Updated on August 14, 2022
Isn’t it frustrating when there are so many graphics cards under $500 to choose from that it’s difficult to know where to begin? Gamers are afraid to ask for help because of the confusing, number-laden nomenclature of the graphics processing units sold at computer stores.
Trust me we’ve all been there. Well, look no further as this is exactly what you’ve been waiting for because after reading this you’ll never be confused about upgrading or choosing your GPU again.
We live in a fast-moving electronic age. With the development of better technology separated by a period of weeks if not days, competing suppliers are offering variants with slightly different performances.
These performance marks are tweaked to meet the needs of specific buyers, in an attempt to get more out of an ever-growing market. I am going to list the best graphics cards under $500 available in the market.
Best Graphics Cards Under $500 in 2022
- EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 Black
- MSI Gaming Geforce RTX 2070
- ASUS Geforce GTX 1070
- Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1070 Windforce OC
- MSI Gaming Geforce GTX 1070
- Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
- EVGA Geforce GTX 1070 Gaming ACX 3.0
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1
- Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 AMP Extreme
- Gigabyte Radeon RX VEGA
Also Read: Best Graphics Card Reviews.
Best Graphics Cards Under 500
There is now a 2070 graphics card for less than $500 from EVGA. It boasts the most impressive set of specs. DDR6 VRAM is used in the EVGA Geforce RTX 2070 Black Edition.
The memory clock speed is increased to 14000 MHz, while the core clock speed is also increased.
The maximum digital resolution of 7680 x 4320 is supported by four monitors running at 1620 MHz boost clock. In contrast, the GPU is cooled by a sink heat system and two fans.
With a TDP of 550 W, the GPU is fairly powerful and will require a significant amount of cooling to function properly. In order to implement real-time ray tracing, however, bandwidth and memory clock speed must be increased.
There are 2304CUDA cores on this card, and it uses PCIe 3.0 to transfer data between the graphics card and the memory card. The memory card has 8192MB of GDDR6 RAM, and its bit width is 256 bits. Its bandwidth is 448 gigabits per second.
Also check out our list of the best $500 gaming PCs.
Based on the same GPU technology as Nvidia, the MSI gaming version of GeForce RTX 2070 is practically identical in terms of performance and features.
A lot of things are the same, from how many CUDA cores are accessible to how much RAM is available. The maximum digital resolution is 7680 x 4320.
The only difference is the amount of boost clock speed that can be used to increase performance. In comparison to the EVGA version, MSI’s version has a boost clock speed that is 120 Mhz higher. Their armour and fan forms are designed to distribute heat better, and they claim to have a more thermally efficient design. In addition, the system’s needs are the same.
MSI’s boost clock speed limit is superior to EVGA’s in terms of specifications. Most of the time, you can get an RTX 2070 for less than $500 from EVGA, although MSI’s RTX 2070 can cost more than $550 from various retailers. It’s the greatest 2070 graphics card out of the ones we’ve reviewed.
There are 2304CUDA cores on this card. The bus is PCIe 3.0. The memory is 8192MB GDDR6. The memory’s bit width and bandwidth total 448 gigabits per second.
As with the normal 1070 GPUs, Asus makes use of GDDR5 for its VRAM. On our list, the 2070s have 8 gigabytes and 256 bits of memory bandwidth.
With an air pressure of 105%, the GPU is kept cool for smooth operation by ASUS’ patented design of fans, which are featured prominently in this overview.
This is fantastic news for ASUS users, as the ASUS 1070 is tuned for the ASUS – X99 A II motherboard. In addition, if you’re in the market for a gaming graphics card, this one is an excellent value.
Support for VR gaming and HDMI connectors for those who enjoy showing off their skills are included in this GPU. While playing the game, screenshots are taken using Nvidia Ansel technology. You can fine-tune the GPU performance with XSplit Gamecaster, if you so want. It provides a wide range of options for novice overclockers, as well as a wide range of options for more advanced overclockers.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 8GB GDDR5 video memory and 1920 CUDA cores.
Overall, Gigabyte isn’t doing much different from the GTX 1070 variants that are already out there. Virtual reality is supported by the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1070 Windforce OC.
The GPU is kept cool with the help of two 90 mm fans and copper heat pipes that are in direct contact with the CPU, allowing for effective heat dissipation. Triangular fan blades slice the airflow when they come into touch with the 3D stripes. It enables better cooling.
