In the world of gaming and content creation, the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is king. It's the heart of your system, pumping pixel power to your games, rendering your 3D models, and making sure your virtual reality experience is as smooth as butter.
Whether you're a seasoned gamer looking for the ultimate performance, a budding content creator in need of a powerful workhorse, or a budget-conscious consumer wanting the best bang for your buck, we've got you covered. Here's our list of the five best GPUs available right now.
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is currently the fastest GPU available and sits atop the throne of GPU benchmarks hierarchy, particularly excelling at 1440p and 4K resolution. Boasting Nvidia's Ada Lovelace architecture, the RTX 4090 offers significant architectural improvements and a whopping 2x-4x the performance of an RTX 3090 Ti.
Transistor counts have nearly tripled compared to its predecessor, the RTX 3090 Ti
Core counts on the RTX 4090 are 52% higher than the RTX 3090 Ti
GPU clock speeds are 35% faster
Features a 24GB VRAM and 16384 GPU shaders
Support for DLSS 3, which can nearly double the performance of DLSS 2
Despite its superior performance, the RTX 4090 comes with a hefty price tag of $1,599 for the base model, and partner cards can push the price up to $1,999. This GPU is for those who want the very best, regardless of the cost, and is excellent for both content creation and high-end gaming.
2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
The GeForce RTX 4080, another powerhouse from Nvidia, ranks second in performance. While not as fast as the RTX 4090, it offers significant power at a slightly lower price point of $1,200. This GPU is a solid choice for those who want high-end performance but are willing to compromise a little for a more affordable price.
The GPU boasts a TSMC 4N architecture and an impressive 45.9 billion transistors. Additionally, it features a boost clock of 2505 MHz and an impressive 16GB of VRAM.
3. AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
If you're looking for top-tier AMD performance, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is your GPU of choice. Coming in at $1,000, it's a more budget-friendly option than the RTX 4090 and 4080 without a significant compromise on performance. It's a great pick for AMD enthusiasts or anyone looking for a blend of power and affordability.
This GPU is built on the RDNA 3 architecture, features a whopping 45.6 billion transistors, and has a boost clock speed of 2500 MHz. This GPU also boasts an impressive 24GB of VRAM, which means it is capable of handling heavy graphical workloads with ease.
The RX 7900 XTX, along with its sibling the RX 7900 XT, has been reviewed as the fastest and second-fastest AMD GPUs, with excellent efficiency gains and an innovative chiplet design. However, they don't outperform Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090, which continues to sit at the top of the GPU benchmarks hierarchy. AMD is not aiming for the top spot but is delivering a strong contender in the high-performance segment. Despite its weaker ray tracing and AI performance, it's an impressive piece of hardware that caters to a specific audience.
Prices for the AMD RX 7900-series cards start at $899, making them a less expensive option compared to Nvidia's RTX 4090 and 4080. However, they are not targeting the mainstream gamer market, which will likely be addressed by future Navi 32 / RX 7700-series cards (or maybe 7800-series). So, if you want AMD's fastest ever consumer graphics card, be prepared to shell out a significant amount of money.
4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti
The GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is a great mid-range option. It offers strong performance, ranking fourth on our list, and comes in at a more accessible price point of $800. This GPU strikes a balance between performance and cost, making it suitable for both gaming and content creation on a budget.
5. AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT is an excellent choice for those who value rasterization performance. Sporting AMD's latest and greatest RDNA 3 architecture, it boasts high GPU shaders at 10752 and a VRAM of 20GB. It operates at a boost clock speed of 2400 MHz, ensuring your games run smoothly and efficiently. Although it doesn't perform as strongly in ray tracing and AI performance compared to Nvidia's offerings, it's an impressive card in its own right and is the second fastest AMD GPU available.
RDNA 3 architecture, ensuring top-tier rasterization performance
Boasts 10752 GPU Shaders
20GB VRAM at a speed of 20 Gbps
Boost clock speed of 2400 MHz
Innovative chiplet design
Despite its many pros, the 7900 XT comes with its caveats. The chiplet design, while innovative, doesn't necessarily improve performance and may even hurt it. Moreover, priced at $899, it costs significantly less than Nvidia's RTX 4090 and 4080 but is still a considerable investment, particularly in comparison to the 7900 XTX. This GPU is best suited for those who value AMD's performance and are ready to invest in it
Best Budget Pick: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
For those on a budget, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti offers the best value for money. Priced at $400, it offers respectable performance for its price bracket. If you're a casual gamer or just dipping your toes into content creation, this GPU is a cost-effective option that doesn't compromise on quality.
There you have it – our top picks. While these are the best GPU's currently on the market, now might not be the best time to purchase a new GPU due to disappointing price-to-performance. Read more about why we think Nvidia's RTX 40 Series GPUs: A Profit-Driven Slap in the Face to Gamers. All in all all of these are still very solid GPU's that should handle most tasks you throw at them.
View our full list of 2023 Best Gaming GPU's.