Last Updated: November 29, 2020
Whether you’re watching movies, playing games, or just working in 4K resolution, it all looks fantastic. Everything is crisp, precise, and incredibly clear. The colors are vivid and lush, the blacks are as deep as the night sky. But the details don’t come without a cost. For getting this performance, you must opt for a powerful consumer-grade graphics card, that can deliver smooth frame rates with the best visuals and must lie under your budget. If you’re on a tight budget for a graphics card, there are some cheapest 4k graphics card available in the market where 4k gaming is technically achievable.
To play the latest games, some latest consoles like the Sony PlayStation 4 Pro and the Microsoft Xbox One X output display at 4k resolution, but if you’re a hardcore gamer and want to play those games that are just released at 4k with the max visual settings, then you should choose custom-cooled and/or overclocked graphics cards models.
There’s a graphics card by Nvidia named Titan. These titan cards are the best in the market, especially the Titan RTX Model is the beast of beasts in every industry. This card is made for much more then gaming, which is often used in creative fields for 4k, 8k, or 3D rendering, but it’s not cheap.
List of Cheapest 4k Graphics Card Right Now
|Cheapest 4K Graphics Card||AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Budget Graphics Card for 4k Gaming||MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Budget Graphics Card for Mid-Range Builds||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Graphics Card for Gaming Builds||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition||CHECK PRICE|
|Best AMD 4k Graphics Card||AMD Radeon VII||CHECK PRICE|
1. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT — Cheapest 4K Graphics Card
- 8GB GDDR6
- 1755 MHz game clock
- PCIe 4.0
- Output HDMI/ DisplayPort x3
Talking about the performance, the RX 5700 XT comes with a base clock speed 1605MHz and the boost clock speed up to 1905MHz. AMD has also mentioned the game clock speed with their Radeon graphics card which is 1755 MHz. For taking care of temperatures, both the cards come with a blower design which looks very cool.
The aesthetics on this graphics card are very eye-catching. The base is made from aluminum with some sort of wedged design and there are some lines on the shroud which looks kind-of cool. Unfortunately, there are no RGB lighting on this graphics card, but the Radeon logo does light up when your system is powered on. There is also a back plate which helps graphics card to lower the temperatures and give a very nice look.
For powering up these card you’ll need one six pin and one eight pin PCI power connectors. The total power rated to light up this card is 225W. Talking about the display I/O, you’ve got three Display Ports and one HDMI. Overall, this card is a great for 4k gaming at 60Hertz and the best choice for mid-term gaming builds.
- Excellent gaming performance
- Plenty of forward-looking features
- No ray tracing
2. MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super — Best Budget Graphics Card for 4k Gaming
- Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super
- Boost Clock: 1785 MHz
- Video Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Memory Interface: 256-bit
- Output: DisplayPort x3 (v1.4) / HDMI 2.0b x 1
The performance of the MSI’s RTX 2070 Super is very good when playing at 1080p and 1440p resolutions, while gaming at 4k it performs above average and you can game easily at 60Hertz. The RTX 2070S comes with a base clock speed of 1605MHz and the boost clock speed of 1800MHz. The performance of the RTX 2070S is very close to the RTX 2080, and it can adapt 4k gaming at some lower settings.
The aesthetics are very great. As MSI is known for its thermal solutions, the card is equipped with a Twin Frozr 7 cooling design, which is one of the best cooling solutions from MSI. There’s also RGB lighting system which you can control from the software.
Talking about the display output ports, you’ve got three Display Ports as well as single HDMI port. Overall, the NVidia’s GeForce RTX 2070Super is one of the budget graphics card where you can achieve 4k gaming.
- Much faster than the RTX 2070
- Very quiet in gaming
- Overclocked out of the box
- Idle fan stop
- Low temperatures
- Power limit not increased over Founders Edition
- Manual power adjustment limit lower than Founders Edition
- Memory not overclocked
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 — Best Budget Graphics Card for Mid-Range Builds
- Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
- Video Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Memory Interface: 256-bit
- Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) / HDMI 2.1 x 1
- Digital maximum resolution - 7680 x 4320
NVidia RTX 3070 is another cheapest option for your 4k gaming build. Unlike any other RTX 30-Series, the RTX 3070 is cheaper, more powerful, and is best for gaming at 4k. MSI is one of the Vendors which comes with the best thermal performance as well as aesthetics.
