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Radeon Vs GeForceIf you are building a gaming PC on a budget, the graphics cards best suited for that build in terms of price/performance are normally in the $150 – $250 price range.

As of May 2021, we are unfortunately still experiencing a GPU shortage that started in late 2020 and has only escalated since. Demand has been massive (including from crypto miners) while supply chains are strained due to the pandemic.

This means that it is hard to find just about any recent graphics card at normal prices (MSRP) – or at all. You are therefore faced with the alternatives to either wait or pay more for whatever is in stock at the moment.

In any event, we will still keep this page up to date in the hope that the supply situation improves. So, we continue to list the best graphics cards below $200 based on MSRP for the reference models (which are unfortunately not actual market prices at this time). Our general recommendations on what to look for in order to get the most value for your money should hopefully be helpful either way.

Contents:
AMD Vs Nvidia
Buy Now or Wait?
Best AMD GPU below $200 (MSRP): RX 5500
Best Nvidia GPU below $200 (MSRP): GTX 1650 Super
~$10-30 More: GeForce GTX 1660/1660S
Still Great Value: Radeon RX 570, 580 and 590
No PCIe power: GeForce GTX 1650
Summary and notes

AMD vs. Nvidia Below $200 (MSRP)

Last year, AMD once again caught up to Nvidia in all GPU price ranges thanks to its RDNA and RDNA 2 architectures. The recently launched high-end cards from AMD and Nvidia are practically impossible to find, but you may have some luck with the entry-level RadeonRX 5500 XT. Nvidia’s best graphics card under $200 (reference model MSRP) is the GeForce GTX 1650 Super, also known as the 1650S.

Product

Best AMD

PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC

Best Nvidia

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)

Image

PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)

Stream Processors

Core/Boost Clock

FP32 Theoretical Performance

Memory Size/Type

Memory Bus

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Bandwidth

Recommended Power Supply

Outputs

1x HDMI, 1x DVI, 1x DisplayPort

Best AMD

Product

PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC

Image

PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB AXRX 5500XT 8GBD6-DH/OC

Core/Boost Clock

FP32 Theoretical Performance

Memory Size/Type

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Bandwidth

Recommended Power Supply

Outputs

1x HDMI, 1x DVI, 1x DisplayPort

Best Nvidia

Product

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)

Image

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Single Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Super Aero ITX OC) (GeForce GTX 1650 Super AERO ITX OC)

Core/Boost Clock

FP32 Theoretical Performance

Memory Size/Type

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Bandwidth

Recommended Power Supply

Outputs

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

From just looking at raw FP32 performance, the Radeon RX 5500 XT looks like a far more powerful GPU. However, in terms of actual gaming performance, it’s a tight race. The RX 5500 XT comes out ahead in some games, while the GTX 1650S performs better in others.

On the whole, either will let you run any AAA title at 1080p and theoretically offer great value in terms of FPS/$. The Radeon RX 5500 XT comes in 4 GB and 8 GB varieties, and the 8 GB models are arguably the most future-proof alternative owing to the extra memory (VRAM). Under normal circumstances, it is occasionally possible to pick one of these up for less than $200.

Here’s a quick look at relative GPU performance using benchmark scores from Futuremark’s 3DMark Time Spy. We’ve included some additional GPUs for reference and will be discussing some of them below.

This is not an exact measurement of relative gaming performance, but still a reasonably accurate indicator of what to expect in games, on average.

Bottom line: The “FPS/$” equation changes daily along with GPU prices, which have not been dependable lately for either the GeForce GTX 1650S or the Radeon RX 5500XT. Before the shortage, the best GPU below $200 was the RX 5500XT with 8GB of VRAM.

Buy Now or Wait? May 2021 Edition

It’s hard to recall any point in time when graphics cards have been in such short supply relative to the demand as in 2021.  If you want to know more about the reasons for the current supply predicaments (there are several), head over to igor’sLAB and read industry expert Igor Wallossek’s analysis.

Nvidia and AMD released their new high-end GPUs in the RTX 30-series and RX 6000-series, respectively, in late 2020. All of these cards are currently selling for prices significantly above MSRP if they are available at all. Entry-level and mid-range gaming GPUs are also affected in a big way. Although a new generation of mid-range cards based on the Ampere and RDNA2 architectures will arrive later in 2021, we can probably expect these to be in short supply for some time as well.

For now, you need a bit of luck to find any new graphics card from the current generation at a reasonable price. Other options include being prepared to pay more than usual or checking out the used market. Some previous-gen GPUs such as the Radeon RX 570, 580, or 590 (all of which are still more than decent but much less power-efficient) may also be available for less than $200.

