10 Cheapest but Reliable 4K Graphics Cards of 2021

Looking for the best and cheapest 4K graphics card? We have prepared a list of the top two manufacturers for you: Nvidia and AMD.

Many of the computer tasks we do on a daily basis require a graphics card. If you like to watch videos in 4K, or play games in high resolution, the graphics card you need must support 4K resolution. 

Most 4K graphics cards are expensive, and choosing the right one without breaking the bank isn’t easy. After extensive research, we were able to assemble an impressive list of graphics cards that are still incredibly affordable. 

In addition to their usefulness in playing 4K videos, they are also capable of providing impressive gaming performance.  As many of us have a preference for one brand over another, we decided to include a separate list of both Nvidia and AMD. As a result, you can select the 4K card that best suits your brand.


At a Glance: NVIDIA’s Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

At a Glance: AMD’s Cheapest 4K Graphic Cards


Let’s take a closer look at each of the cards we discussed above. Firstly, we will review all five Nvidia cards, then we will talk about AMD cards. It’s time to get started!

Best NVIDIA Cheapest 4K Graphics Card Detailed Review

1. MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1080

Nvidia Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

NVIDIA is known for its quality chips. They have always made their consumers happy with the top-performing graphics card. MSI’s Geforce GTX 1080 is also top in its class with a pascal designed architecture.

Pascal architecture adopts a much more compact production method of 16nm. The processor is a complex piece of technology, and the development of Pascal architecture, allows more transistors to fit collectively. Which eventually results in higher clock speed, with much lesser energy consumption. And overall, you get more for less.

The memory type this graphics card uses is GDDR5X. What does X mean here? Faster throughput of data. With a boosted clock rate of almost 1500 Mhz and quadruple performance of GDDR memory(four bits per cycle), GTX 1080 is capable of reaching up to 10GBps active memory.

Geforce GTX 1080 also contains a few other features that may impress you. If you are a hardcore gamer, with this card’s GPU boost function, you can enhance more of its performance. Additionally, strong compression support enables compact textures and image details during transport, which helps to produce the art of pictures efficiently.

Furthermore, the addition of HDMI 2.0b and Display port 1.4 lets you take the full benefits of your HDR monitor. At any time, if you wish to connect two GTX 1080 in SLI mode, with the supported advance bridge connection, this card will also allow them to communicate at a much faster rate.

Pros
  • Quit and cool fan
  • Smart software.
  • Modern RGB lighting.
  • Deliver 4K gaming
  • Best Value
Cons
  • Not as fast as Zotac’s GTX 1080 Ti.
  • Fans don’t turn off when not gaming

2. EVGA ICX GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Nvidia Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

Here we have EVGA GTX 1080 Ti. This card is capable of 4K gaming at 60fps in most of the games, with all the setting moved to the peak, even on lowkey reference cooler and default clock rate.

If we move to the specifications – EVGA GTX 1080 Ti impresses us at a lot of factors. This card can reach 1582Mhz at boost clock, but anyone who has ever adopted this card claimed it is capable of surpassing over 1600Mhz comfortably.

Since it is from the same family of GTX 1080, this card also uses the same Pascal architecture and memory type as MSI Geforce GTX 1080. Which means, EVGA GTX 1080 Ti is also capable of quadruple performance due to its GDDRX memory type.

Other than than, EVGA utilized ICX technology here – which consolidates the excess amount of additional sensors onto the card with a protection circuit, and better-optimized fans and heatsinks. This technology eventually allows users to get more information about their cards.

The ICX technology is excellent for monitoring the temperature of not just GPU but all significant components. Other than that, the interaction of devices, power protection circuits, and overclocking capabilities.

Furthermore, with the help of EVGA’s precision utility and RGB lighting, you can also customize this card as per your preference.

Pros
  • DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter included in the box
  • Enhanced cooling
  • Backplate included
  • 11GB RAM
Cons
  • Not efficient cooling
  • Pricey for most
  • Gets hot often

3. ASUS ROG Strix Geforce GTX 1080 TI

Nvidia Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

Asus is MSI’s main competitor, and in the race of better 1080Ti, Asus also performed well. It also runs on similar pascal architecture but contains few differences that we are going to highlight.

If we talk about the specification, the boost clock speed of over 1700 Mhz at default and gaming clock speed of 1683 Mhz is already 10% faster than the founder’s edition.

Other than that, the same memory type ‘GDDRX’ as other 1080TI is available here, which means this card is also capable of quadruple performance. But that’s not it, ASUS also included some of the other features that you may like.

First of all, It contains a new cooling system equipped with MaxContact energy that helps almost twice for an improved thermal transfer. Other than that, Asus also increased contact surface area by 40% compared to previous models, which means you won’t see any direct pipe touch concept. All the pipes are creatively hidden behind regular base-plates.

