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  • Jesper Berg
  • April 02, 2019 08:56:04 PM
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A Little About Us

Gaming PC Builder, or GPCB, is a blog by and for gamers who take great pleasure in building their own PCs. We work hard every day to create new content that helps builders succeed with their builds, regardless of budget or previous experience. Our regularly updated articles cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to graphics cards (GPUs), motherboards, processors (CPUs), hard drives, cases and other PC gaming essentials. We also publish the occasional software roundup and not least: performance tuning guides for popular games. Also check out our YouTube and Facebook channels, where we regularly publish interesting stuff about hardware and tweaks that will increase the frame rates in your games. See you there!

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    Best Graphics Cards Under $200 – 2019 Edition

    With the release of AMD Radeon RX 590, the RX 580 and 570 have become more affordable, now at their original MSRP from before the mining craze. Some are even cheaper with deals, promos, or after rebates. The same goes for Nvidia’s launch of the new Turing architecture, which has led to price drops on […] The post Best Graphics Cards Under $200 – 2019 Edition appeared first on Gaming PC...

    With the release of AMD Radeon RX 590, the RX 580 and 570 have become more affordable, now at their original MSRP from before the mining craze. Some are even cheaper with deals, promos, or after rebates. The same goes for Nvidia’s launch of the new Turing architecture, which has led to price drops on the still-competent GeForce GTX 1000 series. 

    So if you are building a mid-range gaming PC on a tight budget, the graphics card best suited for that build is in $160 – $200 price range, and now is the perfect time to buy one. And with that, we collected the best graphics card under $200. To make sure you get the most value for your money, we’ve also added some considerably less costly (RX 570) as well as the slightly more expensive GTX 1660, both of which offer amazing value at the moment.

    Table of Contents:
    AMD Vs Nvidia
    Fastest GPU under 200: AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB
    Best value: AMD Radeon RX 570
    Best Nvidia: GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB
    No PCIe power: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
    Step up AMD: Radeon RX 580 8GB
    Step up Nvidia: GeForce GTX 1660
    Summary and notes

    AMD Vs. Nvidia in the $200 bracket

    Radeon or GeForce? Gamers have asked this question since the 90s, when Radeon was still an ATI brand. The answer has nearly always been “it depends”.  As of 2019, Nvidia has been in the performance and efficiency lead for years – long enough that the prices on GeForce cards are now inflated, at least in the high-end market. However, AMD is still a very strong challenger in the mid-range segment, which is what we’re looking at here. 

    With a bit of luck, you can find a card with either the Radeon RX 580 or the GeForce GTX 1060 (3 GB) GPU for around $200. In early 2019, these are without a doubt the best GPUs below this price limit from AMD and Nvidia, respectively. However, adding around $20 may get you the much-improved GTX 1660

    Product
    AMD
    ASUS Radeon RX 580 O4G Dual-Fan OC Edition GDDR5 DP HDMI DVI VR Ready AMD Graphics Card (DUAL-RX580-O4G)
    Nvidia
    PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Graphics Card VCGGTX10603PB-SF
    Image
    ASUS Radeon RX 580 O4G Dual-Fan OC Edition GDDR5 DP HDMI DVI VR Ready AMD Graphics Card (DUAL-RX580-O4G)
    PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Graphics Card VCGGTX10603PB-SF
    Stream Processors
    2304
    1152
    Core/Boost Clock
    1340 MHz / 1411 MHz
    1607 MHz / 1835 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    6,502 GFLOPS
    4,228 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    4GB/GDDR5
    3GB/GDDR5
    Memory Bus
    256-bit
    192-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    1750 MHz (7000 MHz)
    2002 MHz (8008 MHz)
    Memory Bandwidth
    224.0 GB/s
    192.2 GB/s
    TDP
    185 W
    120 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    500 W (1x6-pin+1x8-pin)
    400 W (1x6-pin)
    Outputs
    1x DVI, 2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort
    1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
    Average Rating
    User Reviews
    49 Reviews
    204 Reviews
    Warranty
    2 Years
    3 Years
    Price
    $189.86
    $193.99
    AMD
    Product
    ASUS Radeon RX 580 O4G Dual-Fan OC Edition GDDR5 DP HDMI DVI VR Ready AMD Graphics Card (DUAL-RX580-O4G)
    Image
    ASUS Radeon RX 580 O4G Dual-Fan OC Edition GDDR5 DP HDMI DVI VR Ready AMD Graphics Card (DUAL-RX580-O4G)
    Stream Processors
    2304
    Core/Boost Clock
    1340 MHz / 1411 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    6,502 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    4GB/GDDR5
    Memory Bus
    256-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    1750 MHz (7000 MHz)
    Memory Bandwidth
    224.0 GB/s
    TDP
    185 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    500 W (1x6-pin+1x8-pin)
    Outputs
    1x DVI, 2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort
    Average Rating
    User Reviews
    49 Reviews
    Warranty
    2 Years
    Price
    $189.86
    Purchase
    Nvidia
    Product
    PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Graphics Card VCGGTX10603PB-SF
    Image
    PNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Graphics Card VCGGTX10603PB-SF
    Stream Processors
    1152
    Core/Boost Clock
    1607 MHz / 1835 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance
    4,228 GFLOPS
    Memory Size/Type
    3GB/GDDR5
    Memory Bus
    192-bit
    Memory Clock (Effective)
    2002 MHz (8008 MHz)
    Memory Bandwidth
    192.2 GB/s
    TDP
    120 W
    Recommended Power Supply
    400 W (1x6-pin)
    Outputs
    1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
    Average Rating
    User Reviews
    204 Reviews
    Warranty
    3 Years
    Price
    $193.99
    Purchase

