The 5 Best Graphics Cards for Streaming in 2023

Written by Azzief Khaliq
Last updated Sep 25, 2023

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Streaming is more accessible (and popular) than ever, so we won’t blame you for wanting to get in on the action. Whether you want to stream as a hobby or dream of becoming the next xQc, having the right gear is important. And there are few more crucial tasks than finding the best graphics card for streaming.

Buying the right graphics card for your streaming PC isn’t just about turning up the graphics and getting great framerates. A good streaming graphics card will also let you use hardware encoding to take a load off your CPU and ensure the best experience possible for you and your viewers. Let’s get started.

Short on Time? The Best Graphics Cards for Streaming at a Glance

Our Favorite Graphics Cards for Streaming

1. Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition

Best Premium Graphics Card for Streaming

Boost Clock2610 MHz
Memory24 GB GDDR6X
Ports• 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 2x HDMI 2.1a
Power Consumption~480 watts
Dimensions14.08 x 5.88 x 2.76 inches

If you want a graphics card for streaming that’ll let you crank up all the settings and give your viewers a visual treat, the Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition is the card you want. It’s pricey, but there’s nothing out there quite like it.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is a beast of a card capable of triple-digit framerates at 4K, especially if you enable upscaling. Even without it, though, it recorded a mean average FPS of 112.6 in Tom’s Hardware’s 9-game test suite, with 1% lows of 84.3 FPS. So a locked native 4K at 60 FPS is not an issue, even in a game as punishing as A Plague Tale: Requiem.

Of course, you’re not likely to be streaming in 4K, so a lot of this gaming performance is going to be solely for your own enjoyment. But the RTX 4090 will take anything you throw at it, including triple-A titles at ultra settings, taking advantage of its raw power and excellent ray-tracing performance.

Let’s be clear: you won’t need this much power if all you want to do is stream competitive games like Apex Legends or Warzone 2.0. But what if you want to stream new triple-A titles alongside older or less demanding games? In that case, the RTX 4090 will let you do that without compromising graphics settings or performance.

The RTX 4090’s sheer power also means you should be able to turn up the NVENC or AV1 codec settings to provide higher-quality streams. That should also give your viewers a better experience, although you’ll have to be aware of any bandwidth and bitrate restrictions on the part of your internet provider and streaming service.

Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition

Source: Asus

Asus’ ROG Strix RTX 4090 is one of the pricier ones out there, but we’ve opted for this one over the others for the aesthetics. If you can afford to spend this much, you likely want to showcase your gaming PC in the background; this card is the perfect RTX 4090 for that.

Overall, Nvidia RTX 4090 cards like the Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition are currently the cream of the crop as far as graphics cards go. They’re pricey and overkill for many users, but streamers looking for the absolute best GPU money can buy will find it here.

2. Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti

Best High-End Graphics Card for Streaming

Boost Clock2610 MHz
Memory12 GB GDDR6X
Ports• 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 2x HDMI 2.1a
Power Consumption~300 watts
Dimensions12.01 x 5.43 x 2.56 inches

If you’re shopping at the high end, Nvidia GPUs are still the best for combined gaming and streaming. Compared to AMD, their better-quality AV1 and H.264 encoders mean that cards like the Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti offer a better overall package for streamers looking for a graphics card.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti excels at 1440p gaming, managing a 118-FPS mean average in Tom’s Hardware’s punishing 9-game test suite. The 1% lows are excellent, too, with 91.2 FPS ensuring that you have a lot of wiggle room for high-FPS streams or effects such as ray-tracing. You shouldn’t have any major issues with games dropping below 60 FPS at 1440p, at least in the here and now.

The RTX 4070 Ti does a decent job at 4K, too, although we recommend dropping settings or enabling Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) upscaling to keep your 1% lows up. Unless you’re streaming at 30 FPS, you’ll want your games to stay above the 60 FPS threshold at all times, and DLSS will play a huge role in that.

Like the RTX 4090, the RTX 4070 Ti offers great performance and should handle all sorts of games, from fast-paced competitive shooters to graphically intensive triple-A titles. There’s enough power here to stream the former at 120 FPS, too, even if you play at 1440p.

AV1 support, like on all RTX 40-series cards, is available, and you also get access to Nvidia’s NVENC H.264 encoding, which is still the best option aside from ultra-slow CPU encoding. So you’re set for streaming and video recording, no matter which platforms you choose.

Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti

Source: Asus

Nvidia RTX cards also let you use Nvidia Broadcast, which offers real-time AI-assisted noise reduction and background replacement. These can be incredibly useful for streaming, especially if you can’t set up a sound-treated and green-screened streaming environment.

Asus’ TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is our favorite RTX 4070 Ti out there, mostly for its great cooler and $800 price. You give up RGB lighting to hit Nvidia’s MSRP, but we think that’s an OK trade-off.

