10 Best Graphics Card Under $300

Assembling a gaming PC isn’t a cheap business. A GPU is more often than not the most expensive component of a gaming rig, so it’s a matter of utmost importance to tame the price of the GPU itself in order to keep your rig under budget.

Every year, GPUs become better and better, thanks to tons of money spent on research and development.

In 2020, a mid-range GPU that costs $300 at most can run any modern AAA title on low to medium settings at playable framerates.

If you’re playing a less demanding game, such as Valorant, you can even expect over 100 frames on high settings.

If you plan to play old and outdated AAA titles such as Witcher III or GTA V, then a $300 GPU provides an excellent value for money.

Thanks to multiple producers and an ever-growing competitive market, there is a multitude of GPU models with the same chips produced by various manufacturers.

Each manufacturer adds their own small twist to their GPU and fine-tunes them. So you can expect a slight performance difference in an Nvidia GTX 1660 produced by Asus and the same card produced by MSI.

Here are our top 10 picks for the best graphics card under $300

List Of The Best Graphics Card Under $300

1. Gigabyte Radeon RX 5600 XT

Gigabyte Radeon RX 5600 XT

AMD is the king of the budget graphics card. The new AMD RX 5600 XT produced by renowned GPU manufacturer Gigabyte provides excellent value for money.

Released in early 2020, the Gigabyte Radeon RX 5600 XT is based on AMD’s 7 Nm RDNA chip with a core clock speed of 12000 MHz.

The 7 Nm architect is not quite power-hungry as other competitors and requires just 150Watts of power.

This particular model boasts a 6 GB GDDR6 video RAM, which is enough to take on any graphically demanding games at 1140p and 30+ FPS.

Additionally, you’ll find 3 display ports as well as an HDMI port for the output. AMD Freesync tech is pre-loaded on the card to reduce on-screen tear, given your monitor supports the said technology.

On Gigabyte’s part, they’ve added two signature Windforce fans which spin in the alternate directions, thus maximising the wind flow.

The size of the GPU measures in at 11”, which may not fit some compact cases. Overall, the Radeon RX 5600 XT provides a banger performance without a banger price tag.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1,200MHz
  • TFLOPS: 8.07
  • Memory: 6GB GDDR6
  • Memory Clock: 12 GHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 288 GB/s

2. MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060

MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060

The MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 is the only sub $300 graphics card in Nvidia’s new RTX line.

So if you’re looking for a GPU that supports ray tracing and your budget is fixed at $300, then the MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 is basically your only option.

Inside the card, you’ll find Nvidia’s RTX chipped factory overclocked by MSI. Out of the box, you’re looking at 1710 Boost Clock speed here.

The 6 GB GDDR6 memory runs the operations and it’s just as good to play AAA titles at 1440p.

The cherry on top of the cake is the ray tracing, however, you’ll have to bid farewell to higher framerates in order to get the ray tracing working on this budget card.

By the manufacturer MSI, you’ll find two fans with angled blades that improve the airflow. The fans themselves tend to get loud under heavy load in order to keep the chip cool.

There are four outputs, 3 Display Ports and an HDMI. To wrap it up, the MSI Geforce RTX 2060 is a capable premium mid-range graphics card with ray tracing support.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1,710MHz
  • TFLOPS: 7.18
  • Memory: 6GB GDDR6
  • Memory Clock: 14 GHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 336 GB/s

3. Sapphire Radeon RX 580

Sapphire Radeon RX 580

The Sapphire Radeon RX 580 is the cheapest GPU with 8 GB of video memory, thus again proclaiming AMD’s superiority in the budget graphics card memory.

The only sacrifice that you have to make for the 8 GB VRAM is the fact that the RX 580 uses old school GDDR5 memory as opposed to newer GDDR6 memory.

Unlike the more expensive Radeon 5600 and Radeon 5700 series, the Radeon RX 580 is built on the 4th Gen GCN graphics cores whereas the previously mentioned cards use the 7 Nm RDNA cores.

As a result, the power consumption with regards to performance is a bit higher at 185 watts compared to 150 watts.

Nonetheless, Sapphire has built an excellent card around the AMD chip.

The clock speeds can be boosted all the way up to 1366 Mhz and the card is loaded with AMD’s proprietary software such as the FreeSync, Eyefinity, and LiquidVR.

