The best Nvidia graphics card 2023
Team Green powerhouse offers a lot of options
The best Nvidia graphics cards are in large part, the best graphics cards money can buy, a trend that looks set to continue as we enter a new decade. They’ve always been one step ahead of their bitter rivals (AMD) and continue to release bigger and better GPUs year in, year out.
One drawback a lot of people consider when it comes to Nvidia is the conception that Nvidia GPUs are pretty expensive – which can be the case, but not always. But also being much more power-hungry.
They have flooded the market in recent years with high-performance GPUs that branch out across the entirety of the price spectrum. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a budget card to boost your APU build or the latest high-end model for a powerful new gaming build; Nvidia has it all.
We’ve decided that we will be looking at only the best Nvidia graphics cards on the market today. We’ll be explaining exactly what to look for in a new GPU, and how certain specifications affect the overall performance of that card.
List of best Nvidia graphics cards 2023
Our Top Picks
How We Choose
Whether we’re reviewing a new monitor or the best Nvidia graphics card, choosing the right hardware can always be a tricky task.
It requires hours of product research, performance benchmarking, and reviewing user feedback to get anywhere close to a definitive conclusion on what to recommend.
If you aren’t tech-savvy and struggle to put the time aside to go through the above requirements, you may end up purchasing a GPU that simply isn’t right for you.
Fear not though, friends! Here at WePC, we like to take the stress of research away and transform the whole process into an easy-to-follow, complete buyers guide. That’s right, our team of PC enthusiasts has done all the hard work for you!
How We Test
Testing the products we recommend is a huge part of the overall selection process in our best of guides. It’s a way to make sure what we recommend is, without a doubt, the best option in its specific category.
To be sure a product is “the best,” it must show excellent performance in our tests, and display better qualities and features than the competition it faces.
Most of the products we recommend here at WePC have gone through a strict testing process that involves everything from the price and performance, to build quality, efficiency, and aesthetics. Each product is pushed to the limit to see how it performs under intense stress to make sure it warrants our coveted top spot.
Doing this enables us to provide you with the most accurate review of how the product performs and, ultimately, whether it’s worth your hard-earned cash.
Things To Consider
So, we’ve ran through the specs. What else should we – as buyers – consider before finalizing our purchasing decision?
Unfortunately, there are a few more things to consider than just the specs. Understanding how your GPU works through the specifications is just one part of choosing the right GPU for your specific needs.
Luckily, we’re going to break down the most important areas of a graphics card so you know exactly what to look for when the time to upgrade comes.
So, let’s get straight into it.
Let’s be honest: One of, if not the most important aspect of any hardware component, is its price. Yep, whether you’re looking for a new gaming mouse or a high-end motherboard, price is always the number one factor when it comes to purchasing.
The two most important things to consider when referencing price are; understanding whether or not your GPU is good value for money, and how much to actually spend on a GPU. Luckily for you, we’ll be giving you the answer to one.
This article will showcase some of the best value-for-money graphics cards the market has to offer. That means you’ll only have to concentrate on figuring out how much to spend on one.
If you’re new to PC building, then you might not realize the importance of a GPU when it comes to gaming. The GPU is the number one component that affects how well your build can perform games. For that reason, we always recommend spending a large amount of your budget on the GPU.
If you’re building a PC in the region of $1,000, you’d be expected to put at least $400-$500 aside for the graphics card. Yes, 50% of the overall budget.
Performance is a key area in a new graphics card for a number of reasons – two of which have already been discussed in the above section.
Most people reading this will probably advise you to get the most powerful and just be done with it. Which, if truth be told, is something I might say after a beer or two.
However, that isn’t always the best way to go.
Before you start the search for your new GPU, you must first consider the performance power required to achieve what you’re looking to do. Let me explain.
If you’re a video editor looking to do some light photoshop and a bit of casual old school gaming, you aren’t going to need a 2080Ti. On the other hand, if you’re looking to build a powerhouse PC that has the sole purpose of playing AAA titles in 4K, then you might want to consider that 2080Ti after all.
Be sure to set some performance goals before searching for your next GPU so you don’t get lured into buying something grossly more powerful than your needs require. If you don’t, you might end up spending a shed load more money than you need to.
Finally, comes size. You might not think size matters too much, but it can be a little problematic if upgrading an older PC to newer components.
When we talk about size, we’re talking about the physical dimensions of a component. Modern GPUs can be extremely large, especially if you buy one with a specially designed cooling system. Be sure to check the dimensions of the GPU before purchasing to ensure it definitely fits inside your case.
Understanding The Specs
Next comes the specifications. One of the most important things you can do (as a buyer) before looking for new hardware is to physically learn what each of the specifications means.
Having a greater understanding of how certain hardware works will ensure that you make the right choice when it comes to purchasing time.
That being said, below are the most important GPU specs that we feel are most impactful when it comes to general performance:
First up, we have the clock speeds.
Clock speed refers to the speed in which your microprocessor operates at. It basically refers to how fast your GPU can perform tasks and instructions.
