5 Best Graphics Cards Under $500: Reviews For Laptops & More

Updated on April 25, 2022

To get the finest picture and video quality and to work more efficiently with high-resolution graphics, getting the best graphics card under $500 for your computer is a wise investment.

Graphics cards under $500 are hard to come by, making it a challenge to make a purchase. It’s also important to consider your display and any other specifications you may have.

Buying a graphics card has never been easier thanks to our simplified purchasing process. Our graphics card buying guide has everything you need to know.

Image

Model

Base Clock

Boost Clock

Memory Bandwidth

GPU Cores

Fans

Check Price

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Windforce OC 6G...

1,500 MHz

1,845 MHz

288 GB/s

1,536

Two

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 XC GAMING, 6GB GDDR6,...

1,365 MHz

1,755 MHz

336 GB/s

1,920

One

Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce GTX 1060 6G REV...

OC Mode:

1,645 MHz
Gaming Mode:

1,620 MHz

OC Mode:

1,873 MHz
Gaming Mode:

1,847 MHz

192 GB/s

1,280

Two

MSI Gaming Radeon RX 580 256-bit 8GB GDRR5...

1,257 MHz

1,353 MHz

256 GB/s

2,304

Two

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini 8GB...

1,605 MHz

1,770 MHz

448 GB/s

2,560

Two

Quick Guide To Graphics Card Pricing Points

 

Budget $50-$150

 

Graphics cards between $50 to $150 are a good bet for casual gaming, browsing the web at random, managing documents, and producing good video. They are a leg up to a random integrated video card and require a maximum of 400-watts to operate.

Take a look at our buying guide: $150 Best Graphics Card

Entry Level $150-$250

You’ll need a graphics card in this price range if you wish to watch videos at 1080p. Gaming at medium to high graphics and watching 4K, Blu-ray, or FHD videos can be done with these. These, too, will require up to 400 watts of electricity to run.

Mid-Range $250-$500

At high settings, these graphics cards are capable of running the most recent games at 1440p, and they can even be used to play at medium settings on 4K. The power consumption of these cards is estimated to be in the range of 400-450 watts. We’ll get into the specifics of the graphics cards under $500 later in the article.

Top-Range $500+

More expensive video cards are capable of handling the most demanding gamers and animators out there.

There is no limit to what they can do, from editing videos and photographs to playing high-quality games at ultra-high settings with an incredible refresh rate.

In addition to supporting VR, many of the current models on the market require 500 watts of power to run.

Choosing A Quality GPU Under $500

Intended Application

A $200 graphics card is ideal for recreational gaming and basic graphics work.

If you plan to play games at high settings or use 3D modelling software like Maya or SolidWorks, you’ll need a graphics card that costs $500 or more.

When it comes to 3D modelling and gaming, a mid-range or even high-end graphics card is the best option. Compared to this, a budget of up to the entry-level unit would be sufficient for standard use;

CPU And GPU Balance

There is no denying that a higher-end graphics card will perform better. Even so, you should check to see if your CPU is capable of supporting a high-end graphics card.

Using a graphics card that isn’t suitable for your computer will cause a slowdown in performance due to the sudden shifts in text and visuals that will occur. That necessitates a delicate balancing act.

Bottlenecks occur whenever there is an imbalance between what can be processed and what is actually needed to be processed.

This bottleneck calculator can assist you in selecting the most appropriate graphics card for your needs.

Graphics Card Features

Brand

GPU chips from NVIDIA or AMD are commonly found in brand-name graphics cards priced around $500. Some of the many leading manufacturers permitted to employ AMD and NVIDIA graphics processing units include Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, XFX, Sapphire, and Zotac.

GPU Cores

Cores are available in two flavours. NVIDIA’s are referred to as CUDA cores, whereas AMD’s are referred to as stream processors. Stream processors are smaller and have distinct architectures. In contrast, CUDA cores are more larger and function at a much higher rate of speed than the ARM cores.

Clock Speed

How fast your GPU would run depends on clock speed, which shows how many processors each core uses per second.. A graphics card with many cores and a high clock speed will provide the best performance.

Find More  The best graphics cards for video editing in 2022

Memory & Bandwidth

Bandwidth & Memory
Video memory, or VRAM, is a type of specialised memory found in high-end graphics cards. There are several types of VRAM now available, including DDR3, GDDR5, GDDR5X, HBM, and HBM2.

For video memory, GDDR5 is the most extensively utilised and can be found in all price ranges, from entry-level laptops to gaming desktops. VRAMs get better as you go up the ranks.

