GeForce GT 1030 vs Radeon RX 550 – Budget graphics card showdown

AMD and Nvidia have a number of high-end graphics cards on offer, but their cheaper hardware may be of more interest to gamers on a budget.

Nvidia’s budget offering is the GT 1030, aimed at single-slot builds and the mainstream desktop market.

Its competitor from AMD is the Radeon RX 550, which is also an affordable discrete graphics solution with enough power to play games.

Both cards are based on the latest GPU architecture from Nvidia and AMD respectively.

We compared the specifications, performance, and pricing of both cards to detail how much bang you get for your buck.

Specifications

While the RX 550 is available with up to 4GB of VRAM, we chose the 2GB model for the comparison – as the GT 1030 has 2GB of memory.

Both cards are small in size and require little cooling, meaning they can be fitted with passive cooling systems and shipped as single-slot cards.

The specifications of the cards are below.

Specifications GeForce GT 1030 Radeon RX 550
Cores 384 512
Base Clock 1,227MHz 1,100MHz
Boost Clock 1,468MHz 1,183MHz
Memory 2GB GDDR5 2GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth 48GB/s 112GB/s
Memory Interface 64-bit 128-bit
TDP 30W 50W
Price R1,199 R1,372

Benchmarks

To see how the cards perform, we used benchmark data from Tom’s Hardware which measured their FPS performance in games.

These are not high-end graphics cards, and most benchmarks were subsequently conducted on Low or Medium graphics settings.

Despite this, the cards show good performance and are more than capable of running titles like StarCraft II and Dota 2.

Benchmarks – FPS GT 1030 RX 550
Doom – 1,920 x 1,080 (Low) 42.8 48.1
Battlefield 1 – 1,920 x 1,080 (Low) 52.8 64.2
Dota 2 – 1,920 x 1,080 (Medium) 92.8 71.0
World of Warcraft – 1,920 x 1,080 116.4 142.0
Average FPS 76.2 81.3

Availability

It must be noted that while the RX 550 is for sale on numerous online stores in South Africa, the Nvidia card is more readily available.

This is because Radeon RX-series cards are popular among cryptocurrency miners, and are therefore in short supply.

South African pricing for available versions of the cards is:

  • Zotac GeForce GT 1030 2GBR1,199
  • Sapphire Radeon RX 550 Pulse OC 2GBR1,372

Little separates the two cards in terms of gaming performance and price, and gamers are likely to decide which one to purchase based on their respective software and which manufacturer they prefer.

Now read: Zotac unveils new Magnus mini gaming PCs

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GeForce GT 1030 vs Radeon RX 550 – Budget graphics card showdown