2019 so far has been an interesting a year in the graphics card industry. At least, for both Nvidia and AMD releasing new mid-range cards without much marketing or pre-release information.
While it’s cool to be getting new graphics cards like the GeForce RTX 2060, GTX 1660 Ti and the AMD Radeon 7, they’re still rather expensive and are out of reach for many consumers who want a capable, inexpensive GPU.
Now if you’re part of this crowd who want a cheap GPU, there are plenty of options you can go for including both new and used that can give you excellent performance at a reasonable price, so what precisely are these budget graphics cards and what do they offer for the price.
Click on the name of each product to find the updated price on Amazon.
Many of you may be surprised that this card is on the list. This is an excellent card but with a price that’s a little bit outside what you can consider a budget range
On the performance side of things, this is a great card; it packs a punch roughly equivalent to that of the GTX 1060 6GB while also being significantly cheaper.
But the main thing that’s holding this card back is just its price while the Rx 580 sits at around the $200 price tag, it’s rather expensive to be considered a budget graphics card, and actually it’s more of a mid-range card but if you’re looking for a great inexpensive mid-range GPU then the Rx 580 is definitely the way to go, and I can’t recommend this card enough to those who are new to PC gaming.
2) GTX 960.
The GTX 960 isn’t as popular as the Rx 580, but it’s still a great value and is available at lower prices. The GTX 960 was one of 2015’s highest deals and even today holds up relatively well with specs roughly in line with the GTX 1050 Ti.
On eBay, this graphics card can easily be found for less than $70, and if you’re looking at this card there’s a wide variety of quality brands available but if you are interested in purchasing one of these cards I would recommend you go for one of the 4GB versions as having more video memory will become more useful as time goes on.
And if you’re looking for a great first GPU, this is worth considering.
This next budget graphics card is a little more expensive but provides performance almost identical to that of the 1050 TIA. The card in question is the now seven-year-old Radeon HD 7970 which comes in at anywhere between $70 to $100.
HD 7970 is a little harder on the budget, but the trade-off to price may be worth gaining the extra performance.
The only real downside to this graphics card is its incredibly high 250W power requirement with both the 6-pin and 8-pin PCI power connector. Tahiti isn’t known for its power efficiency, so if you do want to buy one of these cards, you need to make sure your systems CPU could handle it.
Power requirements aside, the performance offered by this card is excellent, and you’d be getting 1050 TI performance at about half the price.
Moving on from the HD 7970, the next card on our list of budget graphics cards is the AMD RX 470. In terms of specifications, this budget graphics card is identical to the RX 570 and offers performance that’s 13% behind the more modern card. The RX 470 is in no danger becoming obsolete thanks to the abundance of memory.
The only big downside that’s apparent with this card is once again it’s the price which comes in between 50 to 100 dollars, this card isn’t on the dirt-cheap side of things, but the performance kind of makes up for the high price. On top of that, performance is roughly 25% faster than the 10/2 DTI while being around half the amount.
This card also outperforms the GTX 780, HD 7970 GHz edition and isn’t too far behind the ever-so-popular GeForce GTX 970. This card is just an all-around great deal, and if you’re looking for excellent 1080p performance, then the RX 470 might be your go-to card.
The next card on our list performs almost identically to the RX 470 but is a little cheaper. The Radeon R9 290 is still a great card six years later, and it’s great for 1080p gaming. On paper, this card was and still is a beast in terms of configuration.
But when translating the silicon to on-screen performance, this card isn’t terrible, but it’s not top of the line anymore all these years later. This card can be found for around $70 in several sites, and if you’re able to find it for less then it’s a great card, and I’d recommend picking one up.
However, along with this card age, you’re getting a massive 275W power requirement with both the six pins and eight-pin PCI power connector. So if you’re looking to purchase R9 290 then make sure your power supply can handle it.
But besides that issue performance is excellent and you can pick one up at a reasonable price.
