Before starting this post, I wanna say that it is my first post of such kind of topic.
While I have written many product-based posts, most of these were about some Accessories or Backpacks etc. So it's gonna be my first Computer peripheral-based post (excluding my Hackintosh Article, which was about laptops - hackintosh).
Writing about Graphics Cards was not an easy task. Add Under-$300 constraint in it, and it'll get even more tougher. It means not only I had to write about good and decent Graphics Cards but only those which are under $300 price tag.
On top of that, I had to ask some questions to myself while choosing Graphics Cards to be in this list.
What are the basis requirements for a typical user?
What an average Joe looks in a graphics card, when considering to buy it?
Heat Management, Power Consumption and Graphical Performance etc. right?
Well, these characteristics were my judgement criteria too. Having talk too much, I think it's time to introduce you about 10 Best Graphics for Gaming Under $300 you can buy in 2016. So Here we go:
EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti is a good entry-level Graphics Card you can use to play games like Skyrim at 1080p. Apart from this, being a GeForce GTX Graphic card ensure that it'll have technologies like NVIDIA GameStream, G-Sync (eliminates screen tearing and input lagging) and GeForce Experience etc.
First we'll discuss its specs. It has 25% more performance but merely does half of power consumption, when compared with previous generation Graphic Cards, thanks to new-gen NVIDIA Maxwell architecture. It is Base Clocked at 1176 MHz, but you can boost it to 1255 MHz for smooth gaming performance.
It has a 2 GB 128-bit DDR5 Memory.Next, we have tons of some good technologies like NVIDIA TXAA - it combines Multi-Sampling Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) and NVIDIA developed filters to produce stunning frame images, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Verticle Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready,NVIDIA CUDA Technology, PCI express 3.0. NVIDIA TXAA removes shimmering too.
For improved dissipation of heat, its fan size is 12% larger.
If having seriously silent graphic card if your first priority, then you must consider this. Since this Graphics Card won't make any sort of noise until GPU reaches 55ºC, you will surely have a deadly silent gaming environment. Even at 55ºC, its noise will be far the one to annoy you.
Now we'll further discuss more about its specs.It has factory-overclocked GPU at 1291 MHz frequency which you can further increase to 1317 MHz frequency. It has factory-overclocked memory seed of 7200 MHz. To keep itself quiet, it has Direct CU II with 0 dB Fan Technology - it ensures that you'll have 30% cooler and 3 times more quieter Graphic Card one compared to any ordinary one.
Even its power noise is 30% less.For your gaming experience it is 5-phase Super Alloy. It has 2.5 times longer lifespan - to prove its worth. You can even tweak its GPU according to your requirements, thanks to Split Game Caster and intuitive GPU clock boost.
EVGA GeForce GTX 960 4GB is a good one which delivers all-round performance in all the aspects we look in a Graphics Card like power efficiency, heat management, game experience etc.
Looking at its specs, we have it base-clocked at 1216 MHz and boost-clocked at 1279 MHz. Its memory clock is of 7010 MHz capacity.Its other key features include 4 GB DDR5 RAM, Memory Bit width and Memory Bandwidth of 128 bit and 112.16 GB/s. It has max. refresh rate of 240 Hz.
Apart from these, it also supports other NVIDIA technologies like NVIDIA GameWorks Technology, NVIDIA GameStream Technology, Microsoft DirectX 12 support, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 and others etc.
Next we have, MSI AMD Radeon R9 270X Graphics Card. It also has some decent specs for a mid range Graphics Card..It has a 2 GB DDR5 RAM which has a Memory Bus Width of 256 bit. It has core Clock frequency at 1120 MHz. Its memory Clock frequency is 1400 MHz. Maximum resolution it can supports is 2560 x 1600.
For connectivity options, it has DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort. Like ASUS' Graphics Card STRIX GTX 960, this one is also very quiet. For this purpose, it has its twin frozer fans.I must say that it is very good Graphics Card when compared with its price. So if you're looking for a decent Card to play 1080p games, must consider this.
A 3GB DDR5 RAM, Microsoft DirectX 11.2 support and 1792 stream processors - Sapphire Radeon R9 280 has a perfect combo for you to play those 2560 x 1440 resolution games without even a slight hint of lagging.
You can even use 4K displays with it, through its HDMI 1.4a interface. You throw any game at it and literally chew up any game without any hiccup. I personally have tried Far Cry 4 and Tomb raider. The result was more than my expectations. It also has each one of HDMI (with 3D), DisplayPort 1.2, Dual-Link DVI-D and Dual-Link DVI-I etc.
One major thing, Its GPU is core-clocked at 850 MHz but you can boost it to 940 MHz. Its DDR5 RAM has Memory Bit Width of 384 bits.
This Graphics Card has a ton of good things in it, literally. First talk about its GPU. It has Base Clock/ Boost Clock frequency of 1241/1304 MHz, 1190/1253 MHz and 1127/1178 MHz for Overclock (OC), Gaming and Silent Mode respectively. It has a 2 GB DDR5 RAM. Maximum resolution it can support is 4096 x 2160. It also supports latest 4K displays.
