We rated, reviewed, & compared 13 of the best graphics cards for gaming across various budgets. These top GPUs are perfect for gamers who are looking to max out their favorite games.
There is no component that has a bigger direct impact on your gaming experience than your video card will. And, if you’re looking to build a gaming computer in 2018 and you want to really take your gaming experience to the next level, then you definitely need to make sure you get yourself a high-end GPU.
A graphics card (or video card) basically acts like a second processor. However, the video card is only responsible for processing graphics-related tasks.
Therefore, having a high-end video card not only helps your system by improving the quality of visual effects that it can display, but also by relieving your main processor of the responsibility of having to carry out graphics-related tasks. This gives your computer a significant increase in performance in gaming over system’s that rely on the integrated graphics on their performance.
When building a new gaming computer, you want to put a good portion of your budget towards getting the best video card for gaming possible. It’s generally recommended to put at least 20-30% of your total budget into your graphics card.
In this post, we will take a look at the best graphics cards for gaming in 2018 at various price ranges for different budget sizes. I’ve broken down the categories into four different graphics card tiers.
For each video card tier there’s a chart that breaks down the different options and then below a few of those cards are highlighted with an overview. There are definitely other worthy cards made by other manufacturers, but as I update this I try to find the card that’s going to offer the best price-to-performance. So, if a certain reputable manufacturer’s card is on sale when I update this list, then I’ll likely add their card.
The table below gives you a quick-look at our top picks for the best video cards for gaming across a range of categories and price ranges. The table shows our top pick for extreme budgets (over $500), our top selection for higher-end cards (under $500), our choice for the best value GPU (under $300), our pick for the best budget-friendly option (under $150), and our selection for the best entry-level option (under $100).
PNY RTX 2080
ZOTAC GTX 1080
PowerColor RX 580
ASUS RX 560
Gigabyte GT 1030
*To check out our full overviews on our top GPU choices, just click the “Read Review »” button. You can also scroll down on this post to find more options based on your specific budget.
The graphics cards in this section are some of the best options currently available. However, if you don’t have an unlimited budget to spend on one of them, you might get better value by looking at the video cards mentioned in the High-End or Mid-Range sections.
And, with all of the power that they bring to the table, they will stay relevant for a long time coming.
So, if you’re looking for the best GPU for gaming, and you’re planning on using a high-end monitor for better visuals, then one of these cards would be your best option (although, the cards in the section below would be worth considering, too).
Right now, you have a bit of a tough selection as NVIDIA’s new RTX cards have shown a small performance increase over the GTX 1000 series cards, but they are coming in at a significant premium. Not to mention, there are have been some apparent quality issues with the RTX 2080 Ti—which isn’t a great sign for a $1,000+ product.
On the flip side, though, while the 1080 Ti offers a nice alternative to the RTX 2080, they are currently a bit more difficult to find, which has caused their price to shoot up closer to what the RTX 2080 is currently priced at. So, if it were me, and I had an unlimited budget, right now I’d probably go with an RTX 2080.
Extreme GPU Comparison Chart
|EVGA RTX 2080 Ti||/10|
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If the RTX 2080 Ti would have been released with a price under $1,000, I think it would be a more justifiable option. However, most RTX 2080 Tis are coming in at $1,200 or higher and there has been some quality control issues with NVIDIA’s new extreme chips. So, until those problems get resolved and the prices come down, I feel like the 2080 Ti will only be a viable option for users who have an unlimited budget and who don’t mind the risk that the 2080 Ti may (or may not) come with.
PNY RTX 2080 Ti Overview
NVIDIA’s new ray-tracing technology on their new RTX lineup of cards is a sight to behold. The only problem is that, while ray-tracing can provide a significantly enhanced visual experience for the games that support it, that really wasn’t the kind of feature that gamers were looking for out of the next generation of graphics cards. I think what games wanted most out of the next GPU generation was the ability to play their favorite games on higher resolutions and at higher refresh rates at a reasonable price.
