The level of gaming performance that today’s enthusiast graphics cards deliver is impressive. AMD and Nvidia have made huge advancements in pushing maximum performance with advanced nodes, new microarchitectures, and system efficiency improvements, like Resizable BAR. Resolution upscaling technologies like DLSS and FSR 2.0 help substantially as well. These things are exactly what make the release of the budget Nvidia GTX 1630 graphics card unexciting, at least for gaming purposes.
To be fair, Nvidia launched the GTX 1630 as its new replacement to the aged GTX 1030. It’s now the cheapest discrete graphics card you can buy from Nvidia, at least in terms of new products. It’s meant to supplement CPUs without integrated graphics or CPUs with integrated graphics too weak to be practical anymore. There will undoubtedly be people who consider gaming on the GTX 1630, so we feel it necessary to raise awareness of its performance, or rather, the lack of.
The GTX 1630 is derived from old chips used for the GTX 1650 that launched in spring 2019. However, it’s substantially weaker. This is due to the heavily cut down design decision. It appears Nvidia piled up a bunch of partially defective 1650 chips and designed the GTX 1630 to utilize the good bits. The concept of cutting down chips to be partially functional is nothing new. In fact, it’s standard procedure for managing bottom lines. The result is a perfectly usable chip that only operates on the intact bits of the hardware. Thus we have the GTX 1630.
Gaming on too tight of a budget
The specs are pretty basic, so we won’t dwell on that. Instead, we’ll touch on the gaming performance. Nvidia didn’t provide any performance data, but TechPowerUp managed to get one for review and published the results. In short, the GTX 1630 isn’t practical for modern AAA games if your target is 1080p 60fps. There are many games where it doesn’t even get close 30fps. You can definitely improve those numbers by turning down some settings, but the point becomes moot considering the price of the card.
The price ranges from $150-200 USD from the listings we’ve seen. For $170 USD, you can get the AMD RX 6400 that beats the GTX 1630 in practically all scenarios, sometimes with double the performance. For $190 USD, you can get the AMD RX 6500 XT, which pretty much guarantees 1080p 60fps performance with the right settings tweaks.
These are all budget options that lack practical value, though. There are plenty of older cards from 2016 that outperform the GTX 1630, and it won’t age well either. Simply put, you’re better off purchasing a more expensive graphics card like the Nvidia RTX 3050 or the AMD Radeon 6600. These cards have the necessary specs to play new games for years, and you’ll be able to use more features like DLSS if you buy the RTX 3050.
The Nvidia GTX 1630 may be a graphics card bound for cheap prebuilt systems. It also may simply exist to encourage you to spend more money on something better. Regardless, now you know to avoid it for gaming.