Whether you are a gamer looking for ways to create a gaming PC without overspending your budget or a content creator attempting graphics-intensive tasks, you need a high-quality graphics card to provide an exceptional computing experience.
Luckily, you can get your hands on a quality video card that fulfills your needs without breaking the bank.
We tested, reviewed, and compared the best graphics card under 150 dollars and narrowed down to the best options in the market.
A central processing unit handles all kinds of computing tasks, but as the complexity intensifies, the processing time also increases. Thankfully, the new processors are fast enough that users don’t even notice when they are using more resources than usual.
You can do a lot with a good GPU, and the best part is that it won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
The right graphics card offers the following benefits:
Graphics Card Under $150 Compared
Base Clock/ Boost Clock
Buying Guide: Choosing A Quality GPU Under $150
CPU And GPU Balance
When narrowing down your list for a graphics card under $150, remember that your CPU is running the show, so get a GPU that’s compatible with it.
No doubt, buying a premium graphic card seems like a no brainer, but it would be pointless if your CPU can’t make the most of it.
Try to strike a balance — you don’t want to experience a bottleneck when FDB drops in case of a sudden change in graphics or text.
Simply put, when what NEEDS to be processed is greater than what CAN be processed — a bottleneck will happen. CPU bottleneck occurs when a fast processor is equipped with an entry-level GPU, and it’s vice versa for a GPU bottleneck.
Please visit this website and access the bottleneck calculator to know what kind of power would be right for you.
Graphics Card Features
The best graphics cards are built with GPU chips designed by NVIDIA or AMD.
These two manufacturers allow companies like EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, XFX, MSI, Zotac, Sapphire, etc. to sell their GPUs, so the cooling systems, software, and clock speed may differ depending on who you buy it from.
GPU’s accelerate the creation of images at a higher frame rate than is intended for display devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, work stations, game consoles, etc.
So your selection would depend on your device, how powerful it is, and what kind of support it will need.
A GPU relies on hundreds to thousands of smaller cores to compute data — more cores make for a better visual experience. The simultaneous application of the cores and well-defined GPU architecture leads to enhanced performance and less memory dependency.
NVIDIA refers to their cores as CUDA, whereas on an AMD graphics card, they are known as stream processors.
NVIDIA CUDA cores are tailored for general use and are more complex, bigger, and operate at a higher frequency. On the other hand, AMD stream processors are more straightforward, smaller, and run on low frequencies — but the main distinction is the architecture of both GPUs.
Learn more about cores here.
GPU Clock Speed
The GPU speed depends on how fast its core operates, and this can be seen by its clock count. A fast GPU will have a good number of cores operating at high speed. This information should help you narrow your list down to the best graphics card under $150.
Memory & Bandwidth
The more memory a graphics card has, the better its performance will be.
A 2GB or a 4GB RAM is good enough for most people. However, if you want something that can handle the latest gameplays and vibrant colors and special effects, your best bet would be a card with a 6GB or 8GB memory.
You might also want to look into getting a GPU with a VRAM with 1GB to 16GB of RAM.
A 3GB to 4GB VRAM is sufficient to play lag-free games on higher settings; anything lower will require you to reduce the settings to achieve adequate frames per second.
If you want a more enhanced experience with outstanding textures and shadows, etc. then your selected card should feature a minimum of 6GB of VRAM.
Thermal Design Power
Cheaper graphics cards with reduced heatsinks are bad at maintaining adequate temperatures when overworked.
In contrast, graphic cards with bigger aluminum housings with two or more fans and copper heat pipes can ensure the right temperature. Despite your usage, the casing of the system should be appropriately ventilated.
Moreover, graphics cards come with different Thermal Design Power or TDP ratings, and their power consumption varies. Please ensure that your power supply can operate at the right amount of wattage as required by the assigned TDP.
A budget device can operate at about 400-watts, but as the components increase, more power will be needed.
Here are some types of graphics cards, differentiated by the way they cool the GPU:
The size and form of the graphics card may vary. Here are some options you will across:
5 Best Graphics Cards Under $150 Reviewed
1. XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX
Our Top Pick Under $150
Base Clock/Boost Clock
Our results show that the best graphics card under $150 is the XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX.
According to the manufacturers, the pre-overclocked card operates at a max speed of 1,265 MHz, making it a real clock in every sense of the word. The device also features a 4GB internal memory that runs on 7,000 megahertz.
You may be second-guessing your buying-decision based on the fact that you can’t overclock the graphics card, please don’t, as there is more then what meets the eye.
As one of the best AMD graphics card for under $150, the XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX is XFX OC+ capable. This means that the manufacturers have ensured that the card can surpass the True Clock limit so that you get more performance than expected.
The XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX comes in a similar packing as RX 400 graphics cards, but with a red bar on the box’s front. The upgraded card is backed with the XFX GHOST 4.0 thermal technology and rocks Zero DB auto load sensing fans, so if you want a noise-free experience — this is the one for you.
2. ZOTAC ZT-T16500F-10L
Best Gaming Graphics Card Under $150
Base Clock/Boost Clock
1485 MHz/ 1695 MHz
Coming up second in our reviews for best graphics cards under $150 is the ZOTAC ZT-T16500F-10L, a quality gaming graphics card in this category.
The graphics card is manufactured by a hardware company that is known for its quality products, and the ZT-T16500F-10L further strengthens their standing as the best gaming graphics card under $150.
It is quite small and can seamlessly fit in almost all gaming systems. Thanks to the 90-millimeter fan, the card or system won’t heat up so you can enjoy an enhanced gaming experience safely and comfortably. The fan stripped blades cut through the air with little to no noise, and the sunflower heatsink absorbs all heat created while processing.
The ZOTAC ZT-T16500F-10L holds only one PCI bus power supply that depends on the provided wires and power supply and doesn’t need anything else.
Courtesy of the FIRESTORM graphic design, you can adjust your gaming features to the best possible settings. Also, using an OC scanner can easily manipulate the lighting of this ZOTAC graphics card.
Above all, the graphics card has a processing power of 1695 MHz, a 4GB and 28bits memory, and a graphic card interface of 16. This combination makes it one of the best gaming graphics card in our price range.
Enjoy the quality performance, on-point controls, and 4K resolution, what more do you need?
Also Recommended: Best Graphics Cards for Fortnite
3. Gigabyte Geforce GTX GV-N105TD5-4GD
- New NVIDIA pascal architecture delivers...
- Classic and modern games at 1080P at 60 FPS
- Fast, smooth, power-efficient gaming...
- Support for the latest DirectX 12 Features
Best NVIDIA Graphics Card Under $150
Base Clock/Boost Clock
1316 MHz/ 1430 MHz
If you seek the best NVIDIA graphics card under $150, look no further than the Gigabyte Geforce GTX GV-N105TD5-4GD.
It will last you for years to come and is built using NVIDIA Pascal GPU architecture. Interestingly, this card is pretty lightweight and can be seamlessly mounted to any PC, be it big or small.
Once it is installed, start using this card on the medium-setting.
Then as you get familiar, adjust the settings as the card to enjoy ultra-smooth graphics in a lag-free environment.
This graphics card rocks the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti processor, which is a highly capable GPU; this is such a powerful graphics card that it can run most high-graphic intensive games.
So get the best STEAM games and rest assured that the Gigabyte Geforce GTX GV-N105TD5-4GD won’t disappoint you. Some of the popular games this video card can run include Apex Legends, Fortnite, GTA, PUBG, Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-Strike Condition Zero, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, etc.
Above all, this graphics card weighs only 1.43 pounds and features a 4 GB VRAM.
Some key features that set it apart:
4. VisionTek Radeon 7750 SFF
- GCN Architecture, PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus...
- 9th generation programmable hardware...
- 300w Minimum PSU recommended - Active...
- Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or newer...
Best Value Budget Graphics Card Under $150
Base Clock/Boost Clock
Standing tall at number four in our reviews for the best graphics card under $150 is a brilliant graphics card from VisionTek, the Radeon 7750 SFF. It is unanimously agreed that this is the best budget graphics card under 150 dollars.
What makes it so great is the number of features you receive without spending an arm and a leg. There are eleven drivers built into this graphics card, yet compact enough to fit almost all systems, no matter the size.
Courtesy of the clock processor of 1,750 MHz, videos, and images are high-quality, and pixels are enhanced up to eight times PCIe.
This unit is worth every penny as it can perform exceptionally in all settings, be it gaming, financial transactions, and calculations, other work-related activities that require you to juggle between different screens.
Multitasking on the VisionTek Radeon 7750 SFF is made possible by the patented Avivo technology that allows you to connect several high-resolution screens simultaneously.
These features make it one of the best AMD graphics cards under $150 because of its multitasking capabilities, and it can seamlessly improve graphical representation by sixteen times. Also, the featured memory is 1GB and 128 bits.
5. PNY NVIDIA NVS 510
Best Low Profile Video Card Under $150
Base Clock/Boost Clock
Last but not least, we have included the PNY NVIDIA NVS 510 in our list for the best graphics card under $150.
The card is backed by the latest features and technologies, and its multi-display management is uncommon among many of the budget graphics cards out there.
The PNY NVIDIA NVS 510 has four small display ports with a retention mechanism, and the resolutions delivered by it are up to an impressive 3840x2160 at 60 Hertz.
