Up For Debate - Which Is The Best Budget Graphics Card: Old vs. New

Written by Ed SW on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 4:00 PM

So here’s a topic that’s probably been on your mind if you’ve been looking to beef up your PC without breaking the bank. Which is the best budget card to buy? Is it better to buy a newly released budget card, like the AMD Radeon RX 460, Nvidia GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti or is it better to scour Ebay, Gumtree and Craigslist and try and pick yourself up a preloved card from a generation or two ago for a much cheaper price than when they were first released. This is quite a big one to consider as the same amount of money can mean very different levels of performance, but is getting a second hand card worth the risk? Let’s work this one out for once and all.

So this decision will stay with you as long as the GPU does and if you’re building a budget PC it probably means you’re not able to upgrade your PC on the regs. So, which one do you go for? There can be counter arguments for both.

Take second hand cards for instance. If you hold out long enough you have a pretty good chance of grabbing yourself an absolute bargain. Working in pounds (as it is the second hand market we’re accustomed to) we’ve seen R9 290Xs, the flagship of two generations ago, sell for as little as £160. For the price of a GTX 1050 Ti you could get a card that is comparable to a GTX 980. Or take an the R9 270X, a card that is easy to pick up for £70 and is just as good as the RX 460 in a lot of games, a card that costs almost twice the price. And that’s just prices on average, if you scour you can pick up some screamers, we’ve got a R9 270X for as little as £50. Why would you fork out all that extra cash for so little gain?

So where’s the catch? Well there has to be a catch for the same performance for half the price doesn’t there? Well, firstly there’s is pretty much no chance of a warranty. If you buy 2nd hand and it breaks, you gonna have to eat a whole bowl of tough titties. While also, manufacturer support will already be likely on its way out, with the manufacturer steam train blasting on through to the future. Surely buying a card that’s at the forefront of technology will likely last you longer and will be worth the extra money?

Well, that’s the question ain’t it, which is the better? Which one would you go for? Have you managed to grab some bargains? Or are you a naysayer on the risk? Let us have it in the comments below and let’s finally work this one out for good.

Which do you go for when buying a budget GPU?

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21:43 Jan-08-2017

I think gtx 950 for old and gtx 1050ti for new

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15:36 Dec-31-2016

i go for old only if it only slightly cost more on other part like PSU, cooler, electricity bla bla despite the performance and it's age less than 2yrs

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21:37 Dec-30-2016

i bought my gtx 970 for 100$ less with only 2 months less warranty (it was 2 years and 10 months) i can still sell it for as much as i got it.and i used it for 2 years.still has 1 more year warranty.and some one will buy it and i will go almost new again.

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21:26 Dec-29-2016

Newer gpus due vram for todays games.

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00:10 Dec-30-2016

HD 79xx and the R9 serie have 3gb/4gb, vram is not a good point of comparison

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16:00 Dec-29-2016

depends on where you live. in my country, older gpus are much cheaper than newer ones

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06:39 Dec-29-2016

for used sure r9 290 for the new id say still rx 470 best buy

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03:49 Dec-29-2016

Here in Argentina, for a really cheper second handed GPU you must check HD6xxx Generation or GTX 6xx, a used gpu newer than that cost almost the same than a new gpu. Also you can found some brand new R7/9 3xx and 2xx series or a GTX 750Ti.

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03:44 Dec-29-2016

Well NEW for Sure! RX 480 8GB
Check out my new build
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/


anyone have the ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA MB?

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06:10 Dec-29-2016

My friend has it and he says it a very good MOBO ( he has an FX 8370 ) the RGBs are very good also not to bright and not to dim

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22:56 Dec-28-2016

Warranty carries over doesnt it? It does for my gpu (evga). So I was assuming it wld be the case for other manufacturers as well.

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21:58 Dec-28-2016

AMD is pretty cheap right now and has excellent performance, RX 480 or lower have a brilliant price to performance ratio.

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21:15 Dec-28-2016

I like to go new if I can.... but in cases where paying the same money can get you a significantly more powerful card, and driver support on that card is still pretty good...... there's no reason in the world not to!

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20:40 Dec-28-2016

Well i'd better have an HD7970 as RX460 (of course If I find a well-kept one) It may just be me, but i really preffer older high-end GPU than new budget GPU.

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20:54 Dec-28-2016

heh yea,
high-end gpus look badass no matter how old they are :D

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22:37 Dec-28-2016

True :D

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10:56 Dec-29-2016

The 7970 is a great card, but more than 40% were bought for bitcoin mining, so I wouldn't risk it (the same goes for R9 390 - during the whole 2015 + half of 2016 I couldn't find ANY available in stock of it in my country!)

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03:20 Dec-30-2016

Well i bought mine not for bitcoins and i'm very happy with it :) Did you try shipping from other countries or is that too expencive?

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19:52 Dec-28-2016

Well, It all depends on what you can afford and, of course, the lifespan you're expecting!

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19:09 Dec-28-2016

I would always go for new because of the extended lifespan you get from them.
However,if you can't afford a new GPU,don't go with old Nvidia GPUs. They age horribly (almost like someone is ruining them on purpose with new drivers ;) ) as seen in this video

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19:54 Dec-28-2016

Older Nvidia cards are ok for older games but they don't bother to optimize the drivers for their older architectures so kepler (and soon maxwell) perform terrible in new games compared to a budget pascal card. AMD on the other hand support their older cards much longer.

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18:26 Dec-28-2016

I got my friend a ASUS GTX 970 Turbo OC (the white card with red triangle looking thing around the fan) for 165€. It was factory repaired just before that and got 12 months warranty. Really great deal, especially since GTX 1050 Ti costs more here in Finland. He was happy with it and it's been working great.

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18:07 Dec-28-2016

ive had bad experience buying used, im gonna upgrade to the RX470... thats the best for the money right now

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21:14 Dec-28-2016

I can totally agree with you

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17:57 Dec-28-2016

I personally wouldn't spend more than $300 on a new GPU and it would have to be at LEAST 100% better than my current GPU. If it's a little less (90% range), I'll consider it since then it'd only be a matter of slightly overclocking it to achieve the desired level of performance.

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17:48 Dec-28-2016

I got my little brother an overclocked GTX 460 for 15 euros, including shipping costs.

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18:18 Dec-28-2016

Cool... A wonderful deal you got there.

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17:23 Dec-28-2016

Would an upgrage to a R9 290 or 290x will be worthy ? I can sell my graphic gard for around 110 euro. And I could buy a r9 290/r9 290x for around 200 euro.

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17:29 Dec-28-2016

For that price you could probably buy an RX470

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17:41 Dec-28-2016

why not Rx 480 or gtx 970 ? more performance and saves the extra power cost. i had the r9 290 and the temp reaches +90c when gaming :p and its noisy af , i used it for about 2 months then switched to a gtx 960 . my advice is to avoid these two cards unless you live in the north pole next to an airport lol

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17:16 Dec-28-2016

on "budget" usually second-hand gpus, preferably if they're still covered by warranty for at least half year

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