Making a confident graphics card comparison in this current GPU generation can be a tough ask. We were waiting years for a new generation of cards and then 17 turned up in quick succession to bloat out the shelves of every retailer around the globe… There’s not a lot of clear air between them either, and with similar naming schemes and ever-changing pricing, it’s difficult to always know where they rank. So that’s why we’ve created this simple graphics card comparison guide to show where each GPU in the new generation stacks up.
With the recent launch of the AMD RX 5600 XT we can be pretty confident that this generation of GPUs is pretty much complete. There is, of course, the oft-rumoured, now-confirmed ‘Big Navi’ graphics card that Dr. Lisa Su herself has assured us is on its way to our PCs this year, but whether we can really say that exists in this generation is debatable. Especially if it does indeed use the Navi 21 GPU and the RDNA 2.0 architecture.
But I think we have quite enough graphics cards to be going on with, particularly because there are just so damned many of them out there. Despite the fact that prices have gone all kinds of extra over the past few years, there are now more cards than ever around the mainstream price points, and that can make it tough to know which is the GPU for you.
We do of course have our comprehensive guide to the best graphics cards for PC gaming, detailing the top GPUs for different price points, based on price, performance, and positioning. But if you want a clear, simple graphics card comparison for this current generation of graphics this is the article for you. And let’s be honest, with all the different GPUs on offer, with startlingly similar names you’d be forgiven for craving a little simplicity.
The whole GTX 1660, 1660 Super, 1660 Ti thing is a confusing mess…
Anyways, we’ve run the industry standard 3DMark Time Spy DX12 test on all the current generation GPUs to give you an easily replicable benchmark for you to put your current hardware up against. We’ve only taken the specific GPU score, that way you can see where your existing card sits in the stack, and what GPUs line up around it.
|GPU rank||Price||3DMark Time Spy||Value rank|
|1. Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti||$1,080||14,105||17|
|2. Nvidia RTX 2080 Super||$700||11,628||15|
|3. Nvidia RTX 2080||$699||11,099||16|
|4. Nvidia RTX 2070 Super||$500||10,198||13|
|5. Nvidia RTX 2070||$499||9,419||14|
|6. AMD RX 5700 XT||$390||8,805||11|
|7. Nvidia RTX 2060 Super||$400||8,773||12|
|8. AMD RX 5700||$320||7,670||5|
|9. Nvidia RTX 2060||$320||7,563||8|
|10. AMD RX 5600 XT||$289||7,468||4|
|11. Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti||$275||6,232||10|
|12. Nvidia GTX 1660 Super||$230||6,139||3|
|13. Nvidia GTX 1660||$200||5,507||2|
|14. AMD RX 5500 XT 4GB||$180||4,793||4|
|15. AMD RX 5500 XT 8GB||$200||4,772||7|
|16. Nvidia GTX 1650 Super||$160||4,579||1|
|17. Nvidia GTX 1650||$150||3,423||9|
UL’s 3DMark benchmark isn’t the be all and end all of performance metrics, but it does provide a simple snapshot of performance and a pretty reliable guide as to the relative performance of each graphics card. You can plug your own card into the 3DMark Database Search to see how your current system compares.
We’ve also created a second ranking, covering the price/performance ratios of the different GPUs, albeit with an admittedly slightly janky 3DMark points per dollar metric.
GPU Rank – 1
Value rank – 17
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
What can we say about the RTX 2080 Ti? It’s the most powerful consumer graphics card around, packing a huge amount of Nvidia Turing silicon into a huge 754mm2 GPU. The TU102 chip is almost operating at the limits of what is possible for graphics processor manufacturing, especially at the 12nm level. Which, in reality, is essentially just marketing speak for an updated 16nm design.
And as such it tops the charts as the card with the highest 3DMark Time Spy score, well ahead of the RTX 2080 Super and a long way in front of anything that AMD has to offer. For now, at least… The value proposition, however, is a lot tougher to parse. Actually, it’s impossible. If you ever find yourself questioning how much things cost the RTX 2080 Ti is not for you.
