Finding an adequate graphics card for gaming on a tight budget may seem impossible, with prices skyrocketing thanks to certain Green manufacturers, making it seem as though you won’t ever find one at an acceptable price point.
Thanks to market recovery, used graphic cards are finally starting to come back down in price, meaning you can find a quality gaming solution at a much more reasonable cost than before.
1. AMD Radeon RX 6600
The AMD Radeon RX 6600 is a mid-range graphics card designed to deliver strong performance in many popular games. Featuring 3,584 CUDA cores and 28 streaming multiprocessors for fast game performance and an operating base clock speed of 1,320MHz; as well as 8GB GDDR6 memory that operates at 15Gbps memory frequency with 192-bit bus connection; overclocking the GPU may improve its performance by 5-10% while increasing risks and possibly nullifying warranties.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is an advanced graphics card designed to outperform its counterpart, the RX 6600. Dedicated ray tracing hardware helps improve game performance when available while its support for Nvidia’s DLSS technology enhances frame rates in other titles that don’t use this technology. Furthermore, typically cheaper than its RX 6600 counterpart and offering superior performance in most instances; making the RTX 3060 an attractive value option.
Both graphics cards are compatible with a wide range of motherboards and CPUs, making them an excellent choice for gaming. Both work with Windows as well as most game engines; additionally, both offer excellent compatibility with older hardware. Furthermore, the RX 6600 XT comes with an extended two to three year warranty from Nvidia; in comparison, its regular three year warranty applies to the RTX 3060.
2. Intel Core i7 7700K
If you’re in the market for an upgrade designed specifically to support gaming, take into consideration the Intel Core i7 7700K released in January 2017; its four cores and eight threads as well as max turbo frequency of 4500 MHz make this CPU suitable. Furthermore, its integrated GPU is capable of running most modern games – however its performance may be reduced depending on other hardware such as RAM or graphics cards – therefore dedicated graphics cards may be best in this price range.
The Radeon RX 6600 is an exceptional option for gamers on a tight budget, offering exceptional frame rates in most modern titles while easily handling 1080p gaming at 60 fps. Plus, its affordability puts it miles ahead of more costly Nvidia GTX 1650 cards; additionally it can run most modern titles at lower settings than previous generations of PCs.
Notably, this GPU requires a PCIe 4.0 interface in order to achieve its maximum potential. Without sufficient bandwidth to utilize PCIe 4.0 bus fully, Radeon RX 6600 won’t deliver its full potential performance.
Another outstanding option is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super, which can often be found for under $200 and offers tremendous value. Unfortunately, however, this card doesn’t support ray tracing or DLSS technology – something worth bearing in mind before purchasing this option.
Nvidia’s RTX 3070 may be an ideal solution if you are willing to spend more for higher performance, although this card is significantly more costly than its 6800 XT counterpart and only provides around 5 percent additional performance on average.
Noting the relative cost-efficiency of upgrading both CPU and GPU could also be beneficial in terms of game performance. A GPU typically has more of an impactful effect than its counterpart on game performance.
3. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Nvidia’s GTX 1060 stands as one of the premier mid-range graphics cards for gaming. Not only is it faster than its competitor AMD RX 480, but its superior performance also outshines this rival in many titles.
The GTX 1060 is an excellent budget GPU option, available for under $250 and offering outstanding value-for-money.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU is built on Pascal GPU architecture, offering improved efficiency and performance over its predecessor generations. As a result, NVIDIA can offer this GPU at much more reasonable pricing compared to its rivals; additionally they have integrated features like Spectre and Mantle for improved gaming performance.
NVIDIA has managed to enhance performance of their GTX 1060 card by almost 40 percent when compared with the GTX 980, an impressive achievement. Furthermore, this version is capable of running with lower power consumption levels than older cards for even greater efficiency.
In our tests, the GeForce GTX 1060 outpaced its AMD counterpart in most benchmarks. In most of our DirectX 12 games except Hitman (in which AMD had an advantage), the 1060 outperformed both cards in performance terms. It was also considerably faster than its predecessors GTX 960 and GTX 950 models.
The GTX 1060 is well suited to gaming at resolutions up to 1440p, typically exceeding 60 frames per second in most titles at these settings. In our tests, however, it sometimes struggled to maintain 60 fps when running demanding titles like Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3, necessitating dropping graphics settings or switching down resolution settings accordingly.
As a general rule, higher resolutions and settings increase game demands; however, NVIDIA’s Boost Max feature can help improve performance in certain games by automatically increasing frame rate depending on game settings – particularly helpful for high resolution or setting games.
While NVIDIA hasn’t officially unveiled the 3GB GTX 1060 yet, Tweaktown reports that when they do release it it will feature one streaming microprocessor removed from the GP106 chip and 1,152 CUDA cores instead of 1,280 cores found on its counterpart scheduled to come out July 19. While this may make no logical sense at first glance, this might just be NVIDIA’s way of encouraging consumers to buy more expensive cards regardless of price.