    From just looking at the numbers, it’s clear that the RX 580 is a much more powerful GPU than the 3 GB GTX 1060. It usually is in actual games as well, but the difference is small. In certain Nvidia-optimized games, like Fortnite and GTA V, the GTX 1060 is slightly faster. Here’s another quick look at relative performance, using data from Futuremark’s popular DirectX 12 benchmark 3DMark Time Spy:

    These are averages from a cross-section of different systems running the above GPUs. It corresponds reasonably well to actual gaming performance. 

    Bottom line: The ‘performance per dollar’ equation changes constantly, but on days when a RX 570 card drops to around $150 it’s a winner. The GTX 1660 is however a close second and is much more recent.

    Fastest below $200: Radeon RX 580 4GB

    So first, we give you the Radeon RX 580 4GB, which can frequently be found around $200 these days. And if the price is right, this is the fastest GPU below our price limit. This card rivals or surpasses the GeForce GTX 1060 on almost every AAA title out there. 60fps is easy at 1080p and it also provides acceptable frame rates at 1440p with high or even maximum quality.  And if you are playing Vulkan-based or DX12 games like DOOM, Battlefield V, or Hitman, this card still gives you 60fps at 1440p. Pair it with FreeSync monitor, you’ll get the best gaming experience and value of your money. Plus, it has a backplate which improves the card’s cooling. Last but not least, like all RX 580s, it’s also VR Ready and will play well with your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

    This is how one of our favorites, the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 4GB, matches up against the other Radeon RX 580 4GB cards.

     XFX GTS XXX OC+ Edition Radeon RX 580 ASUS Dual-Fan OC Edition Radeon RX 580 Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580Gigabyte Gaming Radeon RX 580
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
    ImageXFX GTS XXX Edition RX 580 4GB OC+ 1386Mhz DDR5 W/Backplate 3xDP HDMI DVI Graphic Cards RX-580P4DFD6ASUS Radeon RX 580 O4G Dual-Fan OC Edition GDDR5 DP HDMI DVI VR Ready AMD Graphics Card (DUAL-RX580-O4G)Sapphire 11265-07-20G Radeon Nitro+ RX 580 4GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI / DVI-D / Dual DP with Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphics CardGigabyte Radeon RX 580 Gaming 4GB Graphic Cards GV-RX580GAMING-4GD
    Stream Processors2304230423042304
    Boost Clock /
    Max OC Clock
    1366 MHz /
    1386 MHz
    1360 MHz /
    1380 MHz
    1340 MHz /
    1411 MHz
    1340 MHz /
    1355 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance6,295 GFLOPS6,267 GFLOPS6,502 GFLOPS6,175 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock7 GHz / 7.1 GHz7 GHz7 GHz7 GHz
    Memory Size4 GB4 GB4 GB4 GB
    Memory Bandwidth227.2 GB/s224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s
    Recommended Power Supply500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
    Latest PriceCurrently out of stock$189.86$209.99$186.99

    Prices are updated automatically every few hours, but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of page.

    The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 4GB leads the rest in theoretical performance with 6,502 GFLOPS. Though the XFX GTS XXX Edition leads in memory bandwidth, the FP32 performance is the closest metric on how the card will perform, meaning the higher the GFLOPS, the better the performance. So, for being the best performer without any user overclocking, we recommend it. With its dual-fan setup it should also have sufficient thermal management to allow some further tweaking (though this goes for most of the competitors, too).

    Best Value: Asus ROG Strix RX 570 4GB

    rx570 strixIf you’re really on a budget – or simply want the maximum amount of frames per second as a return on your investment – then the  graphics cards based on the Radeon RX 570 GPU is your best option. These cards are only about 10% slower RX 580-based cards, but often more than 10% cheaper. 

    And you can still play most AAA titles at 1080p/60fps, as well as 1440p with reduced quality. In other words, the cards are way faster than similarly-priced or even pricier GeForce GTX 1050 Ti boards, and even some lesser RX 560 alternatives. It’s simply the best value for you money in this price range.

    Our favorite here is the Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 570 Gaming OC 4GB. Strix is Asus’ premium gaming product brand, where usually nothing has been spared in terms of quality and, in the case of GPUs, cooling capability. 

