7 Best Graphic Cards Under $250 (September, 2022) - Let Me Fulfill

7 Best Graphic Cards Under $250 (September, 2022)

Updated on August 14, 2022

Graphics cards are the heart of any gaming PC, blasting out stunningly-rendered pixels to your monitor. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, we’re here to separate the must-haves from the wish-list items. For some, the fastest graphics card is more important than others. For others, the best value is more important than others. Your gaming experience depends on the graphics card, and no other component has as big of an impact on that experience as the graphics card.

In contrast to our GPU benchmarks hierarchy, our ranking of the top graphics cards takes a more holistic approach. When it comes to determining a product’s value, price, availability, performance, features, and efficiency all play an essential role. Supply chain concerns and cryptocurrency and Ethereum miners appear to be stealing GPUs from manufacturers, making it difficult to find reasonably-priced graphics cards.

Apart from the Radeon 6500 XT or GeForce 3050, you may also wait for the Intel Arc Alchemist to arrive. AMD and Nvidia have theoretical MSRPs of $199 and $249, respectively, but the first two are already available (and sold out). GPU costs continue to fall in tandem with bitcoin mining profits, but it will be a long time before graphics cards return to their pre-pandemic levels. That hasn’t happened yet, but we’re moving in the right direction.

Graphics Card Deals

GPU pricing has been affected by supply shortages, price gouging, and scalping for more than a year now. You may save money on either the graphics card or the prebuilt system itself by looking at our RTX 3080 offers, RTX 3070 deals and RTX 3060 deals sites on our site. We also recommend that you look at our RTX 3060 deals page. If you’re looking for the best prices, you should expect to pay between 25 and 50 percent more than the advertised price. If you’re searching for a whole system upgrade, you may want to consider purchasing a pre-built PC, which frequently has lower costs on the GPU.

The prices of most graphics cards are still messed up, so keep that in mind. Please note that these prices are based on recent eBay averages and do not include the official MSRPs. It’s not uncommon for these cards to sell for prices that are more than twice what they’re advertised to be.

However, we’ve ranked the following cards based not only on their performance, but also on our own subjective opinions, which we’ve taken into account while sorting the cards. As a result, we take into account our personal preferences when it comes to performance, price, power, and features. In addition, the existing prices make it difficult to assign a value to anything.

Best Graphic Cards Under $250

Specifications

GPU: Ampere (GA102)
GPU Cores: 8704
Boost Clock: 1,710 MHz
Video RAM: 10GB GDDR6X 19 Gbps
TDP: 320 watts

Reasons to Buy

Excellent performance

Good price compared to 3090

Can legitimately do 4K ultra at 60 fps or more

Substantially faster than previous gen GPUs

Reasons to Avoid

Availability is severely limited

Requires 320W of power

Overkill for 1080p displays

Usually priced much higher

The updated and upgraded Ampere architecture is included on Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. The new 2080 Ti is purportedly 30 percent quicker than the previous generation, and it’s rumoured to be $500 cheaper. RTX 3080 Ti’s much higher price tag prevented it from overtaking the incumbent. It’s overkill for 1080p gaming unless you enable all ray tracing effects in games that support it, but 1080p is still reasonable if you’re serious about maxing out all of your graphics settings.

The RTX 30-series may finally get you on board the ray tracing train if you bypassed the initial generation of RTX GPUs. The RTX 3080 is your best bet if you want to experience ray tracing in all its glory without breaking the budget, thanks to titles like Cyberpunk 2077, which use even more ray tracing effects.

DLSS, which doesn’t require in-game training by a supercomputer any longer thanks to Ampere’s enhanced tensor cores, will likely appear in more games in the future. To get it running in Unreal Engine and Unity you just need to toggle and change the UI.

This has led to an increase in the number of games using DLSS 2.0. There are some advantages to Nvidia’s RX 6000 cards over AMD’s RX 580 cards in terms of performance, but Nvidia still lags behind when it comes to classic rasterization (which is what our raw numbers are based on).

