When you are on the lookout for graphics cards in the market, you will easily get stuck in models available for a price range of $800-1000. It is generally because the high-end features always come with steep price tags.
However, the above-stated fact is true to some extent, but it doesn’t apply to every situation, and such a huge price tag is certainly something that not everyone can afford.
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Keeping several factors in mind, we have worked hard to come up with some of the best graphic cards available on a budget in the market. The ones on the expensive end tend to have more power in them than what is generally needed. The power makes graphic cards safe for the future and lasts for several years, but for that, you will have to make hefty investments in one shot.
We have mentioned some of the budget-friendly graphic cards on our list that will allow you to play with 4K graphics mods and use ultra-high graphics settings. Our choices are based on the graphics memory, clock speed, GPU, and ports, and such factors should always be key considerations in your search.
- 1 Top Picks Graphic Cards Under $200 – Review & Buying Guide
- 2 Buyers’ Guide
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Conclusion
Top Picks Graphic Cards Under $200 – Review & Buying Guide
1. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660
The GeForce GTX 1660 is a powerful option in your budget. Moreover, this choice is a bit less expensive than its counterparts, and it has some features which make the card stand out among the other options. It has advanced cooling technology and holds enough power to enable users to play most of the games with greater ease.
The cooling system imparted by this card is one of the most impressive features that make people buy it. The card remains extra cool with the help of two fans that operate in opposite directions and a direct touch cooling pipe. The best part about this card is that it will not take up your entire budget and enable you to play almost all of your favorite games without causing any issues.
2. Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti WindForce
This particular pick is better for playing your favorite games, even on low settings. The GTX 1050 can hit the mark of 60FPS on 1080P. No matter the performance of this card, you cannot push its limit to 4K since you will start getting laggy graphics. Because of the features of this card, it delivers more power than its tough competitor, Strix.
It supports all modern titles smoothly, and you will not face lags. The GTX 1050 is a budget GPU that features a V-RAM of 4GB and has its clock speed measured at 1468MHz. It has 2x WindForce fans that help in keeping the system cool while playing games. One of the best graphic cards on a budget that features Xtreme engine utility.
3. XFX RX 550 2GB DDR5
The XFX EX 550 is another budget graphic card that enables players to play medium-level games of their choice. Also, if you love streaming videos in 4K quality, this is the card you have been looking for. However, the idea of putting a load of heavy graphics on this card is not good at all. Though, on low settings, you can make the most of your games with this graphic card.
The card has a VRAM of 2GB, which, when combined with a clock speed of 1203 MHz and a powerful processor, imparts a fun experience of playing games on your PC. However, to obtain the best of your GPU, we recommend keeping the settings low on 1080p. It also has the Eyefinity technology that welcomes numerous monitors to its territory. A decent option for mid-level gamers who are looking for a graphic card under $200.
4. Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 570
This particular pick cannot deliver much power, though it is a decent choice for budget graphic cards. It gives smooth performance when used for all modern titles; however, they shouldn’t be graphic complex. The features offered by this choice are satisfying and are much more than what is offered by a graphics card of less than $200. The Strix graphic card comes with two fans of blades that help keep the GPU cool.
It comes with the Tweak II interface, which enables you to set up the graphics card for a performance that would be favorable for your games, and this will prevent your system from getting overheated. The technologies of this card are the best for all casual games.
5. XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition
The XFX Radeon RX is one of the most powerful graphics cards available on the list. Additionally, this is one of the best on-budget cards that you will get under $200 with some awesome features. Once installed on your PC, it allows the fastest performance. When we talk about its features, it boasts a powerful VRAM of 8 GB to add great value to the graphic card.
It is also equipped with the Radeon Chill Technology, the perfect cooling system with FreeSync, enhanced cooling pipes, Unibody Heatsink, Eyefinity technology, and much more. The list of features of this graphic card is never-ending, but we have mentioned the major ones.
The graphic card also has the perfect True Clock Technology powered inside the XFX Radeon to impart the ultimate performance required in games. Last but not least, it has a clock speed of 1366 MHz.
In case you are still wondering which card to go for, this buyer’s guide will clear all your doubts. Here are some things that you should look for when buying a graphic card:
It might not seem to be an important factor; however, it is very frustrating to find a brand new graphic card an inch long or short. Before making any decision, make sure that you consider the physical space the graphics card will take.
