Best graphics card 2024: Top GPU options for every PC build

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The best graphics card options serve as a gaming PC engine, providing your rig with tremendous visuals that tear up the track. Whether you're looking to tackle your Steam backlog or planning on playing the latest games on release, there are plenty of models out there to suit all budgets and builds. Deciding on a card isn't always easy, but we continually test the latest GPUs to help you find the perfect part for your specific system.

At the moment, our best graphics card pick is the mighty Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, as it provides unbeatable performance that takes high-end gaming PC builds to new heights. That said, there are more contenders out there that win points based on their price, especially if you're aiming to put together a cheaper build that can still run demanding adventures. Sure, investing in something with plenty of VRAM and a high core count is worthwhile, but it'll benefit players looking to run games at 4K more than those looking for a 1440p or 1080p experience.

Nvidia and AMD both have contenders on the GPU battlefield, and we'll likely end up with next-gen warriors like the GeForce RTX 5090 and new Radeon soldiers on the ground soon. Even Intel is taking part in the fight with its Arc A770 card, not to mention a new Battlemage option is on the horizon. All of that has still to come, so if you're not patient enough to wait, you'll want to join us as we round up the best graphics cards available in 2024.

Curated by
Phil Hayton, Hardware Editor at GamesRadar+
Curated by
Phil Hayton

Phil put together their first gaming PC when they were 13, but they've put more than a few graphics cards to the test since then. The custom rig scene has changed dramatically since then, and while our resident GPU expert argues the GTX 970 is still worth using today, they're always up for trying out the latest fancy AI upscaling tricks.

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The best graphics card overall

The best graphics card overall

Specifications

GPU cores: 16,384
Graphics processor: AD102
Base clock: 2,235 MHz
Boost clock: 2,520 MHz
Memory: 24GB GDDR6X
Memory bus: 384-bit

Reasons to buy

+
Best in class performance
+
Not as expensive as the RTX 3090 Ti
+
DLSS 3 with Frame Generation is incredible

Reasons to avoid

-
Still wildly expensive
-
12VHPWR power connection
-
CPU might throttle real-world performance

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is the most powerful graphics card ever by a country mile, and is has undoubtedly changed the standards of PC gaming. Not only does it run circles around its predecessor, the RTX 3090 Ti, but it also benefits from new AI tricks that will help keep it on the throne for even longer. That said, the card's $1,499 / £1,649 MSRP means is firmly an enthusiast option.

Buy it if:

✅ You want raw power: Nvidia's flagship graphics card can punch much harder than anything else on the market without using upscaling tricks.

✅ You play at 4K: You won't have to think about dialing back settings to maintain UHD visuals using the 4090, making it one of the first true 4K cards.

✅ You value ray traying: Out of every GPU right now, the 4090 is the one that can handle ray tracing and still maintain high frame rates at 4K.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You aren't a PC enthusiast: Other graphics cards can reach well over 100fps at 4K, and Nvidia's flagship more caters to players looking for extreme performance regardless of price. 

❌ You've got a small gaming PC: The RTX 4090 is extremely chonky, and that could stop you from squeezing it into small cases with only a few GPU slots available.

Features: Thanks to a 4nm GPU, the RTX 4090 packs in 52% more graphics processing CUDA cores than the RTX 3090 Ti, and it also runs 43% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti as well — all while drawing the same amount of power as the last-gen card. Despite its hardware prowess, some of the 4090's biggest strengths are found in the software side of things, as this card launched alongside Nvidia's Frame Generation tech, which works in conjunction with DLSS to boost fps beyond the imaginable.

Design: We checked out the RTX 4090 Founder's Edition when it arrived in 2022, and it's one of the best looking versions of the card out there. Nvidia's blend of silver and black metal help the shroud feel a bit more sophisticated than custom variants, and its illuminated logo steers clear of the usual gamer aesthetic. Its fans are also sensibly placed, but we're not too keen on both the placement and design of the GPU's 12VHPWR connector, which uses a dongle to bridge PSU compatibility.

