Budget Video Card ~ $230

Hello,
I am looking to buy a video card for around $230. I listed $250 as my upper bound but I'd like to try to stay a bit away from it... unless there's some huge mistake I'd be making. So far, I've gathered that the Radeon 7870 would be my best option, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I am also very interested to hear your thoughts on what the best manufacturer for the card is (whatever your suggestion for the model). For instance, for the 7870, I've had my eye on the Gigabyte OC card. I've also been looking at the XFX Double D card, mainly for its lifetime warranty advantage. In general, what model do you suggest, and what brand for that model?
Finally, I am willing to wait for potential price drops during the holidays (I can even get the card in early January). I heard something about 7890 rumors, does anyone have any ideas about this? Will the 7870 price drop? Please let me know your thoughts! Thank you.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sometime during holidays
BUDGET RANGE: $150-250 before rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Folding@Home, home theater/watching movies

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: My current GPU broke, I just built a new computer and am using integrated Intel graphics. My power supply is the Corsair TX650M: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139031&Tpk=corsair%20tx650m.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: CPU - Intel 3570K, MB - MSi z77a G45, Memory - G.Skill Ripjaws 8 GB 1600 MHz (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314), Air Cooler - Hyper 212 plus, Case - Corsair 200R

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, amazon, tigerdirect, ncix

PARTS PREFERENCES: Not sure... I've used Nvidia in the past but I'm open

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
32 answers Last reply
More about budget video card
  1. 7870 is your best bang for buck as you've mentioned, both gigabyte+xfx are great cards.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125418

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150606

    I'd lean more towards gigabyte myself though.

    Don't think the prices will drop anytime soon until the new 8000 series is released. Haven't heard anything about the 7890 or release date for 8000 series though.
  2. The GTX 660 FTW signiture 2 is an amazing card! Im in love with it
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130833 -220$

    And you get assassins creed 3 for free!
  3. radeon hd 7870 if you want sleeping dogs or gtx 660 if you want assassins creed 3, they perform similiar with the 7870 leading in most games.
  4. Radeon hd 7870 is much faster than GTX 660. it comes with 2 games, either hitman and sleeping dog or fc3 and sleeping dog

    If you are not into overclocking, this card is deffly the fastest hd 7870 on the market.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131476


    EDIT: the two games are two worlds II and sleeping dog
  5. i'd take any day the 7870 gigabyte windforce 3x over the powercolor.

    If preference is nvidia and the game assassins creed 3 and for a lower price, get the zotac 660 gtx (overclocks well).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500270


    If not get the 7870 ghz edition gigabyte windforce 3x.
  6. djangoringo said:
    i'd take any day the 7870 gigabyte windforce 3x over the powercolor.

    If preference is nvidia and the game assassins creed 3 and for a lower price, get the zotac 660 gtx (overclocks well).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500270


    If not get the 7870 ghz edition gigabyte windforce 3x.



    How come? I m actually thinking about getting this card for a rig. I know windforce prolly got better oc ability
  7. Thanks for your replies. By the way, what happened to the Far Cry 3 bundle for Radeon cards? Does anyone know if it will come back?
  8. Rebbig said:
    Thanks for your replies. By the way, what happened to the Far Cry 3 bundle for Radeon cards? Does anyone know if it will come back?


    They moved the FC3 bundle to more expensive cards, I guess because its a new "Hit" game
    Its not on models like the HD 6990
  9. By the way, do people have any recommendations regarding which manufacturer is best for 7850? I realize this is worse than the 660 (at least from my understanding), but it's also quite a bit cheaper.
  10. The cheapest 7850 2GB is 174.99$ after rebate : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131473


    The cheapest 660 gtx 2GB is at 179.99$ after rebate :
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500270


    It's worth going with the 660 gtx, better performance, better cooling system vs powercolor, better drivers and features and a better game(assassins creed 3) for more 5$.
  11. burntpizza said:
    Radeon hd 7870 is much faster than GTX 660. it comes with 2 games, either hitman and sleeping dog or fc3 and sleeping dog

    If you are not into overclocking, this card is deffly the fastest hd 7870 on the market.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131476


    EDIT: the two games are two worlds II and sleeping dog


    No, no, no.