You can get by with a graphics card that has 3 to 4GB of video memory if you’re looking to play games at medium to high settings and enjoy the experience. A graphics card with six gigabytes of video memory (VRAM) or more is required for smooth high-resolution gaming.

Thermal Design Power

After continuous use, GPUs tend to overheat, therefore it’s crucial to keep them at the proper temperature to ensure long-term use.

TDP readings let you know precisely how much power would be required by your chosen graphics card to run on stock or higher settings. A GPU with a low thermal design power (TDP) is ideal since it can be used in machines with lower power supplies.

Design

An aftermarket cooler can recycle heat, but only if there is adequate airflow in the area. A reference cooler, on the other hand, dissipates heat from your computer by forcing it to escape through the case, but it makes a substantial amount of noise in the process.

To ensure compatibility with your PC, make sure the graphics card you choose has the correct number of 6-pin or 2×9-pin connections.

Form Factor

You need to be sure that the graphics card you choose will fit in your computer whether you’re building a new one or simply upgrading your current one. Low-profile cards are recommended for thin computers and low-profile casings.

For small form factor and mini-ITX cases, a small form factor or compact card is allowed. On the other hand, a full-tower case would be ideal for larger cards.

You may need to acquire half-height or standard brackets if your PC doesn’t have the proper slot size for the card.

Learn more about low-profile graphics cards by reading this article.

Warranty

When it comes to finding the finest graphics card for the money, the warranty is a critical consideration.

It’s a more practical purchase because you have the peace of mind knowing that the card will be serviced or replaced if something goes wrong.

Additionally, a warranty is a sign that you are purchasing a high-quality goods, since it shows that the producers have entire faith in the product they are selling..

Be sure you read the tiny print and understand when the warranty applies and when it becomes null and void, though.

5 Best Graphics Cards Under $500 Reviewed

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Windforce OC 6G...

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Windforce OC 6G…

  • Powered by GeForce GTX 1660 Ti integrated…
  • Windforce 2x cooling system with alternate…
  • Intuitive controls with AORUS engine
  • 6GB 192 bit GDDR6

 

Our Top Pick!

Base Clock

1,500 MHz

Boost Clock

1,845 MHz

Memory Bandwidth

288 GB/s

GPU Cores

1,536

Fans

Two

Even if you’re a novice in the world of gaming, a powerful graphics card is the best way to ensure your success. No other graphics card can match the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti’s feature set and price.

If you’re looking for the finest graphics card under $500, we think this one is the one.

12 gigabytes per second of data processing is possible with the GTX 1660 TI’s 1,830 MHz clock speed.

With a single HDMI port and three display connectors, you can easily connect the device to other display devices, such as laptops. In order to maintain a suitable temperature, it has two fans with curved blades rotating simultaneously.

To use your device and even record your experience wirelessly, get the software from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

PCI-E based graphics card interface guarantees a lag-free gaming experience with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 CPU. A great visual experience is further aided with an 8x PCI express interface and memory running at 800 MHz.

Good
  • Cost-effective

  • Good-sized memory

  • Seamless connectivity to various systems

  • Dual fans

Bad
  • Not the best looking unit

  • Low bandwidth

2. EVGA GeForce RTX 2060

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 XC GAMING, 6GB GDDR6,...

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 XC GAMING, 6GB GDDR6,…

  • Real Boost Clock: 1755 MHz; Memory Detail:…
  • Real-time Ray tracing in games for…
  • Single HDB fan offers higher performance…
  • Built for EVGA Precision x1 – EVGA all-new…
Best Value For Money

Base Clock

1,365 MHz

Boost Clock

1,755 MHz

Memory Bandwidth

336 GB/s

GPU Cores

1,920

Fans

One

The EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 is the best value for your money without sacrificing performance. It is the most cost-effective option.

If you’re a gamer looking for a low-cost card with ray-tracing capabilities, go no further than this graphics card.

The EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 has 30 RT cores, 240 tensor cores, and 1,920 CUDA cores in its NVIDIA TU106 Turing graphics processing unit. Also, it has the most recent GDDR6 video memory, which is 6 Gigabytes.

A single HDB, i.e., hydrodynamic fan, with a 2.75-slot GPU cooler helps keep the temperature in check, while the basic frequency of 1,365 MHz may be raised to 1,755 MHz.

A mini-ITX system with only two slots may not accept the 7-inch-long EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, which requires up to three slots. Additionally, the card’s single 8-pin power connector and six distinct power phases allow for reasonable overclocking.

Good
  • 920 CUDA cores

  • GDDR6 VRAM

  • 1,755 MHz boost clock

  • Can play games at 1,440p at high settings

  • Decent price-tag

Bad
  • Not meant for all cases, especially mini-ITX cases


Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce GTX 1060 6G REV...

Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce GTX 1060 6G REV…

  • Core Clock (MHz): 1873 in OC Mode and 1847 in…
  • WINDFORCE 3X with Blade Fan Design
  • Integrated with 6GB GDDR5 192bit memory
  • RGB fusion – 16.7M customizable color…

 

Best For Gamers

Base Clock

OC Mode 1,645 MHz
Gaming Mode 1,620 MHZ

Boost Clock

OC Mode 1,873 MHz
Gaming Mode 1,847 MHZ

Memory Bandwidth

192 GB/s

GPU Cores

1,280

Fans

Two

The Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce GTX 1060 follows as the next powerful graphics card for gaming in our top graphics card under $500 ratings.

It’s all thanks to the NVIDIA® PascalTM GPU architecture, which features a 6 GB GDDR5 VRAM with a 192-bit memory and 16.7M RGB fusion RGB illumination.

The WINDGORCE 2X cooling system on the Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce GTX 1060 will allow you to play for hours without worrying about it overheating. This system comprises heat pipes constructed from pure copper, dual 100-millimeter fans, a significant-sized copper plate with direct touch technology, protection rear plate, and semi-passive 3D fans.

These two components work in tandem to keep the CPU and GPU cooler by transferring heat from the CPU and GPU cores to the heatsink.

For graphics cards, the inclusion of three display connectors and three native HDMI inputs is unusual, but that is exactly what the Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce GTX 1060 has. This lets you to connect up to four monitors at the same time, as well as virtual reality gears.

Because it is plug-and-play, no additional drivers or software are required.

Good
  • Three HDMI ports

  • Allow for VR usage

  • Boost Clock 1873 MHz

  • ATX form factor

Bad
  • Not easy to configure it with the provided software


MSI Gaming Radeon RX 580 256-bit 8GB GDRR5...

MSI Gaming Radeon RX 580 256-bit 8GB GDRR5…

  • Brand MSI, Model RX580ARMORMK2 8GOC
  • Interface PCI Express x16, Chipset…
  • Effective Memory Clock 8000 MHz, Memory Size…
  • HDMI 2 x HDMI, Multi-Monitor Support 4,…

 

Best AMD Graphics Card Under $500

Base Clock

1,257 MHz

Boost Clock

1,353 MHz

Memory Bandwidth

256 GB/s

GPU Cores

2,304

Fans

Two

It’s hard to find a better AMD graphics card under $500 than the MSI Gaming Radeon RX 580 ARMOR MK2, which is the best option available.

This graphics card is perfect if you utilise many monitors for gaming or work, occasionally use virtual reality gear, or enjoy playing games at ultra-high settings.

Overclocked, the MSI Game Radeon RX 580 Armor MK2 is capable of clocking up to 1,380 megahertz (OC), 1,366 megahertz (gaming), and up to 1,340 megahertz (quiet). There is an 8 GB GDDR5 visual memory with a 256-bit bus width and an 8,000 MHz memory frequency for all modes.

Regardless of the specified frame rate per second, the display will be clear, crisp, and lag-free with no glitches thanks to the AMD FreeSync technology.

Furthermore, the MSI Gaming Radeon RX 580 ARMOR MK2 boasts two MSI TORX fans to ensure that temperatures remain within safe limits. Two fans, one with dispersion fan blades and the other with a standard fan blade, are used to provide proper cooling.

The Afterburner Overclocking Utility that comes with this graphics card makes overclocking a breeze.

Good
  • Allows for VR usage

  • Works well at all FPS

  • Two MSI TORX fans

  • 256-bit 8 GB GDDR5 VRAM

  • Easy Overclocking

Bad
  • The fan tends to be noisy


ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini 8GB...

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini 8GB…

  • Turing architecture, ray tracing cores,…
  • 8gb 256-bit gddr6, 14gbps
  • Ice storm 2. 0, our strongest cooling, metal…
  • 4k ready, 4 display ready, super compACt 8….

 

Best High-End Option Under $500

Base Clock

1,605 MHz

Boost Clock

1,770 MHz

Memory Bandwidth

448 GB/s

GPU Cores

2,560

Fans

Two

The ever-popular ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini rounds off our list of the top graphics cards under $500. Everyone agrees that this is the best high-end alternative available for less than $500 dollars.

The Turing architecture of the graphics card allows you to take advantage of AI and real-time ray tracing.

The ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini has an HDMI 2.0 output and three display connections on the front of the card. The 2,560 CUDA cores and secure-API connectivity of this device make it ideal for multitasking and executing graphically heavy apps in addition to gaming.