The LiquidVR ensures a stutter and lag-free gaming experience in virtual reality, basically FreeSync for VR.

On a strict budget, the Radeon RX 580 is a very powerful and capable GPU, especially for VR gaming.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1366 MHz
  • TFLOPS: 6.17
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 2000 Mhz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 256 GB/s

4. MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660

When it comes to the GPUs under $300, the Nvidia GTX 1660 is one of the most recommended cards on the market.

The GPU is based on Nvidia’s Pascal architecture, which makes it quite a power-efficient.

With 6 GB of GDDR5 video ram and a high clock speed of 1860 Mhz, the GTA 1660 powers a smooth and seamless gaming experience.

The performance is almost identical to that of the AMD Radeon RX 580.

MSI GTX 1660 features a particularly catchy design. The TORX 3.0 is an award-winning fan that cools down the GPU in a jiffy.

There’s a four-zone RBG lighting that looks particularly impressive in window cabinets.

The MSI afterburner app gives you complete information about your GPU in real-time and even allows you to overclock it.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1,860MHz
  • TFLOPS: 5
  • Memory: 6GB GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 8 GHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 192GB/s

5. EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB

EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB

We said that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 is one of the most recommended GPUs under the $300 price tag and, staying true to our word, we’ve got another GTX 1660 on our list.

That being said, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB is pretty different than the MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660.

For starters, the GTX 1660 Ti is slightly better than the GTX 1660, thanks to a higher base clock speed.

The memory clock, as well as the memory bandwidth, is higher on the Evga GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. While both of the 1660 cards house 6 GB of video RAM, the EVGA’s model features GDDR6 memory as opposed to the GDDR5 on MSI, granting it another lead in performance.

This particular model features a single fan which reduces the physical footprint of the GPU.

If you’re building a compact PC, build on a budget, then the EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is an excellent choice.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1,845MHz
  • TFLOPS: 5
  • Memory: 6GB GDDR6
  • Memory Clock: 12 GHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 288 GB/s

6. MSI Gaming Radeon RX 5500 XT

MSI Gaming Radeon RX 5500 XT

At the price tag of just $200, the Radeon RX5500 XT can triumph against a GPU that costs twice as much.

The RX 5500 XT is built on Radeon’s new RDNA architecture with 7 Nm cores. The boost clock goes all the way up to 1845 MHz with a staggering speed of 14 GB/s.

The 8 GB GDDR6 memory can run any game you throw at it at a smooth 1080p resolution

Since it’s manufactured by MSI, you’ll get all the good stuff that you find on MSI GPUs.

We’re talking about TORX 3.0 fans and MSI Afterburner to optimize, overview and overclock your GPU in real-time.

MSI has done a commendable job with cooling, featuring ample thermal pads 6mm copper heat pipes with direct contact.

Pair that with the 7 Nm chip that’s not quite power-hungry and you get an excellent GPU that doesn’t throttle even on heavy loads.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1,845MHz
  • TFLOPS: 5.19
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory Clock: 14 GHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 288 GB/s

7. XFX Radeon Rx 590 Fatboy Core Edition 8GB OC

XFX Radeon Rx 590 Fatboy Core Edition 8GB OC

First off, we’ve got give hats off to XFX for that name, ‘Fatboy’. The name itself inspires a portal of raw power and that’s exactly what the RX 590 is.

The latest addition to the AMD RX 500 line based on the Polaris GPU, is the RX 590.

It uses a 12 Nm chip as opposed to the 14 Nm chip on the RX580, so it’s more power-efficient.

However, the RDNA cores on AMD’s RX 5000 line retain the crown for the most power-efficient chip on a GPU.

The XFX Radeon RX 590 packs 8 GB of GDDR5 memory with 8Gbps speed, making it almost 12% faster than the RX 580 and almost 10% faster the GTX 1060, the predecessor of GTX 1660.

The Fatboy is a factory overclocked RX 590 that can churn out 16000 Mhz. XFX has made a custom cooling system for RX 590 that cools the VRAM, effectively increasing the performance on the overclocked GPU.