Best AMD GPU Below $200 (MSRP): Radeon RX 5500 XT

msi rx5500 xt GPULast year, AMD finally updated its entry-level and mid-range offerings with more efficient GPUs than the old Polaris-based RX 570, 580, and 590. The RX 5500 XT offers about the same performance as the RX 580 (or even the RX 590) while using less power. One 8-pin PCIe connector is enough for the RX 5500 XT, and the recommended minimum power supply is just 350 W (graphics card TDP is 130 W). The actual gaming performance tends to be marginally better than the GTX 1650 Super but below the GTX 1660.


*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Note that the above table includes both 8 GB and 4 GB of video memory (VRAM). An 8 GB card will, on average, improve frame rates by single-digit percentages. Additional VRAM may also allow for more details and higher resolutions (e.g. 1440p) with less significant performance drops. If the price difference is small, we definitely recommend the 8 GB variety as it performs better and comes prepared for more demanding games.

Best Nvidia GPU Below $200 (MSRP): GTX 1650 Super

GeForce GTX 1650 SuperCompared to the non-Super GTX 1650, the 1650S is much faster and its performance is closer to the GTX 1660. In other words, it’s really a “Super” version of the card.

As opposed to the standard GTX 1650, the Super version requires one 6-pin PCIe power connector but draws much less power than equivalent cards from the previous generation. Because it’s a budget card with a low TDP (100W), GTX 1650 Super designs are mostly small and compact. If you have room for a video card with two fans in your case, this is usually a better option as these cards will run cooler and produce less noise.


*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

The MSI Gaming X is a full-size card with excellent cooling performance and OC potential, but Gigabyte’s more reasonably priced dual-fan WindForce model is a strong competitor. For small form factor builds, Gigabyte also offers a 1650 Super with a single 90 mm fan.

~$10–30 More: GeForce GTX 1660/1660S

GTX 1660 graphics cardThe original GTX 1660 is based on Nvidia’s Turing architecture and is now a couple of years old. It is intended as a direct successor to the GTX 1060 but is considerably faster (15-20%) and more efficient.

Compared to the AMD alternatives, the GTX 1660 is also faster than the previous-gen RX 580 or even the RX 590 in actual games. In other words, you get great performance for 1080p and 1440p gaming and this one would be our favorite if it was slightly cheaper.

As of mid-2021, the GTX 1660 has been replaced by the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, which is almost as fast as the GTX 1660 Ti and usually not much more expensive than the GTX 1660. Compared to the non-Super, the 1660 Super is based on the same chip with an identical amount of shaders and transistors but it’s equipped with faster GDDR6 VRAM.


*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Still Going Strong: AMD Radeon RX 570, 580 & 590

rx570 strixIf you’re simply looking for the maximum amount of frames per second for every dollar invested – then AMD’s previous generation of mid-range GPUs is still worth a look. The Radeon RX 570 GPU was the price/performance leader for years, but today you can also find an RX 580 or RX 590 at attractive price points.

These cards are much less efficient than the Navi generation but do well in terms of raw performance. The RX 590 in particular will let you play most AAA titles at 1080p/60fps, as well as 1440p with reduced quality settings.


*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Most RX 590 cards (as well as 580/570) use dual-fan cooling solutions, which is practically a must on this power-hungry GPU. For more info on additional models, see our more comprehensive RX 590 roundup.

Here’s a video from the web that compares the relative performance of the RX 590 to the GTX 1650 Super.

GTX 1650 Super vs. RX 590

No PCIe Power: GeForce GTX 1650

msi gaming-x 1650If you are limited by your power supply and cannot (or don’t want to) replace it – or simply want an Nvidia card that’s more affordable than the GTX 1650 Super or 1660 – the GeForce GTX 1650 is the one GPU under $200 that you should be looking at. It replaces the 1050 Ti and offers better performance at roughly the same price. This card will go nicely with your G-Sync monitor and produce good frame rates in eSports titles at 1080p. It can’t compete with AMD cards in the same price range, but it is a competent and highly efficient chip for a power-deficient, entry-level gaming build.

Among the 1650 cards, we consider the MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming X 4G a good buy, mainly because it comes with a considerable factory overclock and uses a tried-and-tested, dual-fan design. It will let you play all the latest AAA titles at acceptable frame rates, but you will have to use lower settings in more demanding titles such as Metro Exodus. Casual games like Fortnite, on the other hand, will easily run at 60FPS/1080p.

Let’s compare some of the GeForce GTX 1650-based alternatives.


*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Since 2020, some GTX 1650 boards are equipped with GDDR6 memory instead of GDDR5. This improves memory bandwidth and overall performance, but the clock rates have unfortunately been lowered to even out the difference. However, some testing indicates that GDDR6 boards are 5–10% faster, so this is a detail worth looking for.

Summary

GTX 1660 ventusThese are the best graphics cards close to or below $200 under normal circumstances.  The GTX 1650 Super or the Radeon RX 5500 XT are the best cards from Nvidia and AMD, respectively, and the RX 5500 XT 8GB is arguably the most future-proof option. Sadly, 2021 is not normal circumstances and it’s virtually impossible to find either of them selling for the suggested retail price.

