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Best Graphics / Video Cards For The Money 2009

best-graphics-video-cards-for-the-money-2009

It’s around that time again — where people just feel the need to upgrade their computers. I feel that need too, but my wallet unfortunately does not. Some of you may need help on picking a graphics card. If that’s the case, this article may help you. Keep in mind that majority of these cards can be found for even less than mentioned in the article. Just check out websites such as SlickDeals.net which often has deals on everything computer-related. Here’s the article–



“Best Graphics Cards For The Money: September ’09”

Detailed graphics card specifications and reviews are great—that is, if you have the time to do the research. But at the end of the day, what a gamer needs is the best graphics card within a certain budget.

So if you don’t have the time to research the benchmarks or if you don’t feel confident enough in your ability to pick the right card, fear not. We at Tom’s Hardware have come to your aid with a simple list of the best gaming cards offered for the money.
August Review and September Updates:

If rumors are to be believed, we should be expecting some Radeon HD 5000-series cards in the near future (specifically the Radeon HD 5870, Radeon HD 5850, and Radeon HD 5870 X2).

While we can’t say anything for sure as of yet, the indications are that the Radeon HD 5870 will sport DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3.1, and will possess one gigabyte of memory, as many as 1,200 shader processors, 48 texture units, and 32 ROPs. That’s 1.5 times the shaders wielded by the Radeon HD 4870, and twice the texture units and ROPs. With the GPU said to be running in the neighborhood of 900 MHz and GDDR5 memory running as high as the 1,100 MHz range, the card is hoped to perform about twice as fast as the current Radeon HD 4870. This means it should beat the fastest single-GPU card currently available: Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 285. If the Radeon HD 5870 is released in the rumored $400 range, it’ll be a great deal, offering better value than two Radeon HD 4870’s in CrossFire for about the same price.

The junior sibling would be the Radeon HD 5850, with the same specifications as the Radeon HD 5870 but lower clock rates: purportedly 750 MHz on the core and about 900 MHz for the GDDR3 memory. If this model is released in the $300 range, it could offer performance similar to the GeForce GTX 285 at a slightly lower price point.

The flagship of course would be the Radeon HD 5870 X2, with two GPUs on a single card. With similar clock speeds compared to the single Radeon HD 5870, the X2 should be able to easily wrest the mantle of supremacy from the current GeForce GTX 295 champion. On the downside, such an incredibly powerful card will probably cost about $600 when it is launched.

Assuming all of these rumors are close to the truth (a brave assumption, indeed) what impact will these new Radeons have on existing pricing?

Right off the bat, these cards will likely drive down the prices of Nvidia’s fastest cards. With the Radeon HD 5850 potentially below and the Radeon HD 5870 above, the GeForce GTX 285 will likely have to drop under $300 to remain a viable contender. Other than that, we might see Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 275 prices fall a little too, in response to the Radeon HD 5850. Depending how well the Radeon HD 5870 performs, the GeForce GTX 295 might also face a little pressure to drop. We suspect the Radeon HD 5870 X2 prices will be high enough above the GeForce GTX 295 that it probably won’t have a large impact on the card’s pricing. But only time will tell.

Finally, let’s not forget that Nvidia isn’t sitting on its hands and is working on its next-generation graphics process as well. AMD will certainly have a jump on the Nvidia lineup by at least a month, but after that, the GT300 will likely keep things interesting…
Some Notes About Our Recommendations

A few simple guidelines to keep in mind when reading this list:

* This list is for gamers who want to get the most for their money. If you don’t play games, then the cards on this list are more expensive than what you really need. We’ve added a reference page at the end of the column covering integrated graphics processors, which is likely more apropos.

* The criteria to get on this list are strictly price/performance. We acknowledge that recommendations for multiple video cards, such as two Radeon cards in CrossFire mode or two GeForce cards in SLI, typically require a motherboard that supports CrossFire or SLI and a chassis with more space to install multiple graphics cards. They also require a beefier power supply compared to what a single card needs, and will almost certainly produce more heat than a single card. Keep these factors in mind when making your purchasing decision. In most cases, if we have recommended a multiple-card solution, we try to recommend a single-card honorable mention at a comparable price point for those who find multi-card setups undesirable.

* Prices and availability change on a daily basis. We can’t base our decisions on always-changing pricing information, but we can list some good cards that you probably won’t regret buying at the price ranges we suggest, along with real-time prices from our PriceGrabber engine, for your reference.

