Today we are going to share our views on the best budget graphics cards you can get under the budget of Rs. 30,000 which will offer you great performance without sacrificing all of your hard-earned money. Most of the entry-level gamers always bang their head against the wall to figure out which graphics card to buy with the limited amount of money they can spend. So I and my team decided to bring forth our top picks for saving your time and money to search around all the stores and e-commerce sites to determine a graphics card which will serve you better.
This is the 3D Mark Scores of several GTX builds. The vertical x-axis is the score.
Our Top Picks
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce 3GB DDR5
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce is our best pick among all other entries here not just because of its solid performance and overwhelming features but for its price which doesn’t leave a hole in our pocket. It is not about the great looks, this beast of a card is literally able to turn on the heat and run most of the latest games with constant 60 FPS (or more) at 1080p without any crank.
The card comes with 4+1 power phases which are built for overclocking so taking out more juice from this card is piece of cake. And this beast doesn’t roar it sleeps. Until the temperature hits 60 degrees the GPU fans will remain still without making any noise. Even after 60+temperature and with high speed, the fans are hardly audible.
During our testing GIGABYTE GeForce, GTX 1060 Windforce performed really well, leaving all the cards behind. We got a constant 60+ FPS output at 1080p on most of the current games with ultra-settings. If you are not thriving for 85+ or 100+ FPS, this card will serve you more than enough for the bucks.
The card still held its ground when we upgraded our testing from 1080p to 1440p. The games (like Witcher 3 my favorite) were running goodish on normal to the low setting on 1440p (40-50 FPS) but we couldn’t get more juice out of it after that. But the performance it provided was fantastic at this price point.
This card looks simply great with a black shroud. Those orange stripes with the dual fan setup make is even more stylish. The shroud is made of high-quality plastic and it can be removed with the fan attached to it. GIGABYTE also included one jet black back plate which covers most of the components at the back. The shroud and the back cover gives the card great covered look also provides support for the back side. The RGB light in the “Gigabyte Logo” and “Fan Stop” sign are really an eye candy for gamers. In a simpler word, this card comes to the 2nd place in terms of aesthetics in this list.
One of the best features of this card that it comes factory overclocked packed with a simple interface named XTREME engine utility. XTREME engine is not like MSI afterburner but it helped us to do the basic overclocking, fan speed control etc. basic things. During the overclock stress testing we gained +220 on GPU and +1100 on memory which was stable and safest as it stayed under 75°C. The fans kept the card very cool during the whole testing and throughout were silent even at 100% setting.
Temperature and Noise
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce is a silent killer. The semi-passive fans will remain still till the GPU is under a set loading or temperature, as soon as the GUP crosses 60*C the fans start running. To increase the airflow there are grooves made on the 90mm fan blades (airflow is increased by 23% claimed by GIGABYTE) but we did not find any difference regarding that.
The alternate spinning fan design is a good addition; it helps to keep more heat out of the card. The massive heatsink and pure copper composite heat pipes provide great heat dissipation. In simpler words, the card temperature stays cool in most of the cases and the fans are really very silent.
Display ports are quite normal
- 2x Dual-link DVI-D Ports
- 1x HDMI-2.0b (Max Resolution: 4096×2160 @60 Hz)
- 1x Regular Display Port (Max Resolution: 7680×4320 @60 Hz)
Size and Additional Details
Buyers beware GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce is probably the heaviest and biggest card on this whole list with ATX Form factor. To give the card stability we had to use one brace or it was sagging a little. If you are having a small cabinet then this card is not for you as it takes 2 slots to fit into properly.
Make sure you at least having a decent size of cabinet to hold this beast. GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce 3GB is also not having SLI support and needs an 8 pin power connector which was a little disappointment for me. But with this kind of performance, this card simply made its way to the top with ease.
If you buy the card from the global store you will not get any warranty, please keep that in mind before going for this card. But some buyers on Amazon are providing warranty as they are importing it from the US. In that case, you will get 3 years of manufacturing warranty of 3 years and 2 years additional after registering the product on the website.
