The best graphics cards for $100-$150 in 2017

Playing games at 1080p doesn’t require you a high end graphics card. In fact there are a lot of budget graphics cards that you can game with easily at 1080p from high to ultra settings. These graphics cards are sweet spot for budget gamers and give the best performance per dollar spend.

If you really like to play GTA V, the witcher 3 or Fallout 4 at high settings 1080p, then with anyone of these graphics card you can achieve 40+ fps easily. These are the best choice for gaming builds of $400-$600.

Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC 2GB

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Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC 2GB

Rx 460 is the latest graphics card from AMD and is 100% directX 12 and vulkan compatible. This card is an entry level card which comes just above $100 and replaces all the previous cards from AMD as well as Nvidia in this price range. Previously I used the gtx 750 ti and R7 360 as well as R7 370 in this list. But as the prices of gtx 750 ti and R7 360 are similar, it’s better to replace them with this powerful and more power efficient card. It’s faster than 750 ti and almost equivalent to R7 370.

But in games like Hitman and Doom, this Rx series cards including this one gives a great boost in performance. The best thing about this card that the TDP is only 75 watts which means 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 powerful heat sink and dual fan cooler from gigabyte and is the windforce edition which not only looks great with orange accents but also perform much cooler than other brands. It has 2gb 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 2gb Gddr5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Core Clock 1212Mhz
Stream Processors 896
Architecture Polaris
CrossfireX No
DirectX 12
Outputs 1xHDMI
1xDVI
1xDP

Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC 4GB

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Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC 4GB

Rx 460 2gb is definitely a good card for the price but when it comes to memory, it sometimes sucks as the standard memory size for 1080p is 4gb. Many games use 4gb memory for maxing out textures and shadows, 2gb version is definitely not able to do that. Although this card is not able to max out at 1080p, 4gb of Vram is good for games like GTA V and Middle Earth: shadow of mordor.

The clocks and other specs are same, only the vram is increased in this Gigabyte windforce edition. As a result, with paying a little more price, you can end up getting a very good entry level graphics card which can not only play some of the latest titles on high settings but is also better in some future proofing as newer games use more memory.

Specs:-

Memory 4gb Gddr5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Core Clock 1015Mhz
Memory Clock 7000Mhz
Architecture Polaris
CrossfireX No
DirectX 12
Outputs 1xHDMI
1xDVI-D
1xDP

Zotac Geforce Gtx 1050 2Gb Gddr5

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Zotac Geforce Gtx 1050 2Gb Gddr5

Gtx 1050 2gb is the newest release from Nvidia and is based on the pascal architecture GP107. This is the most power efficient graphics card from Nvidia’s side and similar to the RX 460 it has a TDP of 75 watts and has no 6 pin power port. It means that there isn’t headroom for overclocking with Zotac. But as Zotac is the only brand which is the cheapest among all, it’s fairly a good deal.

With Gpu boost you will still get a little performance boost which may not be very big but definitely I agree with not providing these with extra power ports for overclocking as these are entry level cards and they won’t give you a boost from 40fps to 50 fps.

This card has 2gb of gddr5 memory, 640 cuda cores which is equal to the gtx 750 ti maxwell family graphics card which is present in the same price. But when you compare the performance of gtx 1050 with that of gtx 750 ti, it not only beats it by upto 40% but also beats the more expensive one gtx 950 which shouldn’t be the priority of any gamer right now.

If you want a card that can play all the games on ultra settings at 1080p with 40-50 fps, then this is for you. And if you like 60 fps then you can put the settings to high instead of ultra and still enjoy good graphics with buttery smooth 60 fps.

Also check $400 gaming build

Specs:-

Memory 2gb Gddr5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Core Clock 1354Mhz/1455Mhz boost clock
Cuda Cores 640
Architecture Pascal
SLI No
DirectX 12
Outputs 1xHDMI
1xDVI-I
1xDisplay Port

Zotac Geforce Gtx 1050 ti 4Gb Gddr5

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ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti mini

When you want to play the games at 1080p ultra settings, you can not compromise with the Vram. It’s a fact that all the latest games like Gta V, the witcher 3, Rise of the tomb raider etc. use more Vram than simple games like CSGO or Overwatch. It makes more sense to go with a 4gb card if you don’t want to compromise with the graphics quality.

The gtx 1050 ti is the successor of gtx 1050 and is 20% faster. Most of the specs are same but cuda core, memory size and clocks are different. But they are based on the same Pascal architecture and belong to the same entry level family. It’s a very good card for the price you pay as it’s an intermediate between gtx 1050 and Rx 470. Although Rx 470 is much more faster but I feel that Nvidia has fill in the gap between the $110 and $170 price range by introducing a $130 card.

The zotac mini version of the gtx 1050 ti is completely identical to the zotac version of gtx 1050 mentioned above it and can be fit into any case. So for compact gaming pc’s these two are very good choices and will be best for budget gaming builds with a small mini Itx case.

Specs:-

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

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:)

  • Joe Blaylock

    Thanks! I’m considering upgrading my older Nvidia GeForce 550 ti, and this article is helpful. I’m going now to check out your article on the $150-$200 boards.

    • Thanks Joy. Definitely the graphics cards for $150-$200 are best for 1080p.