And, while the new RTX lineup does help in that regard, the price that they are now available for isn’t quite justified by the small increase in performance they offer over the previous GTX 1000 series of cards.
Still, though, the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 are the most powerful single GPUs currently available. And, so if you are someone who wants to push a new 4K 144Hz monitor (technically, 4K 120Hz) or just run a 1440P 144Hz monitor at higher framerates, the 2080 Ti and the 2080 are currently your best options.
Right now, for the available 2080 Tis out there, we like EVGA’s XC ULTRA Gaming edition as it is currently one of the better priced 2080 Tis. It has a boost clock of 1650MHz, sports 11GB of GDDR5 memory, and comes in at a length of 10.6″. It does require a hefty 650W power supply to run, though, so if you’re upgrading your current system, make sure you have enough power to accommodate it.
Ultimately, the RTX 2080 Ti is going to allow you to max out games at 4K resolutions, or will let you run a 1440p/144Hz monitor with no problems.
*Just note, though, that if you are considering buying a RTX 2080 Ti, that there have been a higher-than-normal number of users that have had issues with their RTX 2080 Ti card.
|PNY RTX 2080||/10|
Read Review »
If you don’t want to pay over $1,000 for a graphics card, but you still want an extreme option, your best bet right now is either the RTX 2080 or the GTX 1080 Ti. Up until recently I would recommend the GTX 1080 Ti as it has been about ~$100+ cheaper than the RTX 2080 on average since the RTX lineup released. However, there is currently a shortage of 1080 Tis, which have driven their price up closer to what the RTX 2080s are going for—so, as of right now, for the same price, the newer RTX 2080 makes more sense.
PNY RTX 2080 Overview
You really have two options if you want the best video card, but you don’t want to spend over $1,000 to get it. And, those options are the GTX 1080 Ti and the new RTX 2080. In terms of in-game performance, the RTX 2080 narrowly edges out the 1080 Ti in the majority of games.
However, when the RTX lineup first released, you could pickup a 1080 Ti for $100+ less than the 2080 Ti and, because of that, many enthusiasts were option for the 1080 Ti instead. As of right now, though, there seems to be a shortage of 1080 Tis, which have driven up their price, and now both the 1080 Ti and 2080 Ti cost about the same.
So, right now it makes more sense to go with the RTX 2080 to get the same performance and NVIDIA’s new ray-tracing technology for the same price. Just be sure that if you want to fully take advantage of this card that you pair it with a high-end G-Sync monitor in order to take advantage of NVIDIA’s variable refresh rate technology.
|Zotac GTX 1080 Ti||/10|
Read Review »
Right now there seems to be a shortage of GTX 1080 Tis on the market. But, when they are available, Zotac’s AMP edition is usually one of the better-priced options. If you can find this 1080 Ti (or any other one) for ~$700 or less it would be worth considering as an alternative to the ~$800 RTX 2080 listed above.
Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Overview
While the GTX 1080 Ti isn’t NVIDIA’s latest high-end GPU offering, because of the high prices of their new RTX series cards, the 1080 Ti still is a viable option for anyone that is looking for a top tier graphics card.
I’ve listed Zotac’s AMP GTX 1080 Ti as it is a solid card and is typically one of the more affordable options.
Zotac’s card has a base clock of 1569MHz, sports 11GB of GDDR5 memory, and comes in at a length of 11.8″. It does require a hefty 600W power supply to run, though, so if you’re upgrading your current system, make sure you have enough power to accommodate it.
Ultimately, the GTX 1080 Ti is going to allow you to max out games at 4K resolutions, or will let you run a 1440p/144Hz monitor with no problem. It also easily meets Oculus‘ and HTC’s VR-headset requirements. So, if you’re looking for the best GPU on the market for your new gaming PC, then you’ll definitely want to consider the GTX 1080 Ti.
