Top Pick for
Overall graphics card
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Finder's team checked out hundreds of graphics cards to find the best picks for everything from high-end gaming to virtual reality. We trawled through dozens of product pages, read plenty of user reviews and analysed benchmark data to help you confidently choose the components for your next PC upgrade.
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It's not the best time to be in the market for a new graphics card, but if you manage to get your hands on Nvidia's RTX 3080, you won't be disappointed. With fantastic in-game performance at resolutions as high as 4K and with Nvidia's market-leading features, the RTX 3080 is the best overall graphics card you can buy today.
The RTX 3080 makes gaming at high resolutions easy, with the card capable of running some of the most demanding titles at 4K and 60 FPS. Even with RTX on, you should have a great time playing games like Call of Duty: Warzone, but some more demanding titles like Cyberpunk 2077 might require you to lower your settings a little.
Nvidia gives you more under the hood than just raw performance. You'll be able to make use of Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS, to help boost frame rates in supported titles, and it has some of the best ray-tracing performance out of any card on the market right now. Those with G-Sync compatible gaming monitors can make the most of the anti-tearing tech for smooth gaming, and creators will benefit from fast encoding and processing features like NVENC.
If you're running on older hardware or don't play games at anything higher than 1080p, going out and dropping more than a grand on the RTX 3080 won't be worthwhile. It's one of the fastest graphics cards on the market, so you need high-performance components that can keep up with the GPU to get the most out of it. It's even worse value when you consider its current pricing is around twice as much as it's supposed to retail for, thanks to the current chip shortage.
While there are heaps of different RTX 3080s, EVGA's XC3 model gets high praise with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Google. Buyers loved its incredible performance figures but noticed it ran hot. Each card will vary slightly from one another, so check the model you're interested in before buying.
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Nvidia's RTX 3060 Ti offers up a great gaming experience without breaking the bank. The card delivers solid performance figures for the price and costs much less than its siblings, making it the best value graphics card on the market.
Stellar gaming performance comes naturally to the RTX 3060 Ti. It's powerful enough to run super demanding titles, like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Forza Horizon 4, at high frame rates and 1440p. The card is so good that it's almost as powerful as last generation's top-of-the-line 2080 Super. Despite its frame-crushing performance, it's not got enough grunt to tackle super demanding titles at 4K. That's particularly true if you want to run at high settings and with extra goodies enabled, like ray tracing.
The RTX 3060 Ti is one of the most affordable cards based on Nvidia's latest-generation Ampere microarchitecture. Even though it costs way more than its retail price right now, you'll still be able to get one of these for around $400 less than the next best card in the lineup, the RTX 3070. It's also much faster than its slightly cheaper sibling, the RTX 3060.
Despite its solid specs, the RTX 3060 Ti isn't equipped with quite as much VRAM as some might like. The 8GB of GDDR6X memory is quick, but the amount is pretty average for today's standards. While it's probably fine for the sorts of things you'd want to do with an RTX 3060 Ti, you might find it's not holding up quite as well as you'd hoped in a few years from now.
Nvidia's Founders Edition version of the RTX 3060 Ti is the highest-rated card on this list, earning itself a 4.9 out of 5 rating from more than 1,200 reviews on Google. Users loved the card's performance given its price, but some didn't get great FPS with RTX enabled. Check reviews for the specific card you're looking at, as each varies slightly.
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Cheap graphics cards that can perform well in games are almost unheard of these days, but AMD's entry-level cards are a compelling option. With respectable performance at 1080p and a price point that's not as over-inflated as most, the RX 6600 is the best cheap graphics card on the market.
If you play at 1080p, the RX 6600 is probably one of the best cards you can buy. It's not as overpriced as many graphics cards at the moment, and you'll get perfectly playable frame rates in all sorts of games. It can push out over 100 frames per second at the highest graphical settings in games like F1 2020 and other esports titles like Valorant and Rainbow Six Siege, and more demanding titles will be able to keep it locked at a smooth 60 FPS.
While you might save a few pennies by going with an AMD card, you won't be able to reap the benefits of Nvidia's market-leading technologies like DLSS and RTX. AMD does have ray tracing support on the RX 6600, but it'll lower frame rates to the point that many titles are unplayable. Low frame rates also plague this card if you're playing much above 1080p anyway.
