The 1440p resolution has become the sweet spot for PC gaming over the last few years, but picking the best 1440p graphics card for your build is still a bit of a hassle. Whenever you’re building a new gaming PC, a considerable amount of the budget has to be separated for the graphics card. I doubt I need to tell you as to why that is, but to keep it simple, the graphics card handles all the graphical details you see in your games. This becomes even more important when you’re gaming at higher resolutions, like 1440p or upwards. The rise of Nvidia technologies such as RTX Real-Time Ray Tracing also plays a role in the choice for a 1440p graphics card.
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Nvidia and AMD are waging war on each other with back-to-back releases, so it’s a bit hard for the average person to keep up with what’s worth the money and what’s not. Nvidia has features like Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), while AMD is often the cheaper option. With so many cards available right now, both old and new, it’s a bit hard to decide. Remember, the 1440p graphics cards choice can vary wildly between different users depending on their monitor choice, their preferred games, refresh rate, and their overall PC specs.
The 5 Best 1440p Graphics Cards
|1||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super||Best Overall 1440p Graphics Card|| |
|2||AMD Radeon RX 5700||Best Mid-Range 1440p Graphics Card|| |
|3||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super||Best Graphics Card For 1440p 144Hz|| |
|4||AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT||Best AMD 1440p Graphics Card|| |
|5||AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT||Best Value 1440p Graphics Card|| |
|Product Name||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super|
|Award||Best Overall 1440p Graphics Card|
|Product Name||AMD Radeon RX 5700|
|Award||Best Mid-Range 1440p Graphics Card|
|Product Name||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super|
|Award||Best Graphics Card For 1440p 144Hz|
|Product Name||AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT|
|Award||Best AMD 1440p Graphics Card|
|Product Name||AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT|
|Award||Best Value 1440p Graphics Card|
Last Update on 2021-09-22 at 06:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The graphics card market is still suffering from the ongoing stock shortage and the situation ahead is unclear. While our recommendations of the best temporary graphics cards might be keeping you going, they are still no replacement for your dream 1440p card. A lot of mid-range and even some budget cards can handle 1440p gaming, but the purchase depends on what refresh rate you’re playing and how much price/performance matters to you. So we’ll help you find the best 1440p graphics card for your needs, whether that be for 60Hz or all the way up to 1440p 144Hz. Let’s have a look at the graphics cards that can handle 1440p in 2021.
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
Best Overall 1440p Graphics Card
- Nvidia NVENC Encoder For Streaming
- Compelling Price/Performance Ratio
- Ray Tracing Support
- 8GB of VRAM
- Performance Good Enough For 1440p 60Hz
- Unremarkable Ray Tracing Performance
- Can't Run 1440p 144Hz Very Well
Base Core Clock: 1470 MHz | Boost Core Clock: 1650 MHz | CUDA Cores: 1920 | RT Cores: 34 | Tensor Cores: 272 | Memory: 8GB GDDR6
The Nvidia GeForce GTX RTX 2060 Super is a great ray-tracing performer. But that’s not why it’s leading the charge on our roundup. It’s not the fastest GPU out there, nor is it exactly the cheapest one, but it is such a great blend of features, performance, and value that it is quite hard to ignore and makes it the sweet spot for everyone. If you want to know which variant of the RTX 2060 Super you should choose, check out our roundup of the best RTX 2060 Super graphics cards.
This “Super” version of the RTX 2060 gets a lot of things right. First off, it quite effectively replaces the regular RTX 2070 in terms of estimated similar performance, and it does so at a lower price too. Not only that, but it can even go head to head with the RX 5700 XT in some titles (depending on the resolution and visual quality). With a base clock of 1470MHz, which can go all the way up to 1650MHz (Boost clock), this video card can handle 1440p gaming even with ease. If you want 1440p at 144Hz, you might want to pick one of the best RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards.
Nvidia has optimized the thermals inside this card quite well. The founder’s edition already had good thermal performance, so aftermarket cards are even better in that regard. It’s also a great option for streamers. OBS is optimized to run great with RTX cards, and thanks to the Turing NVENC encoder, streaming is much easier compared to AMD cards.
