Last Update: Apr 14, 2019

Top 6 Graphics Cards For Gaming Under $100 in 2019

Can you get great graphics cards under 100 dollars? The good news is – Yes you can!

Your graphics card is an essential component of your gaming rig. A slow GPU can make gaming one heck of a frustrating experience for you, while a powerful GPU can make you walk on water. 🎮 😢

Asides other factors such as onboard video memory and compatibility, your budget is a primary factor of the sort of graphics card you’ ll be getting.

Most gamers erroneously believe that you need pockets the size of the Grand Canyon to build a great gaming rig, but  that’s not exactly true. Yes, a high budget means you can get one of the best graphics cards in the market, but you can also have one of the best graphics cards under $100 for yourself just by reading this article.

To ensure you get some of the best GPUs under $100, we reviewed graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia to find the best budget graphics cards that will play your games smoothly. These GPUs won’t throttle the performance of your gaming PC or frustrate your in-game experience.


Top 6 Graphics Cards Under $100 On The Market

The compatibility, onboard video memory, noise and heat issues were some of the things we considered when reviewing the numerous graphics cards under $100 in the market. Compatibility and the target resolution were crucial factors for us while reviewing the GPUs.

The target resolution is the horizontal-by-vertical pixel count at which your video card will drive your display unit. You also want to ensure you buy a graphics card with connectors that match that of your PC – some monitors use DisplayPort, others have HDMI, and some older units only use DVI.

If you buy a card with different ports, you will have to buy an adapter at an extra cost.

In PC gaming, the graphics card calculates lighting, positioning, and renders the onscreen image in real time. The higher the requirements for in-game detail level and resolution, the more graphics card power you require to run the game smoothly without lag.

The three most common resolutions in today’s gaming world are 1080p (1920 by 1080 pixels), 1440p (2560 by 1440 pixels) and 2160p or 4K (3840 by 2160 pixels). You’ll want to select a graphics card suited for your monitor’s native resolution. The “native” resolution is the highest supported by the panel and the one at which the display comes out best.

1

Best Choice: Nvidia GeForce GT 730 by EVGA

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Key Features

  • FullHD Resolution

Specifications

  • 1.8 GHz Memory Speed
  • 4GB DDR3 Memory
  • Core Clock; 902 MHz

Nvidia GeForce GT 730 by EVGA Review

The EVGA GeForce GT 730 is an affordable, easy to install a graphics card that will guarantee you a better than expected performance when compared to most cards within its price range.

The GT 730 is an excellent pick for any gamer looking for a GPU under 100 dollars. Its 4GB RAM version clocks at 902 MHz, and its memory speed clocks at 1.8 GHz. The GeForce software allows you to get the latest drivers and optimise in-game settings with a single click.

The EVGA GT 730 is not a high-performance gaming graphics card, so don’t expect it to respond well if you try to grind out 60+ frame rates from the video card. However, it will play most mid-range game titles comfortably.

The EVGA GPU supports DX 12, has an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and DVI connectors. It delivers an above average performance for its price point, and that’s why we picked it as the best graphics card under 100 dollars you can buy in the market.

+Pros
  • Fairly fast base speed
  • 384 cores
  • FHD resolution supported
-Cons
  • Only good for mid-range games
2

Best Quality: Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 by Gigabyte

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Key Features

  • One-click overclocking via AORUS Graphics Engine

Specifications

  • 6008 MHz Base Clock
  • 2GB DDR5
  • 6 GHz Memory speed
  • 64-Bit
  • 1506 GHz in OC Mode and 1468 GHz in Gaming Mode

Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 by Gigabyte Review

The Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 low profile card is designed for beginner and casual gamers. Designed with Nvidia’s latest architecture, the GT 1030 allows you to play graphics intensive games smoothly without much of a lag in performance or image quality.

The GT 1030 doesn’t compromise on performance, its GDDR5 64 -bit memory enables you to play intensive game titles at reduced frame rates and low settings. It also supports HDMI 4K at 60 MHz, and clocks at 6008 MHz.

It’s custom designed fans handle heat dissipation effortlessly, keeping noise at a minimum while optimising and ensuring maximum air flow. This functionality allows you to enjoy marathon gaming sessions without the occasional image freeze due to overheating.

The AORUS graphics engine lets you customize and optimize your card according to your specific needs, enabling you to derive excellent performance from your GPU with overclocking.

The GTX 1030 graphics card is our best quality graphics card under 100 dollars, and an excellent choice for gamers looking get graphics cards with a limited budget.

+Pros
  • Play new games in low & medium settings
  • Decent 2GB RAM
  • Minimal use of power
  • Not noisy
-Cons
  • Typically for beginners
3

Best Value: MSI AMD Radeon R7 240

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Key Features

  • DX 12 compatible card

Specifications

  • Video Memory: 2GB GDDR3
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • Clocks at 900 MHz (Std 780 MHz)

MSI AMD Radeon R7 240 Review

The MSI AMD Radeon R7 240 is a fantastic low-profile card that enables gamers to save space when building their gaming rig.

