Last Update: Mar 18, 2019

Best AMD Graphics Card for Gaming: 2019 Highest Performers

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AMD is one of the biggest names in the gaming industry, and for a good reason.

For years, AMD has pushed the boundaries of hardware innovation, providing us with high-end gaming hardware. Their CPUs and GPUs are have become the industry gold standard, setting the bar very high and letting us enjoy every single moment of our gaming experiences.

Though AMD has traditionally been known for their high-performance CPUs, their graphics cards do not fall far behind. They are following the development of the gaming industry, making their products able to run new games as smoothly as possible. If you’re set on buying an AMD graphics card, this article is for you.

We’ve reviewed nearly every popular AMD gaming graphics card no the market today, and narrowed the choice for you with this list of best options:

1

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

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Taking into consideration both price and performance factors, we have selected the RX Vega 56 as an overall best choice for an AMD graphics card for gaming. This GPU will probably satisfy all of your gaming needs without taking too much money out of your wallet. Radeon RX Vega graphics cards are built to deliver exhilarating performance in the newest DirectX 12 and Vulkan games.

Key features:

To help you understand why this GPU is our best choice, we will put some time into explaining the new Radeon technologies that this graphics card features. The new VR Ready Premium solutions that this card is equipped with meets, or even exceeds the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive specs for graphics cards.

Alongside the amazing VR experience this GPU delivers, it also comes with the Radeon FreeSync technology. This was Radeon’s solution for the communication issues between the processor and the monitor, which eliminated choppy gameplay and broken frames, bringing us perfectly smooth gameplay.

With dual-slot cooling and the newest Radeon Chill technology that comes with this GPU, Vega 56 can now dynamically regulate the framerate based on your in-game movements, saving even more power, while delivering the same gaming experience.

Specifications:

The Vega 10 graphics processor has a die area of 486 mm² and 12,500 million transistors. While the Radeon RX Vega 64 comes with all 4096 shaders unlocked, this one comes with 3584 shading units, 224 texture mapping units and 64 ROPs. The 8GB of HBM2 memory on this card are spread over a 2048-bit memory interface. While this GPU’s basic frequency is 1156MHz, it can be boosted up to 1471MHz.

The Vega 56 powers itself by drawing power from 2x 8-pin power connectors, with a maximum of 210 W power draw. It comes with 1x HDMI and 3x DisplayPort display outputs. PCI-Express 3.0 x16 interface connects this graphics card to the rest of the system. While 267 mm in length could be considered large, it was required to support the dual-slot cooling solution within this graphics card.

 

+Pros
  • Faster than the GTX 1070, which is the main competitor to the RX Vega 56
  • 8GB of HBM 2 memory

 

-Cons
  • 210W power draw is considered a bit too high by some people
  • Higher heat output than expected
2

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64

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While the RX Vega 56 comes at a lower price than this one, the RX Vega 64 is without a doubt the best AMD graphics card when it comes to performance. If you’re in the position to spend a little more money for your AMD GPU then this card is the right choice for you. Even though the architecture of these two graphic cards are almost the same, you could consider the 64 version the older, much cooler brother.

Key features:

We already explained the best features that an RX Vega graphics card can bring to you with the 56 version. Now just picture these same features, only with their full potential unlocked, as RX Vega 64 goes with everything this architecture has to offer, while 56 was deliberately weakened by AMD. While 56 was designed to win the battle against Nvidia’s 1070 cards, 64 was meant to take on the 1080 series. (gamegavel.com/best-1080-ti-graphics)

Specifications:

Just like its little brother, the 56 version, RX Vega 64 has a massive die size of 486mm² packed with 12,5 billion transistors. The Vega 64 name comes from the Vega 10 GPU architecture containing 64 next-gen compute units equipped with 4096 stream processors. With 224 texture mapping units and 64 ROPs, Vega series delivers an outstanding gaming performance.

Besides having all shader units unlocked, Vega 64 also features a higher clock rate than 56, with a base clock of 1247MHz that can be boosted up to 1546MHz. Packing 8GB of 2048-bit HBM2 memory, this GPU seems to have it all, but it draws 295W of board power as a price for the gaming experience it provides.