Other than that, Asus GTX 1080 is fully customized, with a combination of triple-fan cooler and improved power delivery system due to the overclocked GPU cores. Asus also introduced a couple of 8 Pin connectors, and the power delivery system to reduce power induced throttling.

Moreover, you get aura compatible RGB lighting with a pair of 4-pin fan headers, which you can control with ASUS software.

Pros
  • Better power consumption
  • Pleasant temperatures no throttling
  • Fans get off in idle
  • Backplate included
Cons
  • 15% reduced performance vs. Reference Edition
  • 2.5 slot design may not fit in all cases

4. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition

Nvidia Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

The Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP edition is massive compared to other Gtx 1080 Ti. But not just in size, Zotac’s AMP edition is also massive in terms of 4k performance.

If we look at specifications, Zotac AMP 1080 Ti is capable of 1683 Mhz of clock speed on paper, but in practical consumers have noticed this card significantly crossing the 1700 Mhz mark. Other than that, Zotac also featured 16+2 power phase designs on this card.

In other features, Zotac featured IceStorm technology with a freeze fan stop, which means fans don’t run until the GPU reaches a specific temperature – very convenient in power consumption.

The Zotac AMP edition also includes a Power boost feature that reduces ripple noise and decreases power fluctuations, resulting in better performance even in more demanding situations.

Other than that, Zotac Logo on the card features SPECTRA lighting and lets you choose the color of your choice from seven colors available, with the help of Zotac FireStorm software. No full RGB light system is featured here, though.

In terms of connectivity options, you get three display ports 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b, and one DL-DV-ID, which you rarely find in any card.

Pros
  • Best temperatures no throttling
  • DVI port
  • Fans get off in idle
  • Factory Overclocked
  • Extended Warranty
Cons
  • Louder than other GTX 1080 Ti cards
  • High power usage
  • Triple slot design: may not fit in all cases
  • Heavy

5. MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

Nvidia Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

Yes, we know GTX 1070 Ti offer reduced performance as compared to 1080 Ti, but it’s also half-priced than GTX 1080 Ti.

If we talk about 4K usage, 1070 Ti is perfect for playing 4K videos and many 4K games on medium to low settings. However, we don’t recommend it, because gaming at 2K on high setting is much better than 4K on the low settings.

The primary purpose of adding GTX 1070 Ti in this list, is for such users who want to watch 4K videos or edit raw videos. Why spend almost double on Gtx 1080 Ti when Gtx 1070 Ti can do a decent job for you.

Talking about the specifications, GTX 1070 Ti offers 8 GB GDDR5 and a boosted clock speed of 1638Mhz. But with Nvidia in the real-world, boost clock speed is usually higher with decent cooling. Other than that,1070 Ti is also designed on Pascal architecture and uses a 16nm chipset as 1080 Ti.

If you mainly intend to use this card for video editing, this card is best for that purpose, with 2430 Cuda core parallel processors, which is quite closer to Gtx 1080 with 2560 Cuda cores.

In terms of cooling capability, MSI GTX 1070 Ti features Corsair H110i GT liquid cooler, if not great, it still offers adequate cooling even on boosted benchmarks.

Pros
  • Very quiet
  • Fans get off in idle
  • Best for 4K videos
Cons
  • Lack of additional 6-pin power
  • Older GDDR5 type memory
  • Not good for 4K gaming

Best AMD Cheapest 4K Graphics Card Deatiled Review

6. XFX AMD Radeon VII

AMD Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

AMD is known for value GPU, and have built some great graphics card for the gaming enthusiast. With a decent price tag, they launched Radeon VII, which is the second generation of previous VEGA series.

The processor feature in this card is Vega 20, which is known as the next-generation GPU by AMD and is capable of some top-notch 60 frames 4K gaming at high or ultra settings.

Furthermore, we get 16Gb of HBM2 memory, that combine with Vega 20, is capable of the boosted clock speed of 1750 Mhz and the peak clock speed of over 1800 Mhz, with a triple-fan cooling system.

AMD designed Radeon VII on 7nm architecture, which means this card was the first consumer-based card on this architecture. With 7nm architecture on this card, AMD managed to contract GPU by 30% and as a result, they added two extra 4Gb of stacks taking Radeon VII memory up to 16GB, which we had never seen in any GPU by now.

In terms of software, AMD Wattman lets you monitor not alone the temperature, but also whole sets of arrays of 64 thermal sensors spread over the board. AMD also featured ‘Junction temperature,’ reading that regulates thermal throttling and fan control by taking full advantage of all the hardware.

Pros
  • Comparable with Nvidia RTX 2080
  • Valuable extra VRAM
  • Great at 4K with top settings
  • 16GB HBM2
  • Suited to a high refresh-rate monitors
  • Attractive and compact design
Cons
  • Extremely loud under load
  • Overclocking tools may not work well

7. XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT Thicc III

AMD Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

RX 5700 XT Thicc III is the next version of Thicc II, which was released back in September 2019. But due to some technical faults, the company quickly launched another variant of the 5700 XT model with a much better clock speed and same price tag.

