Best Budget Graphics Cards (2021): 7 Solid GPUS Under $200

When building a PC, we all know that a graphics card (GPU) plays a vital role. Responsible for ensuring our games run smoothly and enjoying good quality graphics while we game or steam movies, we all seek the best GPU we can get our hands-on. 

But finding the right one is tricky. Especially these days when there’s a shortage of GPUs and the prices are skyrocketing. Those of us on a budget find ourselves excluded from good quality gaming, destined to stare in disbelief at the price of GPUs. 

We wonder if there will ever be a way for me to have an affordable GPU that will allow me to play games at a better resolution? Well, what if we told you there is a way?

That’s right, we have scoured the market, done our research, and are proud to bring you the best budget graphics cards of 2021! Setting ourselves a tight $200 budget, we have tracked down and tested the best GPUUs to ensure your gaming can reach new levels. 

Best Budget Graphics Cards (2021): 7 Solid GPUS Under $200

So whether you are on a tight budget, starting out, or want to upgrade your old and outdated GPU, we have the graphics card for you! We will walk you through our choices, tell you why they made the cut, and what performance you can expect to help make your decision today! 

What does a $200 GPU get me?

Before we get into our choices, let’s just cover briefly what a $200 GPU gets you. You need to be realistic about the quality and performance of the card before going any further. You aren’t going to be able to game in Ultra-4K and enjoy mesmerizing and lifelike graphics; that is out of this budget. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy gaming! A graphics card at this price point will allow you to play any game on a 1080P monitor! Depending on your choice, you can enjoy games on medium settings (especially demanding games) or look at GPUs designed to upgrade older systems. 

These GPUs will allow you to enjoy your games without splashing the cash! You can expect good graphics and fast response times, but remember to be realistic about what you are getting for your money. 

Our Picks 

Let’s get straight into it and look at our best picks for budget GPUs! All graphics cards today are within budget, but be mindful that the price of GPUs can fluctuate.

Especially currently, there is a silicone shortage, meaning parts aren’t being made as quickly, causing prices of some computer components to rise. 

If you struggle to find a GPU within your budget, it’s always worth considering purchasing it. They will often be of excellent quality and save you some money, especially if you are building or updating your PC on a budget. 

Let’s take a look at those GPUs!

Best Budget GPU: Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT

After the best GPU you can get for your money? Look no further than Gigabyte’s RX 5500 XT GPU! At the time of writing it’s the best you can get for your money and it is sure not to disappoint you. 

You get a dual-fan configuration to keep your GPU cool and from overheating. The Windforce 2X does its job well, and you won’t need to worry too much about rising temperatures in your PC. 

Thanks to the dual fans, the GPU is a bit long (8.9-inches), so make sure you measure your PC to ensure there’s plenty of room. Those with small form-factor PCs should be in luck here!

It also has a 1647MHz base clock, making it the most powerful on today’s list! It can even be boosted to 1845MHz, allowing you to run more demanding games without too much stress. With that speed and power, you get 8GB of VRAM to ensure that your games run smoothly and lag is minimized as much as possible. 

So how does it perform? Well, it can handle virtually any game on 1080P with no issues. Most games should run at this resolution on medium settings. Less demanding games should run without needing to adjust your settings too. 

You can expect fast graphics and excellent performance with this graphics card without needing to spend a fortune! Why not get it today?

Stats to know: 

  • AMD Chipset 
  • 1647MHz clock
  • 8GB VRAM 
  • Dual WINDFORCE fans
  • 8.6-inches long
  • 450W PSU
  • Radeon Image offers enhanced graphics

Runner Up GPU: Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 

If the 5500XT is a little too pricey for you, then pick up our runner-up, the Radeon RX 580! The GPU has been on the market for a few years now and has built itself a reputation as a fantastic budget option for gamers. 

It’s another long GPU, measuring 9.1 inches long, but comes packed full of features you will love! You get two WINDFORCE cooling fans to prevent overheating, as well as 8GB of VRAM. 

The GPU is a little less powerful than our top pick. You get a 1355MHz clock rate that can be overclocked to 1340MHz when gaming. Although the stats are lower, the performance isn’t too different. 

You will still be able to game at 1080P resolution with ease. You might need to adjust some of your games to run on lower settings, but non-demanding games will run fine. You shouldn’t notice much of a drop either when adjusting the settings, so you can simply enjoy your gaming experience. 

The RX 580 does require a 500W power supply, so make sure that your PC can handle it before purchasing. Be sure to check that it’s compatible with your other components to avoid any disappointment when purchasing. 

You can enjoy customizable color lighting on the GPU, too, which stands out well in any case that features a glass side panel. It’s a little cheaper than our top pick, and with a slight difference in performance, it’s certainly an option for those on a budget to consider! 