As for the connectors, this GPU draws power through 2x 8-pin power connectors. The display outputs are the same as in 56, with 1x HDMI and 3x DisplayPort ports. Take into consideration that this one, too, takes up 267mm of space in your rig, so make sure that you have enough space to pack this beast into your PC.

+Pros
  • 1440p performance, while being able to follow up even on 4K resolutions, delivering basic performance
  • It comes with a great package of software features developed by AMD
  • HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4  HBR3/MST/HDR

 

-Cons
  • Cooling fans do not stop in idle, making this graphics card a bit noisier than some people are used to
  • Providing gaming performance on this scale comes at a 295W power draw price
3

XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS

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While the newly introduced Vega architecture stole the show in 2017, AMD also released updates in the Polaris architecture the same year. Coming from Radeon’s RX 500 series, the RX 580 takes the fight up to Nvidia’s GTX 1060 series. If you’re looking for a mid-range AMD graphics card for your gaming rig, then this might just be the perfect fit for you.

Key features:

The XFX RX 580 graphics card features the latest Polaris architecture which includes the 4th Gen GCN graphics cores, a brand new display engine and new multimedia cores. Coming at a market price of only $259, this GPU provides great gaming performance at an acceptable price. (gamegavel.com/best-graphics-card-under-300)

The XFX Double Dissipation Cooling Technology gives this graphics card an optimal cooling solution, providing great performance. Radeon RX GTS GPUs come with AMD’s Liquid VR technology, delivering a virtually stutter-free, low latency experience, essential for remarkable Virtual Reality environments.

Specifications:

Featuring the 4th Generation GCN architecture, XFX RX 580 comes with a die size of 232mm² packed with 36 compute units and 2304 stream processors. The 8GB of GDDR5 memory are spread over a 256-bit interface, with 144 texture units and 32 ROPs. Coming with a base clock speed of 1257MHz, this graphics card can be boosted up to 1340MHz.

This 10.5 inches long GPU draws 185W of board power through a single 8-pin power connector. You could connect this graphics card to practically any display monitor, as it comes with 3x 1.4 HDR-ready DisplayPorts, a 2.0b-ready HDMI port, and a dual-link DVI-D port for people with older high-resolution monitors.

+Pros
  • Much faster than the older Radeon RX 480
  • Provides a great 1080p gaming experience, a good 1440p performance, as well as a solid VR gameplay
  • It’s worth noting that Sapphire’s Nitro+ customizations look and work really great

 

-Cons
  • This graphics card has a higher power consumption under load than RX 480
  • Lags far behind its competitor, the GTX 1060, in power efficiency
4

Sapphire Radeon Nitro R9 Fury

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Going back through time to 2016, we give you the Sapphire’s version of the Radeon Nitro R9 Fury. This graphics card is built around the default Fury configuration, but Sapphire has configured many things, from design to clock speeds, to give this GPU a name of its own.

Key features:

The Nitro R9 Fury comes packed with a number of interesting features from AMD, like the AMD FreeSync technology and the AMD LiquidVR technology. This graphics card was one of the first to introduce us to High Bandwidth Memory, making it one of the first in the next generation of graphics cards. With this GPU, Sapphire went for a design that is quiet and cool, with a stock overclock to deliver the best possible gaming experience.

We have previously explained both AMD FreeSync and AMD LiquidVR and what these technologies can do for you and your gaming requirements, so now you probably know how much can Nitro R9 Fury do for you. Besides these, this GPU also brings you AMD Eyefinity technology, AMD Crossfire and AMD TrueAudio, to make your games sound as good as they look.

Specifications:

Sapphire’s implementation of Radeon’s Nitro R9 Fury features the AMD’s Fiji chipset with 3584 stream processors, 224 texture units and 64 ROPs. This graphics card comes with an out-of-box overclock, which is 5% faster than the regular Radeon version, with this one clocking at 1050MHz. Packing 4GB of the next-gen HBM memory, with an astonishing 4096-bit memory bus, this dual-BIOS graphics card really lives up to Sapphire’s name.

We must make a notable mention at the cooling solution within this GPU, as Sapphire has equipped it with the amazing Tri-X cooler. Triple 90mm fans with advanced airfoil section blades give your card greater airflow and superior heatsink coverage for less noise.

This graphics card draws 275W of board power through 2x 8-pin AUX power connectors. As for the display connectors, you can choose between 1x DVI-D, 1x HDMI and 3x DisplayPort ports. All of these specs packed into a 307mm long graphics card make this GPU a perfectly valid choice for a good gaming rig.

