The second generation of Ryzen 5 Series has thrown some of the most affordable CPUs for gaming. Above all stands out the Ryzen 5 2600 which offers decent value in gaming if paired with the right type of graphics card. You really don’t need to spend piles of cash on buying a high-end graphics card for Ryzen 5 2600. The truth is, any budget-oriented graphics card is enough to get the most performance out of your Ryzen 5 2600 processor.
Quick Shopping Tips Before Making Your Purchase
But before you get your hands on the GPU, there are certain things you should ask yourself first. Start from whether you need a GPU for Ryzen 5 2600 for gaming or other types of workloads (video editing, animation designing, etc). If it’s just about gaming, then at what resolution do you intend to game, 60Hz or 144Hz?
Once your intention is clear enough, it’s time to specify your budget. Although in this guide, we’ve reviewed the most wallet-friendly graphics card, the budget cap is variable for different users. So, always set a budget and try to get your hands on a GPU that fits in that budget range while meeting your needs.
And at the last, you have to keep in mind your power supply. Some graphics cards draw more power out of your PSU. You have to know about your PSU wattage and the rest of the components inside your PC case. Most modern-day graphics cards need an extra power connector from your PSU to run properly.
List of the Best Budget GPU for AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Reviewed
Let’s dive in and review the performance of some of the top graphics cards on our list:
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super – Overall Best GPU for Ryzen 5 2600
Video Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Boost Clock Speed: 1815 MHz | Memory Interface: 192-bit | CUDA Cores: 1408 | TDP: 125W | Video Output: DisplayPort x 3 (V1. 4)/ HDMI 2. 0B x 1 | PSU Needed: 450W
Reasons to Consider
The MSI Nvidia GTX 1660 Super delivers excellent value in 1080p gaming or content creation workloads without putting a hole in your wallet. The bottleneck ratio between GTX 1660 Super and Ryzen 5 2600 CPU is minimal (less than 2%), so you could expect most output from this combo. For a cheaper price, you can expect higher FPS in most titles with this card.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super comes with the bare minimum amount of VRAM that most AAA games demand these days, the 6GB GDDR6. Being a bit more powerful than its sibling, the GTX 1660, the Super version chews any complex workload you throw on it.
In a time when the prices of most graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD are skyrocketing, having an MSI GTX 1660 Super graphics card is the only way around to satisfy your gaming hunger.
If you have a mid-range CPU like the Ryzen 5 2600 or 2600X in your build, then going with a wallet-friendly GPU like MSI GTX 1660 Super can help you hit higher frame rates in most AAA titles at medium-high settings.
On top of all, if you need a graphics card for 1080p 60fps gaming, then this might be your final bet to go with. Although there are some other chips like RTX 2060 and GTX 1080 Ti, that offer a bit more performance than the GTX 1660 Super in 1080p gaming, you’ll then end-up spending more cash on the table.
The reason GTX 1660 Super would be an ideal choice at this point is because of its affordable price and decent specs that it packs inside.
Generally, for a CPU like Ryzen 5 2600 that comes out of the box with a higher clock speed, a GPU like GTX 1660 Super that has a boost clock speed up to 1815 MHz would be a great option. As there would be less difference between the clock speed of your CPU and GPU, there would be the least bottleneck we can expect.
We also managed to play a few games on MSI GTX 1660 Super and Ryzen 5 2600 CPU paired with 16GB DDR4 ram. In Forza Horizon 4 at 1080p settings, the frame rates were well above 60fps most of the time. However, scaling the resolution all the way up to 1440p restricted the frame rates to stay between 50fps to 58fps.
In Minecraft and Fortnite, this graphics card managed to climb over 80fps at the highest settings. The good thing about GTX 1660 Super is that it comes with multiple advanced video ports to connect a higher refresh rate screen. Yes, you can go with a 144Hz monitor with this GPU if you want better gaming visuals without any lags or stuttering issues.
The MSI GTX 1660 Super performs way better than AMD’s RX 580 which is known to be the most famous 1080p gaming card of its time. It also consumes less power as compared to AMD’s 1080p capable chips, so having a low-wattage PSU in your system would be enough to keep this card running.
EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 XC Gaming – A Reliable RTX GPU for AMD Ryzen 5 2600 & 2600X
Video Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Boost Clock Speed: 1780 MHz | Memory Interface: 192-bit | CUDA Cores: 3584 | TDP: 170W | Video Output: DisplayPort x 3/ HDMI 2. 0B x 1 | PSU Needed: 550W
Reasons to Consider:
The RTX 3060 XC is an entry-level card in RTX 3000 Series and is built on Nvidia’s latest Ampere architecture. The card has massive 12GB of GDDR6 video memory, good enough to scale the resolution all the way up to 1440p in gaming and at 4K in content creation workloads.
Moreover, this GPU is packed with ray-tracing and DLSS 2.0 to experience gaming like never before. There are a load of features that come with this chip at an affordable price.
The most noticeable feature that the EVGA RTX 3060 XC gaming pack is the vast amount of 12GB GDDR6 video memory. Although most AAA titles in the market hardly surpass the 8GB VRAM capacity, one thing is for sure, no one can stop you from scaling the resolution all the way up to 4K on RTX 3060 XC.
Yes, the amount of VRAM that you need depends upon the type of workload you’ll throw on a GPU. If you deal with heavy workloads, then having RTX 3060 XC will surely put your mind at peace for a few more years.
The most worthy feature to have on RTX 3060 XC is the second generation ray-tracing and DLSS 2.0. To be honest, if there is something that you should truly get from an RTX card, then it’s definitely experiencing games with ray-tracing and DLSS turned on.
In first-generation RTX cards, the ray-tracing wasn’t that much effective. However, in the second generation, it has improved a lot with additional RT and Tensor cores. And this is the only benefit that you could expect when going with Nvidia cards as compared to AMD cards.
And if we compare the RTX 3060 XC with its AMD Equivalent, the RX 6600, then you’ll find the RTX 3060 XC to be more powerful in gaming performance. The RTX 3060 XC has more than 4GB of extra VRAM as compared to RX 6600’s 8GB.
Moreover, the ray-tracing performance on AMD RX 6600 isn’t as mature as we have on RTX 3060 XC. However, the RX 6600 still takes a competitive price advantage over the RTX 3060 XC. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find one on the MSRP price level these days.
We paired the RTX 3060 XC with Ryzen 5 2600X CPU and played a few famous games like Fortnite, PUBG, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Resident Evil: Village. With ray-tracing turned off, all of these games were easily playable at 1440p settings. Throughout the gameplay, there was no stuttering or lags and the frame rates were above 60fps.
As the real spice of RTX 3060 XC lies in the ray-tracing, so we thought to turn on these settings in Red Dead Redemption 2 (1440p settings). Well, the frame rates went down and flickered between 45 to 55 most of the time. However, the game was still playable and there were still no lags even in combat scenes.
Well, the Ryzen 5 2600X is good enough to keep up with the pace of the latest generation cards like RTX 3060 XC, but you have to bear in mind the resolution you are playing at.
We recommend playing games at 1080p if you have Ryzen 5 2600 and a GPU like RTX 3060 XC. For 1440p gaming, you can go as well but with the ray-tracing turned off.
Lastly, the RTX 3060 XC shows up as the right candidate for AMD’s budget-oriented chips like Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600X. Though, keep in mind that it’s a dual-slot card, which means it will cover a bit more space inside your PC case. Make sure there’s enough clearance inside your PC case to accommodate this graphics card.
MSI Gaming AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT – Best Budget AMD GPU for Ryzen 5 CPUs
Video Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Boost Clock Speed: 2589 MHz | Memory Interface: 128-bit | Stream Cores: 1792 | TDP: 132W | Video Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4) / HDMI x 1 | PSU Needed: 450W
Reasons to Consider:
The AMD RX 6600 XT is built on AMD’s latest RDNA 2 architecture and is packed with much-needed features to deliver epic performance in 1080p gaming. An amazing game boost clock speed up to 2589 MHz makes this chip exceptional in hitting higher frame rates. It’s cheaper than Nvidia’s latest generation cards which perform almost the same but at a much higher price.
The RX 6600 XT goes one on one with the Nvidia’s RTX 3060 in gaming performance. AMD however claims this chip to be faster than the RTX 3060, but this isn’t true. There are some features in which the Nvidia RTX 3060 performs way better than the AMD’s RX 6600 XT like ray-tracing and extra VRAM.
However, the thing that makes RX 6600 XT much more worthy is its lower price point. By paying less, you get a GPU that can perform almost similar in gaming to that of Nvidia’s RTX 3060. And in a world where prices of GPUs are super high, getting a GPU like RX 6600 XT for less than $500 is surely a blessing.
