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Best PCIe Card: $100 And Under

Best Graphics Cards For the Money: March 2011
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Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For $65:

Radeon HD 5570 DDR3 (Check Prices)

Great 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in many games with lowered detail

Radeon HD 5570
Codename: RV830
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 400
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 650
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (1800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

We've seen the Radeon HD 5570 GDDR3 for as low as $60 online. This card delivers playable 1680x1050 performance in most games, and is a great starting point for a budget gaming machine or as an upgrade for anyone stuck using integrated graphics.

Read our full review of AMD's Radeon HD 5570 for more information on the card and its underlying architecture.

Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For $80:

Radeon HD 5670 (Check Prices)

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

Radeon HD 5670
Codename: RV830
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 400
Texture Units: 20
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 775
Memory Speed MHz: 1000 (4000 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0
Max TDP:61 W

The Radeon HD 5670 is the most powerful reference card you can buy that doesn't require an auxiliary PCIe power cable.

This card offers DirectX 11 compatibility, along with all of the other Radeon HD 5000-series features, such as multi-display support and high-def audio bitstreaming. Folks planning to buy one for a budget-oriented triple-monitor Eyefinity setup have to pay attention, as some manufacturers don't include the DisplayPort output needed to use three monitors simultaneously.

Best PCIe Card For ~$100:

GeForce GTS 250 512 MB (Check Prices)

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

GeForce GTS 250
Codename: G92b
Process: 55 nm
Universal Shaders: 128
Texture Units: 64
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core/Shader Speed MHz: 738 / 1836
Memory Speed MHz: 1100 (2200 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

At the $100 price point, Nvidia's GeForce GTS 250 hangs on to deliver fantastic DirectX 10 performance to budget-oriented gamers.

It's difficult to recommend $110-to-$120 DirectX 11-class cards like the Radeon HD 5750 and GeForce GTS 450 when the superior Radeon HD 5770 is only $125. So, the GeForce GTS 250 gets a recommendation for its lower price. It remains a very powerful card in this segment.

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