5 Best Gaming Graphics Cards Under $500 in 2022 – Top 1080p & 1440p GPUs For the Money

5 Best Gaming Graphics Cards Under $500

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If you’ve seen our guide for the best gaming graphics cards under $400 dollars and weren’t quite satisfied with the kind of performance you could get at that price range, you’re in luck.

Today we’re going to take a look at a GPU price point that’s just a bit higher. At $500, you’ll be able to buy into the most recent line-up of GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD with their mid-tier video cards.

With the current market creating a high demand for quality GPUs, prices have inflated accordingly. Many of the best graphics cards will be out of reach for a large number of gamers looking to build or upgrade their PCs.

$500 will get you a graphics card that will serve as a solid and reliable foundation for either 1080p 100FPS+ or 1440p 60FPS+ gaming.

Best Gaming Graphics Cards Under $500 in 2022 Round-Up

The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the five best gaming graphics cards under $500 currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in the respective row.

Product

Image

Rating

1. PNY GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XLR8 REVEL EPIC-X RGB

''Best Graphics Card Under $500 in 2022 Overall''

9.9

2. XFX Speedster QICK319 AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

''Best Graphics Card Under $500 Runner-up''

9.8

3. ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 V2 OC

''Best 1080p Graphics Card Under $500''

9.7

4. ASUS ROG Strix AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT OC

''Honorable Mention''

9.6

5. EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 12GB XC

''Honorable Mention #2''

9.4



1. PNY GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XLR8 REVEL EPIC-X RGB

”Best Graphics Card Under $500 in 2022 Overall”

CUDA Cores: 4864 | Base Clock: 1410 MHz | Boost Clock: 1665 MHz | Memory: 8 GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock Speed: 14000 MHz | Memory Interface: 256-bit | Max. Monitors Supported: 4 | Dimensions: 246 x 119 x 39 mm

PNY GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

REASONS TO BUY

  • Cheapest 3060 Ti on the market
  • Quality construction
  • Superior 1440p performance in this price range
  • Fantastic 1080p performance
  • Great cooling solution
  • Factory overclock
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Runs cool and quiet

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Less VRAM compared to the competition
  • Aesthetics

Our Rating:   9.9/10

Good deals on PC components are hard to come by. So if you’re going to set your GPU budget at $500, why not make sure that every penny you spend is going towards purchasing the maximum possible raw performance? With PNY’s 3060 Ti custom card, that’s exactly the kind of bargain you’ll be getting.

For starters, it has an incredible 4864 shader cores (NVIDIA CUDA Cores). While the clock speeds might not seem that impressive at a first glance, with that many cores and the 3000 series architecture, the value of this card starts to multiply rapidly. You are also guaranteed a GPU that can safely clock at 1665 MHz. That’s a decent bit higher than the 3060 Ti’s base 1410 MHz clock speed.

Compared to its red team competitor, the RX 6700 XT, the 3060 Ti is going to perform noticeably better with most games. It is worth noting that that isn’t going to be the case across the board, though.

If you play or want to play a lot of games that call upon a large amount of highly complex/detailed textures, you might want to go with something that has a bit more VRAM instead. The 8GB you’ll have here with the 3060 Ti will be enough for the majority of games at 1440p, but there will certainly be some outliers.

You probably won’t have to worry about this any time soon, but if this is a concern, you can always double-check the recommended amounts for your favorite games.

Similar to XFX, PNY also seems to be focusing on an effective price/performance margin with this 3060 Ti model. There isn’t much included in the package here beyond an outstandingly well-performing GPU.

If you’re interested in something more display-worthy, it has some minimal RGB elements. It doesn’t appear that PNY offers any sort of robust software for controlling RGB as other manufacturers might.

If you have a well-coordinated RGB theme going on your PC, this card won’t be able to sync up with it. If you aren’t too particular about a coherent theme or don’t mind just switching the RGB off, you’re good to go.

In terms of size, this card is the smallest one on our list. PC builders working with a micro ATX case and motherboard might just be able to squeeze this card in. In terms of length, its 9.72 inches are just barely over the standard 9.6” of the micro ATX form factor.

This means it won’t quite be a guaranteed fit, but many micro ATX cases will have just enough extra room to squeeze it in. Standard ATX builds/cases that are already a bit crowded might also benefit from having this smaller card installed.

All things considered, the PNY GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is currently the king of the sub-$500 category and that won’t change in the foreseeable future. It offers the best performance in the majority of titles and is an excellent option for both 1080p and 1440p builds. 