Besides that, consider power supply also. Here are some things that you should consider regarding the power supply:
- Amps that it would supply on 12v rails
- The watts that it is rated for
- How many connectors it has
Now you should cross-reference this with the graphic card you want to purchase. If your computer isn’t able to handle it, it would be better to go with the one that will require less power.
The system you have will decide the type of graphics that you need to purchase. When you know the limitations of your system, you save not only your time but also money. Another factor to consider is the display. A famous resolution is 1440p for a gaming monitor.
GPU, just like CPU heats because of all the processing, is shown by the TDP value. TDP value tells the power that is required to maintain the optimal temperature for the GPU. If the GPU requires more power, it will produce more heat. It is best to go for a GPU that has a smaller TDP value. A capable and good GPU will give an immersive and fluid gaming experience along with a PC for graphic intensive work.
Bandwidth and memory
You might have heard that a bigger memory means better performance; however, it is not true unless you are using resolutions such as 4K. Besides that, not all high-end graphic cards have a high memory.
The thing you should be considering is bandwidth. Data that is ready to be processed is generally stored in the dedicated memory of the card itself, which is called GDDR3, GDDR5, or GDDR6. Keep in mind that GDDR5 memory will give you double bandwidth as compared to the GDDR3.
Bandwidth is important when it comes to performance; therefore, you should go for GDDR5 as it will give you better performance. You would be shocked to know that GDDR5 of 1GB is preferred over GDDR3 of 4GB when it comes to performance.
Stream processors (AMD) or CUDA Cores (Nvidia)
CUDA cores don’t give you detailed information regarding the performance, which is very crucial in gaming. CUDA or compute unified device architectures the proprietary parallel computing of Nvidia, which works to leverage GPU in a certain way to perform tasks with better accuracy. Nvidia’s CUDA core is equivalent to the stream processors of AMD.
More stream processors or CUDA cores means that GPU is better and gives amazing visuals. It is an important factor in handling the intensive graphical work or when the frame rate is paramount in gaming.
What would be the performance level of a graphic card under $200?
If you plan to buy a graphic card for under $200, you are probably buying it for 1080p. Most of the cards perform well at 1080p and the maximum setting at 60FPS. You can expect to get a better gaming experience when compared to low-fidelity graphics.
Is the GPU cooling system important?
If you are an intense gamer, your computer component will heat. Therefore, a cooling system is important for people who are involved in moderate or intense gaming.
Does the GPU affect the gaming experience?
Yes, GPU does affect the gaming experience of a person. If the GPU is of high quality, then gaming will become more enjoyable than usual.
Is VRAM important?
Well, VRAM does matter in some circumstances. More VRAM does not always mean better raw performance, just like more RAM does not make your PC better. VRAM is used for managing post-processing effects, managing high resolutions, and streaming textures.
In a nutshell, more VRAM will ensure that your card is able to handle high resolutions (1440p,1800p & 4K). If you are going for a card under $200:
4GB of VRAM: It is perfect for 1080p gaming at the highest settings.
What should I pick- Nvidia or AMD?
This will help you in choosing Nvidia or AMD, and this might help you:
Choose Nvidia if:
- When you will require power efficient and smaller GPU
- If you prefer playing Nvidia favored games such as Fortnite
- If you don’t hesitate in sacrificing some power
Choose AMD when:
- If you are looking for maximum performance under $200
- In case you have power and space on your PC
- In case you are looking for the best performance in terms of performance per dollar in the $200 price range
How to improve gaming performance?
You will be able to improve the gaming performance if you invest in a good quality gaming PC and buy some good quality graphic cards like XFX Radeon RX, XFX Radeon RX 580, Xtreme engine utility, or AMD GPU model. All that you have to keep in mind is to ensure that you don’t use more demanding graphics, which the cards cannot handle.
A graphics card plays an important role in determining how smoothly you can play games and enjoy the gaming experience. When it comes to buying a graphics card for the ultimate gaming experience, you are not always required to make a huge investment.
By considering a few features, especially the ones you want your GPU to have, you can make a fruitful choice. Even with a budget of around two hundred dollars, you can easily find some amazing options that will help you enjoy a seamless gaming experience. We hope this buying guide will help you make a decent choice on a budget.