The Core i9 13900K sits at the top of the Intel Processor stack. The processor is the most premium consumer product that Intel offers this generation. It is ruling the other processors in the benchmark world as it has some of the best scores. In terms of performance, this processor will stay in the top spot of the current CPU hierarchy. This article will discuss the best graphics card for i9 13900K for optimal 1440p and 4K gaming.
The Core i9 13900K was launched in the fourth quarter of 2022 to compete with AMD’s processor generation launched in the same period. Since it’s the top-end processor of the 13th Gen, it boasts the most premium specs on paper as well. It comes with a total core count of 24, which is quite a lot. Until recently, AMD has been the one boasting many cores on their processors, and it seems Intel is following suit now.
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The core i9 13900K is a 24-core 32-thread processor, with 8 Performance or P cores and 16 Efficient or E-cores. The P cores can reach clock speeds of up to 3.0 GHz in base mode and 5.40 GHz in Turbo Mode. Meanwhile, the E cores have a base frequency of up to 2.20 GHz, which can be jacked up to reach 4.30 GHz in Turbo mode. Not only that, the processor comes with the Intel Thermal Velocity Boost technology, which can allow the processor to reach clock speeds of a max turbo frequency of 5.80 GHz, which translates to a huge real-world performance score no matter what you throw at it.
Since it’s the flagship processor, it can handle all the flagship GPUs without sweat. Although you can choose a lower-end GPU with this processor, the best performance of your PC will still be brought out when you pair it with the top-end GPUs.
So without further ado, let’s start the list. Also, don’t forget to read the buying guide section of the article.
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Best Graphics Card for i9 13900K Reviews
If you are a fan of Team Red, you want to save some bucks and at the same time get your hands on a high-end GPU, then the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is the way to go.
Based on the RDNA3 architecture, the GPU comes with 24 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, more than 6000 stream processors, 2nd Gen Ray Accelerators, and a Boost Clock of 2535 MHz translates to quite a lot of performance in modern titles at 4K resolution.
Since it’s a top End GPU designed to run Next Gen titles, naturally, it produces a lot of heat. But, not to worry, it comes with Triple fans with a Velocity Fan blade design to dissipate heat faster so the temps stay low.
The GPU comes with two DP outputs and two HDMI outputs giving you the option of hooking up 4 display monitors to your PC. The maximum resolution supported by the GPU is 8K, although gaming on that resolution is another story. Nonetheless, the GPU can use AMD Fidelity Super-resolution to give you a performance boost in resource-demanding titles.
It lags in performance compared to the RTX 4090, but comparing the Price to performance ratio, it wins in that department. You can get access to Enthusiast class performance in games for a much cheaper price. Overall, it is no slouch either; while it won’t give you the maximum amount of FPS in games, it will let you game at 4K 60 FPS ultra preset with no problems.
Pairing it with a Core i9 13900K won’t result in any bottlenecks, and you will be able to take full advantage of the processing capabilities of both the processor and the GPU to your desire. You will have a high-end PC that will last you the next couple of years without needing to upgrade anytime soon.
The RTX 4090 ASUS ROG is based on Nvidia’s latest Ada Lovelace architecture and is the fastest graphics card you can buy today. Almost everything with this card is pushed to the limit, be it the size, memory, performance, or power consumption, you name it. It measures 358x149x70 mm, so be sure you have a roomy case to house it. Its 24GB VRAM, coupled with 85 TFLOPS floating point operations, means that 4K gaming is a piece of cake for this monster.
The card’s stock TDP of 450W, coupled with the i9-13900 K’s 125-253W TDP, becomes plain that you will require a massive PSU, preferably above 800W. The card has 2X HDMI 2.1 ports, and 3X DisplayPort 1.4a, so compatibility with most 4K monitors will be fine since this card is overkill for 1080 gaming. However, with the $1600 MSRP ($2000 for our aftermarket card) for the 4090, we are slightly disappointed that Nvidia went with DisplayPort 1.4a instead of the latest 2.0.
To test graphics performance, we ran the brutally demanding CyberPunk 2077 at 4K and 1440p, with ray tracing enabled in both. We didn’t alter too many settings because this card is supposed to handle whatever we throw in its way like a champ. At 4K, we got an average of 47 fps which is decent considering the game’s reputation for torturing computer hardware. At 1440p, we got 87 fps, which is a brilliant number. Since we kept our card at stock settings, thermals and acoustics remained unnoticeable.
