Graphics cards are back. That’s a phrase to spark joy in all but the most hard-hearted of PC gamer. Or the poorest. Yes, GPUs once more became available in 2022, and the price did indeed drop from the infuriating highs of the supply and GPU mining crises, but the new graphics cards to drop this year have still been frustratingly expensive.
If you wanted to buy a new graphics card, last year sucked a big fat pixel pipeline. But the thing we’ve all been waiting for happened this year, the cryptocurrency market completely collapsed, taking with it GPU mining. It wasn’t just the volatility of bitcoin that took it down, but the shift from proof of work to proof of stake for ethereum.
If those are meaningless words to you, all you need to know is there is no longer profit to be made from thrashing graphics cards to within an inch of their functional lives down a crypto mine. And that means supply is up and it’s actually possible to go buy a new GPU right now.
We’ve even had whole new architectures, with Nvidia releasing its Ada design, offering much higher clock speeds and beefier pools of cache memory, and way faster gaming performance. AMD has also finally given us a chiplet GPU in the first RDNA 3 graphics cards.
Best graphics card 2022: the nominees
The winner of the Best Graphics Card 2022 PC Gamer Hardware Award will be announced on New Year’s Eve, so check back then to see which one of these GPUs is crowned the best.