Best Budget Graphics Cards

Best Budget Graphics Cards For Gaming Under $100 in 2017

You want a graphic card and you are on $100 dollar budget or less? There are 3 great graphic card options for gaming under $100 dollars (from cheapest and slowest to most expensive and fastest). These cards can play almost all of today’s modern games with medium settings (1080p resolution or smaller) with reasonable fps (30-60 depends on game and settings). Some games will run even on high settings. These graphics cards are great if you are only casual gamer, beginner or you are low on budget, but still want to play. If you only gonna play games like CS:GO, Overwatch, League of legends and similar these cards are ideal for you. These cards can run also most of today’s demanding games like DOOM, HITMAN and Rise Of Tomb Raider with medium settings without problem. Older games like GTA 5 also will work fine.

1. Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 D5 2GB

best budget graphics card under 100 gigabyte GV-RX550D5-2GD

 

This Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 2GB model is great budget graphics card for the money. Cheapest of the list. It is ideal option if you are really on budget, but want to play newest games. It will run most of today’s most demanding games on medium settings with 30+ fps with 1080p resolution or lower. With smaller resolutions you will get the best performance. It is great choice if you mainly want to play not so demanding games like CS:GO, Overwatch, League of legends. Other games that are more demanding like DOOM or GTA 5 will work fine with medium settings.

You can also get this card with two coolers. It will be more silent at load, but is not necessary, because it is more expensive. Better get faster card like RX460 or GTX1050. In market you can find RX 550 with 4GB memory, but I think it’s not worth it this price category. Get it only if you can get it at the same price or less than 2GB model.

Get this card only if you have really low budget or you have really slow computer, that can’t get out full potential out of other two cards listed below. RX460 and GTX1050 will be slightly better than this.

This graphics card can be good upgrade for older desktop computers and not require external power connectors. It draws only around 50W power on load and most likely you not need to upgrade your PSU.

Card specifications:

Interface PCI-E
Core Clock (MHz):  1195 in OC /1183Gaming
Graphics Card Ram 2 GB
Graphics Ram Type GDDR5
Hardware Connectivity PCIE x 16
Memory Bus Width 128 bits
Memory Clock Speed 7,000 MHz
Max resolution HDMI 4K@60Hz/DP 8K@60Hz
Fan 90mm Unique Blade Fan Design

 

RX 550 2GB Version with 2 cooling fans:

 

2. MSI GAMING Radeon RX 460 GDDR5 2GB

Best graphics card under 100 dollars msi radeon rx 460

 

MSI Radeon RX 460 2GB comes from previous AMD GPU generation, but it is significantly more powerful than RX550. With this card you can play almost everything. This card is very similar in performance to GTX950 and GTX1050 from Nvidia.

There are also 4GB RX460 avialable, but get one only if price is almost the same, because this card can’t use full 4GB potential. But may be 4GB memory benefit in future games. This card is very close in performance to GeForce GTX950 and GTX1050 and in some games even faster. But most of the games GTX1050 will deliver a better performance.

Most of RX 460 come without 6pin power connector needed and draws only 75W maximum, but there is also RX460 models that needs 6pin power connector from you power supply. If you get other model of this card then check the product description or even better manufacturers page to confirm you need or not need 6pin power connector. If needed then check if your power supply have one free, if not get other card or upgrade your power supply.

This card supports even Crossfire 2-Way technology. That means if you have a suitable motherboard, you can even make two of these cards work together in the same time. That of course not give a 2 time performance boost and I think it’s not worth it, but it may be good for future upgrade, if you can get another RX460 for really cheap.