In RX 5700 XT, AMD also introduced 7nm architecture after Radeon VII, combined with Navi GPU and 8Gb GDDR6 memory, capable of providing boosted clock speed of 1905 Mhz. However, gamers who have used this card claimed it continuously goes past 1950 Mhz marks.

More power demands for more heavy metal, to prevent everything from getting too hot and loud. Thicc III is also thick in real with a pair of 90mm fan to keep card cool even on peak performance.

More fans mean more noise, which AMD claimed to reduce by 30% compare to the previous Thicc II model.

Furthermore, you get efficient zero DB technology, which keeps the fan off until a demanding situation. Thus you get zero fans noise during regular tasks on your PC.

Pros
  • Great gaming performance
  • Stunning design
  • Idle fan when not on load
  • PCIe 4.0 compatible
  • Cool and quiet
Cons
  • Very high power consumption
  • Big in size, May not fit in many cases

8. ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64

AMD Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

AMD launched Vega 64 almost three years ago. However, here we are talking about Asus’s overclocked version of Vega 64, which is significantly newer than the default version. Vega 64 is capable of handling 4K at ultra setting in most of the latest games, and it comes with an affordable price tag.

In terms of specification, Vega 64 comprises 14nm AMD GCN architecture, with a Vega 10 processor and 8GB HBM2 graphics memory. The combination of these components provides the default clock speed of 1247 Mhz and boosted clock speed of over 1550 Mhz, which is 50Mhz higher than AMD’s reference version.

In terms of cooling, the company also equipped the GPU with a high-performance cooling solution, with three fans that can run totally in silence until the card reaches a specific temperature. They are also dustproof to IP5X, which is an attractive feature.

Besides, the ASUS variant features an RGB light display on top of the cooling unit, features a light strip at the front, and pulsating red logo at the back. You can also manage them using compatible Aura Sync.

In terms of input solutions, you get two HDMI ports and two display ports (DVI) on the rear panel.

Pros
  • Performance similar to GeForce GTX 1080
  • Great suite of software features
  • HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4
Cons
  • Fan does not stop in idle
  • High power consumption

9. Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT

AMD Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

Here we have Sapphire’s RX 5700 XT, which features two AMD’s Navi GPUs and Sapphire’s custom design. Since it is an overclocked version of RX 5700 XT, it’s capable of much more performance than the default version. That means this card can fulfill all your 4K needs, no matter in gaming or watching videos.

If we talk about the specification, RX 5700 Xt is designed on 7nm architecture with Navi GPU, and contain the memory of 8GB of GDDR6, and is capable of providing default clock speed of 1700 Mhz and boosted clock speed of just over 1900 (1905) Mhz.

In terms of cooling, Sapphire did a great job customizing the reference cooling set with Tri-X, which is known as their highest-end cooling solutions. Tri-X integrates triple fans into the sleek-designed silver-black aluminum cover of the card. Both outer fans spin as usual, but the inner fan moves in the reverse direction “to increase the wind stream under the fans”.

For connection, Sapphire changed one 6 Pin connector from the reference model with an additional 8 Pin Connector in Nitro X+, for multiple 8 Pin connecting options. For output, you get 1 HDMI and three display ports.

Nitro X+ focuses big-time on RGB lightings, so you get to see standard lightning at the sides of the card embedded in Sapphire’s logo. And also, at the metallic backplate of the card.

Pros
  • Great gaming performance
  • Trixx Boost software
  • Low noise
  • The motherboard can control RGB
Cons
  • High power draw
  • ARGB cable not included
  • No dedicated ray-tracing hardware

10. Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580

AMD Cheapest 4K Graphics Card

Although AMD powered Sapphire’s Radeon RX580 is not as powerful as other cards mentioned above, It’s still powerful enough to fulfill your 4K requirement in terms of watching videos and occasionally playing games.

If you specifically want to watch videos or edit videos in 4k, you don’t need to spend much on others when RX 580 can do a perfect job for you, with an almost half-priced tag in comparison.

RX 580 features AMD’s fourth-generation Polaris 14nm architecture, with 8GB GDDR5 graphics memory, capable of clocking 1257 Mhz and 1340 Mhz on boost. Although this may not seem as appealing as other options above, in terms of cheap 4K gaming or video experience, you can expect pretty decent performance from RX 580.

Sapphire’s RX580 is a striking art of craftsmanship. The design with double power dissipation and two fans always provide reliable performance in terms of reducing noise and enhance overall cooling potential. Besides, the addition of a black and white back panel, with a simple blue LED logo, really spiced up the overall appearance of Rx 580.

