These are the best AMD Graphics cards you can buy in 2022
AMD’s been making some huge waves in the commuting space with its Ryzen processors. Even though Intel’s new 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs offer impressive performance, we still think Ryzen processors are here to stay in our best CPUs list. The same is the case with AMD’s graphics cards. Even though Nvidia’s GeForce RTX line-up of GPUs are more popular and mostly dominate our best graphics cards list, AMD also has some extremely powerful and reliable graphics cards on the market. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best AMD graphics cards you can buy in 2021.
As is the case with all of our collections, this is also an ever-evolving list in which we’ll break down the best AMD graphics cards available right now for you to pick the one that suits your requirements. We’ve mentioned stock reference cards from AMD in this collection for the most part, but you may have to look for a partner card from one of the OEMs based on your budget and also the GPU availability. That being said, this list should help you understand the current state of AMD graphics cards on the market and we’ll also point you towards the one you should be buying based on your requirements. So without wasting any more time, let’s get started with this list:
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- Best overall AMD graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 6800XT
- Best AMD graphics card for 1440p gaming: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
- Best AMD graphics card for 1080p gaming: AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
- Best enthusiast-level AMD graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
- Best budget AMD graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
- Best AMD solution for entry-level gaming: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
Best overall AMD graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 6800XT
AMD’s new 6000 series GPUs couldn’t have arrived at a better time. They’re here to shake Nvidia’s stronghold on the GPU market for cards across different price ranges. AMD’s new Big Navi aka RDNA2 offers some impressive performance gains. It joins the ray tracing fray, both with its PC desktop graphics cards and the next-gen consoles. AMD still has a long way to go before more OEMs hop in and start churning our cards with custom heatsinks, but even the reference cards have a lot of potential to take on Nvidia’s top GPUs.
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT builds on the previous cards like the Radeon VII when it comes to the design. We’re looking at a familiar industrial design and aesthetic for the RX 6800 XT. However, it comes with a better heatsink that helps it cope with the higher TDP values. The RX 6800 XT has a triple fan design with three 77mm fans. In typical AMD’s fashion, there’s also a Radeon logo that lights up in red. The RX 6800 XT comes with dual 8-pin PEG connectors and a bunch of ports on the back including two DisplayPort outputs, a single HDMI 2.1 connector, and a USB Type-C port. The HDMI 2.1 port is a nice addition since it allows you to connect supported TVs and other displays to hit higher frame rates.
The Radeon RX 6800 XT, mind you, sits on top of the Radeon GPU product stack just under the more performant RX 6900 XT. As such, it’s good for 4K gaming when paired with a high-performance CPU in a well-optimized environment. At 4K, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 leads the RX 6800 XT just by a couple of percentages, which means they both are equally good at dishing out playable frame rates at high resolutions. In fact, AMD’s RX 6800 XT manages to perform better than the RTX 3080 in many cases across popular titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Metro Exodus, and more.
At 1440p and 1080p, both cards are effectively tied which means the RX 6800 XT is a fantastic alternative to the RTX 3080. That being said, it’s hard to find both cards in stock, so good luck with that. You can also overclock the RX 6800 XT to get more performance out of the GPU but there’s nothing substantial here. The overclocking capability will largely depend on the partner card’s heatsink too, so your mileage may vary. The RX 6800 XT isn’t the best when it comes to ray tracing performance, though. Nvidia’s RT tech is still better than what AMD has to offer. That’s also because Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 offers a big boost in frame rates. AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution, in comparison, fails to deliver, but we’ll see if that changes in the future with the AMD cards.
Overall, we think the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is a solid card that’s worth considering as an alternative to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. Sure, both GPUs are just as good when it comes to overall gaming performance, but there’s more work to be done by AMD, especially in the ray-tracing department to take the lead from Nvidia. But there’s no denying that the RX 6800 XT is a fantastic card and it should be the one that most people should buy over the 6900XT.
Second-best overall AMD graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 6800
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 is a solid entry into the AMD graphics card lineup. It stands as a viable alternative to Nvidia’s high-performance GPUs. As such, it’s our pick for the second-best AMD GPU you can buy in the market right now, next to the Radeon RX 6800 XT. The RX 6800 delivers reliable 4K gaming performance and a decent ray-tracing performance at 1440p. These are things that older GPUs like the Radeon VII, Radeon RX 5700 XT, etc. couldn’t really achieve for AMD. The Radeon RX 6800 can easily outperform the RTX 3070 across many titles.
