To be able to play current games on the PC, a good graphics card is required. Onboard or OnCPU solutions are no longer sufficient here. But which one is the right one? We tell you which graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia are currently on the market, how they can be classified in terms of performance, and of course what they cost.
The differences are not only to be found in the price and performance but also in the dimensions, the power consumption, and the volume. About noise emissions, you should always avoid the reference cooling of graphics cards and use the respective manufacturer’s cooling solutions, which are usually quieter and also cool much better, but often take up more space. Since we only consider gaming graphics cards in this article, office and multimedia graphics cards are not considered.
The currently fastest graphics cards
If you just want pure performance and don’t want to look at your wallet, Nvidia’s new flagship, the GeForce RTX4090, offers by far the best performance. But at least 2000 euros are currently required for this if you get one at all. AMD is in second place with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX.
What do I have to consider before buying a graphics card?
The graphics card market is performance-related. As a result, the more you are willing to spend on current models, the more power you get. So you should first think about the available budget and then choose the right graphics card in this price range.
For the performance of the new graphics card to be used optimally, you should also have a reasonably up-to-date system (not older than two years). The more expensive the new graphics card, the more up-to-date the existing PC should be so that the performance of the card can be fully exploited.
Equally, it would be advantageous to make sure before purchasing that you have a power supply with sufficient power and the necessary cables and that the card fits into the existing housing.
How much does a good graphics card for gaming cost?
You should currently budget 200 euros as a minimum budget for a gaming graphics card. Among them, graphics cards are rather unsuitable for current games and hardly faster than integrated graphics units.
You are very well equipped for most games with a good mid-range graphics card from 350 euros. There are hardly any upper limits. The currently fastest and most expensive graphics card, the Nvidia RTX 4090 has 24 GB VRAM and costs at least 2000 euros.
Graphics card recommendations from the editors
Upper class: graphics cards from 600 euros
If you want to enjoy current games with the best possible graphics, you have to invest at least 550 euros or more for a graphics card in addition to a powerful CPU. The Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti with 8GB VRAM starts here. AMD has the better Radeon RX 6700 XT to offer in this class.
However, the current absolute flagships are the Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090 graphics cards, which replace the previous leaders in the RTX 3090 Ti series. AMD’s new top cards, the RX 7900 XT(X), are even much more attractive in terms of price-performance ratio.
The somewhat newer graphics cards with RTX 3070 (Ti) & RTX 3080 (Ti) chips are faster than an RTX 2080 Ti. The prices here currently start at 600 euros and upwards. The AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT are a real alternative to the upper classes Geforce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 from Nvidia.
Middle class: graphics cards from 300 to 600 euros
AMD’s RX 6600 with 8GB memory is currently the cheapest entry into AMD’s middle class of gaming graphics cards from around 300 euros purchase price – together with the Geforce RTX 3050, which is also listed with 8GB memory from just under 300 euros and is also the cheapest entry into the ray tracing world is.
The next level of performance in the middle class is offered by the AMD RX 6600 XT in the price range, which is between the RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti in terms of performance and is available in stores from around 450 euros.
Due to the lack of graphics cards, the Geforce RTX 2060 was also relaunched, which is currently listed in the price comparison from around 250 euros. Thanks to price reductions, an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 with 12 GB VRAM can now also be found in the price range of around 400 euros.
Entry-level class: graphics cards from 180 euros
Models that are reasonably relevant for games start with the AMD RX 550 or the Nvidia GT 1030 for less than 150 euros and bring up the rear in our gaming graphics card overview. The clear advantage is the low power consumption.
As a result, the heat development and consequently also the cooling requirement is extremely low, which leads to small, economical graphics cards. Just the right thing for someone who wants to gamble a little now and then. Integrated GPUs like the Ryzen 5 5600G are hardly any slower. The GTX 1650 offers slightly more performance in this class