AMD’s Radeon RX 570/580/590 may still offer great value depending on current prices.  Especially the RX 590 is an attractive option if you don’t mind its higher power consumption. As a consolation, it’s the latest and most efficient version of the Polaris GPU.  What that means is that you may need a bigger power supply unit (PSU) and sometimes an additional PCIe cable to power them. In the case of the RX 580 Nitro+, for example, you need one 8-pin and one 6-pin auxiliary (PCIe) power connector, whereas no GTX 1650 Super uses more than a single 6-pin connector.

If you have no choice but to use a PCIe slot-powered card, the GTX 1650 (non-Super) offers much better value than the old GTX 1050 Ti, but it’s less powerful than all the other cards we have listed – even with the addition of GDDR6 VRAM.

Another topic worth mentioning is factory overclocking. Most manufacturers bump the specs on their premium cards by raising the maximum GPU boost clock (and sometimes the VRAM speed), which also tends to be reflected in the price tag. These slightly higher clock rates do not have an impact on how much the card can be overclocked by the user. On the other hand, the larger coolers on more expensive cards are beneficial when overclocking.

Each and every GPU chip is unique quality-wise and therefore the chips’ overclocking capability varies. Unfortunately, you never know exactly how capable it is before you buy (hence it is called the “silicon lottery”). The main difference is that a factory-overclocked card is guaranteed to work at the specified clock rates, which is not the case otherwise. In some cases, pricier and factory-overclocked cards also have better cooling solutions than budget GPUs.

About System and PSU Requirements

PCIe power connector

You need at least one of these to power any of the above cards except the GTX 1650.

You certainly don’t need a monster gaming rig to power mid-range graphics cards around the $200 price range. The most important thing is to ensure that your power supply unit (PSU) is up to the task.

The most demanding of the cards we’ve been looking at here are the ones based on the Radeon RX 580 and RX 590 GPUs. AMD recommends a 500 Watt PSU for the entire system. This will, of course, depend on how power-efficient the rest of your system is. Typical board power is 185 Watts for the reference design RX 580, but overclocked cards will use a lot more.

Newer cards like the RX 5500 XT and GeForce GTX 1660S are less demanding and the minimum recommended PSU is 350 Watt in both cases. While the older cards needed an 8-pin PCIe (and sometimes an additional 6-pin) power connector, the more recent cards make do with a single 6-pin connector.

If your power supply does not have any auxiliary PCIe power connectors – and for some reason, you can’t upgrade it (such as in a custom, small form-factor PC) – then your best option from the above are the GeForce GTX 1650S. These cards only draw power straight from the motherboard.

Other than the PSU, your other PC components should preferably at least be fairly recent. The processor (CPU) does affect what frame rates you’ll be getting to some extent, but the difference will be quite small if you’re using any AMD Ryzen or Core i5 from the past few years. Older AMD CPUs in general and some older Intel Core i3 CPUs, in particular, may have a more severe negative effect on game frame rates.

If you already own a good mid-range CPU and want better gaming performance, upgrading to a faster GPU will yield more noticeable results compared to upgrading the CPU. Check our guide to the fastest GPUs below $300.

Sours: https://www.gamingpcbuilder.com/best-graphics-cards-under-200/

The 7 Best Budget Graphics Cards for Cheap Gaming

By Gavin PhillipsUpdated

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Budget graphics cards are very capable these days. Here are the best budget graphics cards that will let you game on the cheap.

The latest and greatest games are demanding on both your wallet and your system. As specifications rise, it is difficult for gamers on a budget to keep up to date.

However, budget gaming GPUs don't force you into a low-resolution, blurry-pixel past. Far from it, in fact. A budget graphics card is no longer a barrier to enjoying some of the best games on offer.

The best budget graphics cards come from a range of GPU manufacturing generations. Some of the best bang for your buck comes from the slightly older but still super powerful cards. Of course, your definition of a budget GPU depends on—wait for it—your budget.

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The Nvidia GTX 1660-6GB isn't one of the cheapest budget GPUs. I would say it is borderline as to whether it fits into that category. However, as the next generation on from the popular Nvidia GTX 1060, the GTX 1660-6GB worth considering if you can stretch your budget a little further (or find savings elsewhere).

The UserBenchmark FPS estimates for the GTX 1660-6GB version average around 111 FPS per game, depending on the rest of your hardware. You'll find performance gains from the GTX 1660's superfast GDDR6 RAM and the Turing architecture that powers Nvidia's latest generations of GPUs.

The 1660-6GB is one of the most popular Nvidia GPUs of any type. Given the FPS estimates and prospective performance, you can understand why.

