Best graphics card for i7–9700K in 2022

The Core i7-9700K lacks hyperthreading like the latest, 10th gen Intel CPUs, but this processor is still great for gaming if you already own it or find a cheap deal on the used market. While it’s pretty close to both the Core i5-1600K and the Core i9-10900K getting a new i7-9700K is a bad idea.

Nevertheless, if you already have one you can pair it with any graphics card available on the market. It won’t induce a CPU bottleneck even if paired with the RTX 2080Ti. As you can see in the linked article above, you’ll lose less than five percent of performance when running the RTX 2080Ti compared to the best gaming CPU on the market, the 10900K.

This means that the 9700K is great for any GPU. But, as always, the best graphics card for you depends on your needs. Do you play games on 1080p or 4K? Do you prefer AAA single-player titles that push graphics to their limits? Or are you a competitive gamer playing multiplayer shooters and other esports titles?

Well, no matter your gaming preferences we have a great GPU for you to pair with your 9700K. We have a graphics card that is perfect for 4K resolution but also those that are great for high refresh gaming at lower resolutions. We have GPUs perfect for building an SFF build and the best choice you can find on the used market at the moment. That’s not all, you’ll find more GPU recommendations for your 9700K down below.

1. EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Black Gaming: Best overall graphics card

MEMORY
11 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1350  MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1545 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
2× HDMI
1× USB-C

Since the 9700K can’t induce CPU bottleneck no matter which GPU you pair it with, obviously the best overall GPU you can get is the RTX 2080 Ti. But its price and performance advantage over the next best thing, the RTX 2080 Super, makes the Ti version a bad pick for everyone sans those who don’t know what to do with more than $1,000.

Further, with the imminent release of new GPU lineups from Nvidia and AMD, getting a card like the RTX 2080Ti months before beasts sporting anything from 30 to 60 percent better performance than the RTX 2080 Ti is not a smart thing to do. So, if you need a powerful graphics card for playing games at 4K, it’s better to go with the card featured below.

2. EVGA RTX 2080 Super KO Gaming: Best graphics card for 4K gaming

MEMORY
8 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1650 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1815 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
2× HDMI

Sporting a price that’s relatively normal and offering about 90 percent of gaming performance compared to its bigger cousin, the RTX 2080 Super is the best pick for those who want a card for 4K gaming. Yes, it cannot achieve stable 60 frames per second in several games with all settings cranked to the max, but at least it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get one.

It’s still capable of running virtually any game at 60fps and with most settings set to high, which isn’t that bad. And with rumors circling that the DLSS 3.0 will work on any game that uses TAA (which is, along with the FXAA, the most common antialiasing method offered in today’s games), the RTX 2080 Super could stay a great choice for 4K gaming at least for a year or so. And, of course, you can play esports titles at high refresh rates with this card, if you have the hardware needed.

If DLSS 3.0 brings performance improvements similar to what we’re seeing in games supporting DLSS 2.0, you could get the RTX 2080 Super and be set for 4K gaming until we start to receive proper next-gen titles. And that won’t happen for at least a couple of years.

3. EVGA RTX 2070 Super Gaming & Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT: Best graphics card for 1440p 60 FPS gaming

MEMORY
8 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1650 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1770 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
2× HDMI
1× USB-C

If you need a graphics card capable of running games at 60fps on 1440p resolution the RTX 2070 Super and RX 5700 XT are the two best choices. Now, both of these cards are capable of running most games way above 60 frames per second, even with max details. The thing is, system hogs such as RDR 2, AC: Odyssey, Metro Exodus, and Control, will run around 60fps or lower, even with something like the RTX 2070 Super.

So, if you’re ready to lower details in select titles a card like the RX 5600 XT or the RTX 2060 could be even better for 1440p 60fps gaming. Both cards can run most games at 60fps or higher with max details while being noticeable cheaper than both the RTX 2070 Super and RX 5700 XT. If you’re fine with turning down some graphical settings, get the RX 5600 XT or the RTX 2060 and you’ll be fine.

MEMORY
8 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1670 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1925 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
2× HDMI

But if you want the best image quality in every game you play, get one of the two original recommendations. The two cards have similar performances. The RTX 2070 Super is more expensive but it also supports stuff like Ray Tracing effects and DLSS. The RX 5700 XT is almost as powerful as the RTX 2070 Super while being 20 percent cheaper. But the AMD card doesn’t support Ray Tracing or DLSS, and AMD’s graphic drivers are known for their stability issues and other bugs.

4. Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT & EVGA RTX 2070 Super Gaming: Best graphics card for high refresh rate gaming at 1080p

MEMORY
8 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1670 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1925 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
1× HDMI

When it comes to 1080p high refresh rate gaming, the situation is very similar to what we have in the 1440 60fps gaming part of this piece. If you want to play games at 120fps or above without reducing details get either the RX 5700 XT or the RTX 2070 Super.

MEMORY
8 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1605 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1770 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
1× HDMI
1× USB-C

If you’re ready to reduce effects in some games and do not always have the best image quality possible, get either the RX 5600 XT or the RTX 2060 Super.

5. EVGA RTX 2080 Super KO Gaming: Best graphics card for high refresh rate gaming at 1440p

MEMORY
8 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1650 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1815 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
1× HDMI

When it comes to high refresh rate 1440p gaming the RTX 2080 Super is the best choice for the zero-compromise gaming experience. With this card, you can play almost any game at or near 100fps or above without lowering the details. On the other hand, first-person games, as well as esports titles, will run like a charm at 144Hz or above.

