Graphics card is the heart of any gaming rig. A slow GPU can make you mad as hell, and a powerful GPU can uplift your gaming experience to a next level. But the prime factor that determines what type of GPU you’ll get is ‘Money!’ To make sure you don’t break the bank when it comes to gaming, we had to dig down through all the benchmarking, 3D tests and gauged the performance of all the latest games to let you know the best graphics card under $100. We have reviewed a series of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia to find the best-budgeted video card. In this article, we will be discussing all the points that will help you in finding the best GPU for gaming at a fair cost.
Can I Even Get One of The Best Graphics Card Under 100 Dollars? – Here’s A Good News!
Usually, the concept is that the more money you invest in building your gaming rig, the better it will be. But is it truly the case? Well, we do not deny the fact that the more, the merrier, but…you should know exactly which configuration would work; otherwise, we mostly observe that people spend thousands of dollars but end up building a gaming rig which could have been better build in half the price.
So, YES! If you know what won’t bottleneck the gaming performance of your machine, you can have even the best graphics card under $100 for yourself just by giving a little time to research.
See, we all want to play our favorite games smoothly while enjoying the fine details in the game. Perhaps you aren’t satisfied with your old graphics card anymore. Or, you simply want to get a graphics card without actually having to spend too much on it. Whatever the case may be, you are at the right place, because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will discuss best graphics card under 100 dollars, to help you choose the right beast of a GPU for your gaming machine.
Best Graphics Card Under $100 In 2018 – The Top 5 GPU Picks
Since AMD and NVIDIA manufacture one of the best graphics cards for gaming, we will be reviewing only them. So, these graphics cards are a worthy investment as they represent the perfect combination of good quality and a reasonable price. So here are our best GPU under 100 dollars pick that you may consider checking:
- Nvidia MSI GeForce GT 730 2GB
- Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 by Gigabyte
- MSI AMD Radeon R7 240 2GB
- AMD Radeon MSI R6450 2GD3H LP
- AMD Radeon R7 250 by Asus
Other than above-listed options, we have some good names to add here if you can stretch your budget to a few more dollars:
- Nvidia GeForce GT 740 by EVGA
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 by MSI
- AMD Radeon RX 460 Windforce 4GB
Review of the Cheap Gaming Graphics Card
Finding the best $100 graphics card can be difficult. Our editors have reviewed both Nvidia and AMD ranges to find out which one is ideal with respect to your gaming needs. So let’s find out!
1. Nvidia GeForce GT 730 by EVGA – High-Rated Graphics Card for Gaming Under $100
With this, we open our discussion of Nvidia graphics cards. GT 730 is one of their older models (this might be an understatement), but for somebody looking for a budget graphics card under 100 dollars, it’s good enough. The card comes in four iterations, but the one we’re presenting has 4GB DDR3 Ram and is clocked at 902 MHz, with memory speed being clocked at 1.8 GHz. The card can be used to play some mid-range games, with its performance significantly dropping when high-end games are concerned, or high resolutions. This is not a dedicated gaming card by today’s standard, so don’t expect too much out of it. The card supports DirectX12 and has an HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI connectors. GT 730 is programmed to deliver quality performance at a reasonable price; hence it is considered to be as the best video card under 100 dollars that you can buy.
|Clocked at||902 MHz|
- 4Gb RAM
- Fairly fast base speed
- 384 cores
- FHD resolution supported
- Only good for mid-range games
2. Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 by Gigabyte – High-Performance Best 100 Dollars Graphics Card
Nvidia has a series of feature-packed GPUs for gaming that suits with everyday gamers decide. Although the GTX 1030 series may be the lowest-spec graphics card in the GTX 10 series, by no measures, it compromises on performance. The Gigabyte GTX 1030 model is unified with a 2GB GDDR5 64-bit memory. This best cheap graphics card enables gamers to play more demanding games at reduced frame rates and settings. The GTX 1030 supports HDMI 4K at 60 Hz and comes with 6008 MHz memory speed.
GTX 1030 has 2GB of RAM and comes with a coprocessor that enables the GPU to work with a 300W power supply. This best graphics card for under 100 dollars is a perfect choice for gamers who want to get rid of low-profile graphics card and are tight on budget.
|Memory Bus Width||64 bits|
- Play new games in low & medium settings
- Decent 2GB RAM
- Minimal use of power
- Not noisy
- Typically for beginners
3. AMD Radeon R7 240 – Best Budget Graphics Card Under 100 Dollars
The AMD best graphics card under 100 is here. This graphics card is powered by AMD Radeon R7 240 GPU and has 2GB DDR3, allowing you to enjoy your favorite games such as Minecraft, CSGO, Battlefield 4, and Rocket League, on 720p. In addition, these games will be played smoothly, without any lag. Clearly, this model is not suitable if you want to play games on high settings.