    This is how the Strix RX 570 4GB matches up against the others based on the same chip:

     ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 570 OCSapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 570Gigabyte Radeon RX 570 Gaming
    ImageASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 570 O4G Gaming OC Edition GDDR5 DP HDMI DVI VR Ready AMD Graphics Card (ROG-STRIX-RX570-O4G-GAMING)Sapphire 11266-09-20G Radeon Nitro+ RX 570 8GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI / DVI-D / Dual DP with Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphics CardPowerColor AXRX 570 4GBD5-3DH/OC Video CardGigabyte Radeon RX 570 Gaming 4GB Graphic Cards GV-RX570GAMING-4GD
    Memory Size4 GB4 GB4 GB4 GB
    FP32 Theoretical Performance5,325 GFLOPS5,489 GFLOPS5,407 GFLOPS5,095 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock7 GHz7 GHz7 GHz7 GHz
    Memory Bandwidth224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s224.0 GB/s
    Recommended
    Power Supply
    500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
    Core Clock / Boost Clock1168 MHz /
    1300 MHz
    1168 MHz /
    1340 MHz
    1270 MHz /
    1320 MHz
    1168 MHz /
    1244 MHz
    Stream Processors2048204820482048
    Latest Price$184.20$247.82$139.99from $159.99
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours, but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of page.

    Thanks to its slightly higher clocks, the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 4GB leads in terms of theoretical performance with 5,489 GFLOPS, closely followed by the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 570 4GB with 5,407 GFLOPS. It’s a close race between these cards, but we’d still pick the thermally capable Strix card if the prices don’t differ too much. 

    Best Nvidia: EVGA GTX 1060 SC ACX 2.0 (3GB)

    EVGA 1060 3GB

    GPU prices fluctuate a lot, but among the Nvidia cards frequently found below $200 mark right now, the best ones are based on the 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. Compared to the 6GB variant, the 3GB cards not only have half the VRAM but also less shaders activated (1152 vs. 1280). Regardless, these cards are a great option for an affordable Nvidia build for 1080p gaming. However, if you don’t mind moving slightly higher in price, the GTX 1660 likely offers better value.

    On average, a 3GB GeForce 1060 is slower than AMD cards in the corresponding price bracket, but have the advantage of a lower power draw. The 1060’s TDP is 120W, so normally only one 6-pin PCIe power connector is needed. 

    Right now the small and compact, single-fan GTX 1060’s tend to be the most affordable. If you have room for a video card with two (or even three) fans, this is usually a better option. But the GTX 1060 is more power-efficient than its AMD competitors, so it’s not as critical. 

    Our choice here is currently the compact EVGA GTX 1060 SC ACX 2.0. In spite of its small size, it is factory overclocked and has been generally well received by users and professional reviewers alike. Here’s how it compares to other cards of the same type:

     EVGA GTX 1060 3GB SC GAMING ACX 2.0ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 MiniMSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming 3GBASUS GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Dual OC
    ImageEVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB SC GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 3GB GDDR5, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC), 03G-P4-6162-KRZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 3GB GDDR5 VR Ready Super Compact Gaming Graphics Card (ZT-P10610A-10L)MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 3GB GDRR5 192-bit HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1060 3GT OC)ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Dual-Fan OC Edition Graphics Card (DUAL-GTX1060-O3G)
    Memory Size3 GB3 GB4 GB4 GB
    FP32 Theoretical Performance4,228 GFLOPS3,935 GFLOPS4,053 GFLOPS4,113 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock8008 MHz8008 MHz8008 MHz8008 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth192.2 GB/s192.2 GB/s192.2 GB/s192.2 GB/s
    Recommended
    Power Supply
    400 Watt400 Watt400 Watt400 Watt
    Core Clock / Boost Clock1607 MHz /
    1835 MHz
    1506 MHz /
    1708 MHz
    1544 MHz /
    1759 MHz
    1570 MHz /
    1785 MHz
    Stream Processors1152115211521152
    Latest Price$235.94from $259.07from $237.00from $223.12
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours, but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of page.

    It’s interesting that the single-fan EVGA 1060 comes with some of the most aggressive factory tunings for any GTX 1060-based card. That said – and all other things being equal – dual-fan solutions are better equipped for overclocking. 

    No PCIe Power: GTX 1050 Ti

    If for some reason you can’t get the RX 580 or RX 570 – and you want an Nvidia-based card that’s more affordable than the GTX 1060 3 GB – the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is your second-best option for now. It will go nicely with your G-Sync monitor and produce decent frame rates in eSports titles. We wouldn’t call it overly future-proof or the best option for AAA titles, but it is a competent chip and part of many entry-level gaming builds for good reason.

    Among the 1050 Ti cards, we consider  the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G a good buy. This card can give you 40 – 50 FPS in some of the latest AAA titles and over 60 fps in eSports titles at 1920×1080 resolution. It comes with a factory overclock and an efficient dual-fan setup.

    A major advantage of any 1050 Ti card is that they are bus-powered and don’t require a separate PCIe power connector. That means you don’t have to upgrade your power supply if you were to buy this card as an upgrade for your previous, entry-level build.

    Let’s compare this card to other GeForce GTX 1050 Ti-based alternatives.

     MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming 4GMSI GTX 1050 TI 4G OCEVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GamingGigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
    ImageMSI Computer Video Graphic Cards GeForce GTX 1050 TI Gaming X 4GMSI Computer Video Card (GTX 1050 TI 4G OC)EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming, 4GB GDDR5, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC) Graphics Card 04G-P4-6251-KRGigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 128 Bit PCI-E Graphic Card (GV-N105TD5-4GD)
    CUDA Cores768768768768
    Core Clock / Boost Clock1354 MHz /
    1468 MHz
    1341 MHz /
    1455 MHz
    1316 MHz /
    1430 MHz
    1304 MHz /
    1417 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance2,255 GFLOPS2,235 GFLOPS 2,138 GFLOPS2,196 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock7 GHz7 GHz7 GHz7 GHz
    Memory Size4 GB4 GB4 GB4 GB
    Memory Bandwidth112.1 GB/s112.1 GB/s112.1 GB/s112.1 GB/s
    Required PSU300 Watt300 Watt300 Watt300 Watt
    Latest Price$199.99$179.99from $159.99$179.99
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours, but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of page.

    Despite not topping the GFLOPS race, what we liked about the MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Dual Fan OC, other than being the cheapest, is its larger heatsink and dual fan to cool the card and take away the heat more efficiently as compared to single fan. But if this card doesn’t fit in your micro-ATX or mini-ITX case, we suggest you get the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming.

    Add ~$20 – AMD

    GPU prices constantly fluctuate, but often for just a bit more than the above, you can get an RX 580-based graphics card with 8 GB of video memory (VRAM) instead of the 4 GB model. The difference between 4GB and 8GB models of the RX 580 (or other video cards) depends a great deal on the individual game. In some games there is no difference whatsoever, but in others, the extra memory can change a game from unplayable to playable – particularly at higher settings and resolutions (e.g. 2560×1440). This video sums up the performance in actual games:

    What’s more, newer AAA titles tend to make better use of additional VRAM, so a card with more memory should be somewhat more ‘future-proof’. In most games and benchmarks, an 8 GB RX 580 will surpass a 6 GB GTX 1060.  So again, AMD provides more performance for the money in this segment, and an RX 580 8 GB should easily get you through both 2019 and 2020 with decent framerates. Here’s a roundup and comparison of said cards.

     XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition (8GB)Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GBPowerColor Red Devil RX 580 OCGigabyte Gaming Radeon RX 580
    ImageXFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition 1386MHz OC+, 8GB GDDR5, VR Ready, Dual BIOS, 3xDP HDMI DVI, AMD Graphics Card (RX-580P8DFD6)Sapphire 11265-05-20G Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB GDDR5 Dual HDMI / DVI-D / Dual DP OC with Backplate (UEFI) PCI-E Graphics Card Graphic CardsPowerColor VGA - AXRX 580 8GBD5-3DH/OCMSI VGA Graphic Cards RX 580 Armor 8G OC
    Stream Processors2304230423042304
    Boost Clock /
    Max OC Clock
    1257 MHz /
    1366 MHz
    1257 MHz /
    1366 MHz
    1355 MHz /
    1380 MHz
    1257 MHz /
    1366 MHz
    FP32 Theoretical Performance6,295 GFLOPS6,295 GFLOPS6,359 GFLOPS6,295 GFLOPS
    Max Memory Clock8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz8 GHz
    Memory Size8 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR5
    Memory Bandwidth256 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s256 GB/s
    Recommended Power Supply500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
    Latest Pricefrom $109.99$199.99$191.50$199.99
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours, but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of page.

    As you can see, there is not much difference between these cards individually. The only one that stands out is the overclocked model from PowerColor. At the time of writing, we found the best price/performance ratio by far with the XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition. 

    Add ~$20 – Nvidia

    Another, brand new alternative as of March 2019 is the Turing-based Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660, which can be seen as a direct successor to the GTX 1060. GTX 1660 prices have yet to drop below the $200 mark, but they’re only marginally above. At this writing, the more affordable 1660 cards probably have the best FPS/$ ratio in the Nvidia camp – in close competition with the 1660 Ti. The GPU is about 25% faster than the GTX 1060 and more power-efficient as well. 

     ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ventus XSASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Phoenix Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC
    ImageZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 6GB GDDR5 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16600F-10LMSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 128-Bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR5 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1660 Ventus XS 6G OC)ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Overclocked 6GB Phoenix Fan Edition HDMI DP DVI Graphics Card (PH-GTX1660-O6G)Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G Graphics Card, 2X Windforce Fans, 6GB 192-bit GDDR5, Gv-N1660OC-6GD Video Card
    Memory Size6 GB GDDR56 GB GDDR56 GB GDDR56 GB GDDR5
    FP32 Theoretical Performance5,027 GFLOPS5,153 GFLOPS5,027 GFLOPS5,153 GFLOPS
    Memory Clock2000 MHz2000 MHz2000 MHz2000 MHz
    Memory Bandwidth192.1 GB/s192.1 GB/s192.1 GB/s192.1 GB/s
    Recommended
    Power Supply
    500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt500 Watt
    Core Clock / Boost Clock1530 MHz /
    1785 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1830 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1785 MHz
    1530 MHz /
    1785 MHz
    Stream Processors1408140814081408
    Latest Price$219.99$239.99$224.99$219.99
    Product LinkView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

    *Prices are updated automatically every few hours, but are subject to change between updates. See ‘Last update’ information at bottom of page.