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2. XFX Speedster QICK319 AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

”Best Graphics Card Under $500 Runner-up”

Stream Processors: 2560 | Base Clock: 2457 MHz | Boost Clock: 2622 MHz | Memory: 12 GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock Speed: 16000 MHz | Memory Interface: 192-bit | Max. Monitors Supported: 4 | Dimensions: 323 x 132 x 51 mm

XFX Speedster QICK319 AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

REASONS TO BUY

  • Excellent 1440p performance (60 FPS nearly all games)
  • Fantastic 1080p card for competitive titles (100+ FPS)
  • Significantly more VRAM than the 3060 Ti
  • Great value for the money
  • Quality construction
  • Runs cool and quiet
  • Clean design
  • Dual BIOS switch

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Large, won’t fit smaller cases
  • No RGB
  • Less performance compared to the RTX 3060 Ti

Our Rating:   9.8/10

Next up on the list is none other than the RX 6700 XT, an excellent 1080p and 1440p graphics card that is finally available on the market for less than $500. It doesn’t have what it takes to beat the 3060 Ti in overall value; however, it performs better in several titles and can be generally found for a cheaper price.

XFX is a performance-minded manufacturer of AMD graphics cards. Their cards don’t seem to come with the same wealth of features you might get from other brands. In terms of price/performance, though, they definitely seem to be able to keep the heat on their competition and off of your GPU’s thermals.

First off, XFX ships this card with a factory overclocked “boost” mode, which brings the already impressive Radeon RX 6700 XT’s clock speed up to a whopping 2622 MHz. Currently, that’s the fastest speed we’re seeing available for less than $500.

That speed, combined with AMD’s latest architecture, 12 GB of VRAM, and a substantial 2560 Stream Processors, is going to set you up for 1440p 60FPS gaming with essentially every game in existence.

Beyond that, it even has enough power to get you up to that sweet 1440p 100FPS+ experience with a decent majority of titles. Older titles (5+ years), well-optimized titles, and most competitive games will be buttery smooth at 1440p, not to mention 1080p.

This card doesn’t come with a whole lot of extra features, but there is one unique bonus built into that card that will be a huge comfort for some buyers.

If you’re building a brand new system or upgrading to a newer graphics card, one of the most terrifying experiences you can have is powering everything up just to be greeted by a blank black screen. If everything seems to check out, one common problem area that might be giving you trouble is the BIOS.

Even if you’re able to identify that as the problem, you still aren’t quite out of the woods yet. You’ll still have to manually update the BIOS yourself or send it back for repair/replacement. Updating it yourself is a hassle and comes with a few risks, and even if the repairing/replacing process goes without a hitch, you still have to wait what can be weeks or even months before you’ll have your new GPU.

XFX isn’t going to leave that up to chance. Instead of just having a single BIOS to work with, XFX ships their QICK series cards with two. What’s more, switching between them is just about as easy as it can be. All you have to do to swap over is flip a switch located on the front side of the card. This can give you a second, hassle-free chance if your initial startup doesn’t post.

If you’re an enthusiast who likes to mess around with loading some fancy custom BIOS profiles, this second instance can serve as a failsafe to you too. This is the kind of thoughtful innovation we love to see in our expensive hardware components.

Beyond that, this card doesn’t come with a whole lot of bells and whistles. If you don’t mind the absence of some flashy RGB and don’t expect to get much use out of another brand’s software, XFX’s custom RX 6700 XT is probably the graphics card for you. For less than $500, this beast of a processor is an absolute steal.

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3. ASUS ROG Strix Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 V2 OC

”Best 1080p Graphics Card Under $500”

CUDA Cores: 3584 | Base Clock: 1777 MHz | Boost Clock: 1912 MHz | Memory: 12 GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock Speed: 15000 MHz | Memory Interface: 192-bit | Max. Monitors Supported: 4 | Dimensions: 300 x 133 x 53 mm

ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 V2 OC

REASONS TO BUY

  • Fantastic 1080p performance
  • High-quality construction
  • Excellent cooling (runs really cool and quiet)
  • Energy efficient
  • Beautiful design
  • Customizable RGB LEDs
  • ASUS utilities

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Less performance than the competition
  • Not ideal at 1440p
  • Large

Our Rating:   9.7/10

Up next on our list here is a graphics card from one of the more mainstream component manufacturers. ASUS has a reputation for producing great components, useful features, and aesthetic designs. With their custom 3060, you’ll be getting all of those things.

We’ll first take a look at some of the major differences between a 3060 and a 3060 Ti so that you’ll have a bit of a reference point. Unfortunately, the standard 3060 is a significant enough performance downgrade (~15%). With that being said, you are going to be trading off that raw performance for some cash savings and a few quality features, courtesy of ASUS.