Card specifications:

Graphics Card Interface PCI-E
Graphics Coprocessor gddr5
Graphics Card Ram 2,048 MB
Graphics Ram Type GDDR5
Hardware Connectivity PCIE x 16
Memory Bus Width 128 bits
Memory Clock Speed 7,000 MHz
Multi display support supports 2x Display monitors
Connectors: DVI-D Dual-link, HDMI, DisplayPort
Crosssfire technology Crossfire 2-Way

3. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050, 2GB GDDR5

Best video card for 100 dollars zotac gtx1050

 

Best of the list. If you can find GTX 1050 graphics card under $100 budget, it will be the fastest of these 3 GPU’s under 100 dollar budget in most of the games. Great value for the money.

Best upgrade for office workstation or old gaming PC with Intel Core 2 Quad and AMD Phenom processors or similar in performance. Great choice for Intel Kaby Lake Pentium and Core I3 processors if you build a new system.

In some games RX460 is faster than this, but it depends on the game, for most of the games GTX1050 will be better.

There is also GTX 1050TI with 4 GB of memory. It will be significantly faster than this, but it is more expensive and not fit in this price category.

Card specifications:

Graphics Card Interface PCI-E
Graphics Card Ram 2 GB
Graphics Ram Type GDDR5
Hardware Connectivity PCIE x 16
Memory Bus Width 128 bits
Memory Clock Speed 7,000 MHz

What else you should know?

These prices can vary in time. You can choose these cards from different manufacturers, if you like. For example, you can get RX460 from Sapphire, XFX or Gigabyte. If they are cheaper, or you had great experience with them in the past. Performance of other manufacturer cards usually are similar, may be few percent difference.

My power supply is good enough?

Before get these cards you need to check, if your power supply has enough power for your graphics card. Most of RX550, RX460 and GTX1050 models come with no external power connector needed and uses no more than 75W power and draws it directly from PCI-Express slot. But in market you can also find cards which draws more power. You need to check it in product description, before you get one. If it needs 6 pin power connector, you need to also check if your power supply have one unoccupied. But if not, you need to find another model of this card or get a better PSU.

In case you already have a old dedicated graphics card, you should be fine with PSU you already have for these 100 dollar budget graphics cards. But if not, you need to check if your power supply is good enough for this upgrade. If you have 400W PSU or more you likely will be fine. But if you have lower wattage PSU, then I recommend to get at least 400W PSU with you card. A;so that is manufacturers recommended minimum.

Cards may also work with weaker PSU’s, like 350W or lower, but it depends on other system component power draw. Typically office workstation PC’s comes with very weak PSU’s that can only power components that are already inside in the system and not meant for upgrades. In this case I definitely recommend to get a better PSU especially for last two cards. Some people will say they will work fine with lower PSU’s, but I don’t think is worth the risk.

Other GPU choices for 100 dollars and under:

In market you can possibly find great alternatives from older generation graphics cards for this budget. Great older alternatives can be: GeForce GTX950 and GTX960 and Radeon R9 370 if you can get them under 100 dollars, but these cards all require 6 pin power connector. Some GTX950 you can find without 6 pin connector needed and it will preform little bit better than RX460. Other cards also can be fine, like example GTX760 or 770, but they draw significantly more power and you likely need to get new PSU. Get older cards only if you can get them at significantly lower price than newest alternatives or they are more powerful than these in this article for the same price.

Do I need 4GB card for this price?

These cards mentioned in this article you can find also with 4GB memory. That can be more futureproof, but for most of the games they  really are not powerful enough to use that memory. Get 4GB models only if you can get them for same price as 2GB. If 4GB model is $30 mor expensive than 2GB model, that is not really worth it. Better get more powerful 2GB graphics card, or spend that money on something else like more RAM, PSU or Game. Only GTX 1050TI or better is worth it to get with 4GB memory, but that is not in this price category. You can check this post if you want more powerful GPU: Best Budget Graphics Cards For Gaming Under 150 dollars in 2017. If you get some of these cards, you need at least 6GB or 8GB system RAM in ideal variant. There are plenty of games you can play only with 4GB RAM with these cards, but in most demanding games you will not be able to get out full your video card potential, because of limitation of RAM.

I hope you get the best gaming experience for your budget!

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