Buyers Guides Graphics Cards

Best Graphics Cards to Buy Under $500

Best GPUs Under $500 Feature Image

The under $500 graphics card market has a rich range of high-quality options to choose from, especially since the release of the Radeon 7000 lineup and RTX 4000 series. The GPU market is now brimming with potential for buyers looking to assemble a gaming PC capable of delivering stellar 1440p performance.

In this buyers guide, we’re diving into the best graphics cards available for less than $500, providing gamers with an array of choices that buyers can expect high-quality gaming performance at 1080p and 1440p from, so we’ll make sure to include a number of GPU that provide the most bang for your buck in the current market.

Best GPU Under $500: AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT

PI_Gigabyte RX 7800 XT Gaming OC

For those searching for a graphics card for under $500, the AMD’s Radeon RX 7800 XT is an excellent choice. This mid-range graphics card offers the best value for money within PC gaming, offering top-tier performance at 1440p. At its price point, the RX 7800 XT presents a solid option for users looking to achieve high-performance gaming within the $500 range, making it a practical consideration for a wide array of gaming PC builds.

$484.00 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-23 16:46:21 ET

1. AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT

MPI_7800 XT TUF Gaming

The AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT is a standout option for those looking to buy a graphics card under $500. Though priced at the very top end of the $500 budget, the 7800 XT delivers excellent performance across a range of titles, at both 1440p as well as 4K resolutions. For this price, its pretty tough to look anywhere else that the RX 7800 XT, and is a top pick for any one looking to build a mid-ranged PC build.

The Radeon RX 7800 XT is equipped with 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and a 256-bit memory bus, meaning plenty of capacity for gaming at any resolution. Its technical specs include base and boost clock speeds of 2.12GHz and 2.43GHz respectively, along with 3840 stream processors and 60 ray accelerators. Through testing in various AAA titles, the RX 7800 XT has shown it can maintain consistent performance, verifiying its suitability for current and future gaming experiences. AIBs such as the PowerColor Red Devil offer additional cooling and a modest overclock, presents buyers with a range of options, depending on their requirements.

Key SpecsAMD Radeon RX 7800 XT
Video Memory Capacity16GB GDDR6
Bus Width256-Bit
Base Clock Speed2.12GHz
Boost Clock Speed2.43GHz
Stream Processors3840
Ray Accelerators60
Power Draw263W
MSRP$499

While the RX 7800 XT is a strong performer in traditional rasterisation and offers exceptional value at its price point, it’s important for potential buyers to consider its ray tracing capabilities. Compared to similar NVIDIA counterparts, you may not get the same performance levels when ray-tracing is enabled.

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2. AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT

MPI_Gigabyte RX 7700 XT Gaming OC
Original Review by Harry ColemanAMD Radeon RX 7700 XT Review – Sapphire Pulse Edition
$399.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-23 16:46:21 ET

The AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT has become a top contender as the best graphics card to buy for someone on a $500 budget. Though the 7800 XT and 7700 XT released together, the 7700 XT received less attention due to the astounding performance of the 7800 XT, but thats not to say this graphics card isn’t a good card, because it is! The 7700 XT is an excellent performer at 1440p, and is a high-performing card capable of tackling demanding AAA titles with ease.

The RX 7700 XT is equipped with 12GB of GDDR6X memory on a 192-bit bus, featuring core and boost clock speeds of 2.17GHz and 2.54GHz, respectively. With 3456 stream processors and 54 ray accelerators, it’s fine tuned for excellent rasterisation performance and competes strongly with alternative technologies like NVIDIA’s DLSS 3. While it encounters some limitations at 4K, it remains highly competent in esports titles, challenging even some of the RTX 4000 series GPUs in performance.

Key SpecsAMD Radeon RX 7700 XT
Video Memory Capacity12GB GDDR6X
Memory Bus192-Bit
Core Clock Speed2.17GHz
Boost Clock Speed2.54GHz
Stream Processors3456
Ray Accelerators54
Power Consumption245W
MSRP$449

Unfortunately for the 7700 XT, it is just priced too similarly to its big brother, the 7800 XT. Those with a bit more of a budget might find the 7800 XT, with its enhanced 1440p and 4K performance capabilities, a more attractive purchase to put into their PC build.

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3. AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT

MPI_Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6750 XT
$299.00 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-06-23 16:46:21 ET

The AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT offers arguably the best price-to-performance ratio and is certainly one of the best graphics cards you can buy for under $500. It actually has an MSRP of only $349, yet offers incredible performance, especially at 1440p, making it a preferred choice by many as the best entry point for 1440p gaming.

With a base clock speed of 2.15GHz and boost clock of 2.6GHz, along with 12GB of GDDR6 video memory across a 192-bit bus, the 6750 XT is well equipped to compete with some of the newer generations of cards from the Radeon 7000 and RTX 4000 series, especially the entry-level cards. It is also equipped with 2560 stream processors and 40 ray accelerators. For those looking to keep the cost of their PC down to a minimum, without compromising on performance, the RX 6750 XT is the ideal choice to put into their build.

Key SpecsAMD Radeon RX 6750 XT
Video Memory Capacity12GB GDDR6
Memory Bus192-bit
Core Clock Speed2.15GHz
Boost Clock Speed2.6GHz
Stream Processors2560
Ray Accelerators40
Power Consumption250W
MSRP$349

The RX 6750 XT’s overall performance is somewhat held back by its limitations in adopting the latest frame rate boosting technologies. While AMD’s FSR technology has evolved, the 6750 XT may not match the performance enhancements seen with NVIDIA’s DLSS, especially in scenarios that use ray tracing and advanced frame generation.

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How We Tested the Best GPUs Under $500

In order to test and evaluate the best GPUs for under $500, we run a range of gaming benchmarks in a wide number of titles. We then use these results to compare the performance of each GPU to other options on the market. On top of performance, there are a number of factors that we take into account such as value-proposition, power consumption, VRAM capacity, and more. For more information on our procedures and testing methodologies, check out our detailed rundown of how we test GPUs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DLSS or FSR better?

NVIDIA’s resolution scaling tech is stronger than ever and has once again cemented itself as the industry leader with DLSS 3.0.

Are These GPUs Good at Ray Tracing?

Some are, yes. The inclusion of DLSS 3.0 and FSR 3 on some cards can lead to good ray tracing performance in the latest titles.

Can I game at 4K with these GPUs?

On some cards, yes. Whilst all of the graphics cards listed are best suited to 1440p gaming, the 7800 XT will provide ample performance at 4K settings.

editor
Aled Wheeler is part of our technical writing and reviews team, focussing on PC components, console gaming and peripherals such as keyboards and monitors! With a degree in journalism and experience working for publications in the sports and gaming sectors. Aled is our in-house news and gaming writer, with his finger on the pulse of game devs around the world. Aled is currently rocking a solid mid-range gaming PC build, with a Ryzen 5000 processor and RTX 30 series graphics card.