The Best Mid-Range Graphics Cards Below $300 in June 2022

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As of June 2022 – and after well over a year of shortages and inflated prices – we are finally seeing some improvements in the GPU market. We are still not back to pre-pandemic levels, but at least the shelves are no longer empty.

Intel’s brand new Arc range of graphics cards is just around the corner, which seems to be putting some pressure on prices already.

For now, though, the contenders for the title of ‘best graphics card below $300’ are still entry-level and mid-range AMD and Nvidia cards.

On this page:
NVIDIA Vs. AMD
Buy Now or Wait?
Best GPU below $300: AMD RX 6600 XT
Best Nvidia alternative: GeForce RTX 3050
Previous-gen/used GPUs
Summary
CPU Pairing and PSU Requirements

NVIDIA Vs. AMD Under $300

AMD and Nvidia have kept up with their normal release cycles in spite of shortages, though availability and street pricing have left much to be desired. GPUs based on Nvidia’s RTX 3050 and RTX 3060 are now available, but prices have still not dropped to MSRP levels. The RX 6600 (non-XT), however, is now sometimes priced below $300 (and below its MSRP of $329). 

Product
Best AMD
XFX Speedster SWFT 210 Radeon RX 6600 CORE Gaming Graphics Card with 8GB GDDR6 HDMI 3xDP, AMD RDNA 2 RX-66XL8LFDQ
Best NVIDIA
EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Gaming, 08G-P5-3553-KR, 8GB GDDR6, Dual-Fan, Metal Backplate
Image
XFX Speedster SWFT 210 Radeon RX 6600 CORE Gaming Graphics Card with 8GB GDDR6 HDMI 3xDP, AMD RDNA 2 RX-66XL8LFDQ
EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Gaming, 08G-P5-3553-KR, 8GB GDDR6, Dual-Fan, Metal Backplate
Stream Processors
1792
2560
Core/Boost Clock
1626 MHz / 2491 MHz
1552 MHz / 1854 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance
8.928 TFLOPS
9.446 TFLOPS
Memory Size/Type
8 GB GDDR6
8 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus
128-bit
128-bit
Memory Clock (Effective)
14 Gbps
14 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth
224 GB/s
224 GB/s
TDP
132 W
130 W
Recommended Power Supply
300 W
300 W
Power Connector(s)
1x 8-pin
1x 8-pin
Outputs
1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DP 1.4a
1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DP 1.4a
Price
$299.99
$329.99
Best AMD
Product
XFX Speedster SWFT 210 Radeon RX 6600 CORE Gaming Graphics Card with 8GB GDDR6 HDMI 3xDP, AMD RDNA 2 RX-66XL8LFDQ
Image
XFX Speedster SWFT 210 Radeon RX 6600 CORE Gaming Graphics Card with 8GB GDDR6 HDMI 3xDP, AMD RDNA 2 RX-66XL8LFDQ
Stream Processors
1792
Core/Boost Clock
1626 MHz / 2491 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance
8.928 TFLOPS
Memory Size/Type
8 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus
128-bit
Memory Clock (Effective)
14 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth
224 GB/s
TDP
132 W
Recommended Power Supply
300 W
Power Connector(s)
1x 8-pin
Outputs
1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DP 1.4a
Price
$299.99
Store Link
Best NVIDIA
Product
EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Gaming, 08G-P5-3553-KR, 8GB GDDR6, Dual-Fan, Metal Backplate
Image
EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Gaming, 08G-P5-3553-KR, 8GB GDDR6, Dual-Fan, Metal Backplate
Stream Processors
2560
Core/Boost Clock
1552 MHz / 1854 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance
9.446 TFLOPS
Memory Size/Type
8 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus
128-bit
Memory Clock (Effective)
14 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth
224 GB/s
TDP
130 W
Recommended Power Supply
300 W
Power Connector(s)
1x 8-pin
Outputs
1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DP 1.4a
Price
$329.99
Store Link

Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Radeon 6500 xtWith the GeForce RTX 3050, Nvidia was aiming for a $250 MSRP, but it probably still hasn’t left a single shelf for less than $300. AMD RX 6600 cards, on the other hand, have recently seen significant price drops, and some models frequently reach this price point.

The RX 6600 is usually slightly faster than the RTX 3050 overall, but the latter also has the advantage of Nvidia’s superior (so far) super-sampling technology DLSS, which could make the choice a bit more difficult than it would appear. Both are nevertheless great for 1080p gaming.

