GPU ReviewsPC

Best graphic cards under $150 – Top 5 (Reviewed 2020)

Graphics cards are an indispensable tool when it comes to excellent video performance. Be it to enjoy movies in 4K or playing your favorite video games, graphics cards do much, and more.

Contrary to popular beliefs, though, that is not all a graphics card does for your PC. It also improves the performance of your computer by freeing up your system memory and taking the load off your CPU. In essence, graphics cards do not only give you a more vibrant visual output, but faster processing speeds as well.

In contemporary times, companies such as Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, NVIDIA, and AMD are among the finest makers of graphics cards. Offering not just unparalleled performance but also doing so at cost-effective rates, these organizations have changed the world of computer gaming. Today, thanks to these companies, playing games at 1080P graphics is a seamless experience.

On the other end of the spectrum, you will often find graphics cards already embedded within the system. You will sometimes find graphics cards integrated into a stock-built PC but mostly on laptops.

While this may save you some trouble looking for a dedicated graphics card, integrated variants carry some serious disadvantages! Onboard GPUs only handle a small number of graphical tasks. Some games won’t even load if your laptop has an integrated low-end video card. 

The good news is there are plenty of dedicated add-on cards on the market, which is designed to handle highly intensive graphics processing on desktop.

To make it easier for you to find the right graphics card without putting too much burden on your pocket, we compiled a list. Here, you can find the best graphics cards under a budget of $150.

Top 5 Best graphic cards under $150

1. EVGA GeForce GT 1030 Low Profile Graphic Card 

Sale
EVGA GeForce GT 1030
489 Reviews
EVGA GeForce GT 1030
  • Real base Clock: 1290 MHz/...
  • EVGA GeForce gt 1030 -...

EVGA GeForce GT 1030 is a compact graphics card that measures only 5.7 by 1.5 by 2.7 inches. The card can, therefore, fit into most small and medium-sized cases. The card runs on an Nvidia chipset with a PCI-E Interface. The memory bus width stands at 64 bits while the memory clocks a speed of 6008 MHz.

With a 2 GB GDDR5 RAM, this graphics card can give you two times faster performance than a Core i5 integrated graphics card. In fact, you can run some of the best games in the market like GTA 5 Dirty Rally in medium and high settings. When it comes to displaying ports, you get 1 HDMI port and an SL-DVI-D port.

For a graphics card that costs under $150, it is very impressive that you also get the DirectX 12 technology. With 384 CUDA Cores and Nvidia GPU Boost 3.0, this card promises a great gaming experience. 

The graphics card has an award-winning architecture with the name of Nvidia Pascal Architecture that optimizes your PC performance. Another impressive feature in the graphics card comes from Nvidia, called the GameWorks. With GameWorks, you get an improved cinematic experience.

Pros
  • It comes with a low-profile bracket inside the box to use
  • The card makes little to no noise, so you get a quiet and efficient experience
Cons
  • The card is heavy in terms of weight at 5 pounds
  • It takes a fair bit of work to use the long bracket for this card

2. GIGABYTE GeForce GT 1030 Silent Low Profile 

GIGABYTE GeForce GT 1030
172 Reviews
GIGABYTE GeForce GT 1030
  • Core Clock (MHz): 1506 in OC...
  • Card size H=35.9 millimeters,...

The GIGABYTE GeForce GT 1030 comes with a low-profile design to fit slim or smaller systems. The card measures only 1.4 by 2.7 by 6.9 inches and weighs only about 12.8 ounces. On the card, you get a 2 GB GDDR5 RAM. The interface for this graphics card is PCI-E, and the memory bus width stands at 64 bits. All this allows you to gauge Memory Clock Speeds of up to 6008 MHz!

With a simple click on AORUS Graphics Engine, gamers can easily tune the card to meet their gaming requirements without any overclocking knowledge. Moreover, AORUS also allows you to adjust your voltage, power target, and fan performance according to your own needs. The passive cooler with a large heat sink helps it retain its low temperature while running games on Low and Medium settings with 60+ frames.

The card comes with a DVI-D port and an HDMI port that supports 4K high resolution. In addition, you get the DirectX 12 technology on the card. 

