After much speculation and online discourse, Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1630 graphics card, with this model being the weakest in the entire GeForce line-up. Running on the same previous generation Turing architecture as the perennially popular budget-gamer favorites, the GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 series, the newest member of the family doesn’t appear like it’s going to be held in the same esteem.
Armed with just 4GB GDDR6 memory, 512 CUDA cores, and a 64-bit memory bus, the newly released GTX 1630 isn’t just dramatically falling behind the best graphics cards, but even many budget models, too. The closest possible comparison in power level is the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT, which was released alongside the RTX 3050 in January of this year. The red corner’s offering didn’t exactly light the world on the fire due to similar hardware limitations, and Team Green’s direct response doesn’t inspire confidence either.
Technical specifications aside, it’s looking like the price point of the GTX 1630 may be its ultimate death knell here. If the listings we’ve found from EVGA’s official website and various online retailers are anything to go by, then this GPU just isn’t worth it. At present, the Nvidia-partner company is currently listing its EVGA GeForce GTX 1630 SC Gaming model for $199.99 (opens in new tab), which is a full $50 more than the GTX 1650 MSRP when that card launched back in 2019 – for far less performance potential. Although Nvidia’s GTX 1630 MSRP is listed at $169.99, it’s worth establishing that none are available at this price.
What we have on paper is an overpriced and underpowered graphics card with the GTX 1630 that’s a struggle to recommend to anyone, especially when cheap graphics card deals can get you more for less. Options in our roundup start from $179.99, such as the XFX Speedster QICK 210 Radeon RX 6500 XT (opens in new tab).
Why you shouldn’t buy the GTX 1630
Early benchmarks published online paint a concerning picture of the failure of Turing’s latest addition. Simply put, this is a budget graphics card releasing in 2022 running aging hardware that isn’t even capable of producing playable frame rates in 1080p, as this detailed demonstration by Benchmark Lab (opens in new tab) (via YouTube) can attest.
In the video, we can see that the GTX 1630 pales significantly behind the GTX 1650 across the board in every respect. Indeed, the new Turing GPU struggles in popular titles such as God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Red Dead Redemption II with an average of 40 FPS in medium settings at 1080. The latter card, however, is able to achieve that coveted 60 FPS mark and above while cranking those sliders more. As a frame of reference, the GTX 1650 was launched with a $149 MSRP, and the upgraded GTX 1650 Super was released at $160, which is still cheaper than the new GTX 1630. You can currently pick up a brand new EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 SC Ultra Gaming for only $179.99 (opens in new tab). Most notable is the fact that this is a more powerful graphics card from the same brand selling cheaper.
Things become direr when comparing the brand new GTX 1630 with the GTX 1050 Ti, a budget video card which released close to six years ago. Conveniently, the same content creator has uploaded a video comparison (opens in new tab) between the GTX 1630 and the GTX 1050 Ti using the same games and settings, and the results are far more inspired. The older graphics card has anywhere from a 3 to 7 frame advantage when contrasted with the newer, and more expensive, model.
The latter GPU was originally launched all the way back in October 2016 with an MSRP of $140. It’s worth pointing out that you can get this card through the likes of Amazon for under the price of the GTX 1630, such as the Yeston GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for $179.99 (opens in new tab). However, we would recommend turning your attention to something more current-generation if you’re able to.
Which cheap graphics cards should you buy instead?
To be blunt, we think that people paying $200 (or more) for a graphics card in 2022 deserve far more than what the GTX 1630 is capable of. This is to say nothing of missing modern features such as Nvidia DLSS A.I. upscaling technology and ray tracing, which neither aforementioned GTX GPUs can do either, though. That’s why, for the PC gamer on a strict budget, we have a few better suggestions for your money instead.
AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT
The best AMD alternative to the GTX 1630 graphics card
Graphics processor: Navi 24GPU cores: 1024Memory type: GDDR6Memory: 4GBMemory bus width: 64-bit
Reasons to buy
+Outperforms the GTX 1630+Provides 60 FPS in 1080p+High clock speed
Reasons to avoid
-Limited to 4GB VRAM -64-bit memory bus
Although the RX 6500 XT isn’t exactly regarded as a triumph in the world of graphics cards, AMD’s newest budget model does exactly what it sets out to do, provide playable framerates in the latest games in 1080p utilizing the likes of FSR A.I. upscaling. What’s more, you can frequently find this graphics card retailing from $179.99 / £179 from storefronts in the US and the UK. We’ve been tracking RX 6500 XT stock for the latest pricing and availability.
Although the RTX 6500 XT is limited to the same 64-bit memory bus width and 4GB GDDR6 memory, its biggest strength comes in the form of a significantly higher clock speed, which helps push those frame rates that little bit higher. In the end, it makes all the difference if you’re wanting smooth gameplay on PC at the entry level without breaking the bank this year.
XFX Speedster QICK 210 Radeon RX 6500 XT | $199.99 at Newegg (opens in new tab)
The AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT may share similar hardware specs to the GTX 1630, however, the added increased clock speed and support for A.I. upscaling result in far stronger performance across the board for the same price or less.
Nvidia GTX 1650 Super
The best Nvidia alternative to the GTX 1630 graphics card
Graphics processor: TU116GPU cores: 1280Memory type: GDDR6Memory: 4GBMemory bus width: 128-bit
Reasons to buy
+Outperforms the GTX 1630+Double the bus width and CUDA cores+Similar price point to the GTX 1630
Reasons to avoid
-Limited to the same 4GB GDDR6 VRAM
Even close to three years after its original release, the GTX 1650 Super still remains one of the most popular graphics cards of all time due to its overall impressive performance. This video card can keep up with the latest games in 1080p while providing playable frame rates at or above 60 in many of the more demanding titles releasing to this day. Although you may be paying slightly more depending on where you shop for your graphics cards, the GTX 1650 Super is still our go-to choice for budget-minded PC gamers in 2022 despite lacking ray tracing and DLSS.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super | $199.99 at Newegg (opens in new tab)
This EVGA GTX 1650 Super is from the same line of cards as those recently announced by the manufacturer and is selling at the exact same price point while offering far more performance across the board.
Today’s best graphics card deals
While we think the price-to-performance ratio for the GTX 1630 is a little hard to swallow, we’re confident in price comparison technology’s abilities to pull the latest rates on all our favorite graphics card models.
We’re expecting big things from the Prime Day PC deals, where we’re hoping many of our favorite graphics cards will be discounted. What’s more, upgrade your rig with the best CPU for gaming, best RAM for gaming, and best SSD for gaming.