Performance: In terms of gaming performance, it’s the only graphics card that can confidently game at a native 4K resolution with ray tracing without the help of DLSS. It’s more than 50% faster on average than the RTX 3090 Ti, and with DLSS 3 with full frame generation, the RTX 4090 can get as much as double the frame rate achieved with last gen’s DLSS 2.0.

Verdict: If you can comfortably afford an RTX 4090, you probably won't need to upgrade your GPU for the best part of a decade. While most screens out there largely stick to 4K, Nvidia's latest flagship GPU can actually handle 8K gaming, meaning it'll play nice with screens of the future that cater to beyond UHD. Not that we'd suggest picking one up for that purpose, as the RTX 5090 will eventually arrive to properly raise the resolution bar.

Read more: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 review

The best graphics card for most players

The best graphics card for most players

Specifications

GPU cores: 8,448
Graphics processor: AD103
Base clock: 2,340 MHz
Boost clock: 2,610 MHz
Memory: 16GB GDDR6X
Memory bus: 256-bit

Reasons to buy

+
Improved 1440p performance
+
Surprising 4K abilities
+
Finally boasts 16GB VRAM

Reasons to avoid

-
Performance difference isn't consistently massive
-
Still pricey for a mid-range GPU

Our previous mid-range favorite has been given a glow up, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super is worthwhile sequel. While performance might not be drastically better compared to the original in every scenario, it's a more capable GPU that excels at 1440p and can even handle 4K.

Buy it if:

✅ You play games at 1440p: QHD resolutions are what this card is made for, and it'll boost fps pretty high if you're not fussed about 4K visuals.

✅ You're willing to use DLSS: There are massive benefits to using Nvidia's AI toolkit, and the RTX 4070 Ti Super can pull off serious moves using Frame Generation.

✅ You want to dabble with 4K: UHD isn't out of the question, and some modern games will happily run at 4K without much compromise on the settings front. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're into 4K ray tracing: The RTX 4070 TI Super can easily handle ray tracing at 1440p, but you'll need to step things up to an RTX 4080 Super if you have a 4K itch.

❌ You'd prefer to invest in higher specs: There's room for debate over whether this card is mid-range, but spending a bit more will get you a different class of GPU.

Features: It's not the cheapest GPU by any means, but the RTX 4070 Ti Super is a more affordable route into high spec gaming than the RTX 4090 or RTX 4080. Not only that, but you're now getting 16GB VRAM and the same DLSS 3.5 upscaling abilities as those premium options. That's ultimately what makes this card one of the best graphics cards for most players, as you'll be able to dabble with running new releases at 4K while being able to pull off 1440p without worrying about settings.

Design: It's worth noting that there's no Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super Founder's Edition, so you'll have to pick from a wide variety of custom models. The model featured in our review is by PNY, and it features aa fairly typical triple fan cooler and three-slot shroud. It's chonky, meaning you'll have to keep PC case space in mind before choosing to upgrade. It also uses Nvidia's new 12VHPWR power connector, and while a dongle is included that bridges the PSU compatibility gap, it will eat up even more space.

Performance: In our usual test suite of games, the RTX 4070 Ti Super made short work of 1440p at ultra settings, with the likes of Hitman 3 maintaining 144fps with ultra settings enabled. Returnal also worked at treat with an average of 112fps, and we even managed to play at 4K with ray tracing enabled using DLSS 3.5 and still hit over 100fps. Ultimately, you'll be able to run most recent releases without a hitch, and AI tools are on hand for when you need a little bit more of a boost.

Verdict: The RTX 4070 Ti Super is pricey, but if you're looking for a top end GPU that doesn't cost well over a grand, Nvidia's mid-range contender is the card you're looking for. It's place at the top could be short lived depending on what happens throughout 2024, but for now, it's the best graphics card most players will be able to afford.

Read more: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super review

The best budget graphics card