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At 1440p resolution, the best gaming graphics card for PC.

Most people play on 1080p monitors and desire to play in 4K, but the sweet spot for PC gaming in 2021 is 2560×1440 resolution. Although 1440p offers a significant improvement in visual fidelity over 1080p, it won’t fry your graphics hardware as fast as a 4K monitor.

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Choosing the best 1440p graphics card, on the other hand, might be difficult. You’ll start to see a greater range of monitor kinds and features at this resolution than you would at 1080p, with ultra-wide resolutions and high refresh rates becoming considerably more popular. When shopping for a new GPU, keep your system’s specifications in mind. This guide can assist you.

In case you want a more thorough look at GPUs, check out our complete guide to the best graphics cards for PC gaming, which also covers the best video options for 1080p and 4K resolutions, as well as buying tips to bear in mind while shopping for new hardware.

Best 1440p gaming graphics card for PC: AMD Radeon RX 5700

amd readeon rx5700 seedpc

The AMD Radeon RX 5700, which nominally starts at $350 but can commonly be found for $330 on the street—and perhaps even less if you catch a particularly appealing sale—is your best option for PC gaming 1440p resolution on a standard 60Hz display.

In most recent games, the Radeon RX 5700 easily meets the 60-frames-per-second gold standard. There are other games where it falls short by a few frames: Some games, such as Metro Exodus, offer particularly demanding high-end graphics presets meant to knock contemporary technology to its knees in a Crysis-style manner. 

Lowering a few graphic settings from Ultra to High or Very High should suffice in some circumstances. AMD crammed 8GB of ultra-fast GDDR6 memory onto the card, which should be plenty for 1440p gaming for years to come.

This GPU was the first to use AMD’s new “RDNA” graphics architecture and 7nm fabrication technology (now down to the Radeon RX 5500 XT and RX 5600 XT). Thanks to the underlying improvements, AMD could now match Nvidia’s remarkable power efficiency.

Games that formerly required Nvidia’s GeForce architectures benefit significantly from the Radeon RX 5700. An AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU and an X570 motherboard support the cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 interface. However, the benefits will be more noticeable in specific content creation tasks than during games.

Games that formerly required Nvidia’s GeForce architectures benefit significantly from the Radeon RX 5700. An AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU and an X570 motherboard support the cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 interface. However, the benefits will be more noticeable in specific content creation tasks than during games.

When you add it all together, the Radeon RX 5700 is the best graphics card for 1440p 60fps gaming.

Custom variants, like the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700, provide:

  • Significant improvements in thermal and acoustic performance.
  • Other useful features like a bit of out-of-the-box overclock.
  • A metal backplate.

A dual-BIOS switch with Performance and Quiet profiles.

It costs $360, only $10 more than the standard model’s MSRP. Another custom Radeon RX 5700 variant costs the same or more depending on their feature set.

Low-cost graphics card for 1440p gaming.

The Radeon RX 5700 is the best 1440p graphics card for most people, but it isn’t your only option.

If the $350 Radeon RX 5700 is out of your price range, Nvidia’s $230 GeForce GTX 1660 Super—our best 1080p graphics card—could handle 1440p gaming if you’re willing to compromise visual quality to attain 60 frames per second. However, the GTX 1660 Super is significantly slower than the Radeon GPU, and the card’s 6GB of RAM may not be sufficient for top-quality 1440p gaming in the long run, though it’s (almost) enough now.

That’s something worth looking into further. Most less expensive cards than the Radeon RX 5700 make memory compromises, often giving only 6GB of GDDR6 memory. That’s ideal for 1080p gaming, but the small RAM buffer may compel you to compromise texture quality and other memory-intensive graphics choices in very demanding titles.

However, combining Medium and High settings minimizes memory demands, which you could need to do to get the highest frame rates with these more affordable GPUs. The Radeon RX 5700’s large 8GB memory capacity is one of the reasons we appreciate it.

