If you are a PC player, the component within your computer that will have the greatest impact on your performance in the game is your graphics card. Whether you’re building a new economical gaming computer and you’re looking for a cheap graphics cards that give you optimal performance for your budget, or you’re looking to upgrade an older system and just need an affordable option that allows you to play with at least one Lower configuration, the good news is that you have several different options from which you can choose.
In this guide, we have reviewed seven of the best cheap video cards below $ 250 to give you viable options for your new construction or upgrade to multiple price levels. These options range from powerful 1080P cards that can run any game on a low-budget 1080P monitor with a medium configuration, to ultra-cheap entry level cards that will be ideal for upgrading an old system that can no longer run games on a 1080P monitor.
Therefore, if you do not have a huge budget, but you need a new graphics card that allows you to play your favorite games, one of the following options should work for you.
The 7 best cheap graphics cards of 2018
The best card for mainstream games right now
GPU Kernels: 2.304 | Base clock: 1,257 MHz | Boost watch: 1,340 MHz | GFLOPS: 6.175 | Memory: 8 GB GDDR5 | Memory clock: 8 GT / s | Memory bandwidth: 256 GB / s
Many players have a limited budget and, although the fastest cards can give you “Nvidia” if you use a 1080p screen, often these more expensive GPUs are exaggerated. General-purpose GPUs, such as the RX 570/580 and the GTX 1060 3GB / 6GB, are very close to the original manufacturer’s suggested price (MSRP), and even some offers fall below the MSRP. The 8GB RX 580 is usually on par with the 6GB GTX 1060, typically winning by a small percentage of performance but using more power.
From 200 to 245 dollars is the ideal place for the vast majority of players, and while the GTX 1060 3GB may seem tempting, the 3GB VRAM is a cause for concern. Most games do not need more memory, since the difference between high-quality textures and ultra high-quality textures is often negligible, especially on a 1080p screen. Still, the 8GB RX 580 only costs about $ 30 more and is almost always a little faster.
Excellent performance at 1080p
Usually faster in DX12 games
Uses more power than GTX 1060
Great performance in 1080p games and with a good price
GPU Cores: 1,280 | Base clock: 1,506MHz | Boost watch: 1,708MHz | GFLOPS: 4,372 | Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | Memory clock: 8 GT / s | Memory bandwidth: 192GB / s
The alternative of Nvidia to the previous RX 580 is the GTX 1060 of 6 GB. The loss of 2GB of VRAM is not really a concern in most games, especially in 1080p, which is where these cards do it best. Resolution 1440p is possible, but only in certain cases and with a significantly lower quality. The biggest advantage of the GTX 1060 is that it uses about 50W less power than the RX 580. That translates into less heat and quieter operation, although the energy savings will probably only add up to a dollar or two per month (unless playing a lot).
Currently, Nvidia has not made any announcement regarding an RTX 2060, although it is a safe bet that Turing will eventually reach lower level products. However, the RTX 2070 will lower the prices of existing GTX cards, so do not be surprised if the GTX 1060 falls below $ 200 in October.
Good price and performance
Efficient and silent
You may need lower settings in the most demanding games
An irresistible $ 200 graphics card
GPU Cores: 1,152 | Base clock: 1,506MHz | Boost watch: 1,708MHz | GFLOPS: 3,935 | Memory: 3GB GDDR5 | Memory clock: 8 GT / s | Memory bandwidth: 192GB / s
The GTX 1060 3GB may not be the cheapest card, and may not be the most powerful, but it offers a solid balance between the two that will attract the most PC gamers. Without an obvious replacement in the 2000 Nvidia series, this card should remain relevant as a mid-low level game card for some time.
The 3 GB GDDR5 of the GTX 1060 should be the right amount for 1080p games, although the higher resolution textures may exceed that limit. It is also one of the cheapest entry-level cards for virtual reality.
The result is a card that does not have problems to play well-optimized games like Battlefield 1 or Fallout 4 with the settings activated. Even at 2,560 × 1,440, we saw an average performance of 60 frames per second or more. It’s a tough battle between the GTX 1060 and the similarly priced AMD RX 570, but ultimately we gave the Nvidia option the go-ahead for beating the Radeon in size and power consumption with similar performance.