The performance on this thing is awesome for playing 4k games. It comes with the base clock speed of 1725MHz, which can be pushed to 1830MHz. The MSI RTX 3070 comes with a black and grey plastic shroud along with the best edgy gaming design.
For cooling, there are three fans which uses MSI’s new Torx 4.0 design. On the backplate, you’ve got the graphene composite which was already used in the RTX 2080 design.
Powering up this card requires two 8-pin connectors with a total of 240Watts power limit. For the display output ports, we’ve got three Display Ports and a single HDMI port. Overall, the RTX 3070 is one of the latest and cheapest gaming card which supports 4k.
- Amazing performance
- Best value graphics card today
- Awesome ray tracing performance
- Attractive cooler
- Same inflated prices as Turing
- Required 12-pin power connector
4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 — Best Graphics Card for Gaming Builds
- Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
- TRI FROZR 2 Thermal Design
- Video Memory: 10GB GDDR6X
- Memory Interface: 320-bit
- Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) / HDMI 2.1 x
- Excellent 4K gaming performance
- Low temperatures
- Plenty of useful non-gaming features
- Still kind of expensive
- Dongle is a little annoying
- No USB-C in Founders Edition
5. AMD Radeon VII — Best AMD 4k Graphics Card
- Chipset: AMD Radeon VII
- 16GB HBM2 memory
- Boost clock - 1750 MHz
- Peak clock - 1801 MHz
- Triple fan cooling. Stream processors - 3840
- Microsoft Windows 10 support
- Comparable to GeForce RTX 2080 in 4K gaming performance.
- 16GB of video memory adds future-proofing.
- True two-slot case fitment.
- Priced higher than its predecessor.
- Sometimes Loud.
- High board power consumption.
Check Support of Your Graphics Card with Your PC.
Keep in mind that every graphics card is not the same. There are a number of factors on which a graphics card is determined and made compatible with your motherboard. Read a detailed guide on graphics cards here.
If you want immersive performance to play high-end games at maximum visuals, then it’s important that you choose the right graphics card for your pc. Without it, you’ll have a powerful graphics card which will not be functioning properly on your computer.
Read Related: Best GPU for Ryzen 7 2700x
Many motherboards come with a few expansion slots, basically they all are PCI-e slots. But for graphics cards you’ll need a PCI Express x16 slot (the longest slot on the motherboard). Most of the modern motherboards comes with a PCI Express 3.0 slot, but if your computer uses PCI Express 2.0 or any other version, the graphics card is backward compatible with these old versions. So, no need to worry about it.
There are some graphics cards that need to be connected with motherboard for power, which normally requires a 6-pin(3×2) or 8-pin(4×2) connector. Most of the high-performance graphics cards requires two connector slots instead of one. So, if you’re not sure about the connectors check for motherboard technical details or open the case, unplug the graphics card and count for pin connectors.
The amount of energy supplied to the components is handled by the power supply unit or PSU, which is a limited resource. For your graphics card to function properly you have to confirm that it has enough power to support a new graphics cards. High-Performance graphics cards may need 600Watts to give you full juice of the Video Processing. If you’re using a high performance card and your PSU doesn’t have enough power, then your computer will fail to turn on.
To get the immersive performance, you’ll need a 4k monitor which can be able to run at 4k. Picking a good display monitor with high refresh rate isn’t easy these days. A monitor with high refresh rates and syncing technologies can make a big hole in your pocket.
Size of your monitor is also an important issue. If you have a very small display, you’ll not be able to enjoy the extra detailing which 4k resolution provides. You may get some scaling problem in some games and video rendering programs. We recommend you to get a minimum of 27-inch display which supports 4k as well.
Let’s say that you 4k monitor is ready and your graphics card is up and running in your computer, all you need to do is to connect your computer with your monitor to enjoy the great detailing and immersive output of your graphics card. The way you connect them have a great impact on the performance.