Now lets talk about its features in detail. For heat management, it has new Twin Frozr V which features strong fans but less noise. Moreover, its TORX Fan has two types of blade - a traditional one to maximize downward airflow, and a Dispersion fan Blade - which generates airflow to maximize heat dissipation. The latter fan causes 19% more airflow without any increase in drag.Even if that doesn't seem cool to you, it has SuperSU pipe for efficient and enhanced dissipation.
For Noise elimination, it employs Zero frozr technology which reduces fan noise by simply stopping them - when they're not needed. It means that you'll mainly focus on your game without those distracting noises coming out from your computer.At last, I am telling you about its different modes which I listed above. OC mode is for increased performance, it delivers you maximum output.
Gaming/default mode gives you a perfect balance between game performance and heat. Silent mode is best when you want to have minimal fan noise. Apart from these, it also has an Eye Rest Mode - it reduces Blue light balance from from screen, and it's good while you're working during Night time.This Graphics Card also has MSI Afterburner - A very popular Cross-vendor GPU overclocking tool. Its easy-to-use interface gives you very useful information about your system and Graphics Card. You can tweak anything on your Graphics Card from there, according to your own requirements.
For those who want something extra in a modest price, this one is for them. XFX RADEON R9 290 is may not be a one to make your drool over its specs though. But believe me, in terms of performance, it can match toe-to-toe with any Graphics Card in its price range.
It has a 4 GB DDR5 RAM and 4096 x 2160 resolution support. Its other features include but not limited to PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface, DirectX® 11.2-capable graphics, OpenGL 4.3 support, DirectX® 9/10/11 Super Sample Anti-Aliasing (SSAA) and Automatic LOD adjustment (Requires AMD Catalyst™ 12.4 or higher) etc.
Its GPU is clocked at 947 MHz and it has 2560 stream processors. Besides all these, some of AMD technologies present in this Graphics Card are AMD CrossFire™ Technology, AMD Eyefinity Technology, AMD HD3D Technology, AMD PowerPlay Technology etc.
Another good Graphics Card in this list, who punches beyond its weight. Sapphire Radeon R9 has many good things to convince you about itself. First, it has 4 GB DDR5 RAM of Memory Bus Width 256 bits. It is base clocked at 1020 MHz and can be boost clocked up to 1070 MHz.
Maximum Number of displays it can support at a time is 4. It has 1280 stream processors. It has some other technologies. Some of which are AMD Eyefinity 2.0 - it provides supports for stereo 3D, universal bezel compensation and brand new display configuration, SAPPHIRE Dual-X Cooling Technology - it consists of a multi-heatpipe cooler and a Dual fan, perfect to give you perfect cooling performance even under extreme load. It also Support Microsoft DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.3, Accelerated Video Transcoding and Dolby® TrueHD and DTSHD Master Audio™ etc
And now here is our second-best Graphics Card for Gaming. If you go by its looks then this Graphics Card surely is the best one your can by. A beautiful metallic black color. It might not sound good to some people that it is based on GTX 960 instead of 970 or 980. But its new Maxwell architecture will fully utilize all of its resources.
It's got a 4 GB DDR5 RAM effective at 7.0 GHz memory clock frequency. It has 128-bit Memory Bus Width. Even if you make quietness your first and foremost priority, this Graphics Card is a one for you. Also it is the one of the most silent Graphics Card around. Its VRMs are in contact with Heat-sink which makes it much cooler.
It is base clocked at 1241 MHz and boost clocked at 1304 MHz. Whereas in OC Mode, In case you want to overclock it, you can use MSI's Afterburner which I mentioned above in this post, it is base clocked and over clocked at 1266 and 1329 MHz respectively. For dissipation of heat, it uses Wind Force 3X cooling System with Unique Blade Fan.
0 db semi-passive fans are there to ensure a complete silent environment. It also uses Ultra Durable VGA technology which helps in Lowering the GPU Temperature, Decreasing Power Switching Loss and Better Overclocking Capability etc.
OK, now here is Best Graphics Card you can get Under $300 in 2015 - according to my listing. It has apparently every good thing you can expect in a Graphics Card in this price range. Even the previous models from VAPOR-X lineup impressed critics, this Graphics Card had raised the standard even more.
Now lets talk more about its specs.It has a 3 GB DDR5 RAM of 384-bit Memory Bus Width with stock core clock of 1000 MHz. For your perfect gaming experience, it has ability to stay at 60 FPS almost all the time. It also implements AMD's MANTLE technology which helps you to play latest graphics-extensive games with much more ease.
But one important feature in which it is peerless is its VAPOR-X cooling. VAPOR-X technology ensures that your card is never gonna get hot during extensive gaming sessions. Also its noise handling is also one of the best around. On top of that, it is a factory overclocked model.Go for it if you want to have a perfect Graphics Card in this $300 price range
Well, that was it. Some Graphics Cards which were, according to me, the best ones you can get in Under-$300 price range. Writing up that post was not an easy task. And it may happen that I missed one or two good Graphics Cards. So if you know about a good Graphics Card which is not in this list, do mention it in your comments. We'll check about it as soon as possible
Muhammad Asfand Yar, or Asfand as his friends call, is Author cum Owner of List Enthusiast. Blogging is his old new-found love. He writes to boost his Knowledge - and yours too. He usually remains in front of computer screen - even when he isn't writing any Blog post - doing computer programming. C++ is his passion. Catch him on twitter @asfandyar12.