To put the current entry-level and mid-range cards into some perspective, here’s an indication of how they perform (no ray tracing enabled):

Compared to previous generations, the GeForce RTX 3050 offers about the same performance as a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, with added ray-tracing and DLSS features. All of this makes it an excellent mainstream GPU, but a Radeon RX 6600 XT will significantly outperform it in most cases.

Buy Now or Wait?

GA102 DieUpgrading your GPU is easily the most cost-effective way to breathe new life into your gaming PC. But even early adopters rarely upgrade more often than once every 1–2 generations (not counting annual ‘refresh’ cycles, which are usually just minor updates to existing architectures), i.e. about once every 2–4 years. The most common reason to upgrade is probably when stuttering in the latest AAA title becomes too annoying.

Under normal circumstances, the most common reason to postpone a GPU purchase is to time one of the major generational releases. In the past year and a half, we have however recommended waiting due to poor availability and high prices.

As of June 2022, the situation is different – most graphics cards are now widely available, and the pricing situation has also improved considerably. Moreover, AMD has just refreshed its lineup, whereas next-gen mid-range GPUs from Nvidia are likely months away (with the high-end RTX 4000-series launching later in 2022).

Intel ArcSomething to look out for is Intel’s new Arc A750, A580, and A380 GPUs, which could further improve competition in this space later in 2022, but so far we know very little about how these cards will perform in the real world.

As always, the used market may also be worth a look. With some luck, you may be able to find older mid-range GPUs such as AMD’s RX 5600 XT, or Nvidia’s GTX 1660 Ti/S for significantly less than $300. But beware of used mining cards, which may be much more aged than they look. 

Best GPU Under $300: Radeon RX 6600

Radeon 6600Based on the RDNA 2 architecture, AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 is essentially an RX 6600 XT with some shading units disabled. Instead of 2048 shaders, the RX 6000 offers 1792.

The rest of the specs have mostly remained the same, including the 8GB of GDDR6 and 128-bit memory bus. Clock rates are also a bit lower, resulting in a performance reduction of about 15% compared to the RX 6600 XT.

The RX 6600 is nevertheless faster than the Radeon RX 5700 from the previous generation. Compared to the Nvidia competitors, the RX 6600 is slightly slower than the GeForce RTX 3060 and slightly faster than the RTX 3050.

In all, the RX 6600 has more than enough performance for 1080p gaming and depending on the settings, it can usually reach a 60fps average in 1440p.

Best Nvidia GPU Under $300 (In Theory): GeForce RTX 3050

GeForce RTX 3050At its $249 MSRP, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 would offer excellent value in terms of price/performance. Unfortunately, there are probably no 3050s to be found at that price at the time of writing (June 2022).

Had the prices been closer to MSRP, the RTX 3050 would offer great value in the mainstream GPU space. It is the first of Nvidia’s affordable XX50 cards to receive hardware support for ray tracing and DLSS – the key RTX features. Although it may not be powerful enough to run AAA titles with ray tracing at resolutions above 1080p, the addition of Nvidia’s excellent DLSS super-sampling technology makes the value proposition more interesting.

Performance-wise, it compares well to mid-range cards from the previous generation including the RX 5600 XT and GTX 1660 Ti/Super but it is around 10% slower than the RTX 2060.

Previous-Gen/Used Graphics Cards

If you want to get the best possible price/performance from your GPU purchase, you may also want to take a look at previous-gen cards and the used market. These are some of the alternatives that offer comparable performance with the RTX 3050 and RX 6600.

Alternative #1: Radeon RX 5600 XT (Used)

AMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT GPU was launched in 2020 and is based on the first-gen Navi (RDNA) architecture, replacing the much less efficient Vega and Polaris architectures. This GPU was initially intended to compete with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. But then Nvidia suddenly lowered the price on its faster, ray tracing-enabled GeForce RTX 2060 to compete directly with the RX 5600 XT.

This in turn prompted AMD to improve the specs of the 5600 XT to help it stay competitive. As a result, the RX 5600 XT is almost as fast as the RX 5700 – and considerably faster on average than the GTX 1660 Ti that it was originally meant to compete with.

