Best Graphics Cards Under $200 – 2019 Edition

If you are building a mid-range gaming PC on a budget, the graphics card best suited for that build is in the $160 – $220 price range – and now is a great time to buy one.

Nvidia released the mid-range cards based on its new Turing architecture earlier in 2019, which greatly improved the price/performance ratio for the green team’s cards. In the red corner, AMD is staying competitive by slashing prices on the Radeon RX 590, 580 and RX 570 GPUs. While these cards offer great value right now, do keep in mind that AMD’s mid-range cards based on the more efficient Navi architecture (Navi 10 or 12) are on the horizon. 

Here, we have rounded up the best graphics card below $200, or close to that mark (GPU prices fluctuate a lot). To make sure you get the most value for your money, we’ve also added some of the more affordable, (RX 570) as well as the slightly more expensive (GTX 1660), both of which might be a better option for you depending on your needs and budget.

Table of Contents:
AMD Vs Nvidia
Fastest GPU under $200: AMD Radeon RX 590
Best Nvidia: GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB
~$20 Less: AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
~$20 More: GeForce GTX 1660
Best Value: Radeon RX 570
No PCIe power: GeForce GTX 1650
Summary and notes

AMD vs. Nvidia Below $200

Radeon or GeForce? Gamers have asked this since the 90s and there’s hardly ever been a clear-cut answer. As of 2019, Nvidia has been in the performance and efficiency lead for years. AMD recently launched its new and improved Navi/RDNA architecture, but only in the upper mid-range segment so far. In the mainstream and budget areas, we still have to settle for the Polaris chip found in the RX 570, 580 and 590. These are nevertheless great for 1080p (and often 1440p) gaming and very competitively priced. Nvidia’s latest GeForce GTX cards, on the other hand, are much more efficient than anything that AMD has to offer but the price/performance calculation is often a bit worse. 

You can often find a card based on either the Radeon RX 590 or the GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB (which is faster than the more recent GTX 1650) for less than $200. At the time of writing, these are the best GPUs below our price limit from AMD and Nvidia, respectively. On the other hand, adding around $20 gets you the much-improved GTX 1660

Product
AMD
Gigabyte Radeon Rx 590 Gaming 8G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5, Gv-RX590GAMING-8GD Video Card
Nvidia
PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB XLR8 Gaming OC Edition Graphics Card
Image
Gigabyte Radeon Rx 590 Gaming 8G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5, Gv-RX590GAMING-8GD Video Card
PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB XLR8 Gaming OC Edition Graphics Card
Stream Processors
2304
1152
Core/Boost Clock
1469 MHz / 1545 MHz
1582 MHz / 1797 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance
7,119 GFLOPS
4,140 GFLOPS
Memory Size/Type
8GB/GDDR5
3GB/GDDR5
Memory Bus
256-bit
192-bit
Memory Clock (Effective)
2000 MHz (8000 MHz)
2002 MHz (8008 MHz)
Memory Bandwidth
256 GB/s
192.2 GB/s
TDP
175 W
120 W
Recommended Power Supply
500 W (1x 8-pin)
400 W (1x6-pin)
Outputs
1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Average Rating
User Reviews
10 Reviews
211 Reviews
Price
$259.94
$159.99
AMD
Product
Gigabyte Radeon Rx 590 Gaming 8G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5, Gv-RX590GAMING-8GD Video Card
Image
Gigabyte Radeon Rx 590 Gaming 8G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5, Gv-RX590GAMING-8GD Video Card
Stream Processors
2304
Core/Boost Clock
1469 MHz / 1545 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance
7,119 GFLOPS
Memory Size/Type
8GB/GDDR5
Memory Bus
256-bit
Memory Clock (Effective)
2000 MHz (8000 MHz)
Memory Bandwidth
256 GB/s
TDP
175 W
Recommended Power Supply
500 W (1x 8-pin)
Outputs
1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Average Rating
User Reviews
10 Reviews
Price
$259.94
Nvidia
Product
PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB XLR8 Gaming OC Edition Graphics Card
Image
PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB XLR8 Gaming OC Edition Graphics Card
Stream Processors
1152
Core/Boost Clock
1582 MHz / 1797 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance
4,140 GFLOPS
Memory Size/Type
3GB/GDDR5
Memory Bus
192-bit
Memory Clock (Effective)
2002 MHz (8008 MHz)
Memory Bandwidth
192.2 GB/s
TDP
120 W
Recommended Power Supply
400 W (1x6-pin)
Outputs
1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Average Rating
User Reviews
211 Reviews
Price
$159.99

