GPU Hierarchy and Tier List 2021

Tier LevelThe CardVRAMMemory Bus WidthCUDA cores/Stream processors
Tier 1 - EnthusiastsNvidia Titan RTX24 GB GDDR6384-bit4608
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti11Gb GDDR6352-bit4352
Nvidia GeForce Titan V12 GB HBM23072-bit5120
Nvidia GeForce Titan Xp12 GB GDDR5X384-bit3840
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti11GB GDDR5X352-bit3584
Tier 2 - High-EndNvidia GeForce GTX 10808 GB GDDR5256-bit2560
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti8 GB GDDR5256-bit2432
Nvidia GeForce GTX 10708 GB GDDR5256-bit
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti6 GB GDDR5384-bit2816
AMD Radeon RX Vega 648GB HBM22048-bit4096
AMD Radeon RX Vega 568GB HBM22048-bit3584
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X4GB HBM24096-bit4096
Tier 3 - Mid RangeNvidia GeForce GTX 10606 GB / 3 GB GDDR5192-bit1280
Nvidia GeForce GTX 9804 GB GDDR5256-bit2048
Nvidia GeForce GTX 9704 GB GDDR5256-bit1664
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti3 GB GDDR5384-bit2880
AMD Radeon RX 5808 GB / 4 GB GDDR5256-bit2304
AMD Radeon RX 4804 GB GDDR5256-bit2304
AMD Radeon RX 5704 GB GDDR5256-bit2048
AMD Radeon R9 3908 GB GDDR5512-bit2560
AMD Radeon R9 290X4 GB GDDR5512-bit2816
Tier 4 - BudgetNvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti4 GB GDDR5128-bit768
Nvidia GeForce GTX 10502 GB GDDR5128-bit640
Nvidia GeForce GTX 9602 GB GDDR5128-bit1024
AMD Radeon RX 5604 GB / 2 GB GDDR5128-bit1024
AMD Radeon R9 3804 GB GDDR5256-bit1792
AMD Radeon R9 280X3 GB GDDR5384-bit2048
AMD Radeon R9 2803 GB GDDR5384-bit1792
Tier 5 - Budget-Friendly Starter KitNvidia GeForce GTX 7502 GB GDDR5128-bit512
Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti2 GB GDDR5128-bit768
Nvidia GeForce GT 10302 GB GDDR564-bit384
Nvidia GeForce GTX 5601 GB GDDR5256-bit336
AMD Radeon HD 77901 GB GDDR5128-bit896
AMD Radeon HD 68701 GB GDDR5256-bit1120
AMD Radeon HD 58501 GB GDDR5256-bit1440
AMD Radeon R7 3601 GB GDDR5128-bit768
AMD Radeon R7 2601 GB GDDR5128-bit768
AMD Radeon HD 77701 GB GDDR5128-bit640
AMD Radeon HD 68501 GB GDDR5256-bit960

We are well aware that CPU is the brain of your PC, but still, you need a graphics card to keep up with the latest games. There are a lot of games that will push your graphics card to its limits. 

Since there is the boom of the gaming era and best of the best games are being released every now and then, you would really need to upgrade your graphics card quite frequently. But if you choose the right GPU, it should last you at least two years.

If you have had the experience of setting up a gaming PC in the past, you will be familiar with the fact that the graphics card is relatively the most expensive component in your build. It’s very hard to find a low-budget as well as a well-performing graphics card.

You will have to do a lot of research first to find the best graphics card for you while staying in budget . In this article, we have done that research for you. All you need to do is to carefully go through this article and then select the best GPU as per your budget needs.

GPUs are ruling the gaming world nowadays. They have so many different varying options available depending on the type you’re interested in. Every GPU has its own value and worth.

They come with different specifications and price ranges. In this article, we will see which GPUs are ruling the market and then you can decide which one is the most suitable for you.

The GPUs here are divided into five categories. They are assigned tiers; one, two, three, four, and five. We will discuss the specifications of the GPUs lying under each tier.

Tier 1-Enthusiasts

The first tier contains the premium GPUs and is known as “enthusiasts” tier.  The most powerful GPUs in the world pile up in this tier. Currently, Nvidia is the only one who is producing GPUs of such caliber. They have been undisputed dominators of this tier for a very long time.

These GPUs offer an impeccable 60 FPS 4K gaming experience and are quite powerful. They can sometimes really blur the lines between professional cards and gaming cards. The tier 1 GPUs are the most expensive of the bunch.

These GPUs really do cross the lines in terms of both price and performance. These GPUs have given the technology a really great boom. They have paved the path for even more powerful and advanced technology to come in the future. Here is a list of the tier 1 GPUs.

