The Best Budget Graphics Card in 2021 – Our Top Cheap GPUs

Graphics cards for gamers on a strict budget

WEPC Best Budget GPUs 01

Some gamers out there may believe they need the latest high-end components to play their favourite AAA titles to full effect. While this point may stand true for some games, the best budget graphics card can also give you a fantastic gaming experience.

Let’s get one thing straight, if you can afford the best graphics cards available and wish to play games in 4K without compromise, then you absolutely should. However, for the rest of us on a tight budget, the selections we will run through in this article are going to give you some reassurances that you don’t have to break the bank.

Let’s take a look.

Our Top Picks

Editor's Pick

WePC Editors Choice Badge

The Best Budget Graphics Card

Runner Up

The Next Best Budget Graphics Card

Best Budget Graphics Card: First Look

Editor's Pick

The Best Budget Graphics Card
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Editor's Rating
4.8/5

It is hardly a surprise to see one of Nvidia’s latest Ampere graphics cards top this list. The RTX 3070 is the new budget champion.

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ASUS is always high on our list when it comes to GPUs, and it’s no secret why. Their ROG Strix RTX 3070 is not only one of the best looking cards on the market, but it’s also one of the best performing cards too. This card offers performance close to the older flagship RTX 208o Ti but at a fraction pf the price.

Runner Up

The Next Best Budget Graphics Card
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Editor's Rating
4.6/5

ASUS ROG Strix again? Yes but this time its the slightly less powerful RTX 3060 Ti

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For those where every penny counts, the RTX 3060 Ti brings you high-class 1440p performance at an affordable price. Further more, this option features the impressive aesthetics and cooling ROG Strix cards are known for.

AMD Pick

The Best Budget Radeon Graphics Card
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Editor's Rating
4.7/5

The Asus TUF RX 6800 offers some of the best value in the latest Radeon range while also matching the performance of the RTX 3070.

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This card isn’t just one of the best from a value standpoint, it also offers incredible performance for the price. This budget GPU features an impressive Axial-tech fan design keeping things cool, while you breezing through games in max settings at high resolutions.

Value Pick

Save Money With This 1080p Budget Beast
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Editor's Rating
4.3/5

If you’re looking for great performance but have little money, the GTX 1660 Super is still regarded as one of the best budget graphics cards on the market.

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This GPU is going to bring you some fantastic results for 1080p gaming in the highest of settings. This GPU has also be shown to bring some reasonable 1440p results with the odd tweak.

Cheap Pick

A Cheaper Alternative
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Editor's Rating
4.1/5

The perfect companion for that budget build, the RX 580 offers high FPS counts in glorious detail too! While being an absolute workhorse, this GPU goes a long way to give you a great gaming experience for less.

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While being older than the GTX 1660 Super, this 8GB card holds a lot of power for a very affordable price. This XFX model is an absolute bargain and will give you everything you need to start playing those AAA titles.

How We Choose

Choosing the best components for our gaming PCs is never a simple task, whether it’s the best GPUs or CPUs, plenty of research is required. This is where WePC steps in, taking all the stresses of research away from our less tech-savvy readers.

All of the budget graphics cards on this list have been selected for a reason. First and foremost, we all love to game and have been scouring the web to find the best models we can. The search enables us to find which GPUs gamers tend to prefer and we balance those with the highest reviews against those with the lowest price.

How We Test

From PC cases to graphics cards, we like to get hands-on with everything we recommend. Testing the products is a huge part of our overall selection process and it is the best way to ensure we find the best GPUs.

Graphics cards must pass our testing, which is mostly gaming, with some other synthetic benchmarking too. When it comes to a budget graphics card, we are going to be looking at game performance, thermal performance, and value. Our process helps us paint a more accurate picture of which is actually the best and will help you ultimately make the correct buying decision.

Things To Consider

Considering a graphics card usually takes up around 50% of a gamer’s budget, it can be quite tricky when choosing the best. It’s an important investment, so naturally, there are a few key areas to consider.

Let’s take a look.

Price

As mentioned, the GPU is the most important component for any gamer, with it often costing about half the overall build price. That being said, you will only get the gaming experience you pay for, so you should assess what your individual needs are first and then save extra if needed.

All our budget GPU options in this article vary quite dramatically and that is simply because everyone has a different budget set for their personal build. One thing you can rely on though is the quality these recommendations will bring, with each offering fantastic in-game results.

Should I Buy A New Budget Graphics Card Or Second Hand?

Well, we always recommend you buy a new component to ensure you are protected against any faults but a GPU is one of the components many PC gamers consider ok to buy second hand if it is in good condition.

