We look at a large range of GPUs in a given year, and 2022 was no different, giving us some of the best to head into 2023 with. There are new cards that push the limits on graphics power and show just how good games can look. But with so many good options, we had to break down the cards we thought were the best and the ones worthy of your hard-earned money this year.
We look at each GPU, tackling how they did in benchmarks, along with how they fared in a range of games and applications. With video cards used in more uses, from content creation to game development, it is more important than ever to see how they handle a range of workloads and what is the best bang for your buck when you make that investment.
But at the end of the day, there can be only one “Best GPU 2023,” and we have tested and looked through some of the best cards released to make our selection. From the new NVIDIA RTX 40 series to the new offerings from AMD, 2023 is starting strong with some amazing GPUs to make any computer a graphics powerhouse.
Here are CGMagazine’s nominees for Best GPU 2023:
ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition
Writer: Brendan Frye
The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition GPU is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to performance graphics. Compared to the RTX 30 series, the RTX 4080 is a vast improvement. Though the RTX 30 series was good, the RTX 4080 is on another level. With this card, 4K and 8K gaming could actually become a reality for gamers. While I was initially skeptical, the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture in the new 40-series delivers on the promise, and the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 16 GB GPU is an improvement on an already fantastic experience.
ASUS has done what they needed to elevate an already fantastic GPU offering into something worth the extra investment. The benchmarks across the board are impressive, and while the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition can’t take down an RTX 4090, it does a good job justifying its cost and usage in gaming and creative uses. With fantastic fan technology and better-than-expected thermals, ASUS has delivered in ways that count with this card.
The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC is a solid card with a great mix of performance, build quality, aesthetics, and price. If you are looking for an RTX 4080 that delivers on features that a next-gen GPU needs while avoiding the pitfalls of extensive superfluous extras, the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC is a card that should sit at the top of your computer build list.
With the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 GPU ASUS has delivered in the ways that count, making it a fantastic offering for any upgrade or new build that is looking to get the most from 1440P gaming and beyond.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
Writer: Brendan Frye
It is amazing to see just how competitive the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT GPU is, even with the more expensive 7900 XTX only $100 more. Looking incredibly similar and boasting most of the same features—if not slightly scaled back—the Radeon RX 7900 XT offers a more affordable option for people not looking to jump in on RDNA 3. Delivering fantastic performance and a clean look, the RX 7900 XT is a great GPU for people looking for an alternative to NVIDIA, although due to the similar price, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX feels like an overall better value.
The Radeon RX 7900 XT is a card that cuts back requirements and power demands while still giving admirable scores, even against GPU titans like the NVIDIA RTX 4080. The reduced power requirements mean this card can be added to a system, potentially without other major hardware changes. With the lower 750W PSU needs while still fitting in most ATX cases, the Radeon RX 7900 XT is tailor-made for people looking to upgrade.
Despite this potential upside for the segment looking to upgrade without extra costs, the Radeon RX 7900 XT still feels strangely priced, with the $100 price difference resulting in a notable 20 percent drop in performance. Thankfully, the advancements RDNA 3 brings to the table still make the Radeon RX 7900 XT well worth your investment for enthusiast gamers looking to upgrade their already good rig to the next level.
While it falls behind the XTX, the Radeon RX 7900 XT is a GPU that delivers a fantastic overall package, with requirements that make it ideal for people looking to upgrade their current system without much hassle.
ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua
Writer: Brendan Frye
It is no secret that here at CGMagazine we are fans of Noctua and their very quiet, very efficient fans. So, when ASUS announced they were releasing a 3070 with the iconic Noctua fans, we were intrigued. The 3070 has stood as one of the best GPUs you can purchase in this generation, delivering great gaming performance with the added bonus of fantastic ray tracing support. Now that it is here, and we have put it to the test, while it may not be the best GPU you can buy, it is definitely a card worthy of your time and money.
With the tests out of the way, I can safely say the ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua GPU is a very impressive GPU that shows just how efficient and quiet Noctua is for keeping a card cool. The only issue with jumping on the Noctua bandwagon is the price. Due to the current supply chain, even as GPU prices continue to fall, you will be paying a premium for the RTX 3070 Noctua card compared to some other 3070 offerings on the market. As the supply chain slowly adjusts, this premium will diminish, but I don’t ever expect the 3070 Noctua to be a cheap card to jump onto.
While not for everyone and potentially dull to people that demand RGB flow through all aspects of a PC, I found the ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua GPU to be an amazing offering. I love the brown and tan aesthetic, and the performance I saw compares it to some of the best 3070 cards on the market. With the quiet, powerful fans, great gaming benchmarks and unique design, few cars are as striking or as unique as the RTX 3070 Noctua, and it is a worthy card of any new PC build, provided you can find it close to MSRP.
With performance, thermals and benchmarks by its side, the ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua GPU is one of the best 3070 cards you can currently buy, and the unique aesthetic makes it a showstopper in any system it slides into.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition
Writer: Brendan Frye & Joe Findlay
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition GPU is an astonishing offering, delivering amazing 4K performance, but that power does come at a cost. It has taken a while to arrive, but the next generation of NVIDIA GPUs is here, and they are showing what is possible when a company goes all out in terms of performance and power. Boasting impressive specs and dominating benchmarks, the GeForce RTX 4080 GPU is a testament to NVIDIA’s efforts, but the price tag and requirements could keep it from being a card everyone should buy.
With all this power comes a problem; much like the RTX 4090, the RTX 4080 still needs a notable upgrade to your PC if you don’t already have a power supply, motherboard or case that can fit the incredibly large card. There is also the question of how well the new AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT cards will do in comparison, especially considering they will cost less than what NVIDIA has on offer.
Even with these caveats, the RTX 4080 is an impressive graphics card with a hefty price tag, making it a great option for gamers who aren’t concerned about spending an extra buck. It is a major generational leap compared to the RTX 30-series, and as NVIDIA keeps working on software like DLSS 3.0, the real potential of the card is still waiting to be seen. As it stands now, for creators, gamers, and people looking to get the most from their PC, your new mainstream king is here.
Delivering close to the results found in the RTX 4090, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition GPU is a powerful GPU ready to take on the latest 4K Games, streaming, and content creation with ease.
WINNER: Best GPU 2023 AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX GPU
Writer: Brendan Frye
There is a lot to like about the RX 7900 XTX, from its elegant yet impressive design and the use of a standard 8-pin power connector to the size and ability to use it in a wide range of cases. But even beyond the look and design decisions, it is the performance and price AMD has managed with this card. Using the Infinity Cache and the chiplet design, AMD has offered up a powerhouse of a GPU, able to compete with the incredibly powerful RTX 4080, all at close to $300 less. As AMD refines the drivers, I expect these numbers may change, but even with that in mind, the RX 7900 XTX delivered a fantastic showing across all tests.
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX is the best GPU you can get for under $1000 and brings enough to the table that buyers should think twice before investing the $300 premium an RTX 4080 will set you back.