The unit features a large fan, so as to keep an optimal temperature level. With 13 x 9.3 x 2.3 inches and 2 pounds, the card takes up an average amount of space that cards of this performance normally do. Overall, this model is an excellent choice for any gamer who plays casual games and doesn’t aim for a high-performance graphics card.
|Memory||2048MB DDR3 memory|
|Memory Interface||128 bit|
|Clocked At||900 MHz(Std 780 MHz)|
|System Power Supply Requirement||400W|
- Large & Quiet Fan
- Perfect for playing online games
- No frame drops observed on medium settings
- Noticed Low FPS on high settings
4. AMD Radeon MSI HD 6450 – Best GPU For Gaming Under 100 Dollars
Another AMD manufactured graphics card that hit our list is the HD 6450 series. It is the best gaming card under 100 for anyone looking for a replacement of a low-profile graphics card. The Radeon 6450 series comes with 2GB. Its engine clock speed is at 625 MHz and memory clock at 1066 MHz. While comparing different graphics card, we found that this GPU under 100 is far better from other available options. AMD 6450 is compatible with all Windows and Linux flavor, and it is recommended to use this GPU with a 400W power supply or greater.
As a low-range GPU, AMD Radeon MSI HD 6450 is considered to be as a decent option that you may buy to build your gaming PC.
|Memory||2048MB DDR3 memory|
|Memory Interface||64 bit|
|Clocked At||1066 MHz|
|System Power Supply Requirement||400W or greater|
- Linux and Windows compatibility
- No noise
- The high-performance video card on a budget
- Enables to run games on older computers
- No driver updates and support
5. AMD Radeon R7 250 by Asus – Recommended Graphics Card for Under $100
For our fifth and final graphics card under 100, we have another R7 series product. The 250 is the next product in line from R7 240. Radeon 250 is a solid graphics card if you’re shooting under 100 dollars and can perform very well at high resolutions. The card features 384 stream processors and clocks at 1.05 GHz. The best thing about it is that you can just plug it in the PCI Express 16x bus socket and forget. The card requires no additional power connections. The device can even run Crysis 3, although at about 30 fps, on medium settings and 1280×720 resolution. Still, considering how much of a hog Crysis games are, this is an impressive result.
|Interface||PCI Express x16, 3.0|
|Memory||1 GB DDR5|
|Memory Interface||128 bit|
- Doesn’t require additional power connections
- 128-bit memory interface
- DDR5 RAM
- Dust-proof fan
- DirectX 12 compatible
- FPS dropped on high resolutions
Other Budgeted NVIDIA Graphics to Buy – GPUs Above $100
Well, NVIDIA sure has some great video cards inventory. We have already mentioned some of the best graphics cards under 100 by Nvidia. While doing the review of $100 graphics card, we found some great options that are little above 100 dollars, so we thought of recommending those also. So, continue reading and find some of the best GPUs for gaming at a reasonable budget.
6. NVIDIA GeForce GT 740 by EVGA – Recommended Budget Graphics Card That Costs “A Little Over $100”
Our next GeForce is the next in line from 730. GeForce 740 sacrifices something of the memory to fit a DDR5 RAM. This might seem like so-so trade-off at first, but, believe us, it’s more than worth it, and especially considering this device is on this list.
Note: EVGA GT 740 costs around $130 to $150, but considering it’s a super-clocked version, it’ll run most of the top game titles smoothly.
The DDR5 RAM enables the card to run higher-end games at 30 fps at 1680×1050 resolution, which is a significant benchmark for such a card. On top of that, the device has very high base clock speed, clocking at 1033MHz, with 5GHz memory speed. It’s got 32 texture units and 384 steam processors.
|Interface||PCI Express x16, 3.0|
|Memory||2 GB DDR5|
|Memory Speed||5000 MHz|
|Base clock||1085 MHz|
- Excellent base clock
- DDR5 RAM (2GB)
- PCI-E 3.0 interface
- Plays higher-end games at 30 FPS
- Can achieve 30 FPS only on smaller resolutions
7. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 By MSI – A Powerful Graphics That Would Cost “A Little Over $100”
Finally, we come to the absolute best budget video card. The Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti is only a shy away from the state-of-the-art 1080, but, because it’s dated, its price dropped significantly, allowing the gamers on a budget to gain access to it.
Note: The Price of GeForce GTX 1050 MSI Would Fluctuate Between $130 to $165, and if you can increase your budget a little more, this top graphics card worth your every cent.
This graphics card features 768 shader processors and 48 texture fillers. Its base clock is clocked at 1290 MHz, which is slightly slower than 1050, its brother, and has as much RAM (2GB) at the same memory speed (1752 MHz). The card is using DDR5 memory. This card is capable of running even the best games at decent framerates and graphics quality.
|Interface||PCI Express 3.0|
|Memory Speed||1752 MHz|
|Base clock||1290 MHz|
- Can run high-end games at decent FPS.
- Solid base clock and memory speed
- 768 processors
- DDR5 graphics
- Experienced a little lag at high settings
Other Cheap AMD Graphics to Buy – GPU for Gaming Above $100
These are the most elegant models from AMD that are both in a budget and perfect to cater your gaming needs. What we are going to recommend now is a bit over $100 but trust us they are worth checking if you want to boost gaming experience at a reasonable budget.
