When you want the very best PC gaming experience your budget will allow, you need a GPU list. As such, I’ve taken a look at five of the best graphics card under 100, on the market. Each one of them will take your gaming to new heights.
Are you struggling to find the best budget graphics card? It sounds like an all too common problem, which is why I’m going to solve it once and for all! I know how frustrating it is trying to find the cheap graphics cards because I’ve done it myself many times. Take a look at my list of 5 of the very best so that you can see for yourself what’s out there. Continue to read if you want to end your search, and enjoy gaming like never before!
Simply put, I’m an avid PC gamer. That means I care about the same things as you do when it comes to finding a gaming graphics card for my PC. I know what a good card looks like, and I can certainly tell you all there is to know about the graphics card under 100 in 2018.
To write my review, I put every one of the cards on my list to the test. Meaning, I can tell you about everything from the ordering and unboxing, to the installation and performance. And let’s be honest, it’s the last one that matters, isn’t it? I hope this article helps you make the right choice by showing you some of the very best cheap graphics cards for gaming. I sure know I enjoyed writing it!
Best Graphics Card Under 100 COMPARISON TABLE
GeForce GT 710 2GB Graphic Cards
Ram: 2GB DDR5 SDRAM | Memory Bus Width: 64 bits | Core Clock: 954Mhz | Memory Clock Speed: 5,010 MHz | Item Dimensions: 5.8 x 2.71 x 0.56 in.Easy to install and setup straight out of the box. That made it simple and straightforward even for someone like me!
The compact package allows you to fit plenty of other, required upgrades inside your PC case. Ideal for leaving plenty of scope for future expansion.
It’s a tiny point, minuscule even, but I would have liked a little more info about what firmware this thing runs.
The latest offering from these guys has been making a lot of noise recently for all the right reasons. I’m determined to find you the best budget 4k graphics card so what better manufacturer to begin with?
I loved the overall look and feel of this card; sometimes aesthetics is important right? However, more importantly, is that it comes with an impressive 5 GHz clock speed. That should ensure you can push it without resorting to over-clocking and having to deal with the extra heat generated. For me, it’s ideal if you want to be able to build a reliable long term gaming machine on a tight budget. Furthermore, because it has a 64-bit bus, I don’t think you’re ever going to have to sacrifice performance.
A great piece of budget tech that does precisely what it says. If you want to find the cheap graphics card, then this card has to be on your shortlist. Take a closer look after reading about the other 4 and then decide for yourself.
GeForce GT 1030 2GB GDRR5
RAM: 2GB GDDR5 | Memory Bus Width: 64 bits | Memory Clock Speed: 1,518 MHz | Memory Clock: 6008 MHz | Power consumption: 30 W | Item Dimensions: 5.8 x 4.1 x 1.5 in.No known compatibility issues no matter which OS you’re running
A slick package that you can install without any fuss
The clock speed is only 1.52 GHz which is the slowest on this list by some distance
Nvidia is known as something of a gaming powerhouse, so I was excited to take a look at their latest 1030 model. If you want the best GPU under 100, then you cannot turn your back on these guys. So goes my logic anyway!
It may not be the fastest on this list, but given the overall build quality and reliability, I’m not sure that it matters all that much. If you’re looking for a solid piece of tech that won’t let you down, made by a big name brand, then I’d read on! Plus, because it runs slower, it’s likely to produce considerably less waste heat than some of the others. In my opinion, that’s perfect if you have limited space inside your case!
I’ve kept this review short and sweet as you can tell! The speed may be a lot lower, but for me, this card is still usable. If the games you want to play won’t be impacted by it, then go for it. After all, it’s still packing an impressive 2 GB of RAM.
Gigabyte GV-N1030OC-2GI Nvidia GeForce
RAM: 2GB GDDR5 | Supports: HDMI [email protected] | Memory Bus Width: 64 bits | Clock Speed: 6,008 MHz | Hardware Connectivity: PCIE x 16 | Item Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.7 x 0.6 in.2 GB of RAM is impressive in a budget model, as is the clock speed and range of interfacing options
It runs a standard 64-bit bus which is nice to see as it tells you they haven’t cut any corners to make it cheaper
One thing that is a slight pain is that it wasn’t the easiest of the 5 to install. Still, if the manual doesn’t help you out of a tight spot then no doubt a helpful YouTuber will!
I’ve been impressed by the GT series for a long time, so I couldn’t wait to give one a try. Here’s a quick list of reasons why I think it will make your gaming life more comfortable. It’s easy to play with, to adjust, to fine-tune, and to update. Now, if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know in a hurry about possibly the best value graphics card, then I don’t know what will!
A wonderful piece of tech. Okay, that may sound a little over the top, but that’s just how I feel. If you want the fastest graphics card, then this has to be on your shortlist!
AMD Radeon RX 550 D5 2GB Graphic Cards
RAM: 2GB GDDR5 | Memory Bus Width: 128 bits | Memory Clock Speed: 7,000 MHz | Hardware Connectivity: PCIE x 16 | Supports: HDMI [email protected] and DP [email protected] | Item Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.5 x 1.1 in.It has a 7 GHz clock speed
I love how quiet the onboard fan runs given how much heat load it must be under at times!
