These days, 4K gaming is very much possible. It is all thanks to the new graphics cards released in the market that are fully capable of driving games at very high resolution. 4K gaming was somewhat not feasible before, or at least getting the smoothest experience with an older generation of graphics card was tricky. You will have to adjust the graphics settings and sacrifice the quality just to get near 60fps. In this article, we recommend six graphics cards for 4K gaming; three from NVIDIA and three from AMD. These graphics cards can push games at 4K even at maximum graphics quality. If you are in the market looking for a graphics card to drive your favorite games at 4K with ease, check out our list below.
Best 4K Graphics Cards for Gaming
For this current generation, I can comfortably recommend six graphics cards, three from NVIDIA and three from AMD. All graphics cards can drive games at 4K UHD resolution, 3840×2160, with at least 60fps at maximum graphics settings. Of course, with some (really) graphics-intensive games, you might need to use DLSS (NVIDIA) or FSR (AMD).
I have tested three of these graphics cards. Below are some benchmark results to give you an idea of what kind of numbers these GPUs offer. Unfortunately, I do not have the other three cards to share with you some results. Although I haven’t tested the other GPUs, I’m confident that they are capable of driving games at 4K.
Based on the results I got, you need at least a GeForce RTX 3080 or its AMD counterpart, the RX 6800 XT, to enjoy playing games at 4K resolution and maintain at least an average of 60 fps. There are some graphics-intensive games, like Cyberpunk 2077, where you may need to enable DLSS and/or lower some of the graphics settings to enjoy the game at smooth 60 fps or more.
Of course, some games are not as graphics-intensive as Cyberpunk 2077, and you may not need a powerful graphics card to drive them at 4K UHD. Another solution, aside from adjusting the graphics quality, is to use DLSS or FSR if the game supports it.
But if you want to play games at native 4K, or with ray tracing enabled, or perhaps you own a 4K 120Hz or 4K 144Hz monitor and you want to take advantage of the high refresh rate, then you need a powerful graphics card to push those frame rates higher.
Best NVIDIA Graphics Card for 4K Gaming
If you want an NVIDIA graphics card, since they are the better solution when it comes to ray tracing, and NVIDIA’s DLSS is more mature compared to AMD’s, I recommend the RTX 3090 Ti, RTX 3080 Ti, and RTX 3080.
The RTX 3090 Ti is currently NVIDIA’s flagship GPU. It is the fastest they have. It rocks 10752 CUDA cores and 24GB of VRAM. Next is the RTX 3080 Ti, with 10240 CUDA cores and 12GB of VRAM. Finally, the RTX 3080 features 8704 CUDA cores and 10GB of VRAM. Note that there is also a 12GB variant of the RTX 3080. Although, based on reviews, the difference in performance between the 10GB and 12GB is very minimal.
I intentionally skipped the RTX 3090 because its performance is very close to the RTX 3080 Ti in gaming. Its only advantage is the 24GB of VRAM, which is useful for non-gaming workloads. In my opinion, the RTX 3090 Ti is a much better option than the RTX 3090, especially today when the prices of the RTX 3090 Ti have significantly dropped.
Generally, I recommend EVGA’s FTW Ultra, MSI’s SUPRIM X or Gaming X Trio, or Asus ROG Strix or TUF. These are some of the best graphics card models on the market. It all comes down to personal preference and the price. You can check the latest prices and availability by following the links below. (#ad)
Best AMD Graphics Card for 4K Gaming
AMD graphics cards are not as good in ray tracing compared to NVIDIA. They are, in fact, a generation behind in ray tracing. Meanwhile, AMD’s FSR is getting better and closer to NVIDIA’s DLSS. It won’t be long until AMD’s FSR will be on the same level as NVIDIA’s DLSS.
However, AMD has an advantage when it comes to price/performance. Or generally speaking, AMD’s graphics cards are cheaper compared to NVIDIA’s. The RTX 3090 Ti currently retails for around $1,500. Meanwhile, AMD’s flagship RX 6950 XT retails for around $1,100. And the RX 6900 XT is even cheaper.
Again, I haven’t tested the RX 6950 XT and RX 6800 XT. But the RX 6800 XT performs on par or slightly better than the RTX 3080, depending on the game title. And the RX 6950 XT trade blows with the RTX 3090 Ti.
So, again, when deciding which AMD graphics card to get, it falls to personal preference and price. But generally, I would go for the top brand models, like MSI, Asus, Sapphire, or PowerColor’s RX 6000 cards. You can check the latest prices of these cards, as well as availability by following the links below. (#ad)
By the way, if you don’t have a 4K gaming monitor yet, we listed here some of the best 4K gaming monitors available.