Best £30 Graphics Card 2020 | 1080p Gaming On A Very Tight Budget

Best £30 Graphics Card 2020 | 1080p Gaming On A Very Tight Budget It’s September […]

Best £30 Graphics Card 2020 | 1080p Gaming On A Very Tight Budget

It’s September 2020 and Nvidia has just announced the new RTX 3000 series graphics cards and whilst they’re very impressive, they’re also very expensive. Not everyone has got £500+ to spend on a graphics card, in fact not everyone has got £100 to spend on a graphics card.

So with that in mind we set about finding a graphics card on a very tight budget and by tight we’re talking circa £30, less than the cost of a new game.

Let’s Set Some Ground Rules For Our Budget £30 Graphics Card

This is relatively simple, whatever card we opt for it needs to be able to play the majority of modern games at decent settings. We’re not expecting to be able to play at 4k or at extremely high framerates but equally we don’t want our gaming experience to resemble a slideshow.

And most importantly, we want this £30 graphics card to be able to play modern e-sports like Fortnite, PUBG and Apex Legends at good frame rates

Let’s Go Shopping For A Very Cheap Graphics Card

I’m based in the UK and any new graphic card available for circa £30 is going to be very weak, for example you can pick up something like this GT710 from Amazon for £31.80 but it’s not going to have enough power to satisfy the requirements stipulated above. This means that we’re going to need to dip into the used market and if we’re going to do that it’s important to make sure you’re buying a card from someone prepared to offer a guarantee.

For this reason I decided to see what CEX had available. The first card I considered is an old favourite, the Nvidia GTX750TI but this was well above our budget with CEX selling them for £52 at the time of writing this post. I’m guessing these cards are still popular because they don’t need a PCI Express power connector, instead they pull the power they need from the PCI Express slot which means they can be dropped into most OEM systems. But for the purpose of this exercise we’re going to assume that a reasonable PSU is available to power the graphics card.

The next card we considered was the GTX 760 but again this was too expensive with CEX currently selling these for £40.

But just as we were about to give up we found a card that should do exactly what we need, the AMD Radeon R9 270. This card isn’t far off a GTX 760 and CEX are currently selling them for £30. Bingo, just what we’re looking for!

So What Can Our £30 Graphics Card Do? And Can It Play Fortnite?

I can honestly say that we were very pleasantly surprised by our newly acquired budget graphics card, the first game we tried was Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, a modern game released towards the end of 2018. By dropping the resolution back to 1600×900 and the settings back to medium we averaged 47 FPS in the built in benchmark, that’s not bad for a £30 graphics card!

Next up we tried an even newer game, Doom Eternal. We weren’t expecting much because the minimum requirements for this game state that 3GB of VRAM is required to run this game and our R9 270 only has 2GB of VRAM. However, by selecting low settings we managed to keep mostly above 60 FPS at 1080P.

And now for the litmus test, how does this cheap graphics card cope with Fortnite, very well! We selected the medium graphics settings and were able to hit 100 FPS+ at 1080P. This meant that Fortnite was fully playable and more importantly playable at a high enough frame rate to make it enjoyable.

Let’s Round Things Up

At a time of what seems like ever increasing graphics card prices there are still bargains to be had. The R9 290 at only £30 is one of those bargains, sure it can’t play absolutely everything and you’re going to have to make some sacrifices in the resolution and settings departments but it got the job done. It’s a good fit for an ultra budget gaming PC that’s mostly going to be playing e-sports titles and because it’s so cheap you can buy one now whilst you save up for a more expensive graphics card.