If you want to improve your gaming experience, then you need to upgrade your graphics card as soon as possible. Most computers do not come with excellent graphics cards installed. Buying a graphics card is cheaper than buying a gaming computer altogether. You don’t have to spend that much on one either. The best budget graphic card I found, the Gigabyte GT 420, cost me only $40. Here is a list of more budget graphics cards:
10 Best Budget Graphic Cards – 2017
This is the best budget graphic card you can buy. It has a core clock capacity of 700 MHz. It’s powered by the venerable NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 GPU so you can rely on this to play hardcore games. It has 2048MB DDR3 memory and 128-bit memory, which are both integrated for better performance. It works wonderfully on windows machines. Make sure the RAM is at least above 8GB for best performance. I didn’t experience any lag issues with this one. However, this card may not be suitable for the most graphics intensive games.
MSI is known to make budget gaming gear, including graphics card. This card is really easy to install as drivers are already included on the disc. You can download it online if needed as well. The chipset on this one is a solid NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. It has 2GB GDDR5 video memory and a 128-bit memory interface. The bus is PCI-Express 3.0 x16. It supports up to 3 display monitors with maximum resolution 7680 x 4320. This card is large and quite powerful. It’s suitable for graphics-intensive games as long as you have other specs on your computer upgraded as well. Before you install this, make sure all old drivers are uninstalled from the computer.
This card comes with a cooler. The card is compact and is about 5.7 inches in size. Base clock is 1354 MHz and boost clock is 1468 MHz. Memory is 4096MB GDDR5. You can play games at 1080p at 60 fps in a fast and smooth manner. This card is power efficient too. Also, the card architecture is NVIDIA Pascal so you know it will provide a superior gaming experience.
This dual-screen ready card has an AMD Radeon HD 5450 chipset, 650 MHz engine clock, 1GB GDDR3 video memory, 1066 MHz memory clock and a 64-bit memory interface. It’s recommended to use a 450-watt power supply for the card. Plus, it comes with optional low profile brackets which you will need to use a VGA port in a low profile PC. It’s also backwards compatible with PCI Express 1.1 x16 slots. I used this on a Windows XP computer and the card was recognised and the driver was auto installed.
This graphics card performs quite well considering the price. What’s notable is how well the card displays colors. It’s made from Super Alloy Power II parts so it works noiselessly. The card comes with a dual-wing blade cooler. It has an intuitive interface to monitor performance. The price is great considering that this comes with a high-performing cooler so you won’t have to buy it separately.
Another solid performer from Gigabyte, this card has a core clock of 900 MHz and is powered by an AMD Radeon R7 240 GPU. It has 128-bit memory integrated with 2048MB DDR3. It also comes with a custom designed 10cm cooler. The card is very durable and performs excellently. The power supply is 400w.
This is definitely one of the best budget graphic cards out there. It has a Radeon HD6450 chipset with a 625 MHz engine clock and 1GB DDR3 memory. The card dimensions are 5.7 x 2.7 x 0.7 inches. Overall, this card is suitable for intensive gaming. It supports Blue Ray and HD DVD graphics too. It also comes with high-bandwidth digital content protection support HDCP. This is specially designed for low profile PCs so that’s a big advantage.
This is a good graphics card best for mild for moderate gaming. While it has excellent 4GB memory, it lacks bandwidth and Cuda Cores. The card sports a slim design and has a CD driver. Memory bus is 128 bit. If your computer’s graphics card is seriously outdated, this will be an excellent upgrade. However, it may not support super intensive games.
This is a low-profile but high-efficiency graphics card suitable for moderate gaming needs. It has a native HDMI port on board and supports 1080p entertainment. Memory interface is 64 bit. It’s designed for multimedia purposes by it serves graphics needs as well. It doesn’t come with a cooler but has a 0dB thermal design to dissipate heat quickly without generating noise. But when you use it for gaming, you will need to buy a cooler.
Powered by NVIDIA GF 210, this card has 16 processing cores and is highly suited for mild to moderate gaming. However, it’s not powerful enough to support hardcore games. It’s surprisingly silent and can get rid of heat by passive cooling. But a cooler is highly recommended. It will run games on lowest settings with minimal lag. I even played Borderlands 2 on low settings without much lag. This card is best suited for Linux systems.
Tips for Buying a Cheap Graphic Card
Here’s what you should know about buying the best budget graphic card:
Check your computer hardware before you purchase a graphics card. The other specs on your computer should be able to support the card you buy. Unless you plan on upgrading your processor as well, buy a mid-range card.
Even if you are looking for a budget card, buy the best tier graphics card you can afford to ensure the best performance.
Don’t choose a graphics card with the highest memory. What matters is the bandwidth. For lag-free gaming, you need high-capacity clock rate. For example, if you are trying to decide between 1GB of GDDR5 and 4GB of DDR3, choose GDDR5 with higher bandwidth.
Make sure the graphics card you buy can support the screen resolution on your monitor or multiple monitors.
There’s no point in pairing up graphics cards, so buy only one. A second graphics card does not double the performance of your GPU. Multi card drives can also make the gaming experience inconsistent.
Absolutely make sure the graphics card is compatible with your computer. Check the physical dimensions. Also, check the power supply and the number of pins on PCIe power connectors. These should match with the card you buy.
The better the graphics card is, the more heat it will generate. If you don’t have a cooler, your GPU will be fried to bits. You will need to buy a cooler when you buy a graphics card. Some cards come already outfitted with coolers. These may cost more, but they are worth it.