Have you been hunting for a great GPU that will elevate your gaming experience or video editing functions? A GPU is an essential component for the running of any processor. This is because it helps to reduce the stress load placed on the CPU whenever a heavy-duty application is running.
The good news is that a great GPU does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. You will first have to decide on the brand you want to invest in, whether you want the Nvidia or AMD brand. These are the top GPU brands in the market at the moment.
AMD GPUs offer great prices and performance, while Nvidia is well-reputed for its higher power capacity. We have looked at the best graphic cards from both brands and studied their overall performance in order to make the best choice.
We have reviewed the best graphics cards you can find in the current market and grouped them according to performance metrics. We then compared the GPU performances of the readily available GPUs and studied their features, pros, and cons to determine whether they should be on the top 7 GPUs.
We then rated them against their price in order to accurately determine their position on this list. These graphic cards will provide you with better speeds, large-capacity VRAM, and great power efficiency.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 favorite picks when it comes to the best GPUs Under $300 in 2024!
What Is A GPU?
This electronic chip or processor enables a computer to render graphics and images for display.
GPUs have a higher number of cores than the CPU.
It ensures that they are able to perform specific tasks very quickly through sequential serial processing. This significantly reduces the CPU workload increasing its performance.
What Type Of GPUs Can Be Found In The Market?
There are two types of GPUs in the market. These are the integrated GPUs and discrete GPUs.
These processors are inbuilt and are found within the computer’s CPU and share the same memory.
This GPU uses less power since it is built into the processor. This helps ensure that the computer does not overheat. Overheating reduces the battery lifespan while increasing computer maintenance costs. This is why people prefer integrated GPUs.
This GPU is separate from the CPU and is popularly referred to as graphics cards. It is usually mounted on your computer motherboard via a peripheral component, internet express.
Discrete GPUs have their own dedicated memory called VRAM. Unlike integrated GPUs, the VRAM gives the graphic card an edge in terms of speed, and they are also able to store data for longer compared to the RAM.
This eliminates problems such as stuttering. It is, however, important to note that it is mounted on the GPU through soldering. This means you will have to make a keen selection for your tasks and applications, as you cannot upgrade the VRAM afterward.
1 . MSI AMD Radeon 6600 – Best Overall
AMD poses some of the best prices for GPUs in the market. They gradually reduce the price of a model without affecting its performance. This GPU is AMD’s best release of a GPU that has been perfected over time to offer the best 1080p gaming video quality.
The Radeon RX 6600 XT aims to achieve a high frame-per-second rate 1080p gaming, but it can prove to be a not well thought out purchase for a 60Hz monitor as it is definitely an overkill.
The Radeon RX 6600 prides itself on providing ultra-quality 1080p gaming paired with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. This is a great and formidable option that you are sure to love. Still, expect the Radeon RX 6600 to be a little more pricey due to market fluctuations. However, for under $300, this GPU is worth the purchase.
Why Is The MSI AMD Radeon 6600 The Best GPU In The Market?
This GPU boasts a whooping 21048 stream processor with 8 GB VRAM and clocking 16Gbps. You can purchase this graphic card at less than $265 at the moment though it was going for $379 on inception.
This device offers a decent 4K resolution and works excellently well for 1080p gaming. It is power efficient and boasts a thermal dynamic power of just under 160W.
2 . Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB – Runner Up
Cheaper does not mean missing out on this graphic card. It is considered one of the best GPUs for 4K gaming. This card comes with a boost clock of 1750 MHz. It uses Radeon Chill Technology.
The Radeon chill technology is a power-saving tool that reduces the number of frames per second while gaming. It also increases power efficiency and helps you cut down on electricity costs.
3 . MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 – Budget Pick
The GeForce GTX1660 is perfect for entry-level gaming. It is a great option for upgrading and migrating from integrated GPUs.
This graphic card employs Nvidia’s Turing architecture which ensures real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmed shading to create an amazing gaming experience. It has faster performance than its predecessor RTX 2060, and its 6GB of GDDR5 memory doubles the GTX 1060 3GB.
This graphic card has efficient power consumption and offers unrivaled performance. It enables quick game installation and provides excellent resolution to ensure you enjoy your visuals and have an amazing gaming experience.
Built under the Ampere architecture, this GPU employs 80 tensor cores. This architectural design allows the GPU to free up space in the machine by reducing the workload. The GeForce GT 1030 is an entry-level video card from NVIDIA. It is based on Pascal architecture. This design is aimed at ensuring the low-consumption and super-low-cost markets.
