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

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. 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 higher-end modern gaming
Sale
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
$51.99 −33%

2. EVGA GeForce 210

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

This card comes with 8 CUDA cores, 520 MHz base clock, 1024 MB DDR3 memory detail, 4.8GB GB/s memory bandwidth, and a 600 MHz memory clock.

It requires a 300W or great power supply. In addition to playing games, this card is great for playing HD movies and will run 1 HD stream well.

This graphics card is well suited for entry-level gaming.

+Pros:

  • Silent and low temp operation despite passive cooling
  • No significant PSU upgrade necessary
  • Compatible with both Windows and Linux machines
  • Good number of CUDA cores

-Cons:

  • Lack of a fan
  • Not 4K resolution capable
EVGA GeForce 210 1024 MB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 DVI/HDMI/VGA Graphics Card, 01G-P3-1312-LR
520 MHz core clock; 1024 MB 64-bit DDR3 memory. PCI Express 2.0 x16. 8 CUDA Cores; 600 MHz memory clock and 1230 MHz shader clock

3. MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 1 GB DDR3

If you’re looking for an inexpensive graphics card for a small form factor PC this could be your choice.

It is low profile and occupies only one PCI slot, consumes very little power, so even a 240 watt power supply would work, and it uses only heat sink for passive cooling, which virtually eliminates the noise problems associated with cooling fans.

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

Some decent features include a core clock capacity of 954 MHz but only a video memory of 1 GB DDR3.

The only real downside with this graphics card is that it isn’t really suitable for games with higher graphics demands, but then again, at its price-point it’s relative bargain.

+Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Space-saving
  • Quiet

-Cons:

  • Not suitable for high-intensity gaming
Sale
MSI Gaming GeForce GT 710 1GB GDRR3 64-bit HDCP Support DirectX 12 OpenGL 4.5 Heat Sink Low Profile Graphics Card (GT 710 1GD3H LPV1)
All Solid Capacitors; Low Profile Design; Afterburner Overclocking Utility; Noise Free; PCI-E 2.0. Note: This doesnt come with cover on VGA port
$39.99 −10%

4. ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 1 GB DDR3 Video Card

This is a good upgrade over integrated video graphics cards. It only has 1 GB of memory, so this card is not for intensive gaming.

For a budget graphics card, it works really well. The card can play titles like Black Ops without any lag issues.

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

The card’s only takes tiny sips of energy when it comes to power consumption, only utilizing a maximum of 25W power, yet it has the capacity to connect up to 3 displays with DVI, HDMI and VGA output

This card runs fairly cool for a passively cooled setup.

+Pros:

  • Works fairly well for entry-level gaming
  • Supports multiple display

-Cons:

  • Low video memory
  • Fanless cooling
Sale
ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 1GB DDR3 PCIE x 1 , DVI, HDMI, VGA, Low Profile Graphic Card (ZT-71304-20L)
Nvidia geforce gt 710 gpu. 192 cuda cores; 6 gb 192-bit gddr5; Pci express x 1; Power requirement: 300-watt power supply. 25 watt max power consumption
$39.99 −15%

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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