The best graphics cards for under $100 in 2017

For playing games at medium or high settings, you don’t need a >$200 graphics card. There are some decent graphics cards both from Nvidia and AMD that will make you able to play the latest games at 768p or even at 1080p on at least medium settings.

If you own a computer where you have a low end or a mid end CPU like Pentium G4560 or AMD x4 860k, these graphics cards will give you the best performance for your money and these cards are best suited for a budget gaming PC that costs from around $300 to $400. I have listed these cards in ascending order according to the power each card has. So the slowest one is on the top and the fastest one is at the bottom of this article and can be identified by their numbers.

Note: If you want the best graphics card for $100 then the last two in the list are fit for you. All the other graphics cards have frequent changes in price and the best value for price can only be achieved with last two GPU’s in the list. 

Sapphire Radeon R7 240 2GB DDR3

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Gigabyte AMD Radeon R7 240 DDR3

AMD’s R7 240 is the cheapest and best choice if you really don’t want to spend up to $100 on a graphics card. This graphics card is best for 720p and 768p. There are two versions of this graphics cards: one is the 2gb ddr3 version and one is 1gb gddr5 version. The 1gb Gddr5 version is not available right now but 2gb is very cheap and will cost you under $60.

With 2gb of ddr3 memory, you can play most of the casual games on 720p and probably at 768p. This card is not meant for 1080p high settings. Remember that it can only run casual games and that too at 720p medium settings if you want smoother frame rates. CSGO, Minecraft, Rocket League will run on this card just perfectly and if you don’t have a good budget then consider starting your gaming experience from here.

Specs:-

Memory 2gb Gddr3
Memory Interface 128-bit
Core Clock 900Mhz
Steam Processors 320
Architecture GCN
CrossfireX Yes
DirectX 12
Outputs 1xHDMI
1xDVI
1xVGA

 


ASUS AMD Radeon R7 250 1GB Gddr5

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ASUS AMD Radeon R7 250 2 GB gddr5

If you are willing to spend a little more money, you will get r7 250 with 1GB of VRAM which is around 20-30% faster than the R7 240. I recommend this graphics card over the previous one as it is only a few dollars expensive but is much better when you compare the value to price. 1gb of VRAM is enough for gaming at 720p/768p on medium settings. The 2gb version of this card is right now not available at the time of writing but it won’t matter a lot at smaller resolutions.

This graphics card is best for 768p and can easily play battlefield 4, Bioshock infinite and other similar games on medium settings. If you plan to play at 1080p, you have to lower down the settings to low-medium but still, you will get above 30 fps. Latest games like GTA V and tomb raider can also be played on this card but it’s best for casual games like CSGO. But if you want to play a more intensive game like the Witcher 3 then consider the following graphics cards.

Specs:-

Memory 1gb Gddr5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Core Clock 725Mhz/925Mhz boost clock
Steam Processors 384
Architecture GCN
CrossfireX Yes
DirectX 11.2
Outputs 1xHDMI
1xDVI-I
1xDP

 


Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 D5 2GB

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Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 D5 2GB

RX 550 is the starting point of the RX series of AMD. It’s based on the latest Polaris architecture and is made for the gamers who are really on a very tight budget. People who want to invest $300 in a gaming PC that can run games at 1080p can now have their dreams come true. For around $80, this card is what a $250-$300 gaming build needs.

It has two versions: one is 2gb and the other is 4gb which is $10 expensive. I don’t recommend going with a 4gb version because at that price you can buy a better graphics card which is RX 460. But the 2gb version of this card is ideal for people who just want to start gaming at 1080p. If you don’t mind medium settings and some aliasing in the games, then this one is the best thing to go with.

It doesn’t have a PCI connector, so it will draw the power from the motherboard PCI-Ex16 slot and will make your PC much power efficient also making your expense lower by not needing a hefty power supply. You can run it on a cheap power supply easily but I still recommend going at least with a 400 Watts power supply from EVGA or Cooler Master.