For instance, if we step aside from the ray-tracing powers of RTX 3060, then it would perform somewhat similar to that of an RX 6600 XT in 1080p gaming. No matter whatever type of workload your throw on this card at 1080p settings, it would handle it smoothly.
Also, there is one more edge than RX 6600 XT takes over RTX 3060, and that is higher game clock speed. Overclocking your RX 6600 XT with AMD’s Radeon software will surely bump up those frame rates in AAA titles. Maybe this is the reason why AMD claims the RX 6600 XT to be 15% faster than the RTX 3060.
If we compare the performance of RX 6600 XT with first-generation RTX cards like the RTX 2060, where the ray-tracing performance of RX 6600 XT goes on par with the RTX 2060, then RX 6600 XT surely stands out in 1080p gaming.
AMD claims that RX 6600 XT deliver 125 FPS performance with most famous AAA titles. So we thought to test its performance with the Ryzen 5 2600 CPU. As the card is good for 1080p gaming, we didn’t push resolution any further in games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Warzone.
In our benchmarks, we found that average frame rates were above 60fps most of the time, but they didn’t touch anywhere near 125FPS as claimed by AMD. At least this isn’t achievable with a mid-range CPU like Ryzen 5 2600. However, if you overclock your Ryzen 5 2600 and pair it with RX 6600 XT, then you could easily climb over 100fps in Fortnite or PUBG at 1080p settings.
Finally, one thing is for sure, you can game at 1080p 60fps with Ryzen 5 2600 or 2600X if you have a GPU like RX 6600 XT. We all know that 1080p 60fps is the standard for PC gaming. Anything above this will surely need you to put your budget aside and invest in a high-end CPU and GPU.
XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition – GPU to Get Most Bang for Your Buck with Ryzen 5 2600/2600X
Video Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Boost Clock Speed: 1386 MHz | Memory Interface: 256-bit | Stream Cores: 2304 | TDP: 185W | Video Output: DisplayPort x 3 / HDMI x 1 / DVI-D x1 | PSU Needed: 500W (needs external 8-pin power connector)
Reasons to Consider:
The RX 580 has been our all-time favourite 1080p gaming graphics card. Although this graphics card is built on older architecture, it still has enough juice to boost the performance of a CPU like Ryzen 5 2600/2600X while staying under your tight budget range.
The XFX RX 580 GTS XXX Edition is the powerhouse of 1080p gaming despite being too old to compete with the current-gen graphics cards. But if we really compare it with some of the modern-day graphics cards, there isn’t much of a difference in performance.
The RX580 is built on Polaris architecture, which is now an outdated architecture from AMD. Where RDNA 2 chips are going face to face with Nvidia’s Amepre Series cards, finding an older mate like RX 580 is quite weird.
However, when it comes to performance in gaming or content creation workloads, then 8GB of DDR5 memory still puts XFX RX 580 GTS among some of those cards that can play the latest titles at 1080p settings on the lowest settings. Especially, if you are upgrading from an older GPU like RX 480, you’ll see the difference by yourself.
This is one of those cards that we tested a long time ago while playing games like GTA V, Battlefield V, Tomb Raider, Assasin Creeds: Odyssey, etc. However, to see how this graphics card reacts with AMD Ryzen 5 2600 processor, we put this graphics card back in our PC.
With games like Destiny, PUBG, Fortnite, and GTA V, this graphics card delivered an excellent performance with in-game settings maxed out. In all of these games, the average frame rates ranged between 75fps to 95fps at 1080p settings.
The only downside to this card is it’s bulky and draws a lot of power out of your PSU. There are GPUs that draw less power and perform much better than RX 580. So why should you go with an RX 580 when you have better options to go with? The answer is simple, the RX 580 is way cheaper than those cards and has enough supply in the stock on Amazon and eBay to grab one.
XFX Speedster QICK210 Radeon RX 6500 XT – Cheapest GPU You Can Get for Ryzen 5 2600 Processor
Video Memory: 4GB GDDR6 | Boost Clock Speed: 2825 MHz | Memory Interface: 64-bit | Stream Cores: 1024 | TDP: 107W | Video Output: HDMI x 1 / DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC | PSU Needed: 400W (1x 6-pin power connector)
Reasons to Consider:
The RX 6500 XT puts every needed feature on your gaming desk. It’s one of the cheaper graphics cards to be found in the AMD RX 6000 family. Built on AMD RDNA 2 architecture, the RX 6500 XT gives an unbeatable performance in gaming when compared with other low-budget GPUs.
