Best Graphics Cards Under $200 (Oct. 2016) - Buyer's Guide

Who said gaming is expensive? Gaming on budget is possible. We now have GPU’s that can play games on Ultra setting@1080p 60fps at sub $200. Well the problems with GPU’s are…sigh no it’s the developers. Unlike consoles, games won’t get optimized for PC. The only optimization comes from the GPU manufacturers. They’ll release game ready drivers as soon as new games released. But it doesn’t guarantee best performance. That’s why you have to invest in a decent GPU that’s capable of gaming at ultra or medium settings for future games. If you are into crossfire or SLI two of these budget cards then it’s not worth it and some cards don’t support pairing at this range. Its better invest in a single slot option rather than gets into problems at this price bracket.

Best Graphics Card under $200

Zotac GTX 1060 mini 3 GB gddr5

GTX 1060 is the new card based on Nvidia pascal architecture. You can run almost all games at 1080P 60FPS and VR ready. And can even do 1440p at medium ultra settings. It’s on the league of GTX 980 as well. If you think it’s the same card as GTX 1060 6GB, it’s not. There’s difference between the regular version and this 3GB version in terms of core configuration. Hence the lower price and 6GB version goes for high price. What difference it makes on games? It’s an interesting question. The difference is 0 to 3 fps at 1080p. And goes up to -9% differences at max settings at 1440p compared to 6GB version.

The worthy alternative to this card is RX 480 8 GB. I would’ve chosen 480 over 1060 if both go for the same price. Why? 1060 beats RX 480 at all current DX11 games but RX 480 is more future proof and may perform better in upcoming titles and has overclocking capability. And it does perform better on DX12 games like doom and it does have more VRAM. But considering the extra premium price the 3rd party vendors asking for it instead of $199 launch price and the extra power consumption we like to invest that in better CPU to make sure we won’t have any bottleneck with GPU in modern titles.
Shader units1152
Texture Units72
Floating Point Performance3.94 TFLOPS
Texture Fill Rate57.6 GTexel/s
Engine ClockBase: 1506

Board Power120W


Sub $200 & 1440p gaming

Performance of Previous flagship GTX 980

Lower power consumption

VR ready


3GB VRAM enough? Are we into GTX 970 saga again?

DX12 performance concerns

Best Graphics Card Under $150

Slot is opened and yet to see one card that’s fits here. We really feel RX 470 and GTX 1050Ti will battle here.

Best Graphics Card under $120

Sapphire Radeon RX 460 2GB gddr5

RX 460 launch price is under $100 but the various models asking for a hefty price tag of $149 at launch. But it’s stabilized and we managed find RX 460 under $120. Its 2GB version but fully capable of 1080P gaming. The worthy alternatives are GTX 750Ti and GTX 950. But Considering RX 460 outperforms 750ti by approx 30% and by 950 approx 10% we choose RX 460. And its power consumption is low and doesn’t need external power connector. It runs on any crappy PSU and saves little bit of money in the long run.
Shader units896
Texture Units56
Floating Point Performance2.15 TFLOP
Texture Fill Rate57.6 GTexel/s
Engine ClockBase: 1900

Board Power<75W


1080P gaming

No 6 pin power connector needed


Need to lower setting from High to Medium in some titles.


There are older generation cards that can do 1080P games as well. But considering the price performance ratio, new architecture and performance these new selected cards fit well here for 1080p gaming. Also make sure to get a CPU that won’t bottleneck or overkill. It’s about balance when you pair CPU and GPU. Feel free to ask questions and express opinions as well. And we do like suggestions and we’ll update this guide in every 3 months to get updated with latest trends in budget gaming.

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