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If you plan to play old and outdated AAA titles such as Witcher III or GTA V, then a $300 GPU provides an excellent value for money.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 its own small twist to its 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
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.
First off, we’ve got to 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 than 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.
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 are 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 fewer VEGA 56 GPUs in the second-hand market as compared to its GTX counterpart.
The sole reason for this is the fact that Nvidia dominated the last generation of the GPU market.
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 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!