5 Best Budget Graphics Cards (Under $50) [2020 Update]

Best Graphics Cards Under $50

If you want to improve your gaming experience, then you need to upgrade your graphics card as soon as possible.

Most computers do not come with excellent graphics cards installed.

Buying a graphics card is cheaper than buying a gaming computer altogether.

You don’t have to spend that much on one either. The best budget graphic card I found, the Gigabyte GT 420, great performance for its price.

Here is a list of more budget graphics cards. All cards on this list are less than $50, so you can be sure you’re getting a bargain.

Top 5 Best Budget Graphics Cards – 2020

1. Gigabyte GT 420 2GB Video Graphics Cards

This is possibly the best budget graphic card money can buy in our opinion. The GT 420 is inexpensive but has a core clock capacity of 700 MHz.

This graphics card is powered by the venerable NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 GPU so you can rely on this to play hardcore games.

It has 2048MB DDR3 memory and 128-bit memory, which are both integrated for better performance.

As all Gigabyte GPUs, this one works wonderfully on windows machines. It can even run editing programs like Adobe Premier Pro without having to upgrade the PSU.

However, make sure the RAM is at least above 8GB for best performance. Don’t expect this card to play 4k games.

Keep in mind that this graphics card is best used for low to medium-level graphics intensive games. It would play games like World of Warcraft or Minecraft well, but not newer titles.

In any case, this graphics card would be a significant improvement over inbuilt 4600 GPUs. You can play better games and also run office programs more efficiently.

While it has its flaws, this graphics card offers excellent value for the price.

+Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Improves performance of Office programs
  • Can be used to run editing software
  • Enhances performance without requiring a PSU upgrade

-Cons:

  • Won’t play graphics-intensive games
  • Not suitable for new gaming titles
  • Not for Macs
Gigabyte GT 420 2GB 128-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x 16 ATX Video Graphics Cards GV-N420-2GI REV3
Core Clock: 700 MHz; Powered by NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 GPU; Integrated with the first 2048MB DDR3 memory and 128-bit memory interface

2. EVGA GeForce 8400 GS 1024MB Video Graphics Cards

This graphics card offers some awesome features at a surprisingly low cost.

This card comes with 8 CUDA cores, 520 MHz base clock, 1024MB DDR3 memory detail, 9.6 GB/s memory bandwidth, and a 1200 MHz memory clock.

It requires a 300W or great power supply. In addition to playing games, this card is great for playing Blu Ray or HD DVD movies.

This graphics card is well suited for entry-level gaming. For comparison purposes, we would say this is on par with Nvidia Geforce 8400 512MB.

This card is perfect for playing back legacy titles like Doom, Counter Strike, or Half Life. It has low hardware requirements and low power requirements.

It works with both Windows and Linux systems. The card is technically compatible with Mac computers, but users may run into problems.

This EVGA works with a PSU with 300W of power supply. This is a minimal amount so most users would not need to upgrade the PSU.

One major perk is that this works with dual display monitors as long as the PC has an OS Visa or up. No other software or hardware upgrade is necessary.

+Pros:

  • Works with dual display
  • No significant PSU upgrade necessary
  • Compatible with both Windows and Linux machines
  • Good number of CUDA cores

-Cons:

  • Only good for playing legacy gaming titles
  • Minimal Mac support
EVGA 1GB GeForce 8400 GS DirectX 10 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card Model 01G-P3-1302-LR
EVGA's 24/7 Technical Support; Base Clock: 520 MHz; Memory Clock: 1200 MHz Effective; Memory Detail: 1024MB DDR3

3. MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 Graphics Card

There is quite a bit to enjoy with this graphics card. To start with, it can support resolution up to 4096 x 2160.

So, if you want to enjoy the latest and best graphics experience, this will be the card to help you out.

Some other enviable features include a core clock capacity of 954 MHz and a video memory of 2GB DDR3.

The card also comes with VGA, DVI-D Dual Link, and HDMI connections. It is capable of supporting two display monitors as well.

Since it is equipped with a large heat sink that covers the area of the GPU and memory, you don’t have to worry about any loud noises at all.

And, thanks to the all solid capacitors, you can be certain that this card is going to last quite a while, even under full load.

The low profile design allows you to build a much smaller machine, if you are putting together a rig from scratch.

The only real downside with this graphics card is that it isn’t really suitable for games with higher graphics demands.

+Pros:

  • High resolution features
  • Great performance
  • Plenty of connections
  • Long lasting
  • Space saving
  • Quiet

-Cons:

  • Not suitable for high-intensity gaming
MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 2GB GDRR3 64-bit HDCP Support DirectX 12 OpenGL 4.5 Heat Sink Low Profile Graphics Card (GT 710 2GD3H LP)
Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce GT 710; Recommended psu is 300. Directx version support is 12 api; Video Memory: 2GB DDR3. Core Clock: 954 MHz. Thermal: Fanless

4. ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 2GB Video Card

This is a good upgrade over integrated video graphics cards. It only has 2GB of memory, so this card is not for intensive gaming.

