We have tested nearly all the current and older graphics cards that are available in the market. We will be ranking them performance-wise.
The performance of your system depends largely on the GPU whether you are pc gaming or creating content in 4K. The best CPU also becomes secondary when considering the overall performance of the system.
It’s been quite an eventful couple of months as we have had Nvidia RTX 4090 launched into the market and it has been dominating all the benchmarks no matter what we throw at it. We have had launches from Intel as well who launched the Intel Arc A770 and Intel Arc A750 which don’t hold a candle to the 4090 but still they give you a cheaper option for a GPU.
Our GPU hierarchy includes cards that are ranked based on their rasterization performance and then we have got the Ray tracing enabled hierarchy which only includes the RTX series cards such as the RTX 2080 ti, RTX 3060 ti, and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series cards such as the 6800XT.
GPU Hierarchy 2023
Before we dive into the benchmarks of the GPU hierarchy you should know that you should take these benchmarks with a grain of salt, while they give you a pretty good idea of the capability of a GPU they don’t offer the whole picture.
The GPU hierarchy consists of several tiers based on their respective performance.
S tier — Enthusiast Class
The S-tier graphics cards are ones that belong to the enthusiast class and they are the top performers in their generation. They are powerful GPUs that are usually targeted towards enthusiasts who want the best hardware that money can buy so they can play the latest games at ultra settings.
These cards are also capable of running ray tracing games as they contain hardware that is capable of running ray tracing in games in real-time. They can also be used to give the best experience in VR gaming.
Currently, the RTX 4090 is ruling the benchmark world but it comes with a price tag starting from $1599 making it one of the worst-valued graphics cards out there.
But since it offers the best performance it is the best graphics card out there and enthusiast-class PC gamers won’t care about the price tag.
These GPUs are capable of running the more demanding titles at 4K 60 FPS at the ultra preset and 100+ fps at 2K ultrawide resolution.
|Graphics Card||VRAM||Memory Type|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090||24 GB||GDDR6X|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090 Ti||24 GB||GDDR6X|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 Ti||12 GB||GDDR6X|
|AMD Radeon RX 6950XT||16 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090||24 GB||GDDR6X|
|AMD Radeon RX 6900XT||16 GB||GDDR6|
A tier — High-End Performance
The A-tier list of GPUs are the ones that give you high-end performance for value but they don’t cost you an arm or a leg. The products belonging to the A-tier are powerful GPUs that are usually found in high-performance builds which will be running modern games at high settings and they can also be used for running professional applications for content creation as well. They can also be used to power rigs that will be used for VR gaming.
They are designed to give you 4K 60 FPS and 60+ FPS at 1440p ultrawide and 100 FPS + at 1440p and they cost less than $1000 thus cementing their place in the top performance-to-value tier list in the GPU hierarchy.
Compared to the S tier these GPUs offer better value for money.
|Graphics Card||VRAM||Memory Type|
|AMD Radeon RX 6800XT||16 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080||10 GB||GDDR6X|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 Ti||8 GB||GDDR6X|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070||8 GB||GDDR6X|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 ti||11 GB||GDDR6|
|AMD Radeon RX 6800||16 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 ti||8 GB||GDDR6|
B tier — Mid-Range Gaming
The B-tier list of GPUs is for builds that have been designed for pc gaming at 2K ultrawide and 1080p these GPUs are able to achieve 60 FPS at 2K ultrawide and 2K as well. Moreover, these GPUs are capable of achieving 100+ FPS at 1080p too although you might have to run games by doing settings adjustments. The performance is slightly worse as compared to S or A tiers but that doesn’t mean they won’t perform well in games.
Still, they will be able to run most modern titles without any problems. These GPUs are the ones that give you the best value when it comes to price to performance.
|Graphics Card||VRAM||Memory Type|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 SUPER||8 GB||GDDR6|
|AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT||12 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080||8 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 SUPER||8 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||11 GB||GDDR5X|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070||8 GB||GDDR6|
C tier — Budget Friendly Option
Next up is the C-tier GPUs belonging to the older GPU generations. These are mid-range GPUs that are designed to give around 60 FPS at 2K resolution but with adjusted settings. Gamers usually choose these GPUs when they are on a tight budget.
Nonetheless, these C-tier cards will able to run demanding titles at low settings at 2K or mid to high settings at 1080p. Still, their ray tracing performance is quite bad even though they contain RT cores so don’t expect a lot when running modern titles on these GPUs.
|Graphics Card||VRAM||Memory Type|
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER||8 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080||8 GB||GDDR5|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 Ti||8 GB||GDDR5|
|AMD Radeon RX 6600||8 GB||GDDR6|
|AMD Radeon RX 5700 xt||8 GB||GDDR6|
|AMD Radeon RX Vega 64||8 GB||HBM2|
D tier — Professional Use
The D-tier graphics cards are the lower-end GPUs that are used by Esports players who are playing professionally mostly. The performance of these GPUs is more or less at the same level. They are used to dish out the maximum FPS at the settings turned to lowest since they don’t need graphics but more frames.
