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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17:13 Dec-28-2016

If you are going old, go for AMD cards. Better support and in my experience AMD cards tend to last a bit longer before they die (dough that is not always true). HD 7800-7900 and R200 series are cheap and they outperform both RX460 and GTX1050 and they still get all the new drivers including DX12 and Vulkan. Same goes for GTX660+, GTX760+ dough they're drivers aren't as good as AMD's equal but nevertheless they are still good cards. As for me if I upgrade I would go for new.

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16:59 Dec-28-2016

Right now? The efficient budget gamers like RX460, as saving budget means keeping an older PSU.
Before the RX460s or GTX 950s came, though, was going Old School bargains.

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16:58 Dec-28-2016

RX460 ofc. Really cheap and with custom VBIOS u can unlock the full Polaris 11 core, and get a lot more shaders. So it's pretty solid option for low budget.

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16:56 Dec-28-2016

on ebay I got a gtx 770 2gb for $111 and an i5 4460 for $70 =]

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16:40 Dec-28-2016

I belive it depends greatly on the situation, I would never buy a used GPU from someone I don't know but if a friend makes you a good deal it might be worth, as for buying from unknown, I wouldn't risk it but you might find an amazing deal.

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16:33 Dec-28-2016

I had bought a 8 months used msi ati 6790 for 8000 rupees in 2012 with some 2 and a half year warranty left, my next card would be a new 1050 ti just because I have already bought old one before. Happiness in gaming!

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16:24 Dec-28-2016

Go for the new ones. The price difference is small considering you will get better driver support, (usually) lower power consumption, and warranty. Also, if you wait to buy during a giveaway, you might also get a key to some game to put your new GPU to the test!

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16:23 Dec-28-2016

i dont think you can find an old card that will match the current budget GPU generation, the Rx 470 is the king no doubt

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