Value for Money
Definitely, this card is a bang for bucks for everyone. At the time of writing this review 27,799 at this budget even if (1k more) you will not get any card with such feature, aesthetics and obviously performance. We recommend this card for newcomers and semi-pro gamers always.
"Features Powered by GeForce® GTX 1060 Integrated with 6GB GDDR5 192bit memory WINDFORCE 2X with Blade Fan Design Support up to 8K display @60Hz Build with 4+1 power phases Core Clock Boost: 1797MHz/ Base: 1582MHz in OC Mode Boost: 1771MHz/ Base: 1556MHz in Gaming Mode."
- Great aesthetics
- Silent Killer
- Dual Fan Setup
- Xtreme Engine
- Heavy card
- Card is Large not for all form factors
Noise Profile 95%
Zotac GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 AMP EDITION
ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 AMP EDITION is another slew contender of the list of the best budget graphics cards our 2nd best pick. In case of performance this card is not too far away from our best pick, too tell you truth this was our best pick till we tested GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce 3GB but it falls behind in the terms of noise level(at 100% fan speed), aesthetics, temperature and a bit in overclocking. But still, this card beats most of the other cards in this genre. With NVIDIA Pascal architecture, great customer support, compact design this card will not let your hopes down.
We tested similar test to all the cards on this list and ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 AMP EDITION gave a good competition to all the cards. We played all the latest games available in our bucket and managed to get 60fps at 1080 in most of the games. In some games we got like 50-55FPS in some really demanding title there we had to put the settings down to high. But still, this card works great for entry level and semi-pro gamers with dual fan setup.
Going forward for looks, this card lags behind others. It doesn’t have a great aesthetics but that is understandable as this is an open air cooler card. ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 AMP EDITION is having a dual fan setup with a metal/plastic black shroud with bright silver linings.
No back panel is given here to hide the components from the back. On the front of the card, you will find ZOTAC branding logo. The copper heat pipes are visible when you install the card horizontally.
ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 AMP EDITION comes pre-factory overclocked that is the biggest advantage of this card. You will get boosted 1900 MHz (1797 MHz mentioned on the box) on cored right out of the box. During our stress testing on overclocking we got a boosted speed like 2000 MHz on the core and 4500 MHz on memory and that stayed stable with a temperature around 75°C-78°C. We were able to hit higher than that but applications started stuttering or crashing. You will get a 10%-13% performance boost depending on the situation at most.
Temperature and Noise
Being an open air cooler card we expected ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB to be bit cooler than other cards, but it wasn’t the case. At stock fan curve the temperature was around 65°C-70°C with a quite silent performance but with the overclocking started it boosted up to 75°-78° which was quite acceptable but at the 100% fan speed the noise a bit more, if you keeping it in a room without AC you will notice the noise but nothing like an unbearable noise.
The connection outlet setup is better for this card than our best pick. And you will get more options here
- 3x Display Ports 1.4
- 1x HDMI 2.0b
- 1x Dual-link DVI
- Quad simultaneous display capable
Size and Additional Details
ZOTAC did a great job on this AMP edition size and weight. The card is 8.11 inches in length and 4.38 inches in height weighing around 990 grams. Which is lighter and as well as smaller than the founder edition. The card is compact enough to get inside mini-ATX cabinets also (though it might be a little bit more cramped) so this is a very good factor for entry-level gamers. Here on this, you can find card 6-pin PCI Express power connectors. There is no LED on this card which is a bit downfall for looks (But it hardly matters for some buyers). This card comes as VR ready.
Zotac India is providing a very good warranty on this card. 2 years warranty you will get out of the box and additional 3 years when you register the card on Zotac website with a valid invoice. I personally went through all the servicing process before and it was butter smooth. You need not worry about the after-sales service of this card.
Value for Money
The price tag on which ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 AMP EDITION comes with is Rs.26,990. It is a bit more than our best pick GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce. In our opinion, the price tag is valid if you think about the after sales service and the performance. This card will satisfy all the needs of any entry-level gamer with a good price point.
"The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card is loaded with innovative new gaming technologies, making it the perfect choice for the latest high-definition games. Powered by NVIDIA Pascal."