Last update on 2019-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

From just looking at the raw performance in FP32 GFLOPS, it’s clear that the 8GB RX 590 is a much more powerful GPU than the 3GB GTX 1060. This holds up in most actual games as well, but the difference is smaller than you might expect. In Nvidia-optimized games like Fortnite and GTA V, the difference is minimal, but the RX 590 is usually at least 10% faster.  

Here’s a quick look at relative GPU performance using benchmark scores from Futuremark’s 3DMark Time Spy. (DirectX 12). We’ve included some additional GPUs for the sake of comparison.

This is not an exact measurement of relative gaming performance, but still a reasonably accurate indicator of what to expect.

Bottom line: The ‘performance per dollar’ equation changes constantly, but on days when an RX 590 8GB card drops below $200 it’s a winner. The GTX 1660, however, is a close second and it’s much more recent more power-efficient.

Fastest GPU Under $200: Radeon RX 590 8GB

We will start by looking at our current price/performance winner, the Radeon RX 590, which can frequently be found below our target price level. And if so, it’s the fastest GPU in that price range. It rivals or surpasses the GeForce GTX 1060 on almost every AAA title out there. 60fps at 1080p is easy to achieve and it also provides good frame rates at 1440p with high visual quality.  And if you are playing Vulkan-based or DX12 games like DOOM, Battlefield V, or Hitman, this card delivers a consistent 60fps at 1440p. Pair it with FreeSync monitor and you’ll get a great gaming experience and lots of value for your money. Plus, all RX 590s are VR Ready and will play well with your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

This is how some of the most popular models match up. 

 Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 590Gigabyte RX 590 GamingPowerColor Red Dragon RX 590ASUS ROG Strix RX 590
Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
ImageSapphire Technology 11289-06-20G Radeon Pulse RX 590 8GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI/ DVI-D/ Dual DP w/ Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphic CardsGigabyte Radeon Rx 590 Gaming 8G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5, Gv-RX590GAMING-8GD Video CardPowerColor Red Dragon RX 590 8GBASUS ROG Strix Radeon Rx 590 8G Gaming GDDR5 DP HDMI DVI VR Ready AMD Graphics Card Graphic Cards ROG-STRIX-RX590-8G-GAMING
Stream Processors2304230423042304
Boost Clock /
Max OC Clock
1469 MHz /
1545 MHz
1469 MHz /
1545 MHz
1469 MHz /
1545 MHz
1469 MHz /
1545 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance7,119 GFLOPS7,119 GFLOPS7,119 GFLOPS7,119 GFLOPS
Effective Memory Clock8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz
Memory Size8 GB8 GB8 GB8 GB
Memory Bandwidth256 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s
Outputs1x DVI, 2x HDMI
2x DP
1x DVI, 1x HDMI
3x DP
1x DVI, 1x HDMI
1x DP
1x DVI. 2x HDMI
2x DP
Recommended Power Supply500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
Price from*$199.99$259.94$199.99$309.99

*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Most RX 590’s use dual-fan cooling solutions, which is practically a must on this rather power-hungry GPU. The only outlier is the Asus Strix, but the extra cost is very difficult to motivate. For more info on additional models, see our more comprehensive RX 590 roundup.