When cooling isn’t necessary, the fan shuts off, giving our gamers some peace and quiet. Using the GPU modes is as simple as clicking a button, so you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects or activities going on behind the scenes. With only a single click, you may do a safe overclock.
As an example, the core clock boost is 1771MHz, although the base clock is only 1582mhz. The memory clock is 8008mhz, while the memory size is 8GB and the memory bus is 256bit.
MSI has also produced a version based on the greatest gaming GPU available, namely the 1070. Even though it has the same number of CUDA cores, it runs at a faster maximum memory clock speed of 8108 MHz rather than the conventional 8008 MHz.
The specifications and technical features are practically identical, so there’s nothing unusual about this one either.
MSI’s overclocking software is also among the best in the industry. The MSI Afterburner is an easy-to-understand programme for enhancing the performance of your GPU.
You can also run stress tests on your GPU using the included software, which gives you a decent sense of whether or not your GPU can handle the settings you want it to operate at. It also has a temperature monitor built in, so you can quickly monitor the temperature of your GPU core.
A CUDA graphics processing unit (CPU) with a total of 1920 processing units (CUDA Cores) and an interface memory interface of 256 bits is used.
As the primary manufacturer of the 1070 Pascal architecture, Nvidia’s graphics cards are some of the best in the industry for gaming, video editing, and graphic rendering. In terms of performance, it is a 1070 GPU with the normal features you’d expect from that model.
The Founder’s Edition of the NVidia 1070 series has the same specifications as the regular 1070 series. GTX 1080 processor with 25 percent of its CUDA Core deactivated is what you’re seeing at here.
In terms of performance, it’s on par with a 1070. When it comes to TDP, though, NVidia’s architecture has a more effective thermal management. It improves the GPU’s overall efficiency by keeping it cooler while yet delivering optimum performance.
Clock Speeds: 1506 MHZ Base Clock, 1683 MHZ Boost Clock, 8008 MHZ Memory Clock, 1920 CUDA Cores, and 8192MB GDDR5 Memory Data
In addition, EVGA’s graphics card features one of the greatest gaming GPUs on the market. It features a 256-bit width and a 256 GB/sec bandwidth. The AC 3.0 cooling system is the only thing that distinguishes the EVGA black version of the NVidia 1070 GPU.
The fans have been increased in size from 9 cm to 10 cm. When gaming, the GPU’s fans make a lot of noise, which is usually the most bothersome aspect of its high performance.
Even though AC 3.0’s fans are larger, they use idle technology to keep the system cool.
In other words, when the GPU no longer needs to be cooled, the fans will shut off. In a cold room, for example, your GPU may become completely silent without the need for any cooling at all.
GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card has a memory speed of 8008 MHz and a CUDA core count of 1920.
We’ve already seen another GTX 1070 from Gigabyte. Because the 1070 Pascal architecture is one of the best for gaming, I’ll merely compare the two distinct 1070 models made by the same firm, Gigabyte, which are both priced under $500.
The G1 variation is referred to as G1 and the Windforce variant is referred to as Windforce.
It also features a cooling system with three fans. The more fans there are, the better the cooling.
A 17mm reduction in hardware size makes G1 an attractive option for people with limited system space who want to save money while still getting better performance and cooling than G2. If you’re thinking in terms of gigabytes, it’s a no-brainer. The superior alternative is Windforce.
It has a total of eight gigabytes of RAM and a 256-bit memory interface. The OC clock speed is 1822 MHz, while the gaming clock speed is 1784 MHz.
Zotac also implements the three fan cooling system in the AMP extreme model. In addition to all the technical specifications that come with a GTX 1070, Zotac adds some aesthetics as well.
It incorporates a carbon fibre exoskeleton inside the outside casing and gives you adjustable LEDs around the outer casing which have selectable colours.
Zotac also offers customised software designed exclusively for the corporation to allow you simply configure the settings that you want to perform on including safe overclocking. The overclocking makes it the finest GPU for gaming
The bottom line for the 1070 series is that practically all the makers are selling graphics cards with modest differences in performances in the under $500 area. These 1070s are one of the greatest GPUs for gaming and also the top 4k GPUs for video editing.
The key thing a buyer needs to check for is compatibility with their system. For example if you have an ASUS X – 99 A II motherboard you should choose for the Asus variant. The dimensions of these GPUs and the cooling systems are quite essential too. So you know whether the GPU will even fit inside your system.