Related Roundup: Best RTX 2060 Graphics Cards
Of course, there’s also the popular Ray Tracing feature supported on this card. 1080p with DLSS turned on is a decent result, but for 1440p you’ll have to drop down the settings a bit. If you absolutely must have the best ray tracing support, this isn’t the card for it. However, it will give you a little taste of what’s capable in the future. Still, it can be considered the best overall 1440p graphics card when all things are considered.
2. AMD Radeon RX 5700
Best Mid-Range 1440p Graphics Card
- Solid 1440p Performance
- Good Value For Money
- 8GB VRAM
- Less Power Hungry Than 5700 XT
- Overclocks Well
- Lacks Ray Tracing
- Not Good For Streaming
Base Core Clock: 1465 MHz | Boost Core Clock: 1725 MHz | Steam Processors: 2304 | Memory: 8GB GDDR6
I have never debated this much while comparing the first and second spots for a roundup. AMD‘s RX 5700 is a beast when it comes to value, and it delivers performance that will be more than enough for a lot of people. There is a lot of hidden potential with this card as well when it comes to overclocking performance. Arguably, it is the best mid-range 1440p graphics card that you can buy. The RX 5700 performs a bit like the RTX 2070 in terms of raw framerates. If you want to go the Nvidia route, check out our picks of the best RTX 2070 graphics cards.
The RX 5700 is an already great performer out of the box. With a boost clock of 1725MHz and blazing fast 8 gigs of GDDR6 memory, it’s an absolute beast when it comes to 1440p. In fact, it is so good that it outperforms the RTX 2060 in some titles. This isn’t a rare occurrence either, both of these cards go neck and neck in a lot of titles.
There’s a lot of tinkering open to the user as well. If you do your research and are willing to take the risk, you can flash the BIOS and unlock more potential performance out of this card. Another good thing to add is AMD’s drivers have gotten surprisingly better with these cards. There is still room for improvement, but at least frequent crashes are a thing of the past.
Related Roundup: Best RTX 3070 Graphics Cards
The reason this card is below the 2060 Super is that it doesn’t have a feature that sets it apart, well if we put aside performance that is. While Nvidia’s card has ray tracing, that incredible NVENC encoder, and exclusive features for streaming, AMD doesn’t have anything to counter all of those.
If raw performance is your jam, go with the RX 5700. If you want those extra features the RTX 2060 Super is the better purchase. Neither will leave you disappointed, that’s for sure.
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
Best Graphics Card For 1440p 144Hz
- Can Handle 144Hz At 1440p
- Very Well-Priced GPU
- Can Even Handle 4K at 60Hz
- Support For RTX And DLSS
- Relatively Expensive
- Draws More Power
- Requires A Powerful CPU Pairing
Base Core Clock: 1410 MHz | Boost Core Clock: 1620 MHz | CUDA Cores: 2304 | RT Cores: 36 | Tensor Cores: 288 | Memory: 8GB GDDR6
If you want the absolute best possible performance at 1440p, and you want to play games at 144Hz all the time, then the RTX 2070 Super might be the way to go for you. Of course, the price should be taken into account, as you would expect great performance from a card that costs this much. Still, let’s figure out if the price is justified for you. You might want to take a look at the best RTX 2070 Super variants before making your purchase.
The RTX 2070 Super has more tensor cores and RT cores than the RTX 2060 Super. It also has 8GB of GDDR6 memory, which works incredibly fast. 8GB of memory is more than enough for 1440p gaming and even 4K gaming in some cases. Ray tracing is one thing it does much better than its younger brother. Games still suffer a drop in performance, but the 2070 Super is powerful enough to make things still playable.
Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling or DLSS feature also works quite well here. It does give an increase in frame rates, but it often adds a “shimmering” effect to edges and corners. That’s up to you to decide if you want it on or off. Personally, I don’t mind it as much as one would think.
