You don’t have to risk second-hand PC components if you’re trying to build a new, affordable gaming rig, because Nvidia has joined AMD in offering a low-powered option for a reasonable price.
Nvidia has just rolled out its GeForce GT 1030 graphics card along with partners like MSI and Gigabyte. This new GPU starts at $70, and it offers up the modest specs that you would expect for a 10th of the price of a GeForce GTX 1080Ti. The 1030 comes with 2GB GDDR5 video memory, 384 CUDA cores, 16 PCI-E lanes, and a core clock of 1,265 MHz that boosts up to 1,518 MHz. For outputs, it has one HDMI port and one DisplayPort.
The 1030 is built with the growing esports space in mind. Newer, graphically intensive games will struggle to run at high resolutions or a steady framerate on this card, but competitve-focused games like League of Legends, Rocket League, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive should all run without presenting players with major issues.
This will give Nvidia a product on the market that competes against AMD’s Radeon RX 550 for the attention of PC gamers looking to build a new machine on a budget. This is a segment that hasn’t had a lot of options when it comes to new pieces of equipment. Typically, building a PC on the cheap will lead people into the dark world of eBay and Craigslist. And while you can sometimes get really great parts from a couple generations ago on those kinds of services, you’re taking a lot of risk that the components could fail. The GT 1030 and Radeon RX550 may not run as well as a GeForce GTX 970 that you get for a steal from a guy you met online, but at least they come with warranties.