Graphics Cards

Best Budget Graphics Cards (2021): 7 Solid GPUs Under $200

Best Budget Graphics Cards

Best Budget Graphics CardsWe rated, reviewed, & compared 7 of the best budget graphics cards under $200. These budget GPUs are perfect for gamers who are strapped for cash but who want to be able to play their favorite games.

If you’re a PC gamer, the one component inside of your computer that will have the biggest impact on your in-game performance is your graphics card. Whether you’re building a new budget-friendly gaming computer and you’re looking for a graphics card that will give you optimal performance for your budget, or you’re looking to upgrade an older system and you just need an affordable option that will allow you to play games on at least lower settings, the good news is that you have a few different options to choose between.

In this guide, we’ve reviewed seven of the best cheap video cards under $200 to give you viable options for your new build or upgrade at multiple price points. These options will range from being 1080P powerhouses that can play any game on a budget 1080P monitor at medium-ish settings, to ultra-cheap entry-level cards that will be ideal for upgrading an older system that can no longer run games on a 1080P monitor.

So, if you don’t have a huge budget, but you need a new graphics card that will allow you to play your favorite games, one of the options below should do the trick for you.

Our Top Picks for the Best Budget Graphics Cards

The table below gives you our picks for the best budget GPUs. We’ve made our pick for the best graphics card under $200 overall, a runner-up pick, the best GPU under $150, and the best entry-level GPU option.

*To read our full overviews on our top CPU choices, just click the “Read Review »” button. You can also keep scrolling down to find more options based on your specific budget.

1. Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT

The best budget graphics card

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT OC 8G Graphics CardGIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT OC 8G Graphics Card

If you’re looking for the best budget graphics card under $200, then an RX 5500 XT is currently your best bet. At times, you could find an RX 590 or GTX 1660 fr under $200, but as of right now the RX 590 is tough to find anywhere, and all of the GTX 1660s are over $200.

So, if you’ve got right at $200 to spend, the Gigabyte RX 5500 XT is your best bet. This Gigabyte card features Gigabyte’s dual fan WINDFORCE 2X configuration, a 1647MHz base block, and 8GB of VRAM.

With its dual fan configuration, this RX 5500XT only measures in at 8.9-inches long, making it a good option for a small form-factor PC.

Ultimately, the RX 5500XT will be able to handle any game on a 1080P with no problems. You should expect to play most games at that resolution on at least medium settings.

2. Gigabyte Radeon RX 580

Our runner-up budget GPU pick

Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 Gaming 8GBGigabyte Radeon RX 580 Gaming 8GB

If you don’t quite have $200 to spend, your next best bet is probably the another Gigabyte card, their Radeon RX 580 Gaming edition. The 580 has been around for a couple of years and it has always been a great option for gamers on a budget.

This card requires a 500-watt power supply, measures in at 9.1-inches long, and comes with 8GB of VRAM. It also has the same WINDFORCE 2X cooling configuration at the RX 5500 XT listed above.

While the RX 580 doesn’t quite match the performance of the RX 5500 XT, it isn’t that far behind it either. So, if you want to save ~$30 without having to sacrifice too much performance, this card is worth considering. It, too, will handle 1080P gaming just fine.

3. XFX Radeon RX 570

The best sub-$150 graphics card

XFX RX 570 4GB GDDR5 RS XXX EditionXFX RX 570 4GB GDDR5 RS XXX Edition

If you have a tighter budget and you can’t spend more than $150, this XFX Radeon RX 570 graphics card is a good option. The RX 570 lags a bit behind both the RX 5500 XT and the RX 580, but it will still run most games on a 1080P monitor on at least medium settings.

This card is actually the longest option on the list, measuring in at 9.6-inches long. However, it’s still compact enough to where it will fit in the majority of modern cases.

It also comes with a 1264 MHz base clock rate and sports 4GB of VRAM.