8. RX 460 4GB – Top Quality Graphics Card Under $100
This model is also one of the best graphics cards that you can buy. This graphics card is efficient and powerful, and a smart investment as an entry-level card. You can play games like Hitman and Doom, without any problem, because the card is fast. What makes this unit stand out from its competitors is the TDP. It is only 75 watts, so it doesn’t require a powerful wattage power supply. In fact, it is powered via the PCIeX16 slot.
With 4GB and a 128-bit memory interface, this card can handle 1080p high settings. It comes with a single fan that will do the cooling job properly. But, for the downsides, this GPU’s drivers tend to crash from time to time. Also, the frame rate will drop on high resolutions.
|Clocked At||1212 MHz|
- Plenty of memory
- High boost clock speed
- Runs on DirectX12
- Twin fans for cooling
- Supports UHD & HEVC coding
- The Stock Card’s driver is a bit glitchy
- Frame rate drops on very high resolutions
Radeon RX 460 can be considered as the best budget video card, but it’s a bit pricey if compared to other budgeted AMD GPUs. With 4GB memory and several other attributes, this gaming video card is worth buying.
NVIDIA VS AMD – Which Graphics Card Brand Is Best?
As you probably already know, NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards are the most popular choices among gamers all over the world, with good reasons. However, it is impossible to say which name is the better one, since both offer great graphics cards. So, it is completely up to you which one you will opt for, once you read why we love them.
Both names offer reasonably priced graphics cards, ideal for gamers on a budget. But we think NVIDIA is slightly better in terms of the price and a better performance.
Which One Has The Best Software Features?
When it comes to supporting software front, both names have solid offerings. While Nvidia graphics cards allow you to record videos in the game with a handy Shadowplay feature and gives the possibility of joining co-op games with ease, AMD’s Gaming Evolved Software now also gives similar options, thanks to its improved construction.
Nvidia offers fast and efficient parts and comes with automatic driver updates. AMD’s Crimson drivers also do a great job. So, as you can see, both names are great; thus it is a matter of preference which one you will love more. And our list below will help you decide that, so let’s look at which graphics cards we will be writing about.
What To Look for When Buying Best Video Card For Gaming Under $100?
Naturally, you have to know certain things about graphics cards before opting for a particular model. So, we have this short buyer guide for you, to help you get the best graphics card for gaming under 100.
- Buy What You Need
Clearly, the first thing you should do is think about what you really need out of a graphics card. Tell us, wouldn’t be ridiculous to buy a graphics card only to find out that it cannot handle your games? So, be smart and first, decide what you need your graphics card for. Do you need it only for light games, or for those more demanding? Do you want to watch HD movies and videos? When you answer these questions, then, you will know how powerful graphics card you should buy.
One of the most important features you need to pay attention to is RAM. Meaning, how much memory a graphics card has in order to perform well. As you can guess, the more is better in this case, since a graphics card will make more computations so that you will get much better graphics for your games. But what you need to keep in mind when choosing the ideal amount of RAM is actually the type of RAM. In short, DDR3 RAM is well-known in the world of high-performance graphics, so go with it.
There are two types of coolers when speaking of graphics cards – reference and non-reference. But first, let’s talk about the way of how graphics cards are sold and modified, in order to understand these coolers. Famous manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD produce graphics cards and then sell them to users and other companies. Well, these companies then modify the cards in order to sell their own models. The graphics cards that are sold by big names like AMD and Nvidia are called reference while modified cards sold from companies are cold non-reference. Reference cards look ordinary and do what supposed to do. They have a single fan offset on one side, sending the air out of the computer case, and that’s pretty much it. Non-Reference coolers are more effective since they feature two fans, blowing the air from the card, then inside of the computer case. Meaning, the emphasis will be put on a cooling system for the computer to keep an optimal temperature.
- FPS – Frame rate
The frame rate in a game refers to how fast images and movements will be produced. For example, when there are low frame rates in your game, you won’t be able to game properly. The screen will freeze every once in a while, and movements might be jumpy, hindering your game. So, when it comes to the frame rate, more is definitely better.
- Durability of the Graphics Card
The best video card under 100 should be able to last for two years, without decreasing its performance and speed. However, the performance is not the only thing that matters. Meaning a good graphics card needs to be well-built in order to do its job accordingly. Temperature matter and power draw will either make or break your graphics card lifespan. However, since in this article, we are talking about some of the best graphics cards under $100, no need to worry about that. But we still want to point out that Nvidia is the leader as far as power is concerned.
So, Done Picking The Best Graphics Card Under $100?
We have listed some of the best gaming graphics cards under 100 based on the things we mentioned in buyers guide, so rest assured that you will get the best and the latest models only. Well, that would be all we have to say about the best budget graphics card under 100.
We believe that this guide would help you find the right thing for your gaming rig, for a great gaming experience. Whichever model you choose, just make sure to know whether it’s better synced with your current computer configurations; otherwise, you might end up spending money on a wrong graphics card.