Two Budget Graphics Cards In 2021

On this page I would like to show you about two budget graphics card options that are in stock not market up in price and have good availability. I will tell you how to get them in market if you really needed a graphics card for under $200. 

budget graphics cards

Doing this might be your best bet. Currently you can not buy a graphics card brand new from any retailer for a sensible price like these super popular; GTX 1650 and 1650 super cards which originally retailed for $150 and $180. Now go up to $300 and $400 on Newegg. 

Two Budget Graphics Cards That Cost Below $200

Even for team Red  with the RX 5500 XT 4GB and 8GB cards which I think would have fared a little bit better than the team green option for the same price. Also super marked up, up to $230 and $250 and it is disgusting. 

However there are two cards you can buy right now in 2021 from a certain retailer that like I said are below $200. They are not really marked up in price are used and they have good stock and availability. 

They do come in these weird cardboard looking packages and I will unboxing them real quick. First things first in both of these you are given a molex to 8 pin adapter if you want to power up your graphics card using old molex power connectors.

It took about 2-3 weeks to arrive and I ordered them way back in early January. Their condition is used and I bought right here (picture) for $133 and another one for $165. 

Unboxing

These two graphics cards that you see right here are respectively the RX 580 4GB graphics card and the RX 570 4GB graphics card. 

AliExpress graphics cards

I ordered these two graphics cards from the east also known as AliExpress. This is the first time I've purchased graphics cards from AliExpress. So not only will this be reviewed just on the RX 580 and 570 4 GB cards and seeing how they stack up in 2021. Especially when compared for their 8GB brothers that are supposedly bigger. But also a review on what it's like buying used almost X mining graphics cards from AliExpress. 

So I expect this to be a very interesting article!

So first things first these are used graphic cards. I forget what condition they were listed in the listings that I chose them from. But just knowing about the situation with AliExpress used graphics cards, there's a good chance these graphics cards were used for mining. So if that's the case I probably want to disassemble one of these graphics cards and check out the thermal paste situation. 

Thermal Paste Checking

If there's any fresh thermal paste because having dried up old thermal paste will affect thermals on the graphics cards which can lead to thermal bottlenecking. Alright, so I went ahead and got all these screws off. It was actually simpler than it looks there were just a lot of screws here aligned along the I/O and on the actual back plate of the GPU. So now I should be able to actually just take this off.

That is fresh thermal paste. Okay never mind so I don't know if you guys saw that but removing the actual heatsink from the graphic card was a really smooth process actually.  When that's the case there's a good chance that the thermal paste on your used graphics card is fresh which is a great sign to see. But for good measure, I'll go ahead and check if this has any fresh thermal paste. Both are from different stores on AliExpress and maybe they'll be different. 

But one down and I guess one more to check. All right all screws are off and carefully there is the base cooler. We'll flip that around. Here is the heatsink and so the thermal paste on this one I'd say it's passable not as creamy as the other one. But it isn't quite dry. I think it's passable. 

heatsink

So with all that said the question is why are we looking at an RX 580 and RX 570 which both have 4GB of Vram? There's obviously a faster variant of both of these cards or at least a more optimal variant that has 8GB of Vram for both of the 580 and 570. 

Why can't we find those for really good prices? Well if look up right now on AliExpress the 8GB variants of the RX 580 and RX 570 are really marked up price. And the reason is despite still being old cards those higher Vram models are better for cryptocurrency mining. The more Vram you have the better binding performance you'll have. So obviously you want those 8GB variants. And I think we may be at a point where it's better to have those 8GB variants just outright. These 4GB variants just aren't enough to keep up with the demand of mining cryptocurrency.

I am not an expert! So don't take my word on that but that's just my prediction as to why there's so many 4GB variants on AliExpress. That aren't for a ridiculous marked up price but of course that raises another question are these 4GB variants enough in 2021 for 1080p, 1440p and even VR gaming? 