Its base clock is 1,227 Mhz, and its turbo clock is 1,468 MHz.The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is a medium-end desktop graphics card. It offers 8 GB GDDR6 graphics memory with a 128 Bit memory bus. It also comes with 2,560 cores and supports PCIe 4.0.
One of the selling points of the GT is its Thermal Design Power which is only 30W, whereas the TDP of a comparable budget Graphics Card such as AMD RX 550 would be 50W. This means that you will not need to purchase a powerful PSU to accommodate it.
The performance is similar to the older GeForce RTX 2060 and, therefore, best suited for 1080p gaming of modern and demanding games in high settings. It also has improved ray tracing capabilities, and tensor cores on the chip were also improved, according to Nvidia.
The RTX 3050 features an 8GB VRAM that has incredibly fast processing speeds. This GPU is a gaming king when it comes to the 1080 gaming experience.
This graphic card has a RAM size of 6GB and a memory speed of 14GHz. The card’s superb performance is enhanced by a boost clock of 1680MHz and its RTX platform. It has a dynamic thermal power of 150W which also helps to improve power efficiency.
The GeForce RTX 2060 has great ray tracing ability and supports artificial intelligence. The GPU has a dual fan compatible with most computers and offers a great cooling system for the machine. This graphic card is easy to install and is durable due to the efficient cooling system.
This graphic card weighing 2.64 pounds is one of the heaviest GPUs in the market.It offers a great graphic display that is ideal for gamers. Years later, we see the Radeon RX 5600 XT claimed, according to AMD, to be the very best in 1080p performance.
The card is able to easily run 1920×1080 resolution with ultra to maximum settings for years to come. In our evaluation, the 5600 XT delivers good performance, easily eclipsing 60 fps at 1080p across most game applications.
Overall, the $279 RX 5600 XT is designed to fill that gap between the RX 5700 series and the RX 5500 series. It utilizes a cheaper version of AMD’s class-leading Navi 10 GPU. For their newest card, AMD is dialing back on the amount of enabled hardware in order to offer a card with performance between the existing Radeon RX 5000 series cards, and with a price to match.
It employs the XFX Thick 2 dual-fan cooling system, which is a great feature for any GPU. This is because it protects the machine from overheating.
This device is built on RDNA architecture. This reduces latency by offering new computing units and a multi-level hierarchy for its cache memory.
This GPU also utilizes GDDR6 memory which provides a higher bandwidth making the processor more efficient. This GPU is ideal for up to 1440p gaming. This is enough reason for it to get to the best graphic card chart.
The GeForce GT 1030 is an entry-level video card from NVIDIA. It is based on Pascal Turing architecture. This design is aimed to ensure low power consumption while ensuring that the processor power is maintained.
The GeForce GT 1030 is based on the GP108 chip, manufactured under 14 nm technology, with 384 cores. Its base clock is 1,227 Mhz and its turbo clock is 1,468 MHz.
One of the selling points of the GT 1030 is its Thermal Design Power which is a little under 30W, while the TDP of a comparable budget Graphics Card like the AMD RX 550 comes in at 50W. This means that you will not need to purchase a high-power PSU to support it.
This Nvidia chipset brand has highly valued specifications for a budget-friendly price. It is the only pocket-friendly GPU from the GeForce 10 series. Featuring the Turing architecture, it has a dynamic thermal power of 130W. It is the perfect GPU for taking your gaming experience a notch higher.
The GT 1030 boasts a WINDFORCE 2x cooling solution which has high performance and ensures that the CPU does not overheat. It also enhances graphic display by minimizing stuttering.
This GPU costs under $225 and provides an excellent alternative for 1080p and 1440p gaming.
How To Choose The Best GPU For Gaming In 2023
The best graphic processing unit for you will ultimately be able to perfectly match your needs and preference. It should also be able to provide some overclocking options for you whenever the need arises.
While it may seem like good-quality gaming can only be achieved through high-end GPUs, that does not ring true for every model.
You should, however, take a critical look at these factors when you are on the hunt for a great GPU.
You have to be aware of the GPU capacity that your computer is able to handle. This will help you choose a better quality graphics card and ensure better performance for your tasks and machine.
This is measured in Hz and helps us determine how many times the monitor is able to refresh the image displayed pm the monitor per second. This metric significantly impacts your gaming experience.
If your monitor has more than two digit refresh rate, you will need a robust GPU model to deal with that.
