Why it’s not worth buying basic graphics cards

The graphics card market is divided into different ranges, and within each range we can find models that offer different levels of performance at very different prices . For example, a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is considered by many to be a mid-range model, but it is more expensive and performs significantly better than a GeForce RTX 3060, which is also a mid-range model.

To facilitate the differentiation of these models, the ideal is to introduce subdivisions within the same range . Continuing with the previous example, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti would be an upper-mid-range graphics card, and the GeForce RTX 3060 would be a mid-range model. The same would be true for AMD graphics cards, the Radeon RX 6700 XT fits as an upper-mid-range model, while the Radeon RX 6600 XT is a mid-range model.

The division into lower ranges can also be very complicated, especially since the performance of the models that we could previously consider low-end no longer fits that definition quite well, and here it is also useful to resort to those subdivisions. The GeForce RTX 3050 is a good example, and deserves to be considered as a lower-mid-range graphics card by performance level.

I know what you’re thinking, so what should we consider low end ? Well, it would be fair to put the Radeon RX 6500 XT, GeForce GTX 1650 Super and below in that bag. However, keep in mind that this categorization does not mean that they are not suitable for gaming, in fact the two models that I have just mentioned still defend themselves very well with 1080p games, but in the end their position has to be adjusted in that range due to the level of performance they offer.

We arrive at the key point to understand this guide well, and that is that low-end and entry-level graphics cards are not the same. A low-end graphics card may be perfectly capable of moving games in 1080p, as long as we adjust the level of graphic quality based on the requirements of each specific title, but the same is not the case with entry-level models .

These are incapable of moving current games with a minimum of quality and fluidity, and normally they can’t even with 1080p resolutions, in fact some models are not even capable of moving previous generation titles, and in many cases their performance is so poor that falls even below the most powerful integrated GPUs that we can find today.

Despite everything, these types of graphics cards are still on the market, and on more than one occasion they are even recommended by unscrupulous vendors who paint them as “affordable gaming solutions” , highlighting their 2 GB or 4 GB of graphics memory. , and ensuring that they are capable of moving games when in fact the opposite is true.

A person who does not have a minimum knowledge can end up falling into this trap, in fact I have still come across people who buy “gaming” PCs for their children with mid-range processors and a GeForce GT 730 or a Radeon RX 550. In fact , the GeForce GT 730 is one of those graphics cards that I recommend against buying .

Why it’s not worth buying basic graphics cards

These types of solutions have lost all their meaning due to the push of integrated GPUs. Today it is more profitable, in most cases, to buy a processor with an integrated GPU than to buy this component separately. For example, a Ryzen 5 5600G APU comes with a Radeon Vega 7 graphics core, and this offers similar performance to what we would get with a GeForce GT 1030 with GDDR5. The price of that APU is 144.90 euros.

To obtain equivalent performance by buying CPU and GPU separately, we would have to buy a Ryzen 5 5500 , which costs 108 euros, and a GeForce GT 1030 with 2 GB of GDDR5 , which is priced at 99.58 euros in its cheapest version. The total cost in this case would be 207.58 euros. It is clear why it is not worth it, and the same applies even with inferior solutions, because to build a PC dedicated to office automation and multimedia we no longer need a dedicated graphics card.

This is the overview, but today I want to dig deeper to give you a clearer view of low-end graphics cards by focusing on the real value they offer, their major shortcomings, and all the biggest reasons why they’re not worth it. worth buying. As always, if after finishing reading the article you have any questions you can leave them in the comments and we will help you solve them.

1.-Basic graphics cards have a very bad price-performance value

Entry-level graphics cards offer very poor performance, this is indisputable. Even the most powerful models based on architectures that are not obsolete, such as the GeForce GTX 1630, have such a low power level that they are incapable of running current games under acceptable conditions , and their price is, however, very high for what they are. what are you offering.

Continuing with the example of the GeForce GTX 1630, we have a graphics card that costs 176 euros and that offers a level of performance similar to what we would get with a GeForce GTX 1050. It performs much less than a Radeon RX 6400, which costs almost the same, and it is 64% less powerful than the GeForce GTX 1650 , which we can buy in its version with GDDR6 for less than 165 euros.

If you think that we are dealing with an isolated case, you are wrong, I could give many other examples, such as the Radeon R7 240 , which is priced at 164 euros, the same as a GeForce GTX 1650 with GDDR6 and offers only 10% of the performance of this , which means that NVIDIA’s solution is nine times faster. The GeForce GT 1030 is also another good example in this regard, since it starts at almost 100 euros, and offers only 25% of the performance of a GeForce GTX 1650.

When buying a GeForce GT 1030 we will have paid only 100 euros, 65 euros less than what a GeForce GTX 1650 would cost us, but the latter will perform three times more . The numbers do not lie, the second would be a much more interesting investment in terms of performance per euro invested. I hope these examples have helped you to better understand the reality behind entry-level graphics cards in relation to cost per frame, and how disastrous it is. You already know that, in many cases, cheap ends up being expensive.