It can play older titles and some MMORPGs. The card provides a boost to overall video performance.

For a budget graphics card, it works really well. The card can play titles like Skyrim on high settings without any lag issues.

On the other hand, a game like Fallout 4 can technically run. But requires tweaking graphics settings to the lowest.

The GeForce GT 710 can support flawless playback of 1080p video. While 1080p at 30 fps is excellent, at 60 fps, there was some lag.

This card can also accelerate video streams to full x264. It also adds HDMI support to PCs.

One major downside is that this card can get a bit hot because it has passive, fanless cooling.

Fanless cooling is quiet but not effective enough to keep GPU units sufficiently cool during gameplay.

It’s possible to use two outputs using this graphics card because it has a VGA port. Dual display is possible.

+Pros:

  • Works fairly well for gaming
  • Boosts video over factory settings
  • Quiet gameplay
  • Two video outputs available
  • Supports dual display

-Cons:

  • Low video memory
  • Fanless cooling
ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 2GB DDR3 PCI-E2.0 DL-DVI VGA HDMI Passive Cooled Single Slot Low Profile Graphics Card (ZT-71302-20L)
PCI Express 2.0; Fanless cooling; Triple display support; DirectX 12 (feature 11_0) API, OpenGL 4.5 Supports for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP

5. VisionTek Radeon 5450 2GB DDR3 (DVI-I, HDMI, VGA) Graphics Card – 900861

The VisionTek Radeon 5450 is a highly budget-friendly graphics card well suited to upgrade older desktops. It doesn’t offer much in terms of newer specs, of course. However, it can optimise your age old PC to play some games and generate better visuals on a newer monitor.

This card supports Microsoft DirectX 11, though not 12. But it supports Dolby TrueHD and DTSHD audio. You can get 7.1 channels of surround sound.

Better yet, the card offers support to dual monitor rigs. Regardless of whether you need a gaming rig, if you need two-monitor support, this should be more than adequate.

You get multiple configurations including for HDMI, VGA, and DVI. It doesn’t require a separate power plug. The card is made for full-size tower cases.

You can install this card on PCI Express X16 motherboards. However, you may need to install additional drivers for full support on the PC. Keep in mind that you need full form factor compatibility for this card. The size therefore will not support all Windows 7 PCs.

This card is great if you need reliable HDMI to TV input. The fan noise is relatively quiet as well. While you are at it, you’ll be able to play older gaming titles released in the nineties or early 2000s.

+Pros:

  • Great for older desktops
  • Dual monitor support
  • Support for TV via HDMI
  • No need for separate power plug in most cases
  • Supports surround audio
  • Multiple inputs available
  • Quiet fan

-Cons:

  • Requires full form factor PC
  • Some configurations may require additional drivers
  • Only DirectX 11 support
VisionTek Radeon 5450 2GB DDR3 (DVI-I, HDMI, VGA) Graphics Card - 900861,Black/Red
The VisionTek Radeon HD 5450 Series GPUs fully support Microsoft DirectX 11; Avivo Technology Enhanced Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2)

Tips for Buying a Cheap Graphics Card

Ultimately, here’s what you should know about buying the best graphics card under $50:

Check your computer hardware before you purchase a graphics card. The other specs on your computer should be able to support the card you buy.

Unless you plan on upgrading your processor as well, buy a mid-range card.

Even if you are looking for a budget card, buy the best tier graphics card you can afford to ensure the best performance.

Don’t choose a graphics card with the highest memory. What matters is the bandwidth.

For lag-free gaming, you need high-capacity clock rate.

For example, if you are trying to decide between 1GB of GDDR5 and 4GB of DDR3, choose GDDR5 with higher bandwidth.

Make sure the graphics card you buy can support the screen resolution on your monitor or multiple monitors.

There’s no point in pairing up graphics cards, so buy only one. A second graphics card does not double the performance of your GPU.

Multi card drives can also make the gaming experience inconsistent.

Absolutely make sure the graphics card is compatible with your computer. Check the physical dimensions.

Also, check the power supply and the number of pins on PCIe power connectors. These should match with the card you buy.

The better the graphics card is, the more heat it will generate. If you don’t have a cooler, your GPU will be fried to bits.

You will need to buy a cooler when you buy a graphics card. Some cards come already outfitted with coolers. These may cost more, but they are worth it.

About the author

Luke

is a Software Developer and the main writer behind Computer Realm.

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