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 is based on the same RDNA2 graphics architecture that other 6000-series cards are based on. It’s also the same tech behind GPUs powering both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X consoles. The RX 6800 uses Infinity Cache, which is essentially the global cache for the GPU which boosts bandwidth for the video memory (VRAM). This makes the GDDR6 video memory on the 256-bit memory bus more efficient than the GDDR6X. Having more memory bandwidth per watt is always an advantage, so there’s that going for the RX 6800.
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 also comes with ray-tracing accelerators, which means it should be able to handle RT across various supported titles. While the RX 6800 is indeed capable of delivering reliable ray-tracing performance, it’s only good 1440p. Ray-tracing at 4K is still something that the RX 6800 struggles with and we think Nvidia GPUs still have an upper hand in this category, thanks to the DLSS tech. The Radeon RX 6800 XT is a tad bit better than the RX 6800 at 4K, but AMD still has a long way to go before they gain any meaningful advantage over Nvidia in the ray-tracing department.
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 also has a total of 3,840 Stream processors. We’re looking at a game clock of 1,815Mhz and a boost clock of up to 2,105Mhz. That being said, the RX 6800 is known to achieve boost clocks that are higher than the company-specified value. You can also overclock the card to hit higher frequencies but your mileage may vary depending on the heatsink for the GPU. The reference cards seem to respond well to overclocking, so we think it’ll only be better on partner cards with a sophisticated heatsink.
The RX 6800 has the same triple-fan design that we’ve seen in other high-performance 6000 series cards from the company. AMD has abandoned the blower that plagued the older reference designs of the RX 5700 XT and the RX 5700. This not only makes the new GPUs cooler, but they’re also much quieter under load. For output, you’re looking at two DisplayPort, one HDMI 2.1 and one USB-C.
Overall, we think the RX 6800 is a fantastic GPU for those who’re looking for an RTX 3070 alternative. It also goes head-to-head with the RTX 3080, similar to the RX 6800 XT, but we think AMD still has a long way to go before it actually competes with Nvidia’s lineup, especially in the ray-tracing department. That being said, the RX 6800 is a great card for a reliable 4K gaming experience without ray-tracing. If you fancy the RT features, then you might want to stick to a slightly lower res like 1440p.
Best AMD graphics card for 1440p gaming: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is a unique card and it’s the one we expect a lot of people to buy mainly for its 1440p gaming prowess. It brings AMD’s smaller Navi 22 GPU, which doesn’t necessarily remove any features from Big Navi and RDNA2. It comes with full DirectX raytracing (DXR) support and even implements a full DirectX 12 Ultimate features list. This includes Variable Rate Shading (VRS), mesh shaders, sampler feedback, and more. AMD has simply reduced the die size to reduce the number of shader cores, memory controllers, and Infinity Cache.
Compared to Navi 21, the Navi 22 GPU comes with fewer CUs and shader cores. The infinity cache checks in at 96MB now instead of 128MB on the Navi 21 GPUs. AMD compensates for these hefty reductions by delivering the highest official GPU core clock rated at 2,424Mhz. And just like other RDNA2 GPUs, this one can also boost up to 2,581Mhz or even more depending upon the load and the heatsink. AMD had to increase the power limit of the GPU though, so the RX 6700 XT is rated at 230W. It’s not bad but’s definitely more than either RDNA2-based GPUs on the lineup.
Physically, the RX 6700 XT is identical to the RX 6800. However, it’s lighter, both in terms of the actual weight of the unit and in your pockets too. The RX 6700 XT uses dual fans instead of the triple fan layout seen on the RX 6800 and above. But the fans are bigger in size, so that should technically be enough to handle the thermal output.
In terms of the performance, well, the RX 6700 XT is basically a match for the RTX 3060 Ti GPU without the DLSS tech. This means, the raytracing performance is also not going to be a bit weaker, but that’s something that we’ve come to terms with almost all AMD GPUs now, at least in this generation. We expect AMD to catch up with the next-gen, hopefully with an improved FidelityFX tech. The RX 6700 XT also comes close to the performance of an RTX 3070 GPU, although you’re bound to see better performance from this GPU only on supported AMD titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Borderlands 3, Dirt 5, etc. The RTX 3070 is still a better card when you’re looking at the overall performance, especially ray-tracing.
