Hardware

Best Budget Video Cards for Gaming PCs

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If you are building a gaming PC on a strict budget, you want to squeeze every bit of performance out of your dollar. However, while gamers tend to skimp on other parts of their rig, it is generally agreed upon that the video card is where you splurge.

You want to be competitive at full 1080p. You want their eye to melt out the sockets the first time you see your favorite game on ultra settings. So you are willing to spend the big bucks for that. However, while you can spend the $1500 for a Titan X, your budget PC probably won’t be able to support it. The good news is that you don’t even need it. You can get ultra settings and 1080p easily out of a video card well below $300.

ASUS Dual-Fan Radeon RX 480

If you are looking for an AMD card that is the best value on a price per performance basis, then the RX 480 is one of the first cards you should look into. While it keeps prices down by offering half the ROM of other AMD cards like its pricier XFX variant, but its 4 GBs of GDDR5 ROM is still plenty.

One of the nicest features of this card is the dual fans. The increased air flow allows for better graphics performance at maximum settings. However, unlike other AMD cards that tend to run a little louder, even with the dual fans you get a nice silent card that still brings the power with it.

Specs:

  • Memory: 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5
  • Core Clock: 1320MHz
  • DirectX: 12
  • CrossfireX: Yes
  • Outputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI-D; 2x HDMI 2.0; 2x Display

 


EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC

If you are into simpler games that place game performance over graphics like Overwatch, CS:GO, or League of Legends, then when shopping for a budget video cards, you can afford to sacrifice a little VRAM. However, the big budget games like GTA V or The Witcher 3 require more and more VRAM with each new release. If you want to play those big beautiful games on your budget gaming PC, you will want to get a card like the GTX 1050.

NVidia’s GTX 1050 is much faster than the competing AMD RX 470, but the biggest benefit is that you get a powerful card that is compact enough to fit in even tiny cases. If you are looking to build a budget gaming PC in a mini-ATX sized case and MOBO, you won’t find a more powerful card that can still fit in your budget.

Specs:

  • Memory: 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5
  • Core Clock: 1468MHz
  • DirectX: 12
  • SLI: No
  • Outputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI; 1x HDMI 2.0; 1x Display

 


Gigabyte Radeon RX 460 Windforce OC 4GB

The RX 460 is a step below the aforementioned RX 480, but this 4 GB version is essentially the AMD equivalent of the GTX 950 for a fraction of the price of both the 950 and the 480. Although the card maxes out at 1080p, it is one of the best cards you can get for below $150. An added benefit is that it is also very power efficient and comes with a great heatsink. So providing you get a good motherboard that doesn’t need a lot of power, you can afford to save by getting a smaller power supply.

Specs:

  • Memory: 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5
  • Core Clock: 1015MHz
  • DirectX: 12
  • CrossfireX: No
  • Outputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI-D; 1x HDMI 2.0; 1x Display

 


Zotac GTX 1060 Mini

There aren’t many graphics cards where the term “small, but fierce” fit, but this new nVidia card is a real contender. While it is has the horsepower to play most games on the max settings, it does have a little less memory than the other cards on this list so there are some games with a lot of textures that might need to be bumped down in quality. However, if you are using a small motherboard and case, this is a card that can provide power without taking up much space.

Specs:

  • Memory: 3 GB 192-bit GDDR5
  • Core Clock: 1708MHz
  • DirectX: 12
  • SLI: No
  • Outputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI-I; 1x HDMI 2.0; 3x Display

 


EVGA GeForce GTX 1060

If you are looking to keep your budget under $300 and still want a powerful card, it can be done, at least after the release of the GTX 1060. Although it is getting close to your maximum graphics budget, it is one of the best cards you can buy with a 6 GB GDDR5 with 1506HZ speed and it can perform even better if you overclock it, but it lacks a simple overclocking interface. Although compact and powerful, you will need to consider a good heatsink on your motherboard or extra fans because it runs a little hot.

Specs:

  • Memory: 6 GB GDDR5
  • Core Clock: 1506MHz
  • DirectX: 12
  • SLI: No
  • Outputs: 1x Dual-Link DVI-I; 1x HDMI 2.0; 3x Display
WinterIsComing

WinterIsComing

Warden of the North at Winterfell
Ken should have been born a "Stark".
His 2 favorite fictional characters of all time are Ned and Tony.
Ken lives a life of anguish as his love for video games and all things geek is only surpassed by how horrible he is at playing them.
He has the hand/eye coordination of a 41 y/o man matched with a mind of an 18 y/o.
His cat's name is John Constantine.
WinterIsComing

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