In this blog post, we will be discussing the top five most affordable graphics cards available in 2023. Through thorough research and testing, I have compiled a comprehensive list of options that cater to the needs of various types of buyers. Whether you prioritize price, performance, or specific usage requirements, we have got you covered. For more information on each GPU, I have included corresponding links. Without further ado, let's dive into the details!
Top 5 Budget GPU's for 2023:
Intel Arc A750
GTX 1660 Ti
Intel Arc A750
In 2023, the Intel Arc A750 emerges as an outstanding budget-friendly graphics card, offering cost-conscious consumers a compelling alternative. Intel's persistent driver updates have significantly boosted its average FPS performance, showcasing an impressive 87% improvement since its initial release. Moreover, the card has made notable strides in frame timing, which has enhanced the timing intervals between rendered frames. The Arc A750, particularly in its limited edition model, provides increased power at a lower price point, addressing the growing demand for better low-end graphics cards. This makes it an attractive choice for those seeking a balance between performance and budget, despite its varied appeal. When activated, the unassuming GPU of the Arc A750 consistently outperforms its closest low-end competitors and often competes admirably with more expensive counterparts, even at 1440p resolution. While it may experience occasional performance dips in select titles like Final Fantasy XV and Horizon Zero Dawn, it shines brightly in others such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Watchdogs Legion, and Metro Exodus. Impressively, the Arc A750 supports Ray tracing, delivering captivating visual effects at an affordable price point, capable of achieving nearly 60 FPS at 1440p with some upscaling. While it may face challenges in a few demanding titles, it generally maintains 60 FPS or higher, sometimes exceeding expectations, even in the most resource-intensive presets. During rigorous testing in games like Metro Exodus, Watchdogs Legion, and Total War 3 Benchmark at 1080p, the Arc A750 demonstrates its prowess, particularly in the realm of Ray tracing, where it stands as a compelling alternative to up-scalers that may sacrifice sharpness at this resolution.
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 stands out as an impressive budget-friendly graphics card that offers exceptional performance considering its price point. Thanks to its advanced features like ultra-quality settings and Ray tracing capabilities, it maintains an average of 58 FPS in Metro Exodus, even when set to the high-performing Ultra preset. This card is built on Nvidia's latest Turing architecture and features fast GDDR5 memory, ensuring top-tier performance in contemporary games. In addition to gaming, it smoothly handles video recording, sharing, screenshots, and live streaming, while driver updates and game optimization are hassle-free. Beyond gaming, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 excels in VR applications with minimal latency and seamless compatibility with high-end headsets. Its cooling system is designed for optimal temperature management, including a 90-millimeter fan and a specially crafted sunflower aluminum heatsink that maintains even heat distribution across the GPU. To enhance your gaming experience, fluted fan blades and deeper angled blades improve airflow and reduce noise, providing a quieter environment. Furthermore, the PCIe bus power design simplifies installation, eliminating the need for extra power connections and reducing cable clutter. The minimalist interface offers easy access and navigation for fine-tuning your gaming graphics card, along with the enhanced Firestorm utility, which allows you to adjust spectral lighting, monitor hardware status, and optimize settings with a single click using the new scanner OC feature.
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Honorable Mention)
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, a mid-range graphics card, boasts 1536 Shader units and packs 6 gigabytes of GDDR6 VRAM, positioning it as an excellent choice for gaming at 1080p resolution. With a compact size of just 17.3 centimeters (6.8 inches), it's well-suited for compatibility with smaller PC cases. This GPU offers a range of connectivity options, including three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs and one HDMI 2.0 port. It's worth noting that for optimal performance, it requires an 8-pin power connector in addition to the PCIe slot.
