The best 1440p graphics card for PC gaming

Most individuals play on 1080p screens and aspire to recreation in 4K, however right here in 2019, 2560×1440 decision is the PC gaming candy spot. 1440p gives an enormous leap in visible constancy over 1080p, but it gained’t soften your graphics card as ferociously as a 4K show.

Choosing the most effective 1440p graphics card might be considerably difficult nonetheless. Right here, you’ll begin to see a wider array of monitor varieties and options than you usually do at 1080p decision, with ultra-wide resolutions and excessive refresh charges turning into far more widespread. You must maintain the specifics of your setup in thoughts whenever you’re shopping for a brand new GPU. This information can assist.

If you’d like a wider take a look at the world of GPUs, make sure to try our overarching information to the most effective graphics playing cards for PC gaming, the place we additionally discover your finest video choices for 1080p and 4K decision, and divvy out shopping for ideas to remember when you’re on the hunt for brand spanking new .

The most effective 1440p graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 5700

Your only option for PC gaming at 1440p decision on an ordinary 60Hz show is the AMD Radeon RX 5700, which ostensibly begins at $350 however can usually be discovered at $330 on the road—and typically much less, for those who catch a very attractive sale.

The Radeon RX 5700 has no downside clearing the 60-frames-per-second gold normal within the overwhelming majority of contemporary video games. There are video games the place it does fall a number of frames brief: Some titles, like Metro Exodus, have particularly strenuous high-end graphics presets designed to convey fashionable to its knees, in Crysis-like style. In such circumstances, bumping a few visible settings from Extremely right down to Excessive or Very Excessive ought to do the trick. AMD stuffed the cardboard with 8GB of ultra-fast GDDR6 reminiscence, which ought to be sufficient for 1440p-resolution gaming for years to return.

This card was the primary GPU constructed utilizing 7nm course of know-how and AMD’s new “RDNA” graphics structure (which was since trickled right down to the Radeon RX 5500 XT and RX 5600 XT). The underlying tweaks helped AMD lastly draw equal to Nvidia’s spectacular energy effectivity. Video games that when favored Nvidia’s GeForce architectures now carry out a lot better on the Radeon RX 5700. It additionally helps the bleeding-edge PCIe four.zero interface for those who’re operating a system with an AMD Ryzen 3000 processor paired with an X570 motherboard, although the advantages from that might be extra obvious in choose content material creation workloads than throughout gameplay.

Add all of it up and the Radeon RX 5700 is the most effective graphics card for 1440p gaming at 60 frames per second.

Customized variations just like the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 ship huge enhancements in thermals and acoustic efficiency, whereas offering different good quality-of-life options comparable to a gentle out-of-the-box overclock, a steel backplate, and a dual-BIOS swap with Efficiency and Quiet profiles. It prices $360, a mere $10 premium over the reference mannequin MSRP. Different customized Radeon RX 5700 fashions value the identical or extra relying on their characteristic set.

Decrease finances graphics card for 1440p gaming

The Radeon RX 5700 could also be the most effective 1440p graphics card for most individuals, however it isn’t your solely possibility.

If the Radeon RX 5700’s $350 price ticket is a bit too wealthy on your blood, Nvidia’s $230 GeForce GTX 1660 Super—our favorite 1080p graphics card—could also handle 1440p gaming if you don’t mind making visual sacrifices to achieve 60 fps. The GTX 1660 Super is a lot slower than the Radeon GPU, however, and the card’s 6GB of memory may not hold up well for top-quality 1440p gaming over the long haul, though it’s (mostly) fine today.  

That’s worth diving deeper into. Most of the cards that come cheaper than the Radeon RX 5700 make memory compromises, typically offering 6GB of GDDR6. That’s perfect for 1080p gaming, but the limited RAM buffer may force you to drop texture quality and other memory-intensive graphics options in especially strenuous games. Playing with a mixture of Medium to High settings reduces memory demands though, and you may have to do that for the best frame rates with these more mainstream-priced cards. Part of the reason we like the Radeon RX 5700 is its spacious 8GB capacity.

The $280 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is faster than the GTX 1660 Super, and it holds a welcome 8GB of RAM. But it’s hard to recommend over AMD’s identically priced Radeon RX 5600 XT, which is even faster for the same price despite only having 6GB of GDDR6 memory. It’s essentially a Radeon RX 5700 with slower clock speeds and slower, less spacious memory.