Overall, the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti is a great graphics card for those looking to build a high-end streaming system capable of handling a variety of genres and games. Yes, $800 for an RTX xx70-class card is tough to swallow, but that’s the world we live in right now.

3. Zotac GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8 GB Twin Edge

Best Mid-Range Graphics Card for Streaming

Boost Clock2550 MHz
Memory8 GB GDDR6X
Ports• 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 1x HDMI 2.1a
Power Consumption~160 watts
Dimensions8.88 x 4.85 x 1.58 inches

Nvidia’s RTX 4060 Ti isn’t the generational improvement many were hoping for over the RTX 3060 Ti, but it’s still a solid mid-range card that offers added value for streamers with its AV1 support and AI-assisted enhancements via Nvidia Broadcast.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is a capable 1080p card with some 1440p ability. The latter is limited by the card’s 8 GB of VRAM, though, so you’re best sticking to 1080p here in most modern titles. In Tom’s Hardware’s nine-game rasterization test suite, the RTX 4060 Ti performed decently well with a 104.7-FPS mean average and 80-FPS 1% lows.

This puts it on par with the old RTX 3070 and renders the old Ampere card mostly obsolete (unless you can find a great deal on the older card). Ray tracing isn’t quite as viable here as it is on higher-end RTX 40-series cards, but you should be able to get by with some tweaked settings and DLSS upscaling.

Until AMD launches its mid-range rival, the RTX 4060 Ti is the only AV1-capable card in this price and performance class. So it should be the default choice for anyone who wants to use the codec, whether for streaming or encoding videos for YouTube.

Add to that Nvidia Broadcast’s real-time AI noise removal, virtual green screen, and background blurring, and you’re on to a solid mid-range card for streaming.

Zotac GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8 GB Twin Edge

Source: Zotac

Zotac’s RTX 4060 Ti is simple, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Its size means it’ll fit in most cases, and the fact that it sticks to Nvidia’s $400 MSRP helps make it a good-value buy, at least as far as RTX 4060 Tis go.

However, if you’re confident that you won’t need AV1 any time soon, you could go for an RTX 3060 Ti instead. Cards like the Asus RTX 3060 Ti Dual are available for around the $350 mark, and the $50 savings may be worth giving up AV1 if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll still have access to Nvidia’s high-quality NVENC H.264 encoder to soften the blow.

Overall, the Zotac GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8 GB Twin Edge is a capable mid-range graphics card that’s good for 1080p streamers with a bit of cash to spare. It’s not the only good performer in this price bracket, but AV1 and Nvidia Broadcast support give it a useful advantage in our book.

4. XFX Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 7600 Core Edition

Best Budget Graphics Card for Streaming

Boost Clock2655 MHz
Memory8 GB GDDR6X
Ports• 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
• 1x HDMI 2.1a
Power Consumption~150 watts
Dimensions9.49 x 5.16 x 1.61 inches

AMD’s new Radeon RX 7600 is its newest budget GPU, and it’s a solid option in the sub-$300 price range for 1080p gamers. It’s not quite as good a deal as price-reduced older GPUs, but its AV1 compatibility makes it a more forward-thinking choice.

The AMD Radeon RX 7600 trades blows with the old RX 6700 10 GB, offering a reasonable (but not massive) generational upgrade over the RX 6600 it replaces. In Tom’s Hardware’s nine-game test suite, the RX 7600 recorded a mean average FPS of 142.0, with 1% lows of 107 FPS.

You could probably crank the settings up if you’re not too concerned with hitting high framerates, a nice luxury you don’t often get at this price range. Cranking the settings up to ultra drags the mean average FPS across the same rasterized tests down to 82 FPS. Still, you can likely find a happy medium between the two and play games at around 100 FPS or so.

The RX 7600’s main advantage over AMD’s older GPUs is the inclusion of AV1 support. While AV1 streaming support is limited, we think it’s the way forward and expect all major streaming services to support it sooner rather than later. Thankfully, AMD’s H.264 AMF encoder is also a lot better now, so you should still get decent results with hardware encoding on non-AV1 platforms like Twitch.

XFX Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 7600 Core Edition

Source: XFX

XFX’s Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 7600 Core Edition is one of the most affordable RX 7600s out there. It’s also one of the most compact, with a true two-slot cooler and 9.5-inch length, allowing it to fit into most PC cases without issue.

Overall, AMD’s RX 7600 is a solid new entry into the budget GPU category. Sure, price cuts on older GPUs may make the RX 7600 seem less appealing from a pure gaming standpoint. But the addition of the AV1 codec makes cards like the XFX’s Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 7600 Core Edition a great budget option for those looking to take advantage of the best-quality hardware codec available right now.

5. Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition 8 GB

Best Budget Graphics Card for Streaming Alternative

Boost Clock2400 MHz
Memory8 GB GDDR6
Ports• 3 x DisplayPort 2.0
• 1 x HDMI 2.1
Power Consumption225 watts
Dimensions11.01 x 3.87 x 1.65 inches

Up until the launch of the AMD Radeon RX 7600, Intel’s Arc A750 was the cheapest way to get access to the impressive AV1 codec. But even though it’s no longer the only option at the budget end, the Arc A750’s great price and solid performance make it a compelling alternative to AMD’s newest GPU.

As you might imagine for a sub-$250 card, the A750 works best at 1080p with lowered settings. Playing at 1080p medium should put you north of 60 FPS in most modern titles. Tom’s Hardware tested the A750 in nine modern games at 1080p medium, with Intel’s card recording a mean average FPS result of 107.7 FPS, with mean 1% lows of 75 FPS.

Obviously, this level of performance isn’t going to blow anyone away. But it’s more than enough for streaming, especially considering the roughly $240 MSRP. Given you’re likely not going to be broadcasting at more than 60 FPS anyway, the fact that the A750 runs in that 70 – 100 FPS window isn’t all that bad.

The main benefit of the A750 is its AV1 encoder, which is a significant improvement over H.264-based hardware codecs such as Nvidia’s NVENC. While it’s not perfect, the quality-to-bitrate ratio is impressive and perfect for those streaming with limited upload bandwidth.

While AV1 is great, not all platforms support it at the time of writing. Thankfully, the Arc A750 has a great H.264 encoder too, so you’re good to go no matter your choice of streaming service.

Intel Arc A750 Limited Edition 8GB

Source: Intel

The Intel Arc A750 may no longer be the only affordable graphics card that supports the AV1 codec, but it’s still a valid option compared to low-end AMD GPUs. Combine that with its solid performance for the price and support for older codecs, and you have a decent option for a budget-conscious streaming rig. Just make sure you have a modern CPU and motherboard with Resizable BAR (ReBar) or Smart Access Memory (SAM) support, and you’re all set.

Before You Buy

Generally speaking, a good gaming card will make for a good streaming card. So we won’t cover the basics here; head to our guide to choosing a graphics card for all that info. Instead, let’s quickly discuss hardware codecs and streaming service support for these codecs.

H.264 vs. AV1

Up until recently, H.264 (or AVC) was the standard encoder used for CPU and GPU encoding, including Nvidia’s NVENC and AMD’s AMF. However, the past few years have seen a new codec enter the ring: AV1.

Hardware-accelerated AV1 encoding made its mainstream debut with Intel’s Arc GPUs, the only ones supporting the encoder for a while. However, it’s now a standard feature on modern GPUs after Nvidia and AMD adopted it with their RTX 40-series and RX 7000-series cards, respectively.

We won’t go into the nitty-gritty here, but suffice it to say, AV1 absolutely dominates H.264 encoding at lower bitrates. For instance, here’s a comparison between AV1, H.264, and H.265 at 2048 kbps bitrate:

As you can see, the AV1 video is much cleaner and less blocky than H.264 or H.265. This means you’ll be able to stream much higher-quality video than you would with NVENC or AMF without turning up the bitrate nearly as high. So your streams will look better without the processing and bandwidth pressures of running high-bitrate H.264.

If you can stream in AV1, it’s easily the way to go. However, that’s not always possible, as we’ll discuss next.

AV1 Support

AV1 logo

Source:Alliance for Open Media, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

AV1 is excellent, but support for the encoder is still quite spotty. At the time of writing, YouTube is the only major platform that supports AV1 encoding for both video uploads and streaming. So if you’re streaming videos on YouTube, then you’ll definitely want to make AV1 a top priority.

However, Twitch (and newcomers like Kick) have yet to make the leap to AV1. You’ll still be stuck on H.264 if you’re streaming on either platform, so AV1 support may not be quite as crucial for your streaming graphics card.

That said, we still recommend buying an AV1-capable card because it’s the way forward. The quality benefits are substantial, especially at lower bitrates, and we expect all streaming platforms and video services to start supporting AV1 sooner rather than later.

Closing Thoughts

There’s never been a better time to buy a graphics card for streaming. With all current-generation GPUs supporting the new AV1 codec, purchasing a modern graphics card means you’ll be set for the next few years, at least as far as streaming technology and video encoding goes.

Beyond that, your choice of graphics card will depend on the sorts of games you plan to stream. Want to stream flashy triple-A titles? Consider the Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4070 Ti. More of a competitive streamer on a budget? The XFX Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 7600 Core Edition and Intel Arc A750 will be perfect for you.

Need more streaming gear? Check out our list of the best microphone stands.

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