Right now, there does seem to be a shortage of 1080 Tis available, which has driven up their price to levels that are similar to the newer RTX 2080s. So, as of right now, I’d recommend going with an RTX 2080 for the same price, but if you can grab a 1080 Ti for $700 or less, it would at least be an option to consider over getting an RTX 2080.
|Gigabyte RTX 2070||/10|
Read Review »
I think that most gamers who have a moderate-to-larger budget will be deciding between either an RTX 2070 or a GTX 1080. The in-game performance difference between the two options is small, but it favors the RTX 2070. However, the GTX 1080 comes in at about ~$100 less. So, which is the better option for you will really come down to whether or not you want to pay a little extra for a small bump in performance as well as gain the ray-tracing features of the 2080.
Gigabyte RTX 2070 Overview
The RTX 2070 is a solid graphics card option that will allow you to game on a 4K monitor or a 1440P 144Hz monitor with good framerates. And, in terms of how it stacks up against NVIDIA’s previous generation GTX 1000-series cards, the 2070 slightly outperforms the GTX 1080 in terms of in-game performance.
Right now the cheapest GTX 1080 costs about ~$100 less than the cheapest RTX 2070, so there still is an argument to be made for choosing the GTX 1080 over the RTX 2070.
However, right now, this Gigabyte RTX 2070 comes in at ~$530, and, at that price, that is lower than GTX 1080s were going for during the height of the GPU shortage crisis during the cryptocurrency boom. So, I can imagine that there are a lot of gamers out there who were waiting for GPU prices to settle who will see a ~$530 RTX 2070 as a steal.
In the end, the RTX 2070 is a great video card option at its current price range and if you don’t mind spending an extra ~$100 over the GTX 1080, you’ll get a small in-game performance boost as well as the ability to utilize NVIDIA’s new ray-tracing technology.
|ASUS RX Vega 64||/10|
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While AMD’s Vega 64 offers excellent performance, its main downfall is the fact that its higher price tag gives it a worse price-to-performance ratio than its direct competitors (GTX 1080, RTX 2070.) So, unless you’ve got an AMD Freesync monitor, I’d look at the less expensive 1080 or 2070 instead.
ASUS RX Vega 64 Overview
Of the available RX Vega 64’s on the market, the ASUS RX Vega 64 is currently one of the better priced options. In terms on in-game performance, the Vega 64 is capable of running games at 60 FPS on a 4K monitor, or pushing games at a high framerate on a 1440P 144Hz monitor.
However, for quite a bit less than the Vega 64, you can get either an RTX 2070 or a GTX 1080, both of which will perform on par with—or exceed—the Vega 64 in the majority of games. The only reason why you might want to consider a Vega 64 over the 2070 and/or 1080, though, is if you are planning on getting (or already have) an AMD Freesync monitor. The fact that Freesync monitors are cheaper than G-Sync monitors will help makeup for the higher price tag of the Vega 64 over the 2070 and 1080.
The bottom line, though, is that, in terms of price-to-performance, the RTX 2070 and GTX 1080 are better options. For AMD diehard fans, though, the Vega 64 is your best option for a high-end AMD graphics card.
These graphics cards in this price range bring a lot of performance to the table. While they aren’t as powerful as the video cards listed above, they aren’t that far behind either.
These graphics cards will easily max out any game on a 1920×1080 monitor and will even give you high-end performance on a 2560×1440 monitor in some non-demanding games.
All of the GPUs in this section can actually serve as decent options for 4K gaming as well. And, they all easily meet Oculus Rift’s minimum requirements, so they will work for a VR-ready setups as well.
Ultimately, though, if you don’t want to spend over $500, but you are looking to get one of the best video cards for the money, these cards will give you a ton of power at a more reasonable price.
High-End GPU Comparison Chart
|ZOTAC GTX 1080||/10|
Read Review »
If you have a big budget and you want to be able to max out games on a 4K monitor and play VR games with ease, the GTX 1080 is a solid option if you don’t have quite enough in your budget to reach up and get the RTX 2070.