Powered by the AMD R7 240 GPU, this graphics card is an excellent choice for budget shipping gamers – delivering high performance and outstanding multi-visual clarity and realism.

The MSI’s capacitors guarantee superior stability and a long lifespan – no matter how hard you push this beast. Its GDDR3 onboard video memory allows you to play most games smoothly, without any frustrating lag.

The MSI Afterburn overclocking utility allows you to adjust and customise in-game settings, monitor and regulate your fan speed, and record your best moments in-game.

Overall, this model is an excellent choice for any gamer who plays casual games and doesn’t aim for a high-performance graphics card.

+Pros
  • Large & Quiet Fan
  • Perfect for playing online games
  • No frame drops observed on medium settings
-Cons
  • Low FPS on high settings
4

AMD Radeon MSI HD 6450

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Key Features

  • Compatible with all Windows and Linux flavours
  • DirectX 12 compatible

Specifications

  • Engine Clock: 625 MHz
  • Video Memory: 2GB DDR3
  • Memory Clock: 1066 MHz
  • Memory Interface: 64-bit

AMD Radeon MSI HD 6450 Review

The Linux compatible MSI AMD Radeon HD 6450 graphics card is one of the best bangs for your buck graphics card in the market. The one slot thermal design and low-profile form factor of the HD 6450 enable the card to work perfectly with smaller gaming systems, saving you some space if that’s one of your constraints.

As a budget low-range graphics card, the MSI HD 6450 is an excellent choice for any gamer looking to get a decent performing graphics card.

It comes loaded with 2GB GDDR3 onboard video memory, and clocks core speeds of 625 MHz – the memory clocks at 1066 MHz. Its compatibility with Windows and Linux operating systems makes this graphics card a versatile option.

MSI’s highly efficient aluminium capacitors guarantee solidity while gaming, and a longer lifespan. It also comes loaded with MSI’s proprietary software – Afterburn overclocking Utility- which enables you to customize in-game settings, monitor and regulate your fan speed, and record your best moments in-game.

For a low-range graphics card, MSI AMD Radeon HD 6450 is a decent option to consider when building your gaming rig.

+Pros
  • Linux and Windows compatibility
  • No noise
  • The high-performance video card on a budget
  • Enables you to run your game titles on older computers
-Cons
  • No driver updates and support
5

AMD Radeon R7 250 by Asus

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Key Features

  • DirectX 12 compatible
  • AUTO-EXTREME Technology
  • GPU Tweak II software

Specifications

  • 1.15 GHz Memory speed
  • 128 – bit
  • 1GB DDR5
  • Core Clock – 1.05 GHz

AMD Radeon R7 250 by Asus Review

If you are looking for a budget graphics card that can perform smoothly at high resolutions, then the Asus AMD Radeon R7 250 was made for you.

Featuring 384 stream processors, the Asus R7 250 clocks at 1.05 GHz and requires no additional power connections – plug it into the PCI Express socket and play.

Its exclusively formulated superalloy components boost in-game performance by reducing power loss, enhancing durability and cooling during marathon gaming sessions.

Asus’s unique fan design disperses heat capably while extending the lifespan of the graphics card by 25% – the fan works by reducing the amount of dust and particles that encounter the graphics card.

The Asus Radeon R7 250 is a solid budget graphics card, and the GPU Tweak makes it an even more attractive option – GPU Tweak enables you to adjust clocking speeds, power voltage, and fan speed via a well-designed interface. You can also automatically check and update drivers via the GPU Tweak.

Are you thinking of getting a budget graphics card? The Asus Radeon R7 250 unquestionably ticks all the boxes for a great value buy.

+Pros
  • Doesn’t require additional power connections
  • 128-bit memory interface
  • DDR5 RAM
  • Dust-proof Fan
-Cons
  • FPS drops at high resolutions
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Key Features

  • One-click super overclocking
  • DX12 compatible

Specifications

  • 2GB GDDR5
  • PCI Express 3.0 x8 connection
  • Standard Clock – 1,100 MHz
  • Turbo Clock – 1183 MHz

Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 Review

The Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 is an entry budget GPU that is perfect for less demanding game titles and casual gaming. It might struggle with graphic-intensive AAA game titles. Its excellent performance to price ratio will keep you happy though.

The Gigabyte RX 550 is built with high-quality chokes and capacitors, enabling the graphics card to deliver outstanding performance and a healthy lifespan.

The Radeon RX 550 is equipped with 2GB GDDR5 128-bit memory, one Dual-link DVI-D, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI port, enabling the GPU to handle 4K video playback effortlessly. It can hit overclocking speeds of 1195 MHz in OC mode, and 1183 MHz in gaming mode.