There’s no doubt the RX 6700 XT is a fantastic card at a very reasonable price. It’s very reliable for 1440p gaming, which is why we’ve picked this as the best 1440p card in AMD’s current product stack. If it wasn’t for the weak ray-tracing performance, then we think it has the potential to lock horns with even the RTX 3070. Both are great GPUs though, and you can’t possibly go wrong with either of them for a smooth 1440p gaming experience. It goes without saying that it’s indeed a solid card for 1080p gaming too, but we think the RX 6600 XT is enough to handle that at a much lower price.
Best AMD graphics card for 1080p gaming: AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
AMD’s 6000 series GPUs not only include high-performance cards to go against the aggressive offerings from Nvidia. The 6000 series product stack also includes slightly less powerful cards like the Radeon RX 6600 XT that target gamers who are looking for a capable 1080p GPU. The new RX 6600 XT, if it isn’t already quite obvious, sits below the RX 6700 XT. It’s essentially the fifth card in the 6000 series GPUs based on the RDNA2 architecture. This particular graphics card comes with 8GB of GDDR6 memory along with 32 compute units, and a peak single-precision compute performance of 10.6 teraflops.
The RX 6700 XT is quite impressive when you at look at its spec sheet. It brings a lot of value to the table for 1080p gamers without burning a huge hole in their pockets. Even though the RX 6600 XT arrived a good six months after NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060, we think the company has done a really good job of positioning it as a solid performer. According to AMD, the RX 6600 XT is the GPU beat when it comes to 1080p gaming and it’s significantly better than the RTX 3060 that it primarily competes with.
The RX 6600 XT is what we think a lot of people will end up buying next to the more powerful RX 6700 XT. 1080p gaming is still the staple for a lot of gamers, and the RX 6600 XT is more than enough to push even the most demanding titles at this resolution. The RX 6600 XT has a game clock of 2,359Mhz and it’s rated for 160W power consumption. That’s significantly less than the 230W power consumption which the RX 6700 XT is rated at. The RX 6700 XT is obviously a better performing card that’s capable of 1440p gaming, but the difference in power consumption is significant which will also result in relatively low thermal output and high efficiency.
In terms of the design differences, the reference RX 6600 XT GPU comes with a single fan design as opposed to the dual-fan or even triple-fan designs we saw with GPUs like the RX 6700 XT and the RX 6800 XT. This isn’t a deal-breaker considering it comes with a significantly less power consumption rating than the other GPUs. Partner cards from OEMs, however, will have sophisticated heatsinks with dual fans, and more. Those are usually clocked above the rated game clock speeds too, so you might want to check the specs sheet before buying one.
The RX 6600 XT comes with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory and it has 32MB of Infinity cache. These numbers, even though, they sound feeble compared to the other 6000 series GPUs, are plenty to push most AAA titles at max settings. AMD says you’ll be able to get 125FPS on average across a range of modern AAA titles. You can also step down to the RX 6600 if you want to save a little more money. Alternatively, you can also step up to an RX 6700 XT if you want better 1080p or even 1440p gaming experience.
Second-best AMD graphics card for 1080p gaming: AMD Radeon RX 6600
AMD recently updated its 6000 series product stack with the new GPU for 1080p gamers — the Radeon RX 6600. In typical AMD’s fashion, the RX 6600 sits under the RX 6600 XT as a viable alternative for 1080p gamers looking to dish out a budget gaming build. AMD says this particular GPU can deliver a reliable 1080p gaming experience with high frame rates. More specifically, AMD says, the GPU is capable of churning out over 100FPS on many AAA games, including Assasins Creed Valhalla on Ultra High settings. It’s best paired with a Ryzen 5 5600X CPU, so your mileage may vary based on the overall config of your build.
AMD also says the RX 6600 has 1.3x more performance per watt compared to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060. As such, this is a great solid alternative to the RTX 3060 GPU, which is also a fantastic card for 1080p gamers. The RX 6600 GPU comes with support for AMD’s latest technologies including Smart Access Memory and FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). The Smart Access Memory, in case you don’t know, accelerates system access to the GPU’s memory buffer. The FidelityFX Super Resolution, on the other hand, is AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s DLSS tech, albeit not as impressive. Unlike the DLSS tech, however, the best thing about the FidelityFX Super Resolution is an open-source toolkit that can be more easily adopted by developers for their games. That being said, there are only a handful of games that support this tech, and we’re expecting things to get better over time as more games come out.