ZOTAC GTX 1080 Overview
The price of the GTX 1080 has finally reached a price level that it probably would have been at had it not been for the cryptocurrency-GPU shortage crisis earlier this year. However, part of the reason for the GTX 1080s latest price drop is likely due to the release of NVIDIA’s new RTX lineup of video cards.
So, while the prices on the GTX 1080 are currently better than they have been since they were first released, the reality is that NVIDIA will likely stop producing them in the near future in order to push buyers to their new lineup of cards (which seems to be what is currently happening with their 1080 Tis.)
Still, though, if you don’t want to spend over $500 to get a new RTX 2070, you can currently grab a GTX 1080 for close to $450. That’s not a bad deal considering that the GTX 1080 only slightly trails behind the 2070 in terms of in-game performance.
Also, a GTX 1080 has a minimum power supply requirement of 500W compared to the RTX 2070s minimum requirement of 550W. So, you can save a little bit on a power supply if you opt for the 1080 as well.
|EVGA GTX 1070 Ti||/10|
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EVGA’s GTX 1070 Ti is a solid option for anyone who has a decent-sized budget to build a new PC with (or upgrade their existing one.) It will offer performance slightly above the GTX 1070 and Vega 56 and slighlty below the GTX 1080… or in another words it should serve well for 1440p or 4K gaming.
EVGA GTX 1070 Ti Overview
NVIDIA’s GTX 1070 Ti wedges right between the GTX 1080 and 1070 in terms of price and performance.
And, if you were looking at a GTX 1070, you might want to consider bumping up your budget and grabbing the 1070 Ti, because the jump in price at the moment isn’t too significant.
GTX 1070 cards have made their way down into the upper $300s, but you can grab a 1070 Ti for just a little over $400. So, there really isn’t that big of a price difference between the two cards.
In any case, the 1070 Ti is a decent option if your budget is specific enough and at a level to where you have a little more to spend than what the 1070s come in at, and a little less to spend on what the 1080s come in at.
|Gigabyte RX VEGA 56||/10|
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Unfortunately, AMD’s Vega 56 suffers from the same downfall that the Vega 64 does… it doesn’t offer as good of a price-to-performance ratio at its competitors (the GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080). However, for AMD fans, or for anyone who already has a Freesync monitor, the Vega 56 is an option you’ll want to consider.
Gigabyte RX VEGA 56 Overview
Another possible option in the $400-$500 price range is AMD’s RX VEGA 56.
And, while it doesn’t perform quite as well as the cheaper GTX 1070 Ti, the RX Vega 56 will offer solid performance for the price for anyone who needs an AMD graphics card to pair with their AMD Freesync monitor.
Most benchmarks have it trailing behind the GTX 1080 and 1070 Ti and not far ahead of the GTX 1070 in most games, so if you already have a non-Freesync monitor (or you have a G-Sync monitor) you’ll likely want to look at the options from NVIDIA.
Hopefully, the price drops a bit and there are some third party cards out in the near future and, if so, these cards might offer better value.
But, unless you only choose AMD products, you’d probably be better off going with a GTX 1080, 1070 Ti, or 1070.
|EVGA GTX 1070||/10|
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While the GTX 1070 Ti outperforms the GTX 1070, the GTX 1070 is a bit more affordable and still has enough power to easily handle VR-gaming, as well as 4K gaming. So, if you want to save a little bit of money without a big loss in performance, the GTX 1070 might be the best GPU for the money.
EVGA GTX 1070 Overview
Don’t have quite enough to get the GTX 1080 or 1070 Ti? No worries, the new GTX 1070, which was released alongside the 1080 (or, rather a couple of weeks after) offers a better price-to-performance ratio and is definitely one of the top graphics cards in terms of value and performance currently available.