Other than hardware compatibility and some GPUs having manufacturer supplied software accessible for better management, performance tuning and overclocking, etc. The 1070s are going to provide you near comparable performance. The total numbers of 1070 plus the overclocking possibilities easily make them one of the best GPUs in the market.
CUDA cores: 1920 | Video Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Memory Bus: 256-bit | Engine Clock Base: 1632 MHz, Boost:1835 MHz | Memory Clock: 8208 MHz | PCI Express: 3.0 | Display Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 HDMI 2.0b DL-DVI
AMD Radeon Vega GPUs are also available from Gigabyte. Simply stated, HBM2’s bandwidth is far more than DDR5, and its maximum performance is achieved at a lower power consumption than DDR5.
However, this requires a significant investment in time and money. There are almost twice as many Steam processors on the Vega 56 as there are on the GTX 1080 Ti, and a memory speed of 800 MHz means that the card can run at a far lower thermal design power (TDP).
The price of this GPU is nearly 60 percent greater than the topic’s range, and it has significantly higher performance specifications as well. We included it to show how AMD Radeon, NVidia’s major competitor, is using new technology to develop more power-efficient graphics processing units (GPUs).
Vega architecture technology offers modest profit margins for Radeon, although the company does supply incredibly power-efficient GPUs. Comparing HBM2 to DDR5, the memory bandwidth is increased by a factor of one hundred percent. Additionally, it consumes only 8% of the power of the DDR5 technology.
CPU: 1471MHz boost, 1156MHz base, 3584 stream processors, 800MHz memory clock (1.6Gbps), 8GB memory, HBM2 memory, 2048-bit memory bus.
Choosing a Best Graphics Card Under $500
You should know that most CPUs (Central processing units) available nowadays contain an integrated GPU (graphics processing unit) (Graphics processing unit).
That’s basically what this means: The graphics card is built inside the CPU itself. For 2D graphics and standard operating system displays, these integrated GPUs offer significantly improved performance. With that said, what else could you want?
Integrated GPUs are not well-suited for heavy visual data processing required by the user when playing high-resolution video games or generating graphics, for example. Dedicated GPUs (also known as discrete GPUs) are employed for such demanding visual data operations.
Due to the fact that these devices are not meant for heavy data processing, this instruction is just for the latter.
So, when making a decision, what precisely should you be keeping an eye out for? In order to avoid wasting our hard-earned money on a GPU, we must evaluate the following eight factors. The purpose of this guide is to provide you a quick explanation of the significance of each factor so that you can make an informed decision. As a result, for individuals who are short on time, a brief conclusion has been drawn at the end of each more in-depth explanation.
Budget and Nature of Work
If you’re a gamer or a designer, you’ll need a graphics card that costs roughly 30 percent of your computer’s total cost. Of course, I know what you’re thinking: 30% on a single part?
In reality, a GPU is the most important portion of your complete CPU, and it might cost significantly more than what I’m describing here. In other words, if the price is higher than that, then you’re probably overpaying for a product that doesn’t meet your needs in the first place.
Formula One exhaust and cooling systems wouldn’t be appropriate for your Prius, would they? However, the Prius does not generate enough heat to need the usage of air conditioning. In general, a graphics card budget of less than $500 is a fantastic deal. As a last note, do your homework on what you need and what you can afford before you start shopping for a GPU. Buying a device with specifications that are too high for your needs is a waste of money.
As a first step, we’ll explain what TDP, or Thermal Design Power, is, and how it relates to the device’s maximum power dissipation (will be described separately in a later part).
As you can see, this Thermal design power is significant because you may not have enough power available to run your GPU at a smooth speed. In simple terms, the greater the TDP, the more processing power you’ll get, so it’s sensible to go for the maximum available, but the catch here is the amount of power your system can supply to the graphics card.
What were those two paragraphs about, if not greater processing power at your disposal because of an increase in TDP? There is, however, the fact that if your system does not have the power to sustain the high TDP, it is effectively useless.
Space and Cooling (TDP)
This TDP is, in fact, the power dissipated by the GPU. What does it imply to say that?? This is the maximum amount of heat your GPU will produce while it is running at its full potential, and it is measured in watts. It’s important that your system remains cool enough for efficient performance when you push your GPU to its limits, therefore you should check to see if you have adequate fans running at the right speed.
