Most graphics cards come from arch-rivals Nvidia and AMD, although Intel is now crashing the party with its new ARC Alchemist range targeted towards lower-spec builds. The latest Nvidia cards use the company’s Ampere architecture and include G-Sync Adaptive sync to prevent screen tearing. AMD has its new RDNA 2 architecture with FreeSync adaptive sync in its cards.
It’s still worth it to buy these high-end cards to experience the best graphics performance possible. Having the best also means it will hopefully give good service for years to come, so you don’t need to upgrade again anytime soon.
Best overall high-end GPU of 2022
The RTX 3080 Ti uses Nvidia’s Ampere architecture and boosts the performance of the already-powerful RTX 3080 by adding more RAM and a faster memory bus. In its standard form, the RTX 3080 has 8,704 CUDA cores with a 1.71 GHz boost clock, 10GB of GDDR6X memory, and a 320-bit bus. The Ti version has a lower boost speed of 1.67GHz, but it has more CUDA cores at 10240 and more RAM at 12GB.
Like many powerful GPUs, the RTX 3080 Ti has a dual-slot design that should fit in most ATX-cases. It also has modern connectivity options like three Displayport 1.4 ports and two HDMI 2.1 ports to accommodate high-refresh-rate monitors or TVs.
At $2,206.61, the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Gaming OC isn’t cheap, but it has good enough performance to play any game at high settings and is capable of 4K resolution. More performance requires more power, and the RTX 3080 Ti needs 10-watts more than the Founders Edition. While it won’t make a difference to most users, there are a few who’ll need to upgrade their PSU to accommodate it.
Best performance high-end GPU of 2022
The Asus GeForce RTX 3090 OC Edition is the current king of Nvidia GPUs, packing more performance than anything else out there (for now). It’s the best for rendering and other graphics-intensive applications, and it can handle whichever games you throw at it with ease.
Like the RTX 3080 Ti, the RTX 3090 OC takes the standard card and beefs up certain parts for better performance. Most of the components like the massive 24 GB of GDDR6X memory and 10496 CUDA cores stay the same, and the only major difference is the 1.72 GHz boost clock speed that offers a two percent improvement over the 1.69 GHz of the Founders Editon.
Since the RTX 3090 OC needs adequate cooling to tame its high performance, it has a triple-fan design with a massive heatsink that gives it a three-slot design. There are ample ports to connect monitors with two HDMI 2.1 ports and three DisplayPort 1.4a ports available.
Power comes at a price, and despite the RTX 3090 OC’s MSRP of around $2,000, it actually goes for around $4.263.98. Its high price only makes it worth it for buyers who’ll push it to its limit, and most buyers are probably better off with the more affordable RTX 3080 Ti.
Best value high-end GPU of 2022
The RX 6800 is AMD’s answer to the RTX 3080 with similar performance at a slightly lower price. ASRock’s AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Taichi X 16G OC has the same 16 GB of GDDR6 memory, but it increases the base clock from 1.82 GHz to 1.93 GHz and the boost clock from 2.25 GHz to 2.36 GHz.
AMD uses its RDNA 2 architecture in its current GPUs. Unlike the Nvidia’s Ampere architecture optimized for 3D rendering, gaming, and other graphics-intensive tasks, RDNA 2 is optimized for gaming and is found in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles.
Like the RTX 3090 OC, the RX 6800 XT is massive in order to accommodate the heatsink and fans, and it has a 2.9-slot design. Its connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.4s, an HDMI 2.1 port, and a single USB-C port.
The RX 6800 XT delivers similar performance to the RTX 3080 Ti in most areas, but it can’t keep up when it comes to ray-tracing. On the other hand, it makes up for it by having a lower price of $1,849, which makes it more accessible to buyers.
Best enthusiast high-end GPU of 2022
Sapphire Technology’s Toxic RX 6900 XT is one of the fastest AMD-powered GPUs currently available. It takes AMD’s high-end RX 6900 and gives it a performance boost, 2,01 GHz base clock increased to 2,37 GHz, and the 2,25 GHz boost clock taken to 2,52 GHz boost clock. Even the memory gets a slight bump up from 16 to 16.8 GB. If users turn on the Toxic Boost overclocking system, they can take the clock speed all the way up to 2,73 GHz.
One of the distinguishing features of the Toxic RX 6900 XT is its cooling system. Instead of the typical tri-fan design used by other GPUs on this list, it has a single fan with a built-in AIO liquid cooler. Liquid cooling is more efficient than air cooling, but it’s more complicated and expensive because it needs a pump, radiator, hoses, and a fan to run.
The Toxic RX 6900 XT may have excellent performance, but it’s only around ten percent faster than the RX 6800 XT and doesn’t offer the best value. Its $2.674.66 price tag isn’t surprising considering the scarcity of GPUs, but it’s still worth it for enthusiasts who want a liquid-cooled GPU.
Best budget high-end GPU of 2022
The words “budget” and “high-end GPU” don’t often go together, and one of the the best examples is the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. Like the other Nvidia cards mentioned so far, it uses the current Ampere architecture, but its performance isn’t in the same league.
Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Founders Edition includes a 1.32 GHz base clock and a 1.78 GHz boost clock, with 3,584 CUDA cores and 12 GB of RAM. EVGA’s RTX 3060 Ti reduces the memory to 8GB, but it ups the base clock to 1.41 GHz, the boost clock to 1.67 GHz, and takes the CUDA cores to 4,864. The memory bus is also increased from 192-bits to 256-bits.
One of the benefits of a less-powerful GPU is that its smaller size can fit into smaller micro-ATX cases. This GPU only has two fans and a dual-slot design that’s ideal for smaller builds. Its smaller size doesn’t affect connectivity, and it still manages to fit three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.1 port.
The RTX 3060 Ti isn’t the best for 4K gaming, but it’s still capable of ray-tracing. Its lower price of $849 makes it more affordable than any of the alternatives listed here, and it also fits in smaller cases.
This article includes affiliate links, which may provide small compensation to Dot Esports.