Today, as prices fall and standards rise, a powerful graphics card is also vital to functioning as a digital creative under today’s technological conditions.
Even your mid-range laptops now come with better GPUs than their desktop counterparts, so there is no excuse for not using one. When tech continues to change at a fantastic rate, a great old GPU remains a staple.
Today, we do not have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to get decent performance. Although you might dream about an RTX card that is going to offer you a month’s rent, it is not the only option.
If you do animation, design, play games, or watch 4K movies, a cheaper card can give you some great power and functionality. If you aren’t living under a rock, you probably already know this information.
In this column, we’ll examine this season’s best graphics cards under $100. We reviewed cards from various manufacturers, each offering various specs and abilities, so you can see just what GPUs under $100 has to offer. Let’s give those fans a spin!
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10 Best Graphics Card Under $100 | Top Picks
1. MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GB
2. NVIDIA GeForce GT 10 30 OC 2GB
3. ZOTAC GeForce GT 730 Zone Edition 4GB
4. EVGA GeForce GT 10 30 SC 2GB
5. ASUS AMD Radeon R-7 250 1GB
6. ViewMax GeForce GT 740 4GB
7. MSI AMD Radeon R7240 2GB
8. ASUS Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
9. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 2GB
10. ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 560 4GB
This GT 710 2-GB card from MSI Gaming, which costs less than $100, supports 1440p. It’s a great card for such an affordable price, and one you would have paid about four times as much for two decades ago.
Moreover, it features Afterburner Overclocking capabilities, 2GB RAM, Direct X 12, and a 954 MHz core, making it great for designing or gaming at a decent level.
With sufficient RAM, an SSD, and a good CPU, you’ll be able to take your setup to the next level. It’s a straightforward, well-rounded card that won’t frustrate you.
Despite its small size, it has incredible power, and at less than twice the purchase price of the MSI GT 710, it offers excellent value for your money.
While small in size, the GT 10-30 has a lot of awesome features that you wouldn’t expect from a charge card. This is why we’ve selected it for our favorite GPU Under $100 for gaming. A few of these features include one-click overclocking, full 4K / 60Hz resolution, two gigs of GDDR5 RAM, and a whole host of tweaks and tweaking through the enclosed command center.
The card consumes almost no power, running only from a 300-350W power supply, and uses fans that are silent and powerful. It makes a great purchase if you are looking to improve your gaming rig on a budget. Additionally, it may perform well in games that don’t require much of a drop in image quality.
Among the best GPUs under $100 for cartoon gaming, the ZOTAC GeForce GT 730 Zone Edition is the best choice. It is a budget-friendly GPU that offers both good performance and decent functionality. Since it has a very small form factor composed mostly of its heatsink (there is no fan on this card), it is crucial to make sure your case has adequate cooling before trying to build this creature.
While the GT 730 4GB has some great features, it lacks performance when compared to newer, more similar cards on the market. Some of these features include full 4K quad-HD resolution, requiring just 25 watts of power (meaning you can connect it easily to a 300W power source), and having a very low profile form factor.
Although this is a 4GB card, the memory card and the processor are a little slower with this card than a 2GB GDDR5 card. This card might be old and in the process of becoming obsolete. But if you are just starting with a picture card and are not using another one, or you have a card that performs worse than that one, the upgrade does not seem worth it at all.
This GeForce GT 1030 SC is a wonderful graphics card from EVGA, and although it just about hits the $100 price mark, you won’t find a card that gives you greater performance for the same price. Several of the features included with the card include a good piece of memory that is fast, a more-than-decent clock, as well as NVIDIA support, such as GPU Boost 3.0 and Vulkan API.
A part of NVIDIA’s foray into 3D gaming has integrated 3D gaming support and is designed to use 3D. Even though 3D gaming has not yet taken off as expected, this build still produces an ideal card for standard gaming, including animation. You could use this card for video editing and rendering with the speed of a great CPU.
Despite its modest price point, this card has enough power for a reasonable price. It can also be used for a multitude of other tasks like gaming, video editing, and even virtual reality.