Extra fans necessitate more space, it’s that easy, isn’t it? High TDP GPUs may be accommodated more easily in large tower systems, which makes them better suited for gaming systems.
Never buy a GPU with more TDP than your system can handle even if it meets other criteria, since this could cause your system to overheat, resulting in the loss of data or the entire motherboard in extreme situations.
So what is this new thing that you should be keeping in mind?
There are two primary criteria that affect how fast a GPU will run: its clock speed and its memory bandwidth.
There are a variety of ways to measure core clock speed, which is how many oscillations the processor’s silicon will generate in order to render data stored in the GPU onto your desktop.
Gamers naturally choose a GPU with a quicker core clock to ensure that their gaming system runs smoothly. It is essentially one of the most relevant specs that are used to decide on the product that you are going to buy.
A faster GPU core clock speed is a preferable choice, but it should be considered in conjunction with the other factors discussed before, such as power supply, heat generation and cooling requirements and most crucially the requirements of the software or game you are running.
Memory and Hardware Specs
It’s usually a good idea to have more memory, as long as you don’t exceed your budget. Also, ensure sure it can be physically linked to your motherboard. Another essential tip is to always attach the GPU to the first connector slot available on your motherboard, as certain motherboards may have numerous ports for parallel processing..
It’s a measure of how much memory the processor has available at any one moment. Shader Cores can process more data if a GPU has a lot of bandwidth.
Your GPU’s performance may be constrained by bandwidth constraints.
The garage door example explains this. Even if you’re able to transport a large number of items from your garage at once, it’s still a lot of work (the simile is being used to talk about the core clock speed). You would be hindered by the door.
Even if your computer has 8-12 gigabytes of memory and a comparable core performance, if you don’t have the bandwidth to access more information at the same time, it doesn’t matter how fast your processor is. But there’s more to it than that. It’s a result of a confluence of two things. The first is the core clock speed, which has already been discussed; the second is the available bus width for data transport.
It is the bus that carries data from your GPU’s memory to the graphics processor. When determining bus bandwidth, it’s simply a matter of counting how many bits are on the bus at any given time throughout a clock cycle.
If you think of bus width as actual traffic lanes, you’ll have a better sense for what it’s like. Lanes also allow for more traffic to pass through a given area in a given length of time.
This is the hardware, and you’re wondering what to do with it, right? Check to see if the GPU memory you’re utilising necessitates the bus width that is being offered. Leave now if none of this makes sense. Having more lanes available for less data doesn’t hurt anything; it’ll just make things flow more smoothly.
Top-tier vendors refer to Shader Cores by a variety of names. However, AMD calls them steam processors and NVidia calls them CUDA, but they’re just shaders. Now you see where I was coming from.
Clock speed is one of the two most important factors to consider when selecting a GPU, the other being the number of CUDAs or steam processors. Graphics on your computer’s screen will be determined by these CPUs.
Parallel processing is used to convert the input into visual data by these processors. It’s not difficult to grasp, is it? For better performance, the more CPUs you have on board. This needs to be compared to the amount of bandwidth and storage available.
In most cases, the manufacturer provides you with a GPU with the appropriate number of peripheral components and shader cores, so you don’t have to worry about anything. The most important consideration is to choose a processor that meets your needs without falling short or exceeding them.
This number tells you how good your performance will be if you spend a lot of money on it, but remember that you shouldn’t go over your budget.
There are two NVidia GPUs in each of the mentioned products, as far as we can tell. However, NVidia GPUs are exorbitantly expensive. Other businesses use the same GPUs in their models, and they’re available for less than $500 from other manufacturers. These are the greatest 4k graphics cards on the market today. They are also the greatest video editing graphics cards.
Also Read: Best Graphics Card Under 200.
In the end, I’ll try to offer you an overview and a sense of which option is ideal for your situation.
With its Turing architecture and capabilities for real-time ray tracing, the 2070 is the most advanced technology available today. Simply said, it’s the best graphics card for gaming in the world right now because of its technological superiority.
The most powerful graphics card in terms of CUDA cores, memory bandwidth, and all-new artificial intelligence processing. Pascal architecture-based 1070s and 1080s (still rated as NVidia’s second-best architecture) pale in comparison.
2070, on the other hand, can only be seen as a long-term investment in the development of new technology. There are currently no issues with NVidia’s 1070 or 1080 technology when playing current games on the market. These two graphics cards, on the other hand, excel in a wide range of applications such as video editing and rendering.