Deciding on what graphics card to buy when on a budget can be a frustrating process – I know!
One wrong choice and you must deal with stuttering image quality, plus the hassle of returns and nonstop calls to customer service. While some gamers know the exact sort of performance they want out of a graphics card, and how much they should spend to get it, others spend long hours searching through various lists of graphics cards.
If you are looking for one of the best graphics cards under 150 dollars – welcome home. 💻 😊
Our mission at Game Gavel is to make it easier for you to pick a graphics card that best suits your specific performance requirements.
While the GPU market is a very dynamic one – new graphics cards will soon be released – this guide aims to take you through a pruned down the list of 6 of the best GPUs under 150 dollars you can get and still play 1080p gaming titles effortlessly.
Most gamers erroneously believe that you need pockets the size of the Grand Canyon to build a great gaming rig…
Well, that’s not exactly true.
Yes, a high budget means you can get one of the best graphics cards for gaming on the market, but you can also have one of the best graphics cards under $150 for yourself just by reading this guide.
Best Choice: Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050
Pros & Cons
- Plays 1080p at 60fps
- Plug and play design
- Can’t handle 4k at high settings
- Pascal architecture
- Size: 7.6 x 1.5 x 4.4 in
- HD capable
- 128 – Bit
- 2GB GDDR5 Memory
- Boost Clock Speed: 1518 MHz
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Review
The Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti is the best low-profile graphics card you can get. It’s built using Nvidia Pascal GPU architecture with an ergonomic design and a size that could almost fit any PC. If you’re looking for something durable and reliable, look no further.
It may need some optimizing with specific titles – medium settings should get you running – but it does offer you ultra-smooth graphics and eliminates screen lag.
Its 2GB GDDR5 128-bit memory means this is one beast of a card. It even manages the boost clock speed of 1,518 MHz. You can game at 1080p at 60fps, which is a pretty decent deal for its price.
The Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 is a great graphics card to get. It won’t be able to handle your 4K game titles, but it’s a great buy if you plan to use it for 1080p gaming.
Although it’s listed as our best choice here, when looking at GPUs overall, the 1050 Ti is a great budget graphics card for gaming.
Premium Pick: MSI R5604TPC RX 560
Pros & Cons
- HDCP ready
- Highly stable aluminum core
- Low profile saves installation space
- Supports MSI Overclocking Utility and AMD FreeSync
- Could use a higher clock speed
- AMD FreeSync
- Geometry engine
- MSI Afterburner
- Boost Clock: 1196 MHz
- 7000MHz Effective Memory clock
- PCI Express x16 interface
MSI R5604TPC RX 560 Review
The MSI RX 560 is one of the best budget graphics cards with a simple design and tiny size and has enough power to run the latest game titles smoothly. However, our premium pick is a bit over the $150 mark. Don’t worry though, as the price is often lowered and if you don’t want to get it for $160, it won’t be hard to wait out the discount.
Designed for gamers, this card uses the AMD FreeSync to deliver the most intuitive gaming experience you can get at that price point. It runs cool and quiet even when overclocked and handles your favorite AAA titles comfortably.
The MSI RX 560 comes packed with 16CUs – giving you enough ultra-resolution to manage 4K gaming titles with sharp images and no lag. It’s a low-profile card which means some space savings when setting up your gaming rig.
The RX 560 GPU boasts of a robust base and boost speeds at 1196 MHz max clocking, while the MSI Afterburn overclocking Utility allows you to adjust and customize in-game settings, monitor and regulate your fan speed, and record your best moments in-game.
The dualized fan design enables it to cover more surface area in the heatsink, ensuring faster cooling times while overclocking.
Overall, the MSI RX 560 is an excellent choice, and its power-efficiency and GDDR5 onboard video memory are just enough to make this one of the best AMD graphics cards when you’re on a budget.