The XFX RX 6500XT, although has just 4GB of video memory onboard, it still reflect true performance when you throw a heavy workload on it. And the reason behind this is the AMD’s latest RDNA 2 architecture and an amazing boost clock speed up to 2825 MHz.
The 4GB of VRAM, however, restricts the RX 6500XT to handle demanding AAA titles at 1080p settings, optimizing your in-game settings can help you achieve smooth FPS though. Despite being a pretty young graphics card, released back in January 2022, the XFX RX 6500 XT goes one on one with many mid-rangers from Nvidia.
Just like most graphics cards in the RX 6000 Series, the RX 6500 XT is equipped with ray-tracing cores to improve your graphics quality. But again, the ray-tracing on this entry-level chip isn’t as impressive as you’ll find on Nvidia cards.
The Nvidia equivalent of the RX 6500 XT, and the RTX 3050 deliver way better performance when it comes to ray-tracing and DLSS. But keeping in mind the price point at which RX 6500 XT comes, and that it has a great boost clock speed of 2825 MHz, it’s a worth buying graphics card.
Overall, if we compare the RX 6500 XT with an older generation card from AMD like RX 580, then the RX 6500 XT has double the amount of power to play some, if not every game at 1080p settings.
Putting the RX 6500 XT right next to a CPU like Ryzen 5 2600 or 2600X would result in a budget-friendly high performing gaming PC. Playing games like GTA V, Fortnite, CS: GO, PUBG, Call of Duty: Warzone at medium-high settings at 1080p resolution is fairly possible with this GPU. By spending less than $200, you get a GPU that is capable of playing most games at 1080p medium-high settings.
PC Used in Testing Graphics Card
Here are the specs of our test PC:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 clocked @ 3.9 GHz (Stock Speed)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming
- RAM: Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 3600 (8×2)
- CPU Cooler: Stock AMD Cooler
- Storage: Crucial P5 Plus 2TB PCIe 4.0 3D NAND NVMe M.2
- Power Supply: CORSAIR RM 850W
Verdict: Which GPU to Go With
As the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 itself is a powerful CPU with a clock speed of 3.9 GHz on each core, going with any of the above graphics cards would give you a significant boost in performance. However, we are talking here about the best budget graphics card you can pair up with Ryzen 5 2600. If we have to pick from any one of these cards, then it would be the RTX 3060 XC. Not only this GPU is affordable but also packs the most advanced features you need in a graphics card of today.
Over time, many games now support ray-tracing, so you should go with a graphics card like RTX 3060 XC to experience games in a new way. Furthermore, there’s plenty of VRAM on RTX 3060 XC, making it a kind of future-proof card for 1440p gaming and content creation workload. One thing is for sure, you won’t feel like upgrading your GPU every year if you go with RTX 3060 XC.
But again the choice is yours, if your budget allows you to with RTX 3060 XC, then you should go for it. Else if your budget isn’t enough, then GTX 1660 Super or AMD’s RX 6500 XT can result in the same level of gaming experience in most titles, but in this case, you’ll miss out on premium features like ray-tracing and DLSS.
Does Ryzen 5 2600 need a GPU?
Well, if you are into gaming or a complex content creation workload, then integrated graphics cannot deliver you the level of performance that a dedicated graphics card can with Ryzen 5 2600 CPU. If you want to avoid any bottleneck issues, then you’ll have to pick a dedicated GPU.
Which GPU brand will perform better with Ryzen 5 2600, Nvidia or AMD?
It’s not about the GPU brand at all, what you need to look for is the performance of a particular graphics card with a CPU like Ryzen 5 2600. You have to make sure that there’s a minimal bottleneck between your CPU and GPU. It doesn’t matter if you go with Nvidia or AMD, what matters is the performance only.
Can we pair a high-end graphics card with Ryzen 5 2600 or 2600X?
To be honest, it doesn’t make any sense to spend piles of cash on a high-end graphics card to just pair it with a mid-range GPU like Ryzen 5 2600. There are more chances that you’ll end up with a bottleneck as the Ryzen 5 2600 wouldn’t be able to catch up with the speed of a high-end graphics card. It’s better to go with the mid-range graphics card, in this case, to avoid the bottleneck and get maximum performance.
Hi, I’m the author and founder of this blog. I have more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Throughout my journey I’ve tested and reviewed hundreds of graphics card for custom PC builds. I believe my knowledge and experience will help you choose the card that really falls to your needs and budget.