Best Graphics Cards under $100/$200
When you’re a PC builder looking to upgrade, the graphics card is among the top components. Most motherboards feature inbuilt integrated graphics cards, which although low-performance, are powerful enough to run the OS, browse the internet and run old games that aren't graphically intensive. Some PCs come with a graphics card built into the CPU itself.
A dedicated graphics card would be essentially pointless if you only use your computer for such basics tasks. But extreme gaming where images are rendered in 3D and the special effects in real-time, video editing, and 3-D visualization applications demand dedicated graphics cards that usually plug in an expansion slot on the motherboard.
The world of graphics cards is full of jargon and complex specifications such that not a single soul will blame you for feeling lost. But to make the decision-making process simpler, we set out to research graphics card. And sure enough, we identified a couple reasonable performance budget to mainstream AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards under $100/$200.
For decisions at a quick glance, check out the comparison table. Read through each review religiously and don’t forget the quick graphics card buying guide.
Top Pick - EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Build using the latest NVIDIA Pascal architecture, EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti guarantees improved performance and unmatched power efficiency. It comes packed with a massive 4GB DDR5 memory, 7010MHZ memory clock speed and 128 bits memory bus width to deliver extreme data transfer speeds. This graphics card also come integrated with EVGA PrecisionX as well as EVGA OC scanner with incredible overclocking features plus inbuilt automatic overclock tuning. It has connector interfaces such as DVI-D, DisplayPort and HDMI.
Best Graphics Cards under $100
1. EVGA GeForce 210
For a richer gaming experience, improved computer performance and better video & HD, it’s crucial to invest in a dedicated graphics card. EVGA GeForce 210 combines affordability and excellent performance in a single package.
EVGA GeForce 210 has 16 CUDA Cores that guarantee the graphics card renders images faster and smoothly in video editing, gaming and pretty much any other task.
The graphics card has 520MHz as the base clock although it can be overclocked to 1200MHz Effective for increased frame rates and significantly reduced input lag.
EVGA GeForce 210 uses 1024MB DDR3, which although not so impressive still ensures above average performance. Besides, the card has a 9.6GB/s memory bandwidth, which promises high-speed data transfer to the CUDA cores/Shader Cores.
What’s more, the graphics card will fit on a motherboard through the PCI Express 2.0 slot. EVGA GeForce 210 brings with it excellent compatibility.
EVGA GeForce 210 features excellent connectors including the conventional DVI as wells as the modern HDMI and VGA outputs for video.
The graphics card requires a 300W power supply. EVGA GeForce 210 is a low power consumer and you’ll have not problems using it.
It also supports DirectX 12, a technology that ensures exemplary visual effects for a lifelike gaming experience.
2. MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GD3H LP
Unlike the onboard graphics card which depends on the system's RAM to store the graphics data, a dedicated graphics card has its own memory for all graphics related tasks. We present you MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GD3H LP. This graphics card will underline better the point we aim to prove.
GeForce GT 710 2GD3H LP boasts 2GB DDR3 video memory that provides sufficient space for storing the graphics card data and overseeing graphics processing.
With 64-bits of memory bus width, MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GD3H LP will transfer data efficiently to and fro the video card’s memory. Usually, the bus width controls the number of chips that can be used on a single card.
The graphics card takes pride in its multiple connector interfaces including DVI-D, HDMI and DVI-D Dual Link capable of supporting data transfer at high speeds. GeForce GT 710 2GD3H LP will support display monitors of resolution not exceeding 4096x2160.
For a true-to-life gaming experience, the graphics card support DirectX 12, which enables stunning visual effects as well as rendering techniques.
MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GD3H LP supports 1600MHz memory clock speed sufficient for low latency and high frame rate. It connects to your system’s motherboard via a PCI-E slot.
The graphics card includes a heat sink for cooling. As such, it runs quietly and smoothly better than those that use fans for cooling.
3. Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 GV-N1030D5-2GL
Are you a graphics designer or happen to use heavy graphics and 3-D applications such as Photoshop and high-end video editing tools? Then a dedicated graphics card will help speed up your work and enhance the performance.
GV-N1030D5-2GL is a low profile graphics card, 150mm lengthwise and comes highly recommended for gaming enthusiasts like you.
The graphics card takes pride in its 2GB DDR5 memory, which, is as you very well know is the latest standard. DDR5 memory allows higher clock speed effectively boosting the performance of your video card.
Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 sports a clock speed as high as 6,008MHz that promise low input lag and high frame rates. Its bus width is 64 bits.
Featuring a custom-designed fan cooler, Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 has a fan that runs at optimum speed while maintaining minimum noise levels. It helps ensure efficient airflow for maximum heat dissipation from the GPU.
Easily customize your graphics card to suit your gaming needs. Using the AORUS graphics engine on a single click and you’ll overclock hassle-free.
Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 connects to the motherboard via a PCI-E x4 slots. It'll provide all the bang for the little buck.
4. ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 ZT 71302-20L
Boost your system’s performance with ZOTAC GeForce GT 710, a low profile dedicated graphics card designed for build enthusiasts.
It’s the perfect component for enhancing the speed of the various multimedia applications like gaming, graphics design and video editing that the integrated graphics cards can’t handle.
ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 sports 2GB DDR3 memory that’ll help free up the system’s memory to ensure faster performance.
What’s more, the graphics card features 192 CUDA cores/shader cores that make sure images are rendered smoothly and faster.
ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 has 64 bits of memory bus width and will transfer data to and from the card at reasonably high speeds. It also has a base clock speed of 954MHz and can handle up to 1600MHz with overclocking.
Enjoy lifelike gaming experiences DirectX 12. This feature ensures superior visuals effects and outstanding image rendering techniques.
The graphics card uses fan-less cooling with a passive heatsink that efficiently keeps the entire system chill.
ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 connects to the motherboard via PCI-E and requires a 300-watt power supply with power consumption not exceeding 25-watt.
In regards to connector interfaces, the graphics card doesn't let down. There's a Dual-link DVI, an HDMI and VGA interfaces for graphics output.
5. Sapphire Radeon HD 6450
Perhaps we should end conclude this part with an AMD graphics card, the one and only NVIDIA’s worthy opponent. As you’ll gather soon, NVIDIA graphics cards are known for exceptional performance. They come in handy for gamers or users who demand more from their system.
AMD presents you Saphire Radeon HD 6450, a graphics card packed with the latest GPU technologies.
Featuring 1GB DDR3 memory, the card provides reasonable storage space for graphics card freeing up the system’s memory space in the process. The result? Incredible performance boost.
What’s more, the graphics card features 64 bits memory bus width that ensures speedy data transfer to and from the video card. And with 1,333MHz clock speed, this card promises above-average performance.
Sapphire Radeon HD 6450 boast 2nd Gen support for DirectX 11, a property that delivers excellent visuals effects.
Regarding connector options, the graphics card features HDMI 1.4a perfect for 3D displays as well as DisplayPort 1.2.
Best Graphics Cards under $200
1. EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
You may think you don't need a graphics card for the PC and that the integrated graphics will serve the purpose. But a dedicated graphics comes with lots of benefits including better gaming, freeing up the system’s memory and better video. Let’s check out EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
Sporting the latest NVIDIA Pascal architecture, EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti promises enhanced performance and unparalleled power efficiency.
The graphics card will run classic and modern games with a resolution not exceeding 1080p at 60fps. It also supports up to 3 monitors with a maximum 240Hz refresh rate.
What’s more, the video card comes packed with a massive 4GB DDR5 memory. As such you can be guaranteed of extreme data transfer speeds.
The graphics card has a high 7,010MHz memory clock speed and a memory bus width of 128 bits. Expect high-speed data transfers.
