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Best GPU under $100

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February 29, 2012 2:09:00 PM

What would be the best graphics/ video card less than $100 for my new i5-2500k computer? It's primary use will be Maya and Photoshop but i'd also like to play some games (mostly Starcraft). Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 29, 2012 2:53:39 PM

Cazalan said:
While the $100 is a good price point I would highly recommend you go $10 more and get a 7750 which is a lot faster.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Faster than what? If you mean the HD6770 I linked the 7750 is actually a bit slower. That it is $17 more expensive before rebate and $47 more after makes the idea a non-starter imo even before considering the free game.
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February 29, 2012 2:55:59 PM

Jy, the card you linked looks good and is a great price but that one in particular didn't get a very good review. Does that matter? Other than that it looks great.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 29, 2012 3:23:45 PM

I wouldn't take 2 customer reviews seriously at all. Gigabyte is a good brand with good customer service.
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February 29, 2012 3:41:46 PM

Ryanv777 said:
What would be the best graphics/ video card less than $100 for my new i5-2500k computer? It's primary use will be Maya and Photoshop but i'd also like to play some games (mostly Starcraft). Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


I was in the same boat about 2 weeks ago. I spent my $$ on an i5 2500K and an Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA1155 R MB.

I went with an EVGA 550ti (1 gb) which was about $120 (after the elusive $20 MIR).

I have been very happy with it's stock performance and ability to SLI down the road.
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a b U Graphics card
February 29, 2012 4:06:40 PM

+1 to UpState
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February 29, 2012 4:08:30 PM

dude what resolution u want to play games ?
if it is some thing like this 1440 * 990 then i am sure that 6770 will handle it if u have a quad core procesor or i3 ..

if u want to play on 1080p then 6770 is not enough in ultra 6850 can handle ultra but if u are low un budget then 6770 is not a bad choice
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 29, 2012 6:27:12 PM

The GTX 550 Ti is similar in performance to the HD6770 but priced noticeably higher. Unless you really want a Nvidia card it isn't a good choice for the money.
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February 29, 2012 8:18:55 PM

jyjjy said:
The GTX 550 Ti is similar in performance to the HD6770 but priced noticeably higher. Unless you really want a Nvidia card it isn't a good choice for the money.


I'd like to comment on this, because I see the 550 ti get repeatedly bashed on this site (and other places) and I would like to get a better understanding of specifics for why. I want to also say upfront that I'm not an expert on these matters, and I am new to these forums, but I did some research before buying and I came away with feeling the EVGA 550ti was a better overall choice, and after installing it and updating their recent driver I feel it's an excellent choice. It also has a very high consumer rating at Newegg with few major negatives.

The first major knock I see is that the price is noticeably higher as jyjjy states. I paid $120 for mine, and most of the 6770's were either around that price or at most $20 cheaper. I don't really think that's a big factor overall. This card is also 3D ready, and as someone that does graphics and works on images instead of purely gaming, I think it's worth having this now instead of having to "chip up" in another year.

I also see most of the comparisons of these two cards (lets keep it to these two for the moment) as being very generic. I looked at several brands and felt that EVGA was a better card. My older card that this one replaced was an EVGA 9800gtx, so I'm sure my history with the company also factored in, but I think there is good reason to like their card and software. As you say, if you want a Nvidia card maybe you are ok with paying a little more for it.

Beyond the brand rep (EVGA and Nvidia) which is important to me at least, they have some really good product software. I'm sure you all know about the overclocking software and what not, but their PureVideo technology makes a difference. And for the average joe user (that's me!) when companies make things easy to use and reliable I don't have to deal with it when I'm using the computer to do things.

All of the comparisions I see are not using the EVGA cards so I have to wonder the impact, especially if you factor in their updated driver. I would love to see a real actual hardware test with these factors compared to the best of the best 6770 card. Then I would be fine with how things pan out and may the better card win.

I hope I'm not ruffling feathers here. I'm not trying to bash the 6770 card. I nearly got it instead of the 550ti, but I'm hoping to have some of you guys that are more knowledgeable than I am about these matters help me to understand why this card such a whipping post here.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 29, 2012 9:27:06 PM

It's not really particularly complicated. As you say the card is about $20 more expensive than its direct competitor. At the price point around $100 that is quite significant. Alternately you can usually find an HD6790 for the same price which easily outclasses it. As for the other things you mention Nvidia has no monopoly on quality manufacturers of their cards, AMD has their own exclusive advantages like Eyefinity and the best overclocking software is third party and works with either brand's cards.
BTW you seem a bit confused about what a specific manufacturer brings to the table. For the most part the different cards of the same name simply have different coolers on a physical level. They all use the same drivers and have the same performance, barring a factory OC which is usually trivial to replicate(or surpass) on your own.
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March 1, 2012 5:38:07 PM

Thanks for helping to explain these things. I'm still a bit puzzled though. When you say that the card is exactly the same hardware, you mean they all have the base components and then just stick them in their desired packaging and cooling, I get that, makes sense. But then you say "They all use the same drivers and have the same performance, barring a factory OC.

So what is point of downloading the latest driver if they have not done anything to improve it's performance? NVidia claims their latest driver helps improve performance of various games and they list some charts showing these improvements. Are you saying this is just BS and that the driver doesn't help with framerates and playablity? This was my earlier point about the latest driver was supposed to improve the card's improvement and if the card comparison vs the 6770 doesn't take this into consideration it seems unfair to the card. In other words, if their updated driver download is helping improve the card's game performance, isn't that what matters?

According to hwcompare the 550ti has greater memory bandwith (47%) and greater pixel rate (50%), while the 6770 has 24% better texel rate. Does texel rate trumph the others?

I appreciate the chance to learn these things.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 1, 2012 6:22:02 PM

Driver updates do increase performance, especially in newer games and on newer cards. I'm not sure how what I said that might contradict that. All I said was all the various versions of a card use the same ones. AMD cards also regularly receive driver updates that increase performance in a similar manner.
As for memory bandwidth/pixel/texel rate those are not things you should really concern yourself with. Actual gaming benchmarks are what matters in the end and those are readily available from dozens of sources. Trying to use raw stats as a surrogate is a pointless endeavor. Here's some numbers for current cards on the latest drivers at a common high resolution;



It doesn't list the HD6770 because it is the same card as the HD5770 and would be redundant. The GTX 550 Ti is a tiny bit faster but to a degree that is insignificant compared to the price difference.
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a c 365 U Graphics card
March 2, 2012 12:26:21 AM

Ryanv777 said:
Jy, the card you linked looks good and is a great price but that one in particular didn't get a very good review. Does that matter? Other than that it looks great.


You can opt for an Asus HD 6770 which is $90 after rebate + $7 shipping and more favorable reviews:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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