This card runs on 128-bit memory interface, has core clock above 1100Mhz and can be overclocked more than 1200Mhz. It can run all the latest games on medium settings at 1080p with 40+fps but it can run some games on high settings with 50+ fps like GTA V, Bioshock Infinite and Battlefield 4. This card is not meant for too much graphical intensive games like The Witcher 3 or Mass effect but you can surely run those at 1080p medium settings with constant 30+fps or even more. For me at a budget of $300 for a gaming PC, I would not mind playing at 40fps on medium settings. It will still be smoother than a lot of games on PS4.

Specs:-

Memory 2gb Gddr5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Core Clock 1183(GM)/1195Mhz(OC)
Architecture Polaris
DirectX 12
Outputs 1xHDMI
1xDVI-I
1xDP

 


Gigabyte Radeon RX 460 4GB

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Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC 4GB

Rx 460 is the latest graphics card from AMD and is 100% DirectX 12 and Vulkan compatible. This card is an entry level card and costs just around $100 and replaces all the previous cards from AMD as well as Nvidia in this price range. Therefore it’s the best deal under $100. Previously I used the GTX 750 TI in this list. But as GTX 750 TI is outdated, it’s better to replace it with this powerful and more power efficient card. It’s faster than 750 ti and almost equivalent to R7 370.

In games like Hitman and Doom, this Rx series cards including this one give a great boost in performance. The best thing about this card that the TDP is only 75 watts which mean it will draw power from the PCIeX16 slot itself and you don’t have to buy a powerful wattage power supply to power this card.

The card has a single fan and a decent heatsink for cooling. It has 4gb of memory and a 128-bit memory interface which makes it a good entry level budget graphics card for playing games at 1080p high settings. Almost all games will perform over 40 fps on high settings but games like CSGO and Overwatch will have no problem running on ultra settings with 60+ fps.
Specs:-

Memory 4gb Gddr5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Boost Clock 1212Mhz
Stream Processors 896
Architecture Polaris
CrossfireX Yes
DirectX 12
Outputs 1xHDMI
1xDVI
1xDP

 


ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 2GB

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Zotac Geforce Gtx 1050 2Gb Gddr5

In this list, every graphics card is in sequence with increasing performance but the last three graphics cards are closely priced and perform according to their cost. The RX 550, RX 460 and GTX 1050 have $10 differences in their prices respectively and you can expect the performance accordingly. When you want to play games at 1080p high settings with 40+ fps in every graphical intensive game, then GTX 1050 2gb is the card which costs only $100 and performs up to the expectation.

It has 2gb of VRAM, 128-bit of memory interface and 3 years ZOTAC extended warranty. It runs on the power from the PCI-EX16 slot and doesn’t require any external power source just like the RX 460 and RX 550. It’s power efficient and is targeted towards the gamers who have $350$450 for building a gaming PC. When you combine it with a Processor like Pentium G4560, you will get the best performance for your price. This card will not run some of the most demanding games but is best for E-sports games like CSGO and Overwatch which it can run on max settings with 60+fps.

 

Next: – Best graphics cards for under $200

Sarfraz

I am an engineer and a certified Hitech computer technician who loves to play CSGO. But this is not what else I love. I love to dive into the computer hardware and same goes for you. That's why you are here! AND YES IGNORE MY BAD ENGLISH:)

  • Mahmoud Harby

    I got amd phenom ll x4 and and 8 gb ram 1600 mhz vegenance i am asking wich card of those can make me working a game like american truck simulator or euro truck simulator on ultra setting pls advice

    • Hi Mahmoud. For running Games like american truck simulator, you should have at least a graphics card like gtx 750 ti or better to play on ultra settings.

      • Mahmoud Harby

        What about gt 610 ?

        • No Bro. Gt 610 is not at all meant for gaming.

    • rainbow dash

      i recomend a gtx 950 or something. i had 2 hd 5830 in CF but it ran ultra at 40-50 fps. a gtx 950 will get a minimum of 50 fps on ultra