After more than a year of shortages and inflated prices, we are finally seeing some improvements in the GPU market. While we're not back to pre-pandemic levels, there are at least graphics cards available for purchase. Intel's upcoming Arc lineup should also help push up prices in the coming months – at least in the low-end and mid-range segments.
But for now, the best graphics cards under $300 are still not the mid-range cards we'd expect to find at this price point, but entry-level cards from AMD and Nvidia.
If you want to find the best graphics card under $300, this article is the most helpful wizard on the subject. The entries in the list below are the most efficient in their task of creating smooth, immersive visuals. Even with a limited budget, you can easily have a great gaming experience.
The best graphics cards bring your gaming PC to life - they're the heart, lungs, and maybe even the brain that bring those stunningly rendered pixels to your screen. No one-size-fits-all solution will be right for everyone, so we're here to separate the candidates from the suitors. Whether you're looking for the fastest graphics card, the best value, or the best card at a certain price, we have recommendations for all budgets. Balancing performance, price, features and efficiency is important because no other component affects your gaming experience as much as the graphics card.
Quite possibly, this is the absolute best graphics card under 300 dollars. Its powers are quite impressive and can even be compared with those of more expensive models. Thanks to the latest Turing architecture and the Twin Fan chip, it can reproduce complex visuals while maintaining reasonable temperatures.
As a gamer, you can expect real-time ray tracing and AI to perform at their best. Not only that, but the card can also work with VR applications and has some newer algorithms to make the visuals look more impressive. Supports variable speed shading, multi-view rendering, and VRWorks audio.
With an MSRP of $249, Nvidia's new GeForce RTX 3050 would offer excellent value for money. Unfortunately, from May 2022 there will hardly be any 3050s left at this price.
Had the situation been different, the RTX 3050 would undoubtedly have been a popular entry-level model in the GeForce RTX lineup. It's the first of Nvidia's affordable XX50 cards to get hardware support for ray tracing and DLSS - key RTX features. While it might not be powerful enough to run ray-traced AAA titles at resolutions above 1080p, the addition of Nvidia's excellent DLSS supersampling technology makes the value proposition more interesting.
In terms of performance, it compares well to previous-gen mid-range cards, including the RX 5600 XT and GTX 1660 Ti/Super, but is around 10% slower than the RTX 2060.
The Radeon RX 6500 XT was released in early 2022 and is based on the RDNA 2 Navi 24 GPU. It is the entry-level model in the RX 6000 series, replacing the RX 5500 XT.
However, compared to the RX 5500 XT, the RX 6500 XT is technically inferior in some respects. Its 64-bit memory combined with GDDR6 video memory delivers only 143.9 GB/s of bandwidth, compared to 224 GB/s (128-bit) for the RX 5500 XT.
In addition, the interface bandwidth is halved to PCI-Express 4.0 x4 instead of PCIe 4.0 x8, limiting performance when using the card in a PCIe 3.0-based system.
There was also no 8GB graphics memory (VRAM) option at launch, possibly because AMD wants to make the card less attractive to crypto miners (4GB of VRAM is not enough for Ethereum mining).
As long as the RX 6500 XT has access to the full bandwidth of the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, performance is nonetheless similar to the RX 5500 XT or the old Radeon RX 580. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super should be slightly faster on average and its PCIe interface won't suffer either. 3.0x16.
Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 uses Nvidia's latest Ampere architecture. It's over 30% faster than the previous generation 2080 Ti, and reportedly costs $ 500 less. When we tested the new RTX 3080 Ti, it failed to replace the current one, thanks to a much higher price. However, keep an eye out for the RTX 3080 12GB cards, which currently seem to have around $ 50 in bonus - it's a bonus worth paying in our book.
If you're serious about maximizing all your graphics settings and want to play 4K or 1440p, this is a card you can get your hands on. This is mostly overkill for 1080p games unless you are running the latest ray tracing games in which case DLSS support should help with performance as well. If you skip the first round of RTX GPUs, the RTX 30 Series could finally put you on board the ray tracing train. With potentially double the ray tracing performance compared to Turing and games like Cyberpunk 2077 using even more ray tracing effects, the RTX 3080 is the best choice for playing games in all their ray tracing splendor without a nuclear piggy bank.
Another candidate for the best $200 GPU title that could take a good fight. This GPU is equipped with 2,304 CPUs supported by the latest RDNA architecture with a gate length of 7 nm. It can run with a game clock of 1615 MHz or a Boost clock reaching 1750 MHz.
Its capacity is enough to achieve a speed of 60 frames per second when playing AAA games. While this cannot be considered flawless, the test results are higher than the manufacturer's estimates. In fact, the tab may compete with some of the slightly more advanced entries on this list.