Graphics card test and comparison 2022: list of the best with benchmarks and recommendations
Which graphics card do I need in 2021? The best graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD in comparison, now updated: The market for Geforce and Radeon graphics cards is an opaque jungle for many users. PC Games Hardware always provides an up-to-date overview of tests and purchase recommendations for Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.
Graphics cards are still rare and expensive in September 2021. The unbroken high demand from all directions keeps prices at a high, albeit fluctuating level. Even the new graphics card models, most recently the Radeon RX 6600 XT (PCGH test), do not change that much. The mid-range graphics card was actually available for a short time at the RRP of 380 euros on the day of the launch, after which the cheapest offers reliably leveled off well beyond 400 euros. We don’t want to fool you: It is assumed that this situation will continue for a few more months, and there is no end in sight. On the contrary, one can read again and again of factors that are torpedoing a recovery in prices.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your hobby. In the official online shops of AMD and Nvidia, graphics cards are regularly available at recommended retail prices, and other retailers now and again have offers that are at least of an acceptable level. The best idea is still to look around among friends and acquaintances for a fairly priced used model. For those who do not want to rely on luck (anymore), we have good news for them: Nowadays graphics cards do not get out of date as quickly as in the early days of the 3D accelerator, the upgrade cycles have basically become longer. In other words: you will have to dig deeper into your pockets in 2021 (and probably also in 2022), but the graphics card will then last correspondingly longer – provided you heed our buying advice and tips.
As always, our graphics card recommendations are oriented towards the future – the year-end spurt with countless new games is coming up and things will continue cheerfully in 2022. We have therefore revised this overview again and deleted outdated graphics cards or graphics cards that are no longer recommended for other reasons from this overview. In this way you have an up-to-date graphics card comparison and invest your money in the right product and have to make as few compromises as possible when putting together your gaming PC for your favorite games.
Which graphics card do I need?
Switching to a current GPU not only reduces power consumption to users of older cards, but also a handful of weighty improvements in the case of AMD: if you buy a Radeon RX 6800, for example, you get a significantly higher performance compared to the 2017 flagship Radeon RX Vega 64 with twice the storage capacity and lower power consumption. In addition, there is support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing for the first time – AMD cards prior to the RX-6000 series are not capable of this.
With Nvidia graphics cards, the change from a Geforce GTX 600/700/900 to a Geforce RTX 30 results in similarly large leaps: Here, among other things, the ray tracing strength and the AI-supported upsampling DLSS are waiting for you to be amazed to become. At the moment, all of these features are still in their infancy and can be found in relatively few games, but the additional graphics options are always an added value. Attention: Nvidia’s cheaper Geforce graphics cards of the GTX 16 series support neither ray tracing nor DLSS in hardware (DLSS requires an RTX 20 or RTX 30).
Depending on the graphics card you are currently using and your preferences, you can upgrade your gaming PC or use a high-end model to venture into new spheres of image quality. Whatever your plans, PC Games Hardware has the recommendations: Based on our GPU market overviews and leaderboards, we have gathered the best graphics cards and alternatives for gamer in the picture gallery. If you would like further information on the cards collected here, then it is best to take a look at the mentioned issues or the buying guide in every PCGH Print: PCGH shop.
Pros / Cons: Buy an AMD Radeon Graphics Card If You
overclock and videos / screenshots within the scope of the driver scope of delivery
want to create. At Nvidia, extra tools (such as Geforce Experience) are required for this.
want to save electricity or power intelligently. The driver can switch on a flexible frame limit with the Radeon Chill function or, in some cases, significantly increase the frame rate with Radeon Boost.
want to use AMD’s Virtual Super Resolution (VSR) – the quality of this
Downsampling is better than with Nvidia’s DSR.
Pros / Cons: Buy an Nvidia Geforce graphics card if you
want to get the most out of a G-Sync display.
want to play all ray tracing games. Nvidia offers the greatest compatibility here and usually also the better performance (fps).
want to use the most flexible downsampling (DSR) in all games.
want to have access to additional anti-aliasing modes. In Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft RTX & Co. DLSS is available – but only on RTX GPUs. TXAA waits, among other things. in GTA 5 and Watch Dogs 2.
General overview of recommended models
In the picture gallery we have listed more than 40 gaming graphics cards in all price ranges – there is something for everyone here. Without exception, these are models that have been analyzed by PCGH and found to be good. So that you can classify the cards with one another, you will also find a short explanatory text and the source for the comprehensive test for reading. You will find further details and concrete assessments on the following pages.
Anyone who hoped to get the RTX 3070 cards for 499 euros has been pretty disappointed so far, especially since the first shops such as MediaMarkt and Saturn are charging a proud 799 euros. In conversations with dealers, we learned that the mistakes of the RTX-3080/3090 sales start have been learned and that the prices of the Geforce RTX 3070 will increase significantly in order not to be sold out immediately. But we still see a chance to get the cards for 499 euros: Nvidia cannot possibly raise the price in its own shop and will (have to) sell the Founders Edition for 499 euros. We’ll see what other retailers like Alternate and Caseking do with prices from 2pm onwards.
The Geforce RTX 3070 from Gigabyte, Zotac and Inno3D can no longer be ordered from MediaMarkt and Saturn. Either the stocks are already sold out or the dealers had to stop sales in the meantime, as the official start of sales was only scheduled for 2 p.m. We’ll see if the RTX 3070 will be available again at MediaMarkt and Saturn in the course of the day. If you want to buy the Geforce RTX 3070 (here is our RTX 3070 test), you should react quickly, the sales starts have us the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 and the Geforce RTX 3090 taught. While the demand for RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 could not even be met, the availability of the Geforce RTX 3070 should be better. From October 29th, 2 p.m. German time, the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 will be available as a Founders Edition and as custom cards from manufacturers such as Zotac, MSI, Palit, Gainward and Asus. We have put together clearly below where Nvidia’s latest ampere graphics card Geforce RTX 3070 can be bought.
Buy Geforce RTX 3070: These shops offer the graphics card
We don’t know which shop received how many Geforce RTX 3070s for delivery when sales started on October 29th from 2 p.m. What we do know, however, is that the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 could already be bought in the following shops, even though the ampere graphics cards were sold out very quickly in some of these shops. In addition, one or the other dealer’s website was overloaded. If you want to buy the Geforce RTX 3070 directly at the start of sales, you should visit the following shops in good time to really get an RTX 3070.
Buy RTX 3070: How do retailers protect themselves from bots?
Even at the start of sales of Geforce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, dealers were overrun by malicious bots and resellers . Nvidia reacted and made changes after the RTX 3080 launch. The Nvidia Store has been relocated to a dedicated server environment with larger capacity and more bot protection, and the code has been updated to make the server load more efficient. In addition, CAPTCHA queries were integrated to limit the use of bots.
It is quite possible that retailers such as MediaMarkt, Caseking, Amazon or Alternate have drawn their conclusions from the experiences of the past few weeks and have taken safety precautions so that the Geforce RTX 3070 does not sell out after a few minutes. The launch on October 29th will show whether interested parties will actually get their Geforce RTX 3070. If you are still undecided whether the RTX 3070 is the right graphics card for you, you should take a look at our test of the Geforce RTX 3070.