Part of this card's struggle is its lacklustre memory. You'll only be getting 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM with the RX 6600, which should be fine for lower resolution gaming today, but won't cut it for many future titles. Not only is it not a ton of memory, but it's also a little slow with its somewhat smaller 128-bit bus width.
Since the RX 6600 isn't the most popular card, there aren't many user reviews online. Still, a couple of cards have a few good reviews, such as PowerColor's Hellhound and Fighter models. Since each card varies slightly, make sure to check the specific card you want to buy before placing an order.
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High-resolution gaming demands a powerhouse graphics card, and the RTX 3080 Ti is precisely that. Offering similar performance to the top of the line RTX 3090 and boasting mind-blowing ray-tracing abilities, it's the best graphics card for 4K gaming.
Playing anything at 4K is pretty demanding, but running it at high refresh rates is even more of a challenge. Luckily, the RTX 3080 Ti packs plenty of performance under the hood for just that. You can expect the card to produce strikingly similar performance figures as the RTX 3090, hitting well over 60 FPS in blockbuster titles like Destiny 2 and Death Stranding.
Like Nvidia's other Ampere cards, the RTX 3080 Ti has several extra features under the hood that boost performance and graphical fidelity. It's one of the best-performing cards on the market if you're into playing games with ray tracing graphics options enabled, and with DLSS, turning RTX on is better than ever.
If power bills are something that frightens you, the RTX 3080 Ti will have you screaming. This card draws an incredible 320W of power from the wall, more than double the consumption of AMD's RX 6600 XT. If that doesn't scare you, the card's price will. It retails for $1,920, but in the current climate, you can expect to pay closer to $2,700.
Those who managed to get their hands on an RTX 3080 Ti have given it high praise, with the Founders Edition of the card earning a 4.7 out of 5 rating from more than 300 reviews on Google. Users loved the card's fantastic performance in games, but some complained about its thermals. Each GPU is different, so check reviews for the specific model you're eyeing off before buying.
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Gaming at 1440p is considered the sweet spot between price and visual quality, and Nvidia's RTX 3070 is just the card to fulfil all of your high-performance needs. Thanks to its quicker performance than even the best cards from last generation, and its fantastic features from Nvidia like DLSS, the RTX 3070 is the best graphics card for 1440p gaming.
Achieving high frame rates at 1440p is the RTX 3070's favourite task, with the card capable of pushing out hundreds of frames per second in blockbuster titles like Death Stranding and Gears of War 5. In many cases, the mid-tier card is a better performer than the top of the line cards from the last generation of hardware, like the RTX 2080 Super. Still, it's not quite as impressive at higher resolutions, especially with ray tracing enabled. While it can run some games at 4K, don't expect everything to be playable at maximum settings.
As is typical with Nvidia's cards, you get some top-notch features alongside the raw performance of the RTX 3070. DLSS is there to boost your frame rates, Reflex reduces latency, and you'll benefit from the graphical goodness of Nvidia's market-leading ray tracing tech.
The RTX 3070 is a costly card at the best of times, but given the current going rate for one of these beasts is about double the retail price, having just 8GB of GDDR6X memory is a letdown. It'll be more than okay for most games, but as textures get more detailed and higher resolutions take over, it'll feel dated quickly.
Gigabyte's RTX 3070 OC is one of the more popular RTX 3070 options available, and it's got a 4.7 out of 5 rating from more than 500 reviews on Google. Users appreciated the card's ray-tracing power but couldn't find it for anywhere near its retail price. Gigabyte's cards differ from other AIB partner models (like those from Asus), so it's worth checking the reviews for any specific card you want before buying.
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1080p is by far the most popular resolution for gamers globally, and if that's how you play, AMD's RX 6600 XT is the perfect card to help you tackle demanding games. With impressive FPS in blockbuster titles and great power efficiency, it's the best graphics card for 1080p gaming.
The RX 6600 XT is an entry-level card, but that doesn't mean it won't perform well. It can easily run some of the most demanding games at Ultra settings at more than 60 frames per second, and it'll breeze past 100 frames per second in esports titles like F1 2021. It gets even better if you've got a gaming monitor that supports AMD's FreeSync adaptive sync technology since there'll be no distracting artifacts.