The AMD Radeon RX 6600 comes with 28 compute units, which is slightly less than the 32 compute units found on the RX 6600 XT. They’re also clocked at a lower frequency in the case of the RX 6600, hitting around 2,044Mhz. However, the new GPU retains the 32M Infinity cache and 8GB of GDDR6 memory. 8GB of GDDR6 video memory is still plenty to run games at 1080p, although you might want to step up to a better card with more VRAM if you want to push the modern titles at max graphics settings. We recommend stepping up to an RX 6700 XT for better overall performance, but it’ll cost you quite a bit more and it’s also difficult to find in stock.
One thing to note about the RX 6600 is that it’ll only be available from partner OEMs as AMD won’t be selling its version of the GPU. The reference card only has a single fan design, but the available units from manufacturers like ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, etc. have different designs for their cards based on the configuration. Under normal circumstances, you should be able to grab one of these cards starting at $329, but they’re expensive right now on the market, just any other GPU. We weren’t expecting AMD to launch the RX 6600 due to the lack of stock for its existing GPUs, but now we have another solid 1080p GPU for gamers which is hard to come by.
Best enthusiast-level AMD graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
AMD’s Radeon RX 6900 XT represents the best of what the company’s RDNA2 has to offer. It’s the ultimate high-end enthusiast graphics card from AMD that goes head-to-head with Nvidia’s RTX 3090 GPU. The RX 6900 XT, however, is definitely an overkill for most users. We think the RX 6800 XT is the one that you should be buying instead, which is why we’ve picked the other card as the best AMD graphics card you can buy. The RX 6900 XT, on the other hand, is a card you’d buy if you’re chasing cutting edge technology, instead of the best value for your money.
The Radeon RX 6900 XT comes with the same Navi 21 GPU that’s also inside both the RX 6800 as well as the RX 6800 XT. The 6900XT comes with 80 CU that makes up for a total of 5,120 stream processors. That’s an 11% increase over the RX 6800 XT. Well, that also comes with a price increase of about $250 as the RX 6900 XT, under normal circumstances, would cost you $999. This particular GPU is capable of breaching the 2Ghz core clocks under load, which is impressive, to say the least.
What’s more impressive about the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is that it manages to keep the power consumption low despite the obvious spec bump. AMD is using a binning process to ensure these are the best chips coming out of TSMC’s 7nm process. The RX 6900 XT GPU also has a minimum VRM power delivery requirement, with the reference card offering 16-phase VRM power delivery. This is bound to change based on the partner cards, although you can expect similar behaviour across different variants.
The RX 6900 XT also comes with 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM that is fed by a 256-bit memory bus. Additionally, the RX 6900 XT also takes advantage of the 128MB Infinity Cache feature to deliver some stunning results across the board. Contrary to popular belief, Infinity Cache is effective at lower resolutions too, so you’re bound to see improvement regardless of the pixels. That being said, you’re not likely to pick up an RX 6900 XT for, well, 1080p gaming. It’s much more capable than that, and you can easily save a ton of money with other AMD cards if 1080p gaming is all you need.
The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT offers impressive performance across the board, even at 4K resolution. It’s obviously no slouch when it comes to 1440p and 1080p gaming either. That being said, the Nvidia GPUs in a similar price range/category offers better overall performance, especially when you consider things like ray tracing. But if you’re hellbent on buying the best of what AMD has to offer in the GPU space, then the RX 6900 XT is the one to go for. It shows us what AMD’s RDNA2 is capable of delivering and we can’t wait to see what the company’s cooking behind the scene for the next-gen of desktop gaming.
Best budget AMD graphics card: AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
The AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT may not be one of the newest Radeon GPUs on the market, but it’s still a fantastic card for gamers on a budget. Economical shoppers can rely on this particular GPU for a budget gaming experience without putting a lot of money on the line. This isn’t the most powerful GPU you can get for 1080p gaming, but it’s plenty to run a lot of games with playable frame rates. It’s based on the same RDNA architecture as the RX 5700 and the RX 5700 XT GPUs, however, the performance has been tweaked a little to reflect the price tag.
The Radeon RX 5500 XT features 1,408 Stream processors over 22 compute units and can hit 5.2 teraflops of raw compute performance. That’s a significant cut from the 2,304 Stream processors featured in the RX 5700 GPU. The Radeon RX 5500 XT is available in two variants — one with 4GB of VRAM and the other with 8GB VRAM. The only difference between the two seems to be the memory capacity, which means they should be identical in terms of the raw performance to work. 4GB VRAM was plenty at the time this GPU came out, but we recommend buying the 8GB version of the GPU now in 2021.
