fbpx

Best Budget Graphics Cards

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.

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 Display – Port 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.

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 Display – Port 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.

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.

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 Display – Port 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, 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.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G
High-performance, low price

SPECIFICATIONS
Stream Processors: 1,408 – Core base clock: 1,530 MHz – Memory: 6 GB GDDR5 – Memory clock: 8 Gbps – Power connectors: 1x 8-pin – Outputs: 3 x Display – Port 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

REASONS TO BUY
+ Turing architecture
+ Excellent performance

REASONS TO AVOID
– Only GDDR5

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.

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

REASONS TO BUY
+ Very affordable
+ Solid 1080p gaming performance

REASONS TO AVOID
– Struggles with most demanding 1080p games

If you’re looking for solid 1080p gaming without spending a ton, you can’t go wrong with the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT. It definitely doesn’t aim beyond its reach and it sticks to turning out quality 1080p performance, edging out the rival GeForce GTX 1660 when factoring in the price.

Capable of pumping out 60 FPS on most AAA titles, the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT will struggle with a Metro Exodus on high settings, much less ultra. But for most games, it’ll be tough to find a better graphics card at this price point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook
YouTube
YouTube