    The difference is 5-10% overall, some games comes in GTX 660's favor and some in Radeon 7870's favor. After the new drivers Nvidia just has released, then GTX 660 runs FC3 like a dream!

    This is my GTX 660 running FC3 maxed out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRnKfQaVVwM&feature=plcp

    The GTX 660 is in most cases 30$ cheaper than Radeon 7870.

    GTX 660 comes with adaptive vsync, physx, FXAA, boost and TXAA.
    These Technologies will give a smoother gameplay with better Visuals in several games.

    Why would you spend 30$ more on a GPU where the difference is minimal? And it doesn't even come with those Technologies as Nvidia is offering?

    STILL radeon 7870 is a great GPU, but when Technologies has been put into the calculation then I don't see any reason buying it.
  12. The GTX 660 Zotac card does not seem particularly highly rated, also the warranty is only 2 years, which slightly worries me.
  13. Rebbig said:
    The GTX 660 Zotac card does not seem particularly highly rated, also the warranty is only 2 years, which slightly worries me.


    EVGA, MSI, ASUS, GIGABYTE.

    If you get one of those brands, you're sure to get quality cooling.
  14. It's a good card :

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_660/32.html

    Zotac offers extended warranty for limited lifetime with that card :

    With product registration, the product is covered under the Extended Warranty. Product registration must be done within 30 days of original purchase. The Extended Warranty begins on the original date of purchase, and only applies to products listed in the below table:
    Limited Lifetime Warranty holds a duration that is the lifetime of the product (as long as the product is still being manufactured).
  15. By the way, I've been hearing something about the architecture on Radeon cards being much better than the Kepler architecture regarding computing, though I'm not exactly sure about it (maybe something with respect to floating point operations for OpenCL?). Am I making this up? If anyone can shed light on this and explain in which settings this would be useful (for instance, is it useful outside of gaming?), I would be grateful.
  16. I currently have a 7850 that I bought for $200 and it is AMAZING it is same performance as the 660 Ti and in some AA heavy games it beats the 660 Ti and it DESROYS the 660's (non ti).
  17. goldsauce said:
    I currently have a 7850 that I bought for $200 and it is AMAZING it is same performance as the 660 Ti and in some AA heavy games it beats the 660 Ti and it DESROYS the 660's (non ti).


    You're being misleading. Radeon 7850 is below the performance of GTX 660.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/660?vs=549

    Here is some newer benchmarks, for all the people bragging about drivers ;)

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Club_3D/HD_7870_jokerCard_Tahiti_LE/11.html
  18. lostgamer_03 said:
    You're being misleading. Radeon 7850 is below the performance of GTX 660.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/660?vs=549

    Here is some newer benchmarks, for all the people bragging about drivers ;)

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Club_3D/HD_7870_jokerCard_Tahiti_LE/11.html


    Yes though the 660 doesn't have much overclocking headroom at all while the 7850 is a overclocking beast my 7850 is just a normal xfx one and the stock clocks are 860 core and 1500 memory and i could get it stable running at 1200 and 1650 and people with MSI 7850 Twin Frozr have been able to get it to 1275-1300 and 1700.

    And when overclocked the 7850 beats the 660.
  19. What do people of think of this ASUS 660 card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121660&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL121312&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL121312-_-EMC-121312-Latest-_-DesktopGraphicsVideoCards-_-14121660-L011B

    Also, does anyone have any insights regarding my previous question in this thread about computing power of NVIDIA vs AMD?
  20. Rebbig said:
    What do people of think of this ASUS 660 card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121660&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL121312&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL121312-_-EMC-121312-Latest-_-DesktopGraphicsVideoCards-_-14121660-L011B

    Also, does anyone have any insights regarding my previous question in this thread about computing power of NVIDIA vs AMD?


    Get a 7850 because 660's don't have any overclocking room so when overclocked the 7850 beats the 660.
  21. I would personally put in the extra $30 (maybe less/more in america?) and get the 7950 for the extra 1Gb of Vram... hell if your waiting till jan there might be one at $250 anyway.
  22. goldsauce said:
    Get a 7850 because 660's don't have any overclocking room so when overclocked the 7850 beats the 660.



