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Searching for the best graphics card for 1440p gaming?
1440p has become the sweet spot for many gamers, aiming to balance visual fidelity and performance. As display technologies continue to evolve, the need for more powerful GPUs to drive these higher resolutions has become evident.
In this guide, I’ve done the heavy lifting to shortlist the top GPUs for your 1440p gaming aspirations.
The transition from 1080p to 1440p brings a significantly enhanced gaming experience, but it demands more from your hardware. Selecting the right GPU becomes crucial not only for achieving those fluid frame rates but also for future-proofing your setup.
Our Top Picks
- 1. Sapphire Nitro+ RX 7800 XT – Our Top Choice
- 2. Sapphire Nitro+ RX 7900 XTX – Best Premium GPU For 1440p Gaming
- 3. Sapphire Pulse RX 6700 XT – Best Budget GPU For 1440p Gaming
Why Should You Trust Us?
Having been on the forefront of PC building since 2009, our very own Talha Zuberi boasts over a decade of intricate hands-on experience. He’s not just witnessed the evolution of gaming hardware but has actively been a part of this transformative journey, especially in the realm of GPUs for 1440p gaming.
Talha’s commitment extends beyond just personal endeavors; he has consistently guided countless individuals in choosing not just what’s trending but what’s truly best for their unique gaming needs.
With his expertise rooted deep in the tech industry and an unwavering dedication to keeping abreast of the latest advancements, you’re not just getting a recommendation; you’re receiving guidance from one of the best in the business.
How We Choose the Best GPUs For 1440p Gaming
For the longest time, gamers have been limited to playing games at 1080p. However, as GPUs are getting more powerful at similar power requirements, there is an increased interest in 1440p gaming monitors.
To pick the best GPUs for 1440p gaming, I followed these guidelines to help choose the best GPUs:
- Gaming performance: The top priority when choosing the best GPUs here is 1440p performance over anything else. Every GPU selected needs to be a top performer given their respective price points
- Framerate target: The GPUs selected need to perform flawlessly at 1440p at the given price. This means any GPU selected needs to give more than 60 FPS in AAA titles (more than 30 FPS if ray tracing is on), and 100+ FPS for esports titles in high settings.
- Rasterization over Ray Tracing: All graphics cards chosen have exceptional rasterization performance. This is because every single game released all the way in 2023 uses rasterization instead of being rendered with full path tracing or ray tracing. This is going to be the case until graphics cards become significantly more powerful for ray tracing. There is no doubt that Nvidia has an advantage over both AMD and Intel in terms of ray tracing performance but both have made great strides to be extremely competitive in everything else.
- Build quality and software features: When it comes to choosing the right graphics card, there tends to be a deep emphasis on specifications. Picking the best card with the best physical features is just as important because this determines how well the card will last in the real world. Other than hardware, it is also important that software is well-supported on any selected GPU. This includes drivers, games, vendor-specific features like DLSS from Nvidia or FSR from AMD, and third-party application support.
- Key specifications: Although specifications do not tell a complete story of how a GPU is going to perform, they are still important. These are the most important specifications to look out for and their importance is:
- VRAM – The card needs to have more than 8 GB of GDDR6 memory or better. Even 1080p gaming is reaching its limit with 8 GB cards. As resolution increases, more VRAM is required. Games need VRAM to store assets, with textures being the most important. If your GPU starts to run out of memory, it becomes a stuttering mess. For e.g., even though the RTX 3070 is a significantly faster GPU than the RTX 3060, the 3070 will start to lose to the 3060 if a game needs more VRAM. That is because the 3060 has 12 GB while the 3070 has 8 GB.
- Bus width – Needs to be more than 128-bit because as resolution increases, the bus width needs to be wide enough for data to be transmitted faster.
3 Best GPUs For 1440p Gaming Reviews
1. Sapphire Nitro+ RX 7800 XT – Our Top Choice
1440p is shaping up to replace 1080p as the mainstream resolution. For my number 1 spot, there were a lot of candidates from this generation and the last generation from all 3 GPU manufacturers – AMD, Intel, and Nvidia. We are seeing tremendous competition and value at the $500 price point. Although I could’ve picked any card, the RX 7800 XT stood out as my final choice for anyone looking to buy the best 1440p GPU for now and for many years to come.
The RX 7800 XT is the best value new generation GPU released yet from either Nvidia or AMD and the specs and performance show for it. VRAM is one area that has become quite a concern for gamers as 10 GB is barely cutting it for 1440p gaming these days. Thankfully, AMD has equipped the RX 7800 XT with 16 GB of GDDR6 VRAM so even the highest quality assets can easily be loaded without any performance loss.
Also, over the past few generations of GPUs, I have noticed that bus widths have started to shrink to make the GPUs more energy-efficient. And while the 256-bit bus on the 7800 XT looks narrow, both AMD and Nvidia have increased L2 or L3 caches on their GPUs to compensate for this exact concern. Thanks to the substantially bigger L3 cache and fast GDDR6 speeds, the RX 7800 XT has an impressive 624.1 GB/s of memory bandwidth.
Taking a look at the Saphire Nitro+ RX 7800 XT, it is a massive 3-slot card with a triple fan configuration. The Sapphire Nitro+ cards have one of the smartest fan designs because they are easy to remove in case you need to clean or replace them. The entire PCB is cooled with a full-array aluminum vapor chamber and a massive RGB strip on the top of the card which may be a tad flashy for some people.
Taking a deeper look at the PCB and cooler itself, the Sapphire Nitro+ 7900 XTX stays cool at sub-60 degrees Celcius temperatures. The PCB has fuses that protect the entire card in case of a power surge that could potentially destroy it.
When compared to the RTX 4070 for gaming, the RX 7800 XT offers slightly better performance for around $100 less. Even in heavy titles like The Last of Us, Hogwarts Legacy, and Cyberpunk 2077, the RX 7800 XT can give 60+ fps at 1440p maximum settings. It will lose to the RTX 4070 when ray tracing is turned on because Nvidia has a clear advantage in that regard. Still, AMD is improving on that and the RDNA 3-based GPUs offer a massive improvement in ray tracing compared to RDNA 2.
The RX 7800 XT is also the perfect choice if you want to play eSports titles at 1440p 144 Hz or higher.
The card has 16 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, which means that if it came down to needing more VRAM, the RTX 4070 with 12GB VRAM would start to struggle and would require reducing settings to compensate.
RX 7800 XT is very high quality card and it’s hard to criticize Sapphire in any way for its excellent cooler. My only nitpick is that compared to the reference design by AMD, it is a significantly larger card and instead of taking advantage of the size, Sapphire did not add more ports at the back. Even one more HDMI port would’ve been great.
In conclusion, if you need the best overall GPU for 1440p gaming, then there is no better deal than the AMD RX 7800 XT, and Sapphire’s Nitro+ is the best variant in the market. I predict that if Microsoft or Sony refresh their consoles to a “Pro” lineup, their performance will be in line with this GPU.
To sum up what I like is the…
- Excellent cooler design
- Uncontested raster performance for the price
On the downside
- Missed an opportunity for extra ports despite its larger size
- PCB Design: 9.5/10
- Aesthetics & Cooler design: 8.5/10
- Value for Money: 8/10
- Overall Rating: 9/10
2. Sapphire Nitro+ RX 7900 XTX – Best Premium GPU For 1440p Gaming
My premium pick for the best 1440p gaming GPU may seem odd at first. However, if for any reason you decide to stick with 1440p for a very long time, then you need the most powerful GPU that can handle games at that resolution for many years to come.
So if I were in that situation, I would get the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 7900 XTX as my gaming GPU for the next decade.
The RX 7900 XTX is a 4K gaming card, so the performance headroom means that it will be ideal for any 1440p gaming now and for the foreseeable future. This is currently AMD’s fastest gaming GPU and it comes with 24 GB of VRAM making it quite well-equipped for any 1440p gaming.
The Sapphire Nitro+ is almost always my favorite variant of any AMD card and the Sapphire Nitro+ 7900 XTX is AMD’s peak offering.
The card is massive and even though Sapphire says that it is a 3-slot card, it is slightly bigger than that so make sure that you have at least 4 slots free in your case to fit this behemoth.
The triple fan configuration is my favorite part of the Sapphire Nitro+ cards because they are very easy to remove in case you need to clean or replace them.
The card requires a lot of power to run, but thankfully, it uses 3 standard 8-pin PCIe connectors for power instead of a different connector.
There is also a massive RGB strip on both ends of the card for anyone who is interested in a light show. The design may be too flashy for some people, but you cannot deny the incredible build quality.
Taking a deeper look at the PCB and cooler itself, the Sapphire Nitro+ 7900 XTX stays cool at sub-60 degrees Celcius temperatures. The PCB has fuses that protect the GPU in case of a power surge that could destroy the entire card. This is an incredible feature that other graphics card manufacturers should start adding to their products.
Looking at the specs, the RX 7900 XTX is paired with a 24 GB VRAM buffer that is connected to a 384-bit bus. The 384-bit bus combined with the 96 MB L3 cache (that AMD calls Infinity cache) results in a whopping 960 GB/s of bandwidth.
In terms of performance, the 7900 XTX can easily run any AAA game like Starfield, The Last of Us, A Plague Tale: Requiem, Remnant 2, and Elden Ring at 1440p maximum settings and give you more than 100+ FPS in all of these titles.
Even when pushing the RX 7900 XTX with the most demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077:Phantom Liberty, you will easily run at around 120 FPS.
There is absolutely no need to worry about playing any eSports title on this GPU if you want to use it for 300 FPS ultra-high refresh rate gaming at 1440p at medium settings.
If we take a look at the direct competition, the RX 7900 XTX sits in the middle of the RTX 4070 Ti and RTX 4080 in terms of price. It regularly squares off against the RTX 4080 in terms of performance and in really extreme cases, the RX 7900 XTX will be able to pull ahead if a game needs more than 16 GB of VRAM. Nvidia clearly has the upper hand when it comes to ray tracing, but that is pretty much it.
In conclusion, if you need a GPU that will last you a decade at 1440p, the RX 7900 XTX is the way to go. You can even dabble with some 4K gaming or downsample games from a higher resolution down to 1440p for an even more detailed experience.
To sum up what I love in this GPU is that
- PCB has fuses to protect the card from electric surges
- Overbuilt cooler for really low temperatures
- Best of the best raster performance
On the downside…
- The card is way too big
- Ray tracing performance is not as competitive against the RTX 4080 for the price
- PCB Design: 9.5/10
- Aesthetics & Cooler design: 8/10
- Value for Money: 7/10
- Overall Rating: 8.5/10
3. Sapphire Pulse RX 6700 XT – Best Budget GPU For 1440p Gaming
The demand for a powerful GPU near the $300 price point that is decent for 1440p gaming is now higher than ever before.
The AMD RX 6700 XT is a graphics card that has stepped up as the budget champion for 1440p gaming especially now that it is consistently available for around $300 to $350. The Sapphire Pulse RX 6700 XT is the most affordable RX 6700 XT but it’s not just on the cheaper side, it is also one of the highest quality RX 6700 XTs thanks to its full-array aluminum heatsinks and requires a standard 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe connector for power.
In the looks department, it doesn’t go for anything fancy. The dark grey aesthetic easily fits in with any PC setup but it won’t impress anyone.
What’s great except that it’s the cheapest RX 6700 XT out there, is that even with only 2 fans it does a great job at keeping temperatures around the mid-60s to low-70s °C, even during long gaming sessions.