* The list is based on some of the best U.S. prices from online retailers. In other countries or at retail stores, your mileage will most certainly vary.

* These are new card prices. No used or open-box cards are in the list–they might represent a good deal, but it’s outside the scope of what we’re trying to do.


Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For ~$50:
Radeon HD 4650 DDR3

Good 16801050 performance in most games

Radeon HD 4650 DDR3
Codename:
RV730
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 320
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 600
Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1,400 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

We’ve seen some DDR3-equipped Radeon HD 4650 cards approaching the $50 price point, and this makes for a card that packs a lot more punch than its DDR2-equipped cousins. Overclocking this card might bring it surprisingly close to Radeon HD 4670-class performance, so it’s an especially good value for tweakers.




Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For ~$70:
Radeon HD 4670

Good 16801050 performance in most games

Radeon HD 4670
Codename:
RV730
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 320
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 750
Memory Speed MHz: 1,000 (4,000 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

The Radeon HD 4670’s price has fallen somewhat and now undercuts most GeForce 9600 GSOs with a $10 spread, and that’s too much to ignore at this price point.

Spending $10 more on the 9600 GT is a viable option, but the Radeon HD 4670 retains the distinction by being the most powerful PCIe card that doesn’t require a dedicated power connector.




Best PCIe Card For ~$80:
GeForce 9600 GT

Good 16801050 performance in most games

GeForce 9600 GT
Codename:
G94
Process: 65nm
Universal Shaders: 64
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 650
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (1,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

A recent price drop lets us recommend the GeForce 9600 GT, which is now within spitting distance of the Radeon HD 4670 and GeForce 9600 GSO.

The GeForce 9600 GT is a great performer thanks, in part, to its high-end 256-bit memory interface and speedy DDR3 memory. It’s a good choice if $80 is your budgetary limit, but with the powerful Radeon HD 4850 as low as $95 you might want to consider spending a few more bucks.




Best PCIe Card For ~$95:
Radeon HD 4850 512MB

Exceptional 16801050 performance in most games, 19201200 in most games with some lowered detail

Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Codename:
RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 625
Memory Speed MHz: 993 (1,986 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

With Radeon HD 4850 512 MB prices dropping to a surprisingly low $95, this card easily takes the price/performance crown from the Radeon HD 4770 (which is still about $110 due to availability issues).

Featuring generally-better performance compared to the Radeon HD 4770 and comparable performance with the more expensive GeForce GTS 250, the pressure is on Nvidia to drop prices.




Best PCIe Card For ~$130:
Radeon HD 4870 512MB

Good 19201200 performance in most games

Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Codename:
RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 750
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3,600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

This is the sweet spot, folks. If someone told us the Radeon HD 4870 would be marked down to $130 four months ago, we’d have laughed in their face. Well, who is laughing now? Gamers are, with this very powerful card and its fast GDDR5 memory available at bargain-basement prices.




Best PCIe Card For ~$145:
Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Good 19201200 performance in most games

Radeon HD 4870 1GB
Codename:
RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 750
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3,600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

For $15 more than the 512MB version, you can have the 1GB Radeon HD 4870.

For about $20 dollars less than the GeForce GTX 260, the Radeon card offers a little more RAM and comparable performance.




Best PCIe Card For ~$190:
Two Radeon HD 4850 in CrossFire Configuration

Exceptional 19201200 performance, 25601600 in most games with some lowered detail

Two Radeon HD 4850 in CrossFire Configuration
Codename:
2 x RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 625
Memory Speed MHz: 993 (1,986 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

With the price of the Radeon HD 4850 at $95, two of these cards in CrossFire is going to deliver great performance.

This setup provides a startlingly powerful solution for $190, easily beating out the Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 275 at similar prices. The only drawback: you’ll need a CrossFire-compatible motherboard and a decent power supply.




Best PCIe Card For ~$225: None
Honorable Mention: Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB

Exceptional 19201200 performance, 25601600 in most games with some lowered detail

Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB
Codename:
2 x RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 625
Memory Speed MHz: 993 (1,986 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

The Radeon HD 4850 X2 is essentially two Radeon HD 4850s in CrossFire mode on a single card, capable of even putting the hurt on Nvidia’s more expensive GeForce GTX 285.

Right now, the Radeon HD 4850 X2 2 GB card might cost a few dollars more than a pair of Radeon HD 4850 cards, but this single card can be used with any PCIe motherboard, making it a compelling solution for folks without a CrossFire platform.