Furthermore, In terms of connectivity, you get two HDMI 2.0 ports, along with one DVI-D, which is a benefit for anyone with the older monitor.

Pros
  • Best for 4K videos
  • Great Value
  • Great Sapphire’s Nitro+ customizations
Cons
  • Higher power consumption
  • Not good for 4K gaming

Best & Cheapest 4K Graphics Card Buyer’s Guide

By going through the above reviews, you might have set your eye on a specific model. But before you purchase your best cheapest 4k graphics card, it’s essential to follow a few factors which we are going to highlight here.

Graphics Memory

Card with 3GB or 4GB of graphics memory is enough for 1080p, However for 4K gaming and watching videos, a minimum of 8Gb is required for an overall smooth experience.

Refresh Rate

In case your monitor has 3-digit refresh rates, then you will require a more powerful card to reveal its full potential. But if your monitor peaks at around 60Hz, it makes no sense to pay extra for a powerful card that drives the pixels quicker than your monitor can support.

Budget

All the cards in this list are among the cheapest 4K graphics cards out there. But some of them may cost a few additional bucks than others.

For example, In the Nvidia list, GTX 1070 Ti is much cheaper of all, while In AMD, Rx 580 is cheapest. There’s no point in spending extra when a less expensive card can fulfill your needs without spending too much.

Size of Card

What if you purchased your ideal and best cheapest 4K graphics card, and figured out it can’t fit in your PC case. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure you have room in your case for a graphics card. Analyze the height, length, and thickness of the purchasing card, and see if it can fit in your pc case or not.

Power Connections

4K supported graphics card requires much more power compared to standard cards, sometimes up to 250 watts. The thing is, most PCIe slots in our motherboard does not provide power more than 75 watts.

Therefore, to install a 4K supported card, you need supplemental PCIe power connectors that come in six and eight-pin variations. Some cards provide these connectors, even in dual or triple port. However, If your purchasing card lack this port, you will have to purchase an additional adapter to draw power from SATA connectors.

Output Ports

See first what kind of ports does your monitor supports, some use HDMI while some use Display ports, it’s possible your monitor support both. Make sure the cheapest 4K graphics card you intend to purchase, must include any of the supported ports.

Cooling and Noise

Powerful cards require powerful cooling options. If you select any of these cards in the above list, you can be sure they are equipped with quality cooling optons to keep your GPU and Processor cool.

However, with more cooling capability GPU may create more noise, so you have to consider this factor as well. But some of them usually remain calm until a demanding situation by the processor.

Cuda Cores

All the cards in this list of cheapest 4K graphics card are equipped with enough Cuda cores for gaming. However, if you intend to edit huge Raw videos as well, you may need a card with max Cuda core performance.

Keep in mind, It’s similar to the number of cores in the processor, and only worth considering more when you intend to use your card for editing purposes.

Clock Speed

For 4K gaming, you need to get a graphics card with good clock speed numbers and is capable of boosting them further.


Frequently Asked Questions

cheapest 4k graphics cards

1. Which brand is better for Cheapest 4K Graphics card: Nvidia or AMD?

Nvidia is known as performance king, while AMD is more of a value king. Nvidia usually wins the battle in performance efficiency, which means it takes less power for more performance. But AMD offers better value at lower price point.

2. Which Nvidia Card Is best In the list for 4K Gaming?

Other than 1070 Ti, almost all of them offer pretty close performance. We recommend MSI GTX 1080 because of less price compared to others. In terms of performance, Zotac 1080 Ti Amp edition is best performing card in the list.

3. Which AMD Card Is best In the list for 4K Gaming?

We recommend XFX Radeon VII due to the latest 7nm architecture, and high performing 16GB of RAM. Vega 64 is also a decent option to consider in terms of value.

4. Can I do 4K Gaming On GTX 1070 Ti?

Well, it depends on the game. GTX 1070 Ti is capable of playing some games on low to medium 4K settings, but not all of them. We included GTX 1070 Ti specifically for folks who want to watch 4K videos on a budget. If you wish to play all games at 4K, better pick among the other options.

5. Can I do 4K Gaming on Radeon RX 580?

Rx 580 is capable of playing all games at 4K on medium to low settings. If you want better performance on a budget, RX 5700 XT is a fantastic option to consider.

6. Do I Need to Change Power Supply for New Card?

If you have a power supply with 600 watts or more, then you may not require a new power supply. All the cards mentioned in the list can run fine on 600 watts or more. Folks with 500 watts or less, need to look for power requirement of graphics card first. If the required power supply is more than your current, you will have to change it with high performing PSU.


conclusion:

After going through the list of best cheapest 4K graphics card, I hope you have selected the best option for you by now. All of them are powerful graphics cards and are capable of fulfilling your 4K requirement with ease. If you have any queries regarding this, feel free to ask by leaving a comment below.

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