Why Are Graphics Cards So Expensive?

The best GPUs on the market cost an absolute fortune so manufacturers often release less powerful options in every new lineup. This best budget graphics card article features several of these lower-spec models but each and every one offers high levels of performance for the price.

The truth is, budget GPUs are more affordable because they cut back in certain areas like memory, clock speed, or shaders.

Related GPU Pages

If you are still unsure which GPU to choose, maybe you should check out some of our other guides to the best GPUs, below.

The Best Budget Graphics Card

Editor's Pick

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Runner Up

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AMD Pick

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Value Pick

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Cheap Pick

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Editor's Pick

The Best Budget Graphics Card
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Pros

Great aesthetic design

Excellent cooling solution

Great 1080p/1440p gaming performance

Cons

Most expensive opton

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ASUS has released several different SKUs for the RTX 3070, with our favorite being the ROG Strix – a model with high-end performance, aesthetics, and cooling.

This GPU comes equipped with sublime out the box cooling, characterized by efficiency and its flagship design language. In addition to the ROG’s hefty cooling solution, ASUS has also equipped it with a very hand 1755MHz boost clock frequency that, if deemed necessary, can be overclocked further with relative ease.

The RTX 3070 is going to be the perfect GPU to fit into PC builds around the $1000 mark, giving gamers budget 4K performance without having to compromise on graphical settings.

Runner Up

The Next Best Budget Graphics Card
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Pros

Great cooling solution

Excellent aesthetic design

High boost clock speed

Cons

Not the cheapest 3060 Ti

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While the RTX 3060 Ti misses out to the RTX 3070, it is still a brilliant modern GPU and our runner up goers to the Asus ROG Strix variant.

The ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3060 Ti offers great cooling, excellent aesthetics, and great 1080p and 1440p gaming right out of the box. Coming in at a much more affordable price than our top selection, this card is going to save some of your budget for other components.

This card comes with a boost clock frequency of 1890MHz (1860MHz Gaming Mode), making the ROG Strix one of the fastest 3060 Ti models.

This card now directly replaces the RTX 2060, ushering in a new era of budget performance.

AMD Pick

The Best Budget Radeon Graphics Card
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Pros

An all-aluminum shroud

Good value

Great gaming performance

Cons

Basic design

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The Asus TUF RX 6800 may not be as desirable as the RTX 3070l but it brings excellent value into the roundup while delivering similar performance.

This OC version brings a base clock speed of 1925MHz and a boost speed of 2155MHz. This card offers similar speeds to others that are priced closely but when paired with the impressive cooling solution, you are getting a high-end gaming experience here on a budget.

This GPU will smash games in 1080p and 1440p, while also providing some results in 4K. All-in-all this is a brilliant budget graphics card.

Value Pick

Value Pick
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Pros

Excellent performance at 1080p

Effcient cooling solution

Cons

Limited to 1080p for the best results

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The GTX 1660 Super is some way off our top three selections but it is widely considered a budget king in the world of graphics cards. This GPU enables the masses to enjoy big gaming titles without having to spend a fortune.

The performance on this card is no joke but it is worth noting that its power is only noticed while gaming in 1080p. With a boost clock speed of 1815MHz and 6GB of memory, this will handle any game at 1080p. This GPU particularly makes sense if you are a hardcore competitive gamer, giving you more than the fabled 144FPS across most epsorts titles.

The GTX 1660 Super will make a great addition to any mid-tier gaming PC.

 

 

Cheap Pick

A Cheaper Alternative
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Pros

Strong 1080p performance

Great value

Cons

Oldest GPU in the roundup

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The RX 580 is a worthy upgrade to its smaller sibling – the 570 and is considered an excellent choice for the budget builder.  This is a great card for gamers that operate with 1080p resolutions and gives builders the chance to create a special gaming rig at very low prices. This GPU surpasses the likes of Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti, 1060, and even has a small amount of 1440p potential.

Of course, the price is the most attractive feature of the card with it offering some great value for an 8GB GPU. The card features a boost overclock of 1386MHz and really will tackle most games you throw at it.

So, complete your first gaming PC, with this incredible entry-level option.

Final Word

There you go, finding the best budget graphics card is actually pretty easy, as long as you have a budget set and an idea of what games you would like to enjoy. The best options in this roundup can perform like flagship GPUs of yesteryear, with 4K performance in some AAA games, often in the highest settings too. Other cards in this roundup smash games in 1080p and 1440p with ease, so whatever you choose, you are in for some decent FPS counts.