The CardVRAMMemory Bus WidthCUDA cores/Stream processors
Nvidia Titan RTX24 GB GDDR6384-bit4608
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti11Gb GDDR6352-bit4352
Nvidia GeForce Titan V12 GB HBM23072-bit5120
Nvidia GeForce Titan Xp12 GB GDDR5X384-bit3840
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti11GB GDDR5X352-bit3584

If you are a passionate gamer who wants to always be updated with all the latest games then this tier is made for you. In this tier, you’ll experience graphics like never before. The GPUs of this tier can operate 100% of the games that have been released till now.

Nvidia GeForce Titan V is the best GPU ever made. There is no competitor of Titan V at the moment in the market. It’s the most powerful GPU ever made. This tier is like the royal realm in the world of gaming and GPUs. Only the most passionate and enthusiastic gamers dare to enter this tier for purchasing a GPU.

If you want to get a GPU from the first tier, be ready to spend well over $1,000 on it alone. You also have to have a matching system memory and a powerful monitor. But let me tell you that you will not regret purchasing it.

It will offer you the best graphics and textures without sacrificing even a tiny bit of overall speed and performance. These GPUs are with your money and time. If you’re an enthusiast, do give them a try.

GPU Hierarchy Tier 1
GPU Hierarchy Tier 1

Tier 2 - High-End

The second tier is commonly known as the “high-end” graphics cards . As mentioned in the first tier that Nvidia is dominant, the same is the case for the second tier as well. AMD has attempted to offer some competition to Nvidia but still, Nvidia is the dominant brand here.

Here is the list of some GPUs that lie in the category of the second tier.

BrandModelMemoryMemory Chipset
NvidiaGTX 10808GBGDDR5X
RX Vega 568GBHBM2
R9 Fury X4GBHBM2

In the list above, you can observe a little variety as we have included entries from AMD as well. We did not see any GPU from AMD in the first tier because it goes as high as the second tier. This is not as bad as compared to the quality they still offer.

Although Nvidia is still dominating the list, AMD also offers great quality. This tier smoothly runs graphics up to 2K at 60 FPS. This means that 1080p will run even more smoothly. 1080p can reach 100 fps easily on these GPUs. Gamers can have a great experience in tier 2 GPUs.

In this list, Nvidia’s 1080 lead the race. The rest of the GPUs comes after it. It has an 8GB dedicated memory which makes a powerful experience of gaming with more power-saving and quiet performance.

AMD’s best GPU, lying under tier 2, is the RX Vega 64 at the moment. It is comparable to Nvidia’s GTX 1080 but still, it does not quite surpass it. AMD still is improving and is out there not lagging far behind.

The GPUs of the second tier are not much expensive as compared to the tier 1 GPUs. Their price varies quite often due to high manufacturing and low supply curve. You can expect the price of tier 2 GPUs to lie in the range of $300-$700.

These will definitely be worth your money. You’ll have a satisfying 2K gaming experience on these GPUs. If you’re a game lover then you won’t mind spending a few bucks on these beauties.

GPU Hierarchy Tier 2
GPU Hierarchy Tier 2

Tier 3 - Mid Range

If you ask which GPUs are the most common among PC gamers, you will find out that tier 3 GPUs are the ones. Most of gamers use these GPUs because of a few factors such as being medium range in the price category.

These are known as “Mid-range” because of being in the medium price range. These being affordable can still handle a lot of latest games. Mid-range just refers to their price; don’t think the quality is compromised in these GPUs. You still get a smooth experience in gaming.

BrandModelMemoryMemory Chipset
NvidiaGTX 10606 GB / 3 GBGDDR5
R9 3908 GBGDDR5
R9 290X4 GBGDDR5

As already mentioned above, tier 3 GPUs are most commonly used around the world of gamers. You are able to play on high to ultra-high settings with minimal interruptions.

Obviously, you won’t be able to avail of 4K quality. As far as fps is concerned, you can roam around 30-60fps for 2K graphics. There is also good news for the fans of 1080p. You will not regret using these GPUs. They give a satisfactory and uninterrupted experience on 1080p.

This category is quite balanced in terms of the brand offering such GPUs. Nvidia and AMD go side by side in mid-range GPUs’ comparison. They are very equal in terms of quality in tier 3 GPUs with a slight edge to AMD’s Radeon series.

You can easily rely on these GPUs for a couple of years. The GPUs in this list are very reliable in terms of memory and 1080p textures. Both Nvidia and AMD offer very optimal graphics in these GPUs. In medium price, these GPUs are best.

GPU Hierarchy Tier 3
GPU Hierarchy Tier 3

Tier 4 - Budget

We are well aware of our society and we can understand that not everybody can afford a beastly gaming PC. Not all have enough money to get a powerful and high-performance gaming system.