The 3060 has a higher clock speed than the 3060 Ti, but those faster cores are fewer in number. With this particular custom card, ASUS guarantees a boosted clock speed of at least 1912 MHz. 3584 cores is definitely a lot, especially for a GPU in this price range, but when compared to a 3060 Ti’s 4864 cores, it isn’t as impressive of a figure.

It does have 12 GB of VRAM instead of the 3060 Ti’s 8, but again this won’t make a difference when it comes to the majority of available games. Sometime in the near future, those extra 4GB might end up being a life-saver, but for now, it’s likely just going to mean a bit of peace of mind.

One thing that’s worth noting about the 3060 is that it’s highly energy efficient. In fact, it’s the most power-efficient card we’re reviewing here at only 170 W.

As a point of reference, the 3060 performs very similarly to the previous generation’s 2070. The 3060 is just a little bit better, but it also manages to consume less power than the 175 W demanded by an RTX 2070.

For buyers who want to be more energy conscious, save a few dollars on their electrical bill, and/or avoid having to upgrade their PSU, this is a nice thing to factor in.

Performance aside, ASUS’s Strix model of the 3060 has a few other traits going for it. First of all, while looks might be subjective, we’d argue that this card looks pretty cool. Typical of their ‘Strix’ lineups, it’s clear that the team designing this card wanted it to look sleek and high-tech.

With its grayscale coloration and metallic highlights, it can both define or complement any display-worthy PC build. Its RGB elements can also be controlled by ASUS’s Aura Sync software, granting your PC’s cool factor an endless number of possibilities.

Finally, if you opt into an ASUS GPU, you’ll have access to their GPU Tweak II software. This isn’t something that’s going to appeal to every user, but those who do end up taking advantage of it will find it saves them from a lot of stress and hassle.

GPU Tweak II is a utility that makes overclocking your graphics card beyond factory settings a process that’s accessible to just about everyone. With a suite of measurement tools, settings, safeguards, and a straightforward, user-friendly design, you can get the maximum performance out of your GPU without having to be a seasoned tech-support specialist.

‘Strix’ branded ASUS components are usually the premium versions of their line-ups, and it’s plain to see why that is. All around, this card accomplishes everything a graphics card could want to accomplish. It performs well, is priced well, looks good, and comes packaged with everything to make it as user-friendly as possible.

Admittedly, It doesn’t perform as well compared to the Ti version or the RX 6700 XT, but it offers better aesthetics, more customization, and fantastic 1080p performance; however, we wouldn’t recommend this card for 1440p gaming. 

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4. ASUS ROG Strix AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT OC

”Honorable Mention”

Stream Processors: 2048 | Base Clock: 2428 MHz | Boost Clock: 2607 MHz | Memory: 8 GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock Speed: 16000 MHz | Memory Interface: 128-bit | Max. Monitors Supported: 4 | Dimensions: 243 x 134 x 52 mm

ASUS ROG Strix AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT OC

REASONS TO BUY

  • Fantastic 1080p performance
  • Viable for 1440p gaming (older titles)
  • Fits in the micro-ATX form factor
  • Highly energy-efficient
  • Top-of-the-line cooling 
  • Looks awesome
  • ASUS Utilities

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Lacks at 1440p
  • Noticeably outperformed by other cards in this price range

Our Rating:   9.6/10

Next up, we have another graphics card from the ROG factory. This time, we’re looking at a GPU made by AMD. Since it goes for about the same price as the same-brand same-price 3060, we’ll refer to that card for most of our comparisons.

Aside from having a general preference for AMD, their software, features, or perhaps business model, there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to go for this card over the 3060. There are a few reasons, though, so let’s take a look at what has earned this card a spot on our list.

The major selling point of this card above all other cards in this price range is that it’s built to fit nicely in a micro ATX build. It’s only 9.6” in length, making it exactly as long as it can be without running the risk of not having enough space in your build. There aren’t as many micro ATX cases on the market as there are ATX cases or even mini ITX cases, which makes a card like this a rare find.

Most graphics cards aren’t built with the micro ATX form factor in mind, so if you’ve been struggling to find something suitable for your micro ATX build this an exceptional solution.

If you aren’t working with a micro ATX build, don’t count this card out just yet. It might have the second lowest average performance on this list, but it also has the lowest power consumption.

AMD has made some significant improvements in power efficiency with its 6000 series architecture. Despite having the second-highest clock speed and 2048 shader cores, this card isn’t going to make quite as much of a mark on your energy bill as other cards might.

As another ASUS Strix model, you already know that this card is flashy and well-built. Its design follows the same principles as the Strix RTX 3060 does, so we’re also going to call this card another very good-looking one. Like the 3060, you’ll also be getting access to Aura Sync and GPU Tweak II. These helpful tools will keep your system running just the way you want it to.

