud.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti review.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070

The best Ada GPU you'd actually buy

Specifications

Shaders: 5888
Boost clock: 2,475MHz
TFLOPs: 29.1
Memory: 12GB GDDR6X
Memory clock: 21Gbps
Memory bandwidth: 504.2GB/s
TGP: 200W

Reasons to buy

+
Cheaper than the RTX 3080 is even today...
+
...with effectively the same performance
+
Frame Generation is potent
+
Cool
+
Quiet
+
Efficient

Reasons to avoid

-
Frame Generation isn't ubiquitous
Buy if...

You always wanted an RTX 3080: With the same effective performance, a lower price, and DLSS 3.0 support, the RTX 4070 is a great replacement for the retiring GPU.

You're building a tiny gaming rig: The RTX 4070 is cool, quiet, and supremely efficient. It's also a lot smaller than any other card of similar performance.

Don't buy if...

You already own a decent RTX 30- or RX 6800-series GPU: At ~20% higher performance than the RTX 3070 Ti, and similar performance to the RX 6800 XT, spending another $600 so soon isn't worth it just for Frame Generation.

The bottom line

🪛 The RTX 4070 is probably my favourite graphics card from the current Ada lineup, and of both AMD and Nvidia's new generations. It may be pricier than the old RTX 3070, but it's able to keep pace with the RTX 3080, and sometimes even beat it when you bring DLSS 3 to bear.

The Nvidia RTX 4070 is a $100 cheaper RTX 3080. That's the easiest, but probably also the most facile, way to describe the green team's graphics card. This is the fourth entry in the notoriously expensive Ada generation of GPUs, and in standard metrics performs as well as the fourth tier card from the Ampere lineup. On the face of it then it's just a cheaper chip.

But it's not just that. The RTX 4070, this smart new Nvidia card is an RTX 3080 with benefits.

This is the first of the Ada graphics cards to utilise the same GPU as the previous release, just with a little of the good stuff cut back to create a more affordable offering. And that also means Nvidia is able to do something useful with any chip that fails to make the grade as an RTX 4070 Ti, which otherwise uses the full AD104 die, or a mobile RTX 4080.

Though the RTX 4070 is cheaper than an RTX 3080, with its $599 sticker price, Nvidia is once more raising the cost of seemingly equivalent classes of card. The RTX 3070 of the last gen came in at $499, which means realistically this new GPU is effectively replacing the similarly $599 RTX 3070 Ti. This almost inevitable shift in the price tiers takes a touch of the shine of the RTX 4070, but there are many other reasons why I'm still a fan of this new card.

The RTX 4070 is like a proper graphics card. It's not some monstrous hulk of PCIe socket-rending GPU, it's a modest card the size of its RTX 3070 forebear. That makes it a rather cute-looking thing. Well, in terms of scale anyways; that brushed aluminium Nvidia Founders Edition frame still looks pleasingly serious.

And that's more than aesthetics, too. The size of the card hints at the efficiency of the 4nm Ada GPU quietly thrumming away inside of it. If you want a powerful, but low power card, the RTX 4070 fits the bill. Which will no doubt make it the darling of the small form factor PC brigade, and deservedly so. 

That's certainly one of the benefits I was alluding to earlier in the RTX 4070 vs. RTX 3080 debate, but the key one is the fact the Ada card has access to DLSS 3.0 and Frame Generation. And when that comes into play it's a game changer, especially for titles that otherwise would struggle at ray-traced 4K settings.

The obvious drawback is that Frame Gen is not widely available. Even so, getting a $100 discount on a cooler, quieter, and far more efficient RTX 3080 has got to feel like a win when you've got that extra potential perf bump in the back pocket.

Read our full Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 review.

AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT

The best mid-range graphics card

Specifications

Shaders: 3840
Boost clock: 2,430MHz
TFLOPs: 37.32
Memory: 16GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 19.5Gbps
Memory bandwidth: 624.1GB/s
TGP: 263W

Reasons to buy

+
Great 1440p performance for the money
+
Full 16GB / 256-bit memory subsystem
+
Quiet

Reasons to avoid

-
Ray tracing performance still lacking
-
Hotter and thirstier than Ada
Buy if...

You have a $500 budget: This is the best card in this price range right now, offering the standard gaming performance of two of the best GPUs from the last generation.

You want the security blanket of 16GB VRAM: With a grand total memory capacity, and a 256-bit memory bus, the RX 7800 XT has a memory subsystem that will be ample for 1440p gaming for the forseeable future.

Don't buy if...

You want ray tracing performance: AMD's RT acceleration is still a generation behind Nvidia's and with more games supporting it that might be a legitimate concern if you crave the peak lighting effects.

You were hoping to upgrade your RX 6800-series card: Despite the chiplet technology, the game hasn't been moved on technologically from the same GPU tier of the previous Radeon generation. 

The bottom line

🪛 While AMD still has some catching up to do in ray tracing performance, in most other regards the RX 7800 XT is the better card for your money than anything Nvidia can offer today. Though I still feel many will side with an RTX 4070 instead for a little more cash.

There would have been a time when we'd have balked at calling a $499 graphics card "mid-range", but that's the world of PC gaming nowadays. If you're prepared to drop that sort of cash on a graphical upgrade for your PC, at least you can on the RX 7800 XT knowing it's going to net you great performance—in non-ray-traced games, at least.

