Best Budget Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2017

Hi guys, we’re starting things off with a post on the best budget graphics cards you can buy in 2016, because a good graphics card is what lies at the heart of an awesome gaming PC build. At BGR, we intend to walk you through each step of the way to building your own custom gaming PC, so feel free to hit us up with any questions or comments.

Meanwhile, I am often asked about the best graphics card for gaming, and the answer to that question varies every few months due to newer graphics cards coming out from both AMD and Nvidia. However, the one mistake most newbies make is going for the cheapest graphics card they can find, only to end up realizing that they can’t even play low-end games on minimum settings without stutters, freezes and crashes.

This is why we’ve compiled this list so you can go for the best graphics card for the money you are willing to spend. All these graphics cards are available for purchase online.

ModelMakerVRAMMemory Type 
Asus R7 260ASUS (AMD)1GBGDDR5Check Deals
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 TiZOTAC (Nvidia)1GBGDDR5Check Deals
MSI R7 360MSI (AMD)2GBGDDR5Check Deals
EVGA GeForce GTX 950EVGA (Nvidia)2GB GDDR5Check Deals
Gigabyte R7 370Gigabyte (AMD)2GBGDDR5Check Deals
Zotac Geforce GTX 1050tiZOTAC (Nvidia)4GBGDDR5Check Deals

#1. ASUS R7 260 – 1GB GDDR5 – $85.61

Best Budget Graphics Card

This ASUS branded AMD Radeon R7 260 graphics card is one of the best budget graphics cards at only $85.61. While it comes with only 1GB of video memory, it is enough for regular 720p and 768p gaming thanks to the 6000 MHz memory clock.

The card is an upgrade from the R7 250 model, but does take up more space in your case due to its dual-fan build and slightly more power – but you should be safe as long as you have a 500w PSU.

Core Clock: 1000 MHz
Memory Clock: 6000 MHz
Video Memory: 1GB GDDR5
Memory Interface: 128-bit

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#2. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 Ti – 1GB GDDR5 – $90.99

Best Budget Graphics Cards

This Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti, branded by ZOTAC, is another great budget graphics card for entry-level builds and is currently on sale for just $90.99 for the 1GB variant while the 2GB card goes for a little over $100.

It’s up to par with the competition in terms of specs, but what makes it really stand out is its power efficiency, consuming just 60w and working well with a 400w PSU. This also means it generates less heat and doesn’t take a toll on your rigs cooling system.

Core Clock: 1033 MHz
Memory Clock: 5400 MHz
Video Memory: 1GB GDDR5
Memory Interface: 128-bit

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#3. MSI R7 360 – 2GB GDDR5 OC – $104.99

Best Budget Graphics Cards

This AMD R7 360 from MSI is overclocked to feature a 6500 MHz memory clock on top of an 1100 MHz core clock. This, coupled with 2GB of GDDR5 memory makes it one of the best cheap graphics cards, priced at only $104.99.

It also has a very small footprint, so it should fit most cases without any hassles. Power consumption wise it requires around a 100w however, so you should have a 450w – 500w PSU at least.

It should run most of your games, including popular MOBAs like League of Legends and DOTA 2 at medium-high settings even during team fights.

Core Clock: 1100 MHz
Memory Clock: 6500 MHz
Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface: 128-bit

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#4. EVGA GeForce GTX 950 – 2GB GDDR5 – $139.99

Best Budget Graphics Cards

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 is a very capable and popular budget graphics card. This EVGA version comes with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM and a small foot-print ideal for small cases.

Recommended for you: Best Gaming Processors under $200

Power consumption for this card is also fair at about 110w and you should be good with a 450w – 500w PSU. Gaming performance is really good thanks to 768 CUDA cores, and you should be breezing through games like Fallout 4, Skyrim, CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends with minimum tweaking and if you get the settings right, you can even go up to 1080p with decent frame rates.

All this for only $139.99 makes this one of the best graphics cards for the money.

Core Clock: 1152 MHz
Memory Clock: 6610 MHz
Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface: 128-bit

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#5. Gigabyte R7 370 – 2GB GDDR5 – $149.99

Best Budget Graphics Cards

Gigabyte’s take on the AMD Radeon R7 370 will conclude our list of the best budget graphics cards for gaming in 2016 as this card gives excellent performance and value for money with it’s 2GB GDDR5 VRAM and 256-bit memory interface.

For only $149.99, you get a video card that will play most AAA titles of today at decent settings and deliver playable frame rates. You can expect a lot of titles to play smoothly at 1080p resolution while most of them should do great at regular 720p and 768p resolutions. If you’re looking for a great budget graphics card under $150, this is definitely one of your best bets.

Core Clock: 1015 MHz
Memory Clock: 5600 MHz
Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5
Memory Interface: 256-bit

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#6. Zotac Geforce GTX 1050ti 4GB GDDR5 – $150

500 Dollar gaming PC

This is an update to this post featuring the Zotac GTX 1050ti which is one of the best cards you can buy on a budget of around $150 right now and is also featured in our 500 dollar gaming PC build. This one comes with 4GB of VRAM and a 128-bit memory bandwidth. However, it should be more than enough to run all the latest games at decent settings.

Specifications:

  • Memory: 4gb Gddr5
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • Core Clock: 1303MHz/1417MHz boost clock
  • Cuda Cores: 768
  • Architecture: Pascal
  • SLI: No
  • DirectX: 12
  • Outputs: 1xHDMI
  • 1xDL-DVI
  • 1xDisplay Port

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This is it for now guys. This list should cover things if you’re looking for the best budget graphics card. All the cards on the list are compatible with PCI-E 3.0 slots and offer the most value for money when it comes to gaming performance.

You should however keep in mind the fact that your PC’s gaming performance also depends on your CPU and RAM components because a bottleneck anywhere will lead to declining frame rates, stutters and crashes. A good power supply unit is also essential to get the maximum out of your graphics card and we will be doing a post on the best PSUs very soon.

Meanwhile, if you run into any issues or want to ask any questions related to graphics cards and custom gaming PC builds, feel free to comment below and we will do our best to help you out. You should also subscribe to BGR for more updates on the best budget gaming gear!

About The Author
Hunain Naseer
Hunain has been an avid gamer since he was 7 years old and loves building his own custom gaming rigs. At BGR he aims to help people who want to build gaming PCs get the maximum bang for their buck!
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