However, if you decide to tread this path, shop wisely: Because AMD published a last-minute BIOS update for the GPU, certain Radeon RX 5600 XT units are significantly quicker than others. We can especially (and strongly) recommend the Sapphire Pulse version, which comes with AMD’s highest speeds and a whisper-quiet cooling for an extra $10.

Team Green is a viable option if you don’t mind spending roughly $300 and settling for 6GB of RAM. Nvidia reduced the price of the GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition to $300 in reaction to the arrival of the Radeon RX 5600 XT, while EVGA released the fantastic $300 GeForce RTX 2060 KO. It’s a lot more appealing at that price than it is at $350, and it’s well worth your money if you can’t spend more than $300 altogether, but if you can, save your money for a few more weeks and purchase the Radeon RX 5700.

AMD’s graphics card is faster and has a more stable memory arrangement than Nvidia’s. The RTX 2060 is worth considering if you want to take advantage of real-time ray tracing, which is now limited to Nvidia’s RTX 20-series graphics cards. (At a significant frame rate cost, ray tracing delivers stunning lighting effects.) Even still, we wouldn’t suggest it because the ray-tracing capabilities of the RTX 2060 are much inferior to those of its siblings.

The best 1440p graphics cards for monitors with a high refresh rate

We recommend at least a $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super if you want to invest in ray tracing, although that card is only marginally quicker than the Radeon RX 5700 we mention above. Essentially, you’re putting an extra $50 or so into the ray-tracing promise. Only a few games presently support the technology, while numerous big-name titles, such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom Eternal, have said that they will support the technology in the future.

If you stay with AMD, though, you can get a more remarkable performance bump in 1440p gaming for $400. The $400 Radeon RX 5700 XT outperforms the RTX 2060 Super by slightly over 10% overall. However, performance varies depending on the game engine. It doesn’t enable ray tracing, but it comes close to matching the performance of the $500 GeForce RTX 2070 Super, falling just 5 to 6% behind in overall performance and damned close in a few games. The Radeon RX 5700 XT is an excellent 1440p gaming choice at high refresh rates, and it acts as a spoiler for both the RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super (think 120Hz or 144Hz).

We looked at high-performance custom designs in the Sapphire Nitro+ and XFX Thicc III Ultra. If you can afford it, both are definitely worth the extra money.

The GeForce RTX 2070 Super, on the other hand, offers the best 1440p gaming performance and ray-tracing capabilities of the bunch. It’s up to you if an extra $100 over the Radeon RX 5700 XT (and $150+ over the Radeon RX 5700) is worth it, as well as how soon you think real-time ray tracing will catch on. All of the cards reviewed here with a price tag of $400 or more come with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM or the 1440p sweet spot.

How to check your monitor’s refresh rate?

Most of this advice relies on the refresh rate of your monitor. The graphics card you can utilize depends on how quickly your monitor refreshes.

None of the 1440p graphics cards we’ve spoken about so far could keep up with this 4K, 120Hz display.

If you’re not sure how fast your display is, use the Windows Start button in the lower-left corner of the Windows 10 taskbar to go to Options gear > System > Display. Scroll beyond where your monitor(s)’ resolution is displayed, then select Advanced display settings at the bottom of the page. You’ll notice more comprehensive information about your display, such as the refresh rate in hertz (Hz). You’ll be able to switch between displays if you have more than one.

Depending on their settings, certain monitors might run at varying rates. Click the Display adapter properties link at the bottom of this page to see what’s available for you, then click the Monitor tab in the new window that appears. It’ll have a drop-down menu with the screen refresh rates you have accessible. 

If what you see appears to be slower than what your monitor should be capable of, you may need to open the monitor’s settings menu, which you can access by hardware buttons on display.

Is that clear? Good. If you’re starting from scratch and aren’t sure what kind of setup you need, check out our guide to the best graphics cards for PC gaming for the top GPU alternatives for 1080p and 4K resolutions.


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Bilal Shafqat

A PC Enthusiast, A Designer, Developer, Blogger, content writer and co founder of Seed pc, loves to write about Programming, Gadgets, Software, and Games in his spare time.

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