Pros
  • It does not need an added power supply. You save money
  • It is compatible with older PCs and can thereby kill the need to update an entire PC
Cons
  • The heatsink can get too warm with extended hours of gaming
  • The card may lag in especially heavy games

3. MSI GT 1030 2G LP OC Graphic Cards

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MSI GT 1030 2G LP OC
553 Reviews
MSI GT 1030 2G LP OC
  • Chipset NVIDIA GeForce gt 1030
  • Video Memory 2GB GDDR5

The MSI GT 1030 measures 6.3 by 2.7 by 0.7 inches and runs on a PCI-Express x16 interface. The card comes with a 2 GB GDDR5 RAM and a memory bus width of 64 bits. Which means it can go up to memory clock speeds of 1518 MHz.

The card features a rather simplistic design with an Nvidia Chipset. Most components on the card are made up of Aluminum core that allows not only for better efficiency but also a 10-year lifetime.

It’s a budget graphics card intended to play e-sports titles in 1080p, and it can run almost any game in 720p – 900p at an ultra to high at 60fps. It supports DirectX 12 features to deliver the fastest, smoothest, most power-efficient gaming experiences.

It also comes with an Afterburner Overclocking utility that grants you wireless control through Android and iOS devices. But that is not it. You also get adjustable core voltage, power limit, and fan speed with the Afterburner. The Predator feature allows for In-game video recording.

Pros
  • Low profile design to fit into smaller units
  • It comes with a proper display port that can output 120+ Hz
Cons
  • The card is not capable of handling multiple operations at once and may hence feel laggy
  • The card may overheat

4. MSI GeForce GT 730 Graphics Card 

Sale
MSI GeForce GT 730
277 Reviews
MSI GeForce GT 730
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 GPU
  • 2GB 128-bit DDR3 VRAM

The MSI GeForce GT 730 brings plenty of power packed into a 9.5 by 6.6 by 2.1 inches card. The card runs on a PCI-E interface and a memory bus width of 128 bits. It can clock memory speeds up to 1600 MHz and runs on the Nvidia chipset.

The card comes with output function in the form of an HDMI port, a D-SUB and a Dual-link DVI-I x 1.

The upgrade to this card brings faster web browsing, plus incredible photo and video editing for your PC. The GT 730 also delivers 3X faster gaming performance than integrated graphics.

The DirectX 12 and the signature MSI Afterburner overclocking utility gives this card an extra boost. Also, you get a free bundle of the Predator feature with the Afterburner 3.0.

Pros
  • It does not require a separate power supply to power the card.
  • It comes with the MSI Live Update series that automatically download and update the Card BIOS and drivers.
Cons
  • It does not come with the HDMI and DVI cable in the box. It only includes a power cable and a VGA.
  • It is not recommended for daily gameplay, especially with heavy games. Otherwise, your PC will keep crashing.

5. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050
3,553 Reviews
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050
  • New NVIDIA pascal architecture...
  • Classic and modern games at...

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 is a graphic card that measures 7.6 by 4.4 by 1.5 inches and weighs about 1.98 pounds. The card has a PCI-E interface and a memory bus width of 128 bits that can go to a memory clock speed of 1417 MHz. 

The 2 GB GDDR5 RAM does a great job of speeding up your PC. Unlike other cards in the range, though, this one is not just for speeding up your PC. It can also power rather heavy games. The card comes with the signature Nvidia PASCAL architecture that is not only powerful but also efficient. 

The cooling system for the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 features a custom-designed fan cooler. The fan is specifically designed to be as quiet as possible, and the effective heat dissipation helps improve GPU. Moreover, with the XTREME engine utility, you get easy overclocking and several modes to choose from.

Pros
  • It is compatible with older PCs and can transform them to play several games at medium/high settings.
  • It does not require a separate power supply to power the card.
  • The fans do an excellent job of keeping temperature low while keeping the card quiet.
Cons
  • The fan covers are made out of plastic with a subpar body.
  • May have trouble running multiple displays.

Conclusion

Given the fierce competition among organizations and ever-changing trends in gaming, you must choose your graphics card carefully. It is always a good idea to compare your selected card against several others in the same price range to make the right decision.

However, it is most important to understand that not every card is meant for gaming. Realizing the purpose of your card before you jump into buying one is the smartest decision that you will take.

Best graphic cards under $150
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About author

Mohammad is as passionate about writing as he is about video games and electronics, and his fervor has led to game and tech article contributions in a variety of online publications including PCMag.com, Examiner.com, 2D-X.com, and Tech.co
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