An aluminium fin array and two 8-millimeter wide copper heat pipes on the GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mini keep the graphics card from overheating. IceStorm 2.0 cooling technology is used. The aluminium fin array and heat pipes remove heat from the system’s core.

Streaming videos and playing games at 4K resolution are both possible with the graphics card’s 1,770 MHz boost clock and its small 8.3-inch form factor, which makes it compatible with 99 percent of computer systems.

Good
  • IceStorm 2.0 cooling system

  • Real-time ray tracing

  • Compatible with 99% of systems

  • 1,770 MHz boost clock

  • 2,560 CUDA cores

Bad
  • Possible rendering issues


Common Applications For Mid To High Range Graphics Cards

Get a graphics card under 500 dollars to avail the following benefits:

  • Uncompromised video steaming that is high-definition and high in resolution

  • Never miss out on details when editing photos or videos

  • Gaming at 1080p, 1440p, and even at 4K on high-settings

  • Option to use high-end graphics designing and 3D modeling software such as Maya, 3D, Solidworks, AutoCAD, etc.

  • Swift rendering, which leads to less rouse utilization and an efficient workflow

  • Cryptocurrency mining

  • Ability to use OpenGL

  • Ability to use a few monitors at once

  • Allow for using VR gear

  • Lag-free experience in gaming as well as other graphical intensive software

  • Real-time ray tracing

  • Fantastic refresh rates, etc.

For cards meant for specific functionalities, check these detailed reviews

How To Boost Performance With GPU Overclocking

An inexpensive graphics card can have its base clock speed increased. Follow these steps to speed up your video card:

A stress test tool such as Heaven Stress Testing or 3DMArk should be downloaded and installed before you proceed.
The MSI burner will additionally display the current temperature as addition to the base clock and memory clock.
Try raising the core clock by 5% if the problem persists.
4 Try increasing the RAM clock speed to 100 MHz and see if it works.
10MHz of clock speed increase is tested in this step.
It’s possible that if everything looks good, you’ll be able to find out if the problem persists by running stress tests or a game at a higher clock rate.
7
To avoid a system crash during the benchmark, lower the clock speed by 10 MHz.
Adjusting the temperature in MSI Afterburner 8.9 will ensure that everything is running at a stable level. The GPU core’s clock speed can now be increased by an additional 10 MHZ, as the temperature has risen.
Watch this instructional video to discover how to properly overclock your graphics card.

Video Card Maintenance & Troubleshooting

Your PC works tirelessly to ensure that you have an uninterrupted experience.. In order to retain this level of performance, you must take great care to keep the internal components in top condition.

Graphics cards can suffer from increased heat, reduced fan speeds and other issues with time, so this is very crucial. In the event that something like this occurs, the following actions should be followed:

Update the motherboard’s and graphics card’s drivers.
If the issue is resolved after turning off the sound system, try installing fresh sound drivers.
Installing fast cables for effective data transfer may be necessary if this fixes the problem.
Reduce the graphics card’s clock speed
Keep a stand fan close to the casing to further reduce the warmth.
Use MemTest86 and Prime95 to test your RAM and CPU.
Keep these things in mind while you care for your card, and it will serve you well for years to come:

Remove it from the system without causing damage to the ports and connectors.
Clean the fans and heatsinks with a brush and compressed air.
Remove any remaining thermal tape as well.
Remove the graphics card from its slot and clean it.
Install the latest drivers and other software.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Your PC works tirelessly to ensure that you have an uninterrupted experience.. In order to retain this level of performance, you must take great care to keep the internal components in top condition.

Graphics cards can suffer from increased heat, reduced fan speeds and other issues with time, so this is very crucial. In the event that something like this occurs, the following actions should be followed:

Update the motherboard’s and graphics card’s drivers.

If the issue is resolved after turning off the sound system, try installing fresh sound drivers.
Installing fast cables for effective data transfer may be necessary if this fixes the problem.
Reduce the graphics card’s clock speed
Keep a stand fan close to the casing to further reduce the warmth.
Use MemTest86 and Prime95 to test your RAM and CPU.
Keep these things in mind while you care for your card, and it will serve you well for years to come:

Remove it from the system without causing damage to the ports and connectors.
Clean the fans and heatsinks with a brush and compressed air.

Remove any remaining thermal tape as well.

Remove the graphics card from its slot and clean it.
Install the latest drivers and other software.

Conclusion

Some of the greatest graphics cards on the market were tested, reviewed, and compared by us. In the $500 price range, we recommend the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti for its many features and capabilities.