Stats to know: 

  • 1340MHz clock 
  • 8GB of VRAM 
  • 500W PSU 
  • AMD chipset 
  • Dual WINDFORCE fans 
  • 9.1 inches long 
  • Customizable RGB lighting

Best Entry Level GPU: XFX Radeon RX 550

For those after their first GPU or an entry-level one for a first-time PC build, you can’t go wrong with the RX 550! It’s affordable and is certainly the best for those that want an under-budget GPU. 

You get a 1203MHz base clock rate, 4GB of VRAM, and one fan to keep the GPU cool. The one fan means it’s a shorter GPU, measuring 6.7inches long, making it the ideal choice for those with mini gaming PCs. 

So how does it perform? It runs most games at lower settings on a 1080P monitor, especially if they are demanding. Non-demanding games like League of Legends will work fine, and you shouldn’t need to lower your settings! 

It’s perfect for those starting and allows you to enjoy your games until you can upgrade to a more powerful GPU. As always, be sure to check that it’s compatible with other components in your PC before purchasing. 

Stats to know:

  • 4GB DDR5 video memory 
  • AMD 550 chipset 
  • 1203MHz clock 
  • Single fan to cool 
  • 6.7-inches long

Best Mid Budget GPU: XFX Radeon RX 570

Another under-budget option is Radeon’s RX 570 graphics card. It sits in the middle of our budget and can run most games on a 1080P monitor, although you might need to drop to the medium settings. 

The graphics card is the longest mentioned today, measuring 9.6-inches long! It doesn’t perform as well as others included higher on the list, but it is still an option to mention and consider! But don’t let the size put you off; it’s still compact enough to fit in most modern cases (be sure to measure your space beforehand to avoid disappointment). 

You get 1264MHz as a base clock rate, and there’s 4GB of VRAM, meaning your games should run fairly well. A dual-fan configuration works to keep the card cool when under pressure and ensures that games run smoothly. 

While it isn’t the absolute best graphics card on the market, it will still serve you well if you don’t have the budget for others on today’s list. The performance is the best value for money out of the RX 570s on the market and will allow you to game and enjoy your experience! 

Stats to know: 

  • 1264MHz clock 
  • AMD RX 570 Chipset
  • 4GB VRAM 
  • 500W PSU 
  • 9.6-inches long
  • Dual fan configuration 

Worthy mentions

We couldn’t leave today without mentioning these fantastic GPUs. While they aren’t the best on the market, they are worth mentioning and might make wonderful additions to your gaming PC!

PNY GeForce GTX 1650 

The standard GTX 1650 didn’t cut due to our budget, but it’s still a fantastic option to mention. It costs more than the Super 1650 and its direct competitor, the RX 570, putting some users off! 

Its performance matches the RX 570, although, in tests, it tends to have a slight edge. Teamed with the lower price tag, we think the RX 570 is probably a better buy, especially if you are driven by gaming performance. 

Stats to know: 

  • It can be boosted to 1725MHz
  • 4GB VRAM 
  • 300W PSU 
  • 5.7-inches long

EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super 

Seeing as we mentioned earlier, of course, we need to mention the 1650 Super! It’s a little pricer than other GPUs, but they would be a fantastic option if they are a bit cheaper! 

It does have a 1755MHz base clock, dual fans to keep it cool, and 4GB of VRAM, allowing for fast performance and plenty of space. You can expect it to perform well, although others at a lower price point outperform it or match its performance. 

If you’ve got the money to spend, it can be a great card, but until the price drops, it stays at a worthy mention, just out of reach of our best picks! 

Stats to know: 

  • 1755MHz 
  • 4GB VRAM 
  • 350W PSU 
  • 8-inches long 

Which GPU should you buy?

It’s a personal choice, of course, but you should consider the games you play when selecting your GPU. Your demanding games are likely to be played in medium settings at this price point, especially on the RTX 5500 XT, RX 580, and GTX 1650 Super. 

Today’s popular and demanding games will run well on budget graphics cards at a 1920×1080 resolution. The GPUs mentioned above will handle demanding games on a 1080P monitor, so be sure to check your monitor’s resolution before purchasing! 

You can opt for even cheaper graphics cards for those who are playing non-demanding games (League of Legends, Dota 2, Rocket League, etc.)! The RX 550 or GT 1030 will serve you well, and you won’t need to sacrifice much in terms of quality or gaming experience either! 

Consider the games you want to play and your monitor’s resolution and help this guide you and purchase your new GPU. You will also need to check that it’s compatible with your current setup and that there is room in your case for it. 

Final Word

And just like that, we have come to the end of our graphics card journey today! As you can see, there are plenty of fantastic affordable options on the market that means you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy better graphics! 

While the price of GPUs can fluctuate, especially recently, you can still find an affordable GPU for those building an affordable gaming PC or looking to update their current model. Don’t forget to look at used options, too, if you are after a real bargain!

Happy gaming!