With GPU prices soaring, is there anything decent under 300?
Updated: March 16, 2023 11:59 am
ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3050 OC
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC
Intel Arc A750
If you’re looking to buy your next-gen hardware, you might find the prices pretty high these days. So we offer you a good range of cards at a lower price, with the best GPU under 300.
There are only a few alternatives in this price range. And when new generations are released, we find that they are the last to come out. Especially in the current generation of cards, where cards like the Ada and RDNA 3 offer nothing under $800.
So you have to look further back and down when deciding on a sub-300 graphics card. There the options are a bit thinned out, but it’s still a good option. Alternatively, used cards are the next best bet and they have their own drawbacks.
How we test and choose the best GPU under 300
When it comes to how we test GPUs, a lot of hands-on testing and research goes into making the best possible suggestions. So that we can recommend the best possible selection of graphics cards for you.
Now, when it comes to hands-on work, we’ve put the cards through rigorous testing to ensure they perform as they should. There are a number of games and tests we put the cards through to see how they perform.
Along with the build quality and cooling performance rating, we can really recommend its value. With this and with our expertise and knowledge, we know what to look out for when making a selection.
We also know what to expect from different manufacturers or use user reviews to know what to expect.
Best GPU Under 300 Buyers Guide
If you’re looking for a cheaper GPU, there are a few things to consider. There are a variety of cards to choose from so let’s see what to look out for.
If you go for the cheaper end of the cards, you can look at a variety of generations. Unless you’re just looking at the latest generation, there are a few things to keep in mind.
With all the years of innovation there are many cards to choose from, it’s best to consider something more modern. This is because this offers excellent optimization and the best performance for what it offers.
It also gives you access to the latest and most useful features unlocked with these builds. Something like DLSS and RSR are both available for limited generations.
Both require either RTX or RDNA or cards to be available. So to take advantage of the higher tech and get a little more performance out of the cards, you need something more modern.
When it comes to using your graphics cards, they will have different capabilities. Therefore, you need to consider what resolution your monitors have in order to get the most out of your display.
Unfortunately, for a GPU under 300, you’re unlikely to get much more performance than 1080p. As this offers a better experience than pushing higher resolutions with lower framerates.
Well, one benefit of some of the architectures is the other features they offer. The three main manufacturers all have their own version of some AI upscaling technologies.
These allow the card to render the game at a lower resolution and then upscale it to your monitor size with some post processing so it looks the way it should.
This means they can use fewer resources to produce higher framerates for greater resolution. However, that has its downsides with some loss of quality, and it won’t look like it should.
Also some of the offerings need to be implemented, DLSS, FSR and XeSS all need to be added to the game and supported by Nvidia, AMD and Intel cards.
Only AMD’s RSR can run on anything. Because this works at the driver level, it can be applied to any application running under your native resolution.
Best GPU under 300
ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3050 OC
1852MHz OC, 1822MHz Games
200 x 123 x 38mm (7.87 x 4.84 x 1.496 in)
- Simple and compact design
- Excellent out-of-box performance
- Fantastic cooling prevents throttling
- More expensive than other offers
Now when it comes to the best choice of graphics card in this price range, it has a lot of value with an MSRP of $249. So the Ampere architecture gives it a lot of power.
It has excellent core performance with only 2,560 CUDA cores that are so well optimized to run and deliver good frame rates. Along with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, it can handle a good number of pixels in its buffer.
Although it focuses on 1080p, it can go beyond that. In our RTX 3050 review, we were able to get it to perform reasonably well at 1440p in a few titles.
This is a better deal than the other options at this price point. Especially when you look at what the newer cards charge a lot more per model.
Best AMD GPU under 300
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC
2825MHz Boost, 2705MHz Game
250 x 147 x 54 mm (2.7 slot)
- Quiet working even under heavy loads
- An effective cooling solution keeps temperatures down
- High-quality processing for eternity
- Fastest overclocking with much more headroom
- Customized solutions can significantly increase the price
There are also a few options on the lower end from AMD’s side. These come with their own drawbacks, but the best option for those under 300 is the RX 6500 XT.
The first thing to note is that this card is based on a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. This means if you have a PCIe 3 connector on your motherboard, you will lose a lot of performance.
So you’re just getting the full power of PCIe 4 interfaces, which are a bit more modern than a budget build could include. But it doesn’t go much beyond 1080p either, which also requires a dial-up. As it can’t handle the top quality on all the hardest games.
But it offers access to the AMD ecosystem, with the features of SAM, RSR and FSR available. This results in a higher frame rate at the expense of a certain quality.
In addition to only 4 GB of GDDR6 memory and a bandwidth of 143.9 GB/s, it is also missing in the VRAM department.
So realistically we would rather recommend the RX 6600. But you can only find that on sale as it has an MSRP of $329.
Best Intel GPU under 300
Intel Arc A750
2050MHz base, 2400MHz boost
280mm x 115mm (L x H), 2 slots
- Great performance for the cost that puts it above other options
- Low price for what it can achieve
- Expected to be supported for some time when Intel comes to market, so driver support should improve
- Driver support is still being improved, so the experience may still vary by game as it improves over time
- Software is still evolving and has its issues that can spoil the card crafting experience
As a new contender on the block, Intel has once again entered the dedicated graphics market. So with the A770 and A750 we get a more budget-friendly option. The latter is the under 300, so that’s the pick for this list.
With an MSRP of $289, the card is based on the Alchemist architecture. The first in the long list of possible letters in the alphabet.
It uses TSMC’s process rather than its own and is 6nm in size with a 406mm² die. Together with 8 GB of GDDR6, it has a memory bandwidth of 512 GB/s. All in all with a TDP of 225W.
The real problem with these cards, however, are the drivers. They’ve improved a lot since then, but initially the cards struggled with older titles. Since only newer DX12 titles are supported, it takes time to help with support.
And since then there has been a great improvement. With big updates that improve what’s on offer, as Gamers Nexus has shown. While there are still some issues with some support and general software, things are getting better.
So it’s a good overall performer, capable of matching the same performance as the RTX 3050, but lacking some of the experience and good support that the others have.
Overall, there are some good options for picking the best GPU under 300. It took some time for these cards to come out as they are not the most expensive for manufacturers and are therefore further down the line.
It will therefore take some time for the new generations to reach these models. And even then, the prices for them have gone up, and so new sub-300 GPUs could be a distant memory.
frequently asked Questions
Which GPU should I get for under 300?
Looking at the MSRP, the RTX 3050 is the best bet for a GPU under 300. With a great architecture and support system, there are many great features to take advantage of. But there can always be some good discounts to take advantage of in the higher models. Such as AMD’s RX 6600 level will be a much higher card to go for.