All graphics cards are clocked at different rates, meaning they have different levels of ability when it comes to performing tasks. As a general rule of thumb, a GPU with a higher clock speed is usually faster at performing instructions than something slower.
This is just one of the factors that go into your GPU’s overall performance though. We also have to take into consideration the GPU’s VRAM, CUDA cores, transistors, and cooling.
Next, is the GPU’s VRAM. VRAM works in the same way as your system’s RAM. It provides your GPU with data that can be accessed immediately and in any order.
The VRAM has a direct correlation with the GPU’s performance. A GPU with more accessible RAM has the ability to handle much more demanding tasks such as higher resolution gaming and rendering.
CUDA cores are Nvidia’s answer to AMD’s stream processors. CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) is a programming language that can be manipulated to perform tasks with greater performance.
Every Nvidia GPU comes with a set number of CUDA cores, with some GPUs having access to more CUDA cores than others. Most of the time, more CUDA cores translate to higher performance.
The only time this is not the case is when a GPU is using an outdated architecture.
Finally, we have cooling.
As you will soon see, there are a ton of different cooling solutions to choose from:
- Metal heatsink
All provide different levels of cooling and should be seriously considered before purchasing a new GPU.
When performing stressful tasks (like gaming or video editing) a GPU can generate large amounts of heat. To ensure the card is running at optimal levels, you want the GPU to be as cool as possible. That’s why cooling is so important.
Generally speaking, a triple-fan cooling design is best for low temps. Having said that, GPU fans usually just spread the heat around the PC making the other components hotter. A blower-style fan will suck the air through the GPU and disperse it out the back.
All cooling designs have different results so just be sure to consider this before your next purchase.
Nvidia Vs AMD
Now that we’ve seen the best Nvidia graphics cards the market has to offer, let’s discuss the age-old topic of Nvidia Vs AMD.
It’s a battle that’s as old as time, and one that has – in recent years – become much closer.
Historically, as I’m sure you’re all aware, Nvidia has been the dominating force in the GPU market. They have forever been the go-to brand when it comes to the most powerful cards you can buy.
However, ever-since AMD decided to go and release their new range of NAVI cards, the gap between the two giants just got a little closer.
As far as the top-end of the spectrum goes, Nvidia is still dominating thanks to the likes of their 2080Ti and RTX Titan GPUs. However, when you get down to the more affordable price points, AMD starts to come into their own. Just take their fan-favorite RX 5700XT as a prime example. Many are choosing this over Nvidia’s alternative (2070).
As we go down the list of GPUs, you see a much more evenly matched battle. Even a couple of years ago would have seen a complete overhaul in Nvidia’s favor. But not anymore.
It’s a great time to be a PC builder as both the CPU and GPU markets are packed with great options for all price points. The tight competition between Nvidia Vs AMD is only likely to drive prices even lower as well!
The Our 5 Best Nvidia Graphics Cards
- Without doubt, the highest performing consumer-grade GPU
- Real time ray-tracing
- 4k gaming at ultra settings
- Limited amount of games with ray tracing
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is quite simply the best gaming GPU on the market right now for 4K gaming. AMD’s competing card, the 6800 XT, has slight advantages at 1080p and 1440p, but it doesn’t come with the features of the RTX 3080. Although both the AMD RX 6900 XT and Nvidia’s own RTX 3090 are more powerful cards than the RTX 3080, the former card is $300 more expensive with inferior ray-tracing performance, and the latter card is geared more towards high-end workstation users with a price tag to match (expect to pay at least $800 more for the RTX 3090). In some cases, the RTX 3080 can actually compete with these higher price cards on certain games and at certain settings, particularly the AMD RX 6900 XT which does not justify such a big markup.
At an RRP of at least $699, the RTX 3080 is not cheap, but when you consider that it can beat the older gen RTX 2080 Ti by a substantial margin (around 30% in some cases), and that card originally retailed for $1,200, then this shows the superb generational uplift that this card represents on power to price basis.
Besides the raw power generated by the 8,704 CUDA cores, with a boost clock of between 1,710 – 1,815 MHz depending on the AIB you go with, the thing which just about separates this card from the competing AMD RX 6800 XT is the superior ray-tracing and DLSS technology. With their latest 30-series GPUs, Nvidia has really nailed ray-tracing technology, and the RTX 3080 is capable of running games at a better FPS performance with ray-tracing turned on compared to what the 2080 Ti could do, even with the feature switched off! The only real downside of all this gaming power is the high electrical power required to run it – the GeForce RTX 3080 requires an 850W PSU at a minimum.
All in all, if you have a definite interest in playing games that come with ray-tracing, and you can handle the additional $50 price markup over the competing AMD RX 6800 XT card, then the RTX 3080 is the best gaming GPU currently available. We’ve selected the MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G as our favorite AIB of this model card, though you can have a look at our best RTX 3080 GPU page to see if there’s a different variant you might prefer.
- Great in-game performance
- Very high build quality
- Very efficient cooling
The Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti is below the RTX 3070 in the GeForce hierarchy as you’d expect, but shares many features with the more powerful card, including the same 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and the same 256-bit memory bus. Despite having a lower core count than the RTX 3070, depending on the game you can expect FPS to fall behind the more expensive card by only around 15%-1% less. Considering the RTX 3060 Ti has an RRP of $399, $100 less than the RTX 3070, this is a great value.