High-quality game experience at 1080p
Incredibly efficient in the use of energy
The 3 GB of VRAM may be insufficient in the future
Another great 1080p card, for a little less money
GPU Kernels: 2.048 | Base clock: 1.168 MHz | Boost watch: 1,244 MHz | GFLOPS: 5,095 | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Memory clock: 7 GT / s | Memory bandwidth: 224GB / s
The AMD Polaris architecture is back for the second round on the Radeon RX 570/580. The RX 570 4GB is currently more affordable, although it has not yet returned to the original $ 169 target. In general, the 4 GB RX 570 comes slightly ahead or behind the 3 GB GTX 1060, and the DirectX 12 games tend to favor AMD. The 570 uses a little more power, but most desktop computers are more than capable of running this 150W card without any difficulty.
Depending on the games you play and the current prices, the RX 570 is an excellent card for 1080p games. However, as with the Nvidia cards, future pieces of the next generation of the 20 series could far exceed the performance of the RX 570 in the coming months. AMD needs something newer than Polaris to keep up with Nvidia.
Good for 1080p games
Often faster on DX12
It uses more power than the GTX 1060
The best graphics card for eSports
GPU cores: 768 | Base clock: 1,291MHz | Boost watch: 1,392MHz | GFLOPS: 2,138 | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Memory clock: 7 GT / s | Memory bandwidth: 112GB / s
Any regular eSports player will tell you that high picture frequencies are much more important than well-rendered graphic details, and that’s where the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti shines. At a time when graphics cards cost as much as a rental, it’s an affordable but powerful GPU that can play most eSports games at more than 60 fps. It’s a bit more expensive than the low-end Nvidia GTX 1050, but you’ll appreciate the extra power behind this card to play future eSports titles as well as occasional AAA titles.
The GTX 1050 Ti doubles the built-in RAM to 4 GB and offers more firepower under the hood than the GTX 1050, while often running with only the power to the motherboard in some versions. The GTX 1050 Ti allows you to reach almost 60 fps in high-quality graphics configurations in most modern games, and its 4 GB of memory is much more resistant to the future than the 2 GB of the GTX 1050.
Solid 1080p performance
Good overclocking potential
It may require more than 75W
An affordable card that is ideal for esports
GPU kernels: 1,024 | Base clock: 1,175MHz | Boost watch: 1,275MHz | GFLOPS: 2,611 | Memory: 2GB GDDR5 | Memory clock: 7 GT / s | Memory bandwidth: 112GB / s
When it comes to low-cost graphics cards, the main competitors are the AMD RX 560 and the Nvidia GTX 1050. Currently, the RX 560 4GB costs less than the GTX 1050 of 2GB and works better, especially in low to medium quality and 1080p, where esports players like to hang out. This makes it the easiest option for the low budget category, although you have to pay attention to the prices of the GTX 1050 since that could change.
The 4 GB RX 560 is ideal for lighter sports games, including CS: GO, LoL, Overwatch, and more. You can easily reach 60 fps at 1080p in most low to medium quality esports games, which is all we can ask for a graphics card for less than $ 150. Note that the performance of the RX 560 is one step below the previous generation cards, such as the R9 380, and more in line with the R9 / R7 370.
No power adapter required
“Fight” with some new games
GPU cores: 640 | Base clock: 1,354MHz | Boost watch: 1,455MHz | GFLOPS: 1,862 | Memory: 2GB GDDR5 | Memory clock: 7 GT / s | Memory bandwidth: 112GB / s
The Nvidia GTX 1050 may not seem like much on paper, with only 2 GB of onboard video memory, but this affordable GPU plays the games better than you think. If you’re willing to drop the middle configuration, you can play Overwatch, CS: GO and other popular multiplayer shooters well above the 60 fps mark. Thanks to its compact size, it is also perfect for small buildings and streaming PCs or entertainment centers.
The small size of the GeForce GTX 1050 and its power consumption of fewer than 75 watts means that it fits in tight places without additional power connections. This makes it an ideal choice for upgrading prebuilt desktop computers from manufacturers such as HP and Dell (most of which lack extra power and enough space connectors) on gaming machines with minimal hassle.
Small format for small boxes
Maximum 2 GB of video memory
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