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The best budget graphics card to get in early 2023

by | Dec 24, 2022

Reading Time: 3 min.
Reading Time: 3 min.

The budget graphics cards market will evolve in 2023, but these cards offer a great balance of price and performance.

With the Christmas season done, PC gamers are already looking forward to the next upgrade to save for. In the case of graphics cards, players don’t have too many options close to the $200 mark. It’s a two-horse race between the RX 6500 XT and the GTX 1660 Ti, but each one comes with a set of pros and cons. If you’re looking to upgrade your graphics card on a budget in 2023, here’s a comparison between the two best options.

The RX 6500 XT is the king of budget graphics cards in 2023

The $200 price point is competitive for computer hardware manufacturers, but AMD chose to stand out in the field with a slightly lower asking price. With XFX cooler-equipped models going for just $170, the 6500 XT offers an excellent GPU pairing for most budget AMD processors in 2023.

The 6500 punches above its weight class with GDDR6 VRAM. It also comes with budget-friendly features like low power consumption and a relatively small footprint. The only real downside to this card is its relatively small total VRAM at just four gigabytes, which could restrict performance for virtual reality or resolutions 1440p and up.

The GTX 1660 Ti makes a great update for prebuilts

If you have an older system but only plan on upgrading your GPU, the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti may be your next upgrade. First released in 2019, this card has slowly decreased in price until it’s now available for cheap. At just $230, the card offers the best bits of the previous generation, making it easy to implement into most prebuilt rigs.

This card offers slightly less raw performance than the 5600 XT, but it makes up for it with six gigabytes of VRAM and full G-SYNC compatibility. Nvidia boasts impressive performance for the graphics card across several of the most popular titles, and its recent price cut makes it a great budget option going into 2023.

GTX 1660 Ti vs RX 6500 XT: Which one wins?

With the options laid out, is the GTX 1660 Ti or the RX 6500 XT the best budget graphics card for the new year?

The 1660 Ti is arguably the better choice for older systems, as it has better compatibility with most recent hardware thanks to its Turing architecture and GDDR5 VRAM. With age also comes drivers, a factor that can put this card on par with newer ones in certain titles. For budget gamers who still want to poke around in VR or play in 4K resolution, the extra VRAM in the 1660 Ti will definitely come in handy.

However, the 5600 XT stands out as the better option for brand-new builds thanks to its raw power. With seven-nanometer architecture, the card is short-term futureproof and will continue to be updated for years to come. AMD CPUs also tend to play nicely with their graphical counterparts, and when the budget is concerned, it’s hard to argue with that cheaper price tag.

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