When it comes to PC gaming, which graphics card you buy is just about the most important decision you can make in terms of performance. It’s important you pick the best graphics cards to buy in 2019 as this would be the powerhouse for your PC gaming.
Fortunately, it’s also the most modular of components so you’re free to change your mind and upgrade whenever you want without worrying too much about motherboard compatibility, what sockets it uses, or any of the other potentially fiddly sides of gaming.
Ultimately, the graphics card you choose is going to come down to price. The more you spend, the better your PC gaming frame rates. For those who want to game at 1080p or lower, a budget graphics card will do. Anything shooting for AAA games at 4K will have to fork out for a top-tier graphics card.
Here we’ve outlined five of the best graphics card to buy in 2019, ranging from the best budget GPU all the way up to the best that money can buy. We will continually update this article as better options at these price points become available, including the imminent launch of the GeForce RTX Super and AMD Radeon 5000 series.
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB – Check Prices
Suitable for: 1080p
For gamers on a tighter budget, you can now buy a Radeon RX 580 8GB for a price approaching dirt cheap. Variants of the 8GB model are available for as low as $169 and offer fantastic 1080p gaming performance. For those gunning for 1080p/60fps, the Radeon RX 580 8GB is a graphics which will absolutely do the job for the foreseeable future.
Solid gaming performance at 1080p in AAA titles can be had, pipping the GeForce GTX 1060 and delivering performance within a hair of the $210-230 GeForce GTX 1660. Pair it with a Ryzen 2200G and you’ve got yourself a potentially fantastic 1080p gaming build for less than $500 all-in.
Best Price to Performance
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB – Check Prices
Suitable for: 1080p
While it could easily be dismissed as the inferior cousin of the RTX 2060, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti offers up its own distinct advantages. The GTX 1660 Ti utilises a similar Turing GPU core to the 2060, sans ray-tracing and DLSS support. This means you can find a GTX 1660 Ti for a much cheaper price tag, while still offering gaming performance which absolutely steamrolls through 1080p gaming. The GTX 1660 Ti could even be used on 1440p at a push, but it’s at 1080p where it excels. Its low 120W TDP also makes it this graphics card fairly cool and power efficient and makes a gray pairing with a mid-range processor such as a Ryzen 2500X or Intel Core i5-8500.
Best for 1440p
AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB – Check Prices
Suitable for: 1080p, 1440p
Behold, a new contender for the middleweight crown. What the Radeon RX 5700 lacks in raytracing features it more than makes up for with fantastic price to performance at 1440p screen resolution. You can pick a Radeon RX 5700 up for as little as $329 right now, a full $100 cheaper than an RTX 2060 Super which offers almost identical performance.
Whether you’re after 1440p/60fps or 1080p with high refresh rates, the Radeon RX 5700 is a fantastic all-rounder and a great comeback from AMD which knocks some of the more expensive members of the GeForce RTX 20 Series off their perch.
Best for Ray-Tracing
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB – Check Prices
Suitable for: 1440p, Ray-Tracing
Obviously, the more powerful your graphics card, the better it’ll be for titles with real-time ray-tracing support. However, when balancing up price to performance, the GeForce RTX 2070 Super hits the sweet spot at 1440p. It’s a phenomenal QHD graphics card in its own right and it can top-notch performance in current RT-compatible titles.
Performance-wise, the GeForce RTX 2070 Super hovers very closer to the more expensive GeForce RTX 2080, yet it can be found for a relative bargain with prices starting at $499 for AIB models.
Best for VR
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB – Check Prices
Suitable for: 1080p, 1440p, High Refresh Rate & VR
VR was demanding when it first arrived, and not much has changed since. The likes of Valve continue to push up the resolution and therefore the graphical demands. In order to enjoy VR without compromise, a very capable graphics card is required. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 Super fits the bill perfectly, offering up extremely capable performance paired with 8GB high-speed GDDR6 VRAM.
The GeForce RTX 2060 Super has come along and knocked the RTX 2070 off its perch. While the RTX 2070 still holds a narrow performance advantage, the RTX 2060 Super is available for $70-100 less. It’s not the fastest graphics card in the world but it’s certainly enough for the demands of virtual reality these days.
The Fastest Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – Check Prices
Suitable for: 4K and High Refresh Rate
It’s now well over a year old and the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is still the absolute performance champ. For those who want the best of the best, no expense spared, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the big daddy. In terms of gaming performance, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is untouchable right now. It’s here where you’ll find top-of-line single-GPU 4K gaming performance, as well as the most reliable ray-tracing frame rates.
In terms of value for money, you’re paying a price premium for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in order to guarantee the best of the best. With the GeForce GTX Super series on the horizon, it may not remain the best for long though.