Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Best PCIe Card: ~$95 To $180

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: February '10
By

Best PCIe Card For ~$100

Radeon HD 4850 512MB (Check Prices)

Exceptional 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in most games with 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

The Radeon HD 4850 is returning to the ~$100 price point after a brief hiatus, and we hope it lasts. If you're considering this graphics card, buy it while you still can, because nothing in the $100 range can touch it. Availability is waning, and these products probably won't be around much longer now that the Radeon HD 5750 has arrived. On the other hand, bear in mind that the Radeon HD 5750 supports DirectX 11, Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming, and three monitor outputs. Its value might very well be a viable alternative if gaming isn't your exclusive concern.

Best PCIe Card For ~$130:

Radeon HD 5750 1GB (Check Prices)

Great 1920x1200 performance in most games

Radeon HD 5750
Codename: RV840 "Juniper"
Process: 40nm
Universal Shaders: 720
Texture Units: 36
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 700
Memory Speed MHz: 1,150 (4,600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

The price of the 1GB Radeon HD 5750 continues to fall, and this month it's enough to take the recommendation from the 1GB versions of the Radeon HD 4850 and GeForce GTS 250. Although it costs a few dollars more, the 5750 is more appealing due to DirectX 11 hardware capabilities. There are other benefits, such as Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio and Eyefinity triple-output support, making this card an easy choice on all fronts.

Read our full review of ATI's Radeon HD 5750 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

Best PCIe Card For ~$160:

Radeon HD 5770 (Check Prices)

Great 1920x1200 performance in most games

Radeon HD 5770
Codename: RV840 "Juniper"
Process: 40nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 850
Memory Speed MHz: 1,200 (4,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

While the new Radeon HD 5770 isn't any faster than its older Radeon HD 4870 cousin (we've found that it's even slightly slower in many instances), it does have something the Radeon HD 4870 doesn't have: full DirectX 11 and Eyefinity support. Indeed, while the Radeon HD 5770 doesn't run away with any performance crowns in this category, it does look good from a longevity/value standpoint.

Perhaps more importantly, at the $160 price point there is nothing to compete against it, now that the Radeon HD 4870 is gone and the GeForce GTX 260 is suffering from rising prices (these are up to $190 on Newegg right now).

Read our full review of ATI's Radeon HD 5770 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

React To This Article