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Best PCIe Card: Under $75

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November '09
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Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For ~$50:

Radeon HD 4650 (Check Prices)

Great 1280x1024 performance in most games, 1680x1050 with lowered detail

Radeon HD 4650 DDR3
Codename: RV730
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 320
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 600
Memory Speed MHz: 400 (800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

When you slide in under the $50 price point, you will not find a card that packs more punch than ATI's Radeon HD 4650. With solid stock performance and an overclockable GPU, this card is an excellent starting point for our recommendations, and a wholly worthwhile upgrade if you're currently stuck using a motherboard with integrated graphics.

Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For ~$65:  Tie

Radeon HD 4670 (Check Prices)

Good 1680x1050 performance in most games

Radeon HD 4670
Codename: RV730
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 320
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 750
Memory Speed MHz: 1,000 (4,000 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

The Radeon HD 4670 continues to retain the distinction by being the most powerful reference card that doesn't require a dedicated power connector. Performance is excellent and power usage is very low, making this product an impressive performer all-around. Its accelerated clock rates and modestly-higher price tag are worth considering if you originally had your eye on the Radeon HD 4650.

GeForce 9600 GSO (Check Prices)

Good 1680x1050 performance in most games

GeForce 9600 GSO
Codename: G94
Process: 65nm
Universal Shaders: 48
Texture Units: 48
ROPs: 12
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core/Shader Speed MHz: 550/1375
Memory Speed MHz: 800 (1,600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

This is another card that seems to be getting harder to find, in terms of availability. Nevertheless, the GeForce 9600 GSO is a powerful competitor when you compare it to the Radeon HD 4670. While the GeForce requires a dedicated PCIe power connector to supply more juice than the Radeon, it does offer better performance in some situations.

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