When it comes to performance, it does fall slightly behind its NVIDIA competitor. However, the difference is close enough that there will be many cases in which the performance gap wouldn’t be noticeable. Neither card is powerful enough to give you a guaranteed 1440p 144FPS experience across the board.

Because they fall within that performance margin, there will be many cases where gamers wouldn’t be getting that extra ‘umph’ anyways. If your primary monitor is 1440p and refreshes at 60Hz, or even 1080p, there will be plenty of games where you wouldn’t be benefiting from that extra FPS anyways.

Generally speaking, we would refer you to the Strix RTX 3060 over this Strix Radeon 6600 XT. If you fit into the category of AMD enthusiast, micro ATX builder, or environmentalist, this is going to be a great card for you instead. If you don’t fall into one of those categories, it’s always good to keep an eye on a close competitor in case the ever-changing prices happen to drop in its favor.

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5. EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 12GB XC

”Honorable Mention #2”

CUDA Cores: 2176 | Base Clock: 1470 MHz | Boost Clock: 1680 MHz | Memory: 12 GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock Speed: 14000 MHz | Memory Interface: 192-bit | Max. Monitors Supported: 3 | Dimensions: 268 x 111 x 35 mm

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 12GB XC

REASONS TO BUY

  • Can be found for under $400
  • Excellent 1080p performance
  • Viable for 1440p (not all titles)
  • Lots of VRAM
  • Quality construction
  • Runs cool

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Poor connectivity
  • Older generation card
  • Below-average performance in this price range
  • Aesthetics

Our Rating:   9.4/10

Concluding our list of the top 5 graphics cards under $500 is an older generation card with the most appealing price tag out of all the GPUs we’ve reviewed so far.

The EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 is going to be the best bet for buyers who have set their budget at $500 but really wouldn’t mind saving a few dollars to settle for something less expensive. Depending on when you buy, you might be able to get your hands on this one for well under $500, maybe even $400.

One of the general philosophies of gaming performance is that for competitive games, FPS is king. On the other hand, casual gamers might want to focus more on resolution and picture quality. This 2060 harmoniously balances those two goals without requiring that you spend any more than you would absolutely need to. After all, most gamers will end up dabbling a bit in both competitive and story-driven titles.

If you want to experience single-player games that allow you to take the time to stop and smell the roses, you can comfortably expect this card to render most titles at 1440p 60FPS. As an older generation card, it will start to fall behind a bit with some of the most recent releases. Even then, you’ll still be beating out consoles. 30 FPS would be a safe minimum to expect with any game that wasn’t specifically designed to render poorly.

Some gamers don’t care as much about getting all of those extra pixels and instead value having enough frames per second to make the most out of their god-tier reflexes. For those gamers, this GPU has just the right amount of power to render competitive titles at 1080p 144+FPS.

To get the best of both worlds and hit both benchmarks, you won’t have to buy anything more expensive than EVGA’s GeForce RTX 2060.

One potential drawback this card poses is its connectivity options. The other cards on our list all have at least three sockets for DisplayPort. This card only has 1. It does offer DVI connectivity, which is unique to this entry.

Before you buy, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right options available to you or that you’re potentially willing to invest in an adapter. If you plan on using more than three monitors at once, you’re out of luck with this card.

In terms of aesthetic value and bonus features, this card doesn’t offer too much. It does have a sleek black stealth-tech design theme, but being monochrome, it isn’t very striking. There isn’t any RGB on this card, and beyond the normal suite of Nvidia Software, you won’t be getting any bonuses.

All in all, this card is about saving money and getting good performance out of what you spend.

If $500 dollars for a GPU would be possible, but painful, spare yourself the pain and check out EVGA’s RTX 2060. You might not be missing out on anything essential, and your wallet will definitely thank you.

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In Conclusion

$500 can be an odd budget to shop for a GPU with. Overall, we’d call this price point ‘excellent for 1080p 144hz monitors’ or ‘great for entry-level 1440p gaming’. If you’re wanting to hit 144fps at 1440p, you might need to spend a bit more.

If you’re more interested in saving money, you might want to check out our list of the best gaming graphics cards under $400 just to make sure you’re not overspending.

As always, thanks for checking out our reviews! We hope you found the graphics card you were looking for in this list. If you haven’t, we hope you’ve at least learned a thing or two about what you are looking for.

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to drop a comment down below if there’s something else we can help you with.

About Richard Gamin 174 Articles
My name's Richard and over the years, I have personally built many PCs for myself and my friends. I love gaming, programming, graphics designing and basically anything that has to do with computers and technology. If you ever need a hand with anything, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you out.

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