Related Read: Best RTX 2080 Graphics Cards
It’s also a good option for competitive gamers who are always on the edge of their sites. Pair the 2070 Super with a good processor, and you’ve got yourself a high-end number-crunching beast of a system. The main enemy of the 2070 Super is its own price tag. Much like the RTX 3090, people shy away from this card due to the better value options that are available elsewhere.
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Sure, it might be the best performer on this list, but it doesn’t hold the same value as the cards above it do. For a lot of people, it might not make sense to spend that amount on a card, when they can get a 5700 XT for a lower price. Granted, the performance decrease is noticeable, but so is the price. For the ones willing to splurge, the 2070 Super is still a great option, and quite simply the best 144hz 1440p graphics card in this price category.
4. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
Best AMD 1440p Graphics Card
- Performance Equal To RTX 2070 Super
- Cheaper Than RTX 2070 Super
- Overclocks Well
- Can Handle 144Hz At 1440p
- No Ray Tracing Support
- No DLSS Support
- Frequent Driver Issues
Base Core Clock: 1465 MHz | Boost Core Clock: 1725 MHz | Steam Processors: 2304 | Memory: 8GB GDDR6
The RX 5700 XT was slated to be AMD’s answer to the RTX lineup offered by Nvidia. While the 5700 XT is a great purchase for anyone looking for a powerful 1440p performer, it does have a few drawbacks which hold it back from getting a higher spot on this list. Still, it is the best AMD 1440p Graphics Card in this price category. That said, check out our picks for the best AMD RX 5700 XT graphics cards before making your purchase.
First off, let’s talk about the architecture. Navi uses AMD’s latest RDNA architecture, the successor to which is going to be included in next-gen consoles as well. RDNA is very well optimized and efficient, a lot of the time it doesn’t even need to use its full potential in a lot of games. However, when it does kick in, it does so hard and fast.
1440p performance is phenomenal across the board. It wipes the floor with Nvidia’s RTX 2060 and 2060 Super. It also competes with the 2070 Super and the GTX 1080 Ti because of the competitive pricing, which gives AMD a leg up in this race. 144Hz QHD gaming is an easy win for the 5700 XT.
Related Roundup: Best AMD RX 6900 XT Graphics Cards
AMD has been focusing on productivity-related tasks recently, especially with their Ryzen processors. The same remains true with their new GPU lineup. Depending on your workload, you might be seeing better performance in some rendering programs.
However, the 5700 XT does tend to overheat. This is due to how much power it draws, and also because of the blower-style design which is integrated with this card. There are a few dual fans and triple fan options, but these go out of stock quite quickly. It also lacks ray tracing, which should have been included in a mid to high-end card like this. That problem was thankfully fixed with the newer-gen iteration RX 6700 XT.
5. AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
Best Value 1440p Graphics Card
- Better Performance Than RTX 1660 Lineup
- Impressive Value
- Can Handle 1440p 60Hz
- No Ray Tracing
- No DLSS
- Poor For Streaming
- Struggles With 1440p 144Hz
Base Core Clock: 1130 MHz | Boost Core Clock: 1375 MHz | Steam Processors: 2304 | Memory: 6GB GDDR6
While Nvidia’s entire 1660 lineup was a decent enough value for most people, AMD has basically just killed that lineup off with the RX 5600 XT. This makes this the third AMD graphics card on this list and really goes to show how far they’ve come since the days of old. The 5600 XT is an excellent choice if you are on a tight budget. It is noticeably better than the GTX 1660 Ti which is its main competitor on a pricing level. You should check out our picks for the best RX 5600 XT graphics cards in this roundup before making your purchase decision.
The 5600XT really starts kicking in when you overclock it. It’s almost like it could have been factory overclocked but AMD might have decided to play it safe. There’s a lot of potential here, you can easily push the boost clock to 1700-1800MHz, and this really makes the card more capable than in its initial state.
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Which isn’t to say the card is underpowered out of the box. In fact, it’s the best high-end 1080p card you can buy right now. However, for 1440p, while it can play older titles at medium to high settings, you’ll be stuck at low for a lot of next-gen titles. 144Hz is also near impossible at 1440p with this card. Still, if you’re can’t spend more than $300, this is a decent option and a contender for the title of the best value 1440p graphics card when all things are considered.
