Best Budget Graphics Cards for Gaming
Onboard graphics are best suited for browsing the web and word processing tasks. If you want to play the latest games on a PC, you need a dedicated graphics card. However, high-end cards start at $1,000.
If you have a limited budget, choosing the right graphics card can be a little overwhelming. To help narrow your selection, here are five of the best budget graphics cards for gaming.
Table of Contents
Quick Compare Table - Best Budget Graphics Cards
Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 4GB (GDDR6)
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 is a quality graphics card at an affordable price. It includes 4GB of GDDR6 video memory and a clock speed of 1710 MHz, which offers raw processing power of 4.4 teraflops.
The card includes one HDMI port and two DisplayPort ports. The enclosure over the circuit board features a geometric design with two fans. The noise may pick up when playing a game on its highest graphics settings, but the fans are relatively quiet with normal settings or a lower resolution.
The card supports 4K resolution, but you may notice a major drop in the frame rate when playing at full resolution.
The GTX 1650 was released as a mid-range graphics card in 2019. Two years later, it remains a cost-effective option for playing the latest video games.
|Supports 4K resolution||May require lower resolutions when using high graphics settings|
|The fan remains mostly quiet|
|Suitable for playing the latest video games|
ASRock Phantom Gaming D Radeon RX 570 4GB
The ASRock Phantom Gaming D Radeon RX 570 offers slightly better performance compared to the GTX 1650. With 6.31 teraflops of raw processing power, the RX 570 can handle graphics-intensive games at up to 4K resolution, depending on the rest of the specs of your PC.
The card includes 4GB of video memory and only requires 185W of power. It also includes a total of five display outputs, including one DVI-D, one HDMI, and three DisplayPort outputs.
The one drawback to this card is the design. It includes a wide profile that may not work well on every PC. The airflow is also less than ideal, which may lead to issues with overheating. Due to these potential issues, the ASRock Phantom Gaming D RX 570 card is best suited for mid-size and full-size tower cases with efficient cooling.
|Best value for your money option for budget graphics cards||Requires a PC case with optimal cooling to prevent overheating|
|Supports 4K resolution and DirectX 12|
|Delivers more computing power compared to other budget cards|
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB
The ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 uses a super compact design to take up less space, but still features a wider profile that may not work in a micro ATX PC case. However, it includes 6GB of video memory, instead of the 4GB found in the GTX 1650.
With the extra 2GB of video memory, the GTX 1660 delivers a better gaming experience. You can easily play games on high graphics settings at 1080p resolution, depending on the CPU and RAM in your PC. The card also supports 4K resolution, but you will likely need to lower the settings.
The card includes three DisplayPort outputs and one HDMI port. It is also VR-ready and supports HDR technology, allowing you to use some of the latest gaming technologies.
|Supports HDR, VR, and 4K resolution||Often sold at double the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP)|
|Affordable Nvidia-based card that can play modern games|
|Includes more video memory compared to other budget cards|
PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 550 4GB
The PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 550 is a top recommendation for those with a limited budget. The RX 550 is an older card, as it was first released in 2017. It typically costs about half the price of the other choices, but still offers enough computing power to handle the latest video games.
The RX 550 is technically compatible with 4K monitors. Yet, you are unlikely to play games at 4K resolution with this graphics card. It delivers a little over one teraflop.
The main advantage of this card is the size, as it uses an ultra-compact design with a single fan. It is small enough to fit in a smaller form factor PC case. However, it does have a dual-slot design, which may be an issue if you are using two PCI-Express slots.
PowerColor is not a widely recognized name in gaming. It does not have the same brand recognition as ASUS, ASRock, or MSI Gaming, which is also likely why the price remains low.
|One of the most affordable options for better PC gaming||The manufacturer is relatively unknown|
|Includes a compact design that should fit almost any system|
|Supports 4K resolution|
ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Phoenix Fan Edition
The ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is a budget graphics card capable of delivering a solid 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution.
The card features 4GB of GDDR5 ram and a memory clock speed of 7008 MHz.
The available video outputs include DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI.
The GTX 1050 Ti is an older card and may soon become obsolete for those who want to play the latest AAA video games. It has a max resolution of 3840 x 2160 (4K) pixels. However, the limited raw processing power may keep you playing at 2K or 1080p resolutions.
The card includes a single fan and an aerodynamic design that should keep the circuit board cool during a long gaming session. As with several other options, it has a dual-slot design, which takes up more space.
|Quiet fan and efficient cooling||May become out-of-date sooner compared to other cards|
|Supports 4K resolution|
|Manufactured by a trusted company (ASUS)|
Each of the graphics cards listed offers between 4GB and 6GB of video memory.
Some of these cards may work with 4K resolution, depending on the game settings and the rest of your PC components. However, budget cards are best suited for 1080p and 1440p gaming.
If you are getting a graphics card to play a specific game, check the minimum requirements. Most game studios list the recommended graphics card chips needed to play at different resolutions.
Be sure check our other guides and articles on the best graphics cards you can get.
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB
The Best 4k graphics card in our opinion
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Super is a great budget graphics card which will also set you up for the future.
It has GDDR6 memory which is more up to date than the other cards using GDDR5 and it’s based on the Turing architecture which is going to last a lot longer than the older pascal cards.
For 1080p this card will perform great at ultra settings in pretty much all games.