Now with similar performance as the GeForce RTX 2060, the RX 5600 XT stands out as one of the most attractive graphics cards in the mid-range segment from the previous generation. What you likely want to check before buying is that you get a card with the best specs, mainly faster memory (VRAM) that runs at an effective 14 Gbps instead of 12 Gbps such as these ones:

 Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 5600 XTXFX RX 5600 XT
THICC II PRO
PowerColor Radeon
RX 5600 XT
ImageSAPPHIRE 11296-01-20G Radeon Pulse RX 5600 XT 14GBPS 6GB GDDR6 HDMI / Triple DP OC w/ Backplate (UEFI) PCIe 4.0 Graphics CardXFX RX 5600 XT THICC II PRO -14GBPS 6GB GDDR6 BOOST UP TO 1620MHz 3xDP HDMI Graphics Card RX-56XT6DF46PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHV2/OC
Clock: Core /
Gaming / Boost
1400 MHz /
1615 MHz /
1750 MHz
1465 MHz /
1560 MHz /
1620 MHz
1355 MHz /
1560 MHz /
1620 MHz
Memory Speed14 Gbps14 Gbps14 Gbps
FP32 Theoretical Performance8,064 GFLOPS7,465 GFLOPS7,465 GFLOPS
Memory Bandwidth336 GB/s336 GB/s288 GB/s
Recommended
PSU
350 W350 W350 W
Power Connectors1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 8-pin
Display Outputs1x HDMI
3x DP
1x HDMI
3x DP
1x HDMI
3x DP

Alternative #2: GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Used)

GeForce GTX 1650 SuperAs mentioned previously, AMD’s RX 5600 XT was originally intended as a competitor to Nvidia’s former mid-range king, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. For the reasons mentioned above, that didn’t happen, but the 1660 Ti is nevertheless about as fast as the current-gen RTX 3050.

That means that this cad will easily handle any recent AAA game at 1080p, although it lacks the ray-tracing features from the RTX lineup. In terms of relative performance, the RTX 2060 and RX 5600 XT are about 15% faster.

When it comes to the price/performance calculation, the GTX 1660 Ti is also challenged by Nvidia’s own GTX 1660 Super, which is only slightly slower but usually much more affordable.

 GIGABYTE GTX 1660 Ti OCEVGA GTX 1660 Ti XCMSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming
ImageGIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti OC 6G 192-bit GDDR6 DisplayPort 1.4 HDMI 2.0B with Windforce 2X Cooling System Graphic Cards- Gv-N166TOC-6GDEVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC, Overclocked, 2.75 Slot Extreme Cool, 65C Gaming, 6GB GDDR6, 06G-P4-1263-KRMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 192-bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1660 Ti Gaming 6G)
Clock: Core /
Boost
1500 MHz /
1800 MHz
1500 MHz /
1845 MHz
1500 MHz /
1800 MHz
Memory Clock
(Effective)
12 GHz12 GHz12 GHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance5,530 GFLOPS5,668 GFLOPS5,530 GFLOPS
Memory Bandwidth288 GB/s288 GB/s288 GB/s
Recommended Power Supply450 Watt450 Watt450 Watt
Power Connectors1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 8-pin
Display Outputs1x HDMI
3x DisplayPort
1x DVI
1x HDMI
1x DisplayPort
1x HDMI
3x DisplayPort

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

The 1660 Ti was available in every conceivable size, with many being factory overclocked. Note that this rarely motivates a significantly higher cost.

Alternative #3: GeForce RTX 2060 (Used)

RTX 2060 Founder's Edition

The RTX 2060 was originally launched in 2019 and now has a successor in the shape of the RTX 3060. Due to the supply issues, however, Nvidia opted to re-release the RTX 2060 on the market and in 2022 it will be made available in an improved 12 GB model.

Regardless, this card still offers more than enough performance for 1080p gaming and also does well at 1440p.

Other parts of the RTX 2060’s specs are quite similar to the Radeon RX 5600 XT, with 6 GB of GDDR6 video RAM and a 192-bit memory bus that offers the same bandwidth.

 ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2060 6GBEVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KOMSI GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus XS OC
ImageZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T20600H-10MEVGA 06G-P4-2066-KR GeForce RTX 2060 KO Gaming, 6GB GDDR6, Dual Fans, Metal BackplateMSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP Ray Tracing Turing Architecture VR Ready Graphics Card (RTX 2060 VENTUS XS 6G OC)
Clock: Core /
Boost
1365 MHz /
1680 MHz
1365 MHz /
1680 MHz
1365 MHz /
1710 MHz
Memory Clock
(Effective)
14000 MHz14000 MHz14000 MHz
FP32 Theoretical Performance6,451 GFLOPS6,451 GFLOPS6,566 GFLOPS
Memory Bandwidth336 GB/s336 GB/s336 GB/s
Recommended
PSU
450 W450 W450 W
Power Connectors1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 8-pin
Display Outputs1x HDMI
3x DP
1x HDMI
1x DP
1x DVI
1x HDMI
3x DP

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

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Alternative #4: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

MSI 1660S Gaming XNvidia’s launch of the more affordable GTX 1660 Super (also known as 1660S) devalued existing GeForce GTX 1660 Ti cards, as it offers about the same performance.

