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If you plan on buying a stopgap graphics card that provides a decent gaming experience but are on a tight budget and do not know what to get, you are in luck! This list covers the best GPUs out there to ensure that you get the best GPU you deserve.
The Top-Rated GPU Under $150
|Top Pick||XFX RX 570 RS XXX Edition||87%|
|Runner Up||ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 Phoenix Fan||87%|
|Budget Pick||XFX RX-560D4SFG5 Radeon RX 560||85%|
|Luxury Pick||ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super Twin Fan||88%|
|Best for Gaming||Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Phoenix Fan Edition||87%|
|Also Great||Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030||86%|
Top Pick: XFX RX 570 RS XXX Edition
Great card that performs well for 1080p!
It might be hard to find a card that does fairly well at 1080p, let alone 720p but the XFX RX 570 RS XXX Edition does a phenomenal job of pushing a high number of frames even at 1080p! It even does a good job at 1440p but not all games can be played smoothly. The very fact that this card can handle 1440p is amazing since not all cards in this price range are capable of such performance. It is based on AMD’s ‘Polaris’ architecture which still holds up even today. The card performs incredibly well and even comes very close to the fan favourite Nvidia’s GTX 1060, which is still popular and can be found in used markets.
The card comes equipped with 4GB of GDDR5 and while it might be too little, it should do for gaming on medium-high at 1080p in most AAA titles. The card is also built reasonably well. The fan isn’t all that silent and some might hear a little whirring noise but it certainly isn’t a drawback in any major sense. The other issue is the fact that this card sips a lot of power, which means that if you don’t have a powerful enough PSU, then there’s a fair chance you might not be able to run this.
This card is great if you plan on playing 1080p gaming and a little bit of 1440p while it crushes its nearest competition, the GTX 1050ti and the GTX 1650 in some cases.
Runner-Up: ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 Phoenix Fan
If you are a streamer or if the RX 570 isn’t great at playing some games, then the ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 Phoenix Fan is for you. The card is based on Nvidia’s Turing architecture which the RTX series are also based on. It does fairly well at 1080p and sometimes comes very close to the RX 570 but it does fall short when it comes to playing games at high settings. But what separates this card and the RX 570 is the fact that this card comes with Nvidia NVENC encoding which is actually great news! This basically means that streaming or recording games is less taxing on the CPU since your GPU would do all of the encoding work. Or in layman’s terms, you’ll still be able to get a decent amount of frames, even while streaming or recording gameplay.
The card looks fairly small and minimal. It comes with a single fan since this card isn’t all that power hungry while remaining fairly efficient. The temps aren’t really that bad, especially considering that the card has a single fan and it is fairly quiet. If you are a streamer and if you suffer a couple of frame drops which ruins the experience, then the ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 Phoenix graphics card is definitely one to get.
Budget Pick: XFX RX-560D4SFG5 Radeon RX 560
Best value for money card!
The XFX RX-560D4SFG5 Radeon RX 560 is a wonderful little card that provides unbeatable performance compared to cards at this price range. It doesn’t sip a lot of power but it delivers excellent performance at 1080p, which is rarely heard of at this price point. It is smaller compared to a lot of other cards but it is power efficient as well. Most games can be played at medium settings at 1080p to achieve 60 frames per second but if you simply do not care about frames, you could play at even high settings that provides a good experience, which is seriously impressive.
This card comes with 4GB of GDDR5 memory which is great and it is based on AMD’s Polaris architecture as well. The card also remains silent and the fan turns on only under heavy loads and even then it is quite silent. If you are content with medium preset settings at 1080p, then this is definitely a card to consider.
Luxury Pick: ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super Twin Fan
The ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super Twin Fan is a much faster version of the regular GTX 1650 but it does come at a slightly higher price. It is a lovely little card that performs really well at 1080p and even at 1440p. The performance does surpass the RX 570 but in some cases, it does fall short. This is the only card in the list that comes with GDDR6 memory and comes with 4GB of memory as well, which does make the card quite fast.
The card is fairly compact and comes with two fans while being a dual slot card. It is much quieter than the RX 570 and even the RX 580 as well, thanks to the fact that this card isn’t as power hungry as the two AMD cards. A small card that is superior compared to the vanilla GTX 1650, what’s not to like here?
Best for Gaming: Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Phoenix Fan Edition
Still a worthy contender!
If you wanted to get a good card for some light gaming at 720p or medium-high at even 1080p, the Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Phoenix Fan Edition is certainly a great card to get. It might be a bit old by today’s standards but it still performs fairly well and it can also be used for competitive eSports titles like League of Legends, Counter Strike and the likes. It is even used for rendering and does a fairly good job at it as well.
The card is fairly small and quiet but is quite old now. It does come with 4GB of GDDR5 memory but the card itself isn’t all that powerful for today but it still does a decent job as well. Nowadays, people have found a new use for it which is crypto mining. If you want a card that performs alright but for a cheap price, this is one to consider.
Also Great: Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030
The Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 is a very basic card that simply gets the job done and not a whole lot more. It is meant for someone who doesn’t have a dedicated video card and needs a source for video output. This does do a fair bit of gaming, thanks to the 2GB of GDDR5 memory it comes with. The GT 1030 is good for lighter titles and can achieve upto 30fps on low settings in some AAA titles.
It is based on Nvidia’s Pascal architecture which is certainly very old at this point but it doesn’t aim to be a GPU for hardcore gaming. There are different variants of the GT 1030 that come with GDDR3 or GDDR4 but out of the lot, this is suited for some casual gaming and it can also output at 4K60Hz, if you plan on using a 4K display. Certainly not as good as the RX 560 but if your old PC is due for an upgrade, this is a card that should be considered, especially if you are on a very tight budget.
What to Look for in a GPU
There are a lot of things that a GPU has but these are some factors that one should pay close attention to.
Certain beefy and powerful graphics cards tend to be very thick and occupy a couple of slots. Ensure that your case has enough space to house it in and always check the dimensions of the graphics card to see if it fits in. Mini cards tend to fit in the majority of the cases although different GPU manufacturers have different dimensions for their cards. Also check whether the GPU doesn’t touch any other PC components like the CPU cooler.
Having much faster video memory would make a world of difference. Some cards come in two variants, namely, the slower GDDR5 memory and the newer and much faster GDDR6 memory. If it is an older card, chances are, it has GDDR5 and while it might cut it for today’s standards, having a GPU with GDDR6 memory would definitely future proof your PC.
Always check the kind of ports the GPU you plan to buy has. Some graphics cards come with DisplayPort while some come with HDMI. Older cards might have only DVI which newer monitors might not support. Ensure that the card you plan on purchasing has ports that your monitor also has to avoid buying unnecessary adapters or in some cases, new monitors!
Last Updated on October 26, 2020