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Conclusion: Performance Per Dollar

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: July 2014

In an effort to further express the performance you get for every dollar spent on our recommendations, we're charting out the hierarchy of cards from today's story. The red, black, and blue bars represent how each card fares at 1080p, 2160p, and the average of the two (respectively), while the orange line represents cost. If you mouse over the bar chart, you get a pop-up that shows performance relative to AMD's Radeon R9 295X2 (our current 100% ceiling). Mousing over the dots on the orange line pops up a low price easily attainable on Newegg. Clicking a bar or dot gives you the option to shop for that card, taking you to a link of our pick in that category. Often, our picks give you a lower price than the average displayed.

Price 1080p v R9 295X2 2160p v R9 295X2 Avg v R9 295X2
GeForce GT 730 64-bit GDDR5 75 Amazon 11 10 11
Radeon HD 7770, Radeon R7 250X 100 Amazon 23 16 20
Radeon R7 260X 139.99 Amazon 25 18 22
GeForce GTX 750 Ti 150 Amazon 27 22 25
Radeon R7 265 169.99 Amazon 31 25 28
Radeon R9 270X 266.49 Amazon 37 31 34
Radeon R9 280 289.99 Amazon 43 36 40
GeForce GTX 760 250 Amazon 41 33 37
Radeon R9 280X 309.99 Amazon 49 43 46
Radeon R9 290 400 Amazon 61 58 59
Radeon R9 290X 530 Amazon 64 59 62
GeForce GTX 780 Ti 670.00 Amazon 67 60 64
Radeon R9 295X2 1500 Amazon 100 100 100

At the beginning of the chart, you see significant performance gains for every dollar spent. Clearly, the Radeon R7 250X is the price/performance card to beat under $150, while the Radeon R9 270X takes top honors under $200. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 750 Ti offers less performance than the Radeon R7 265 for the same price. It might not be the best value play, but this Nvidia card remains attractive to gamers stuck with low-end power supplies they don't want to upgrade.

Between the Radeon R9 270X and Radeon R9 290, price increases steadily with performance. The Radeon R9 290 represents an impressive value for high-end hardware. Beyond that, performance-per-dollar gets progressively worse. Both the Radeon R9 290X and GeForce GTX 780 Ti offer relatively little frame rate increase for what you spend beyond the 290's price tag.

As you approach the upper echelon of frame rates, your dollar doesn't stretch as far. But if you're a hardcore gamer who wants to experience the highest resolutions and most taxing detail settings, the most expensive cards in this list might be attractive. Just keep in mind that two Radeon R9 290s are going to cost you $800, and they're not going to be noticably slower than a Radeon R9 295X2 at $1500.


There you have it folks, the best cards for the money this month!

And remember that the stores don’t follow this list. Things will change over the course of the month and you’ll probably have to adapt your buying strategy to deal with fluctuating prices. Good luck!

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