However, to save some money, Sapphire did not include any RGB and went with plastic for the fan cover instead of metal. Thankfully, the shroud is hard plastic which is strong enough to withstand any light damage that cheaper plastics cannot handle. The backplate is also made of plastic and offers no cooling to the VRMs on the back of the PCB. Overall, the build of the card is decent and gets the job done but I would advise extra care when handling it.
Looking at the specs, the RX 6700 XT is paired with a 12 GB VRAM buffer that is connected to a 192-bit bus. The 192-bit bus may be an area of concern especially since you need a wider bus width to accommodate higher resolutions. However, thanks to a massive 96 MB L3 cache (that AMD calls Infinity cache), the resultant bandwidth is an impressive 384.0 GB/s.
In terms of performance, the 6700 XT can easily run AAA games like Doom Eternal, The Last of Us, The Witcher 3, Remnant 2, and Elden Ring at 1440p resolution and give you 60+ FPS (say Frame Per Second) in all of these titles.
Only the most demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 will run at 1440p with around 40 FPS, so you will need FSR to increase the framerate above 60 FPS.
Any eSports title will have no issue running at 120 FPS or higher even at maximum visual settings. That means even 240 FPS gaming is possible at medium or high settings in games like Counter-Strike 2, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Valorant, and Rainbow Six Siege.
If we take a look at the direct competition with the RX 6700 XT, Nvidia has the RTX 4060 Ti, Intel has the ARC A770 and AMD the newer RX 7600. All of these GPUs perform very well at 1440p but where the RX 6700 XT shines is that it is really balanced in terms of specifications. Except for the ARC A770, the rest have 8 GB VRAM connected to a narrow 128-bit bus. The A770 is impressive in terms of specs, but Intel has some serious work to do with their drivers.
In conclusion, if you need a GPU that will perform on par and last as long as the Sony PlayStation 5 for excellent 1440p gaming and is affordble the RX 6700 XT is the obvious choice.
To sum up what I like is the…
- Small and compact design
- Full-array aluminum heatsinks
On the downside…
- Ray tracing performance is poor without FSR
- Plastic fan shroud and backplate
- PCB Design: 8/10
- Aesthetics & Cooler design: 7/10
- Value for Money: 9/10
- Overall Rating: 8/10
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What makes a GPU suitable for 1440p gaming?
A GPU ideal for 1440p gaming should have sufficient VRAM (typically 6GB or more) and a high processing power to handle the increased resolution and provide smooth gameplay.
- How does 1440p compare to 1080p in gaming?
1440p, also known as QHD, offers a higher resolution than 1080p (Full HD). This means more detailed graphics and sharper images, but it also demands more from your GPU.
- Is it necessary to have a high refresh rate monitor for 1440p gaming?
While not mandatory, a high refresh rate monitor (like 144Hz or above) complements 1440p resolution well, ensuring smoother visuals especially in fast-paced games.
- Will my older CPU bottleneck a new GPU at 1440p?
It is possible that an older CPU will bottleneck a new GPU at 1440p. While gaming at higher resolutions tends to be more GPU-intensive, having an older or weaker CPU can still lead to performance issues or bottlenecks.
- Can I game at 1440p on a 4K monitor?
Yes, you can. A 4K monitor can downscale to 1440p. However, the image might not be as sharp as native 1440p due to the scaling process.
- Do all games support 1440p resolution?
While most modern games support 1440p, some older titles or indie games might not have native support. However, they can often still be played at 1440p using scaling options.
- How much VRAM do I need for 1440p gaming?
For optimal performance in modern games, a GPU with at least 6GB of VRAM is recommended for 1440p gaming.
- Are there any additional cooling requirements for GPUs used in 1440p gaming?
Higher resolutions can make GPUs work harder, potentially generating more heat. It’s wise to ensure good case airflow and consider a GPU with an efficient cooling solution.
- Do I need a specific type of cable to support 1440p? For 1440p gaming, DisplayPort and HDMI (1.4 and above) cables can support the resolution. Always check your GPU and monitor’s ports to ensure compatibility.
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