World Tech

Best Budget Graphics Cards Under $100 For 2017

Graphics cards are an essential component for gamers. Finding the best card in a tight budget is challenging, so we made this guide to help you out! Let us know how it works when you get your hands on one or two of these bad boys.

The “cheapest pcie 4.0 graphics card” is a budget graphics card that has been released in 2017. This card is perfect for people who want to build a budget PC or laptop, but still want to play games at medium or high settings.

Do you want to know what the greatest graphics card under $100 is in 2017?

We’ll show you a couple of the best inexpensive graphics cards on the market right now that will still provide you decent gaming performance for the money in this article.

Here’s the good news:

AMD and nVidia have lately announced a few affordable graphics card solutions that will enable you to play games in high definition (720p) or even full HD (1080p) while maintaining reasonable frame rates.

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However, you shouldn’t expect too much from a video card that costs less than $100, so keep that in mind.

You can safely game at Full HD 1080p resolutions and have respectable framerates of 30-60 fps with a budget of $100 or less.

However, keep in mind that on certain of the more demanding games, you won’t be able to play with quality settings on high without suffering stuttering or latency.

So, when should you buy a graphics card for less than $100?

Your graphics card is the most critical hardware component in your computer for gamers, and you should invest as much money as possible on it.

As a result, getting a graphics card on the cheap isn’t always a good idea. If outstanding gaming is important to you, spend as much money as you can on it.

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So, when would you want to buy a graphics card for less than $100?

There are a few scenarios that come to mind:

  1. For a new entry-level gaming PC (with a total cost of around $400).
  2. Upgrading an existing computer to an entry-level gaming PC (no prior graphics card or one with a very low spec).
  3. The casual gamer who does not want to spend a lot of money on a video card but yet need good performance.

If this describes you, let’s have a look at our top selections for the best inexpensive graphics cards for budget gaming setups for 2017 (in the order in which we suggest them):

 

*According to Passmark’s Videocard Benchmarks as of October 11, 2017.

**Note: Due to the current cryptocurrency mining boom, the video card market has been severely disrupted, resulting in unexpected price changes, therefore real costs may differ.

The RX 460 is the highest-performing card we could discover that is (sometimes) available for around $100.

(Prices change, so it may cost a bit more than $100 at times – but if you check numerous sites, you could get fortunate and get it for a fair deal.)

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It performs well in benchmarks and is a notch behind the GTX 1050 card in terms of performance.

If you’re not familiar with the term “benchmark,” it refers to a method of evaluating the real-world performance of graphics cards.

Another feature that makes the RX 460 an excellent card is its recent release. It’s based on AMD’s newest 4th generation Polaris architecture and was released in August 2016, therefore it’s less than a year old at the time of writing.

When evaluating graphics cards, it’s usually a good idea to emphasize newer cards above those with a strong benchmark result or that have previously been suggested.

Actually, you should consider both criteria…

…but here’s the catch:

Newer cards have the advantage of combining all of the most up-to-date technology and algorithms created previous to their introduction.

This implies, for the RX 460, items like:

  • Due to Radeon FreeSyncTM technology, gameplay is incredibly smooth at practically any framerate.
  • DirectX® 12 and VulkanTM games are supported.
  • Smoother rendering on bigger TVs with near-zero performance effect thanks to Virtual Super Resolution.
  • AMD Eyefinity is a multi-monitor display technology that can handle up to five screens.
  • Thanks to the newest Polaris architecture, HD game streaming has almost no performance effect.
  • AMD’s WattMan overclocking tool allows for easy customization of overclocking.

When compared to a card like the R7 240 (which is well recommended and costs less than $100 but was introduced in 2010),

…and you don’t receive all of the advantages or the most recent upgraded versions of these things.

With the upgraded card, you receive an additional 6 years of AMD product and technological development (which is why it benchmarks way better too).

So, what does the RX 460 have in store for you?

Despite the fact that it’s a budget card, you’ll be able to comfortably play pretty much any popular game on medium to high settings in Full HD with it (1080p).