The Radeon RX 6600 is AMD's top budget graphics card in 2023. It's a compact card with dimensions of 244mm x 118mm x 38mm and features a dual-fan cooler. To operate efficiently, it requires an 8-pin PCIe power connector and a minimum 450-watt power supply. Built on AMD's RDNA2 architecture and manufactured with TSMC's 7nm lithography, the Radeon RX 6600 offers 8 gigabytes of GDDR6 video memory, making it an ideal choice for users interested in building a small form factor 1080p gaming machine with lower power consumption. One key advantage of the Radeon RX 6600 over Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 is its power efficiency. The XFX Speedster Swift Radeon RX 6600 delivers exceptional 1080p gaming performance, high frame rates, and stunning visuals. It also incorporates AMD Infinity Cache, providing high bandwidth performance with low power usage and latency. For gamers considering 8K resolution, this card supports next-generation displays, ensuring detailed visuals without sacrificing performance. Additionally, AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology substantially increases frame rates in supported games, resulting in a high-quality, high-resolution gaming experience. Users of the AMD Radeon RX 6000 series can select from four preset settings to optimize their gaming experience, balancing visual fidelity and performance. While not explicitly labeled on the packaging, the card includes a dip switch near the PCIe power socket, enabling users to switch between two modes as needed. Regarding display output, the card provides 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI ports. The inclusion of a metal backplate enhances durability and adds to the card's aesthetics. To summarize, the XFX Speedster Swift Radeon RX 6600 is an excellent choice for budget-conscious gamers seeking a low-power, small form factor 1080p gaming machine. With its advanced RDNA2 architecture, eight gigabytes of GDDR6 video memory, and AMD Infinity Cache, the Radeon RX 6600 delivers impressive gaming performance without breaking the bank.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 has earned its reputation as the second-best budget graphics card in 2023. It stands out for being a cost-effective Ampere GPU and is particularly known for its efficiency. In our review, we focused on the MSI Gaming X variant, which is a dual-fan card optimized for the thermal and power characteristics of the GA-106 chip in the RTX 3060. With an impressive 3,584 active Shader units or CUDA cores, it packs a punch. Notably, the RTX 3060 boasts a generous 12-gigabyte memory capacity, surpassing its faster Ampere counterparts.
The MSI Gaming X model sits near the top of MSI's RTX 3060 lineup, surpassing the Ventus but falling short of the Gaming X Trio. It features a well-matched PCB with a six-phase VRAM, one phase fewer than the Gaming X Trio, which is sufficient for this category of cards. Interestingly, MSI chose to incorporate both 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors, even though a single 8-pin power supply would suffice. The card comes factory overclocked with a standard boost clock of 1,837 megahertz. However, it's capable of achieving even higher speeds, provided there are no restrictions due to limited case airflow.
The RTX 3060 Gaming X is equipped with 12 gigabytes of GDDR6 memory operating at an effective 15 gigabytes per second. It offers a variety of display outputs, including one HDMI 2.1 standard port and three DisplayPort version 1.4a ports. The cooling system of the RTX 3060 Gaming X features the Twin Frozr 8 cooler with two fans. While some manufacturers opt for larger or three-fan coolers on mid-range cards, the more affordable dual-fan design can result in cost savings.
In terms of gaming performance, the RTX 3060 is commendable, although it may not match its more powerful Ampere siblings. Nevertheless, it shines in Ray tracing capabilities, advanced tensor cores, and an improved video engine. The 12 gigabytes of VRAM provide a substantial advantage, offering ample capacity for current and future games. The RTX 3060 excels in 1080p gameplay with high detail settings and handles 1440p comfortably. With a bit of tweaking, the MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X has shown impressive overclocking potential despite its power limit of 105 percent, making it a prime example of a mid-range card.
Introducing the Asus Dual Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, the leading budget graphics card for 2023. This exceptional card is built on Nvidia's latest Ampere architecture, offering impressive thermal performance and wide compatibility. The Asus Dual GeForce RTX 3050 embodies compact power, incorporating advanced cooling solutions inspired by top-tier graphics cards. These include two Caltech fans designed to optimize airflow to the heatsink. With a 20 centimeter length and a two-slot design, the Akio Tech fans feature a smaller hub for extended blades and a baffler ring that enhances downward air pressure. Automated production precision is exemplified by the innovative Auto-Extreme Technology, which streamlines soldering in a single pass. This not only minimizes heat strain on components but also eliminates the need for harsh cleaning chemicals, resulting in reduced environmental impact, lower power consumption, and enhanced product reliability. The Asus GPU Tweak 2 utility empowers users to fine-tune crucial parameters such as GPU core clocks, memory frequency, and voltage settings. Real-time metrics can be monitored through a customizable on-screen display, while advanced fan control and other features ensure optimal performance from the graphics card. The card undergoes a rigorous 144-hour verification program, guaranteeing compatibility with the latest games and earning accolades from users. The new Ampere SM delivers double the throughput of FP32 and improved energy efficiency, while the updated Akil Tech fan design features a reverse central fan direction to reduce turbulence. The two-slot design enhances compatibility and cooling efficiency, ensuring top-notch performance even in compact chassis. Featuring third-generation tensor cores, the GeForce RTX 3050 enables up to 2K higher throughput with structural sparsity and cutting-edge AI algorithms like DLSS, providing a significant boost in gaming performance. The card excels at 1080p gaming and holds its own at 1440p, thanks to DLSS technology. Even without DLSS, it delivers a convincing experience in some titles at 1440p. The Asus Dual Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is the ultimate choice for gamers seeking powerful graphics performance in a compact package. With its budget-friendly price, this card promises a captivating gaming experience and is undoubtedly deserving of the title as the best overall budget graphics card in 2023.