Key Features
  • 6GB GDDR RAM
  • Dual-fan design
  • Turing architecture
  • 1x HDMI
  • 3x DisplayPort 1.4
Specifications
  • Brand: Nvidia
  • Cooling Method: Fan
  • GPU Speed: 1,830MHz
  • Interface: PCIe x16
  • Memory: 6GB GDDR5 RAM
  • Power: 120W
Pros
  • Solid 1080p gaming performance
  • Excellent power efficiency

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The Nvidia GTX 1650 Super Overclocked is a 4GB GPU and an excellent budget graphics card. It features the latest Turing architecture powering the newest generation of Nvidia GPUs and has 4GB GDDR6 to help you enjoy the latest games with using the upper selection of settings.

The fantastic users over at UserBenchmark provide expedient insight into the estimated number of frames per second (FPS) the GTX 1650 Super Overclocked achieves in a range of games. Depending on the system hardware, the GTX 1650 Super Overclocked delivers an average of 111 FPS across games, including Fortnite, Overwatch, GTA V, and PUBG. (Though this figure is skewed by the extremely high FPS achieved in older games like CSGO.)

Another plus point for the Nvidia GTX 1650 Super Overclocked is its size. The GTX 1650 Super Overclocked is a single-fan design, meaning it fits into almost every system layout and case size. Furthermore, its overall power use is low, saving you some extra pennies in the long run.

Key Features
  • 4GB GDDR4 RAM
  • Single-fan design
  • Turing architecture
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
Specifications
  • Brand: Nvidia
  • Cooling Method: Fan
  • GPU Speed: 1280 MHz
  • Interface: PCIe x16
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Power: 100W
Pros
  • Overlocked 4GB model
  • Single-fan design fits any case
  • Decent FPS for price
  • Entry-level GPU model
Cons
  • Struggles with 1080p streaming
  • Struggles with latest games

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Fluctuations in the top-end of the GPU market means the impressive AMD RX 580-8GB video card is now a steal. It comes with two HDMI ports, one DVI-D port, and two DisplayPorts, along with the 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. While the RX 580 is an 8GB card, it is outperformed by its Nvidia equivalent, the GTX 1070.

However, the AMD RX 580 can handle most of the latest games on high to ultra-settings and should enable some 1440p gaming, too. The AMD RX 580 8GB version is well-reviewed, receiving glowing reports from users and critics alike.

It performs well in many of the most taxing games. According to UserBenchmark testing (and depending on your system hardware), the RX 580 achieves over 60 FPS in GTA V, Fortnite, PUBG, and Overwatch.

Key Features
  • 8GB GDDR5 RAM
  • Dual-fan design
  • Polaris architecture
  • 2x HDMI
  • 2x DisplayPort 1.4
Specifications
  • Brand: AMD
  • Cooling Method: Fan
  • GPU Speed: 1366 MHz
  • Interface: PCIe x16
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Power: 185W
Pros
  • Handle most modern games on high settings
  • Allows some 1440p gaming
  • Multiple ports
  • Excellent value
Cons
  • Relatively high power consumption

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The Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti is the successor to the GTX 1050, which itself is superseded by the Nvidia GTX 1650. Still, the GTX 1050 Ti is a powerful single fan GPU that competes with the similarly specced AMD RX 580-4GB (not the 8GB version above!). Despite the GTX 1050 Ti hitting the market six months after the RX 580-4GB, it is the latter that retains the edge, offering faster overall memory and memory bandwidth.

The UserBenchmark FPS estimates that the GTX 1050 Ti will achieve an average of 72 FPS, depending on the game and the hardware. Although it is a 4GB card, the 1050 Ti will struggle to play the latest games on the highest settings at a solid 60 FPS. However, 30 FPS and above should be achievable---again, depending on the rest of the system hardware.

Another plus for the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti is the single fan design. You can fit the GTX 1050 Ti into any case and design, perfect for small builds. The GTX 1050 Ti has another advantage over the RX 580-4GB---it uses half of the power; 75W vs. 150W. You'll save some money on your power supply unit purchase and long-term power use, too.

Key Features
  • 4GB GDDR5 RAM
  • Single-fan design
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.4
  • Pascal architecture
Specifications
  • Brand: Nvidia
  • Cooling Method: Fan
  • GPU Speed: 1290 MHz
  • Interface: PCIe x16
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Power: 75W
Pros
  • Low power in comparison to direct competitors
  • Single-fan design fits any case
  • Decent power to performance
Cons
  • Struggles with modern games on high settings

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The AMD RX 570-8GB is another 8GB GPU that you can pick up for snip thanks to movements at the very top-end of the GPU marketplace. The RX 570 8GB uses AMD's Polaris architecture, which provides a decent boost over the now-aging AMD RX 400 series GPUs but cannot really hold a candle to the vastly more powerful (and more expensive!) AMD Vega architecture.