In terms of other graphics cards, it outperforms the GTX 750 Ti and underperforms the GTX 950, thus it falls somewhere in the center.

The RX 460 is recognized for being a ‘e-sports’ graphics card, which means it performs very well in less demanding games like as Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and Dota 2.

With the RX 460, anticipate framerates of 90-150fps even on high settings and Full HD (1080p) resolutions while playing games like these — really incredible.

You can still play more demanding games and AAA titles in Full HD (1080p) with fairly playable framerates of roughly 30-60fps; however, you’ll most likely have to decrease the settings to medium or even lower on certain titles.

If you’re prepared to decrease your game’s resolution to HD (72op), you’ll be able to play almost any modern game with the RX 460 and get great results.

Finally, the RX 460 has been tuned for live streaming with almost no framerate loss, allowing you to record to twitch or other live streaming services with ease.

The 2GB version of the RX 460 is our recommendation for an entry-level/budget buy.

If you have additional money to spend on a 4GB version, we believe you should acquire a little more costly card to obtain that extra performance (E.g. the RX 560 or GTX 1050).

See how the 2GB versions of both the RX 460 and the RX 550 (which we’ll look at next) perform in a variety of games in the video below.

Mass Effect: Andromeda, Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Sniper Elite 4, For Honor, Tom Clancy’s: The Division, Farcry Primal, Hitman 2016, Rise of the Tomb Raider, DOOM, Watch Dog 2, Witcher 3: Wilds Hunt, Grand Theft Auto 5) were all tested on a budget computer with a Pentium G4560 processor (games tested were – Mass Effect: Andromeda, Titan

 

 

If you can’t find an RX 460 for around $100, the RX 550 is our next best option for a good budget graphics card.

This card is AMD’s solution to gamers on a limited budget, allowing you to play 1080p games on a $300-$400 gaming PC.

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It’s a newer model (April 2017) than the RX 460, but the model number indicates that it’s the model below the RX 460.

(The first number normally represents the card’s generation (and hence how old it is), while the second number usually identifies the model series) (bigger is usually better). Keep in mind that this is a fairly broad rule of thumb that may or may not always apply!)

The RX 550 doesn’t perform as well as the RX 460 since it is a lesser model (_50 vs _60), but it still scores well with a 3562 score from Passmark Video Benchmark.

The RX 550, like the RX 460, is built on AMD’s newest Polaris architecture, and it includes all of AMD’s latest innovations, such as FreeSyncTM technology, DirectX® 12 and VulkanTM compatibility, Virtual Super Resolution, AMD Eyefinity, AMD LiquidVRTM Technology, RadeonTM Chill, and more.

The RX 550: What to Expect

The RX 550, like the RX 460, is designed and marketed for gamers who play a lot of e-sports games.

Expect framerates of approximately 100fps with high settings and 1080p gaming resolution if you’re playing games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, and the like.

For more demanding games, you can still play at 1080p with medium to high graphics settings and anticipate framerates of roughly 25-50 frames per second, depending on the game.

(Of course, you may increase your frame rates by tweaking your settings and game resolution.) If you’re ready to play at a lesser resolution, such as 720p, you may be able to increase your graphics settings to medium or high.

The RX 550 and the GT 1030 (which we’ll look at next) are compared side by side. As you can see, these cards have a lot in common.

(With an Intel i3 6100 OC 4.2GHz CPU, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Battlefield 1, Watch Dogs 2, The Witcher 3, Project Cars, and Far Cry Primal were tested.)

 

Again, we wouldn’t suggest the more expensive 4GB version; instead, go for the 2GB version (if you have the extra cash, use it towards the RX 460, which is a higher performance card).

 

The GT 1030 is nVidia’s response to the RX 550, and it performs similarly to the RX 550.

We’ve placed it behind the RX 550 since its retail price is somewhat more, but if you can get it for a lower price, go for it.

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One advantage of the GT 1030 over the RX 550 is its reduced power consumption, which is substantially lower at 30W compared to the RX 550’s 50W and RX 460’s 75W.