There’s nothing special about this small 1GB graphics card from Asus, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t enjoyable to use. It’s affordable yet very powerful and suited for modern gaming and cartoon integration. It doesn’t claim to be the fastest or the most powerful card you can buy for under $100, but it is one of the most reliable and dependable models around.
Asus’s Radeon R7 250 has 1GB of DDR5 Ram, supports 2K resolution and DirectX 1.2, and incorporates a PCI-E 3.0 connector with a low profile shape, and dust-proof fan extends the life by up to 25%.
Asus provides their signature one-touch gaming booster and ASUS’ GPU Tweak II, so you can customize performance and capacities on the fly and their signature one-touch gaming booster to get a quick boost in performance and handling.
The performance is phenomenal, and the card is a great deal of fun to use, so it’s perfect if you need a cheap, powerful card without too many frills, and the quality is outstanding.
The buying process for a relatively new or unknown graphics card can be stressful because just a few titans dominate all the market for graphics cards. Because of this, many will choose not to buy graphics cards they don’t recognize.
However, the ViewMax GeForce GT 740 is just one card that defies all these expectations. With an excellent NVIDIA chipset and outstanding specs, it is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t always stick to what you know best.
This card features 4GB of high-speed RAM, as well as full DirectX and OpenGL support, in addition to all common output types in 4K Total Quad-HD resolution.
With these features, in addition to the specifications, this card boasts the maximum functionality on its budget-constrained build. It would have been our choice for the best graphics card for gaming had they included one-click overclocking and GDDR5 RAM.
These features and support ensure that the card won’t soon be obsolete or cease to be capable of keeping up with new advancements in gaming, cartoon, and design/video editing. This is the best all-round booster you can get at this price point if you need a strong, standard upgrade for your overall operation.
We chose this card because we discovered that it is crossfire compatible — AMD’s equivalent of NVIDIA’s SLI. This enables two of the cards to be used in tandem as one single picture unit.
These days, many people use crossfire or SLI for distinct reasons, taking advantage of a few better performances. However, none of the other GPUs on the list had crossfire or SLI, so that one stuck.
I like the fact that it’s got a decent amount of RAM and a fast enough processor for medium-to-high power tasks. It’s also pretty great for video editing, and one can even use it for the strange render.
If you are going to run a crossover pair of cards, make sure to do your research on optimizing the cards better without sacrificing any performance. Crossfire and SLI are becoming more powerful but don’t offer all the benefits a special GPU offers.
If you’re looking for flexibility or versatility or already have one and need a jump in operation but don’t wish to upgrade, this is a great card to choose.
With a price tag of just under $150, this ASUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti quadruples your gaming experience, and if necessary, it is also absolutely worth the additional money.
The card is of great value, and the specifications are super high for a card for its price. It will make your gaming, animation, or any further visual experience a lot better.
These GTX 1050 graphics cards come with 4GB of high-speed RAM running at 1290MHz, so you’ll get awesome, high-speed performance out of them. The build quality is a robust metal alloy, with dual-ball posture fans designed to operate more slowly and last longer.
Effortlessly run in a mere 300W power supply, three displays can be used simultaneously, and it keeps up to 50% cooler than previous designs.
You can upgrade to this card with the help of ASUS’ included software for a highly effective upgrade, and with the tweaks, you can alter your GPU’s settings to what you need in any given situation.
Just a slight downgrade from the ASUS GTX 1050 we mentioned above, this card has a cheaper price point and half the RAM but still outperforms most of the $100 cards on our list.
This is a pretty good mid-range purchase for the price that allows you enough flexibility to squeeze some extra performance out of it.
With its 2048MB of GDDR5 high-speed memory, it clocks in at approximately 1400MHz without the need to boost (that would bring it up to approximately 1500MHz). Furthermore, it supports up to three magnets in multi-view mode.
Overall, you can get an excellent computer gaming card that can surely help you with features such as animation, video editing, music, and design. It’s a useful purchase in case you need to try staying close to the hundred dollar mark; nonetheless, you have a few extra dollars to pay.
With over 1 million units sold, the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 560 remains one of the most desired graphics cards on the market today. It is an amazing value for money, a perfect upgrade in any personal computer system for gamers of any skill level.