*** A NOTE OF WARNING ***

Hey, there’s no guaranteeing that the upcoming Radeon cards will affect any of the following recommendations. However, if you even suspect some of the rumors to hold any truth, you might want to consider holding off on a graphics card purchase over $250 for a month or so to see if any new cards arrive and affect the market.


Best PCIe Card For ~$260:

Exceptional 19201200 performance in most games, good 25601600 performance in most titles

Two Radeon HD 4870 512MB in CrossFire Configuration
Codename:
2 x RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 750
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3,600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

Two Radeon HD 4870 cards also make for a powerful combination, and with the price of a Radeon HD 4870 at $130, recommending two in CrossFire is only natural. Just make sure you have a CrossFire-compatible motherboard and a good power supply in order to get the most out of them.




Best PCIe Card For ~$290:

Exceptional 19201200 performance, good 25601600 performance in most titles

Two Radeon HD 4870 1GB in CrossFire Configuration
Codename:
2 x RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 750
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3,600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

Two Radeon HD 4870 cards are even more compelling when equipped with gobs of memory, and $30 is all it takes to up the ante from a pair of 512MB cards to a pair of 1GB cards.

As usual, make sure you have a CrossFire-compatible motherboard and a good power supply so that you can enjoy the 3D horsepower these monsters offer without stability issues.




Best PCIe Card For ~$330: None
Honorable Mention: Two GeForce GTX 260 cards in SLI configuration

Exceptional 19201200 performance, good 25601600 performance in most titles

Two GeForce GTX 260 (Core 216) cards in SLI Configuration
Codename:
2 x GT200
Process: 55/65nm
Universal Shaders: 432 (2 x 216)
Texture Units: 144 (2 x 72)
ROPs: 56 (2 x 28)
Memory Bus: 448-bit
Core Speed MHz: 576
Memory Speed MHz: 999 (1,998 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

If you have an SLI-only motherboard, then you can’t use two Radeon HD 4870s in CrossFire. But you can certainly spend a bit more for a pair of fast GeForce GTX 260 graphics cards in SLI.

As we noted with the single-card recommendations, two GeForce GTX 260 cards in SLI offer advantages in titles that run better with Nvidia’s GT200 architecture. As with the single GeForce GTX 260s, we recommend the newer Core 216 versions, thanks to the similar price and enhanced performance.




Best PCIe Card For ~$370: None
Honorable Mention: Radeon HD 4870 X2

Exceptional 19201200 performance, good 25601600 performance in most titles

Radeon HD 4870 X2 2 GB
Codename:
2 x RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 750
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3,600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

Two separate Radeon HD 4870 cards in CrossFire are notably cheaper than a single Radeon HD 4870 X2, which is why that setup scored the recommendation. Having said that, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is a single card, and is therefore viable for those of you with a single PCIe slot on your motherboard. For this reason, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 gets an honorable mention.




Best PCIe Card For ~$390:

Two Radeon HD 4890 cards in CrossFire Configuration

Good 25601600 performance in most games

2 x Radeon HD 4890 in CrossFire Configuration
Codename:
2 x RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 850
Memory Speed MHz: 975 (3,900 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

Two Radeon HD 4890 cards should, on average, perform on par or better than a single GeForce GTX 295. And the Radeons cost less.

If you have a CrossFire motherboard and want some serious performance at high resolutions, this is the way to go.




Best PCIe Card For ~$430: None
Honorable Mention: Two GeForce GTX 275 cards in SLI Configuration

Good 25601600 performance in most games

2 x GeForce GTX 275 in SLI Configuration
Codename:
GT200b
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 480 (2 x 240)
Texture Units: 160 (2 x 80)
ROPs: 56 (2 x 28)
Memory Bus: 448-bit
Core Speed MHz: 633
Memory Speed MHz: 1,134 (2,268 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

Once again, if your motherboard only supports SLI, the Radeon cards are not an option. You’ll have to spend a little more, but a pair of GeForce GTX 275 cards paired up will perform similarly to a pair of Radeon HD 4890 cards in CrossFire.

It’s funny that we’re recommending two GeForce GTX 275 cards in SLI over a single GeForce GTX 295, when you consider that each GeForce GTX 275 is essentially half of a GeForce GTX 295. Saving the $100 compared to the GeForce GTX 295 doesn’t result in a performance penalty, though. If anything, a pair of GeForce GTX 275s will display a slight performance edge due to their faster clock speeds.