Some games (RDR 2, Control) will have a hard time making them run at high refresh rates. But those are all single-player titles where having the game running at 144Hz isn’t as important as when playing multiplayer games.

Now, if you’re ready to turn down some details the RTX 2070 Super or the RX 5700 XT can also be solid choices for high refresh rate 1440p gaming. You can either turn down details in AAA and single-player games. Or, you can play those at 60fps while reserving 144Hz and higher performance for esports titles and first-person shooters.

6. ASUS TUF Gaming GTX 1650 Super OC & GTX 1660 Super OC: Best graphics card for eSports and multiplayer games at 1080p

If you mostly play esports and multiplayer games you don’t have to buy an expensive card to experience those at high frame rates.

MEMORY
4 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1530 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1800 MHz
OUTPUTS
1× DisplayPort
1× HDMI
1× DVI-D

At 1080p even the GTX 1650 Super OC can run esports titles at high refresh rates. You’ll be able to play games such as CS: GO, Overwatch, Valorant, Rainbow Six: Siege without issues at three-digit frame rates. Even more demanding games, such as Apex Legends, can reach three-digit frame rates on low/medium settings. This is an excellent result for a card this affordable. And when, once in a blue moon, you get a desire to play some blockbuster AAA game with jaw-dropping visuals, the GTX 1650 will most likely be able to run it at 60fps with decent details.

MEMORY
6 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1530  MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1860 MHz
OUTPUTS
1× DisplayPort
1× HDMI
1× DVI-D

The GTX 1660 Super OC, on the other hand, is the premium choice for 1080p esports games. It’s capable of running any esports titles, even Apex Legends, at three-digit frame rates. You’ll need to turn some settings down to reach stable 120 or 144 Hz but that’s fine for the money. Now, if you’re only playing multiplayer games we would recommend getting the GTX 1650 Super. But if you love playing AAA and single-player games the 1660 Super is a better choice. You won’t have to turn down settings to enjoy demanding games at 60fps and in 1080p resolution.

7. Sapphire Pulse RX 5600 XT & EVGA RTX 2060 KO Gaming: Best graphics card for eSports and multiplayer games At 1440p

MEMORY
6 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1130  MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1750 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
1× HDMI

At 1440p resolution, the 1660 Super is fine for playing esports titles. Some games will work great with all settings cranked to the max. Others will require lowering some settings. But all of them will be able to reach 120 or 144Hz. And the card is capable of running almost every game at 60fps with tweaking visual settings. That’s great for the price.

MEMORY
6 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1365  MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1680 MHz
OUTPUTS
1× DisplayPort
1× HDMI
1× DL-DVI-D

But if you want a zero-compromise esports gaming experience at 1440p, it’s better to invest money in a card such as the RX 5600 XT or the RTX 2060. These two are capable of running every multiplayer and esports game at three-digit frame rates without lowering any visual setting. And on top of that, both cards can run almost every AAA and single-player game at least at 60fps with visual settings set on max.

8. XFX RX 570 RS Black & ASUS TUF Gaming GTX 1650 Super OC: Best graphics card for waiting for next-gen GPUs

MEMORY
4 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1264 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1284 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
1× HDMI
1× DVI-D

If you just need a decent graphics card that’s not too expensive to bridge the gap until Nvidia and AMD release their new graphics cards, you have lots of excellent choices. For 1080p gaming, something like the GTX 1650 Super is great if you’re buying a new card. If you don’t want to spend lots of money then get the RX 570. It’s cheap new and even cheaper used while being able to provide more than decent experience in any game at 1080p.

MEMORY
4 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1530 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1800 MHz
OUTPUTS
1× DisplayPort
1× HDMI
1× DVI-D

If you need more oomph something like the GTX 1660 Super could be a great choice. It’s relatively affordable while being able to run any current game on max settings at 1080p or a mix of high and medium settings at 1440p. A great choice for waiting a couple of months to upgrade. If you really can’t play games unless every visual setting is set on max get the GTX 1660 Super if playing at 1080p. If playing at 1440p either get the RX 5600 XT or the RTX 2060.

9. Zotac Gaming RTX 2070 Super Mini: Best graphics card for an SFF build

MEMORY
8 GB GDDR6
BASE CLOCK
1410 MHz
BOOST CLOCK
1770 MHz
OUTPUTS
3× DisplayPort
2× HDMI

In case you want to build a small form factor gaming PC, the best choice at the moment is the Zotac RTX 2070 Super Mini. It’s compact. It has a dual-fan design. It should offer the same level of performance as regular RTX 2070 Super cards. And, it’s not selling for a premium compared to other RTX 2070 Super models.

There are RTX 2080 Super models that can fit into most Mini-ITX cases, in case you want something more powerful. And for those in need of something less powerful, there’s the Zotac 2060 Super Mini, or a low-profile GTX 1660 Super card. If you need something even smaller and more compact, check out our low-profile GPU list, it has some interesting picks.

Best graphics card to buy on the used market

Finally, if you’ve bought a used 9700K and want to pair it with a used GPU, there are some solid choices on the used market. First of all, get ready to see a ton of overpriced listings. The current situation in the world affected the supply of new PC components. It also led some people to seriously overprice the value of their used graphics cards.

But if you have the patience, there are some nice deals to be found. We would recommend getting either the GTX 1080 or the RTX 2060. Both cards have pretty similar performance and can be found at solid prices if you’re ready to wait and comb through a ton of comically overpriced listings.