Integrated with EVGA PrecisionX as well as EVGA OC scanner, the graphics card packs incredible overclocking features plus inbuilt automatic overclock tuning.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti hooks to the motherboard through a PCI-E slot. It also has connector interfaces including DVI-D, DisplayPort and HDMI that guarantee outstanding video and image output.
2. Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti 4GD Windforc
It doesn’t matter if you’re a gamer, graphics designer or a video editor, having a graphics card comes with a load of benefits. Enhanced system performance is high up on the list.
We introduce Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti 4GD Windforc, a graphics card designed to fit in virtually any system provided the motherboard has a PCI-E slot. Built on the new NVIDIA architecture, the card will, without a doubt, enhance your system’s performance and power efficiency.
With Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti 4GD Windforc, your system can support just any AA game when playing Full HD.
It supports 4GB DDR5 memory, boasts memory clock speeds as high 7008MHz with a memory bus width of 128 bits. As such, this graphics card is set to take your system’s performance a notch higher.
The graphics card comes fitted with a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of 75W. It lacks a PCI-E power connector on the card mandated with drawing power from the PSU.
Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti 4GD Windforc supports the latest DirectX 12 features. The property helps deliver remarkable visuals effects for enhanced gaming experiences.
3. MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GT OC
Featuring NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti chipset, MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GT OC graphics card is set to enhance your system’s performance.
The graphics card uses 4GB GDDR5 SDRAM video memory, which is the latest standard and obviously better in performance and reliability than DDR4 and DDR4 standards. The 4GB of space is enough to free up your system’s memory guaranteeing better performance.
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GT OC boasts 128 memory bus width and an average 1341 memory clock speed. Expect fast data transfers with low latency and high frame rates. It’ll set to transform your gaming experience.
This graphics connects to the motherboard via a PCI-E slot. It has DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces that help with the video output.
4. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC Edition
Designed using the new Pascal architecture, ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC Edition delivers remarkable performance and power efficiency.
With this graphics card, your system will support the modern and classic games with a 1080p resolution at 60fps.
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC Edition comes equipped with DirectX 12. As such, you can enjoy and get immersed in a fast, fluid and power-efficient gameplay.
Using NVIDIA Ansel technology, you’ll not only be able to capture but also share stunning in-game photos. NVIDIA Gameworks bring every bit of the game to life while the G-SYCN provides a truly immersive gameplay.
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC Edition has 128 bits memory bus width and 7200MHz memory clock speed. It also supports 4GB DDR5 video RAM meaning you can expect a huge boost in the system’s performance.
For cooling purposes, the graphics card features dual cooling fan design with two 70mm fans. It also has a large-sized cooling heatsink complete with 6mm copper heat pipes, copper cold block as well as a massive aluminum fin array.
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC Edition boasts multiple connection options including a DisplayPort capable of supporting 4K resolution, HDMI 2.0 and DL-DVI-D. This graphics card can support up to three displays.
The graphics card fit snuggly onto the motherboard via a PCI Express slot, which also supplies power. It requires up 300W of a power supply and consumes up to 75W.
5. ASUS Cerberus GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB OC
Build using aerospace-grade Super Alloy Power II components, ASUS Cerberus GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB OC screams superior quality and reliability. It’s been designed to help your system run faster and longer.
ASUS Cerberus GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB OC supports 4GB DDR5 video memory. With 128-bit bus width and 7008MHz memory clock speed, you can rest assured of fast data transfer speeds and significantly improved system performance.
What’s more, this graphics card connects to your motherboard via a PCI-e x16 slot. With a plug and play design, you don't need PCI-E connectors to get it working.
ASUS Cerberus GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB OC comes equipped with GPU Tweak II, a property that makes possible to track the performance and streaming hassle-free. With it, a single click is all you need to overclock so as to optimize the graphics.
The graphics card is optimized for gaming with Game Booster and XPlit Game Caster offered on an intuitive interface.