The big fan on the top does make this one of the noisier and bulkier cards on the list
We’re moving quickly towards the business end of things, that all-important final verdict. But first here are some quick thoughts on one of AMD’s latest offerings.
Overall I liked how it performed flawlessly for flight simulator games such as IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad. That is in no small part due to the 7 GHz clock speed. You may think that this caused havoc with my internal diagnostics but not at all!
Just check out the size of the onboard fan on this thing, and you won’t struggle to see how it stays cold. Perfect for RPG lovers and strategy game addicts!
This is a cracking piece of tech and certainly worthy of consideration by those of you looking for the budget graphics card. If you have tight spatial constraints, then get your ruler out before purchasing to avoid frustration. Other than that, I was blown away!
ASUS GeForce GT 710 Graphics Card
RAM: 2GB GDDR5 | Memory Bus Width: 64 bits | Clock Speed: 5,012 MHz | Hardware Connectivity: PCIE x 16 | Item Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 2.7 in.The installation was quick and efficient
I love how compact and quiet it was given that it runs at 5 GHz. The 2 GB of RAM didn’t suck either!
I would like to have had more documentation regarding its compatibility requirements
Last but not least is this interesting offering from Asus. I found the reliability and heat load to be first class. And I was also impressed at how reachable the 5 GHz clock speed was. If you want to push the limits and play more expansive RPGs, this could be just what you need. Certainly a worthy contender for the title of best video card for 100.
A highly versatile piece of budget tech that is indeed worth a closer look at. Ideal if you’re into huge RPGs that seem to get bigger every time you download an update!
Things to Consider Before Buying a Graphics Card
Graphics cards come in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to your PC base your purchase on specs. Additionally, be sure that you have enough computing power to run it. Plus, a free slot, so that you can install the thing without having to pull half your setup apart. What’s more, there are technical specifics that you need to have at the front of your mind when searching. Here’s what you need to look for when searching for the best affordable graphics card.
The core clock: This will tell you how fast the card runs and how quickly it will enable your PC to generate new graphics. As always with the core’s clock frequency: the higher, the better.
Memory Bus Width: Look for 64-bit wherever possible as this will give you more power, and more room for future expansion.
The form factor: Always look for a low profile form factor because this will use up minimal space inside your PC. There’s no use in a super powerful card if it takes up all the spare room inside your case.
The RAM: 2 GB of RAM or more is what you need, and all the best budget GPU should offer that. The higher the RAM, the more operations per second the card will enable your PC to carry out. In laymen’s terms, this means better graphics!
Power Consumption and Cooling Capacity: These two very much go hand in hand which is why I’ve combined them. You will want to calculate how much spare power you have so that your new card doesn’t drain your resources. A card with a powerful onboard fan is also a great idea if you want to prevent your PC from overheating. This is often a lot more economical than installing standalone fans or liquid cooling at a later date.
How to Install a Graphics Card | The Easy and Effective Way
A graphics or video card is essential for your computer, if you are – like most people – concerned about getting good quality graphics.
If you are a gamer, or you tend to work with a lot of big videos, either for work or as a hobby, you are probably always on the lookout for excellent graphics cards.
It’s a hassle asking someone or sending your computer over, just to install a graphics card for you when you can easily do it yourself!
As long as you have the right card that suits your computer which you can get with just a little bit of research, you will be fine.
Before You Get a Graphics Card – Look Before You Leap!
If you have already bought your graphics card, let’s hope you have looked around enough and got one your PC will support. In case you have not, you can first take a look at your computer to determine which type is right for you.
- Turn Off and Safely Open Up Your Machine
First, turn off your computer and disconnect the power cable. Then, locate the side panels of the casing, and observing them, decide which type of screwdriver you will use to take them off.
Acquire the most suitable one, and remove the panel that is opposite the motherboard. The motherboard is on the side that has a board full of different ports. You can do this by laying your computer to one side so that you can get easy access.
- Check Its Power Supply Unit
Once you have easy access to the motherboard, you can determine what kind of power supply you get, and whether it is good enough for any graphics card, you have in mind. If you do not have enough power supply, your computer will not support certain graphics cards.
- Upgrade If Necessary
You can choose to upgrade your power supply so that you can use the graphics card of your choice. To see the maximum wattage on your computer, look for a sticker that should be situated on the power supply.
The power supply for your computer will also have to have PCI-E connectors, which are very common in modern ones. Keeping all these factors in mind, if you want to figure out what your power supply requirements are, you can just use a “power supply calculator,” many of which are found on the internet.
- Check the Motherboard Compliance
If your motherboard does not have PCI-E connectors, most modern graphics cards will not suit it. If you are desperate to upgrade your graphics card, you will then have to exchange your motherboard for a newer version. This will be a huge upgrade, and you will have to reinstall the OS you were using.
Furthermore, to choose the perfect card for you and your computer, you will have to consider the size and capabilities it has to offer in the first place. Get one that will fit your motherboard, and also satisfy your gaming needs.