So, what do we have to say regarding this card? After all, is said and done, it is the best graphics card for i9 13900K, no matter what resolution you play on. This card’s only “major” drawbacks are its size and price. For comparison, at $1600, an entire RT-enabled gaming PC can be built. However, only some are concerned as much about the best bang for the buck as they are about absolute performance, and it is for those users that we will most strongly recommend this card.
Next up on the list is another high-end offering by Team Red that came out as a last Gen GPU. But that doesn’t mean the Sapphire AMD RX 6800 XT NITRO+ is by any means a slouch in performance; in fact, quite the opposite.
AMD released the 6800 and 6900 GPU chipsets as 4K capable GPUs when they were released to give PC builders a more price-to-performance-oriented card that didn’t blast a hole in their banks. Coming in with a 16 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, more than 4500 stream processors, First Gen Ray Accelerators, and a Boost clock of up to 2360 MHz, the GPU is a performance powerhouse that lets you run titles like CyberPunk 2077, Watch Dogs, Legion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Red Dead Redemption 2 in 4K with ease.
The 6800XT chipset generates quite a lot of heat when running, which is why Sapphire has integrated multiple thermal systems onto the GPU; it comes with a massive heatsink and three wave fan design fans which dissipate the generated heat at an accelerated rate to keep the temps as low as possible when the GPU is under load.
The GPU has 4 display outputs with 1 HDMI and 3 DP outputs, allowing you to hook in 4 display monitors. The GPU supports a max resolution of 8K, but don’t go gaming unless you are good with stuttering and low FPS.
While it was originally released and advertised as a 4K card, modern titles have become more resource intensive and demand a lot of Graphical processing power. You can use the GPU to run games in 2K at the ultra-preset for smoother gameplay.
Another drawback of the card is that it needs to catch up in Ray Tracing’s performance with its competitors, the Nvidia 3000 series. But it more than makes it up in Rasterization and raw performance. You can also get an additional performance boost in games using the Fidelity Super Resolution technology that the GPU comes equipped with.
Pairing it with a top-end processor like the Core i9 13900K will give you a high-end PC with great 2K performance and above-average 4K performance in modern titles. Although if you run older titles, the card will run them in 4K ultra preset without breaking any sweat.
The ZOTAC RTX 3070 Ti is based on Nvidia’s Ampere architecture and comes with an MSRP of $750. The card features 8 gigs of high-speed GDDR6X memory on a 256-bit bus, alongside a bandwidth of 608Gbps, resulting in support for 8K, 60Hz displays, or up to 4 screens for those who use multiple monitor setups. Don’t forget that you will need an Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cable to view 8K content at 60 fps.
The card is sized at 316.8x122.7x58.6 mm, which means that unlike the cards reviewed earlier, this card will fit in a mid-tower case just fine. It has a slot size of 2.5, which, in practical terms, means blockage of access to 3 PCIe slots, rendering them unusable for connecting something like an SSD. However, this will be fine as most people rarely use the extra slots.
Regarding power consumption, the ZOTAC RTX 3070 Ti comes with a rating of 310W, which, though significant, is much lower than its immediate superior, the 3080’s 480W. ZOTAC recommends using a 750W PSU, which is great if one errs on caution. However, a PSU of 650W will also be quite adequate.
The card performs excellently in gaming, provided your expectations are reasonable. At 1440p with RT enabled, the 3070 Ti gave quite an acceptable frame rate of 53 fps (avg) in CyberPunk 2077, while in 4K, the average frame rate hovered around 30 fps, which is a bit too modest, hence the note on expectations.
So, should you buy the ZOTAC RTX 3070 Ti? Based on the card’s specifications and our gaming test alone, we would have gladly termed it one of the best graphics cards for i9-13900K, were it not for the awkward pricing Nvidia went with. For example, its performance increases over the 3070 are minuscule but come at a $100 premium. The 3080, in contrast, actually provides a significant performance jump for the price increase. So, if you are already spending over $500 on a graphics card, we recommend doing it on a 3080.
If you are looking for a Price to Performance 2K card, there is none better than the Gigabyte Radeon RX 6750 XT Gaming OC. It costs cheap, is targeted towards running games in 2K by AMD, and it won’t be getting outdated anytime soon.
