Best graphics cards this holiday season

Looking to upgrade your PC this holiday season? There are a number of exciting graphics cards to pick from and few new options on the horizon, so you shouldn't find any major fluctuations in pricing or the performance spectrum in the coming months. That makes now a great time to buy, but what to pick?

To help you find the right card for you, here's our guide to the best GPUs you can buy this holiday season.

Top-tier, 4K — Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti

If you have an expansive budget and simply want the most powerful, most capable, most 4K-ready graphics card ever made, the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti is the only way to go. With more CUDA cores than any other card Nvidia sells outside of its prosumer and professional tier cards, it is the most well equipped GPU for high-end gaming. You'll need a beefy CPU to take best advantage of it, and ray tracing games will still see it struggle at anything over 1440p, but otherwise this card should have no trouble delivering the most beautiful AAA experiences money can buy.

It's an expensive option at over $1,000, whatever version you buy, but there are some better choices out there. Make sure to get one with good cooling though, as these cards do run warm when they're cranked up to the max.

Best mid-tier performance — AMD RX 5700 XT

AMD's RX 5700 XT might not have been the Nvidia killer than many red-team fans were hoping for, it still gave Nvidia a lot to worry about — that's why the Super versions of its RTX cards were released, after all. Priced at under $400 in some holiday sales, this card offers comparable performance to an RTX 2070, easily beating the RTX 2060 Super and when overclocked is only a hair's breadth from the tail of the RTX 2070 Super. It even beats the far-more-expensive Radeon VII in many instances.

Make sure to get one with good cooling and a not-too-high price tag, but in any case, this is arguably the best 1440p card out there right now.

Best $250 GPU — Nvidia GTX 1660 Super

As with the other Super cards it's released, Nvidia's GTX 1660 Super is the only Nvidia card you should consider at that price point, completely invalidating the slightly-cheaper GTX 1660. It offers performance close to that of the GTX 1660 Ti, chasing older high-end cards like the AMD Vega 56 and GTX 1070. It's not quite there, but at $250 on average, the GTX 1660 Super is an amazing card that can play both 1080p games at high FPS, or 1440p at more reasonable frame rates.

Best entry-level card — AMD RX 5500 4GB

The RX 5500 cards haven't delivered a major performance uplift over ageing Polaris cards, but they are far more efficient and enjoy all of the latest software enhancements AMD has brought to the table. Able to beat the RX 580 in most games, but cutting costs with 4GB of GDDR6, this card is a great GPU for 1080p play in just about any game. It easily outpaces the GTX 1650 Super at a comparable price, and comes with a number of advanced cooling solutions for quiet operation.

Best budget GPU — AMD RX 570

Polaris is still a fantastic generation of GPUs, and at barely north of $120, the RX 570 is amazing value right now. With enough performance to play most games at 60 FPS 1080p, and easily more than that in esports games, this is the GPU to get if you need something to get gaming today and don't have much to spend. This will turn any onboard graphics PC into a great little budget gaming system overnight.

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