To cope with these issues, the gaming and PC market has introduced a number of affordable yet reliable solutions to choose from. There are a lot of low-end budget GPUs and systems available in the market which people with low budgets can purchase.

These GPUs are classified as tier 4 GPUs. They give a very satisfying gaming experience while being in the budget of almost everyone. Nvidia and AMD again offer a variety of tier 4 GPUs. These GPUs are built for 1080p gaming. Their performance can vary from game to game and also with the system they’re being used with.

A list of some popular tier 4 GPUs is given below.

BrandModelMemoryMemory Chipset
NvidiaGTX 1050 Ti6 GB / 3 GBGDDR5
R9 3804 GBGDDR5
R9 280X3 GBGDDR5
R9 2803 GBGDDR5

The above-mentioned GPUs are known to be well-performing but still, you cannot expect them to be outstanding and provide an elite experience in every game. They are best for those who have a limited budget.

Radeon RX 560 by AMD and GTX 1050 Ti by Nvidia, respectively, are the leading GPUs in this tier. As we saw in Tier 3 that gave maximum 2K experience, these Tier 4 GPUs give a maximum quality in 1080p.

You can still play the latest games on the Tier 4 GPUs. The difference will only be that they won’t be as smooth as they are in higher tiers. If you are new to gaming then you can make a start on these GPUs and enjoy the latest games. These are affordable, simpler, and somewhat straightforward. This is the best choice for you if you have a low budget.

GPU Hierarchy Tier 4
GPU Hierarchy Tier 4

Tier 5 - Budget-Friendly Starter Kit

This tier is the cheapest of all in terms of price. This fifth tier is classified as “Budget-Friendly Starter Kit”. In this tier, you can see a few more GPUs. These are basically money-saving GPUs and don’t get much out of the performance.

If you are not a professional gamer who must have the latest games at your earliest, this tier is built for you. You can still enjoy classic games and the less-demanding ones on the GPUs of this tier.

You might get 60fps for 1080p but it won’t be as stable and smooth as Tier 4 GPUs. If you try to go even a bit higher on these GPUs, you’ll see a clear lag in your game.

The GPUs included in this Tier are listed below.

BrandModelMemoryMemory Chipset
NvidiaGTX 7502 GBGDDR5
GT 10302 GBGDDR5
HD 68701 GBGDDR5
HD 58501 GBGDDR5
R7 3601 GBGDDR5
R7 2601 GBGDDR5
HD 77701 GBGDDR5
HD 68501 GBGDDR5

You might be thinking, what are these Tier 5 GPUs good for? Basically, if you use your computer just for regular stuff and occasionally play video games then these GPUs are the perfect matches.

If you are not much interested in the latest games then you shouldn’t spend too much on higher tier GPUs. For seasonal gamers, these Tier 5 GPUs are the ideal ones. You can enjoy a classic game or any other random game on these GPUs.

Other than more advanced games, your system will run quite smoothly on these GPUs. For a simple and stable light PC , you can definitely rely on Tier 5 GPUs. They are very light on your wallet and very suitable for a basic PC system.

We have briefly laid-out the GPU Hierarchy above. This hierarchy is not so simple and obvious as it seems. There are many factors that determine the ultimate hierarchy of GPUs.

Except for the Tier 1 GPUs , all other tiers have a tough competition among the brands which are in the race of GPU hierarchy. The GPUs which are in competition are tested for various latest games.

Their responses to those games determine which GPU is more powerful and better in performance. This is a very long and laborious work. After those various tests, a GPU is declared better than the other.

Tier 5 - Budget-Friendly Starter Kit
Tier 5 - Budget-Friendly Starter Kit

One may ask; which is the most powerful and best, in terms of performance, GPU in the market at the moment? Well, this has a simple and obvious answer. Currently, the most powerful GPU in the market is Nvidia’s GeForce Titan V.

It tops the list with an impressive combination of performance and power. It has a stunning design. No GPU has looked as cool as Nvidia GeForce Titan V looks. If we talk about the groundbreaking capability of Titan V, it has the power of 12 GB HBM2 memory and 640 Tensor Cores which delivers 110 teraflops of performance.

Now, these are pretty impressive stats. It also features Volta-optimized Nvidia CUDA for maximum results. These features give you an experience like never before. It will cost you about $3000. This is a very expensive GPU and only the enthusiasts will go for it. But mark my word; you will not be disappointed after using this GPU.

It offers 4K gaming experience like never before without any hiccups. You will need an equally powerful monitor and PC system to get the best results out of this beast. If you are a passionate gamer and want the best graphics and fps for your gaming  experience, you should definitely get one of these.

They will be costly but you will not regret it for a second when you’ll see its performance. Other than this, you can go for other GPUs as well mentioned in the tiers above. As you go ahead in the tiers list, you can see less-expensive GPUs and you can pick the one that suits your needs the best.