That's not to say the 8GB RX 570 is a slouch. It packs in 8GB GDDR5 RAM, and still provides excellent performance in games like Overwatch, Fortnite, and so on. Being an 8GB card, you should manage some 1440p gaming, too, though your frame rates might suffer depending on the rest of your hardware.

Key Features
  • 8GB GDDR5 RAM
  • Dual-fan design
  • Dual-bios function
  • Polaris architecture
  • 1x HDMI
  • 3x DisplayPort 1.4
Specifications
  • Brand: AMD
  • Cooling Method: Fan
  • GPU Speed: 1,286MHz
  • Interface: PCIe x16
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5 RAM
  • Power: 150W
Pros
  • Solid 1080p gaming performance
  • Fairly quiet
Cons
  • Slightly aging model
  • Fairly quiet

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AMD's RX 5550 XT GPU is a relatively new introduction to the market, yet is a hit with budget system builders. The main reason is the price to power the RX 5500 XT gives you, with 8GB GDDR6 RAM and a base GPU clock speed of 1,647MHz.

That combination means 1080p gaming at 60 frames per second is very much achievable, on high and even ultra-settings. You'll even manage some 1440p gaming, too, though not at 60fps.

Furthermore, the RX 5500 XT is built using AMD's latest Navi architecture, meaning more power efficiency than the previous generation. It also has a relatively slimline form factor for a dual-fan GPU, meaning you can squeeze it into smaller system builds, too.

In short, the AMD RX 5500 XT isn't the flashiest graphics card around, but it offers very reasonable performance for those that want an entry into 1080p gaming.

Key Features
  • 8GB GDDR6 RAM
  • 1x HDMI
  • 3x DisplayPort 1.4
  • Navi architecture
  • Dual-fan design
Specifications
  • Brand: AMD
  • Cooling Method: Fan
  • GPU Speed: 1,647MHz
  • Interface: PCIe x16
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR6
  • Power: 130W
Pros
  • Reasonable power to performance
  • Good 1080p budget gaming
  • Smallish form factor
  • Radeon Image Sharpening
Cons
  • Can struggle with fast paced 1080p gaming
  • Sometimes beaten out by last generation GPUs in gaming benchmarks

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The Nvidia GeForce GT 1030-2GB is one of the cheapest GPUs around. Never heard of it? It is regularly outshined by other slightly more powerful---but more expensive---graphics cards. However, the single-fan 2GB GT 1030 will still help you power through some excellent games. You won't max out The Witcher 3, but with the right hardware, you can certainly play your way through it.

The GT 1030-2GB has a small profile. But that's for a good reason. The GT 1030 only draws around 30W, making it extremely efficient for low-power gaming rigs.

Word to the wise: don't accidentally buy the Low Profile GT 1030. It comes with even less power than the full-size version, and instead of GDDR5 memory, uses regular DDR4 RAM. Consequently, the Low Profile version will struggle to run your favorite games.

Key Features
  • 2GB GDDR5 RAM
  • Ultra-low power
  • Slimline single-fan design
  • 1x HDMI
Specifications
  • Brand: Nvidia
  • Cooling Method: Fan
  • GPU Speed: 1,252MHz
  • Interface: PCIe x16
  • Memory: 2GB GDDR5 RAM
  • Power: 30W
Pros
  • Extremely cheap entry level GPU
  • Fits into tiny system builds
Cons
  • Will struggle to cope with modern games
  • Doesn't really allow any streaming
  • Better options for slightly larger outlay

FAQ

Q: Should You Buy a Second-Hand Graphics Card?

The other option for gamers on a budget is buying a top-end card from a previous GPU generation. Within a couple of years, this will be a way to get features like real-time ray tracing or the super-powerful 12GB GPUs (and rumored 16GB GPUs) for a reasonable price.

At the time of writing, the Nvidia GTX 980 and 980 Ti, and the AMD RX 480 8GB and R9 Fury X are powerful gaming GPUs that will play most games on very high settings. The 980 Ti still outscores some of the modern GPUs on this list.

Picking up a second-hand GPU seems like a great idea. However, there are some things to consider before making your purchase. For instance, can the seller verify the GPU works, or how they used the GPU?

The other consideration is that with a new purchase, you have the guarantee of a warranty. If anything goes wrong with your new GPU, you can return it. Whereas, no such protection exists for a second-hand GPU unless you're buying a refurbished model.

Q: Can I Buy a Cryptocurrency Mining GPU?

The cryptocurrency boom of 2017 saw GPU prices skyrocket. Cryptocurrency miners rushed to buy the best graphics cards for the Bitcoin era, creating a graphics card price bubble.

Then, the cryptocurrency bubble burst. The GPU market was suddenly awash with second-hand GPUs that had been in use at full speed, 24/7, for months on end. The constant demand on the internal parts, the heat this generates, plus the heat and often poor ventilation of a crypto-mining rig can severely damage the GPU.