For your graphics, the card features crucial connectors including the traditional DVI and the modern HDMI.
What to Look for In a Graphics Card and the Factors to Consider
- Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
Rookies and professionals alike tend to refer to the graphics card as GPU. But the GPU is just a chip embedded on the graphics card. GPU can be from either of the two companies, NVIDIA or AMD.
While NVIDIA maintains a strong position on the GPU market in performance and features. AMD has also gained much popularity with its recent releases.
So when on the market, there are just a few models to choose from including MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS and EVGA. Generally, these companies fit their own unique spins on the core hardware developed by AMD or NVIDIA.
- Clock Speed
The clock speed of any graphics card is a major indicator of how well it’ll perform. Usually measured in MHz, most makers will include a ‘base clock’ and the ‘boost clock.’ It has a significant impact on the input lag, frame rate, and latency.
In regards to the memory, do not be surprised to see two graphics card of the same type with varying amounts of video RAM. For instance, GTX 580 is available in both 1.5GB and 3GB memory versions. Higher memory graphics card tend to cost more and perform faster. Similarly, the cards that use DDR4 memories boast higher performance than say the DDR3 memory graphics cards.
- Refresh Rate
Usually, standard monitors have a fixed refresh rate, for instance, 120Hz. If you install a graphics card that has a 240Hz refresh rate, then you’ll likely have a problem. The monitor tends to display a portion of the newest frame and the last frame on the screen simultaneously resulting in screen tearing.
You’ll also have a problem if your monitor has a higher refresh rate than the graphics card you intend to install. There’s no denying that you’ll experience smoother images delivery with a high refresh rate monitor. However, it’ll force your graphics card to work a little harder to keep up with the pace. So the trick is to strike a balance making sure the margin between graphics card frame rate and the monitor’s refresh rate is not that big.
It’s the amount of memory a given graphics card can access at any given time. And if your GPU has a huge bandwidth, then it transmits data to the shader cores much faster ensuring your games visuals and other images are rendered with detailed clarity. The memory, speed and bus width combine to give bandwidth.
- Shader Cores
The shader cores have a huge impact on the bandwidth. NVIDIA calls them CUDA cores while AMD calls them stream processors.
Shader cores play a crucial role in adding variations of blacks and whites to 3D objects breathing more life into them. A graphics card bearing more shader cores boasts faster and smoother image rendering.
- Output Ports
Traditionally, the monitor connects to your video card via a DVI port. Newer monitors will feature an HDMI port as well as a DisplayPort port capable of supporting higher resolutions than DVI ports.
- Bus Width
We’ll explain this by illustrating. If a graphics card can read two 64-bit chips at a go, then it goes that it’s reading at 128 bits and not at 64 bits making the bus width 64 x 2
PC cases come in varying lengths, usually measured in inches, which is why you need to get just the right graphics card size that'll fit in and not damage the other components. Powerful or high-performance graphics tend to be large. If you have an ATX case, then you have quite a large variety of graphics cards from which to choose. For a mini-ATX and micro-ITX cases, you'll have to be keener when picking a graphics card.
- Space and Cooling
Discrete graphics card usually generate lots of heat, usually displayed in the TDP value. High TDP value requires more fans for more efficient airflow. If yours is a smaller tower, then we suggest you go for a graphics card with low TDP value.
- Internal Power Connectors
For most of the graphics card, connecting them to your motherboard via PCIe expansion slots isn’t enough. They need one or two of either the 6-pin or 8-pin dedicated connectors to your system’s power supply, too, to boot.
Installing a dedicated graphics card will boost your system's performance by taking the load from CPU. While the onboard graphics card depends on the CPU, dedicated graphics card has GPU for all the graphics related operations as wells as processes. The result? Increased overall performance of the CPU itself and hence the system. In choosing a high-performance graphics, there’s a sea full of considerations, and you can easily get confused. But with our guide, it’s our hope you’ve identified a high-performance yet affordable graphics card under $100/$200.