Best Graphics Cards for the Money
Whether you’re into high-end 3D gaming, or just want the best HD viewing experience, it’s important to have the right graphics card. They range from inexpensive integrated cards build right into your computer’s motherboard to dedicated cards for extreme gaming enthusiasts.
If you are thinking about upping your computer’s graphics performance, here’s a list of some of the best dedicated video cards for popular price points.
The Radeon HD 5570 can turn just about any budget computer into a manageable gaming system, and at just $65, it’s easy on the wallet. It will play most titles with moderately high settings at 720p resolutions, and even 1080p for some. At just $10 more, the HD 5670 will give you about 20% more performance. The best thing about both of these cards is that they have very low power requirements, meaning it’s very likely that they will work in most commercial desktops.
Best GPU for about $120: AMD Radeon HD 5770 (and HD 6770)
The Radeon HD 5770 offers a perfect balance between price and performance, easily making it the best valued video card on the market. It can play most games at 1080p resolutions while keeping detail settings relatively high. The HD 6770 is simply a newer version of the HD 5770 and offers the exact same performance.
Best GPU for about $180: AMD Radeon HD 6850
If you’re looking to get into some serious PC gaming but don’t want to spend some serious money, the HD 6850 is a great place to start. It’s capable of playing even the latest games at 1080p resolutions with nearly every settings maxed out. Nvidia’s GTX 460 1GB also offers similar performance, but the HD 6850 is generally cheaper.
Both the HD 6870 and GTX 560 Ti should be able to play just about any game at 1080p resolutions with the settings cranked up to the max. They’re even capable of playing some titles at 2560×1600, though may require some slightly lowered detail settings. Nvidia’s GTX 560 Ti edges out a bit more performance than the HD 6870, but it also costs about $25 more.
Best GPU for $250 to $300: AMD Radeon HD 6950
Coming in both 1GB and 2GB flavors, the HD 6950 is about the highest performing video card that still carries a practical price tag. Expect to be able to play at 2560×1600 with detail settings maxed out for most titles, though you may have to settle for 1080p resolutions to play some of the latest titles maxed out.
Once you go past $300, cost per performance becomes much less practical, making it difficult to recommend anything past that point, but if you want to play the most demanding of games at 2560×1600 with every feature and setting turned up to 11, regardless of cost, one of these cards is for you.