Well! I am going to go ahead and bust out my 8GB 580 and 570 cards compare them to these two. We'll see if it's worth it to go with a lower Vram model in the year 2021 for the much lesser price or still wait out for eventually better budget graphics card on market. All that said I'm gonna pit these cards on my test bench and we'll get to the results. 

Alright, I went ahead and benchmarked all 4 cards. There's one important thing I want to point out before we get into the results. So is the 4GB 580 we're using for this comparison the 8GB 580 I have on my hand. We're using for this comparison! 

There's a big difference between these two cards aside from the looks. There's a clock speed difference, there a cooling difference and more beyond that. So yes while this article is mostly be talking about the VR differences and if that is still going to be okay. Just keep it note this 580 is being absolutely juiced up and this one's like the natty version same applies for 570. We're comparing a pulse to a nitro plus which the nitro plus does have a higher clock speed out of the box. 

Benchmark Testing

Starting with Borderlands 3. Luckily all 4 cards show somewhat of a trend with the faster cards performing the best. But the 580 4GB is actually the slowest of the 4 which shouldn't make sense but let's look at another benchmark.

Borderlands 3 Benchmark

Now moving on to Cyberpunk 2077 at medium graphics so the most graphically demanding game on the list. We can see all 4 cards do struggle with the game but the card that struggled the most was the RX 580 4GB at the 35 FPS which again is a bit of a point of interest. 

cyberpunk 2077

Let's move on to Fortnite with competitive graphics cards at 1080p and luckily all 4 cards do show some imbalance of getting faster as the hired card comes along. but I guess again with 580 4GB it's points one percent low is the lowest of the 4 and it's one percent low is the second lowest of the 4 so they are just being picky again on that 580 4GB card.

Fortnite

Then moving on the Minecraft middle earth maxed out using a custom resource pack amongst the 4 cards is a trend upward in FPS but that 580 4 GB not as fast as the 570 8GB which I guess male sense. But at least it's not too much of a difference.

minecraft

Then I am saving to Rainbow Six Siege for the last because even though I rerun this benchmark twice amongst all four cards the results just still didn't make sense. But here they are nonetheless with the RX 580 4 GB actually beat the 8GB and then the RX 4GB it got the lowest and the 8GB still held out and was the fastest. 

Rainbow Six Siege

So looking at those results something happened with this ASUS dual OC. RX 580 4GB card that I got from Aliexpress like it got neutered or something because this card actually out of the box. It should have the same clock speed as that strix card. Of course there's a Vram difference and a cooling difference. I don't know what's up with that.

Luckily comparing the sapphire pulse and nitro 570s even though the nitro version should have a much higher clock speed the differences amongst the 4 GB and 8 GB versions actually not too drastic and not as weird as the 580s. 

Conclusion 

So the conclusion if you absolutely need a graphics card right now that isn't ridiculously overpriced both new and used I would give a semi recommendation to the RX 4GB on Aliexpress. 

sapphire

Specifically if you can get a sapphire card like the pulse card that I use for this comparison because at least that it's a sapphire card so it's got a good build quality amongst the other cheap 570s you can find on AliExpress. It's the cheapest as well. So you're not wasting a lot of money if anything bad happens but more or less hopefully it should turn out well. I mean maybe the most you'll run into is having drier thermal paste than you'd like when you first get the card but again you can just replace it like what I did in this article. 

This RX 580 4GB from Asus does concern me a little bit. It's neutered somehow. It didn't perform up to what I'd like. That could have just been from a lot use from its history from AliExpress. I mean again the listing just said that it's a used graphics card and nothing more. But I would suspect this probably used for mining. Maybe the actual chip inside was just really burned out which does suck to see. 

So if it were me and I were building a budget gaming pc right now in 2021. I think it'd be all right to buy a $130 used 570 4GB card. 

If I absolutely needed something otherwise I was ticket to a Ryzen 3400G and use the integrated video graphics on that chip or better yet get a pre-built or laptop.

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