Overall, if you don’t have the budget to get an RX 5500XT or RX 580 (or GTX 1650 Super), an RX 570 is probably your next best option. And, of the RX 570s currently on the market, this XFX card offers the best price to performance as of the time of writing this article.

4. XFX Radeon RX 550

The best entry-level GPU

XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 4GBXFX AMD Radeon RX 550 4GB

If you don’t have more than $100 to spend on a graphics card, you have a few options. As of right now, the best sub-$100 GPU is an RX 550. And, as of the time of updating this guide, the top RX 550 currently available is XFX’s Core edition.

This card comes with a 1203 MHz base clock rate, 4GB of VRAM, and a single fan cooling configuration. Due to the single fan configuration, this RX 550 measures in at just 6.7-inches long. So, it’s a great option for a budget-friendly mini gaming PC build.

For performance, you can expect to run most games on a 1080P monitor on at least lower settings. For non-demanding games like League of Legends, this card will work just fine and for more demanding games, you can play on lower settings until you have enough money to upgrade to something more powerful.

5. EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super

Honorable mention #1

EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super SCEVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super SC

While it might seem that I have something against NVIDIA cards based on this article, the reality is that, at the current price points, AMD cards seem to make more sense in the sub-$200 price range.

The RX 5500 XT outperforms the GTX 1650 Super and the RX 580’s extra 4GB of VRAM and lower price than the 1650 Super make it a better buy as well.

However, if the GTX 1650 Supers were to come down in price to a level similar to or lower than the RX 580, they might be worth a look. And, if they do, this EVGA card would be one of the better options. It comes with a 1755 MHz base clock, 4GB of VRAM, and a dual fan configuration. It also measures in at 8.0-inches long.

Overall, though, you can either spend a little more to get a better performing card (the RX 5500 XT), or you can spend less and get virtually the same performance (RX 580.) So, for now, the GTX 1650 Super is an Honorable Mention.

6. PNY GeForce GTX 1650

Honorable mention #2

PNY VCG16504SFPPB-O GeForce GTX 1650 4GBPNY VCG16504SFPPB-O GeForce GTX 1650 4GB

Another NVIDIA card that doesn’t make it into our top picks due to the price it comes in at is the non-Super GTX 1650. Like the GTX 1650 Super, the standard GTX 1650 costs more than its direct competitor the RX 570.

And, while the two cards are close in performance, most benchmarks show the RX 570 ahead of it in most titles. So, as of right now, the lower pricetag on the RX 570 and the bump in performance make it the better buy.

Of course, with graphics card prices changing on a daily basis, it is worth taking a look at 1650 prices before you make your final decision.

7. Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030

Honorable mention #3

Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030

Another sub-$100 graphics card option is this Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030. At just under $85, it is the most affordable option on this list. And, if you’re working with a tight budget to build a new gaming PC or upgrade an older computer, a GT 1030 is an excellent option.

It won’t give you great in-game performance—especially in demanding titles—but it can hold you over until you can afford an upgrade.

Ultimately, the GT 1030 is an entry-level card that won’t work for most individuals. If you are strapped for cash, though, and need a cheap GPU to get you by, it should do the trick.

Which Budget GPU is Right for You?

While it is true that the better the graphics card you have, the higher the framerate you can get in your games, it is also true that even today’s top games can be run fairly well by a budget graphics card at 1920 x 1080 resolution. For instance, the three options in the $150-$200 price range (the RX 5500 XT, RX 580, and GTX 1650 Super) should be able to handle today’s most demanding games on medium settings on a 1080P monitor. And, even the options in the $100-$150 price range will serve you well for 1080P gaming as well.

If you’re playing non-demanding games, like Rocket League, League of Legends, or Dota 2, etc., you can save even more money by going with something like an RX 550 or GT 1030 without sacrificing much in terms of your in-game experience.

So, the bottom line is that, whether you’re looking for a decent upgrade for your older desktop, or you’re looking to build an affordable gaming PC, there are graphics card options for under $200 that will deliver you a pretty solid in-game experience.

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