Every gamer knows that a dedicated graphics card is key to a good gaming experience. But while the high-end cards such as the GTX 1080, GTX 980 Ti and Radeon R9 Fury X offer the best possible gaming experience, they are quite pricy. But luckily there are a handful of great budget friendly offers that will allow you to play your favorite games. So if you are after a great budget friendly gaming desktop and want to up its graphics performance, then here is our list of the top budget graphics cards for under $150.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 SC
This is one of the best graphics cards that you can buy for under $150 and will allow you to play most modern games on high or ultra settings and with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. You get 2GB of GDDR5 video memory and a core clock speed of 1127MHz that will boost to 1317MHz under load. It runs the same Maxwell architecture as the other GTX 900-series cards, but only has a 128-bit memory interface, but for its price it performs quite well. The GTX 950 SC requires 90-Watts of power and you could get away with running a lower wattage power supply, but we do recommend that you look at a 500-Watt power supply or greater to ensure that you have enough power for your entire setup.
AMD Radeon RX 460 OC
The Radeon RX 460 OC is one of the latest offerings from AMD and its performance is quite similar to the NVIDIA GTX 950. You get a Polaris-based card with 4GB of GDDR5 video memory and a core clock speed of 1175MHz and will boost up to 1250MHz. Priced at over $100 you will get far better performance than from the cheaper Radeon cards. You will easily be able to run some of the latest games on high settings and with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It requires less than 75-Watts of power and can be run off of the mainboards PCIe slot. But it comes with a 6-pin power connector, which we recommend that you use to ensure that it runs to the best of its ability.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
While it’s a slightly older graphics card from the first quarter of 2014, it still offers great performance for its price. You get 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory and a core clock speed of 1020MHz that will boost up to 1085MHz under load. With a low power consumption of 60-Watts, you will be able to run it comfortably off of a 400-Watt power supply unit. While it will allow you to play most current games on high settings at 1920 x 1080, it might struggle with future titles and higher frame rates.
AMD Radeon R7 360 OC
The Radeon R7 360 OC is one of AMD’s cheaper dedicated graphics cards, while there are a few variations, we recommend the overclocked edition. The OC editions boast slightly higher core clock speeds than the standard editions and you get 2GB of GDDR5 video memory. You will be able to play most games on high settings, but it will struggle to offer higher frame rates for future games. It can easily be picked up for around $100, but it does require a minimum power supply unit of 450-Watts and a single 6-pin power connector. So you might have to look at higher wattage power supply, we recommend a 500-Watt PSU just to be safe.
AMD Radeon R7 250 OC
The Radeon R7 250 OC is an entry level Radeon graphics card that is more suited for 720p gaming on high settings as it will struggle to achieve higher frame rates when you set your resolution to 1920 x 1080. The core clock speed is 1000MHz which will boost to 1050MHz under load and you get 2GB of dedicated GDDR3 video memory, which is slower than the other cards GDDR5 video memory. The power consumption is quite low and at just 75-Watts you can easily run it off of the mainboards PCIe slot, but we do recommend a 400-Watt power supply or greater to run this card.
NVIDIA GeForce GT 730
When it comes to a great entry level graphics card, then the GT 730 on the top of our list. You can easily pick one up for under $70 and the best part is that it only requires a 300-Watt power supply, meaning that you won’t have to fork out extra cash on a new power supply unit. While it score just slightly higher in benchmark tests than the entry level integrated graphics from AMD and Intel, there are some advantages to it. Firstly it has a higher core clock speed, secondly you get up to 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory, and thirdly you generally have more ports available. We recommend the 64-bit version over the 128-bit version due to its higher core clock speed.