In fact, we’d say that the RTX 3060 Ti currently offers the best power-to-price of any card on this list. It actually beats the previous-gen 2080 Super across all resolutions, despite retailing for less money. The card offers respectable FPS at 1080p and 1440p, making it a great option for those with a 1440p monitor not looking to break the bank, although 4K gaming is beyond its power (unsurprising at this price point).
Finally, the RTX 3060 Ti comes with the same ray-tracing technology as the more expensive cards in the series, giving it an edge over similarly priced AMD cards.
If the RTX 3060 Ti seems the right card for you, have a look at our guide on the best RTX 3060 Ti variants to see which AIB of the card would suit you best. Here we have listed the ASUS GeForce RTX 3060 TI ROG Strix Gaming OC but a cheaper variant might suit you better.
- Very good gaming performance in 1080p and 1440p
- Based on new Turing architecture
- Very efficient cooling
- Great aesthetics
- Outperformed by RX 5700XT
- Few RTX-enabled games to enjoy
Next up comes out mid-range pick; MSI’s RTX 2060 Super, a card that has become increasingly popular thanks to its very reasonable price tag and excellent aesthetics.
For me, the 2060 Super is one of the most attractive cards on this list and comes out of the box offering a superb design that is sure to increase the overall look of any build. It has multiple RGB zones that can be altered in MSI’s user-friendly software, alongside fan speeds, clock speeds, and more.
The MSI 2060 Super sports a very attractive 1695MHz clock speed. Pair that with the 8GB of GDDR6 of VRAM and superb cooling design, and you will soon realize this is one of the best 2060s money can buy.
From a gaming standpoint, you can expect to achieve excellent FPS figures from both 1080p and 1440p in most games. More demanding titles may be a struggle for the 2060 Super in ultra settings, but generally, we can expect 60FPS and above. It comes with 2176 CUDA cores and much lower power consumption than the above cards in this guide.
If what you’re looking for is a powerful, reasonably priced GPU for any 1080p and 1440p needs you might have then I feel there is no better option than our best value pick, the 2060 Super.
- Excellent build quality
- Based on new Turing architecture
- Great cooling from EVGA
- Aesthetically very pleasing
- Doesn't come with RTX support
Next up is our budget pick, the 1660 Super Sc Ultra Gaming from EVGA.
This card is by far the most affordable in this guide, but don’t let that fool you; It still offers up a brilliant array of features and great gaming performance at both 1080p and 1440p, especially for its price.
You always get quality when you purchase EVGA which is one of the great things about this brand, and EVGA did not skimp on the build quality when it came to the 1660 Super.
Aside from a sturdy build, the 1660 Super also offers up excellent aesthetics and cooling thanks to its dual-fan design, which is optimized to keep your GPU at the lowest temps possible whilst under stress.
You can expect 1408 CUDA cores, a 1830MHz Boost clock speed, 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, and a bunch of I/O outputs from the 1660 Super.
Put all these factors together and what you have is a great little gaming GPU, ideal for people looking to play lesser intensive AAA titles in 1080p/1440p. It won’t damage your wallet too badly, but it will offer you some great new features – and its VR ready for when you want to dip your toe in that pond.
- Massive 24GB of GDDR6 memory capacity
- Excellent build quality
- Massively expensive
- Overkill for most
Despite the ‘GeForce’ prefix, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 isn’t really a GPU designed for gamers, and it should be seen more as akin to the earlier Titan series. Built for use by creative professionals, 3D visual artists, and others in need of a powerful and fast graphical rendering machine for their particular line of work, and who can afford the $1,499 RRP.
That being said, if you fall into this category but also enjoy gaming – the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 will certainly give you more FPS on any game, at any resolution (though especially 4K), compared to any other retail graphics card on the market. However, the $300 premium you would pay for the RTX 3090 over the next most powerful Nvidia GPU currently available, the RTX 3080 Ti, is a big markup for what amounts to not that great a difference in gaming performance.
The closest competitor to the RTX 3090 is AMD’s RX 6900 XT, which is $500 cheaper but ultimately doesn’t have the memory capacity, speed, or bandwidth to compete as a high-level workstation graphics card. The 6900 XT is essentially a gaming GPU only, one which is overpriced relative to the RTX 3080. The RTX 3090 therefore basically has no real competition in its specific workstation niche.
So, if you’re a person for whom quicker rendering means a quicker working output, and you can pick one up for as close to RRP as possible, then the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 may be the right graphics card for you. Have a look at our best RTX 3090 page to see which AIB of the card you should go for.
So, there you have it; our comprehensive guide to the best Nvidia graphics cards money can buy.
Unlike the AMD graphics card roundup, this was a much easier selection process. Nvidia has very clear standout GPUs in all price points, so making sure we chose the right ones simply came down to brand, cooling, and build quality.
Hopefully, this article will be a guide for your next Nvidia graphics card purchase.
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