AMD is catching up to Nvidia in terms of raw performance, but the company still lags far behind on features. AMD's DLSS alternative, FidelityFX, is not as strong as its competition, and ray tracing performance isn't even close between the two rivals. AMD has one thing going for it: significantly lower power consumption. With a 160W TDP, the RX 6600 XT has a much lower power draw than Nvidia's RTX 3060 Ti (with a 200W TDP).
The RX 6600 XT is a little pricey for what it offers, and in the current market, high prices mean you're getting even less value for money. You'll be lucky to find a card for less than $300 more than retail, but even then, it's still a better and cheaper buy than many alternatives.
One of the most popular RX 6600 XT's on the market is XFX's Speedster, with an impressive 4.6 out of 5 rating from 60 reviews. Users praised the card for its value given the appallingly overpriced market conditions, but others said it wasn't quite as punchy as Nvidia's RTX 3060 Ti (though that card is far more pricey currently). Each card varies, so check the specific model you want before you buy.
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Virtual reality games can be super demanding, but you won't need to worry about that with Nvidia's RTX 3070 Ti. It's got oodles of ports for your headsets, and with stellar performance figures at 1440p, it's the best graphics card for VR.
Regardless of what you're playing, the RTX 3070 Ti is a force to be reckoned with. It easily surpasses 100 frames per second at resolutions as high as 1440p in heaps of the most demanding titles on the market, including Call of Duty: Warzone and Doom Eternal. If you're a little ambitious, the RTX 3070 Ti can scrape by at 4K, but it's not going to be a mind-blowing experience.
For VR enthusiasts, the RTX 3070 Ti strikes the perfect balance between performance, price and crucially, ports. Nvidia's standard configuration is a single HDMI port and three DisplayPort connections. But there are plenty of other options from partners like Gigabyte and Asus with two or even three HDMI ports. That gives you plenty of places to plug in VR headsets.
While the card is a top performer, it's not heaps better than its non-Ti counterpart, the RTX 3070. If you're not that bothered by a couple of extra frames per second, you might be better off saving a few bucks on the cheaper card. Keeping with the theme of cost, the RTX 3070 Ti won't be kind to your power bill. The card is capable of pulling up to 70 more watts from the wall than the RTX 3070 (a 32% increase).
The Founders Edition RTX 3070 Ti earned high praise from buyers with its 4.8 out of 5 rating from almost 200 reviews on Google. Users loved the card's super performance at 1440p, but some didn't like the lack of VRAM on the card. Most RTX 3070 Ti cards will have similar characteristics to the Founders Edition one, with minor differences in cooling and performance.
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Rendering 3D objects and playing around in Adobe's Creative Cloud applications can be highly demanding on your system, but Nvidia's RTX 3090 will keep up with your creativity. With an abundance of memory and its status as the best-performing consumer graphics card, the RTX 3090 is the best graphics card for creators.
The RTX 3090 is the fastest graphics card on the market today, crushing pretty much every game and benchmark it comes across. It's the top-performing card in 3DMark, and it'll run basically every game at 4K and with super high settings.
There's no denying that the RTX 3090 is a performance powerhouse through and through, and it'll remain a top performer for years thanks to its ludicrously large memory buffer. This beast of a card has 24GB of blazing-fast GDDR6X memory, double the memory of the next-most powerful card in Nvidia's lineup. Gamers do not need that much VRAM, but it won't harm you to have it either.
While the RTX 3090 wins in benchmarks, it fails miserably in the affordability category. Nvidia's recommended price of $2,429.00 for the RTX 3090 is already far too costly for most, but good luck getting one for retail. Scalpers and supply shortages have driven prices of the pro-centric card to around $4,000.
If you're a gamer, this card isn't really for you. The RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti run on the same GA102 processor as the RTX 3090, so while a few specs vary between the cards, they perform similarly in games for much less of your hard-earned cash.
The Founders Edition RTX 3090 received great reviews from those who managed to get their hands on one, with the card boasting a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from more than 1,700 reviews on Google. Buyers complimented the card for its phenomenal performance abilities even in the most demanding 4K games, but many found the card to get hot under load. Remember to check reviews for the specific card you want to buy as they each differ slightly.
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Mining is super popular among those who've dipped their toes in the water of the cryptocurrency world, and AMD's RX 6800 XT is a solid pick for anyone looking to get started. There's no hash rate limiter to be seen, and with top-notch gaming performance as well, it's the best graphics card for crypto mining.