How much value do you put on ray tracing as a PC gamer? That's got to be the question at the forefront of your mind if you're considering dropping $500 on an AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT. Because if you are 100% sold on ray tracing you probably need to consider whether you're actually willing to pay another $100 for the privilege of extra RT performance and drop the cash on the RTX 4070 instead.

If, however, you're convinced rasterised performance is the only GPU metric worth a damn in this topsy turvy world of PC gaming, then the RX 7800 XT is probably the best upper mid-range graphics card you can buy today.

As you'd expect, and probably hope from a $500 graphics card, the RX 7800 XT makes an outstanding 1080p GPU. It's only in the uber-ray traced environs of Cyberpunk 2077 that it fails to top 60 fps at the tippiest of top graphics settings. Throughout the rest of our benchmark gauntlet the card is able to top 100 fps and actually mostly on towards the 144 fps you'd want for a high refresh rate monitor.

What AMD wants you to know, however, is that this is a 1440p graphics card, designed to top 60 fps in the latest titles at the top settings. And, honestly, it goes well beyond that outside of, again, that brutal Cyberpunk 2077 outlier.

The RX 7800 XT has some 4K gaming chops, as you would expect from a card that's offering performance right up there with the high-end of AMD's previous generation of GPUs. At this level you are going to need some upscaling to deal with any ray-traced lighting effects, however, as away from pure rasterised rendering you can see the RX 7800 XT start to chug with this many pixels on screen. 

It may be an upper mid-range card, but it's punching at a level with arguably the two best GPUs of the last generation in the RX 6800 XT and the RTX 3080. That also means it's roughly equivalent to the RTX 4070 in standard gaming terms—often quicker—with only games that specialise in the latest ray tracing effects giving a solid win to Nvidia.

It does all come down to pricing for this card, which is where the RX 7800 XT wins. It's not a cheap card by any means, $500 is a lot to spend on any component, but it is bringing down the price of this level of raster performance and a proper 16GB VRAM implementation.

Read our full AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT review.

AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT

Too close to the RX 7800 XT for comfort

Specifications

Shaders: 3456
Boost clock: 2,544MHz
TFLOPs: 35.17
Memory: 12GB GDDR6
Memory clock: 18Gbps
Memory bandwidth: 432GB/s
TGP: 245W

Reasons to buy

+
A solid 1440p option
+
12GB of VRAM and 192-bit bus

Reasons to avoid

-
The superior RX 7800 XT is just $50 more
-
Power efficiency isn't stellar
Buy if...

You really are worried about 8GB VRAM limitations. For now, 8GB of VRAM is adequate, but some games already hit those limits, and 8GB will only ever become more limiting, but with 12GB in the 7700 XT you are literally buying yourself more time.

✅ You can't find a little more budget for an RX 7800 XT. The RX 7800 XT is only $50 more than the RX 7700 XT. If you can't find those extra dollars or you're not impressed by the RTX 4060 Ti, then the RX 7700 XT is not a bad choice.

Don't buy if...

Ray Tracing and DLSS 3 is a must have. AMD has improved its ray tracing performance, but until we see FSR 3 in action, Nvidia's tech cherries and ever increasing developer support cannot be overlooked.

❌ You can wait before you upgrade. The RX 7700 XT is a good graphics card, but it's overpriced. In time, it's price is sure to drop, mirroring what happened with the RX 6700 XT which eventually became a fantastic bang for buck card.

The bottom line

🪛 We'd rather the RX 7800 XT, but the RX 7700 XT is still an admirable pick for the discerning gamer that doesn't care for ray tracing and instead more for memory.

The RX 7700 XT looks good compared to its predecessor, the RX 6700 XT. It's got more shaders, better ray tracing performance, faster memory and it includes AI accelerators the RX 6000-series cards specifically lacked. AMD is positioning it as an RTX 4060 Ti 8GB competitor, and it does that job well.

The RX 7700 XT has a couple of features and specifications the competing RTX 4060 Ti 8GB lacks. DisplayPort 2.1 is pretty much a check box feature right now, as ultra-high-resolution gaming with high refresh rates requires a top end graphics card. However, the RX 7700 XT's superior memory subsystem is something that certainly deserves praise. 

One of our criticisms of the RTX 4060 Ti is its weak 8GB and 128-bit memory configuration. The RX 7700 XT's 12GB of VRAM and 192-bit bus is something that’s more appropriate for a 2023 mid-range graphics card. It will hold the card in good stead for longer into the future.

The RX 7700 XT's problem isn't so much the Nvidia competition, it's the RX 7800 XT that costs only $50 more.

The RX 7700 XT is built around the Navi 32 chiplet GPU, the same as that of the RX 7800 XT, just with some functionality disabled. Both come with a single 5nm Graphics Compute Die (GCD) and four surrounding 6nm Memory Cache Dies (MCDs) The RX 7700 XT for its part has one of the MCDs disabled.

The RX 7800 XT is an all-round better graphics card, and for $50 more than the RX 7700 XT at MSRP, it just feels tantalisingly within reach.

If you really can't stretch your budget, and I appreciate not everyone can, the RX 7700 XT is still a mighty card in most games at 1440p. That's all I would expect of it really. It manages 60 FPS in almost all of our test titles. The exception is Cyberpunk 2077, but that runs like plucked turkey on anything less than an RTX 4090. 4K remains the domain of more expensive cards but if you're playing older titles, competitive shooters or MOBA games that are well optimized, the RX 7700 XT will run those at 4K without a hitch.

Read our full AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT review.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti