8 Best Graphics Cards for 4K Gaming in 2023 [All Budgets]
When it comes to 4K gaming, the right graphics card is essential. A powerful graphics card will be able to handle the high resolution and demanding graphics of 4K games, providing an immersive gaming experience. However, with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which graphics card to choose. So, in this article, I am going to give you a list of the best graphics cards for 4K gaming in 2023.
When looking for a 4K graphics card, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure the card has enough CUDA cores and a high clock speed to handle the demanding 4K resolution. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the card has a high memory bandwidth and enough memory to handle the large textures and assets that come with 4K games.
Another important consideration is the memory type, it is recommended to look for GDDR6 or GDDR6X memory which provides the best performance for 4k gaming.
It’s also important to check the compatible ports such as HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4, and USB Type-C for better future-proofing and for better connectivity options with latest 4k monitors.
Lastly, you should also consider the power consumption, you should have a good power supply unit to support your graphics card, and also the size of your card should match your case size.
By considering these factors, you can be sure that the graphics card you choose will provide the best 4K gaming experience possible. But, I have made things easier for you. I have created a list of the 8 best graphics cards suitable for 4K gaming and ranked them from best to just enough.
1. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 [Best of the Best]
RTX 4090 for 4K Gaming is clearly an overkill. You can even do 8K Gaming using this card without a single hassle. But, I have added it to the top of our list because it is made for pure enthusiasts. If you have enough budget (~2000$) to spend, this is the card you need for 4K gaming as well.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 is a powerful graphics card designed for 4K gaming. It features 16384 CUDA cores, 24GB of GDDR6 memory, and a base clock of 2.23 GHz that boosts up to 2.52 GHz. It is capable of 83 Shader teraflops of compute power, 1321 tensor teraflops, and 191 Ray tracing teraflops.
This makes it capable of running the latest games at the highest possible resolution and quality settings. The RTX 4090 is big and heavy, but it is beautiful with the same silver and black color scheme as the 30 series cards.
It also has a high price tag, but it is worth it for its performance. In synthetic benchmarks and real-world gaming tests, the RTX 4090 performed much better than other cards, with a large margin over the 3090 TI. It is also backed by the latest technologies like ray tracing and DLSS, making it a perfect choice for gamers who want the best of the best.
2. AMD Radeon RX 7900XTX [Another Best of the Best]
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTX is our next pick if you are looking to have no lags and the best FPS possible while playing 4K games on your PC. But, unlike the RTX 4090, it isn’t reaching 2000$ and going even beyond that. This card is available for just around 1000$.
This powerful video card uses the new rDNA3 architecture and boasts impressive performance and rasterization. At a price point of $1,000, it’s a serious contender against NVIDIA’s offerings, especially in the more affordable GPU market.
This card is launched in 2022, alongside the RX 7900 XT, which comes in at $900.
The GPU comes equipped with 96 compute units, a boost frequency of up to 2500 MHz, and a game frequency of 2300 MHz. Additionally, it has 96 ray accelerators, which provide a peak pixel fill-rate of up to 480 GP/s and a peak texture fill-rate of up to 960 GT/s. The GPU also has a peak half-precision compute performance of 123 TFLOPs, and a peak single-precision compute performance of 61 TFLOPs.
The RX 7900 XTX also features a large amount of memory and memory bandwidth, with 96MB of Infinity Cache, 20 Gbps memory speed, 24 GB max memory size, and GDDR6 memory type. With effective memory bandwidth of up to 3500 GB/s, this GPU is capable of handling even the most demanding of workloads.
The GPU also comes with a wide range of connectivity options, including 2.1 DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1, and USB Type-C, as well as support for 4K H264 decode and encode, H265/HEVC decode and encode, AV1 decode and encode, and support for the Vulkan API and AMD Mantle API.
In terms of power consumption, the GPU has a typical board power (Desktop) of 355 W, and a minimum PSU recommendation of 800 W. It also comes with a variety of supported technologies, including AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, AMD Link, AMD Radeon Super Resolution, AMD Smart Access Memory, and many more.
3. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 [One of the Best]
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 is a pretty capable graphics card for 4K gaming. It ranks almost similar to the 6950XT in terms of gaming performance. But, I am adding it here because of its great DLSS and Ray Tracing outputs. The price, however, is almost double that of the 6950XT. With this card as well, you can achieve above 100 FPS on all the 4K games on high settings.
The NVIDIA RTX 4080 graphics card has 9728 CUDA cores, a boost clock of 2.51 GHz, and a base clock of 2.21 GHz. It comes with 16 GB of GDDR6X memory and a 256-bit memory interface and supports 3rd-generation ray tracing cores, 4th-generation tensor cores, and the Ada Lovelace NVIDIA architecture.
It also supports features such as NVIDIA DLSS 3, NVIDIA Reflex, NVIDIA Broadcast, and PCI Express Gen 4. It is VR-ready and can support a maximum resolution and refresh rate of 4K at 240Hz or 8K at 60Hz with DSC and HDR. It has HDMI and 3 DisplayPort connectors and can support up to 4 independent monitors. RTX 4080 has a total graphics power of 320W and requires a minimum system power of 750W.
4. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 [For Budget Enthusiasts]
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 is one of the most powerful consumer graphics cards currently available on the market. Built on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, this card is designed to handle the demands of high-resolution gaming, such as 4K resolution and high frame rates. With RTX 3090, you can expect up to 60FPS at 4K Ultra Resolution.
The RTX 3090 features 10496 CUDA cores, 24GB of GDDR6X memory, and a boost clock of up to 1.7 GHz. This impressive combination of hardware allows the RTX 3090 to deliver 8K gaming and ray tracing at 60FPS. This makes it ideal for gamers who want to experience the latest games at the highest possible resolution and quality settings.
In terms of performance, the RTX 3090 is a powerhouse. It easily outperforms its predecessor, the RTX 2080 Ti, and is capable of running even the most demanding games at 4K resolution with high frame rates. This includes games like Cyberpunk 2077, which can be run at 4K resolution with ray tracing turned on and still maintain 60 FPS.
One of the standout features of the RTX 3090 is its 24GB of GDDR6X memory. This amount of memory allows the card to handle even the most demanding games and applications without any issues. This makes the RTX 3090 the perfect choice for gamers who want to run multiple high-resolution monitors or use the card for workstation applications that require large amounts of memory.
Not to mention, the RTX 3090 supports NVIDIA’s latest technologies like Ray Tracing, AI-based features, and DLSS. This allows for an even more realistic and immersive gaming experience, with real-time reflections, shadows, and lighting.
The only downside of the RTX 3090 is its price. It’s one of the most expensive graphics cards on the market and not everyone can afford it. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer or professional who needs the best of the best and is willing to spend the money, the RTX 3090 is definitely worth considering.
5. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB) [For Not-Very Enthusiasts]
The RTX 3080 is available in two memory sizes i.e. 10GB and 12GB. Both these are pretty powerful graphics card that offers exceptional performance for 4K gaming. But, we taking the 10GB variant into consideration here. If you are thinking about the 12GB variant, I would recommend going for the RTX 3090 instead. So, for those who have a budget lower than 1000$, the RTX 3080 is a great 4K Gaming Graphics Card in 2023.
It is similar to the RTX 3090, but with less VRAM and at a significantly lower cost. The 3080 10GB is initially priced around $800-$900, making it a more affordable option for gamers.
The 3080 10GB comes with 8704 CUDA cores at a boost clock speed of 1.71 GHz. This card is based on the Ampere architecture and has 2nd generation Ray Tracing cores and 3rd generation Tensor cores. All the other traditional RTX features like NVIDIA DLSS, Reflex, Broadcast, Ansel, Freestyle, Shadowplay, etc are present.
It has a slightly lower VRAM capacity, making it less ideal for work-related tasks, but it is still capable of running demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at high frame rates.
This card is designed to work on 320 Watts of power input. Maximum GPU temperature can reach 93 degrees Celcius.
6. AMD RX 6900 XT [For Average Budgets]
The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is a powerful graphics card that excels in 4K gaming performance. Despite the fact that 4K isn’t the most optimal resolution for AMD GPUs, the 6900 XT still offers impressive performance at this resolution. The 6900 XT comes equipped with 16GB of VRAM and is available at a more affordable price point compared to its competitors.
One of the standout features of the 6900 XT is its impressive performance in 4K gaming. In some games, it even outperforms the RTX 3090. However, it falls short in terms of ray tracing performance.
In Cyberpunk 2077, for example, the 6900 XT only achieved 13 frames per second with ray tracing turned on, while the 3090 achieved 21 frames per second, providing nearly double the performance. This was done at the highest quality settings available and it is possible to reduce some of those settings to make it play more smoothly.
For gamers who don’t see themselves using ray tracing or making use of special capabilities like the DLSS on the Nvidia GPU, the 6900 XT is an exceptionally tempting option. It offers an excellent price-to-performance ratio. However, it’s worth noting that AMD will almost certainly be able to enhance FSR in the near future.
The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is a powerful graphics card that excels in 4K gaming performance and offers an excellent price-to-performance ratio, making it a great choice for gamers who don’t see themselves using ray tracing or making use of special capabilities like the DLSS. However, it’s worth noting that the RX 6950 XT and the RX 6800 XT are also solid options to consider for 4K gaming.
7. AMD RX 6800 XT [For Low Budgets]
AMD RX 6800 XT is generally considered a better pick than the 6900 XT in terms of performance. The 6800 XT offers even better value for money than the 6900 XT. In 4K gaming, this card can give you optimal results but keep in mind that you will have to compromise on FPS a little bit.
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is a powerful graphics card that is positioned as an enthusiast-class gaming GPU. It is AMD’s answer to NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 and it packs a punch in terms of performance. According to AMD, this card is faster than the 3080 while pulling a bit less power and costing 50% less. On paper, this card sounds like the perfect RTX 3080 killer.
The 6800 XT comes with 72 compute units on AMD’s new 7-nanometer RDNA2 architecture, a boost frequency of up to 2250 MHz, and a game frequency of 2015 MHz. It also features 72 ray accelerators, a peak pixel fill rate of up to 288 GP/s, and a peak texture fill rate of up to 648 GT/s, providing exceptional performance for gaming and other demanding tasks.
The 6800 XT also comes with 16GB of GDDR6 memory, 128MB of Infinity Cache, and a memory bandwidth of up to 512 GB/s. It supports HDMI 4K, 4K H264 decode and encode, H265/HEVC decode and encode, and AV1 decode. It also comes with DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL, and USB Type-C connectivity.
In benchmark tests, the 6800 XT performs exceptionally well in games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Death Stranding at 1440p resolution. In these games, it delivers a better gaming experience than the RTX 3080. However, in games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Rainbow Six Siege, the performance of the 6800 XT is not as good, especially at 4K resolution. In these games, the RTX 3080 performs better.
It’s worth noting that the results are mixed depending on the game and resolution being used. In some cases, the gaming experience would be virtually identical between the 6800 XT and the RTX 3080, while in others, the 6800 XT leads by a significant margin.
8. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti [For Low Budgets]
If you are very low on budget, you can go for RTX 3060 Ti for 4K Gaming. This card isn’t going to give you the best results but you can play 4K games with some tweaks in the game settings.
The NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti comes with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, a base clock of 1410 MHz, and a boost clock of 1665 MHz. The memory clock is 1750 MHz with an effective 14 Gbps. This provides gamers with fast and smooth performance for the latest AAA titles.
The RTX 3060 Ti has an impressive 4864 CUDA cores and a memory bus of 256-bit, providing a bandwidth of 448.0 GB/s. This allows for smooth and fast performance in games, even at high resolutions. The card also has 152 Tensor cores and 38 RT cores, providing advanced features such as ray tracing and AI-accelerated workflows.
The RTX 3060 Ti also has a significant amount of memory, 8GB of GDDR6, this is enough memory for games and other demanding applications. With this amount of memory, you will be able to play games at high resolutions and with high settings without any issues.
In terms of design, the RTX 3060 Ti is a 2-slot design and it requires a minimum of 600W power supply. It also requires 8-pin and 6-pin power connectors. This card will fit into most modern cases and it is compatible with most motherboards.
In terms of performance, the RTX 3060 Ti is a powerful card that provides smooth and fast performance in games. It can handle high resolutions and high settings with ease, providing a great gaming experience. The ray tracing and AI-accelerated features also provide a great experience in games and other applications.
A Brief Buying Guide for 4K Gaming Graphics Card
When buying a graphics card for 4k gaming, there are several important factors to consider. These include:
- Performance: The most important factor to consider when buying a graphics card for 4k gaming is its performance. Look for a card that has a high CUDA core count and a high boost clock speed, as well as a high memory clock speed and bandwidth.
- VRAM: A high-end graphics card for 4k gaming should have at least 8GB of VRAM, but 16GB or more is recommended for the best performance.
- Power Supply: A high-end graphics card for 4k gaming will require a minimum of a 750W power supply. However, if you plan to overclock your card or use multiple GPUs in a configuration, you may need a higher wattage power supply.
- Connectivity: Look for a graphics card that has multiple display ports, such as HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB Type-C, to ensure that you can connect to a variety of displays.
- Cooling: A high-end graphics card will generate a lot of heat, so look for a card that has a good cooling system, such as a large heatsink or a built-in water-cooling system, to keep temperatures in check.
- Brand and warranty: It’s always good to buy from reputed brands that offer good warranty and customer support.
- Price: The cost of a graphics card for 4k gaming can vary widely, but you can expect to spend at least $800 for a high-end card. However, the price can go up to $1500 or more for the latest and most powerful cards.
- Compatibility: Before buying, check if the graphics card is compatible with your PC’s power supply, motherboard, and case.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the specific games you plan to play and their recommended system requirements. Some games may require more VRAM or a higher clock speed than others. It’s also important to check if the graphics card is compatible with the latest technologies such as ray tracing and DLSS which can enhance the gaming experience.
Another important factor to consider is future-proofing. As technology advances and newer games are released, it’s important to choose a graphics card that can handle the demands of future games and technologies. This is why it’s important to consider the latest models which have better performance and capabilities.
Lastly, you may also want to consider overclocking, which can boost the performance of your graphics card beyond its stock settings, but keep in mind that this will also increase heat and power consumption. It’s important to have a good cooling system and a power supply that can handle the increased demands.
Overall, when buying a graphics card for 4k gaming, it’s important to consider the performance, VRAM, power supply, connectivity, cooling, brand and warranty, price, compatibility, and future-proofing. By taking all of these factors into account, you can ensure that you get the best graphics card for your needs and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best graphics card for 4K gaming will depend on your budget and specific needs. Currently, the NVIDIA RTX 4090 and the AMD RX 7900XTX have been considered the best options for 4K gaming, as they offer the highest performance and the most advanced features. But, they are priced higher as well.
For 4K gaming, it is recommended to have at least 8GB of memory, but 16GB or more is ideal. This will ensure that your graphics card can handle the large textures and assets that come with 4K games.
Yes, you can run 4K games on a 1080p monitor, but the games will not be displayed in 4K resolution. Instead, they will be downscaled to 1080p, which may result in a lower-quality image.
4K gaming is worth it if you have a 4K monitor and a powerful enough graphics card to handle the demanding resolution. 4K games look stunningly realistic and provide an immersive gaming experience. However, if you don’t have a 4K monitor or a powerful enough graphics card, it may not be worth the investment.
The cheapest graphics card for 4K gaming will depend on the market prices and the availability of the products. However, cards like NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT are considered affordable options for 4k gaming.
Overclocking a graphics card can improve performance, but it can also increase heat and power consumption. It is recommended to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines before overclocking and to monitor the temperature and stability of the card while overclocking.
4K gaming will put a lot of stress on the graphics card, but it will not damage it if the card is running within its thermal and power limits. It is important to monitor the temperature and power consumption of the card while gaming and to ensure proper cooling and ventilation.
You can use benchmarking software such as 3DMark or Unigine Superposition to measure the performance of your current GPU. These tools will run a series of tests and provide a score that can be compared to other graphics cards.
The cost of a graphics card for 4K gaming can vary widely, but you can expect to spend at least $800 for a high-end card. However, the price can go up to $1500 or more for the latest and most powerful cards.
I hope you will like this article. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.