7 Easy Steps to Install the Card
The graphics card you buy of course depends much on the budget you have set out for it. There are many high-end cards you can get, which will run most games smoothly without any trouble. But these are some very affordable ones, which can provide enough user comfort.
Once you have decided and bought the perfect graphics card, you can then follow the steps below to install it.
The first thing you have to do is uninstall the drivers that are currently being used by your computer. If you don’t, they may interfere with your new graphics card.
1.Uninstall Old Drivers
To uninstall the old drivers, open the “Device Manager” by searching for it in the Start Menu. There, you will see a section for “Display Adapter.” Expand this, then find the display adapter you are using.
Right click on it and then choose the option to “Uninstall” the adapter. Further guidance will be provided by your computer, follow them to remove the driver.
You will know the driver has been successfully removed when you see that your display has gone down to much lower quality.
2.Remove Old Graphics Card
After uninstalling the drivers, shut your computer down.
Before you start working, unplug your computer, make sure it is not on a carpeted area, and situate yourself on a tiled or linoleum floor. Ground yourself by wearing an anti-static wrist strap, which you should attach to the metal in your case.
Next, find the old graphics card in your computer and remove it with a screwdriver. This is simple enough; you will just have to unscrew it from the chassis, make sure it is not connected to anything else, then pull it straight upwards.
Tip: However, if you use a monitor that is connected directly to the motherboard, you will not find any graphics cards to remove. Once the old graphics card is off, you can use this opportunity to clean up the PCI slot. Remove all the dust before you attach the new card.
3.Set the New Card In
When you have a freshly cleaned slot, you can then attach the new card to it. Take the card out of its bag but do not touch the circuitry or any contacts on it. If you have a large graphics card, make sure to clear up enough space for it by removing the panel beside it.
To attach the new graphics card, just seat it onto the PCI-E slot and press down. Most likely, you will hear a soft click when the card is correctly seated, or you will be able to tell by yourself.
Secure the card in place by screwing it to the chassis. Use case screws, enough in number, so that the whole card is seated well. If you take up two panels, you will be better off using two screws.
4.Connect It To Power
Next, connect one or two PCI-E cables from the power supply to the ports on the card. You may also find adapters, which will make your card compatible with the cables on your computer.
5.Turn On Your PC
With the graphics card perfectly in order, you can close up the case and connect your monitor to the card. Start your computer to check how the card is performing. Your computer should be able to detect the installation of a new card and will ask to make necessary changes to adjust the graphics. Accept these and continue.
However, you may face some trouble if your card is not installed correctly. You may get a blank screen, or the pictures could show up distorted. If this occurs, you must first check if the graphics card is installed correctly. If it looks fine, you should contact the manufacturer.
6.Install Required Drivers
You will then have to set up the drivers that come with your card. They will either be provided to you in a disk with the card, or you can download the latest versions from the website of your graphics card manufacturers.
You may get asked to install some additional software for graphics card management, which will help your drivers remain updated.
Other than that, the installation process will be automatic. Once it is completed, you may be asked to update the drivers primarily if you used a disk. Do so, and your card will be ready to use.
7.Test Your Card’s Performance
With everything set up, you can finally test out your brand new graphics card. Start up a game and go to its video settings. Turn up all the settings to their highest levels and try playing the game.
If your game functions perfectly and the quality comes out great, you’re a winner! However, there is a chance that some games will turn out to be a little choppy or laggy. In that case, turn down the settings little by little, until the game runs smoothly.
And now you know how to choose the perfect graphics card for yourself, how to install and use it! It’s quite simply a process as long as you stick to the guidelines. With a little understanding of what you want, you can complete this process in no time!
How Many Graphics Cards are There?
I’m looking at five cards which among them will include the best 1080p graphics card money can buy. I began my search by looking at all the different types of cards and then narrowed it down to 5 diverse options for your consideration.
By now it’s clear that I am that I have found the best graphics card for your budget. But how realistic is it that they will provide the required performance, and are they worth the money?
It’s all about managing your expectations by checking out the vital stats that matter. If you want to be able to play GTA or COD, then you won’t have any issues with a $100 graphics card. It’ll also mean that you have a little bit more leftover to put towards your next game! Now, what could be better than that?
Cheap video cards should be able to accommodate any of your gaming needs, but I always advise people to double check. There are plenty of new games out there that are pushing PC hardware to new limits. Make sure you don’t fall foul of the resource hungry nature of gaming by checking the specs before purchase. That way you’ll won’t fall foul of a game that isn’t compatible with your GPU!
Hopefully, this article has shown you that the best graphics card under 100 is just a click away. Budget graphics cards are all the rage these days, so why not take a look for yourself and give one of them a try. Not only are their performances to be admired, but they also allow you to save plenty of money. That way you’ll have more to put towards your next rebuild or game purchase.
The secret is to make a list for your budget, the specs you want, and how much space you have available inside your PC. Oh, and, obviously, you’ll want to think long and hard about which types of games you want to play! Once you know these four things, it will be straightforward for you to find the best graphics card for the price. However, any of the five I’ve reviewed will transform your gaming machine from mediocre to the next best thing.
Now all you need to do is find your perfect match and get set for a bonafide gaming marathon. Happy hunting!