The 1660S actually uses the same GPU as the regular GTX 1660 but has been paired with faster GDDR6 video memory. This resulted in a level of performance that trails the 1660 Ti by just single-digit percentages.

In other words, the GTX 1660 Super normally offers much better value than both the Ti model and the original 1660. While it can’t compete with the RX 5600 XT or RTX 2060, the 1660S may offer better value.

RX 5600 XT Vs. RTX 2060 Vs. RX 5700

Here’s a video from the web comparing actual performance in a number of games including Battlefield V, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Metro: Exodus, and others. What makes this particularly interesting is that the resolution is 1440p, instead of the 1080p resolution that these graphics cards are intended to target.

RX 5600 XT vs. RTX 2060 vs. RX 5700

Summary and Recommendations

PULSE 5600 XTA year and a half ago, the mid-range $300 price point offered lots of alternatives. AMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT was competing with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 lineup as well as the RTX 2060.

Prices are now up and perhaps at a “new normal”. Although prices are down compared to the beginning of 2020, mid-range cards are still more expensive than they were a couple of years ago.

At least you no longer have to settle for mediocre entry-level cards such as the RX 6500 XT at this price point. The GeForce RTX 3050, had it been available at $249, would likely have offered the best value below $300. If you can find a card based on the Radeon RX 6600 below $300, however, this is an attractive option.

What we are also eagerly awaiting at this point is for Intel’s Arc Alchemist lineup to arrive – preferably in large volumes and offering competitive performance. Unfortunately, we will not know much about the real-world performance of these cards ahead of launch. If they can compete with GPUs such as the RTX 3050 and RX 6600 at a lower price point, it would be fantastic for consumers.

While waiting for the shortages to improve, you may also want to keep an eye on the used market. A used RX 5600 XT, GTX 1660 Ti/Super or RTX 2060 would still be very attractive if the price is right. Even older cards like the GeForce GTX 1070 or Radeon 570/580/590 could offer decent value in this unfortunate situation.

CPU Pairing and PSU Requirements

PCIe power connector

Both the Radeon RX 5600 XT and GeForce RTX 2060 require a single 8-pin connector.

To get the most out of your new mid-range GPU, the rest of your PC build should correspond reasonably well to your choice of video card. However, in terms of gaming performance, you won’t gain much by opting for an expensive high-end CPU.

In our view, a good baseline CPU pairing is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 5600X or an Intel Core i5-11600K/12600K. You may need a better CPU for other reasons than gaming, but in terms of frame rates, you will get diminishing returns beyond what you get with one of those processors. If the goal is to have your games run more smoothly, your money is better spent on a faster GPU.

As for the power supply (PSU), some third-party manufacturers recommend a 350W minimum for the RX 5600 XT (AMD’s PSU recommendation is 550W) and 450W for the RTX 2060. The TDP (Thermal Design Power) for the graphics cards is 160W in both cases. A 350W PSU is definitely on the low side, leaving you with very little headroom for overclocking and other components, but 500W should be more than sufficient for most builds.

Any such power supply on the market will provide you with the single 8-pin PCIe power connector (or more likely two) that you need to hook up to your GPU.

Jesper Berg

As a PC gaming enthusiast since the 3dfx Voodoo era, Jesper has had time to experiment with a fair few FPS-improving PC parts over the years. His job at GPCB is to test and evaluate hardware, mainly focusing on GPUs and storage devices.

17 Comments
  1. Hi Jesper,
    I consider myself to be the typical 60fps 1080p gamer when time allows, so these mid range cards are obviously the sweet spot. I don’t follow hardware or gfx card price movements as I generally just upgrade and forget about it.

    I’m looking to upgrade and only recently became aware that Nvidia is soon to release the RTX 3000 series and AMD are doing something similar with their Big Navi cards. Historically do such releases have any downward pressure on mid range cards like those discussed in the above article, or is it more like a two speed economy with the impact largely resigned to those who want to game at 1440 or 4K?

    tldr; should everyone be holding off from buying a new graphics card right now?

    • Hi Grant,
      That is a very good question. High-end releases typically don’t affect current mid-range card prices by much or at all in the short term. But the RTX 3060 is also likely to arrive soon (sooner than RTX 2060 did by comparison). It could also be aggressively priced if needed to undercut what AMD releases in the same performance bracket (Navi 22).

