What is the cheapest graphics card for a desktop that can handle the new age of empires 2 definitive version and the Halo reach for PC? I'm thinking about getting new parts for my cooler master centurion 541 case and I would like to know the cheapest graphics card that can handle these games

  • And I would also like to know the best specs to handle those games I don't want a gaming desktop but just a desktop that doesn't look gaming but can handle games Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 6:14
  • "Cheapest that can handle" has a lot of meanings here. I'm guessing 10-15 fps wouldn't be acceptable. What settings would you like to play on? In addition, could you post a price limit so we can figure out if you have the budget for what you are seeking? Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 3:06
  • I don't know maybe to 150$ and i don't want this to be a gaming desktop I want it to look like a normal computer Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 4:47
  • Maybe low graphics but smooth and not slow Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 4:48
  • Does your PC CPU have an integrated graphics card (e.g. can you boot to windows on your monitor screen without a (discrete) GPU plugged into via PCI-e)? Technically this would be the cheapest option at $0 and can probably run some old games on low settings at about 30 fps. Otherwise I can recommend some GPUs for exactly $150 that can run some triple A fps games at 60 fps. Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 4:58

2 Answers 2


Halo Reach is not a very demanding game. Probably because it was built and optimized for the Xbox 360's GPU, which was released in 2005! 2D games like Age of Empires are much less demanding than Halo Reach too.

I'm not sure whether your $150 budget is just for a GPU or an entire upgrade; I have to assume just the GPU because an entire upgrade would cost much more.

If you're going to buy a new CPU:

The AMD Ryzen 5 3400G CPU has integrated graphics.
It can achieve 53 to 69 FPS at 1080p on Halo Reach.
Technically buying this CPU means you'd be spending $0 on a GPU if you accounted for buying a CPU anyways.

If you are just buying a GPU:

Consider the NVIDIA GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, or the AMD RX 560, RX 570. These four cards are around the $150 - $250 price range. The RX 570 is particularly good value (FPS per $) if you can catch it on sale.

If you just want to run Age of Empires for as cheap as possible, practically any integrated graphics should be able to handle it. It's a remaster of a very old game, and the higher resolution does not add much work for the GPU. So if you have any video output at all on a PC, it's probably good to go at $0 cost to you.

  • I have a GTX 1050 Mobile and I can play new gamesat Medium to High at 1080p FHD at 60fps Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 4:59

I run AoE2 DE on integrated graphics (the graphics built into the cpu of my laptop) and it runs fine. However, that does not work well for games like Reach. You will want to buy a dedicated GPU. The RX 570 has a very good price to performance ratio.

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