10 Best Graphics Cards Under $150 Buying Guide

It is a fact: the best graphics cards in the market are almost always highly priced. However, it is possible to find reasonably priced gadgets that deliver speed and quality. This article will review a few affordable graphic cards that perform decently.

For a gamer or avid video lover, the visual quality of a still or motion picture forms a large part of the overall gaming experience. An excellent graphics card can mean the difference between bad visuals and a highly defined pictorial display. For excellent videos and pictures, a good graphics card is highly essential. The truth, though, is that high performance graphic cards have the potential to cost an arm and a leg. This is why we have taken the time to compile a list of these devices that deliver great performance at a price lower than $150. This way, you get too enjoy great visuals and still keep your limbs intact.

The 10 Best Graphics Cards Under $150

Model
Memory Speed
Memory
Buy on Amazon
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050
7008 MHz
2GB
Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX 550
1500 MHz
4GB
MSI GeForce GTX 1050
1518 MHz
2GB
Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GT 1030
6008 MHz
2GB
MSI Radeon RX560 GT
1196 MHz
4GB
Zotac GeForce GT 1030
6000 MHz
2GB
EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC
1554 MHz
2GB
Vision Tek Radeon 7750
1128 MHz
2GB
XFX Radeon RX 560
7000 MHz
4GB
XFX AMD Radeon RX 550
7000 MHz
4GB

10 Best Graphics Cards Reviews

For optimal graphic quality, a well constructed graphics card with good specifications is necessary. Having established that high performance devices are expensive, we tried to select decent devices that cost less than $150. Below is a brief review of each.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050Boasts superior performance and great power efficiency

For high resolution gaming, this graphic card is ideal since it delivers great resolution and high FPS.

Key features

  • 60 fps
  • 2GB memory
  • Memory clock: 7008MHz
  • Fast and smooth gaming
  • Double ball bearing cooling fan

Specially designed to facilitate gaming, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 delivers high quality and supports 1080p resolution. This graphic card requires no pcie power connectors as it has a clever plug and play design. It comes with auto extreme technology which promises high reliability and extreme quality. With the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050, keeping tabs on performance is quite easy. It comes with an intuitive interface which makes streaming easier and also acts as a game booster and xsplit game caster. For cooling, it has a double ball bearing cooling fan that enhances longevity.

Pros

  • Has high fps
  • Memory clock of 7008MHz
  • Delivers fast and smooth gaming
  • Double ball bearing cooling fan

Cons

  • May not be as fast for 4K video rendering

Verdict

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 proves an extraordinary graphic card, especially for its price since it delivers quality 1080p videos. Its cooling fan also enhances the devices life span.

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Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX 550Excellent for gaming

This graphic card promises excellent stability even during lengthy gaming.

Key features

  • Intelligent fan control
  • 1500MHz memory speed
  • 4GB memory
  • Single fan cooling system

From the onset, this little device delivers great stability that allows you to play as long a you like without experiencing any issues. It is built using high quality components that are engineered for durability and excellence. Even though it comes with a cooling fan, you will enjoy silence since they do not operate during light gaming, and only start when you begin a new game. With the Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX 550, you will have access to two gaming modes which are Power and Stealth. The Power mode allows you to go full throttle in your gaming while the Stealth mode delivers great performance coupled with power efficiency.

Pros

  • Comes with intelligent fan control
  • Offers two gaming modes
  • Promises stability even during lengthy games
  • Comes with two power modes

Cons

  • Not as powerful as similar devices from other brands

Verdict

The promise of stability, quietness and two modes for gaming makes this graphic card ideal for lengthy use. With its price tag, the Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX 550 delivers a lot more than most customers bargain for.

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MSI GeForce GTX 1050Based on NVIDIA’s Pascal GPU

This card uses the Pascal Technology that facilitates ultra-high resolution and multiple monitor systems.

Key features

  • Smart fan
  • 2GB memory
  • 1518 MHz memory speed
  • Mobile gaming app

The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 brings next level gaming to your monitor. For starters, it gets rid of torn screens, ensuring smooth viewing and no display shatter. Being a high power device, cooling becomes an important aspect, and for this, there is a twin fan cooling system that is smart. It runs during intense gaming and stays perfectly silent when the computer is idling and during light gaming. Further, this device comes with AirFlow Control Technology which directs hot air through the innovative TWIN FROZR VI pipes for quick cooling and longer gaming. For easy control, a gaming app lets you tweak image quality as you play.

Pros

  • Ensures long gaming
  • Has an excellent cooling system
  • Comes with gaming app
  • Clever AirFlow Control Technology for fast and efficient cooling

Cons

  • Its price is a bit on the higher side

Verdict

The MSI GeForce GTX 1050 gives you the opportunity to experience next level gaming. With its smooth viewing and zero display shatter, you can be sure to go through your gaming with loads of enjoyment. Its superior cooling system also makes for longer gaming sessions.