Moving on from the R9 290, the next card on our list isn’t as powerful, but it’s still a great card nonetheless. The card in question is the GTX 760.
This card isn’t a competitor to the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti but is similar in performance to its little brother – GTX 1050.
For anywhere between 50 to 70 dollars, you’re getting a GPU that offers low mid-range performance at less than half the price of similarly performing cards.
With the six-pin PCI power connector, this card isn’t too bad when it comes to power efficiency only if you’re acquiring 170W. From what I’ve seen in this card, the 760 is an excellent 1050 substitute if you’re tight on the budget but if you’re looking for 1060 class performance then looking elsewhere might be a better option as this card like previously mentioned performs almost identically to the GTX 1050.
The next card we’re going to be discussing has a special place in my heart as I own one of these cards and it used to be my primary GPU before I upgraded to 1060 many of you may already know what this card is but some of you may also be surprised that this card is even on the list.
The GTX 1050 Ti has more or less been the benchmark for what a budget GPU can offer with excellent 1080p performance and all with the 75W TDP and no external connectors, this card is a feat of engineering, and it’s quite impressive when looking at the raw specs.
But when looking at performance, the 1050 Ti has struggled a bit more recent titles. So from my personal experience with the 1050 Ti this card is great if you’ve got the money to spend but if you’re looking to buy one new in this card isn’t too great of a value.
Going for around $180 on Amazon and Newegg, the 1050 Ti is honestly quite expensive when looking at how it performs, but if you’re looking for a new 1080p capable GPU then the 1050 Ti is still high, and I have to recommend checking this card out.
This next budget graphics card might be surprising as performance offered by this card is excellent, and the price is even more surprising.
The RX 480 is a great card to buy if you’re looking on the used market, for around $110, 1060 class performance can be yours.
When stacking this card up to its more recent incarnation, which is the RX 580, the older RX 480 is only about 6% behind which is incredibly impressive when considering its low price tag.
With the 150W TDP and a six-pin power connector, this card also is relatively efficient and can be comfortably installed in most budget and mid-range pcs plus. For a $110, it’s hard to pass up, and it might just be worth picking up the RX 480 if you’re looking to give your PC some extra horsepower.
9) EVGA GTX 970
Although the price of this next card can fluctuate a bit, I have to give it props for still being a great option all these years later, the GTX 970 which released back in September of 2014 has always been popular among gamers who want excellent performance at a high price.
Well, you can find one of these cards for between 60 to 120 dollars, it’s well worth the price when considering the performance of this card nearly matches that of the GTX Titan.
Now the only major downside to this card is its power connectors with two 6-pin connectors and a 140W TDP, this card could have some trouble if you’re using a cheaper power supply but if you have the ability to install one of these cards and you’re looking for high 1080p performance then the 970 is definitely a great choice.
Its specs are still capable of letting me play all the latest games at decent settings at 1080p and all that high frame rates.
The GTX 970 maybe a few years old; it’s still proving that it’s a great option and still has quite a bit of life left in it.
10) Radeon RX 570
The RX 570 comes in at between a $100 – $160, this card probably offers the best price to performance ratio of any budget graphics card currently available fresh out of the box.
Offering performance that’s better than the GTX Titan, the RX 570 is essential stuff above the 1050 Ti and rivals performance of the GTX 1063 gig while this GPU does have a 6-pin power connector, it’s 120W TDP is low enough that almost any budget system can accept the card.
If you want to give your system a 1080p makeover, then the RX 570 is a great place to start and pairing this card with the rising three CPU would probably be the best option available if you’re looking to build a new PC in 2019.
So while building a new gaming PC at a reasonable price may not be the most natural thing in the world right now. Hopefully, this list will help you move a little closer to deciding as to which graphics processing unit you want to feature in your PC.
There are many different budget graphics cards available at almost all different ranges, and all it takes is some research to discover which GPU best fits your needs and price. It just takes time, but hopefully, your investment will be worth it in the end.