    Compared to the AMD alternatives, the GTX 1660 is often faster than the RX 580 or even the RX 590, although both of these AMD GPUs offer better theoretical performance. In other words, it offers great performance for the money. 

    Summary

    These are the best graphics cards close to or below $200. Whatever your budget is and your preferred games, these cards offers great price-to-performance value. If you want the best possible value as of Q2 2019, we suggest you pick one based on the Radeon RX 570 (depending on today’s price difference). However, if you can spend a bit more, a video card based on the RX 580 is a great choice. Nvidia-based cards are more power-efficient, but not as competitive in terms of cost/performance. Nevertheless, if you want an Nvidia GPU below $200, a 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 might be your best bet, but be aware that you are likely to get more value buying a GTX 1660 – is much more powerful and only slightly more expensive. It’s much harder to justify buying the GTX 1050 Ti at current prices, unless you have no choice but to use a PCIe slot-powered card. 

    A potential downside of the mid-range Nvidia cards is that they don’t support dual-card setups, i.e. SLI. The RX 570 and RX 580, on the other hand, support AMD’s counterpart CrossFire. It’s also worth mentioning that the 4 GB RX 580 is not the same kind of trade-off versus the 8 GB RX 580, as the 3 GB 1060 is versus the 6 GB 1060. The 3GB version of the GTX 1060 not only has less memory, but also fewer shaders. 

    AMD cards are not without flaws either. They are a lot less efficient, meaning that you will need a bigger power supply unit (PSU) and often an additional PCIe cable to power them. In the case of the RX 580 Nitro+, for example, you need one 8-pin and one 6-pin auxiliary (PCIe) power connector, whereas no GTX 1060 uses more than a single 6-pin connector.  

    A side note, but a topic worth mentioning, is factory overclocking. Several of the above graphics cards come with slightly higher clock rates compared to the reference models, which is often – but not always – also reflected in the price tag. It doesn’t necessarily have an impact on how much the card can be overclocked by the user. Each and every GPU chip is unique quality-wise and therefore the chips’ overclocking capability varies. Unfortunately you never know exactly how capable it is before you buy (this is why it’s called the “silicon lottery”). The main difference is that a factory-overclocked card is guaranteed to work at the specified clock rates, which is not the case otherwise. In some cases, pricier and factory-overclocked cards also have better cooling solutions than budget GPUs. 

    On another side note, we’re glad that the mining craze is over and prices have normalized. This should have been the pricing all year long.

    About System and PSU Requirements

    PCIe power connectorYou certainly don’t need a monster gaming rig to power mid-range graphics cards around the $200 price range. The most important thing is to ensure that your power supply unit (PSU) is up to the task. The most demanding of the cards we’ve been looking at here are the ones based on the Radeon RX 580 GPU. AMD recommends a 500 Watt PSU for the entire system. However, this will of course depend on how power-efficient the rest of your system is. Typical board power is 185 Watts for the reference design RX 580, but overclocked cards will use considerably more.

    It will consequently need at least one 8pin PCIe power connector, or in some cases one 8pin and one 6pin connector coming from the PSU. If your power supply does not have any auxiliary PCIe power connectors – and for some reason you can’t upgrade it (such as in a custom, small form-factor PC) – then your only option from the above are the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti cards. These cards only draw power straight from the motherboard. 

    Other than the PSU, your other PC components should preferably at least be fairly recent. The processor (CPU) does affect what frame rates you’ll be getting to some extent, but the difference will be quite small if you’re using using any AMD Ryzen or Core i5 from the past few years. Older AMD CPUs in general and some older Intel Core i3 CPUs in particular may have a more severe negative effect on game frame rates. 

    VR compatibility: If you are looking to power a VR headset such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, then the minimum GPU recommendation is either an AMD Radeon RX 580 or an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060.

    The post Best Graphics Cards Under $200 – 2019 Edition appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    Best RX 590 Card Roundup

    AMD didn’t pick the best possible time to launch its upper mid-range Radeon RX 590 GPU. Now it has to compete with Nvidia’s more efficient GeForce GTX 1660 Ti in a similar price range, on top of the now-discounted Radeon RX 580 cards, which aren’t that much slower. On the plus side, this segment is […] The post Best RX 590 Card Roundup appeared first on Gaming PC...

    AMD didn’t pick the best possible time to launch its upper mid-range Radeon RX 590 GPU. Now it has to compete with Nvidia’s more efficient GeForce GTX 1660 Ti in a similar price range, on top of the now-discounted Radeon RX 580 cards, which aren’t that much slower. On the plus side, this segment is really the buyer’s market right now. The strong competition has driven down prices across the board. It’s already possible to find this card at prices that undercut the GTX 1660 Ti by a fair margin.

    And there’s no question that the RX 590 is an attractive GPU. Although it’s based on the same Polaris architecture as the RX 580, the 590 is more than just a simple rebadge with a slight clock increase. It is manufactured with a smaller (12 nm) production process, which has allowed AMD to increase the default boost clock by more than 200 MHz.