Best Value: XFX AMD Radeon RX 550
Pros & Cons
- Supports modern media technologies
- Manages 4K video resolution
- Achieves smooth gaming using AMD’s FreeSync
- Can be efficiently overclocked
- Not a low-profile design
- XFX OC+ Capable
- XFX True Clock Technology
- Video Memory: 4GB GDDR5
- Memory Interface: 128-bit
- Size: 6.69 x 1.57 x 4.76 in
XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 Review
Power-wise, the XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 is a great gaming card. It is quite popular amongst eSport fans and handles titles such as League of Legends smoothly. Furthermore, if it was $10 cheaper, it’d be the best GPUs for gaming under $100 on the market.
The XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 has 512 stream processors, and whirrs along at a 1203 MHz base clocking. Its 4GB of GDDR5 memory at 128 -bit gives you rapid processing speeds – just enough horsepower for gaming.
The RX 550 is entirely powered via your motherboard’s PCIe slot, with no extra power cables required.
The high frame rates and resolution of the Sapphire RX 550 means you can push the GPU hard, supported by the proprietary AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive and FreeSync monitor.
AMD’s FreeSync enables choppy and stutter-free images, giving you a smooth and buttery visual experience. The RX 550 is an entry-level card that aims to punch way above its weight, packing an impressive array of features any gamer would love.
If you need a practical GPU, the XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 is built specifically for you – allowing you experience games 1080p gaming titles at 60 frame rates per seconds at affordable price points.
Best for HD: ZOTAC Gaming GeForceGTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR5
Pros & Cons
- Fits 99% of systems
- Can handle 4k
- Dual slot
- Typically for beginners
- Super compact
- 4K ready
- 4GB 128-bit GDDR5
- 12.99 x 9.25 x 0.24 in
- Boost Clock 1695 MHz
- Displayport 1.4, HDMI 2.0B, DL-DVI-D
ZOTAC Gaming GeForceGTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR5 Review
Designed with the new Turing architecture, the ZOTAC Gaming GeForceGTX 1650 allows you to play graphics intensive games smoothly without much of a lag in performance or image quality.
The GeForceGTX 1650 doesn’t compromise on performance, its GDDR5 128-bit memory with 4GB RAM enables you to play intensive game titles at medium to high frame rates and medium settings. It also 4K ready and is PCI bud powered.
It’s designed to fit 99% of systems, making it super compact. When it comes to ports, it has Displayport 1.4, HDMI 2.0B and DL-DVI-D.
This card is an excellent graphics card under $200 for gamers looking to get a graphics card that is 4k ready and compact with most systems for a decent price.
Best Cheap Pick: MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GB GDRR3
Pros & Cons
- It has HDCP support
- Microsoft DirectX 12 compatible
- It has a 2560 x 1600p VGA Max resolution
- Nvidia Adaptive VSync technology
- Has DVI, HDMI, and display ports
- Can struggle with games
- 4096 x 2160 maximum resolution HDMI
- 64-bit memory interface
- 2GB DDR3
- 5.8 x 0.8 x 2.7 inches
- Base Clock – 954 MHz
MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GB GDRR3 Review
A major positive of the MSI GPU is its compatibility across a wide variety of gaming titles. However, it does tend to struggle with gaming – but it’s a cheap graphics card if the price is a pain point for you. The ViewMax card comes with a 2GB GDDR3 onboard video memory and a 64-bit processor with a base clock of 954 MHz.
The MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GB GDRR3 is built with Nvidia’s Fermi architecture which comes packed with 192 processor cores. Nvidia’s adaptive Vsync technology also allows the GPU to render faster frame rates per second – giving you choppy-free images.
This card uses a passive cooling system – the heatsink and fan cooling system keep the temperature down while running at a minimal noise level.
Overall, the MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 is great for casual gaming and is a great value GPU.