Luckily, the demand for crypto-mining has decreased, and GPU prices are now stable (albeit higher than before the cryptocurrency bubble). For a while, after the crypto-price bubble burst, the second-hand GPU market was awash with these ex-crypto mining GPUs, though this trend seems to have slowed for now.

Q: How Much Should I Spend on a Graphics Card?

The budget GPU market is competitive and the water is muddied further with second-hand options. Selecting a GPU really does depend on your budget. If you can shift other areas of your computer building budget around to accommodate a better graphics card, then you should consider it.

However, you shouldn't then compromise your CPU performance to purchase a marginally better GPU.

Ideally, you should opt for an 8GB graphics card where possible. Most will offer 1080p gaming with solid performance, with some 1440p gaming too.

Q: Why Are Graphics Cards So Expensive?

Top-tier graphics cards are expensive because they include a large amount of complex technology, use expensive materials in the manufacturing process, and contain many components.

Budget GPUs are cheaper because they cut back in certain areas, using less memory or running a lower clock speed. Alternatively, a budget GPU may appear on the market once it is surpassed by a new technological generation. Our list of the best budget GPUs includes a few options of this type, and indeed, it is one of the best ways to snag a powerful GPU for a better price.

We hope you like the items we recommend and discuss! MUO has affiliate and sponsored partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from some of your purchases. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.

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About The Author
Gavin Phillips (965 Articles Published)

Gavin is the Junior Editor for Windows and Technology Explained, a regular contributor to the Really Useful Podcast, and a regular product reviewer. He has a BA (Hons) Contemporary Writing with Digital Art Practices pillaged from the hills of Devon, as well as over a decade of professional writing experience. He enjoys copious amounts of tea, board games, and football.

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The 7 Best Budget Graphics Cards for 2021

Best Budget Graphics CardsWe rated, reviewed, & compared 7 of the best budget graphics cards under $200. These budget GPUs are perfect for gamers who are strapped for cash but who want to be able to play their favorite games.

If you’re a PC gamer, the one component inside of your computer that will have the biggest impact on your in-game performance is your graphics card. Whether you’re building a new budget-friendly gaming computer and you’re looking for a graphics card that will give you optimal performance for your budget, or you’re looking to upgrade an older system and you just need an affordable option that will allow you to play games on at least lower settings, the good news is that you have a few different options to choose between.

In this guide, we’ve reviewed seven of the best cheap video cards under $200 to give you viable options for your new build or upgrade at multiple price points. These options will range from being 1080P powerhouses that can play any game on a budget 1080P monitor at medium-ish settings, to ultra-cheap entry-level cards that will be ideal for upgrading an older system that can no longer run games on a 1080P monitor.

So, if you don’t have a huge budget, but you need a new graphics card that will allow you to play your favorite games, one of the options below should do the trick for you.

URGENT!

Due to an severe shortage in graphics cards, current prices are extremely inflated. While all of these graphics cards would cost under $200 in a normal market, as of right now, most of them are at least double the price (if you can even find them in stock). Currently we recommend checking the used market, or, if you’re looking for a new gaming computer, purchase a pre-built system or a gaming laptop instead.

Our Top Picks for the Best Budget Graphics Cards

The table below gives you our picks for the best budget GPUs. We’ve made our pick for the best graphics card under $200 overall, a runner-up pick, the best GPU under $150, and the best entry-level GPU option.

*To read our full overviews on our top CPU choices, just click the “Read Review »” button. You can also keep scrolling down to find more options based on your specific budget.

1. Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT

The best budget graphics card

If you’re looking for the best budget graphics card under $200, then an RX 5500 XT is currently your best bet. At times, you could find an RX 590 or GTX 1660 fr under $200, but as of right now the RX 590 is tough to find anywhere, and all of the GTX 1660s are over $200.

So, if you’ve got right at $200 to spend, the Gigabyte RX 5500 XT is your best bet. This Gigabyte card features Gigabyte’s dual fan WINDFORCE 2X configuration, a 1647MHz base block, and 8GB of VRAM.

With its dual fan configuration, this RX 5500XT only measures in at 8.9-inches long, making it a good option for a small form-factor PC.

Ultimately, the RX 5500XT will be able to handle any game on a 1080P with no problems. You should expect to play most games at that resolution on at least medium settings.

2. Gigabyte Radeon RX 580

Our runner-up budget GPU pick

If you don’t quite have $200 to spend, your next best bet is probably the another Gigabyte card, their Radeon RX 580 Gaming edition. The 580 has been around for a couple of years and it has always been a great option for gamers on a budget.

This card requires a 500-watt power supply, measures in at 9.1-inches long, and comes with 8GB of VRAM. It also has the same WINDFORCE 2X cooling configuration at the RX 5500 XT listed above.