The custom-designed 90mm unique-blade fan along with its 3D fan-stop functionality enables effective heat dissipation, leading to a higher performance at lower temperatures.

The semi-passive fans will remain off when the GPU is under a pre-defined temperature for low power gaming. This allows gamers to enjoy the gameplay in complete silence when the system is running light or idle.

The AORUS Engine Utility allows gamers overclock with one click. It’s futuristic interface also will enable players to tune clock speeds, voltage, fan performance, and power target in real-time according to their specific requirements.

The Gigabyte RX 550 is a great inexpensive graphics card.

+Pros
  • Design should fit even small cases
  • Great solution for upgrading several pre-built systems
  • Excellent performance in eSports titles
  • Acceptable performance for some demanding games
  • Manages temperatures well
  • Price
-Cons
  • Limited VRAM at 2GB

Best Graphics Cards Under 100 Dollars – Buying Guide

An unspoken rule when considering a graphics card is to “always buy what you need” – especially when you have budget constraints.

Ensure you understand your specific requirements and chose a graphics card based on those requirements. A graphics card is critical to the performance of your gaming rig, and you don’t want to make a mistake while buying one.

No one likes the hassles of returns.

Before you decide on buying a graphics card under 100 dollars for your gaming rig, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Onboard Video Memory – For a Better Gaming Experience

Always look at the onboard video memory when comparing similar graphics cards. While 2GB of video memory can allow you to play many games, you’ll have a better experience with 4GB. If it comes down to a choice between a faster GPU or more memory, go with the quicker GPU if it has at least 3GB of video memory.

Graphics Cards For Gaming

Frame Rate Per Second – To Avoid Image Freeze During Gaming

The frame rates per second are the speed at which in-game images and movements happen. Low frame rates mean your screen will freeze occasionally, and actions of your game characters might be shaky.

This can be a pain to watch or experience.

Size – To Avoid Unnecessary Returns

Nothing can be more exasperating than eagerly opening your case to install your new graphics card, only to realise it’s an inch longer. Before you make a final decision on which graphics card you are settling for, ensure you do your homework and find out how much physical space your case has for a graphics card.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Graphics Card For Gaming

Memory Bandwidth – For A Better Performance

The memory bandwidth of your GPU plays a significant role in its performance. Data ready to be processed by the GPU is stored on the card’s dedicated memory called GDDR3 and GDDR5. Note that GDDR5 memory provides twice the bandwidth of GDDR3 clocked at the same rate.

It would be best if you always chose GDDR5 for better performance. 1 GB of GDDR5 is superior to 4 GB of GDDR3, as far as performance is concerned.

Cooling – For Overclocking

Low profile graphics cards have smaller heatsinks and therefore aren’t efficient in maintaining proper temperatures if you are used to overclocking. Graphics cards with bigger aluminium heatsinks are much better at handling high temperatures while overclocking.

EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Graphics Card For Gaming

If you are not doing any overclocking, you should still make sure that your PC chassis has enough ventilation for proper air intake and exhaust.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions you must consider when buying a graphics card under $100:

What is the best budget GPU?

At the budget end of the market, the GTX 1050 is mostly faster than the RX 560, even though it’s limited to a 2GB frame buffer. The RX 560 saves you $20 if you go for the 2GB frame buffer, but its overall performance is low enough that we’d treat this option as an “only if you have to” pick. Between the 4GB RX 560 and the 2GB 1050, performance data favours 1050.

What brand of GPU is the best?

Nvidia and AMD are the two major manufacturers of graphics card processors or GPUs in the world. Various top brands are licensed to make graphics cards by Nvidia and AMD.

Some of these brands are – ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, and Zotac. Each manufacturer has their board layout, memory capacity, components quality, and heatsink.

Which GPU is best for gaming?

When the price is not a barrier, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the GPU you should buy. Its 11GB GDDR5X onboard video memory guarantees you smooth performance even with 4k gaming.

However, …

Money is a barrier for almost every human – especially gamers.

What is the best graphics card for gaming in 2019?

The hefty EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC graphics card is the best graphics card for gaming in 2019.

Now, at least…

It performs excellently at 1440p and 4k gaming, and combined with its tastefully designed RGB lighting, is a great graphics card to have.


Conclusion

The graphics cards reviewed in this guide should be able to help you make the right choice for your gaming rig, and consequently, a fantastic in-game experience.

Always ensure you understand your specific needs before you decide on a graphics card, or you might end up wasting money on the wrong GPU.

I wouldn’t want you to go through that!

We considered VRAM, and compatibility when coming up with this list of best graphics cards under 100 dollars, and any of the cards listed here should get your gaming rig running in no time.

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