Both Nvidia and AMD brands offer tough competition to each other as they keep launching upgraded versions of their GPUs.
It is however important to note that AMD has a fixation on performance and processing speed while Nvidia focuses on providing robust hardware for your GPU.
An efficient cooling system is able to improve your battery life span. If you require overclocking headroom, you will need the best cooling system for your machine, one that you can afford.
It is, however, important that you do not over-rely on overclocking to boost your machine’s performance. This is because it only accounts for up to a maximum of 10% of your GPU capacity.
It is important to decide on what resolution you would want to play your games at. If you would like to upgrade your pixels, you will need a higher monitor resolution.
You are bound to experience stuttering in your graphic displays if your resolution does not match your pixels.
Choosing a GPU may prove to be quite a challenge for many. This is especially so when you do not have the luxury of splurging all your cash on a GPU.
The GPUs we have shared in this review are the best pocket friendly GPUs in the market and are manufactured by reputable brands. It is also important that you also save some money for a great CPU to ensure a great frame per second value.
Power Supply Compatibility
Graphic cards consume more power than other computer components.
You have to ensure that the power supply you choose is able to support your GPU needs. It is also important that you have the correct power connector for your GPU.
This is a critical specification you need to look out for when hunting for a GPU. It offers a great reference that will help you make the right purchase.
We recommend getting a card with at least 6GB RAM memory if you are an avid gamer or run some heavy applications on your machine, such as Adobe software.
The thermal dynamic power measures the amount of energy a GPU produces in relation to the power it consumes. This helps you determine what type of cooling system will be efficient for your machine.
Graphic cards can be found in single, double and triple slots. Your GPU case case will help you determine the type of slot you will need.
If you select a casing with a big heat sink and PSU shroud, your may not be able to fit your GPU into the slot. It is, therefore, important that you study your machine firmware and make a smart decision when buying the GPU.
Frequently Asked Questions
GPUs have become integral to the visual and content creation industries such as gaming and video editing. They also perform well in machine learning applications.
With the rise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, there has also been a rapidly growing interest in GPUs. Investors within these two industries have adopted GPUs as tools for completing the necessary computation needed to enable them to make profit and earn rewards.
These are some of the areas where you may require a GPU in order to be successful.
AMD and Nvidia are the two main companies in this market. They are both based in California, USA.
Founded in 1993, this company produces GPUs designed for gaming and professional markets such as the film industry. Its main product line for the GPUs is the GeForce Series.
Advanced Micro Devices was founded in 1969 and is the pioneer for this industry. The company prides itself in manufacturing mobile processors that are perfect for thin, lightweight business laptops.
Generally, discrete graphics are considered better than integrated GPUs in terms of performance. This is because they offer an amazing gaming experience due to its high resolution. Discrete GPUs come with a number of features that are ideal for gaming enthusiasts.
Yes, you can. There are a number of options in the market . The prices vary depending on the configuration you need for your GPU.
The graphic cards that we have listed in this review provide the best quality graphic cards that you can get for just under $300. We hope you can settle on a product that will meet your needs and preferences.
The durability and longevity and durability of a graphic card are highly dependent on how you operate it. Frequent overclocking of your CPU will significantly cut down on its lifespan. This will result in higher maintenance costs that can easily be avoided.
There are a variety of options for software that helps you measure the temperature of a graphic card. Ensure that you regularly check the GPUs temperature and act accordingly.
If temperatures keep getting higher, you must start looking for a new cooling solution to help dissipate the heat going around the PC. Also, ensure that you place your processor in a space with adequate airflow to prevent the chances of overheating.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused great damage to the graphic processing unit manufacturing industry. The prices of GPUs saw a rise while their production went down, creating a deficit in the market.
The pandemic saw prices skyrocket while components could not be seen on the shelves which was quite a challenge for those who prefer to build their own PCs. However, the prices are starting to stabilize slowly.
Settling which GPU you should purchase in 2024 isn’t an easy task to do. Apart from the fact that prices have significantly increased, the number of options to choose from has also expanded.
New technologies, evolving marketing strategies, and extraordinary global events have discouraged the process. As if the outrageous prices weren’t bad enough, the cryptocurrency and block technology craze has destabilized the market.
This list details our top picks for the best graphic processing unit you can purchase for under $300. We hope that by sharing our thoughts, we’ve helped you better understand the importance of the GPU and the best choice for you, depending on your needs and preferences.
So which GPU would you settle for?