For a little under $400, the GTX 1070 gives you the ability to build a VR-ready gaming machine that can also push higher resolution monitors with ease.
So, whether you want to get an Oculus Rift, or if you want to game at 4K, the 1070 will allow you to do so.
And, with the holiday season approaching, expect to see a price drop in the near future.
If the price reaches the lower or mid $300s—which is what the original MSRP was—these will easily be one of the better price-to-performance cards on the market.
The sub-$300 video cards are the sweet spot for gamers playing on a 1920×1080 monitor. These cards are powerful enough to max out pretty much any game at 1920×1080 resolution and they’re much more reasonable in price.
They will struggle with more demanding games at higher resolutions, but overall they are excellent options if you are sticking with a 1080p monitor.
Of the cards in this group, the RX 580 8GB and GTX 1060 6GB. Both are capable of handling anything on medium-to-higher settings on a 1080p monitor and it can meet the requirements for VR-gaming (or, at least the Oculus Rift). The other two options in this section are excellent choices as well if you are trying to build a budget-friendly gaming PC.
Ultimately, though, the good news is that even though you don’t have a few hundred or more to spend on getting the best GPU available, these options serve as amazing entry-level graphics cards and they will allow you max out most games on a 1920×1080 monitor.
Mid-Range GPU Comparison Chart
|PowerColor RX 580||/10|
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In the battle between the GTX 1060 6GB and the RX 580 8GB graphics cards, I feel like the RX 580 is currently the better option. It comes in a bit cheaper and it will pair with a Freesync monitor, which are cheaper than G-Sync monitors (which the 1060 will have to be paired with). And, since the two cards deliver fairly similar in-game performance, the cost of getting an RX 580 and a Freesync monitor is much cheaper than getting a 1060 and a G-Sync monitor.
PowerColor RX 580 Overview
If all you want to do is get a graphics card that will allow you to max out games on a 1080P monitor with high framerates, then your best bet is probably an RX 580 8GB card. You could make a case for the GTX 1060 6GB card, but since the RX 580 will perform similarly to the GTX 1060 in most games (if not outperform it) and it currently comes in at a lower price, in my opinion it is the better option.
Not to mention, if you want to get a new monitor that has a high refresh rate, you’ll likely want to get a display that comes with a variable refresh rate technology. And, since AMD’s variable refresh rate technology is a lot cheaper to obtain than NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology, going with an AMD graphics card is a better option for budget-oriented gamers.
So, not only does the RX 580 8GB cost less than the GTX 1060 6GB, but it also offers a lower cost of entry into high refresh rate gaming.
In the end, the RX 580 8GB graphics card is the perfect option for 1080P gamers who are working with a moderate budget, but who still want high framerates in their games.
|EVGA GTX 1060||/10|
Read Review »
During the cryptocurrency-GPU shortage crisis, the GTX 1060 6GB often cost a lot less than the RX 580 8GB graphics card. However, now that prices have stabilized as the most recent crypto-boom has passed, you can now get the RX 580 8GB for less than the GTX 1060 6GB. And, since the two cards will perform similarly in most games, the cheaper RX 580 makes more sense (to me, at least.)
EVGA GTX 1060 Overview
The GTX 1060 is an excellent graphics card for people who have a moderate budget and who want to be able to max-out games on a 1080P monitor. However, the main downside of the GTX 1060 is the fact that its main competitor, the RX 580 8GB, offers pretty much identical performance (if not even better performance) while costing less.
The other problem with the GTX 1060 is that, if you want to pair it with a higher refresh rate monitor, you’ll want to get a G-Sync monitor in order to take advantage of NVIDIA’s variable refresh rate technology. Unfortunately, NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology costs more to implement in monitors than AMD’s variable refresh rate technology does (Freesync). And, so, the combined cost of pairing a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card with a G-Sync monitor is significantly more than pairing an RX 580 GB graphics card with a Freesync monitor.
