Your gear is about as important as your actual skills when it comes to competitive gaming. You can be the best aimer in the world but you’ll never be taking down entire squads on your own if you’re struggling to get 30 frames per second while playing with a 15 year old trackball mouse. Apex Legends is not the easiest game in the world to run, so if you want to maximize your framerates to get a competitive advantage you’ll want a decently beefy PC, which of course includes your GPU. In order to help you with that we’ve been analyzing the market and Apex Legends itself in order to come up with the best GPUs to help you reach those buttery smooth framerates at all times.
Read on to find out which GPU best suits your needs, no matter if you’re on a budget or you want to get the absolute best setup money can buy right now.
The most used graphics cards by Apex Legends players
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Check price30.19% of players (16)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090Check price24.53% of players (13)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 TiCheck price7.55% of players (4)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 TiCheck price5.66% of players (3)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 TiCheck price3.77% of players (2)
The most popular graphics cards are calculated based on 53 professional players.
What makes a GPU good for Apex Legends?
In essence, your GPU is tasked with delivering the image that you see on your screen. If you want to play at the higher levels, you will want to make sure that your GPU is producing a ton of frames and, ideally, sending those to a high refresh rate monitor. The advantages of gaming on a high refresh rate system are too substantial to be ignored, so it’s of critical importance that you get yourself a decent setup if you’re looking to compete.
In an ideal world we’d all have an unlimited budget for our builds and go for the best parts out there, but we know that this isn’t the case in the real world. Luckily, recent GPUs are powerful enough to run the game at framerates of 144Hz or higher, even if you’re going for a budget card, so going for that competitive-focused setup doesn’t have to be an extremely expensive affair.
Lately, certain brands have been coming out with 1440p 360Hz esports monitors. The sharper images that these monitors produce can give you an advantage when shooting enemies that are far away, and with GPUs (and PC components in general) becoming more and more powerful every year it’s not wild to assume that 1440p is going to become the standard resolution in the (near) future. The fact that recent GPUs can hit Apex Legends’ FPS cap with relative ease is further evidence towards this idea.
With that being said: esports-ready 1440p 360Hz displays are a new technology, and there’s a substantial early adopter fee to be paid if you decide to go for it. If you have the budget and/or you want to future-proof your setup it can be a good idea to check out 1440p gaming though.
Always make sure to have a balanced build though; there’s no need to spend all of your money on a GPU if that means that you have to bottleneck it with a subpar CPU, for example.
What is NVIDIA Reflex?
Having a smoother visual image is commonly cited as the main advantage of playing at higher frame rates (and using a high refresh rate monitor) but it doesn’t end there. Another huge advantage of playing on a system that is capable of putting out as many frames as possible is a lower system latency. If you’re gaming, achieving the lowest overall system latency possible is something that you need to strive for. If your mouse only registers your clicks half a second after you’ve actuated the button you probably won’t be getting any kills, for example. That’s why it’s so important to get good gaming gear (this includes peripherals, but also your PC itself) if you plan on competing in any given game.
Nvidia’s Reflex (click here to see their in depth article on it) offers a way for you to analyze the performance of your PC and peripherals, while also allowing developers to work with the tech in order to reduce latency in their games. Seeing as Apex Legends is a game that’s compatible with Reflex it pays off to learn a bit more on the technology if you’re browsing for a new GPU (though the Reflex Low Latency Technology works with all GeForce 900 series and up cards) which is why we’ve included this section.
Top graphics card brands in Apex Legends
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti
NVIDIA Reflex Compatible
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti
The GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is part of the 40 series of graphics cards, made by NVIDIA. These succeeded the 30 series of graphics cards.
|NVIDIA CUDA Cores||7680|
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti is a great one to get if you’re a competitive Apex Legends player.
This card will run Apex Legends at 1080p with ease, often hitting the FPS cap even when playing with the settings maxed out, so if you’re solely focused on Apex Legends and you’re absolutely sure that you’re not going to be playing at higher resolutions then you can consider going for a lighter card, but if you’re interested in future-proofing your build then the 4070 is a great choice.
