Do you like to play PC games but find that your favorite games are running too slowly to be enjoyable? If so, it may not be necessary to replace your entire computer. You can vastly improve gaming quality by upgrading the graphics card. A GPU (graphics processing unit) can be expensive, which is a problem for gamer on a budget. Fortunately, there are some options that balance decent quality with low price. Here are some of the best GPUs under 100 dollars.
What is the best graphics card for 100 dollars?
What graphics card should I buy under $100?
Compatibility: Before buying any GPU, you have to check to make sure it is compatible with your computer system. Otherwise, you have wasted your money. A graphics card will need to be able to physically fit into your computer as well as being compatible with the operating system. Check the dimensions on the graphics card, as well as what ports it has, and compare to the slots on your motherboard. Ideally, the slot on your motherboard would support the maximum PCIe version and width of the card. Make sure your power supply has a power connector for the graphics card, which is usually a 4 or 8 pin power connector.
Ease of Installation: Unless you hire a professional to install your graphics card for you, you will have to physically take your computer apart to upgrade the GPU. What level of difficulty are you comfortable with? If you want to do it yourself but are nervous, you might want to look for a graphics card that has reviews saying it was easy to install.
How comfortable are you with software? A lot of times, drivers will need to be installed in order to properly use a graphics card. Sometimes different drivers will need to be installed if you are using an operating system other than Windows, or if the recommended drivers haven’t been updated. This is a factor to consider.
Use: They also consume varying amounts of electrical energy and exude varying quantity of power outputs. Find out these two too before buying the right gadget for your liking. This will help you in planning for the future energy bills. A good modem has to consume limited power and exude maximum power output.
What is your purpose in upgrading your graphics card? Are you looking for an improved gaming experience, or do you just want to watch videos or do office work in better quality? Different graphics cards are better at different things. If you want it for gaming, it is worth checking to make sure it is able to support the games you want to play. Same goes for videos.
Specs: Memory bandwidth affects your gaming performance more than memory size. A GDDR5 is faster than a GDDR3, so that is one thing worth looking into if speed is important to you. The speed of the memory clock matters. One thing to be aware of when comparing two different GPUs is that since data is transferred 4 times per clock cycle, a lot of manufacturers multiply the clock speed by 4 to make it look bigger.
The effective clock speed is multiplied by 4 and the actual clock speed is not, so if you are comparing the specs of two different graphics cards, make sure you are comparing the same value. The memory bit rate, or bandwidth, is the amount of data that the GPU can access on the memory bus. GPUs commonly come in 64 and 128 bit. A higher bit rate is better, but you also have to consider price and what you actually need. Maybe you don’t actually need a super high-grade GPU.
Cooling: The TDP value of a GPU tells you how much power is needed to keep the GPU at an acceptable temperature, so it doesn’t get overheated. Ideally, you would want a lower TDP value, because it will mean fewer fans and cooling systems are needed. Keeping a computer cool is both expensive and noisy, so look for a lower TDP value on your GPU.
Some graphics cards come with their own cooler. On cheaper cards, you will often find reference coolers that channel hot air out of the computer case This protects your computer but is noisy. Higher-end cards often come with high-performance custom coolers. These are quieter, but more likely to put stress on your computer and increase the risk of overheating.
This is because they recycle air through your computer and try to cool it. Which type of cooling system is best depends on how well your computer deals with heat. If your computer’s temperature gets above 55 degrees Celsius while you’re playing games, it would be better to use a GPU with a reference cooler, even if it is noisier. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to factor in cooling while making a decision.
7 Best GPUs under 100 dollars reviewed
The Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 is integrated with 2GB GDDR5 64 bit memory. It supports HDMI 4K at 60 Hz and has 6,008 MHz of memory speed.
This graphics card has 2GB of Ram. It comes with a GeForce GTX 1030 Coprocessor and works great with a 300W power supply.
The GeForce GT 1030 is better than a low profile graphics card and is a good budget graphics card option. It allows you to play videos in 4K and browse the web in HTML5.
- This graphics card balances quality with decent price
- It can play most newer games in low-medium settings
- It has 2GB of storage
- It doesn’t draw too much power
- It’s a fairly quiet GPU
- As of this writing, the price has gone up, so technically it is now slightly over $100
- There is one complaint that it hasn’t aged well and is obsolete
Summary: The Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 is great if you are looking for a graphics card that isn’t too expensive but still good quality. It significantly improves gaming experience and is a good little GPU.
This graphics card is designed to silently dissipate heat. It has advanced EMI shielding that reduces electromagnetic interference by 66%, making for safer computer use and more stable signals.
Also featured is GPU Tweak software that allows you to control video memory, voltage, and cooling fans, as well as stream live gameplay in real time.
This card can support 2 monitors, but no more than that. It only draws 27W at peak load, so it should work okay on a 220W Dell Inspiron system. It also supports Ubuntu Linux.
- It reduces electromagnetic interference
- It is silent and cool
- You can control features of the GPU if you want
- It can be used with Linux
- It can support gaming
- It doesn’t come with a fan and tends to overheat
- Asus doesn’t have very good tech support
Summary: This is a good budget graphics card that supports both Windows and Linux. It’s an old card, so it may not meet your needs if you play a lot of newer games, but it might be perfect for what you’re looking for.
This graphics card is built for a slim or SFF computer an will not fit a regular size computer. It is designed for office computers, not for gaming.
Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Vista, and XP, this graphics card has a display port and DVI output. It supports Blu-Ray 3D and stereoscopic 3D.
This graphics card runs cool and is almost silent. It is great for office work, home office work, or watching videos, but not gaming.
- It runs cool
- It is very quiet
- It will support dual monitors
- It plays videos fast with no lag
- It supports ultra-high 2560×1600
- It isn’t built for gaming, and there is a possibility of destroying your computer by overheating it if you attempt serious gaming with this graphics card
- It is specifically for a slim or SFF computer, so if you have a regular computer you won’t be able to use it
Summary: Whether this graphics card is the one you want really depends on what you are looking for. If you have a slim or SFF computer that runs Windows and you want to do office work or play videos, but not play games, then this would be an excellent choice.
This graphics card has 2GB GDDR5 64-bit memory interface. The memory clock has 5,010 MHz of speed. The GPU features a dual-link DVI-D/D-sub/HDMI.
With 1GB exclusive memory and 2GB comparted memory, this GPU has a total of 2GB of storage. It can support up to 3 monitors.
This graphics card is a good entry-level gaming card. The performance is decent, not spectacular, but it works for those on a budget.
- It comes at a very cheap price
- It can support 3 monitors at once
- It works on Windows 10
- It’s great if you want to play older games
- It’s also good just for browsing the internet and watching videos
- It doesn’t work for mining
- It’s good for upgrading a really old or secondary computer, but it’s not the fanciest graphics card
Summary: This graphics card is decent and comes at a cheap price. It’s a good entry level gaming card but may not meet your needs if you are a serious gamer. If you want to upgrade an old PC, it might be perfect.
This graphics card has 2GB of video memory and supports a screen resolution of up to 4096×2160. It has VGA, DVI-D, Dual Link, and HDMI connectors.
This is a low profile graphics card and it requires a minimum of a 300W power supply. It is compatible with a 64-bit OS and can play a wide variety of games.
This card can run up to 3 monitors. It is a single slot card and will support older games but not newer ones.
- It can play a lot of games
- It isn’t too expensive
- It works in a Mac
- It can be used not only in a computer but also a 4K TV
- It can run 3 monitors
- The fan is noisy
- You won’t be able to use it to play a lot of newer games
Summary: This card is versatile and good for gaming. It just might be what you’re looking for.
The EVGA GT 730 has 1GB of storage, 128bit memory width, and 25.6GB/second memory bandwidth. It promises to make gaming, photo viewing and web browsing performance faster, with better image quality.
The EVGA GT 730 is a low profile gaming card, not a high-end graphics card, and is reported to be very good for the money and easy to install. It has a Nvidia GeForce processor and 700 MHz of memory speed. This GPU is compatible with Windows 10 32/64 bit, Windows 8 32/64 bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit, Windows Vista 32/64 bit, and Windows XP 32/64 bit. You will need to have a 300W or greater power supply and at least 20 Amp on the +12 volt rail, as well as a motherboard compliant with PCI Express, PCI Express 2.0, or PCI Express 3.0 with one graphics slot.
- It noticeably improves the gaming experience
- It isn’t too difficult to install
- It can work with Ubuntu as well as Windows
- It lets you browse the web faster
- It enables you to play Blu-Rays in 3D if you have Blu-Ray playing software
- There have been a few reports of it repeatedly crashing
- The customer support isn’t very good
Summary: The EVGA GT 730 is a good graphics card for the price. It isn’t a high-end graphics card, but it just might be perfect for your needs.
This is a low profile card with 1GB of video memory. It has a 625 MHz engine clock and a 1333 MHz memory clock. It has 64-bit memory interface.
This GPU is a low profile graphics card. It is reportedly better than other graphics cards of the same price and is compatible with all Linux flavors as well as Windows. It is recommended that you have a 400W or greater power source to go with this graphics card. The maximum screen resolution it supports is 2560 x 1600.
- It gives the best bang for your buck
- It is Linux compatible
- It enables you to run games on older computers that don’t support the games on their own
- It is quiet
- It’s a great way to upgrade a computer on a budget
- People have had a lot of trouble installing the drivers, and the manufacturer stopped making driver updates
- It’s not a top quality graphics card
Summary: If you’re looking for a decent graphics card to upgrade an older computer at a cheap price, this might be what you’re looking for. It might be tricky to install and configure the drivers, but if you’re good at that sort of thing, maybe it won’t be a problem for you.
The Final Words (Summary)
If you’re trying to upgrade the graphics card on your computer and are sticking to a budget of under $100, it can be tricky to find a compromise that meets your needs. It will require a thorough understanding of what you are looking for in a GPU and which features are the most important to you. Fortunately, you now know what to look for and have some examples that, with any luck, just might help you find the best GPU under $100 dollars.