Multi-display installation and efficient cable management are made possible thanks to the DisplayPort 1.2 features such as Stream cloning and multi-stream technology.
The graphics card delivers three times better performance than its predecessors courtesy of 2 GB memory and the new NVIDIA Kepler GPU technology. That's why, if you ask us, this is the best low profile video card under $150.
The PNY NVIDIA NVS 510 has the NVIDIA’s Unified Driver Architecture and tools that allow for natural resource management and simplified deployment on a broader scale.
Furthermore, the quite operations, superior cooling technologies, and low form factor make this a popular device as it can fit any given space. In fact, it is so small that you can equip your system with multiple graphics cards at a time.
How to Boost Performance with GPU Overclocking
Your selected device can run on a set speed called the base clock, but did you know you can surpass this speed and augment the performance by overclocking?
Download MSI Afterburner and a stress test tool like UNiGiNE Heaven stress testing software, 3DMark, or Furmark – these tools will come in handy in overclocking your GPU.
The MSI afterburner dashboard will show you your current core clock speed, memory clock speed, and the temperature — make a note of these figures as you may need to restore them in case something goes wrong.
- 1Overclock the core clock by 5%
- 2Boost the memory clock by 50 to 100 MHz or 10%
- 3Keep an eye on the performance of your system to ensure that it’s handling these changes well
- 4Raise the GPU clock by 10 MHZ, and test it. If all seems fine, keep raising the clock by 10 MHz
- 5Run a stress test using the software mentioned above or play a game for a few hours to ensure that your PC is all right
- 6If your PC crashes or restarts — that’s the limit, so reduce the clock by 10 to 20 MHz to get it back to working condition
- 7Now raise the temperature and the power limit and see if things stay stable
- 8Once the power limit has increased try raising the GPU clock by another 10 MHz, your card can now handle a bit more stress, and hence the limit has now been raised
- 9Once all seems up to speed, your graphics card has been successfully overclocked
- 10Enjoy the enhanced performance!
If all of that seems too overwhelming, watch this step-by-step video tutorial that highlights each step in detail.
Quick Guide To Graphics Card Pricing Points
$50 to $250
These are a step above integrated GPUs and are great for photos and video editing, casual gaming, watching videos on Blu-ray, 4K, and FHD, and for day-to-day work. They only require the power of 300 to 400-watts.
$300 to $500
These graphics cards can seamlessly run the latest games on medium to high settings even at 1080p, and they require 400 to 450-watts of power to operate.
These top of the line graphics cards allow running the best games out there on high to ultra-high settings and even support 4K resolution. Plus, they are compatible with VR games and require a minimum of 500-watts to operate.
Video Card Maintenance & Troubleshooting
Once your graphics card is up and running, things may seem fine for a while, but the chances are that you will eventually encounter issues such as screen glitches, reduced fan speeds, and lags.
Let’s explore how to troubleshoot a faulty graphics card so that it lasts for years:
Graphics Cards Troubleshooting
Install the latest drivers for your motherboard and follow this simple guide to ensure your graphics card works well for a very long time:
Graphics Cards Maintenance
To upkeep your card, do the following:
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can A GPU That Costs Less Than $150 Handle Gaming On High Settings?
Some of the best under $150 graphics card units can support 1080p gaming; however, they might not perform well when the game in question is running on high settings. Mid-range games will perform remarkably.
What Graphics Card Do I Need For 144 Hz? Can A 1060 Run 144 Hz?
Most AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards support 144 Hz – without a doubt, a 1060 card will support 144 Hz or higher.
Is It Good To Buy Refurbished Video Cards Under $150?
You can get a decent refurbished graphics card at a significantly low price. However, there are some risks involved, such as a reduced life span depending on how much it was used by the previous owner and shortened warranty period, i.e., if any of it is left.
What Are The Differences Between Integrated vs. Dedicated Graphics?
An integrated graphics card comes pre-attached to the motherboard and requires less power to operate but may fall short for running high-graphics. On the other hand, a dedicated unit is bought separately, placed in your system, and connected to the motherboard.
The bottom line is whether you are a seasoned gamer, video and photo editor, a graphic designer, or someone who uses your PC for work or entertainment—you should buy a graphics card because it will enhance your computing experience.
The good news is that you can buy some of the best graphics cards for less than $150. By our estimates, the XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX is the best graphics card in this category.
Holly Curell is a US-based freelance writer & editor extraordinaire. With over a decade of writing technical manuals, blog articles, & even company communications, Holly has a passion for providing value to readers on everything she knows about tech-related topics. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, wine, & wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Holly is currently based out of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ken & their three children.