 

+Pros
  • Sapphire’s designers have made this one look like a tank, giving us the looks AND the performance
  • If you don’t put too much load on this graphics card, you won’t even be able to hear it work
  • This GPU delivers a great ultra-high-resolution gaming experience

 

-Cons
  • You can’t overclock this one, as it comes with a stock clock at 1050MHz
  • Fitting all of these features into this graphics card required making it massive
5

ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 570

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In a dire need for improvement after the RX 470, AMD has released the RX 570 to keep up with the competition. ASUS has meddled with this one a bit, bringing us the powerful ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 570. Not feeling like spending too much? Not a problem. This graphics card could become a part of your rig for less than $200. (gamegavel.com/best-graphics-card-under-200)

Key features:

Coming with ASUS Aura Sync RGB technology, the ROG Strix RX 570 provides quite a colorful gaming experience. ASUS has managed to improve the cooling of this graphics card by 30% by equipping it with its DirectCU II technology, utilizing direct-GPU contact headpipes. The patented Wing-Blade designed fans provide an outstanding air flow, operating up to 3x quieter than some older cards.

It’s worth noting that this card features the ASUS Fan Connect II technology. This proves optimal system cooling by letting you connect a hybrid-controlled header that can be connected to both PWM and DC system fans. As for software support, the GPU Tweak II can help you if you want to control the connected fans or if you want to test the limits of your graphics card by overclocking it.

Specifications:

This 24.2cm long graphics card uses the same Polaris architecture like the RX 470 with 2048 stream processors. However, we have a significant increase in clock speed compared to the RX 470’s maximum of 1206 MHz to a factory overclocked 1300MHz with ASUS’s version of this graphics card. This comes with a slight increase in power draw, from 120W for the older version to 150W for this one, using an 8-pin power connector.

Packing 4GB of GDDR5 memory spread over a 256-bit memory interface, this graphics card provides quite a satisfying gaming experience. You can connect your display to this GPU using 2x DVI outputs, 1x HDMI 2.0 output and 1x DisplayPort 1.4-ready connector.

 

+Pros
  • Completely smooth and satisfying 1080p gaming performance
  • DirectCU heatsink maintains GPU temperatures quite well
  • Wing-Blade designed fans have made this graphics card dust resistant

 

-Cons
  • Same architecture as the previous generation
  • Dual-DVI on this model feels outdated
6

XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy

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Are high-end graphics cards too much for your current budget? Stress not, because we present to you the XFX Radeon RX 590, a suitable GPU coming from AMD at a $280 launch price (gamegavel.com/best-graphics-card-under-300). Planning to take the fight to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 and $360 GTX 1070, AMD gives us the RX 590, delivering a much better price-performance ratio.

Key features:

Equipped with everything a gamer might need for 1080p gaming, the RX 590 has proven to be the right choice for a mid-range gaming rig. XFX has packed this model with their True Clock technology, making this graphics card OC+ capable. Combining these two technologies, XFX lets you really squeeze out every last bit of performance out of your card.

AMD VR Ready Premium and AMD LiquidVR have already proven to deliver a breath-taking Virtual Reality experience. Pairing this GPU with a VR headset will let you enjoy every moment of the next-generation gaming experience. Radeon Chill technology utilizes your framerate to deliver the best possible gaming experience at a lower power cost, lowering the card’s temperature and extending your GPU’s life.

Specifications:

The RX 590 comes with the updated Polaris 30 silicon, which is based on the Polaris 10 die built on the 12nm FinFET node, increasing the clock speeds by 15 percent. The Polaris 30 features the same configuration as the older versions, coming with 2304 stream processors, 36 compute units, 144 texture mapping units and 32 ROPs.

Coming with 8GB of GDDR5 memory over a 256-bit wide memory interface, this card brings 256GB/s of bandwidth. The base clock frequency of RX 590 is 1469MHz and it can be boosted up to 1545MHz. This graphics card draws 185W of board power through 1x 6-pin and 1x 8-pin PCIe power connectors. As for the display connectors, this GPU comes equipped with HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.3 connectors.