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Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GT 1030Comes with superior cooling system

You can be certain to enjoy 4K video playback with this graphics card.

Key features

  • Custom designed cooler
  • 2GB memory
  • 6008 Memory clock
  • 4K video playback

Boasting a 2GB GDDR5 GPU, the Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 comes as an efficient and powerful graphics card. Its build is largely based on Pascal technology that encourages low power consumption. However, it has 384 CUDA cores, a characteristic that sets it back a bit where intense gaming is involved. On the flip side though, its low power consumption makes it stay cool for a long time. This makes it great for casual playing and general purpose use. Its fans only run when gaming is intense, but they stay quiet a good amount of the time.

Pros

  • Extremely quiet
  • Great for general use
  • Impressive memory speed
  • Low power consumption

Cons

  • Not ideal for intense gaming

Verdict

The Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 is an ideal graphics card for general use. It may not be able to handle high intensity gaming as others of its caliber do, but we certainly like that it consumes low power and does not heat up fast.

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MSI Radeon RX560 GTComes with aluminum core for better stability

This graphics card is an excellent gaming device that delivers excellent gaming experience.

Key features

  • Twin fan cooling system
  • 4GB memory
  • 1196 MHz memory speed
  • 4K video resolution

To ensure that it delivers nothing short of great performance, this graphics card operates on the AMD FreeSync for highly intuitive gaming. Being that it is a low-profile device, it saves a great deal of space and can also be installed in smaller PCs. With the MSI Radeon RX560 GT, you are guaranteed high performance and 4K image resolution which offers high clarity. For cooling, this graphics card uses an aluminum core that has fins attached to it. On top of this, it has a heat sink, a feature that allows hot air to pass through its wide slits. For ultimate cooling, two heat pipes rid the graphics card of hot air for ultimate performance.

Pros

  • Can be installed in small PCs
  • 4K resolution
  • Supports AMD FreeSync
  • Elaborate cooling system for long gaming

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Verdict

We like that his graphics card can handle high intensity gaming due to its impressive secs. Moreover, being a small device, it can be fitted into smaller PCs. Its elaborate cooling system makes for excellent performance.

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Zotac GeForce GT 1030Excellent for photo and video editing

This graphic card’s performance roots from the Pascal Nvidia technology.

Key features

  • Adjustable fan control
  • 2GB memory
  • 6000 MHz memory speed
  • 2+ screen display

Even though it is a low profile video card, the Zotac GeForce GT 1030’s reputation precedes itself. It is able to deliver high pictorial quality, especially where photos and videos are concerned. With GeForce experience, driver updates are only one click away. This device comes with multiple display out ports which facilitate two displays at the same time. One of its main characteristics is its low power consumption, a feature that allows it to stay quiet for longer since it does not heat up fast.

Pros

  • Low profile ready
  • Adjustable fan control
  • Quiet
  • Easy to access driver updates
  • Multiple displays at the same time

Cons

  • Not ideal for high intensity gaming

Verdict

Enjoy editing videos and photos with this low profile device. When using the Zotac GeForce GT 1030, you will not experience intense heating, an aspect that keeps it conveniently quiet.

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EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SCThis device promises next gen gaming for current games

The EVGA GeForce GT 1030 SC boasts superior performance where gaming is concerned.

Key features

  • Low profile
  • 2GB memory
  • 1554 MHz memory speed
  • High quality videos

This small graphic card is more compact than most, but it boasts two times higher speeds than Intel Core i5 integrated graphics. Its dynamic Nvidia GPU 3.0 works to maximize clock speeds depending on the work load. You can be able to customize different characteristics of the EVGA GeForce GT 1030 such as fan control and temperature targets and water cooling solutions. With this kind of freedom, it is possible to achieve lengthy periods of play without exhausting the graphics card. Aside from this, the EVGA GeForce GT 1030 delivers automatic tuning and superior overlocking features.

Pros

  • Excellent speeds
  • Easy to customize
  • Promises long play without exhaustion
  • Excellent overlocking features
  • Automatic tuning

Cons

  • Difficult to install into the low-profile bracket

Verdict

With this graphics card, customization becomes quite easy and fast. As an added advantage, it comes with excellent overlocking features and superior tuning capabilities.

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Vision Tek Radeon 7750Enables dual 4k video display

This graphic card performs exceptionally well, especially within its price range.