This card truly shines with its 1440p performance: if you lower the settings it reaches the FPS ceiling quite often, and even at max settings it’ll hover around the 240 frames per second mark. It’s also a decent performer at 4K resolutions (reaching ~120 frames per second at max and 220 frames per second at competitive settings) but if you want to invest in an ultra top tier 4K setup for competitive gaming we would recommend more powerful cards.
This card’s 1440p performance, combined with the fact that it absolutely demolishes 1080p makes this our favorite pick right now.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
NVIDIA Reflex Compatible
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Used by 16 Apex Legends players (Jun, 2023)
The GeForce RTX 3080 is part of the 30 series of graphics cards, made by NVIDIA. These succeeded the 20 series of graphics cards.
|NVIDIA CUDA Cores||8960|
The RTX 3080 is part of an older lineup, but that means that there are opportunities to get this card at a reduced price, and it’s an extremely good graphics card for Apex Legends.
If you play at 1080p, this could be the card to get as it reliably stays above 240 frames per second even with the settings turned up to max. Lower those settings a little bit and you’re going to be looking at the framerate cap quite often.
For 1440p gaming we would recommend other, more powerful cards, but even at those resolutions this card can do some serious work. At competitive video settings, it’ll hover around the 240 frames per second mark so if you can find a good deal for the 3080 it’s still a fantastic graphics card for Apex Legends.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080
NVIDIA Reflex Compatible
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080Used by 1 Apex Legends player (Jun, 2023)
The GeForce RTX 4080 is part of the 40 series of graphics cards, made by NVIDIA. These succeeded the 30 series of graphics cards.
|NVIDIA CUDA Cores||9728|
This card (and anything even more powerful than the RTX 4080) is overkill for 1080, let’s be clear about that. If you’re going to be playing at 1920×1080 for the foreseeable future then this card isn’t something that we recommend, but if you’re planning on playing at higher resolutions (or you already are playing at higher resolutions) and/or you also like to enjoy heavier games at maximum graphics then this is a good one to consider.
The card is plenty powerful for playing at 1440p and if that’s your target we would steer you towards the 4070 (Ti), so we consider this to be the card to get if you’re playing at 4K and you want to reach 240 frames per second with some settings turned down.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
NVIDIA Reflex Compatible
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090Used by 1 Apex Legends player (Jun, 2023)
The GeForce RTX 4090 is part of the 40 series of graphics cards, made by NVIDIA. These succeeded the 30 series of graphics cards.
|NVIDIA CUDA Cores||16384|
This is the most powerful graphics card out there, and we would only recommend this to people who absolutely want to get the best of the best and have the wallet to pay for it too. It will handle Apex Legends at 4K with relative ease, delivering around 240 frames per second even with the settings turned way up, so it’s quite obvious that this will be overkill for lower resolutions if your main game is Apex Legends.
If you want to get yourself a graphics card that will run all of the latest and greatest games at maximum settings without any issues at all (and will do so for quite some time to come) this is the one to get, but if you’re someone who doesn’t mind turning down a couple of graphical settings here and there then we would recommend going for other cards, at the top tier NVIDIA cards really are reserved for power users.
Best GPU for Apex Legends – Conclusion
Apex Legends is a game that’s been out for quite some time, and that makes it so that we can easily see the evolution of graphics cards by looking at this game’s performance. Back when it came out, it was basically impossible to reach 240 frames per second with mid-tier cards, and these days you’ll be hitting the framerate cap quite often when playing at 1080p. All of this supports the idea that 1440p might become the next standard resolution in competitive gaming.
One of the major reasons professionals stuck to 1080p was because framerates are more important than visual fidelity, but if PCs are at the point where even mid-tier setups are hitting the framerate cap then you might as well move to 1440p, as having a crisper image to play with only has advantages once the ‘framerate cost’ disadvantage has been eliminated.
Of course gaming at 1440p is a costly affair: you need a beefy PC and an esports-ready 1440p monitor with a high refresh rate, so this isn’t something that’s in the cards for budget-oriented gamers (yet) but if you have the money and you want to future-proof your setup we recommend building towards a 1440p setup.
If you’re staying at 1080p there are some great and very affordable options for you out there and, depending on your target framerate, you can get a competitive setup for a (comparatively) low budget these days.