It also features ASUS’s AuraSync Colour technology, which lets you sync your picture card light using any ASUS components in your system. This makes it possibly one of the cheapest custom-lit cards in the industry.
The DirectCU II fan technology provides a much quieter cooling system option that is 30% more resistant and more 3x quieter than previous ASUS models. This is exceptionally good for those who like to use their computers on desks but are bothered by constant white noise in one ear.
With a resolution of 5K, you can easily run three displays with it, making it a good choice if you plan on running a multi display and want good performance. This card’s ability requirements are a little higher than those of the others on this particular list, with a minimum power supply of 400W, but that’s not a lot of sacrifice for such a well-performing card.
I would recommend this GPU to anyone who is looking for a general upgrade, something with pretty lights, or who doesn’t mind giving up an 8K display for a small price drop.
How to Choose the Best Graphics Card for Under $100
It is not hard to find a good graphics card under $100, and we all believe we’ve proven this with all the varied lists we’ve published. But it is still tough to decide which of these is the right one for you.
There are many factors, including your existing computer specifications, your work, and how much you’re willing to spend over the $100 range. Here’s just a little buyer’s guide for picking the best graphics card under $100.
In selecting from the very long list of GPUs available, which are all relatively similar in terms of abilities and performance, there are certainly many things that will have to be considered. Following are some suggestions we’ve compiled in an order that eliminates graphics cards that won’t work for you, leaving you with an elegant collection of cards customized to your needs, from which you can still choose.
The sizing standards of these GPUs, such as ATX motherboards or even low-profile cases, can be the most important determining factor in choosing a GPU under $100. The feeling is terrible when you come home from the store to your new set of technician upgrades, only to discover that it does not fit on your setup. At the store, make sure you have your case’s dimensions and connector types readily available to steer clear of mistakes that may ruin your whole setup.
While it’s likely the readers of this list will use a power supply with a 300-350W power supply, and it’s unlikely they’ll use a power supply smaller than that nowadays, it’s still another factor to double-check. In the case of a very basic low power supply, you might even have to shop around for a deal to buy a new PSU and GPU together at a discount rate.
Cooling, Fans, and Noise
For most of us, a small amount of fan noise is just a worthwhile tradeoff for an upgrade in performance, and most graphics cards look trendy with a quiet fan at around 30%-50% speed.
However, some people are costlier and require silent. Other graphics cards may not come with a fan, but instead, only a heat sink. This, of course, requires you to properly ventilate your computer, ensuring there is no place for heat or dust to build up.
If you have an old i3 chip with no RAM, you won’t get much of a performance boost from an RTX card, even if you go the higher end route. With modular PCs, we’re trying to eliminate the bottlenecks.
Finally, You’ll probably want to think about these other things in a less-pressing way:
- Manufacturer or brand
- Does the card have a nice warranty?
- How many screen outputs does the card have
- What’s the maximum resolution?
Thus, you upgraded your graphics card, but you still aren’t seeing just as much of a performance boost as others have experienced? It could be several factors — including system optimization and age –, but most likely, there is something else wrong with your system.
SSDs may be more expensive than CPUs or GPUs, but they are crucial to an upgrade because they allow your system to perform faster, to an extent. They eliminate bottlenecks related to storage, making it possible for you to expand outwards more rapidly and more accurately.
If you feel like your computer is starting to slow down, you might want to upgrade RAM and the SSD rather than upgrading the GPU. If it has 8GB, don’t add 4GB more for 12GB, and instead, just match the existing 8GB to make it up to 16GB.
Then there is the possibility that your chip, the head of the computer, is the problem. If this is the case, you’ll have to replace your entire motherboard and reinstall your operating system if you’re upgrading your processor. The process is lengthy and exhausting, but it is worth every penny if you have exhausted all other options before. Also, it feels great to start with a fresh, clean, new system.
For a CPU upgrade, we’d suggest upgrading an upgrade kit with a motherboard, CPU, and RAM since you’ll have far fewer headaches hoping to locate the right parts along with saving a few bucks here and there.
Now you should know more than enough about graphics cards and how they work to make a good choice. There’s a great one here, and we hope your updated system offers you an increased level of speed, visuals, and (hopefully) productivity.
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