PC gaming can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn't have to be. Not everyone is interested in chasing astronomical frame rates or 4K resolution. If you're keeping things more low key and sticking to a tighter budget, you can still build a great gaming PC.

But you'll need a great graphics card too. If you're looking to spend under $200, here's what you should get.

The best - NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti

For comfortably under $200 you can get hold of a brand new, Pascal powered 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. There are plenty to choose from, too, and you can get a card in either full-size or mini forms to suit your specific PC build.

Most of the big manufacturers are making GTX 1050 Ti cards, including ASUS, MSi, and Gigabyte. Our pick is from EVGA, and while it's free of RGB and fancy overclocks, it's a solid card at $199, especially in a climate where graphics card prices are still pretty high.

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Why it's the best

You could hunt around and get a last-gen card from either NVIDIA or AMD for your rig, but you're not necessarily going to be getting anything better. The latest generation cards aren't only pushing forwards in terms of power, but they're more efficient than ever before, too.

Our previous top sub-$200 graphics card was the AMD RX 470. This was mainly based on its price to performance, but AMD's new RX 570 cards that have replaced it are more expensive and right now don't fall in our sub-$200 budget. The GTX 1050 Ti, however, isn't far off the RX 470 in a number of areas while maintaining an incredibly affordable price point.

In GPUBoss' testing the GTX 1050 Ti is nipping at the heels of the RX 470 in most categories while scoring higher for noise and power consumption.

Alternative - NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB

The main alternative at this price point is the NVIDIA GTX 1050. It's less powerful than the GTX 1050 Ti and has only 2GB of VRAM but is a good $50 less expensive.

While some of the more intensive new titles will still struggle with a GTX 1050, if you're building a budget gaming PC for esports favorite titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, CS:GO or even Fortnite, the GTX 1050 will handle them with ease.

Our nod goes to the Gigabyte version with the company's Windforce cooler for $149.99.

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Updated April 30, 2018: The GTX 1050 Ti is still our top pick, but the alternative is now the GTX 1050 thanks to the current high pricing of GPUs..

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