And, despite having a lower benchmark score (according to Passmark’s Videocard Benchmarks), it seems to be on par in user testing.

The GT 1030 seems to hold its own against the RX 550 and even surpasses the older R7 360 in the video below, making it a solid candidate for 2017’s top budget video card.

 

If none of the cards listed above are available, another option is the R7 360 graphics card, which was introduced in 2013.

(That is, if you can get one for a reasonable price.)

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Although Passmark data indicates that it performs worse than the GT 1030, other sources, such as real-world gaming benchmarks on YouTube, reveal that the GT 1030 outperforms the R7 360.

The GT 1030 just appears to perform better in real games, which is a clear case of a newer card having an edge over older technology.

Take a look at the video below to see for yourself:

 

That so, the R7 360 is still a great cheap graphics card that, like the other cards listed, will enable you to comfortably play games at 1080p.

We hate to totally endorse it owing to its age, but if you’re looking for a low-cost graphics card and none of the others are available, it should suffice.

(Just bear in mind that it won’t last as long as one of the more recent cards we’ve shown you.)

There’s one more thing we need to tell you if you’re shopping for a graphics card in the $100 area.

It’s something we’d normally suggest if you can extend your budget over $100.

This is why:

For an additional $10-20 bucks, you can generally obtain a significant % gain in graphics performance in this price range.

(As an example, a card priced at $130 will perform 40 percent better than one priced at $100.)

There haven’t been many alternatives in the $100 market for graphics cards in the past since the value hasn’t been there.

The newest cheap graphics cards from AMD and nVidia have helped to close that gap a little, but we still think you’re better off saving that little bit more and buying in the $100-$150 range if you can to get a lot more performance per dollar invested.

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If you have a little more money to spare, the RX 560 or GTX 1050 are excellent options.

While both cards are still considered low-end, the fact is that you get a lot more bang for your buck, so it may be worth it to save a bit longer and go for the more costly card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1632876898_586_Best-Budget-Graphics-Cards-Under-100-For-2017The GTX 1050 is a card we’ve recommended as a minimum in our $500 gaming setup, and it’ll let you play in 1080p all day, every day without having to lower your game settings too much.

irAgain, it’s worth saving some money if you can to acquire a GTX 1050, since cards priced over $100 tend to provide a substantial performance bump over the very budget cards we’ve looked at in this piece.

 

 

There were a few graphics cards on the list of cheap graphics cards that always came up before:

240 R7 (released in 2010)

R7 250.00 (released in 2010)

720/730 GT (released in 2014)

We see these graphics cards in entry-level prebuilt gaming PCs all the time, and it’s a pity (especially in this day and age).

These cards are bad for budget cards, therefore don’t purchase them! Choose one of the newer choices mentioned above instead.

To be honest, some of them (such as the R7 240) perform worse in benchmark tests than the integrated graphics found on modern Intel CPUs.

While they may have been acceptable at the time of their publication, they have no place in today’s world.

 

Finally, while purchasing cheap graphics cards, we suggest adhering to the following guidelines:

(to ensure you don’t wind up with a piece of crap that doesn’t work)

The regulations are as follows:

  1. Attempt to purchase a card that is as new as possible.
  2. Before you purchase, look at how the card performs in tests.
  3. It’s sometimes worth waiting and saving a few bucks to obtain a better card altogether.

Note: You may need to consider all of these issues at times. Price, performance (i.e. benchmark scores), and the card’s age are often traded off.

The “best used graphics card under 100” is a budget graphic card that is best for gaming. These cards are usually found in laptops and desktops. The best budget graphics card under $100 can be seen here: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-budget-graphics-cards,4999.html

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best budget graphics card under 100?

A: The best budget graphics card under 100 is the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1050 Ti. It has a great value for money and performs well in its class.

Which graphic card is best for budget?

A: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is highly recommended for budget.

What is the best budget GPU for gaming?

A: The best budget GPU for gaming is NVIDIA GeForce 8200.

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