For a price tag under $200, it’s one of the fastest GPUs that you can get your hands on.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1,600MHz
  • TFLOPS: 7.1
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory Clock: 8 GHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 256 GB/s

8. ASUS ROG-STRIX-RX580-O8G-GAMING OC Edition GDDR5

ASUS ROG-STRIX-RX580-O8G-GAMING

The AMD Radeon RX 580 is AMD’s most popular GPU offering under the $300 price tag and Asus’ take on the card deserves its own mention.

A quick heads-up, the Asus ROG Strix RX580 costs almost $100 more than the Sapphire Radeon RX 580.

If you’re on a really really tight budget, then Asus’s asking price is not justified.

However, if there’s any liberality in your budget, the Asus is a worthy upgrade.

In terms of specs, it’s based on the GCN graphic cores with 8 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. The clock speed is slightly higher as well at 1380 Mhz.

The extra features offered by Asus is what justifies the $100 price bump as compared to Sapphire.

For starters, you get three Axial-tech Fans that Asus designed for their top of the line GPUs. The fan speeds can be toggled between quiet and performance as per your requirements.

Moreover, the fans completely shut down below the temperatures of 45 degrees, providing an extremely quiet gaming experience.

The Asus Aura lighting system allows you to customize the RGB lighting on the GPU, making it a top pick for window cabinets.

On top of everything, the companion software allows you to fine-tune everything.

ASUS ROG STRIX RX580 is the best graphics card under 300 dollars for a budget yet beautiful build.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: 1380 MHz
  • TFLOPS: 6.17
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 2000 Mhz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 256 GB/s

At such a constrained price range, it’s a wise idea to consider looking into the second-hand market as well.

Despite being outdated, they can perform head to head against any modern mid-range card, given that they are in their peak shape.

Take Nvidia’s GTX 1000 line for example. Those GPUs dominated the market with their fiery performance, but since they’re discontinued, you can find an excellent deal on refurbished or used models.

If you’re lucky, you can even score a new unused GTX 1000 series card in the clearing.

The best way to assure the quality and condition of a second-hand GPU is to purchase one from a verified retailer or get it certified from a local computer expert.

The availability and prices of the exact GPU models will differ from market to market, but here are the best-used graphics card under 300 dollars.

9. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070

The Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 was the perfect harmony of budget and performance. Based on the Pascal architecture, the GPU boasts a boost clock speed of up to 1873 Mhz, depending on the built.

The boost clock is paired with 8 GB GDDR5 VRAM with the 2002 MHz Memory clock.

In 2020, it can handle the modern AAA titles at 1440p at playable framerates. You can always turn down the resolution to 1080p in favor of better frame rates.

4K can give the card a tough time as it wasn’t built to support that resolution but, on the flip side, the GTX 1070 is VR ready.

At the time of writing this article in 2020, a used Zotac GTX 1070 was on sale for $289 on Amazon while numerous listing of refurbished GTX 1070 was available on New Egg.

Related Read:

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: Up to 1873 MHz
  • TFLOPS: 6.46
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 2000 Mhz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 256.3 GB/s

10. MSI Radeon VEGA 56 Air Boost

AMD Radeon VEGA 56

Just like the GTX 1070, the Radeon VEGA 56 is AMD’s second most powerful GPU of the last generation.

The specs as well as the performance is comparable to the Zotac GTX 1070. Based on the 14 Nm GCN architecture, the vega 56 features a boost clock speed of up to 1611 Mhz paired with 8 GB of HBM2 video memory.

You can expect similar performance as the GTX 1070, so the Vega 56 can easily handle AAA titles of 2020.

At the time of writing this, a refurbished MSI Radeon VEGA 56 is listed on New Egg for $299. That being said, you’d find a lot less VEGA 56 GPUs in the second-hand market as compared to its GTX counterpart.

The sole reason for this the fact that Nvidia dominated the last generation of GPU market.

Technical Specifications

  • Clock Speed: Up to 1575 MHz
  • TFLOPS: 6.46
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 800 MHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 410 GB/s

Conclusion

From one video game connoisseur to another, we understand how important a smooth, lag-free and high-resolution performance of a game is. You don’t need a hefty debt on your head to enjoy video games. Thus, any of the above-mentioned modest yet powerful GPUs can play pretty much any game in 2020 at 1080p and at least 30 FPS.

That being said, do not pour all your money into the GPU. An ideal gaming rig depends on just as much on CPU, memory, and proper cooling as it does on GPU. So budget your rig accordingly and once you’re all set, GAME ON!

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