When it comes to the RTX 3080, the most difficult part will be locating one in stock at a reasonable price. In the last month, the average eBay price was almost $1,440. Although the 3080 Ti and 3090 are more expensive, this is still our top option for a fast GPU right now.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Review

Specifications

GPU: Navi 21 XT
GPU Cores: 4608
Boost Clock: 2,250 MHz
Video RAM: 16GB GDDR6 16 Gbps
TDP: 300 watts

Reasons to Buy

New RDNA2 architecture provides excellent performance

Beats 3080 in rasterization games

Easily handles 4K and 1440p

Lots of VRAM for the future

REASONS TO AVOID

Weaker ray tracing performance

FSR needs wider adoption

Supply might be even worse than Nvidia

Team Red’s best GPU is AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT. Even while it’s technically 7-7% quicker than the RX Radeon 6900XT in terms of performance, it costs more than five times more.

Even if you get more VRAM or other goodies, this isn’t a terrific price. In terms of performance and functionality, the RX 6800 XT is a considerable improvement over the RX 5700 XT, which was released in 2012. Using DirectX Raytracing or VulkanRT, it adds support for ray tracing and is 70-90 percent faster in our tests than its predecessor.

Before its release, the GPU was called “Big Navi” by the enthusiast community because of its impressive performance. Navi 21 has twice as many shader cores and RAM as Navi 10, making it more than twice as large. As a result, the GPU now runs at clock speeds of up to 2.1-2.3 GHz, which is 300 MHz faster than the previous record set by a reference GPU. As a result, AMD’s RX 6800 XT has a TDP of 300W, which is somewhat lower than that of the RTX 3080’s 320W TDP.

The enormous 128MB Infinity Cache is responsible for a significant portion of AMD’s speed. It boosts the bandwidth by a whopping 119%. (according to AMD). As far as we know, very few games will require more than 16GB in the near future, and so the 6800 XT is in a strong position in that regard.

How can you dislike this? To put it simply, ray tracing performance is below average. It’s possible that contemporary games are better suited to Nvidia’s RTX GPUs because of this, but the 6800 XT is just marginally faster than the RTX 3070 when it comes to ray tracing, and it lags behind in some games by up to 25%. Without DLSS, which even in Quality mode can increase the performance of RTX cards by 20% to 40%.. (sometimes more). Because of this, AMD is developing FidelityFX Super Resolution, although it hasn’t been ready to compete with DLSS.

Sadly, as with other contemporary GPUs, pricing and availability are as bad as they have always been. Last month, the RX 6800 XT sold for an average of over $1,200 on eBay. Technically, it’s better than the RTX 3080, but the MSRP is still more than twice as high as the AMD equivalent.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Review

Specifications

GPU: Ampere (GA102)
GPU Cores: 10496
Boost Clock: 1,695 MHz
Video RAM: 24GB GDDR6X 19.5 Gbps
TDP: 350 watts

Reasons to Buy

The fastest GPU, period

4K and maybe even 8K gaming

24GB is great for content creation workloads

Up to 30% faster than 3080 in professional apps

Reasons to Avoid

Over twice the cost of 3080 for 10-15% more performance

Extremely limited availability for now

High power requirements

Titan price without Titan enhancements

As far as some people are concerned, speed is more important than price! It’s Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 that caters to this group. Performance is only somewhat better (10-15 percent) than the RTX 3080, which costs more than twice as much.

It’s essentially a Titan RTX replacement, albeit at a much higher price. For those who are looking for a more affordable option, the RTX 3080 Ti’s 12GB of GDDR5X isn’t going to do anything to change things.

Until the RTX 3090 Ti is released, Nvidia’s top GPU is set to be the RTX 3090. The Ampere architecture GA102 chip is nearly ready, therefore a new Titan card is out of the question. According to Nvidia, the 3090 offers Titan-class performance and features to the GeForce brand (particularly the 24GB VRAM).

The RTX 3090 is the fastest graphics card currently on the market. As of this writing, the average price on eBay last month was over $2,300, so expect to pay a lot for the privilege of owning one.

But it’s not just about games, you know. This is the only GeForce Ampere with NVLink capability, which is arguably more helpful for professional applications and GPU computation than SLI is. Various multimedia creation apps benefit from the 24GB of GDDR6X memory.

When comparing the 3080 to the Titan RTX, for example, Blender frequently reported a 30% increase in performance. Some of the SPECviewperf 13 apps may perform worse than expected if you use a GPU powered by Titan RTX since the driver has additional functionality enabled that aren’t available to GPUs powered by GeForce.

RX 6900 XT from AMD is a direct competitor to the RTX 3090 in classic rasterization. A handful of the SPECviewperf tests give it a few victories as well. But if you’re looking for the fastest graphics card on the market right now, Nvidia is the clear winner.