While the RX 580 doesn’t quite match the performance of the RX 5500 XT, it isn’t that far behind it either. So, if you want to save ~$30 without having to sacrifice too much performance, this card is worth considering. It, too, will handle 1080P gaming just fine.

3. XFX Radeon RX 570

The best sub-$150 graphics card

If you have a tighter budget and you can’t spend more than $150, this XFX Radeon RX 570 graphics card is a good option. The RX 570 lags a bit behind both the RX 5500 XT and the RX 580, but it will still run most games on a 1080P monitor on at least medium settings.

This card is actually the longest option on the list, measuring in at 9.6-inches long. However, it’s still compact enough to where it will fit in the majority of modern cases.

It also comes with a 1264 MHz base clock rate and sports 4GB of VRAM.

Overall, if you don’t have the budget to get an RX 5500XT or RX 580 (or GTX 1650 Super), an RX 570 is probably your next best option. And, of the RX 570s currently on the market, this XFX card offers the best price to performance as of the time of writing this article.

4. XFX Radeon RX 550

The best entry-level GPU

If you don’t have more than $100 to spend on a graphics card, you have a few options. As of right now, the best sub-$100 GPU is an RX 550. And, as of the time of updating this guide, the top RX 550 currently available is XFX’s Core edition.

This card comes with a 1203 MHz base clock rate, 4GB of VRAM, and a single fan cooling configuration. Due to the single fan configuration, this RX 550 measures in at just 6.7-inches long. So, it’s a great option for a budget-friendly mini gaming PC build.

For performance, you can expect to run most games on a 1080P monitor on at least lower settings. For non-demanding games like League of Legends, this card will work just fine and for more demanding games, you can play on lower settings until you have enough money to upgrade to something more powerful.

5. EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super

Honorable mention #1

While it might seem that I have something against NVIDIA cards based on this article, the reality is that, at the current price points, AMD cards seem to make more sense in the sub-$200 price range.

The RX 5500 XT outperforms the GTX 1650 Super and the RX 580’s extra 4GB of VRAM and lower price than the 1650 Super make it a better buy as well.

However, if the GTX 1650 Supers were to come down in price to a level similar to or lower than the RX 580, they might be worth a look. And, if they do, this EVGA card would be one of the better options. It comes with a 1755 MHz base clock, 4GB of VRAM, and a dual fan configuration. It also measures in at 8.0-inches long.

Overall, though, you can either spend a little more to get a better performing card (the RX 5500 XT), or you can spend less and get virtually the same performance (RX 580.) So, for now, the GTX 1650 Super is an Honorable Mention.

6. PNY GeForce GTX 1650

Honorable mention #2

Another NVIDIA card that doesn’t make it into our top picks due to the price it comes in at is the non-Super GTX 1650. Like the GTX 1650 Super, the standard GTX 1650 costs more than its direct competitor the RX 570.

And, while the two cards are close in performance, most benchmarks show the RX 570 ahead of it in most titles. So, as of right now, the lower pricetag on the RX 570 and the bump in performance make it the better buy.

Of course, with graphics card prices changing on a daily basis, it is worth taking a look at 1650 prices before you make your final decision.

7. Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030

Honorable mention #3

Another sub-$100 graphics card option is this Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030. At just under $85, it is the most affordable option on this list. And, if you’re working with a tight budget to build a new gaming PC or upgrade an older computer, a GT 1030 is an excellent option.

It won’t give you great in-game performance—especially in demanding titles—but it can hold you over until you can afford an upgrade.

Ultimately, the GT 1030 is an entry-level card that won’t work for most individuals. If you are strapped for cash, though, and need a cheap GPU to get you by, it should do the trick.

Which Budget GPU is Right for You?

While it is true that the better the graphics card you have, the higher the framerate you can get in your games, it is also true that even today’s top games can be run fairly well by a budget graphics card at 1920 x 1080 resolution. For instance, the three options in the $150-$200 price range (the RX 5500 XT, RX 580, and GTX 1650 Super) should be able to handle today’s most demanding games on medium settings on a 1080P monitor. And, even the options in the $100-$150 price range will serve you well for 1080P gaming as well.

If you’re playing non-demanding games, like Rocket League, League of Legends, or Dota 2, etc., you can save even more money by going with something like an RX 550 or GT 1030 without sacrificing much in terms of your in-game experience.

So, the bottom line is that, whether you’re looking for a decent upgrade for your older desktop, or you’re looking to build an affordable gaming PC, there are graphics card options for under $200 that will deliver you a pretty solid in-game experience.

Filed Under: Budget Gaming, Gaming GPU, PC Hardware

Sours: https://techguided.com/best-budget-graphics-cards/

Best cheap graphics cards 2021: the top graphics cards on a budget

When it comes to the best cheap graphics cards, there are some excellent options. Although high-end graphics cards seem to be dominating the market right now, with offerings like the RTX 3080 Ti and the Radeon RX 6800 hogging all the attention, you honestly do not have to shell out $1,000/£1,000 just to get a capable GPU.