      In that case, this should definitely put some downward pressure on the current mid-range cards in the relatively near future. But those are many ifs and buts, of course.

    • Grant,

      From, what I have seen, yes, 4k and 1440 it is like a Corvette vs a Ferrari. Both are greater, just that one is greaterer.

  2. Hi Jesper!
    I’m currently trying to figure out which graphics card is the best fit for my build for 200-300$. I was thinking about the gtx 1660 super but not sure if it’s too much or too little, I’m not really an expert 🙂
    My current build has:
    gtx1050 2 or 3 gb
    ryzen7 1800x
    asus b350-plus
    16gb crucial ram
    not sure about the power suply
    I mostly play cs:go and want a card that can give me at least 200fps in every map at relatively low resolution but I’m buying mafia and also play gtaV sometimes so was wondering what was the best fit for me.
    I also have 2 monitors (the one I play is 144hz) not sure if that makes any difference in the matter.
    Thought you had great advice for the other people so maybe you can help me out.

    • Hey Seb!
      The 1660S is my personal favorite from the current crop of mid-range cards. It’s almost as fast as the 1660 Ti, but usually much cheaper. By itself, this GPU will be able to give you a 200+ fps average in CS:GO, but CS:GO is also one of the older and less demanding games where your CPUs single-core performance (1st-gen Ryzen’s main weakness) might become a bottleneck, particularly at low resolutions.

      I still have no doubts whatsoever that you can go above a 144fps average at 1080p to match your monitor. Mafia Definitive and GTA V will also run well. Not at such high frame rates but at least 60+ fps (more at lower settings, of course).

      • Thanks for the feedback and I will probably buy the 1660s when I can find one in sale. I also asked the same thing in the under 200$ guide so you can just ignore it :).
        Also would you recommend any particular 1660s or are they all pretty much the same? Don’t really get why they have such difference in prices if they are the same model.

        • Sounds like a great plan, best of luck!

          My personal preference when choosing a card (any GPU) is to go with a larger cooler if it fits and the price difference is minimal. They usually run cool and with less noise (though the 1660S TDP is only 125W, so no cooler will be taxed too hard). All 1660S cards use the manufacturers’ standard coolers, so there should be few surprises.

          And I agree with you in questioning the large price differences. A small premium might be fine in my view if you get better cooling. But just a slight factory overclock, as is often the case, has never been much of a selling point.

  3. this is exactly the article I was looking for! Well put-together and extremely helpful, I’ll definitely be looking at a 5600xt for my current build. Your other article on choosing a 5600xt is also great

  4. Hey Japser. I’m currently building my first gaming pc and having an issue with finding correctly advertised GPUs. The prices in your article was updated 12 days ago, but none of prices listed here reflect the actual prices. Some of the links you’ve shared take us to either site where the item is $150 to almost 2x the MSRP price you gave us. My question is, why are computer parts or accessories price points so unstable?

  5. Thank you for this great article! I haven’t been able to locate the EVGA 2060 KO in Canada for my new build, so all the info here has been a huge help on figuring out a replacement. Thanks!!!

  6. Could someone tell me the best build on a say 900-1000$ budget for a pc, monitor, keyboard, mouse thanks would be helpful

  7. Hey thx in advance Mr Jesper Berg

    the guide is good , anyway do you have any relation with håkan berg the king of birds ?

    • Hey Pand, thanks! Haha, no I hadn’t even heard of this King of birds, so I had to look him up. A fun guy. His comedic use of Wittgenstein’s duck-rabbit makes me wish I was related 🙂

  8. Need a new vid card but prices are out of hand dam bitcoin miners

  9. As someone looking to spend £200 max (the actual price most people spend on a GPU), I find the vast majority of cards which would have been released at that price a year ago are now priced at double this.

    So we end up with the only new “mid-range” card the 6600xt being released pretending its a “high-end” card, so it can justify a ludicrous mark up. Its not worth MSRP, let alone the “because its 2021 lets add another 50%” issue.

    So what is there for folks to buy at £200? Because I’m quite simply refusing to spend that on a second hand 3-4 year old card that’ll be outdated within 12 months.

    • Finding a mid-range card at a normal mid-range price is still nearly impossible, unfortunately. The miner-created shortage a few years ago was nothing compared to today’s market.

      Availability has improved, but as you mentioned, prices are still extremely inflated. And there is so much pent-up demand now that this could go on for quite some time.

      I’ve managed to buy a couple of cards in the past year at somewhat reasonable prices (but still far from normal) by pre-ordering. Had to wait for 2-3 months each time though…

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