So, overall, while the 1060 is a great card for the price, if you’re looking for the better all-around option, the RX 580 would be the way to go.
|PowerColor RX 570||/10|
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An RX 570 is a decent alternative to the GTX 1060 6GB and RX 580 8GB if you don’t quite have over $200 to spend on your GPU. And, while an RX 570 won’t perform quite as well as those two cards, it is still powerful enough to be able to run most games on higher settings on a 1080P monitor.
PowerColor RX 570 Overview
The PowerColor RX 570 is one way to add not only a pop of color to your gaming set up but a boost to your graphics performance.
The 4 GB, 256-bit GDDR5 memory will eliminate screen tears and long rendering times while you’re gaming, and has a 1750MHz (7.0 Gbps) memory clock. The GPU uses the AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU and has a boost clock of 1284 MHz.
This GPU features 2048 stream processors, PCI Express 3.0, and has one DL-DVI-D, one HDMI, and three DisplayPort ports to give you several connectivity options.
Now that AMD’s RX lineup of cards are back and stock and aren’t overpriced due to cryptocurrency miners, they fit right between the GTX 1060 6GB and GTX 1060 3GB cards in terms of price and performance.
So, if you dont’ quite have the budget to reach up and get an RX 580 8GB or GTX 1060 6GB, but you don’t want to be limited in certain games by the GTX 1060 3GB’s lower VRAM, you might want to consider an RX 570.
|MSI GTX 1050 Ti||/10|
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While the GTX 1050 Ti under performs the RX 570, the fact that it requires a measly 300W power supply (draws power solely through the PCIe port) makes it a solid option for anyone who is looking to upgrade an older system with a less powerful power supply in it.
MSI GTX 1050 Ti Overview
The GTX 1050 Ti gets outperformed by the RX 570, but it does come in at a slightly lower price tag.
The coolest feature of the GTX 1050 Ti (and the GTX 1050, too) is the fact that you don’t need to hook it up to your power supply. It runs completely off of the power it draws from the PCIe port.
And, the minimum required power supply to run the 1050 Ti is a quality 300W unit.
That means that most people with an older desktop can upgrade to the 1050 Ti and enjoy being able to max out most games on a 1080p monitor.
Not too shabby for that price, considering you won’t also have to upgrade your power supply as well.
The graphics cards in the sub-$150 price range are perfect for any gamer who is working with an extremely tight budget and who either just wants to be able to play games on a 1080p monitor on lower settings, or for those eSports-oriented gamers who want to play less-demanding games that are more competitive in nature.
Games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Team Fortress, Overwatch, etc. can all be handled easily by the video cards in this tier.
And, while the GPUs listed below aren’t good long-term options, they are still the best options in their price range.
Ultimately, while in the past budget-friendly cards could barely be expected to handle 1080p games on medium settings, nowadays these cards will provide you with a solid gaming experience at 1920×1080 resolution.
Budget GPU Comparison Chart
|ASUS RX 560 AERO||/10|
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The MSI RX 560 is a solid budget-friendly card that separates itself from the GTX 1050 below by offering double the VRAM. Both cards are good options, however, the extra VRAM will help give the RX 560 an edge in newer games.
ASUS RX 560 AERO Overview
The RX 560 trades blows with the GTX 1050 in most games and offers an additional option to choose from in the ~$100-$120 price range.
However, where the MSI RX 560 stands out is the fact that it comes with 4GB of VRAM as opposed to the GTX 1050’s 2GBs. This is important because newer games are starting to utilize more and more VRAM, and going with a lower VRAM card can force you to turn down settings in your favorite games.
So, while the GTX 1050 listed below is a bit less expensive, you may want to spend a little more to get some extra VRAM.