- Good aesthetics
- Compact Design
- Small size
- No back panel
- Small heatsink
- No LED
Noise Profile 95%
MSI Geforce GTX 1060 3GB GDDR5 (GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC)
If both of our 1st and 2nd pick is unavailable our 3rd place recommendation for you will be GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC the 3GB variant from MSI. MSI is a trustworthy name in gaming and e-sports and GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC is one of their best entry-level cards for new gamers. This card is not having as much featured as GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Windforce OC or ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB DDR5 AMP EDITION, but it still worth putting your money into.
MSI Geforce GTX 1060 3GT OC did quite good in our performance tests but lagged a little behind ZOTAC GTX 1060 3GB DDR5. We played most of latest GPU hungry games on this card with ultra to high settings. We managed to get 60FPS at bigger games (Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, GTA V, Crysis 3) at Ultra setting 1080p. And 70+ FPS in games like Total War: Warhammer at 1080p. The frame rate went a bit down to 45-58 when we upgraded the resolution to 1440p.
The design of this given card is good for people who are making a build with a black and white combo. The dual fan setup with black and white linings gives a simple but classy look to the card. There is no separate back-plate you will get with this card leaving a bare backside, which we feel is a bit downfall for the aesthetics.
The copper heat pipes are visible under the shroud; MSI could have given a full shroud to the card as the dual fan setup is already an overkill for this card.
This card already comes factory overclocked so don’t expect to get more juice out of it by heavy overclocking. We tested many setups on this card and finally able to squeeze out 2050 MHz on the boost clock and 9.4 GHz on the memory. But while doing that the temperature went up to 85°C so we tweaked it a bit down to 2000MHz on boost clock and 9 GHz on the memory with a stable 74°C(non-Air conditioned room) which was nice.
Temperature and Noise
As mentioned earlier being equipped with Dual fan setup MSI GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC keeping itself cooler already than it should be. The average temperature was between 31°C to 33°C when the card was in an ideal state. At this stage, the fans will sit still so at this point card is completely silent. When we started gaming slowly the card started to heat up, on heavy gaming load the card stabilized at 68°C-70°C with 80% fan speed. The noise is not negligible when the card is under load and running at full speed but it is nothing like unbearable but it certainly makes more sound than our previous 2 picks.
Simple connection outputs you will get with this card.
- 1x Display Port V-1.4
- One HDMI Port V-2.0
- 1x DL-DVI-D
Size and Additional Details
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC is not a very big card neither a small one. The length is 4.48 inches, width is 9.6 inches and thickness is 1.5 inches which is a quite medium in size which will be able to fit in most of the cabinets. The card weighs around 550gm, so it will not put much load on to your motherboard. MSI GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC is a VR-ready card so you can get ready for your VR anytime.
MSI is providing 3 years warranty with this card from the dop which we think is enough for a 3GB graphics card. And the aftersales service is quite satisfying. You will not face any issue with them if your card is under warranty. But post warranty their service becomes bit delayed.
Value for Money
At the time of writing this post, the price for MSI GeForce GTX 1060 3GT OC was 26,900 which is good for this price point. It’s not banging for the buck kind of thing. Whatever you are getting at this price is ok not too good not too bad.
"THE LATEST GAMING TECHNOLOGIES. Pascal is built to meet the demands of next-generation displays, including VR, ultra-high-resolution, and multiple monitors. It features NVIDIA GameWorks™ technologies for extremely smooth gameplay and cinematic experiences."
- Best aesthetics
- LED included
- Double layered copper heat pipe
- Less number of ports
- No back plate
Noise Profile 80%
All of the testings we have done are done by our professional team. We have rated these graphics cards completely based on our review, suggestions and our testing outcomes. Your view might differ from us. In that case please share us a comment or tweet us. We will definitely take your suggestions into account and update the post.
The competitors we have considered for these cards
1. EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti FTW DT Gaming: It hits the perfect spot for that upgrade you know you need, but at the price you want! With the latest NVIDIA Pascal architecture, the 4GB GTX 1050 Ti displays stunning visuals and great performance.
2. Zotac GeForce GTX1060 3GB Graphics Card: The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card is loaded with innovative new gaming technologies, making it the perfect choice for the latest high-definition games