Nvidia has been actively trying to stop miners from poaching graphics cards on its gamer-centric GeForce lineup by releasing Lite Hash Rate (LHR) models of its most popular GPUs. Luckily for those into crypto, AMD hasn't taken the same approach, so you're free to exploit the RX 6800 XT for all of its hashing potential.
If you want to save a buck, you could grab the standard 6800 for around $50 to $100 less than the 6800 XT, but it has a slightly lower hash rate and won't perform quite as well in games. The 6800 XT is also a fair bit cheaper than Nvidia's RTX 3080, but the AMD card isn't quite as good for 4K gaming. That's not to say the RX 6800 XT isn't great for games, because it absolutely crushes even the most demanding titles at 1440p and is still a fantastic performer at 4K too.
If you want to do a bit of gaming on top of your mining, AMD's graphics cards still don't hold a candle to what Nvidia can offer as far as extra features are concerned. Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is significantly better than AMD's FixelityFX at the moment, and ray tracing is still infinitely superior on Nvidia cards right now.
PowerColor's Red Devil RX 6800 XT is one of the more popular versions of the card, and it's got a 4.1 out of 5 rating from 80 reviews on Google. Users loved the card's speedy in-game performance at 1440p and even 4K, but others mentioned it was a little bit big. In our review of AMD's reference card, we found the card was a fantastic high-end option but lagged behind Nvidia's offerings in terms of ray tracing.
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Tiny cases demand tiny graphics cards, and EVGA's got a stellar pick for small form factor enthusiasts. Thanks to its dual-fan cooling setup and short length, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XC Gaming LHR is the best mini graphics card on the market.
Like all good mini graphics cards, EVGA's RTX 3060 Ti XC is a breeze to fit into smaller cases. It measures only 20.18 centimetres long and 11 centimetres tall, so it's barely longer than a Mini-ITX motherboard. It's not the tiniest graphics card ever, as it's a pretty standard two-slot width, but that shouldn't make too much of a difference.
EVGA managed to slap two decently-large fans on its RTX 3060 Ti XC, rather than just one like many similar small cards. That should help keep temperatures pretty low even under intense loads, but you shouldn't expect this card to be the highest performing or most thermally efficient 3060 Ti on the market. Its 1710 MHz boost clock is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not quite as impressive as the 1890 MHz clock running on Asus' tri-fan Strix RTX 3060 Ti. At the end of the day, if you're looking for a smaller GPU in the first place, you're probably not expecting top of the line performance.
EVGA's RTX 3060 Ti XC is not an ideal crypto mining card, since it's got Nvidia's new mining limiter on board. Lite Hash Rate (LHR) cards lower their hash rate to make them less efficient at generating coins that run on a proof of work model like Ethereum.
EVGA's tiny RTX 3060 Ti received a stellar rating of 4.5 out of 5 from more than 50 reviews on Google. Given its mini footprint, many loved the card's high performance, but some said the GPU could get pretty warm under load.
Every pixel on your monitor is powered by a graphics card, from the icons on your desktop to the bullets flying past you in Call of Duty.
If you only use your computer for basic tasks like web browsing, you can get away with the built-in integrated graphics card inside any PC. But if you're an avid gamer, a 3D animator or a keen crypto miner, you're going to need a powerful, discrete graphics card.
Discrete graphics cards are inserted into your PC's motherboard. They combine a number of important components like in-bult RAM and cooling systems, but the core of each card is the graphics processing unit, commonly referred to as a GPU (confusingly, GPU is also colloquially used as a stand-in term for the entire graphics card).
A PC's central processing unit (CPU) is the brain that handles the raw data, but the GPU takes that information and converts it into images that can be displayed on a monitor. GPU's can't do much else, but they're finely tuned to handle this taxing task efficiently.
Having a more powerful GPU allows you to play games at higher resolutions, higher frame rates, and with the in-game visual settings maxed out. Upgrading your graphics card can often have the single biggest impact on improving your PC's performance – the catch is that they can also be the single most expensive component inside a PC.
The graphics card market is an effective duopoly dominated by AMD and Nvidia.
Other graphics card manufacturers exist, but only these two companies actually produce the GPUs powering them. Whether you pick up a card branded as ASUS, Zotak, Gigabyte, MSI or any number of other third-party manufacturers, the GPUs will always be from either Nvidia or AMD.