Read the full Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti review
GPU rank – 2
value rank – 15
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
When Nvidia decided to go all Super it gave us the full-fat TU104 GPU, delivering all the silicon, all the transistors, and all the performance that the second-tier Turing GPU could offer. And all for the same exact price as the slower RTX 2080. Which, inevitably, was retired with immediate effect. It also, crucially, doesn’t allow for any doubt in whether it can outperform the classic GTX 1080 Ti, where the original Turing card kinda did.
From a price/performance point of view it’s a tougher ask, considering that the RTX 2070 Super is getting itself mighty close to the RTX 2080 Super. But if you want the most real-time ray tracing potential from your next graphics card purchase, and can’t conceive of dropping $,1000 on a GPU, this is the best graphics card for the next-gen gaming tech.
Read the full Nvidia RTX 2080 Super review
GPU rank – 3
value rank – 16
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
You can still buy the RTX 2080 at retail, even though Nvidia effectively end of life’d it when it released the Super version of the same GPU. But then why would you really want to drop the same amount of cash you would on a Super for this weaker card? Because of the fact there are limited numbers of the cards available the on-shelf prices aren’t particularly competitive and you can often get an RTX 2080 Super for less.
But it was a decent card at launch, just about holding its own against the similarly priced GTX 1080 Ti while offering the first flushes of real-time ray tracing support thanks to its advanced RTX Turing innards. Just beating a similarly priced last-gen GPU wasn’t enough, hence the arrival of the Super less than a year later.
Read the full Nvidia RTX 2080 review
GPU rank – 4
value rank – 13
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Like the 2080 Super, the RTX 2070 Super retired the original version of Turing’s third-tier graphics card. But unlike the 2080 Super, it uses a whole new level of GPU to do so. That makes it an entirely more compelling graphics card offering than its erstwhile sibling. Thankfully that sibling has now been shunted away. It’s more of an RTX 2080 Lite than a 2070 as it sports the TU104 GPU rather than the TU106 silicon.
This was the first of Nvidia’s recent graphics card revisions that felt like a genuine reaction to the new AMD Navi generation of GPUs, and showed just how valuable increased GPU competition is for the consumer. It means we get better value from our cards. The RX 5700-series was outed and Nvidia created a new card to go head-to-head with Radeon’s finest… though AMD quickly shifted the pricing goal posts.
Read the full Nvidia RTX 2070 Super review
GPU rank – 5
value rank – 14
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
An RTX 2070 at its reference price was a decent little card back when it first launched at the begining of the Turing GPU generation. It offered gaming performance ahead of the GTX 1080 it was replacing and delivered a level of real-time ray tracing potential that could just about give it an edge over the competition. But that was all essentially for naught because the RTX 2070 Super arrived less than a year later and summarily executed its older sibling simply for failing to stand up to the Navi onslaught. How very brutal.
It is definitely worth being careful when shopping, however, because there are still some standard RTX 2070 cards out there in spite of Nvidia killing it off. And because of the way vendors give their different graphics cards borderline impenetrable names you might be forgiven for mistaking it for an RTX 2070 Super. Which would be very bad.
Read the full Nvidia RTX 2070 review
GPU rank – 6
Value rank – 11
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
The RX 5700 XT was the first new high-end AMD graphics card of the Navi GPU generation and a mighty impressive debut it was for the new Radeon RDNA architecture. Tuned for gaming, the new GPU design delivered both in terms of its relative performance and in terms of value. It might have needed a pretty severe price cut ahead of its release to compete with the new RTX 2070 Super card, but it did kickstart AMD’s new approach of faking out the media and its rivals pre-launch.
The reference design is also one of the best-looking Radeon cards I’ve seen in years, with that little dent adding some flair to the shroud. There’s a certain flair to the design that we haven’t seen from an AMD reference design – at least not from one that actually got released – since the old R9 280 days. Unfortunately that design flair doesn’t stop it from being all rather hot and loud…
Read the full AMD RX 5700 XT review
GPU rank – 7
value rank – 12
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
The RTX 2060 Super probably seemed like a good idea at the time – bump up the core count over the original GPU and give it a little leg up on the GDDR6 memory front. With 8GB of memory on a new 256-bit bus it looks like a very impressive little card. And it would’ve been had it arrived at the same price as the original 2060 and replaced it.