    Theoretical performance (FP32 float.) is up from 6,175 GFLOPS (RX 580) to 7,119 GFLOPS (RX 590). In comparison, the reference GTX 1660 Ti churns out 5,437 GFLOPS. The bad news is that this isn’t necessarily reflected in actual games. Also, power-efficiency in the Radeon lineup is still far behind the latest Nvidia cards. However, it’s a relatively close competitor as measured in frames per second – and if the price is right it’s still a great choice for both 1080p and 1440p gaming. It gets better still combined with a FreeSync monitor. 

    The 7 Best-Rated RX 590 Graphics Cards

    So let’s move on to the top cards in the category. Actually, this is about half of the total number of cards with this GPU available at the time of writing. We’ve sorted them based on opinions from both professional and users reviews, as well as our own experience with similar cards. Click through to our database entries of the different models to find links to reviews and other information.

    1

    Sapphire Radeon Nitro+ RX 590 Special Edition

    RX 590 Nitro+Sapphire’s Nitro+ series is the manufacturer’s premium graphics card lineup, with the most advanced cooling solution and often a liberal amount of factory overclocking. The Nitro+ is no exception – even the card’s 8 GB of memory (VRAM) is boosted out of the box, making this card a rarity in the segment (possibly unique).

    Compared to the reference model, the Nitro+ GPU boost clock is up from 1545 MHz to 1560 MHz. The VRAM clock is increased from 2000 MHz to 2100 MHz, resulting in an effective 8400 MHz instead of 8000 MHz. 

    Like other Nitro+ cards, this one also an efficient cooling solution with replaceable fans. It also takes up no more than two PCI slots, whereas most competitors use triple-slot options.  

    Professional reviews of the Nitro+ are mostly in agreement that it’s one of the best cards, if not the best. 

    Editors Liked:
    • Efficient cooling solution
    • Compact, dual-slot design
    • Factory-overclocked GPU and VRAM

    Editors didn't like:
    • Power-hungry
    • Only available in blue

    2

    XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy OC+

    XFX’s Fatboy is one of the best-selling variants of the card, and not without reason. 

    Like the aforementioned Sapphire card, the Fatboy is factory overclocked. While the memory clock is untouched, the GPU boost clock is actually a bit higher still, at 1580 MHz. This gives you an extra 2% worth of GPU core performance out of the box. 

    The Fatboy’s dual-fan cooling solution takes up three PCI slots internally. XFX has equipped the card with a Unibody VRM Heatsink, which increases the heat sink surface considerably, according to the manufacturer. The card also has an aluminum backplate to improve rigidity and help with heat dissipation.

    XFX has picked up generally favorable reviews of the RX 590 Fatboy.

    Editors Liked:
    • Relatively quiet
    • A clear improvement on the predecessor
    • Factory-overclocked GPU boost clock

    Editors didn't like:
    • Triple-slot cooler
    • Only available in blue

    3

    PowerColor Red Devil RX 590 OC

    PowerColor RX 590PowerColor’s take on the latest AMD Polaris chip is also overclocked out of the box. The reference model’s 1545 MHz maximum GPU boost clock has been increased to 1576 MHz – higher than the Sapphire Nitro+ but marginally lower than the XFX Fatboy. 

    Like the XFX model, the PowerColor Red Devil RX 590 OC is equipped with a dual-fan cooling solution that is rather large and occupies three slots. Anyone who enjoys tinkering with their GPUs will be happy to learn that the Red Devil has a dual BIOS setup. A switch on the card lets you toggle between the two presets ‘Ultra Overclocking’ and ‘Silent Overclocking’.  

    Opinions on the Red Devil are mostly positive, although there are some questions raised regarding how it handles temperatures and power consumption. 

    Editors Liked:
    • Dual BIOS
    • Factory overclocked GPU boost clock

    Editors didn't like:
    • High power draw

    4

    ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 590 8G Gaming

    Strix RX 590Products in the ever-popular ROG Strix lineup from ASUS tend to breathe quality and come with premium features, but also a price tag to match. The Strix checks all of these boxes including the last one, which is why we’re not rating it higher. As a mid-range card based on the Polaris 30 GPU, the ASUS model is simply not competitive at MSRP.  

    That said, it’s almost certainly a great card. Like its RX 580 predecessor, the Strix 590 is very rare in that it comes in a full-length format with triple-fan cooling

    ASUS has also applied a slight overclock of the GPU boost clock, from 1545 MHz to 1565 MHz, but the VRAM is untouched. Considering the extra fan compared to the other models, there’s a potential for more headroom for a user overclock – to squeeze even more performance out of the card. 

    However, the main selling point for most potential buyers of this expensive card is probably the Aura Sync feature. If you’re building an ASUS ROG-based gaming rig, the RGB lighting scheme will make this one hard to pass up on.

    We haven’t seen many reviews of the card, but most users are positive. 