Best Nvidia GPU Below $200: GeForce GTX 1060 (3GB)

EVGA 1060 3GB

Among the Nvidia cards that are often found below the $200 mark right now, the fastest one based on the 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. Compared to the 6GB variant, the 3GB cards not only have half the VRAM but also fewer shaders activated (1152 vs. 1280). Regardless, these cards are a great option for an affordable Nvidia-based 1080p gaming PC build. However, if you don’t mind moving slightly higher in price, the GTX 1660 may offer even better value.

On average, a 3GB GeForce 1060 is slower than AMD cards in the corresponding price bracket but has the advantage of a lower power draw. The 1060’s TDP is 120W, so in most cases, only one 6-pin PCIe power connector is needed. 

Right now the small and compact, single-fan GTX 1060’s tend to be the most affordable. If you have room for a video card with two (or even three) fans, this is a better option, all else being equal. But the GTX 1060 is more power-efficient than its AMD competitors, so it’s not as critical. 

 PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB XLR8EVGA GTX 1060 3GB ACX 2.0ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini
ImagePNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB XLR8 Gaming OC Edition Graphics CardEVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB SC GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 3GB GDDR5, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC), 03G-P4-6162-KRZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 3GB GDDR5 VR Ready Super Compact Gaming Graphics Card (ZT-P10610A-10L)
Memory Size3 GB3 GB3 GB
Stream Processors115211521152
FP32 Theoretical Performance4,140 GFLOPS4,228 GFLOPS3,935 GFLOPS
Max Memory Clock8008 MHz8008 MHz8008 MHz
Memory Bandwidth192.2 GB/s192.2 GB/s192.2 GB/s
Recommended
Power Supply
400 Watt400 Watt400 Watt
Core Clock / Boost Clock1582 MHz /
1797 MHz
1607 MHz /
1835 MHz
1506 MHz /
1708 MHz
Display Outputs1x DVI, 1x HDMI
3x DP
1x DVI, 1x HDMI
3x DP
1x DVI, 1x HDMI
3x DP
Price from*$159.99from $216.21from $215.99
Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Cards based on the GTX 1060 are becoming scarce, and Nvidia wants to direct your attention to the newer GTX 1650 and GTX 1660. Nevertheless, the 3GB 1060 offers a level of performance right between those two alternatives and may still be a good choice.

~$20 Less: AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB

For several months into 2019, the RX 580 was the best GPU you could find for less than $200. Now the improved RX 590 wins the race, but the RX 580 with 8 GB of GDDR5 video memory (VRAM) is still a great card when building a gaming PC on a budget. It’s available in both 4GB and 8GB versions, but the difference in pricing is usually small and twice the VRAM is a nice-to-have. In some games, the additional VRAM makes no difference whatsoever. However, sometimes it does – particularly at higher settings and resolutions (e.g. 2560×1440). This video sums up the performance of AMD’s Polaris lineup in actual games:

The RX 590 is more efficient and around 10% faster on average, but an RX 580 8GB will easily get you through both 2019 and 2020 with good framerates at 1080p and 1440p.  

 XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition (8GB)Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GBPowerColor Red Devil RX 580 OCGigabyte Gaming Radeon RX 580
ImageXFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition 1386MHz OC+, 8GB GDDR5, VR Ready, Dual BIOS, 3xDP HDMI DVI, AMD Graphics Card (RX-580P8DFD6)Sapphire Technology Technology 11265-05-20G Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI/ DVI-D/ Dual DP OC with Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphics Card Graphic CardsPowerColor VGA - AXRX 580 8GBD5-3DH/OCMSI VGA Graphic Cards RX 580 ARMOR 8G OC
Stream Processors2304230423042304
Boost Clock /
Max OC Clock
1257 MHz /
1366 MHz
1257 MHz /
1366 MHz
1355 MHz /
1380 MHz
1257 MHz /
1366 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance6,295 GFLOPS6,295 GFLOPS6,359 GFLOPS6,295 GFLOPS
Max Memory Clock8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz
Memory Size8 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth256 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s
Recommended Power Supply500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
Price from*from $129.99$194.99$149.99$191.95
Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

As you’d expect, these cards are quite similar in terms of what they have to offer. Some RX 580s come with a slight factory overclock, but this very rarely means a big enough boost to motivate a considerably higher cost.   