    LOL.
    Not even with overclock is near as good as a 660 gtx, the 660 gtx overclocks well, the 7850 now are shipped with voltage locked..

    http://tpucdn.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_660_Direct_Cu_II/images/perf_oc.gif


    I'd go with the asus 660 gtx, it is a good card, overclocks well, it has really low temperatures due to the cooling system and lowest fan noise.
    The 660 gtx trades blows with the 7870.
    Also nvidia is better for computing, driver support, and features.
  23. djangoringo said:
    LOL.
    Not even with overclock is near as good as a 660 gtx, the 660 gtx overclocks well, the 7850 now are shipped with voltage locked..

    http://tpucdn.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_660_Direct_Cu_II/images/perf_oc.gif


    I'd go with the asus 660 gtx, it is a good card, overclocks well, it has really low temperatures due to the cooling system and lowest fan noise.
    The 660 gtx trades blows with the 7870.
    Also nvidia is better for computing, driver support, and features.


    I don't know about that voltage lock thing you are talking about as I just bought myself a XFX HD 7850 a week ago and it does not have a voltage lock.

    Here are some 3dmark11 benchmark results:

    P9694 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti(1x) and Intel Core i7-3770K Processor

    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4697312

    P10468 with AMD Radeon HD 7850(1x) and Intel Core i5-3570K Processor

    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4164376

    Though the 7850 rig has a i5 it still beats the 660 Ti rig that has a i7.
  24. The 3dmark11 thing is pathetic, seriously...

    See i can put a 7850 with a i7-3770k

    See the score : http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4202566 (P3432)

    And put a 650 ti with i5-3570k with :

    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4896668 (P6950)


    LOL, hence the 650 ti is a better one no ?, derp.
    Also it's just 3d mark reports incorrect measures, and it's a worthless benchmark.
    Just get it, the 7850 is no near as good as the 660 gtx, the 660 gtx is on the level with the 7870.
  25. +1 to djangoringo and lostgamer. GTX660 will serve you a lot better in the long run. Don't let AMD fans persuade you that you can't overclock nVidia stuff. And at stock speeds there's no contest.

    And +1 to disregard 3Dmark scores. I don't play 3Dmark so who cares how it performs? :-) And before a furious AMD fanboy tells me it's not a game, I was making a point.
  26. Seriously, Radeon hd 7850 is slower than GTX 660. Why would people use 3D mark, its no game!

    HD 7870 is faster than GTX 660, but is often priced the same. So, great, take one if you can find it. AC3 is the only place so far GTX 660 can beat HD 7870.
  27. MSI N660TI-2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 Ti - $244.99 after $25 MIR not a bad price.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127711

    HIS IceQ Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition - $204.99 after $20.00 MIR.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161404
  28. To be honest, I'd advise a GTX660 over that GTX660 Ti. The Ti only adds ~10% gain (bit more in some games, less in others) so not sure it's worth the extra.
  29. i personally would take the ~10% increase for $30.
  30. HD 7870 is a bit over GTX 660 in most cases. No cheap talk, just make your own research on the net. Type "hd7870 vs gtx660" in google search and draw your own conclusion by reading reviews from different sites.
  31. Here you go:

    http://www.techspot.com/review/603-best-graphics-cards/page12.html

    7870 has a 5% lead in frames/second here. Though that's with new AMD drivers but before the new nVidia drivers, giving AMD a slight edge here. Won't change the placing massively, but you're looking at less than 5% interms of frames/second. Not that frames/second is the best method anyway, but that's what you'll find most data for.
  32. Yea that's what i am saying. Whether or not the 5%-7% performance difference is worth the cost difference is OP's decision to make. We see a similar situation among various cards: GTX 660 to 7870 to GTX 660Ti to HD 7950/boost to GTX 670 to HD 7970 etc etc. Actually with the current pricing GTX 660 is at a sweet spot. The difference between 2 rivaling generations is small, be it in performance or/and price. Latest drivers put a lot of fixing and performance boost at both sides. At last in my eyes it is mostly important considering the price difference in this generation
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