Best PCIe Card For ~$470: None
Honorable Mention: GeForce GTX 295

Good 25601600 performance in most games

GeForce GTX 295
Codename:
2 x GT200b
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 480 (2 x 240)
Texture Units: 160 (2 x 80)
ROPs: 56 (2 x 28)
Memory Bus: 448-bit
Core Speed MHz: 576
Memory Speed MHz: 999 (1,998 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295 with SLI-on-a-card is the most powerful single graphics card on the planet. Essentially two conjoined GeForce GTX 275 cards, the GeForce GTX 295 offers very notable gains over the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in the great majority of game titles. Even more impressive is that it does so while consuming less power than ATI’s flagship card (no small feat).

To get more performance than what Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295 brings to the table, you’d have to look at extreme solutions such as multiple GeForce GTX 285s in SLI or Radeon HD 4870 X2s in CrossFire. But unless you have a 30″ monitor, that would be a gratuitous waste of cash considering the small performance gains you’d get for spending a whole lot more money.




What about this other card that’s not on the list? How do I know if it’s a good deal or not?

This will happen. In fact, it’s guaranteed to happen, because inventory levels and prices change quickly. So how do you know if that card you’ve got your eye on is a good buy in its price range?

Here are two resources to help you judge if a card is a good buy or not. The first is the graphics card hierarchy chart, which groups graphics cards with similar overall performance levels into tiers. The top tier contains the highest-performing cards available and performance decreases as you go down the tiers from there.

You can use this hierarchy to compare the pricing between two cards, to see which one is a better deal, and also to determine if an upgrade is worthwhile. I don’t recommend upgrading your graphics card unless the replacement card is at least three tiers higher. Otherwise, the upgrade is somewhat parallel and you may not notice a worthwhile difference in performance.

At the request of readers, I have added mobile graphics and integrated chipsets to the hierarchy chart. I want to make it clear that there is very little performance data available for these graphics solutions. While the discrete video cards in the chart are placed in tiers based on a lot of information, many of the mobile and integrated devices in the chart are guesstimates based on their specifications. At worst, I don’t think they’re more than one tier away from their actual performance, but this is something to keep in mind when considering mobile graphics chipsets.


Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart
GeForce Radeon Intel
Discrete: GTX 295
Discrete: HD 4870 X2
Discrete: GTX 280, GTX 285 Discrete: HD 4850 X2
Discrete: 9800 GX2, GTX 260, GTX 275 Discrete: HD 4870, HD 4890
Discrete: 8800 Ultra, 9800 GTX, 9800 GTX+,
GTS 250
Discrete: HD 3870 X2, HD 4850
Discrete: 8800 GTX, 8800 GTS 512 MB
Go (mobile): 280M
Discrete: HD 4770
Discrete: 8800 GT 512 MB, 9800 GT
Go (mobile): 260M (112)
Discrete: HD 4830
Discrete: 8800 GTS 640 MB, 9600 GT Discrete: HD 2900 XT, HD 3870
Discrete: 8800 GS, 9600 GSO
Go (mobile): 260M (96)
Discrete: HD 3850 512 MB, HD 4670
Mobility: 3870
Discrete: 8800 GT 256 MB, 8800 GTS 320 MB
Go (mobile): 8800M
Discrete: HD 2900 PRO, HD 3850 256 MB|
Mobility: 3850
Discrete: 7950 GX2 Discrete: X1950 XTX, HD 4650 (DDR3)
Discrete: 7800 GTX 512, 7900 GTO, 7900 GTX Discrete: X1900 XT, X1950 XT, X1900 XTX
Discrete: 7800 GTX, 7900 GT, 7950 GT Discrete: X1800 XT, X1900 AIW, X1900 GT, X1950 PRO, HD 2900 GT
Discrete: 7800 GT, 7900 GS, 8600 GTS, 9500 GT (GDDR3)
Go (mobile): 7950 GTX
Discrete: X1800 XL, X1950 GT, HD 4650 (DDR2)
Mobility X1800 XT
Discrete: 6800 Ultra, 7600 GT, 7800 GS, 8600 GT (GDDR3), 9500 GT (DDR2)
Go (mobile): 7800 GTX, 7900 GTX
Discrete: X800 XT (& PE), X850 XT (& PE), X1650 XT, X1800 GTO, HD 2600 XT, HD 3650 (DDR3), HD 3670,
Mobility: X1900, 3670
Discrete: 6800 GT, 6800 GS (PCIe), 8600 GT (DDR2)
Go (mobile): 7800, Go 7900 GS
Discrete: X800 XL, X800 GTO2/GTO16, HD 2600 PRO, HD 3650 (DDR2),
Mobility: X800 XT, HD 2600 XT, 3650
Discrete: 6800 GS (AGP), 8600M GT, 8700M GT
Go (mobile): 6800 Ultra, 7600 GT
Discrete: X800 GTO 256 MB, X800 PRO, X850 PRO, X1650 GT
Mobility: HD 2600
Discrete: 6800, 7300 GT GDDR3, 7600 GS, 8600M GS
Go (mobile): 6800, 7700
Discrete: X800, X800 GTO 128 MB, X1600 XT, X1650 PRO
Mobility: X1800
Discrete: 6600 GT, 6800LE, 6800 XT, 7300 GT (DDR2), 8500 GT, 9400 GT
Go (mobile): 7600 (128-bit)
Discrete: 9800 XT, X700 PRO, X800 GT, X800 SE, X1300 XT, X1600 PRO, HD 2400 XT, HD 4350, HD 4550
Mobility: X800, 3470
Integrated: HD 3300
Discrete: FX 5900, FX 5900 Ultra, FX 5950 Ultra, 6600 (128-bit)
Go (mobile): 6800 (128-bit)
Integrated: 9300, 9400
Discrete: 9700, 9700 PRO, 9800, 9800 PRO, X700, X1300 PRO, X1550, HD 2400 PRO
Mobility: X1450, X1600, X1700, 2400 XT, X2500, 3450
Integrated: HD 3200, HD 4200
Discrete: FX 5800 Ultra, FX 5900 XT
Go (mobile): 6600, Go 7600 (64-bit)
Discrete: 9500 PRO, 9600 XT, 9800 PRO (128-bit), X600 XT, X1050 (128-bit)
Mobility: 9800, X700, X1350, X1400, X2300, HD 2400
Discrete: 4 Ti 4600, 4 Ti 4800, FX 5700 Ultra, 6200, 8300, 8400 GS Discrete: 9600 PRO, 9800 LE, X600 PRO, HD 2300
Mobility: 9700 (128-bit), X600, X1300
Integrated: Xpress 1250
Discrete: 4 Ti4200, 4 Ti4400, 4 Ti4800 SE, FX 5600 Ultra, FX 5700, 6600 (64-bit), 7300 GS, 8400M GS, 9300M G, 9300M GS Discrete: 9500, 9550, 9600, X300, X1050 (64-bit)
Mobility: 9600
Discrete: 3 Ti500, FX 5200 Ultra, FX 5600, FX 5700 LE, 6200 TC, 6600 LE, 7200 GS, 7300 LE
Go (mobile): 5700, 8200M, 9200M GS, 9100
Integrated: 8200, 8300
Discrete: 8500, 9100, 9000 PRO, 9600 LE, X300 SE, X1150
Mobility 9700 (64-bit)
GMA X4500
Discrete: 3, 3 Ti200, FX 5200 (128-bit), FX 5500,
Go (mobile): 5600, 6200, 6400, 7200, 7300, 7400 (64-bit)
Discrete: 9000, 9200, 9250
Mobility: 9600 (64-bit), X300
Discrete: FX 5200 (64 bit)
Go (mobile): 7200, 7400 (32-bit)
Integrated: 6100, 6150
Discrete: 9200 SE
Integrated: Xpress 200M, Xpress 1000, Xpress 1150
GMA X3000, X3100, X3500
Discrete: 2 GTS, 4 MX 440, 2 Ultra, 2 Ti, 2 Ti 200 Discrete: 7500 GMA 3000, 3100
Discrete: 256, 2 MX 200, 4 MX 420, 2 MX 400 Discrete: SDR, LE, DDR, 7000, 7200 GMA 500, 900, 950
Discrete: Nvidia TNT Discrete: Rage 128 Intel 740

Summary

There you have it folks: the best cards for the money this month. Now all that’s left to do is to find and purchase them.

Don’t worry too much about which brand you choose, because all of the cards out there are close to Nvidia’s and ATI’s reference designs. Just pay attention to price, warranty, and the manufacturer’s reputation for honoring the warranty if something goes wrong.

Also remember that the stores don’t follow this list. Things will change over the course of the month and you’ll probably have to adapt your buying strategy to deal with fluctuating prices. Good luck!


The original article can be read Here at Tom’s Hardware.


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