Due to this ongoing GPU war, there are excellent graphics cards out there that can see you through the most demanding PC games and editing workloads. As long as you don’t expect 4K or 8K resolution. Whether you’re looking at Nvidia or AMD, there are several affordable options available among the respective Nvidia GeForce and Radeon graphics cards as long as you’re willing to look a little deeper.

If you are looking for a mid-range option with top-notch performance, something like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or the Nvidia RTX 3060 gives you a much better value for your money. Also, here's where to buy Nvidia RTX 3070

Best cheap graphics card at a glance

  1. AMD Radeon RX 5700
  2. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super
  3. AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT
  4. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G
  5. AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT

1. AMD Radeon RX 5700

AMD's best cheap graphics card all around

Specifications

Stream Processors: 2,304

Core base clock: 1,465 MHz

Core boost clock: 1, 725 MHz

Memory: 8 GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 14 Gbps

Power connectors: 1 x 8-pin and 1x 6-pin

Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 DSC, 1 x HDMI with 4K60 support

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+1440p gaming at Ultra/Max setting

Reasons to avoid

-No ray-tracing-Just barely "affordable"

When it comes to "budget" AMD graphics cards, the Radeon RX 5700 is about as good as it gets. Capable of delivering 1440p gaming on Ultra or Max settings, you're going to be hard pressed to find a better mid-range graphics card at this price point.

Some sacrifices had to be made for affordability, however – and it is just barely affordable. The Radeon RX 5700 doesn't come with ray tracing, so the budget minded will have to wait a little while longer before that feature makes it into even the best cheap graphics cards on the market. Maybe next year.

Read the full review:AMD Radeon RX 5700

2. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

A powerhouse for 1080p gaming

Specifications

Stream Processors: 1408

Core base clock: 1.520 MHz

Core boost clock: 1,785 MHz

Memory: 6 GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 14 Gbps

Power connectors: 1x 6-pin

Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI

Reasons to buy

+Excellent 1080p performance+Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-No RT Cores-Limited Ports

Replacing the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super is absolutely one of the best cheap graphics cards on the market right now. It is able to crank out nearly 80 FPS on Middle Earth: Shadow of War on Ultra graphics settings at 1080p and even managing a decent 54 FPS at 1440p. This is incredible considering it comes in at under $250 (£200, AU$400).

Still, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super does have its drawbacks. It still goes with a DVI port in lieu of a second HDMI port (or even a USB-C) and while it does have a DisplayPort, you won't be running several displays with this card. It also lacks ray tracing cores, but that's not surprising given that this is a budget graphics card. Still, you're going to be hard-pressed to find another graphics card that's as good as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super for the price.

Read our full review:Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

 

3. AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT

Raw performance at a budget price

Specifications

Stream Processors: 2,304

Core base clock: 1,355 MHz

Core boost clock: 1,560 MHz

Memory: 6 GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 14 Gbps

Power connectors: 1x 8-pin

Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

Reasons to buy

+Incredible performance+Competitive against more expensive cards

Reasons to avoid

-No ray-tracing-Limited ports

With all the cheap 1080p graphics cards out there, it's especially hard for gamers to find the right card for their systems and budget. In a market flooded with Nvidia offerings, the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT thankfully stands out as one of the best cheap graphics cards in its class, and can even bloody the noses of some of the more expensive mid-range cards in terms of raw performance.

Still, it is an AMD card, so it doesn't have ray tracing, and for a card that costs nearly $300 (about £250, AU$470), it's worth asking whether it's worth paying just a bit more for the Nvidia GeForce 2060 which does have ray-tracing capabilities. If you can get by without the ray-tracing though, the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT is possibly the best cheap graphics card you're going to find.

Read our full review: AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT

While Nvidia GeForce graphics cards tend to shine brightest on the high-end, they don't always pack the same performance-to-price value as a solid AMD offering. Fortunately, not every GeForce card is out of reach, and the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G brings the latest Nvidia Turing architecture to the budget-minded consumer.

With excellent 1080p gaming performance and even some solid 1440p gaming with the right settings, the GeForce GTX 1660 OC is one of the best cheap graphics card options for gamers who want a little bit more from their graphics card without paying a lofty premium.

Read our full review:  Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

5. AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT

AMD Navi at a budget price point

Specifications

Stream Processors: 1,408

Core base clock: 1,717 MHz

Core boost clock: 1,845 MHz

Memory: 8 GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 14 Gbps

Power connectors: 1x 8-pincompu

Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, 1 x HDMI with 4K60

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-cheap-graphics-cards-2020-the-top-graphics-cards-on-a-budget

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