Based on the last Gen RDNA 2 architecture, the GPU comes with a VRAM size of GDDR6 12 GB, more than 2500 stream processors, first-gen Ray Accelerators, and a Boost clock of more than 2.6GHz, which translates to decent performance in modern and older games.
To keep the temps down, the GPU comes with the Wind force 3X cooling system with alternate spinning fans, a large heatsink, blade design fans, and direct touch heat pipes that work together to transfer the dissipated heat at an optimal rate, allowing you to game and put the GPU under load without any fear of thermal throttling.
You can hook in 4 Display monitors with the GPU as it comes with 2 DP and 2 HDMI outputs, allowing you to multitask and increase your productivity when using your PC easily. Despite being a GPU targeted towards mid-ranger, it can run an 8K display but won’t run games in that resolution.
While it lacks in the Ray tracing department, it gives a tough time to the competition high mid-range GPUs with its raw Rasterization performance in games. Due to its larger VRAM, it can run games in 2K resolution without a problem. Since its an AMD GPU, it supports the FSR 2.0 technology, giving you an additional performance boost in games.
If you want to game at the 1440P resolution, this is one of the best price-to-performance GPUs available. Pairing it with a Core i9-13900K won’t result in performance bottlenecks, giving you a PC that will run even the modern titles in 2K despite being resource-intensive games.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ti SUPRIM X is the fastest graphics card you can get your hands on, or at least until the RTX 4090 wrested that title from it. It is based on the Ampere architecture, which immediately precedes Nvidia’s latest Ada Lovelace architecture. Like most ultrahigh-end graphics cards, this one is massive at ~2kg and takes up considerable space. So, you might be better off investing in a large PC case.
The Suprim X has a power rating of 480W, and MSI recommends a PSU of 850W to couple with this card. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it is due to the graphics cards like these that desktops are already hitting the kilowatt level in terms of power consumption.
The card features one HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 1.4a. The HDMI 2.1 can be especially handy to couple your PC with huge 4K, 120 Hz screens for an ultra-immersive gaming experience. Different ports mean you won’t worry much about finding a compatible monitor. However, compatibility is not enough. When you’re paying more than $1500 for a graphics card, it would be a most egregious error to use it alongside a 1080p monitor. At a minimum, go for a 1440p high refresh rate screen or, ideally, a 4K one.
Now, onto our gaming tests. In CyberPunk 2077, the card generated an average of 44 FPS at 4K settings and 83 FPS at 1440p, with raytracing enabled in both tests. So, in terms of gaming, this card performs very close to the latest RTX 4090, at least for this particular game.
So, how likely are we to recommend this card? Although from the lens of absolute performance, this is one of the best cards you can buy for i9-13900K. However, a few single-digit percentage point increases in performance over the RTX 3090 don’t justify a $400 surcharge. Two other reasons make this card a hard sell: the release of the faster RTX 4090 and the already present better value RTX 3080.
Final Words on Best GPU for i9 13900K
Coming to an end, now it’s the time to conclude what we have gone through so far and get to the point where you finally make the best decision for yourself and save yourself from overspending or getting something redundant in your use case. Therefore, let me give the final verdict on which card would be best in your scenario - all the cards reviewed in this article can handle the most demanding task available currently or that is yet to come.
Anyhow, let’s focus on what should be your next pick for the graphics card, considering your workload demands a higher-end CPU and could work with a not-so-top-tier GPU - in that regard, the best choice for you is to grab Zotac RTX 3070 Ti AMP Holo or Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC. Both are the best graphics card for i9 13900k and are still not too hard on the pocket. The 3070 Ti features an 8 while the 3080 comes with 10 gigs of VRAM, which makes them one of the best choices for Quad-HD/1440p resolution!
Not everyone has CPU-only work, and some want a 4k gaming experience in the lowest budget possible - in such cases, Sapphire RX 6900 XT Nitro+ and MSI RTX 3080 Ti SUPRIM X are two of the best bang for the buck options for a serviceable 4k gaming experience at not so high cost. At last, for a true premium 4k 60fps gaming experience, go for the top-of-the-line ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 4090 OC. This graphics card is the true definition of power and beauty, but such a thing also comes at a relatively high cost of more than $1600. Which is quite out of reach of many, but that’s the price to pay for such luxury.