Shop smart if you decide to go this route though: AMD released a last-second BIOS upgrade for the card that means some Radeon RX 5600 XT models are much faster than others. We can specifically (and highly) recommend the Sapphire Pulse version, which comes with the fastest speeds allowed by AMD with a whisper-quiet cooler for a mere $10 price premium.

If you’re fine with spending around $300, and don’t mind dropping down to 6GB of RAM, you can consider Team Green. In response to the Radeon RX 5600 XT’s launch, Nvidia dropped the price of its GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition to $300, and EVGA rolled out the fantastic $300 GeForce RTX 2060 KO. It’s much more compelling at that price than the usual $350, and worth your money if you absolutely can’t spend more than $300 overall, but we recommend saving your lunch money for a few more weeks to get the Radeon RX 5700 if possible.

AMD’s card is faster and has a more robust memory configuration than the Nvidia GPU. The main reason to consider the RTX 2060 is if you want to buy into the real-time ray tracing support that’s currently supported only on Nvidia’s RTX 20-series graphics cards. (Ray tracing provides gorgeous lighting effects at a significant frame rate penalty.) Even so, we wouldn’t recommend it, as the RTX 2060’s ray tracing capabilities lag far behind those of its sibling cards.

The best 1440p graphics cards for high refresh rate monitors

If you want to invest in ray tracing, we’d suggest buying at least a $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super, but that card’s only marginally faster than the Radeon RX 5700 we recommend above. You’re investing an extra $50-plus into the ray tracing promise, essentially. Only a handful of games currently support the technology, though several blockbuster games—such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom Eternal—have pledged to do so in the future.

But $400 can give you a bigger performance boost in 1440p gaming if you stick with AMD. Its $400 Radeon RX 5700 XT offers just shy of 10 percent higher overall performance than the RTX 2060 Super, though that fluctuates depending on the game engine. It doesn’t support ray tracing, but it does come close to the performance of the $500 GeForce RTX 2070 Super, falling only about 5 to 6 percent shorter overall, and damned near even in several titles. The Radeon RX 5700 XT serves as a sort of spoiler for both the RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super, and it’s a great 1440p gaming option at high refresh rates (think 120Hz or 144Hz).

We’ve reviewed high-performing custom designs in the Sapphire Nitro+ and XFX Thicc III Ultra. Again, both are well worth the extra investment if you can swing it.

That said, the GeForce RTX 2070 Super delivers the best 1440p gaming performance and the best ray tracing performance of the bunch. Whether that’s worth an extra $100 over the Radeon RX 5700 XT (and $150-plus over the Radeon RX 5700) is up to you, and how quickly you feel real-time ray tracing will be adopted. All the cards discussed here that cost $400 and up give you 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, a.k.a. the 1440p sweet spot.

If you absolutely, positively want to eke as much performance as possible out of a high refresh-rate 1440p monitor, you could step up to the $700 GeForce RTX 2080 Super, though that’s a bit overkill for most people, especially since the RTX 2070 Super gets pretty close to its performance for $200 less. The GeForce RTX 2080 Super could be a good option for 3440×1440 ultrawide monitor users, though.

How to check your monitor’s refresh rate

A lot of this advice revolves around the refresh rate of your monitor. The faster your monitor refreshes, the faster the graphics card you can use.

advanced display settings Brad Chacos/IDG

Not one of the 1440p graphics playing cards talked about at the moment might feed this 4K, 120Hz show effectively.

In case you aren’t certain how briskly your monitor is, click on the Begin button within the lower-left nook of the Home windows 10 taskbar, the pinnacle to Choices gear > System > Show. Scroll down previous the place you see the decision on your monitor(s) listed, then click on Superior show settings on the backside of the web page. You’ll see extra detailed stats on your show listed, together with the refresh price in hertz (Hz). In case you have a number of screens, you’ll be capable to swap between them.

Some screens can run at completely different speeds relying on their settings. To see what’s out there for yours, click on the Show adapter properties hyperlink on the backside of this web page, then click on on the Monitor tab within the new field that seems. It’ll home a drop-down menu together with your out there display refresh charges. If what you see seems slower than what your monitor ought to be able to, you would possibly must dive into the choices menu on your particular monitor, which is accessible by way of buttons in your show.

Bought it? Good. Once more, for those who’re shopping for from scratch and questioning which form of setup is true for you, make sure to try our information to the most effective graphics playing cards for PC gaming to see the most effective GPU choices for 1080p and 4K resolutions.

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