~$20 More: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660

Another attractive alternative that was launched in March 2019 is the Turing-based Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660, which can be seen as a direct successor to the GTX 1060. GTX 1660 prices have yet to drop below our target price, but they’re only marginally above. At this writing, the more affordable 1660 cards probably have the best FPS/$ ratio in the Nvidia camp – in close competition with the 1660 Ti. The GPU is about 25% faster than the GTX 1060 and more power-efficient as well. 

 ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ventus XSASUS GeForce GTX 1660 PhoenixGigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC
ImageZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 6GB GDDR5 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16600F-10LMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 128-Bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR5 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1660 Ventus XS 6G OC)ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Overclocked 6GB Phoenix Fan Edition HDMI DP DVI Graphics Card (PH-GTX1660-O6G)Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 6GB 192-bit GDDR5, Gv-N1660OC-6GD Video Card
Memory Size6 GB GDDR56 GB GDDR56 GB GDDR56 GB GDDR5
FP32 Theoretical Performance5,027 GFLOPS5,153 GFLOPS5,027 GFLOPS5,153 GFLOPS
Memory Clock2000 MHz2000 MHz2000 MHz2000 MHz
Memory Bandwidth192.1 GB/s192.1 GB/s192.1 GB/s192.1 GB/s
Recommended
Power Supply
500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
Core Clock / Boost Clock1530 MHz /
1785 MHz
1530 MHz /
1830 MHz
1530 MHz /
1785 MHz
1530 MHz /
1785 MHz
Stream Processors1408140814081408
Price from*from $239.99$229.99$224.99$229.99
Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Compared to the AMD alternatives, the GTX 1660 is often faster than the RX 580 or even the RX 590 in actual games, although both of the AMD GPUs offer better FP32 performance. In other words, it offers great performance for the money and would easily be our favorite if it was only slightly cheaper.

Best Value: AMD Radeon RX 570

rx570 strixIf you’re really on a budget – or simply want the maximum amount of frames per second as a return on your investment – then the graphics cards based on the Radeon RX 570 GPU is still . These cards are only about 10-15% slower than RX 580-based cards, so if a 570 is more than 15% cheaper – which it often is – it’s an excellent deal.

And you can still play most AAA titles at 1080p/60fps, as well as 1440p with reduced quality settings. The cards are way faster than similarly-priced GeForce GTX 1050 Ti boards, and of course all RX 560 alternatives. It’s simply a great budget GPU.

The Radeon RX 570 is more varied in terms of appearance and features. Some come in 8 GB versions, making them a bit more attractive than the 4 GB models, but this shouldn’t come at any cost. 

 Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 570PowerColor Red Dragon RX 570XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX EditionPowerColor Red Devil RX 570
ImageSapphire Technology Technology 11266-04-20G Radeon Pulse RX 570 4GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI/ DVI-D/ Dual DP OC with Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphics CardPowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 570 AXRX 570 4GBD5-3DHD/OCXFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition 1286MHz, 8gb GDDR5, DX12 VR Ready, Dual BIOS, 3xDP HDMI DVI, AMD Graphics Card (RX-570P8DFD6)PowerColor AXRX 570 4GBD5-3DH/OC Video Card
Core Clock / Boost Clock1168 MHz /
1284 MHz
1168 MHz /
1250 MHz
1168 MHz /
1320 MHz
1270 MHz /
1320 MHz
Stream Processors2048204820482048
Memory Size4 GB4 GB8 GB4 GB
FP32 Theoretical Performance5,259 GFLOPS5,120 GFLOPS5,267 GFLOPS5,407 GFLOPS
Max Memory Clock7 GHz7 GHz7 GHz7 GHz
Memory Bandwidth224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s
Recommended
Power Supply
500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
Display outputs1x DVI, 2x HDMI
2x DP
1x DVI, 1x HDMI
3x DP
1x DVI, 1x HDMI
3x DP
1x DVI, 1x HDMI
3x DP
Price from*$129.99$129.99$139.99$149.99
Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