    Editors Liked:
    • Great cooling
    • Aura Sync feature looks great
    • Factory-overclocked GPU

    Editors didn't like:
    • Expensive

    5

    ASRock Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX 590

    asrock 590If you don’t want to tinker with the GPU yourself and want the highest possible factory overclocking instead, the ASRock Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX 590 is an attractive option. ASRock has been very generous with the GPU boost clock, and as an added bonus it’s a dual-slot card.

    Compared to the reference model, ASRock has pushed the GPU boost clock from 1545 MHz to 1591 MHz in the Phantom Gaming X, in ‘OC Mode’. This also increases the card’s VRAM very slightly, from 8000 MHz (effective clock) to 8032 MHz. 

    Cooling is handled by two fans in a compact dual-slot solution that doesn’t take up unnecessary space. On the downside, this has also made the card quite loud according to some tester.  

    Editors Liked:
    • Dual-slot design
    • High factory overclock

    Editors didn't like:
    • Loud fans

    6

    Gigabyte Radeon RX 590 Gaming 8G

    Gigabyte has used this exact same Windforce cooling solution on several GPUs in the past – and why change a winning formula? The 590 Gaming 8G was late to the party and we’ve found no professional reviews of the card yet. But since it’s practically identical to the RX 580 Gaming we have in the basement, we’ll vouch for it anyway. 

    In OC mode, the GPU boost clock is increased to 1560 MHz, or 1% compared to the reference design.  

    Like the card’s predecessors and the ASRock and Sapphire alternatives mentioned above, it’s a comparatively compact, dual-slot card suitable for similarly compact gaming PC builds.  

    We Liked (in the RX 580 model):
    • Dual-slot card
    • Very competent cooler for its size
    • RGB LED on top

    We didn't like (in the RX 580):
    • Not an overly exciting design

    7

    MSI Radeon RX 590 Armor 8G OC

    Much like Gigabyte’s model, MSI has reused an existing board design and cooler for the 590 Armor. This one is also a relatively simple dual-fan solution in a dual-slot form factor. It’s available in both a factory overclocked model (OC) and without the overclock. 

    The difference in the OC version is that MSI has increased the GPU boost clock to 1565 MHz, or just over 1% compared to the standard variant.  

    On the whole, it’s a no-frills card based on a tried-and-tested design from a reputable manufacturer, so there should be few surprises here. 

    Undervolting the RX 590

    Ever since the RX 480, which used the first and less efficient version of the same Polaris chip, undervolting has been a topic of much discussion. A problem with Polaris – especially when compared to Nvidia’s lineup – is poor power-efficiency. Although this is the best version so far, it is still less efficient than the GTX 1060 and even more so than the GTX 1660 (Ti).

    Therefore, reducing the voltage to improve the efficiency of the chip used to be a popular tactic among crypto miners. But it’s also useful for gamers. It will keep the temps to a minimum and reduce power draw, often without reducing performance. If you’re interested, take a look at this walkthrough from Wccftech that explains the process.

    Summary

    The RX 590 may have been launched at a bad time, but it may still be a great choice for a mid-range build. Prices are already down significantly since launch, so it’s still competitive with the Nvidia alternatives. However, the price tag should determine whether it’s the best choice at any given time.

    Factory-overclocked cards are generally not worth a premium based on the higher clocks alone, but may have other advantages such as better cooling. If this card is not in your price range at the moment, also have a look at our roundup of the best AMD and Nvidia cards below $200

    The post Best RX 590 Card Roundup appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    Intel Shows Off Dedicated Xe Graphics Card Renders

    Intel is gearing up to take on Nvidia and AMD in the dedicated graphics card space. During the Game Developers Conference (GDC), Intel decided to show off a few conceptual renders of graphics cards in what appears to be the Mini ITX form factor. At a time when we’ve all but forgotten about Larrabee, Intel has unveiled […] The post Intel Shows Off Dedicated Xe Graphics Card Renders appeared first on Gaming PC...

    Intel is gearing up to take on Nvidia and AMD in the dedicated graphics card space. During the Game Developers Conference (GDC), Intel decided to show off a few conceptual renders of graphics cards in what appears to be the Mini ITX form factor.

    At a time when we’ve all but forgotten about Larrabee, Intel has unveiled that it’s working on a new range of dedicated GPUs to take up the fight against AMD and Nvidia. The all-new graphics architecture is called Xe. To get our hopes up, Intel has, among other things, recruited Kyle Bennett, founder of renowned hardware site HardOCP.

    In his new role as Director of Enthusiast Engagement at Intel, he’s at the ongoing GDC in San Francisco, where he took the opportunity to share a few official renders of Intel’s upcoming graphics wonder. At first glance, the renders resemble something created by AMD, which should come as no surprise considering that Intel has picked up several talents from that particular company in the past year. This applies not least to the familiar cross across the backplate that holds the cooler in place on one of the renders.

    It’s a short graphics card that would clearly fit in a Mini ITX case. The card (render) has ports – HDMI and DisplayPort – on a backside that also displays Intel’s logo for the Xe brand.

    Although the concept images are indeed official and were shown by Intel, it is difficult to draw any far-reaching conclusions. Every aspect is a subject of change at this point. The form factor could nevertheless offer a hint or two as to what segment of the market that Intel is aiming for initially. High-end cards usually require more advanced cooling solutions, so we could be looking at an entry-level to mid-range offering at first.