Key features

  • Independently powered
  • Has independent HD audio
  • 2GB memory
  • 1128 MHz memory speed

The Vision Tek Radeon 7750 delivers exceptional output with its 4K definition and 2 screen display in impressive 10-bit color. One of its outstanding characteristics is that it is powered as an independent entity without needing an external source of power. When using multiple display on two screens, each display port emits its own sound which it transmits to each monitor using 7.1 Surround Sound. Even though it is a short form factor graphics card, the Vision Tek Radeon 7750 comes with a full height bracket. It, however fits perfectly into small PCs.

Pros

  • Independently powered
  • Enables 4K definition on two screens
  • Ideal for small PCs
  • Surround sound capabilities

Cons

  • Has a tendency to overheat during intense use

Verdict

With this graphics card, it is possible to power monitors with the latest technology even through compact PCs. Since it is independently powered, you need not worry about finding additional power pins.

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XFX Radeon RX 560Uses a hardware controlled clock

The XFX Radeon RX 560 promises excellent delivery where high definition videos are concerned.

Key features

  • Intuitive cooling system
  • 4GB memory
  • 7000 MHz memory speed
  • Full 1024 stream processors
  • Hardware controlled clock

Most graphic cards usually have a system controlled clock whose performance can be hindered by other computer functions. With the XFX Radeon RX 560, the clock is controlled by the hardware, an aspect that makes it run at an optimal speed all through. This graphics card undergoes rigorous factory testing to make certain that its speeds exceed even that which is dictated by the clock. For cooling, especially during high intensity gaming, this graphics card uses a VRM and memory cooling technology that drastically reduces temperatures when it overheats. Commendably, the cooling system manages to remain impressively quiet even during intense work.

Pros

  • Has a unique cooling system that is efficient
  • It is a quiet graphics card
  • Has a True clock that is controlled by hardware
  • Undergoes rigorous factory testing to ascertain superior speeds

Cons

  • Price is a bit on the higher side

Verdict

Speed is an important point of delivery for this graphics card. The fact that its pace is set by hardware eliminates the chances of experiencing lag from the computer system. This allows for optimal speed delivery all through, a reason why we love the XFX Radeon RX 560.

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XFX AMD Radeon RX 550Delivers exceptional speeds even during high intensity gaming

The XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 operates on a True clock which guarantees great speeds.

Key features

  • Intuitive cooling
  • 4GB memory
  • 7000 MHz memory speed
  • Hardware controlled clock

Just as in the XFX Radeon RX 560, this graphics card, the XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 operates on a hardware controlled clock. This way, the chances of experiencing interference from the computer system is quite low. Additionally, this graphics card is put through intense testing for the purpose of encouraging it to run speeds that go beyond what is dictated by the True clock. The XFX AMD Radeon RX 550 features advanced cooling to prevent overheating, especially when it is performing intense tasks. Additionally, it manages to remain pleasantly quiet as it works.

Pros

  • Has an excellent cooling system
  • Has a hardware controlled True clock
  • Works quietly
  • It is quite fast

Cons

  • A bit pricey

Verdict

We like that speeds have been made a point of focus on this graphics card. The fact that it can deliver exceptionally well while remaining quiet is quite commendable.

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Buying a Graphics Card Under $150– What to look out for

When going to get a graphics card for regular use, here are a few factors to have in mind.

RAM Capacity

The RAM of a graphics card is quite important characteristics since it plays a major role in its general functions. For $150 and below, go for a device that has a 2GB or 4GB RAM. These are quite effective in many graphic cards.

Cooling system

When subjected to heavy use, graphics cards have a tendency to overheat. Excess heat could lead to malware or poor functioning. A good cooling system sees to it that you work without worrying about overheating.

Memory Clock

The higher, the better. Your graphics card will be able to function better if it has a higher memory clock.

Cost

Even though your budget covers anything below the $150 mark, always have in mind that it is possible to find an efficient device at a significantly lower cost. Keep an eye out for effective but more affordable options.

Conclusion

To experience the best gaming and video quality, a high performance graphics card is important. There is a myriad in the market from which to choose, and it can b a daunting task. That is why we have reviewed some of the best for your regular use. To select the best, use our short buying guide for a general idea of what to look for.

About William Novasco

William Novasco
William Novasco has been gaming ever since he was a little kid, and at 35 he aims at achieving the impossible by ensuring that gamers get the perfect experience when gaming, by utilizing the relevant hardware and software. He has managed to score wins by winning in the various gaming series, an experience that has enabled him to find loopholes that gamers interact with and consequently proceed to find solutions. The reason why he prepared the various informative articles covering different aspects of the top gaming essentials but which contribute to one whole. Apart from preparing expert reviews on the various gaming gadgets and games, William loves to research on the latest technologically advanced gadgets that can be used for gaming.

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