Thanks to its slightly higher clocks, the triple-fan PowerColor Red Dragon RX 570 4GB leads in terms of theoretical performance with 5,407 GFLOPS, closely followed by the also overclocked 8 GB XFX. It’s a close race between these cards, but depending on price we’d pick either the thermally capable PowerColor card or the XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition. 

Some of them are also factory overclocked, but not enough to impact performance in any noticeable way. We recommend that you base your choice on today’s price and which display outputs you need.

No PCIe Power: GeForce GTX 1650

msi gaming-x 1650If you are limited by your power supply and can’t (or don’t want to) replace it – or simply want an Nvidia card that’s more affordable than the GTX 1060 or 1660 – the GeForce GTX 1650 is the one GPU under $200 that you should be looking at. It replaces the 1050 Ti and offers better performance at roughly the same price. This card will go nicely with your G-Sync monitor and produce good frame rates in eSports titles at 1080p. It can’t compete with AMD cards in the same price range, but it is a competent and highly efficient chip for a power-deficient, entry-level gaming build.

Among the 1650 cards, we consider the MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming X 4G a good buy, mainly because it comes with a considerable factory overclock and uses a tried-and-tested, dual-fan design. It will let you play all the latest AAA titles at acceptable frame rates, but you will have to use lower settings in more demanding titles such as Metro Exodus. Casual games like Fortnite, on the other hand, will easily run at 60FPS/1080p.

Let’s compare some of the GeForce GTX 1650-based alternatives.

 MSI GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming XASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 OCZotac Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 OCGigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Windforce OC
ImageMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 128-Bit HDMI/DP 4GB GDRR5 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 Gaming X 4G)ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Overclocked 4GB Edition VR Ready HDMI 2.0 DP 1.4 Gaming Graphics Card (ROG-STRIX-GTX1650-O4G-GAMING)ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR5 128-Bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16500F-10LGIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1650 Windforce OC 4G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5, Gv-N1650WF2OC-4GD Video Card
CUDA Cores896896896896
Core Clock / Boost Clock1485 MHz /
1860 MHz
1485 MHz /
1830 MHz
1485 MHz /
1695 MHz
1485 MHz /
1785 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance3,333 GFLOPS3,279 GFLOPS3,037 GFLOPS3,199 GFLOPS
Memory Clock (Effective)8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz
Memory Size4 GB4 GB4 GB4 GB
Memory Bandwidth128.0 GB/s128.0 GB/s128.0 GB/s128.0 GB/s
Required PSU300 Watt300 Watt300 Watt300 Watt
Price from*$179.99$179.99$149.99$169.99
Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

*Prices are updated automatically every few hours but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of the page.

MSI’s card has some of the highest factory overclocks on the market but it’s closely followed by Asus’ popular Strix model (OC version). Unless you’re building in a micro-ATX or mini-ITX case with limited space, dual-fan options are the way to go.

Summary

These are the best graphics cards close to or below $200. Whatever your budget is and your preferred games, these cards offer great price-to-performance value. If you want the best possible value as of Q3 2019, we still recommend the Radeon RX 570 (depending on today’s price difference). However, if you can spend a bit more, a video card based on the RX 580 or RX 590 will serve your gaming needs even better. Nvidia-based cards are more power-efficient, but not as competitive in terms of cost/performance in this price range.