Factors To Consider While Buying
As with any purchase, there are several factors you should consider while looking for a graphics card for 1440p gaming. The process is not as easy as just picking any graphics card that you like. 1440p is a relatively tough resolution to run when compared to 1080p, but it is not quite as hard as gaming on a 4K monitor. This is why it is considered the modern sweet spot in terms of resolutions for gaming. Within 1440p, you also have to pay attention to the various refresh rate options that are available out there, and that can heavily influence your decision as to which graphics card is the best 1440p graphics card for you.
The first thing that will dictate your choice of the graphics card is obviously the monitor. We can assume that you already have a 1440p monitor if you are looking for a graphics card, but if you have not bought one yet, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best 1440p monitors. With that said, the refresh rate is what really matters once you have decided that your resolution of choice is 1440p. Running modern games at 1440p 144Hz takes a lot more graphical horsepower than running 1440p at 60Hz. In fact, 1440p 144Hz is more demanding than running 4K at 60Hz at the same in-game settings. This goes to show that your graphics card choice can vary wildly depending on your monitor.
Going hand in hand with the previous factor, your CPU can also have a say in your choice of the graphics card. if you are targeting 1440p gaming with some of the very best graphics cards out there, then you should definitely take a look at the best CPUs for gaming if you want to avoid any potential bottlenecks. There is nothing worse than the potential of your gaming rig being held back by a single component such as the CPU. Here, the importance of refresh rate also comes back into play. Running 1440p at 144Hz also requires a lot more CPU horsepower than running it at 60Hz, so your CPU must be able to keep up with your graphics card if you want to have a flawless high refresh rate 1440p experience.
Keeping these factors in mind is important if you want your graphics card choice to be perfect for the type of rig that you’re building. Not only will your card be faced with the challenge of running a tough resolution, but it can also have a difficult time running high refresh rates on that resolution should you plan to go down that route. It is, therefore, extremely important to consider these factors beforehand if you want to purchase the best 1440p graphics card for your rig.
FAQ About 1440p Graphics Cards
Generally, the best card to run 1440p at 144Hz would be the fastest card that is available on the market, which is the RTX 3090 as of the time of writing, but this approach does not make a lot of sense. Splurging this much money onto a premium card just for a 1440p experience does not bode well in terms of the price-to-performance ratio. Therefore, we recommend graphics cards like the GeForce RTX 3060Ti, the RTX 2070 Super, the Radeon RX 5700 XT, and the RX 5600 XT as more suitable choices for 1440p gaming.
Unfortunately, the GTX 1060 would have a tough time running 1440p resolution in modern games, let alone the 144Hz refresh rate. The only graphics card from the Pascal generation that can have a chance of running 1440p 144Hz in modern games is the GTX 1080 Ti, which is still one of the fastest cards in the world. For the GTX 1060, you can expect to run 1440p resolution at 60 FPS or thereabouts in lighter eSports or competitive titles if you are willing to adjust the graphical settings a bit.
This is a really common dilemma that gamers have to face when they have to choose between higher resolution and higher refresh rate. While yes, the refresh rate does have a more significant and observable impact on your gaming experience, going for the 1080p 144Hz option is not always the best choice. If you are interested in single-player story games which run in double-digit FPS anyway, you might be better off with a resolution upgrade to see the extra detail in the open worlds and to enjoy a bit more eye-candy. HRR upgrades are more suited towards competitive players.
As mentioned before, the 1440p 144Hz resolution-refresh rate combo is a really tough one to run. It is even more demanding than 4K 60Hz in most gaming scenarios. You do need a top-tier graphics card from the last 2 years or so in order to run this combination. Cards equal to, or faster than, the RTX 2070 Super do have a good chance of running 1440p at 144Hz in modern titles. You should also pair that card with a premium CPU such as the Ryzen 7 3700X or higher in order to avoid bottlenecks.