Except it didn’t, AMD dropped the price of its RX 5700-series cards and sandwiched the mid-range Super GeForce card. At the same price as the RX 5700 XT, and with gaming performance trailing the top Navi GPU, there’s not really a lot to recommend the RTX 2060 Super. In the end then the this is arguably the weakest of all the Super cards Nvidia has released in this generation of graphics cards. It didn’t really offer anything new while it’s predecessor has actually gone from strength to strength at a new price point.
Read the full Nvidia RTX 2060 Super
GPU rank – 8
Value rank – 6
AMD Radeon RX 5700
The AMD RX 5700 isn’t just one of my favourite graphics cards of this generation, it’s one of my favourite graphics cards. But almost in spite of what AMD had created, not because of it. The standard gaming performance of the RX 5700 is impressive, but it didn’t have as great a price cut as the XT and couldn’t perform near the same level either. But only because of the artificial limits AMD put in place.
Download the MorePowerTool and you can unlock the true potential of the RX 5700, overclocking and undervolting the GPU to deliver RX 5700 XT level performance which puts it mighty close to the RTX 2070 Super too. It’s not exactly a BIOS flash as it doesn’t save anything onto the card itself, but it allows you to boost the clocks far beyond the artificial limits AMD put in place for this otherwise seriously powerful graphics card. And without putting your new GPU at risk either.
Read the full AMD RX 5700 review
GPU rank – 9
value rank – 8
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
Keeping the RTX 2060 around seemed like an odd choice given that it almost sacrificed the Super version to the Radeon gods. But it’s becoming a lot more relevant again – something you still can’t say about the 2060 Super – thanks to a price drop which will often see it tottering around the $300 mark.
This has been the GPU that Nvidia has decided to push forward in order to provide some GeForce competition to the new RX 5600 XT card. Though since AMD decided to completely change the specs of the RX 5600 XT a few days ahead of launch its lower price combined with its suddenly higher performance still gives it the edge over Nvidia’s bottom rung of the ray tracing tech tree.
Read the full Nvidia RTX 2060 review
GPU rank – 10
Value rank – 5
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
The disparity between the RX 5600 XT’s overall GPU ranking and it’s price/performance rank speaks volumes about where this new Navi-based Radeon has been positioned. It’s a graphics card that AMD has parachuted into the market to sit between the RX 5700 and the RX 5500 GPUs. That’s a space previously occupied by no less than four different Nvidia graphics cards. Four.
Originally specced to go head-to-head with the GTX 1660 Ti, a pricing change from Nvidia on the ageing RTX 2060 meant AMD either had to drop their own price, or bump up the specs. It chose to do the latter and that has made the RX 5600 XT arguably the best-value GPU on the market today, delivering Nvidia-beating RX 5700-level gaming performance at a great price.
Read the full AMD RX 5600 XT review
GPU rank – 11
value rank – 10
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
The GTX 1660 Ti was a weird beast at launch, and has grown ever more bizarre as the market has shaped around it. The Turing GPU at its heart still has all the shader optimisations Nvidia dropped into the architecture but loses all the ray tracing and AI goodness baked into the RTX cards. No matter if it’s cheap enough, right? And it is. Sometimes. Unfortunately a host of overclocked 1660 Ti cards come out far more expensive than even the RTX 2060 is right now.
It was also effectively retired even before Nvidia dropped the price of the RTX 2060 when the green team launched the GTX 1660 Super. A cheaper card, with a similar GPU, and only a little behind in gaming performance too. And until the RX 5600 XT dropped the Super was our go-to GPU recommendation.
Read the full Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti review
GPU rank – 12
value rank – 3
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
The lower down the graphics card stack you go the more gaming performance you get for your money. That’s why the GTX 1660 Super was until very recently the card we held up as the best graphics card to buy – with a price tag of just over $200 it offers a significant performance boost over the straight GTX 1660 and gets mighty close to the more expensive Ti version.