Nevertheless, if you want an Nvidia GPU below $200, a 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 might be your best bet, but be aware that you are likely to get more value buying a GTX 1660 – is much more powerful and only slightly more expensive. If you have no choice but to use a PCIe slot-powered card, the GTX 1650 offers much better value than the old GTX 1050 Ti, but it’s not as powerful as AMD cards in the same price range. Also, make sure to check for current deals, mail-in rebates, and other cost-cutting promotions when building on a budget.

A potential downside of the mid-range Nvidia cards is that they don’t support dual-card setups, i.e. SLI. The RX 570 and RX 580, on the other hand, support AMD’s counterpart CrossFire. It’s also worth mentioning that the 4 GB RX 580 is not the same kind of trade-off versus the 8 GB RX 580, as the 3 GB 1060 is versus the 6 GB 1060. The 3GB version of the GTX 1060 not only has less memory but also fewer shaders. 

AMD cards are not without flaws either. They are a lot less efficient, meaning that you will need a bigger power supply unit (PSU) and often an additional PCIe cable to power them. In the case of the RX 580 Nitro+, for example, you need one 8-pin and one 6-pin auxiliary (PCIe) power connector, whereas no GTX 1060 that we know of uses more than a single 6-pin connector.  

A side note, but a topic worth mentioning, is factory overclocking. Several of the above graphics cards come with slightly higher clock rates compared to the reference models, which is often – but not always – also reflected in the price tag. It doesn’t necessarily have an impact on how much the card can be overclocked by the user.

Each and every GPU chip is unique quality-wise and therefore the chips’ overclocking capability varies. Unfortunately, you never know exactly how capable it is before you buy (this is why it’s called the “silicon lottery”). The main difference is that a factory-overclocked card is guaranteed to work at the specified clock rates, which is not the case otherwise. In some cases, pricier and factory-overclocked cards also have better cooling solutions than budget GPUs. 

On yet another side note, we’re glad that the mining craze is over and prices have normalized. This should have been the pricing all year long.

About System and PSU Requirements

PCIe power connector

You need at least one of these to power any of the above cards except the GTX 1650.

You certainly don’t need a monster gaming rig to power mid-range graphics cards around the $200 price range. The most important thing is to ensure that your power supply unit (PSU) is up to the task.

The most demanding of the cards we’ve been looking at here are the ones based on the Radeon RX 580 and RX 590 GPUs. AMD recommends a 500 Watt PSU for the entire system. However, this will, of course, depend on how power-efficient the rest of your system is. Typical board power is 185 Watts for the reference design RX 580, but overclocked cards will use a lot more.

So, most such cards need at least one 8-pin PCIe power connector and sometimes one 8-pin and one 6-pin connector coming from the PSU. If your power supply does not have any auxiliary PCIe power connectors – and for some reason, you can’t upgrade it (such as in a custom, small form-factor PC) – then your best option from the above are the GeForce GTX 1650s. These cards only draw power straight from the motherboard.

Other than the PSU, your other PC components should preferably at least be fairly recent. The processor (CPU) does affect what frame rates you’ll be getting to some extent, but the difference will be quite small if you’re using any AMD Ryzen or Core i5 from the past few years. Older AMD CPUs in general and some older Intel Core i3 CPUs, in particular, may have a more severe negative effect on game frame rates. 

VR compatibility: If you are looking to power a VR headset such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, then the minimum GPU recommendation is either an AMD Radeon RX 580 or an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060.

2 Comments
  1. I have been using nvidia GT 730 for the past 3 years now and i am looking for a change, what i am looking for is a mid budget card around $200 although i cannot decide on my own, about which GPU I should buy.

  2. Thanks for your comment! All of the GPUs we mention above are several times faster than your current card. Even the 1050 ti is around 5x the performance of the GT730. Something to keep in mind if you are upgrading your current system is that all cards above the GTX 1650 require a separate PCIe power connector from your power supply. There’s a good chance that your computer doesn’t have one, as the old GT730 doesn’t need one either. Also check check the measurements to make sure that it will fit in your case (I know that there are many pre-built small form factor systems with the GT 730)

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