The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, on the other hand, is set to be on sale at the end of the month and is expected to take the performance crown thanks to its higher clock speeds and additional GPU cores.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Review

Specifications

GPU: Ampere (GA104)
GPU Cores: 4864
Boost Clock: 1,665 MHz
Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps
TDP: 200 watts

Reasons to Buy

Beats the 2080 Super for $300 less

Good overall value (fps/$)

Great for RT at 1440p with DLSS

Reasons to Avoid

Sold out and currently overpriced

4K is a a stretch even with DLSS

8GB might not be ‘enough’ VRAM long term

What may be Nvidia’s finest Ampere yet is on the horizon. An entry-level GPU with all of the same functionality as higher 30-series models costs just $399. This is only true in theory, as it was outsold by every other new graphics card release in the past year. Currently, the average eBay price is approximately $850, which is more than twice the original MSRP.

The 3060 Ti outperforms the previous generation 2080 Super in every test we conducted. Only 9% slower than the 3070 and 20% cheaper, it’s a great deal. As long as you’re still using a GTX series or equivalent GPU, such as a GT 1070 or RX Vega 56, the 3060 Ti is up to twice as fast as the 3060.

The absence of VRAM is the only serious issue. While 8GB is sufficient for most games, a few are beginning to test the limit. If you lower the texture quality a notch, you won’t notice much of a change, but you’ll feel guilty about it in the long run. (It’s not really a difference, because high and ultra settings are typically indistinguishable in appearance.)

Even though AMD’s more modern RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT cards compete with the Nvidia 3060 Ti, the latter’s performance remains superior in ray tracing games. For what it’s worth, you can get an RX 6600 XT for over $250 less than an RX 3060 Ti right now. It’s impossible to find a competitor for the 3060 Ti’s $399 price tag. All at the same low price. It’s 35-45 percent faster than the 2060 Super and 25-30% quicker than RX 5700 XT.

Right now, the most pressing worry is locating a card like this for sale. The 3070 (at least for non-LHR variants) and AMD’s newest gen cards are comparable in terms of mining performance, which means pricing are still outrageous. Aside from the fact that the GTX 1070 had 8GB of memory five years ago, 8GB feels a little underwhelming in comparison.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Review

Specifications

GPU: Ampere (GA104)
GPU Cores: 5888
Boost Clock: 1,730 MHz
Video RAM: 8GB GDDR6 14 Gbps
TDP: 220 watts

Reasons to Buy

2080 Ti performance at half the cost

All the Ampere enhancements

Not as power hungry as 3080

Reasons to Avoid

Totally sold out and/or expensive

Can’t do 4K ultra in some games at 60 fps

8GB VRAM feels stingy

Next-generation architectures and Ampere’s ambush continue with GeForce’s RTX 3070. In comparison to AMD’s RX 6800 series, it is a significant step down in performance and has less than half the VRAM.

AMD’s new cards, on the other hand, are significantly more expensive than the 3070, but the 3070 still boasts greater ray-tracing performance, as well as DirectX 12 support. Unfortunately, all of the 3070 cards have sold out at any price near to the recommended retail price. Our recommendation is to remain with the non-Ti RTX 3070 for the time being because it offers slightly higher performance for $100 more, but it also consumes 30% more power.

In comparison to the 3060 Ti’s $400 price tag, the 3070 is less appealing. In principle, it’s 10-12 percent faster, but it costs 25% more. On eBay, the 3070 Ti was selling for roughly $150 more than the 3060 Ti last month. Extra money for a non-Titan GPU isn’t that much of an issue when you take into account the rest of your gaming PC’s components. It’s hardly worth spending more than $300 on a new gaming PC right now unless it has an Ampere or Big Navi GPU. However, we have some misgivings about this.

1440p and 4K gaming are both viable, however at their highest settings, 4K often has frame rates that are less than 60 frames per second (fps). If a game supports DLSS, it can be fixed, however ray tracing even with DLSS often results in a frame rate of 40 to 50 fps on a 4K display. We’re also concerned about the GDDR6’s 8GB capacity. Not only is there less memory on a smaller bus, but the 3080 is also running at a lower clock speed. A few games have already shown that 8GB isn’t enough to run at full resolution, and it’s just going to grow worse in the future. To make matters worse for Nvidia, AMD added 16GB of RAM on its Navi 21 GPUs, while Nvidia pushed the RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti to 12GB of RAM, making their 8GB of RAM look even worse.

