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Best PCIe Card: ~$190 To $250

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: February '10

Best PCIe Card For ~$200:

2 x Radeon HD 4850 512MB in CrossFire Configuration (Check Prices)

Exceptional 1920x1200 performance, 2560x1600 in most games with lowered detail

2 x Radeon HD 4850 in CrossFire Configuration
Codename: 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

Two Radeon HD 4850s in CrossFire continue to offer a combination of high performance and reasonably low cost, making them a good choice for a gaming enthusiast on a budget. We stick to recommending the lower-cost $100 512MB versions for CrossFire, as the more expensive options bring the price too close to the Radeon HD 5770 and the even more attractive Radeon HD 5850.

Honorable Mention:
Radeon HD 4890 (Check Prices)

Excellent 1920x1200 performance in most games

Radeon HD 4890
Codename: RV790
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 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

As an alternative to the CrossFire'd Radeon HD 4850 solution above, a single Radeon HD 4890 offers much less performance. It does however offer the convenience of populating just one of your PCI Express x16 slots and infamous overclocking headroom.

If the Radeon HD 4890 looks good to you, you may want to act quickly, as stock seems to be waning at an alarming rate. The card will likely be pulled in favor of the new Radeon HD 5000-series once production winds down.

Read our full review of ATI's Radeon HD 4890 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

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