They are used for high refresh-rate gaming on high-refresh-rate monitors. In modern story mode titles, the GPUs have got average performance. They are preferred by gamers who are on a tight budget as well. While these GPUs are on the lower end of the graphics card rankings they offer excellent performance for value.
|Graphics Card||VRAM||Memory Type|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070||8 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce RTX 3050||8 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Super||6 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660||6 GB||GDDR6|
|Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Super||4 GB||GDDR6|
|AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT||4 GB||GDDR6|
There are some graphics cards such as the RX vega 56 and other Max-Q design GPUs that haven’t been included. This is due to the fact that they have lower performance than the different tiers of GPU belonging to the GPU hierarchy 2023 and 2023. We haven’t tested GPUs designed for laptops and industrial use.
Also as mentioned above the specific game performance will vary among all these GPUs but they have been placed on this list due to the overall score that they achieved.
Some RTX-enabled GPUs such as the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 will perform better in the latest games with ray tracing enabled. While other games will benefit from the large VRAM size of the GPU such as the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090 but then again it belongs to the top tier of the graphics card tier list.
How We Test Graphics Cards
The Test system that we are using contains a Gigabyte Aorus X570 Motherboard, a Ryzen 9 5900X processor, a 3600MHz 32 Gigs of DDR4 RAM, a Cougar Aqua 360 AIO, a Prime TX fully modular 80 Plus Titanium 1600w PSU. This PC configuration of our test bench is more than enough to test the different tiers of GPUs from the S tier to the D tier without any performance bottlenecks.
GPU generations should be kept into consideration when you are going out to buy a new GPU. Also, a higher bit rate such as 256-bit or 352-bit, and higher VRAM doesn’t automatically mean that a graphics card is better and will give you better gaming performance.
Both Nvidia and AMD have come up with newer generations of GPUs which have been better than the previous generation’s architecture and generally, the newer generation cards perform better than their older counterparts still older gen cards can perform better than the newer cards such as 1080 Ti vs RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 ti vs Geforce RTX 3060 ti.
How to Choose a Graphics Card
If you are looking for the top-performing graphics card then I advise you to go for something like the Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090 or the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3090. If you want something for a high value then you should go for either an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 or the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 ti. You can also look to settle for an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 as well. Although if you want to go for AMD then the AMD Radeon RX 6800 is also a good choice when choosing a performance-for-value card depending on your budget and use case.
When choosing a graphics card the first and most important factor is your budget. The more budget you have, the better GPU you can get it’s as simple as that. The less budget you have the less performance you get. However, there are older GPUs out there that offer a great price to performance value but we’ll discuss them later in the article.
Moreover, every new generation of GPUs has brought in better performance than the previous generation, for instance, the RTX 30 series has got much better performance than its predecessor the RTX 20 series. The same goes for the RX 6000 series and the RX 5000 series.
VRAM is the video memory that a GPU has. Currently, the modern GPUs are running GDDR6X memory. VRAM plays a big part in determining the performance of a particular GPU. When running gaming applications the more VRAM you have the better the applications will run. However, GPUs come with varying VRAM capacities for example the RTX 3090 has got a humongous VRAM of 24 GB, while a GTX 1660 super has got a meager 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM. Both GPUs have got a big gaming performance gap.
AMD vs Nvidia
Currently, Nvidia and AMD are running the GPU market. Although Intel has also entered the fray, however, it hasn’t been as impactful as these two. If you want the best performance and can afford an expensive GPU then you should go for Nvidia as it has the best-performing cards for every generation, such as the RTX 4090, RTX 3090, and the RTX 2080 ti. Meanwhile, AMD is all about delivering price-to-performance products that lag a little behind their Nvidia counterparts.
Still, AMD has come up with high-performance GPUs over the years that have enhanced the rivalry between the two companies. Both companies have pushed each other to dish out better graphics cards and ultimately gamers have benefitted from this competition as they have been able to play the most demanding games at ultra settings.
What Games Do You Play?
While considering a new graphics card for your next build, it is necessary to do homework beforehand. In terms of everything and that includes the games too - those games that you’re going to play with your anticipated graphics card. You do not need to spend a thousand bucks if your sole purpose to buy a graphics card is to just play games like Dota, CS: GO, or Valorant. These games aren’t much demanding and could run on pretty much anything these days.