The RX 5500 XT offers reliable 1080p gaming performance, but it’s not going to push anything beyond that resolution. You will have to step up to either an RX 6600 XT or even the RX 6700 XT for playing games at higher resolutions. Some AMD-optimized games will yield you better frames at a higher resolution but it still won’t be as consistent as other cards would be. The performance of the RX 5500 XT is identical to that of the GTX 1660 in most games, including the newer ones. Your performance may vary based on the partner card you end up picking up, but you should be set for 1080p gaming with the Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU.
One thing we like about this GPU is that it’s on par with the GTX 1660 GPU right now, that too at a lower price. It’s not breaking any records in this category, but it’ll definitely save you some money for other core components of your builds, provided you manage to find the GPU in stock and in retail price right now. Gamers leaning towards Esports titles will also find a lot of value in this GPU since titles like CS:GO, Valorant, Dota 2, League Of Legends, etc. will run flawlessly on this particular graphics card. We recommend picking up the 8GB version of the RX 5500 XT though, since the variant with 4GB VRAM may prove to be a bottleneck in running some of the newer titles in 2021.
Overall, the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT is an easy card to recommend in the budget space. We recommend pairing it with a budget CPU like the Ryzen 5 3600 or even the Ryzen 5 5600X for a good gaming experience. You might want to hit the link below to find the best price online right now.
Best AMD solution for entry-level gaming: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
You might be wondering why is there a CPU in a collection involving the best AMD graphics cards? Well, that’s because the Ryzen 5 5600G is an APU which means it comes with an integrated GPU that’s plenty for an entry-level gaming experience. We could’ve easily recommended an older entry-level AMD GPU like the Radeon RX 560 or RX 570 as an affordable entry-level option right now, but we think the Ryzen 5 5600G offers better performance for games in 2021. It may not be the best when it comes to gaming, it’s still more than enough for those are who just starting out with PC gaming with an entry-level build for casual gaming.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G has six cores and twelve threads and it comes as a part of AMD’s first 7nm APU for desktop PCs. The Ryzen 5 5600G has a base clock of 3.7GHz and 16MB of L3 cache. It also has seven Radeon RX Vega CUs operating at 1.9GHz. The APU relies on the shared memory bandwidth though, so you will need a good quality memory module for running these APUs. That’s shouldn’t really be an issue since you will be buying a good memory kit for your PC regardless.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is easily one of the best APUs you can buy in the market right now. It’s capable of running even the new titles in 2021, although you might want to keep your expectations in check when it comes to the overall graphical fidelity. We think entry-level gamers will find a lot of value in an APU like this over an older discrete GPU. Not to mention, you can also use APUs like these as you wait for the graphics card market to stabilize a bit. Almost all GPUs on the market are going for inflated prices right now. We don’t recommend paying a premium for any GPU regardless of how powerful it really is. It’s best to settle for an APU like this one and wait for the prices to drop again if you’re not a hardcore gamer.
Intel also has a lot of reliable CPUs with integrated graphics, but we think the Ryzen APUs are generally better in terms of performance. The fact that you can run even some of the modern games without any major issues is quite impressive. Remember that you’ll also need a motherboard with some kind of a video output port to use these APUs since your PC will not have a GPU with those dedicated ports.
You can also step up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5700G for a better overall gaming experience. The 5700G will prove to be useful in case you plan on buying a high-end GPU down the line once the prices stabilize. The Ryzen 5 5600G may become a bottleneck if you want to go for some of the high-performance GPUs on the market. That being said, you can’t go wrong with either of these chips for entry-level casual gaming. It’s a great stop-gap chip until things go back to being the way they were in the GPU space.
Best AMD graphics card to buy in 2021: Final Thoughts
It’s safe to say AMD also has a solid selection of GPUs on the market that are just as good as Nvidia’s offerings. We think the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is a fantastic GPU for those who are eyeing the net-gen gaming performance at 4K resolution. The RX 6800 is also a great option, but we think the RX 6700 XT is also plenty for an enjoyable 1440p gaming experience. Those leaning towards 1080p gaming, however, should look no further than the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT. We’ve also added an AMD APU to this mix for gamers who’re just getting started with PC gaming with casual titles.
If you’re building a new PC, then you might want to check out our collection of the best motherboards to find some of the best options on the market right now. We’ve got some good options in there for both AMD as well as Intel-based builds. We also have a bunch of other ever-evolving collections for PC hardware including the best CPU coolers, best CPU coolers for the new LGA 1700 socket, best PC cases, and more. We also encourage you to join our XDA Computing forums to get more product recommendations from our expert community.