But let's be honest, you need at least GTX 960, a video card with the price around 200 dollars to play games on 1080p optimally. But of course, not everyone has enough budget to build a decent gaming rig. In fact, there are a few number of gamers who still use monitor with resolution lower than 1080p.
Well, this article aims to show you best five affordable graphics card under 100 dollars for gaming and the right choice for budget gamers who are still stuck with small size monitor, keep reading...
- Dual core processor is still good to run the video card in this list.
- The video card in this list are designed for 720p or 768p resolution.
- For the most optimal performance, get DDR5 graphics card, instead of DDR3.
1. Radeon R7 240
Stream processing units: 320
Base Clock (MHz): 780
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 28.8
Max TDP: 30 Watt
AMD has a few interesting variants for entry-level segment, one of them is the R7 240. The cheapest graphics card from Radeon R7 series.
Its GPU is powered by Oland Pro, the more efficient version from Cape Verde LE. Judging from the specification of R7 240, with 320 Stream Processor and 20 Texture Units, this cheap video card resembles the discontinued HD 5570 and HD 6570.
The R7 240 has been featured with AMD Eyefinity Technology1 to configure multi-monitor setup option, up to two maximum displays supported. (for daily use, not for dual gaming monitors purpose)
30 Watts max TDP
R7 240 doesn't draw a lot of power, meaning it can be run in a computer with 350W power supply.
Overall, R7 240 is not just the cheapest but also the weakest graphics card in this list. However, it's still a significant upgrade from an integrated GPU.
Click here to buy Radeon R7 240 from amazon
2. GeForce GT 640
CUDA Cores: 384
Base Clock (MHz): 900
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 28.5
Max TDP: 65 Watt
GT 640 is an old Nvidia card which is first released on 2012. There are obvious reasons why Nvidia still manufactures this card: first, they need a weapon to fight against R7 250 and the second, to strengthen the low-end market, along with GT 730 and GT 740.
GT 640's GPU is powered by Kepler, unlike GT 620 and GT 630, which are still powered by previous generation from fermi. Overall, GT 640 is designed for a gamer who is looking for a cheaper version of GTX 650.
Note: The DDR3 version of GT 640 draws more power (65 W) than the DDR5 version (49 W). Fortunately, like the others low-end card in this list, GT 640 doesn't require a power connector.
3. Radeon R7 250
Stream processing units: 512
Base Clock (GHz): 1.05
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 72
Max TDP: 30 Watt
This is one of the most recommended graphics card under 100 dollars for gaming. And for an AMD card with affordable price, it has quite good specification to satisfy a gamer who is planning to build a cheap gaming rig.
Technically, its GPU is built with 512 stream processing units, 24 TMUs, 768.0 GFLOPS Floating-point performance and 8 ROPs unit. Fortunately, R7 250 is available with DDR5 memory type which is great for gaming compared with DDR3 due to the faster memory clock (effective) and larger bandwidth.
R7 250 itself is positioned to replace HD 6670 and the discontinued HD 7750, one of the best seller GPU with the lowest power consumption from previous generation. And just like the card it replaces, R7 250 does not require lot of power, meaning it doesn't require a PCI Express power connector.
Click here to buy Radeon R7 250 from amazon
4. GeForce GT 730
CUDA Cores: 384 (64-bit)
Base Clock (MHz): 902
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 40
Max TDP: 25 Watt (DDR5)
If you can't afford better graphics card for gaming at this time (GTX 950 for example), then you also need to look at GT 730. The best thing about this graphics card, beside its affordable price is, it draws less power compared to others GPU in the same range price.
Benchmark test (Crysis 3, 1920x1200 resolution)
According to the benchmark test by pcadvisor.co.uk, GT 730, along with R7 240, failed to reach 30 AVG fps. Not a surprising result to be honest since the video card tested by pcadvisor.co.uk is intended for lower resolution.
Click here to buy GeForce GT 730 from amazon
5. GeForce GT 740
CUDA Cores: 384
Base Clock (MHz): 993
Max TDP: 64 Watt
With 80000 MB/sec memory bandwidth, GT 740 (DDR5) is the strongest video in this list, for 720p or 768p of course. However, If you are fine to play games on 1080p with low frame rate, then GT 740 (DDR5) is worth to get. This video card is also good choice if you can't afford GTX 750 Ti at this time.
Well, when this article is written, GT 740 is also available with 4 GB DDR5, which is more expensive but highly recommended for gaming.
Note: though the power consumption of GT 740 (DDR5) is just 64 Watt, it still needs one 6-pin power connectors.
Click here to buy GeForce GT 740 from amazon
We need to admit if $100 is not ideal budget to buy a gaming graphics card. Fortunately, there is still the best choice for a gamer with limited budget: GT 740 DDR5, the fastest card in this article, which is also the best alternative of GTX 650 or GTX 750 series. Furthermore, R7 250 or GT 730 DDR5 is also a good choice due to its affordable price.
Thanks for reading this article...