However, if you’re in competitive gaming and each frame matters to you then you can go as high as possible in terms of the budget of the graphics card. In case your main target is to experience a linear or open-world story-driven title, in that regard, you’re better off with a mid-range GPU for a great 1080p and 1440p experience. Since 4k gaming is very demanding and GPU intensive, you must get yourself a high-tier card like the RTX 4080, 4090, or RX 7900 XTX. They will deliver the best 4K gaming experience one can hope for.
Monitor Resolution & Refresh Rate
Monitor and refresh rate are other factors to foresee before deciding on your next graphics card purchase. You must be aware of your monitor’s resolution or if you’ve yet to buy yourself one then decide what resolution your next monitor is going to be and what kind of refresh rate too. Both factors will affect your gaming experience in case you get a high resolution and refresh rate monitor but end up procuring a budget-tier card instead of a mid-ranger or a high-end one. The card would not be able to keep up with your monitor at all.
For instance, if 2k with 60Hz or 1080p with 144Hz is your target resolution for both competitive and story-driven visually impressive titles, then you’re better off with something like the RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT. Just in case, 4K is your desired resolution then just get an RTX 4080, RTX 4090, or the RX 7900 XT. Another popular resolution that most gamers go for is 1440p with a 144Hz refresh rate, for that get something like the RTX 4070 Ti or the RX 7900 XT.
PSU & Case Compatibility
Graphics cards have become more powerful but that came at the cost of more power usage too. Nowadays, flagship and mid-range graphics cards alone take around 250-500W of power on the stock settings. Therefore, a sufficient enough power supply is highly recommended to run everything fluidly without the fear of any burn or dead damage, of course, unless a certain natural disaster like electricity fluctuation happens. So make sure to get a high-quality PSU with all the necessary certifications and recommended power output.
Furthermore, graphics cards have also become more bulky and humongous in size which calls for a bigger chassis with adequate room to breathe in. Many mATX chassis lacks the needed width to house beefy graphics like the RTX 4090 or RTX 4080. Both graphics cards are pretty long and chunky in size and could take up to 3-4 slots in the case and that makes it hard to fit them in any mATX chassis that you could get your hands on. Hence, these GPUs are best suited for ATX chassis and not just these two graphics cards, you must check the measurements of the graphics cards that you will be getting and then go for chassis accordingly to save yourself the hassle.
System Balance & Bottlenecks
Everything works perfectly when it is balanced, an imbalance of components could create problems in delivering the anticipated output. This is the same case in computer systems, you shouldn’t pair low-end stuff with mid or high-end ones. Always pick those components that would work great with each other and wouldn’t fall into bottlenecks. But how to keep track of this? Well, that’s a question most people ask, it’s not too complicated. Let me make things easy for you, if you have a budget for a mid-range PC build, get something like the Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5 series for the processor, and in terms of the graphics power, get a mid-range GPU that has the letter 7 in it like the RX 6700 XT or RTX 4070 Ti and so on.
The same is the case with a budget and high-end builds, get an i3 12100f/13100f or Ryzen 5 5600x chip with something like the RTX 3060 or RX 6600 XT for the budget ones. Or go all the way to i9 13900K with RTX 4090 or RX 7900 XTX if the top-tier rig is your priority. These are some examples of specs that are well suited for each other and have minimum chances for any kind of bottlenecks.
Final Words on GPU Hierarchy
Due to the competition between the Rival tech companies Nvidia and AMD, there has been a lot of innovation on the GPU front which has taken pc gaming to the next level and has really stretched the level of immersion and realism found in games. Nvidia has recently launched the 4000 series GPUs and AMD has responded in kind with the launch of their own 7000 series GPUs.
Currently, the 4000 series is ruling the benchmark world and holding the top positions but the flagship cards from the 7000 series will be challenging those positions and taking their place in the S tier and A tier of the GPU hierarchy 2023 pretty soon. Right now, the RTX 4090 is the performance king of this gen of GPUs but AMD will surely come in with big guns of its own to challenge its position with products like the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and the Radeon RX 7900XT.
The competition between the rivals spells aggressive pricing for the top-end cards as they will be trying to get the larger market share and this means accessible high-end GPU technology for consumers. Right now the RTX 4090 has a hefty price tag of $1600 but due to AMD’s own top-end offering 7900XTX being priced at around $1000 will surely make Nvidia bring the price down.
Still, this is the GPU hierarchy of 2023 and while we don’t have the data on the Radeon RX 7000 series we will update the list accordingly once we get our hands on them as they seem to be in short supply right now but once launch day comes we will update this graphics card tier list so make sure you visit us again at that time.