Gigabyte GV-N1030OC-2GI Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 OC 2G
Pros & Cons
- The design should fit even small cases
- Excellent performance in eSports titles
- Manages temperatures well
- Limited VRAM at 2GB
- One-click super overclocking
- DX12 compatible
- 2GB GDDR5
- PCI Express 3.0 x8 connection
- Boost: 1544 MHz / Base: 1290 MHz in OC Mode
- Boost: 1518 MHz / Base: 1265 MHz in Gaming Mode
Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 Review
The Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 is an entry budget GPU that is perfect for less demanding game titles and casual gaming. It might struggle with graphics-intensive AAA game titles.
Its excellent performance to price ratio will keep you happy though. The Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 is built with high-quality chokes and capacitors, enabling the graphics card to deliver outstanding performance and a healthy lifespan.
The Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 is equipped with 2GB GDDR5 64-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 1290 MHz in OC mode, and 1265 MHz in gaming mode. The custom-designed 80mm unique-blade fan along with its 3D fan-stop functionality enables better cooling which leads to better performance running AAA titles.
When you’re playing games that aren’t as difficult for your PC to handle, the fans will remain idle. This will allow you to use your PC for work or other tasks without any background noise.
Graphics Cards for Gaming Under $150: Buying Guide
When shopping for the absolute best graphics card under $150 for your gaming rig, there are things you need to consider. Mainly hardware specs.
So, what is VRAM? While we go into more detail on that question in one of our other articles, I’ll give you a brief explanation. Basically, more VRAM means your PC (graphics card) can “remember” more visual data while you’re gaming.
Doesn’t make sense?
Let’s make it even simpler – more VRAM = better.
However, you should also consider the type of VRAM your GPU of choice has. For example, having 1 GB of GDDR5 is superior to 2 GB of GDDR4.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to purchase a piece of hardware that you can’t use because of literal physical obstacles. Because of this, you should first research your PC Case size, as well as motherboard compatibility.
Once you know what you need, feel free to explore all the GPUs within your compatibility range. In case you want to change everything up and build a whole new gaming rig, we suggest looking at our pick of the best PC gaming cases on the market.
Voltage – Required PSU Strength
Same as above, you might also run into some other incompatibilities if you suddenly decide to purchase GPU you haven’t researched. While the best PSUs for gaming all have tons of power to supply even the most demanding PCs, it might not be the case with your power supply.
In case you aren’t sure which PSU are you currently using, you may look at the specifications manual you got when you built your gaming rig. Alternatively, open the PC case and check the label on your power supply. Usually, it’s located somewhere on the sides. Once you know what model you’re using, jump over to our PSU tier list and look for detailed specifications.
Gaming GPUs Under $150: Frequently Asked Questions
Customers are often riddled by various questions that make them feel uncertain about the product they are buying. So, here are some questions you must consider when buying a graphics card under $150:
What Are the Best Processors to Use with GPUs Under $150?
Firstly, when thinking of processors for your gaming PC, there are only two companies worth your time; Intel and AMD.
Hold on – this ain’t some brand promotion, but they are damn good at what they do! Intel and AMD have some great options at the low end of their product lineup that ensures that setting up a budget gaming rig doesn’t mean a poor performing gaming rig.
Intel’s Core i5-9400F and AMD’s Zen+ Ryzen 5 2600 are some of the most affordable but powerful gaming processors you can use with your $150 GPUs. They support overclocking, and will allow you plenty of power to work with. Unfortunately, neither GPU comes with integrated graphics and will need dedicated cards.
Can GPUs Under $150 Run Games on High Settings?
Well… If it’s a non-demanding game title such as the Xonotic or Prison Architect, you should be able to play it in high settings, otherwise, sorry friend!
Most GPUs within this price range should comfortably play game titles at medium settings, but for anything higher than that, expect performance issues and freeze frames. You can, however, get titles such as League of Legends or Overwatch to run at playable framerates without freezing.
Whether you’re on a limited budget or are just exploring the possibilities on the GPU market, we hope we had contributed to making your search for the best graphics card under $150 easier.
Finally, if you could commit to a GPU that’s slightly more expensive but considerably more powerful, why not look into the best GTX 1060 cards on the market?