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Conclusion: Performance Per Dollar

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: April 2014
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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 entry, performance, and extreme detail settings and resolutions (respectively), while the orange line represents cost. If you mouse over the bar chart, you get a pop-up that shows performance relative to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 690 (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 Low Detail v GTX 690 Medium Detail v GTX 690 High Detail v GTX 690
GeForce GT 640 80 Newegg 22 15 10
Radeon HD 7770, Radeon R7 250X 100 Newegg 38 29 21
Radeon R7 260X 120 Newegg 51 40 33
GeForce GTX 750 Ti 160 Newegg 53 45 36
Radeon R9 270 185 Newegg 58 51 42
GeForce GTX 760 250 Newegg 68 61 53
GeForce GTX 770 330 Newegg 76 74 66
Radeon R9 290 480 Newegg 89 81 83
GeForce GTX 780 510 Newegg 88 79 79
Radeon R9 290X 590 Newegg 93 85 87
GeForce GTX 780 Ti 700 Newegg 98 92 93
GeForce GTX 690 1,000 Newegg 100 100 100

At the beginning of the chart, you see significant performance gains for every dollar spent. Clearly, the Radeon R7 260X is the price/performance card to beat under $200. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 750 Ti offers slightly more performance for considerably more money, so it's not really a good value play, except for gamers who are stuck with a low-end power supply they don't want to upgrade.

Between the GeForce GTX 660 and GeForce GTX 770, price increases steadily with performance. At $470 (for the Radeon R9 290) and beyond, the value proposition is severely diminished. AMD's R9 290 does offer a slightly superior price/performance ratio compared to the GeForce GTX 780, but the Nvidia card uses less power, and its reference cooler is easier to live with.

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 Radeon R9 290X or GeForce GTX 780 Ti may mean the difference between playable and unplayable frame rates at 2560x1440, 5760x1080, and 3840x2160.

Summary

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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