Ultimately, both cards are solid, but if you want better performance in today’s newer games, you’ll probably want to go with an RX 560.
|EVGA GTX 1050||/10|
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The GTX 1050 is a great option for anyone who is working with a really tight budget who wants to be able to play most games on higher settings on a 1080p monitor. Whether you are looking for an affordable upgrade for your aging machine, or you are building a budget-friendly computer to play games like League of Legends, Team Fortress, or World of Warcraft, the 1050 is a very economical option that will allow you to do so.
EVGA GTX 1050 Overview
The GTX 1050 is the less powerful and more affordable version of the GTX 1050 Ti. It is the perfect option for gamers who are on a tight budget, but who still want to be able to play most games on a 1080p monitor on higher settings.
Like the GTX 1050 Ti, the 1050 also draws all of its power solely from the PCIe port and, thus, doesn’t need to be hooked up directly to a power supply with 6 or 6+2 pin PCIe connectors.
It also only requires a 300W power supply to run, which means that even if you have an older pre-built machine, you can likely plug-in the GTX 1050 and get a significant upgrade in performance.
If you don’t quite want to spend ~$150 on a new GPU, you can definitely save a few bucks and get the GTX 1050.
Ultimately, if you don’t have much over $100 to spend, the GTX 1050 is a solid option. Although, because it only has 2GB of VRAM, it might not be as good of an option as the RX 560 listed above.
|XFX RX 550||/10|
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For the price, the XFX RX 550 is a good buy for a quiet and cool running card. It isn’t, nor does it claim to be, a high-performance player. Its place is for older systems in need of an upgrade or just as an inexpensive graphics card for the light gamer. It’s not a great option, but it will hold you over until you can get something more powerful.
XFX RX 550 Overview
The XFX RX 550 isn’t a high-performance graphics card. Rather, it’s an affordable option for lightweight gaming that gets the job done for 1080p gaming.
It’s also a good option if you have an older system in need of an upgrade before going all out for a higher-end solution.
The RX 550 has three outputs including a Dual Link DVI, and two HDMI ports. It also comes with 2GB of VRAM, which is nice considering older sub-$100 video cards typically came with only 1GB of VRAM
It has 512 stream processors and it is compatible with DirectX 12 on Microsoft Windows 10.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a cheap card that will let you run your favorite games on a 1080P monitor, then this RX 550 will serve you well—at least until you have enough to upgrade up to a higher-end option.
|Gigabyte GT 1030||/10|
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Another extreme budget-friendly video card is Gigabyte’s GeForce GT 1030. It’s a sub-$80 card that will allow you to play most 1080P games on at least medium settings. It’s not a long-term solution, but if you’re looking for something that will hold you over until you can upgrade, this isn’t a bad way to go.
Gigabyte GT 1030 Overview
The Gigabyte GT 1030 competes with the RX 550 in that both are super budget-friendly graphics cards that will work well if you are building a barebones entry-level system, or if you have an older system that needs to be upgraded in order to keep up with some of today’s newer games.
The 1030, like the RX 550, should be able to handle most games on a 1080P monitor on at mediumish settings. Although, for more demanding games, you will likely have to turn the settings down to low.
Also like the RX 550, the 1030 comes with 2GB of VRAM which should help it a bit more in newer games.
Ultimately, this card isn’t a long-term solution, but it will serve well as a last resort option if you have a super low budget.
Which Graphics Card is Right for You?
This is not a list of every graphics card on the market. There are certainly quite a bit of lower tier video cards that can be had. However, a lot of them are comparable to the integrated graphics you can get on a newer CPU.
And, while NVIDIA has held the high-end of the market on lockdown for the past few generations, it is always at least worth looking into newer architecture before you make your decision.
However, the performance difference, if any, is usually negligent between AMD and NVIDIA’s offerings at the same price level. And, so if you’re ready to build now, the options listed here should fit your needs based off of the price range you are looking to choose from.
In the end, the graphics card you choose for your gaming computer will be the biggest determining factor in what games you can play, at what resolution you can play them at, and how high you can turn up the settings.