The 3060 Ti is the best Nvidia GPU at the lowest feasible price. With an extra $100, you can buy the 3070, which then leads to the 3070 Ti, and at that point why not purchase the 3080? It is, after all, the best all-around card. That’s the issue with focusing on more expensive cards and the principle of declining marginal utility. It’s now possible to get into an RTX 2080 Ti for a fraction of the price you’d previously had to pay.

Read: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Review

Specifications

GPU: Navi 22
GPU Cores: 2560
Boost Clock: 2581 MHz
Video RAM: 12GB GDDR6 16 Gbps
TDP: 230 watts

Reasons to Buy

Good 1440p performance

Plenty of VRAM

Comes close to the 3070 in non-RT

Reasons to Avoid

Out of stock like everything else

Mediocre RT performance

FSR can’t defeat DLSS

AMD’s Navi 22 and the RX 6700 XT are the result of starting with the Navi 21 GPU and reducing the numerous functional parts in order to make a smaller die that can be sold for a lower price. More cache and faster clock speeds give it a 25 percent performance gain despite having the same number of GPU cores as the previous generation RX 5700 XT (at higher settings and resolutions, at least).

The reference card for AMD’s RX 6700 XT clocks in at stock at 2.5GHz, which is among the highest clock speeds we’ve ever seen on a GPU. A little tweaking and overclocking allowed us to achieve speeds of 2.7-2.8GHz without overheating the graphics card. We’re a little disappointed that it only has 2,560 GPU cores, though.

RX 6700 XT and RTX 3070 and Ti trade blows in our performance testing. RX 6700 XT comes out on top. The $479 price tag is reasonable, considering that it’s a touch quicker than the previous and a bit slower than the previous. Unless, of course, we add games that use DLSS or ray tracing, in which case the 6700 XT seems more like a 3060 Ti rival.

In the end, it boils down to the same thing as any other problem. RX 6700 XT sells out immediately, even at exorbitantly high pricing. The card’s current eBay price is roughly $775. Better than the 3060 Ti, but still more than we’d advocate paying for a $500 high-end offering that should ostensibly cost that much.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review

Specifications

GPU: Navi 21 XL
GPU Cores: 3840
Boost Clock: 2105 MHz
Video RAM: 16GB GDDR6 16 Gbps
TDP: 250 watts

Reasons to Buy

Excellent overall performance

Lots of VRAM and Infinity Cache

Easily beats the 3070 in non-RT

Reasons to Avoid

Good luck finding one

Middling RT performance

FSR will take a while to catch up to DLSS

Not much cheaper than 6800 XT

In order to get the RX 6800, all you have to do is cut 10% off of the new Navi 21 GPU that powers the xt version of the card (above). Only 96 ROPs and somewhat lower clock speeds are provided, however the 16GB GDDR6 and 128MB Infinity Cache remain fully functional. Although it’s a reasonable compromise, we believe the 6800 XT is a superior handset in every way (unless pricing eventually drops a bit more on the vanilla cards).

On eBay, the RX 6800 is currently selling for $1,033, which is $140 less than the 6800 XT and somewhat more than the 3070 Ti. Is it really necessary to point out how outrageous these prices are? Nvidia’s RTX 3070 is outperformed by the RX 6800 by 12 percent, and the 3070 Ti is outperformed by 5 percent, both without ray tracing or DLSS.

Nvidia’s previous generation RTX 2080 Super has the same ray tracing performance as Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super. There are some advantages to using AMD’s FSR, but it isn’t utilised in as many games and it doesn’t have the same quality as DLSS. At native rendering, the RTX 3070 already outperforms the 6800 by 12 percent in terms of ray tracing performance; however, when using DLSS Quality mode, the difference widens to more than 50 percent.

In the short term, AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) may offer a competitive advantage, however FSR also works with Nvidia GPUs. We’d rather have the rasterization power of the RX 6800 than the ray tracing of the RTX 2080 Ti. When it comes down to it, we’d rather wait until the price of this particular card falls below $600. RDNA 3 and Lovelace are more likely to come first, hopefully by the end of 2022.

Read: AMD Radeon RX 6800 review

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