And even with the AMD RX 5600 XT taking the top spot in our subjective recommendations there’s still a lot to be said for opting for the 1660 Super instead. It is still much cheaper, and is capable of some impressive 1080p gaming performance in its own right. It’s interesting to note just how much of a gaming performance difference the simple switch from the GDDR5 of the GTX 1660 to the GDDR6 of the Super actually makes, given that everything else has remained the same.
Read the full Nvidia GTX 1660 Super review
GPU rank – 13
value rank – 2
Nvidia GTX 1660
Despite the GTX 1660 sitting pretty around the top of the objective, 3DMark-based price/performance rankings the low-end GTX Turing GPU is not really a card we’d be happy recommending to most PC gamers. For the price of a Saturday night bar crawl the performance delta between the GTX 1660 and the Super version is stark. Even though, in reality, all that’s really changed is the switch from GDDR5 to GDDR6 and the change up in memory bandwidth that affords.
The straight GTX 1660 does at least provide a green counterpoint to the AMD RX 5500 XT, coming in now at roughly the same price and with higher gaming performance. Though again there is the problem of overclocked SKUs popping up above MSRP and dangerously close to GTX 1660 Super pricing.
Read the full Nvidia GTX 1660 review
GPU rank – 14
value rank – 4
AMD RX 5500 XT 4GB
By virtue of the 4GB version of the RX 5500 XT that we were provided with for testing being an overclocked SKU it delivers objectively higher gaming performance than the 8GB iteration we’ve been playing with. At least in most 1080p gaming environments anyways. The sub-$200 price tag of both the RX 5500 XT cards means that we’d probably still always recommend opting for the higher-spec option because of the extra longevity the 8GB VRAM configuration may offer.
But either way, the RX 5500 XT is able to deliver RX 590-level gaming performance for less than the price of the old Polaris-based GPU. Though admittedly only just, and only after significant price cuts to the ageing tech over the years. Is this the lowest specs we’ll see AMD deliver its Navi GPU tech into? There is the chance we’ll still see an RX 5300 XT card, but that’s going to have to go some to beat the still relevant RX 570.
Read the full AMD RX 5500 XT 4GB review
GPU rank – 15
value rank – 7
AMD Radeon RX 5500 8GB
Based on the higher dollar price of the RX 5500 XT 8GB card it falls down the price performance ladder, even though the stock-clocked version we tested was only very slightly under the 3DMark gaming performance of the 4GB version of AMD’s lower-spec Navi GPU. In reality though the overall frame rate difference is negligible between the two options, so we’d always lean towards the 8GB card as a preference.
When you’re knocking around the $200 mark, however, it’s tough to look past the value offering of the GTX 1660. It may have taken a battering by the only-slightly-more-expensive Super version, but when it comes to a choice between the RX 5500 XT and the GTX 1660 it’s the Nvidia card we’d go for. And not necessarily just because of the driver software, after all, Radeon drivers are more robust than they’ve ever been.
Read the full AMD RX 5500 XT 8GB review
GPU rank – 16
Value rank – 1
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super
The final Super card on the list ditched the original GTX 1650’s TU117 GPU and instead went for the TU116. Essentially you can add this to the GTX 1660 pantheon… call it a GTX 1660 LE if you will. With that you get more CUDA cores, and while it’s still sporting the same 4GB VRAM on a 128-bit memory bus, it’s using GDDR6 instead for that little performance boost.
And it does have a pretty decent performance hike over the GTX 1650, delivering almost RX 5500 XT-level gaming performance for a little less cash. That’s what puts it top of the charts in terms of our straight points/dollar metric, but the same problem exists for this card too – the RX 570 is impossible to beat from a pure value perspective.
GPU rank – 17
Value rank – 9
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
The GTX 1650 is the lowest spec, lowest performance card in the current generation of GPUs from either the red or green team. It’s also the cheapest at around $150, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a graphics card that offers a decent level of bang for your buck. Indeed, the price/perf. ranking puts it slap bang in the middle of all the cards, making it a very hard GPU to recommend.
There is a defined price delta between the RX 5500 XT and the GTX 1650, but equally there is quite a significant performance delta between them too. At this price then current-gen cards just aren’t really cutting it, so if you’re looking at the $150 mark then we’d still say go for the still-excellent RX 570.
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