+Pros
  • Being one of the best options for a mid-range GPU, it provides a strong game bundle
  • Ideally built for a flawless 1080p gaming experience
  • Faster than Radeon RX 580 and GeForce GTX 1060 6GB

 

-Cons
  • Unable to hold rated core clock rate in a closed case
  • Some users find this card relatively noisy and hot

Product Buying Guide – Things to Consider

Graphics card memory amount

If you’re planning on doing some serious 1080p gaming, then you should look for a 4GB graphics card, to make sure that your gaming experience satisfies your needs. You need extra memory if you love playing with turned up settings or additional texture packs. If you prefer gaming on ultra-high resolutions, such as 4K, then an 8GB graphics card is the right choice for you.

Form factor

When building your gaming rig, make sure that you have enough room in your case for your graphics card. Pay attention to the card’s length, height and thickness. Graphics cards come in various sizes, like half-height (slim), single-slot, dual-slot, or even triple-slot. Most cards designed for gaming will be full-height dual-slot GPUs. Even though a card technically takes only one or two slots, pay attention to the size of the fans and the heatsink, as these could easily cover up an adjacent slot in your case.

Thermal design power (TDP)

Thermal design power or TDP is a measurement of heat dissipation, but it can also give you an estimated value of power draw from your Power Supply Unit (PSU). You need to be absolutely sure that your PSU will satisfy the needs of your graphics card.

Power connectors

A proper gaming GPU probably won’t be saturated with power using a simple PCIe connector. These cards will come equipped with additional 6-pin or 8-pin power connectors, sometimes only one, sometimes two, or maybe even a combination of one 6-pin and one 8-pin. If your PSU doesn’t have the adequate power connectors, you might have to consider upgrading it, or getting yourself an adapter which will let you draw power from a couple of SATA or Molex connectors.

Ports

Double-check your monitor’s ports before buying a graphics card, so you don’t end up in a need of buying an adapter. Display ports come in forms of HDMI, DisplayPort or DVI on some older monitors. Newer graphics cards all come equipped with both HDMI and DisplayPort ports, so if you’re building a gaming rig, you probably already have a good monitor with one of these (or both) ports.


Frequently Asked Questions

What makes AMD the right choice for a gaming GPU?

If you’re building a gaming rig that uses an AMD processor, you are definitely looking to pair it up with an AMD graphics card, because the manufacturer went for a design that works best in a pair, bringing out the best in both components. (gamegavel.com/best-amd-processor-for-gaming)

How much money can you afford to spend on your graphics card?

Whether you’re building a new gaming rig or simply upgrading one component, you probably have a price range. If you’re going for a high-end GPU that will satisfy your gaming needs for years, then pick your favorite from our best choices. In case you need a mid-range graphics card, the budget picks could help you pick the right one. If you still haven’t found something affordable, the following links might be able to help you:

gamegavel.com/best-graphics-card-under-200

gamegavel.com/best-graphics-card-under-150

Which AMD graphics cards support 4K gaming?

If you have a passion for 4K gaming then you should pick one of the following graphics cards: AMD Radeon RX Vega 56, AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS, Sapphire Radeon Nitro R9 Fury or the XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy.

Which AMD graphics cards support the FreeSync technology?

AMD has given us a really outstanding gaming performance with the FreeSync technology, and if you choose any one of the cards that we reviewed here, you will be able to see for yourself what it’s all about.

Are AMD graphics cards compatible with Intel motherboards?

The only thing your motherboard needs to have for an AMD graphics card is a 16-pin PCIe slot, letting you choose your favorite manufacturer when picking a motherboard for your gaming rig.

Are AMD graphics cards compatible with Intel processors?

Even though pairing up AMD’s graphics card and processor seems like the perfect choice if you’re going for an AMD GPU, your card will work with no problems if you prefer an Intel processor.

What is the best AMD graphics card for a gaming laptop?

If you prefer gaming on the go and you’re going for a gaming laptop with an AMD graphics card, you should look for one of these: AMD Radeon RX 580X, AMD Vega Mobile, or the AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100

What are the best AMD graphics cards for VR?

Destination: future. If you’re a VR enthusiast, or simply enjoy a good Virtual Reality experience and you want to make sure your graphics card can provide this, you can choose any one of the GPUs reviewed in this article. AMD’s VR Premium technology will satisfy your needs, while those equipped with the LiquidVR technology will make your blood race when you put on the VR headset.

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