Because these third-party branded graphics cards are all based on the same reference designs from AMD or Nvidia, they don't typically stray too far from the original specifications. The differences between them are generally minor and focused on slight improvements to efficiency such as: overclocked GPUs, more efficient cooling systems, quieter fans, smaller form factors, extra display ports and aesthetic trimmings like RGB lighting.
Historically, Nvidia has held the edge over AMD, but that gap has narrowed significantly in recent years. Nvidia's most premium graphics cards are still the most powerful on the market, but AMD presents great alternatives at every other tier, and they're generally cheaper, too.
This is the most important part of any graphics card. When considering GPU, check both the minimum and recommended specs on the latest video games. These tell you the least powerful graphics card that you can get away with and the ideal card for playing a game at its ideal settings.
Nvidia has two common GPU lines, GeForce GTX on the lower end and GeForce RTX on the premium end. The higher the number that follows, the more powerful, for example, RTX 2080 is more powerful than the RTX 2060. RTX cards are newer and capable of utilising ray tracing, a light rendering technique that looks gorgeous in action, but isn't yet ubiquitous across the games industry. AMD cards are branded as Radeon. Like with Nvidia, the higher the numbers that follow, the better. AMD Radeon cards aren't capable of utilising ray tracing, but they're cheaper for the power they provide.
G-Sync and FreeSync are competing technologies built into certain monitors that automatically align the screen's refresh rate with the frame rate that the graphics card is pumping out. This helps mitigate screen tearing and ugly visual artefacts.
G-Sync is compatible with Nvidia cards, while FreeSync works with AMD cards (though, confusingly, some of the newest Nvidia cards now work with FreeSync, too). If you own either a FreeSync or G-Sync monitor, it's a good idea to pair them with a graphics card that can take advantage of the technology, because you will notice the difference they make. Take advantage of it if you can.
Graphics cards contain onboard random access memory (RAM) where they store the data that the GPU needs to process. Generally speaking, the more RAM the better. For example, a card with 4GB of RAM won't perform as well as one with 8GB. We'd advise aiming for more than 4GBs of RAM, unless you're only going to be playing older games in 1080p.
But that's not the only factor to consider. The type of RAM is important as well. For example, GDDR6 RAM is faster than the previous generation of GDDR5 RAM. Here, newer is always better.
This is related to the monitor you own. If you intend to play on a native 1080p monitor you'll be able to get away with a far cheaper graphics card because most lower-end cards will have no trouble providing you with top-notch full HD performance. But if you're shooting for 1440p or 4K (or higher), you'll need to be more discerning. Only higher-end graphics cards can manage these resolutions while maintaining good performance. The more pixels to power, the more power you'll need.
How much space do you actually have inside your PC? Graphics cards come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with some so big they take up two or more slots on a motherboard. This is common with "turbo" edition graphics cards, as they often feature additional fans and bulky cooling components. It's critical, then, that you measure the available space inside your case to ensure you don't buy a card too big for your PC's britches.
What size power supply do you have? The graphics card is typically the most power-hungry component of a PC, so it's important that your power supply has enough juice to sustain it. Most cards will recommend a minimum wattage for smooth operation, and it's a good idea to heed these recommendations to avoid compatibility issues and performance problems.
The Radeon RX 6700 XT is a powerful 1440p graphics card that bridges the gap between Nvidia's RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070.
Strong 4K performance and a slate of promising new technologies make the RX 6800 XT the most exciting addition to AMD's line-up in years.
The RX 6800 is a significant step forward for AMD graphics cards, but it's not quite enough to take the crown from Nvidia.
Does your PC need a graphics boost? Read our guide to the best sites to buy a new Nvidia or AMD graphics card online.
Looking to upgrade your gaming PC with the latest mid-range graphics card? Then you need the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. Here's where to buy it in Australia.
AMD continues to disrupt the dominance of Intel and Nvidia with new, more powerful processors.
The GTX 1660 Ti ditches real-time ray-tracing in favour of higher performance at a more affordable price.
AMD's answer to the Nvidia RTX 2080 promises to once again shake up the graphics card industry.
Nvidia makes real-time ray tracing affordable with the entry-level GeForce RTX 2060.
Nvidia's new RTX-enabled graphics card outperforms last generation's GTX 1070Ti for less, according to its own testing.
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