Here’s a guide for you! Most HDMI connections comes with the HDMI version 1.0, which doesn’t even support 4k resolutions. HDMI 1.4 has the compatibility of 4k, but it can only display 4k at 30 frames per second(fps). You can either opt for HDMI 2.0 which will satisfy your need.
But, we recommend you should use DisplayPort 1.4 which supports 4k resolution upto 120Hz. That means you can play games and watch movies at 120 frames per second(fps).
Everything you need is directly depends on your budget. Gaming or working on 4k isn’t that cheap as you’re going to spend 1000$ on graphics card to get that kind of environment. There are some cheap graphics cards where 4k is technically achievable, but they will not give what you needed.
There are two most important parts of a computer (CPU and GPU) both of them get hots when you put on a heavy load, or by just running ideally. So to cool them down we use different ways, like multiple fans or the modern technology of water cooling. If you’re using fans, then you will have to compromise on noise, because the hotter the graphics card gets the higher the fan rotations, which will make noise.
Form Factor is the very important aspect to consider. It will be a disappointment to spend all your money on somethings that just doesn’t fit in your case. Most gaming-focused graphics card holds 2 PCI-e slots because of the larger size, and big heatsinks to release heat. So think twice, if you’ve a tiny Mini motherboard.
AMD OR NVIDIA: WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
These are the two manufacturers that can be found on the market, and each manages to highlight its respective strengths. So:
- NVIDIA wants to be the historical leader in the industry. Professional and serious. The manufacturer makes graphics cards with high quality standards and very well known for high-end graphics cards. They do a lot of research and practice to improve their products and take graphics to another level.
- By comparison, AMD asserts itself as the master of value for money. Although evolving mainly in the entry and mid-range, the manufacturer makes high-end models time to time, but they cannot compete Nvidia in terms of performance. We think, for example, of the Radeon VII and the RX 5700 XT, perfect for the WQHD, but which will not be able to match the RTX 2080 Ti on the 4K.
In short, the choice between the two manufacturers will mainly depend on what you are looking for: for performance, aim for NVIDIA, but for value for money, prefer AMD.
WHAT ABOUT RAY-TRACING?
Ray tracing is the biggest achievement in the computer industry. It traces the light coming from the object and reflect the light from object to object by viewing angles to make the scene more realistic. Well, ray tracing is just introduced so it’s at the beginner stage and still needs to be improved. We don’t know how many future games comes with this feature, but this is the future of gaming.
New upcoming gaming consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will be supporting ray tracing, so it’s likely to see more games and enhancements coming in the future. GPUs with ray-tracing are more expensive, but as the time goes the price will go down. So, we recommend to buy an RTX GPU if you can afford.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Graphics Cards Can Run 4k?
We have mentioned a detailed list of graphics cards that can run and game at 4k with maxed visuals. In Short, MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super is the most powerful GPU that can handle any game or video rendering operations at 4k. If you’re someone who want an RTX then, ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER will be the best choice for the cheapest 4k graphics card.
Is it Necessary for Me to Change My Power Supply?
Well, that clearly depends on the graphics card you’re buying. It is mentioned on your graphics card box, how much power it will consume. After checking from there, check if your power supply can give enough power to your GPU. If not, then change the power supply.
Are The RTX Series GPU Worth It?
The newest RTX technology is definitely worth buying, but this technology is new, there are more improvements to come in the future. If you’re on a budget then you can get the lower priced RTX models, they are also very good. ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER will be the cheapest RTX 4k GPU for your gaming setup.
Will I Be Able to Play AAA On a Cheaper Graphics Card?
If you’re someone who want to play a game just after it is released, then we recommend you to get a high end graphics card which will be able to run every game for most of the coming years. Otherwise, these card can also run AAA games, but you’ll have to compromise on visuals.
There are a lot of models available in the market, but if you know what you need then you can choose the best one for your gaming pc within seconds. All graphics cards have some aspects to be noticed before buying, but we also mentioned those aspects above in the article.
Our top pick for the cheapest 4k graphics card is MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1080. It has all the features that a gamer need to run games in 4k with max-settings. The cooling is amazing, the fans stops when it is in ideal form, also if it is under heavy load, it runs quiet and you can focus on your game without any interruptions.