    Other than the company’s Twitter account, and other semi-official PR, much is still unknown about Intel’s graphics project. It’s clear that it’s be one of the company’s most ambitious projects this side of Larrabee, however. Intel has already hinted that the Xe lineup will eventually be found in everything from integrated circuits to data centers – and dedicated gaming graphics cards all the way up to the enthusiast class.

    The first generation will be manufactured on Intel’s long delayed 10 nm technology and the name of the architecture is believed to be Arctic Sound. Allegedly, the company is even working on a successor called Jupiter Sound already. We will know how it turns out when the Xe series launches, in 2020.

    The post Intel Shows Off Dedicated Xe Graphics Card Renders appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    How to Copy or Move Fortnite to Another Drive or PC Without Redownloading

    Epic Games launcher doesn’t allow you to copy Fortnite installation folder to another folder, drive, or to another PC, resulting to redownloading the 30+ GB of files. Not a big deal if you have a really fast internet, but this guide will save you some time and help a lot if you have slower internet […] The post How to Copy or Move Fortnite to Another Drive or PC Without Redownloading appeared first on Gaming PC...

    Epic Games launcher doesn’t allow you to copy Fortnite installation folder to another folder, drive, or to another PC, resulting to redownloading the 30+ GB of files. Not a big deal if you have a really fast internet, but this guide will save you some time and help a lot if you have slower internet speed.

    1. Copy the Fortnite folder to another drive. It is usually found where the Epic Games Launcher installation folder. 
    2. Open the Epic Games Launcher, go to Library, click the gear icon in Fortnite thumbnail, and click uninstall. 
    3. Click uninstall to confirm. 
    4. Go to the computer where you will copy Fortnite.
     
    5. Open the Epic Games launcher.

    6. Install from Fortnite from Store or Library. 
    7. Choose the install location and install. 
    8. Fortnite will be queued for a moment, then will begin installing. 
    9. Cancel the installation after 1%, and close the launcher. 


    10. Open the Epic Games installation folder, and copy the Fortnite Folder. 
    11. Open the Epic Games Launcher, go to Library, and resume the Fortnite’s installation process. 
    12. Epic Games Launcher will verify the the content of Fortnite. 


    13. After verifying, you can now play Fortnite.

    The post How to Copy or Move Fortnite to Another Drive or PC Without Redownloading appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    Games You Can Play for Free This Weekend February 22

    BATTLETECH, BOUNDLESS, and TERRATECH are free to play starting now through Sunday, February 24th, 1PM Pacific time (8PM GMT) on Steam. You can get Battletech for up to 50% off and 40% off for TerraTech during this period until Monday, February 25th, 10AM Pacific time (6PM GMT), and 30% off for Boundless until March 4th. […] The post Games You Can Play for Free This Weekend February 22 appeared first on Gaming PC...

    BATTLETECH, BOUNDLESS, and TERRATECH are free to play starting now through Sunday, February 24th, 1PM Pacific time (8PM GMT) on Steam. You can get Battletech for up to 50% off and 40% off for TerraTech during this period until Monday, February 25th, 10AM Pacific time (6PM GMT), and 30% off for Boundless until March 4th.

    Meanwhile in Epic Store,Thimbleweed Park is free until March 7th, 10:59 AM EST (3PM GMT).

    Another free game you can get this weekend is Welcome to Princeland. You can get the single player version at Indie Gala Store until February 26th. The multiplayer version of this game is available at Steam for only $4.99.

    The post Games You Can Play for Free This Weekend February 22 appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


    Games You Can Play for Free This Weekend

    Top games on Steam are available for free this weekend. These are Rainbow Six Siege, ARMA 3, and NBA 2K19. Rainbow Six Siege and NBA 2K19 are free to play until Sunday, February 17th, 1PM Pacific Time (9PM UTC) while ARMA 3 is free to play until Monday, February 18th, 10AM Pacific Time (6PM UTC). […] The post Games You Can Play for Free This Weekend appeared first on Gaming PC...

    Top games on Steam are available for free this weekend. These are Rainbow Six Siege, ARMA 3, and NBA 2K19. Rainbow Six Siege and NBA 2K19 are free to play until Sunday, February 17th, 1PM Pacific Time (9PM UTC) while ARMA 3 is free to play until Monday, February 18th, 10AM Pacific Time (6PM UTC). Full versions of these games are available – all maps and modes for Rainbow Six Siege, and complete ARMA 3 base game plus its Apex expansion. Your progress during this weekend will carry over if you decided to buy these games.

    These games are also on sale until Monday, February 18, 10AM Pacific Time (6PM UTC). You can purchase NBA 2K19 for 67% off, 66% off for ARMA 3, 50% off for Rainbow Six Siege, and 60% off for Rainbow Six Siege Deluxe Edition.

    Meanwhile, the PC and Mac version of VainGlory has entered Early Access on Steam and also free to play.

    The post Games You Can Play for Free This Weekend appeared first on Gaming PC Builder.


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