2.-They are unable to move games with a minimum of fluidity

Crysis 3 on a GT 710 with low quality and 720p. It ranges between 15 and 30 FPS, with averages of 24 FPS.

This is a given even on the most powerful models. Again, let’s see it with examples . The GeForce GTX 1630 is the most powerful of all the entry-level graphics cards that we can find on the market right now, and it has a very high price, so much so that it is stepped on with lower-end models that are much more powerful.

In 1080p resolution and with games set to medium quality, the GeForce GTX 1630 is unable to reach stable 30 FPS averages in titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Days Gone, Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2, among others. Only when we reduce the graphic quality level to low, or when we introduce the FSR into the equation, do we obtain acceptable performance levels in some cases, but the graphic quality suffers and in the end the experience is not good.

Getting those results after spending 176 euros on a graphics card is terrible, that’s for sure, but if we go to other models like the GeForce GT 1030 or the Radeon RX 550, things don’t improve at all, quite the opposite, that neither of those two graphics cards can run the games i said in 1080p even with low quality without turning them into a slideshow . Both have a starting price of almost 100 euros and 125 euros, respectively.

Do not be fooled, with basic graphics cards you will not be able to play in a minimally acceptable way, and I think it is quite clear that it is not worth spending 100 euros or more on a component that is going to offer you such poor performance in games . Lower models are not even worth taking into account , because solutions like the Radeon 7 240 or GeForce GT 710 have such low performance that they even get stuck with games of the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. For example, a game like Fallout 3 is too big for them.

3.-They have been surpassed by some integrated GPUs

This is another very important point. A few years ago it was true that entry-level graphics cards offered better performance than all integrated graphics solutions, and this meant that, despite their shortcomings, they were an option that could make some sense for certain user profiles . but today this is no longer the case.

As I told you at the beginning of the article, even a modest Radeon RX Vega 7, which is integrated into the Ryzen 5 5600G APU, is already capable of offering a performance similar to that of a GeForce GT 1030 with GDDR5, and if we go to the With more powerful models, like the Radeon 680M , things are even better, because this one has a performance that, depending on its TBP, can be very similar to that of a Radeon RX 6400.

The evolution that integrated GPUs have undergone has been enormous, something that has allowed them to cannibalize entry-level graphics cards, a reality that will grow more and more, and that in the end could end with a progressive disappearance of this type of solution. graphics , although I don’t think that this disappearance will not be total, because in the end they can end up having a place as updates for very old but functional computers, and also as spare parts for this type of equipment.

These two scenarios are the only ones in which I still contemplate that this type of solution may make some sense, but even there it is increasingly difficult to justify them because, as we are going to see in the next point, it is possible to find second-hand graphics cards. , reconditioned and with a guarantee that offer a much more interesting value.

4.-We can buy superior second-hand options

The second-hand graphics card market has become one of the most important in the technological world. It took off when the first crisis derived from cryptocurrency mining took place , and it grew in importance again with the second crisis, which unfortunately left consequences that we are still dragging.

With what a graphics card like the GeForce GTX 1630 costs, we can buy a reconditioned GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (175 euros) with a guarantee. The second yields almost three times more in games than the first , so I don’t think I need to explain anything else to you. It’s true that the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is larger, draws more and requires an additional power connector, but we’re talking only 120 watts, which is a very reasonable figure.

Even in the case of basic graphics cards with lower prices, we have much more interesting options on the second-hand market. For example, we can buy a reconditioned GeForce GTX 970 for 90 euros from a store and with a guarantee , or go for a private model and pay about 60 euros. With that money we could only aspire to a GeForce GT 730 with GDDR3, whose performance is ten to eleven times less than a GeForce GTX 970 in games.

I know that some of you are afraid of buying second-hand graphics cards, so that is why I have given you the option to buy in specialized stores that recondition said products, cleaning them and changing the thermal paste. They also test them to make sure they work, and offer a one to three year warranty.

5.-Some no longer even have support at the driver level

This is the icing on the cake, although in the end it is completely normal since many entry-level graphics cards use obsolete architectures that have long since gone out of support. This is the case for the Kepler-based GeForce GT 700 series and earlier, as well as AMD solutions prior to the Radeon RX 400, as well as some models within that numbering that use earlier architectures, such as the Radeon R5 430. .

Buying an entry-level graphics card is not only investing money in a product that offers very poor performance, but also we will be buying an obsolete component in most cases, and it may not even have support. Of the base models currently on the market, only those based on NVIDIA’s Maxwell or higher, or AMD’s Polaris or higher, will receive support.

This may be a serious problem in the short term, but with the pace of updates Microsoft is taking on Windows 10 and Windows 11 it’s clear that compatibility and stability could ultimately be compromised by this lack of support.

If we put together everything that I have just explained, I think the conclusion we can draw is simple and clear, it is not worth buying basic graphics cards. In my case, I have never bought a graphics card of this type in recent years, and the GeForce FRX 5200 Ultra that I had at the time did not fall into that category , but rather fell into the lower range.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment