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, while the orange line indicates 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 yields 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 each category. Often, our choices 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||72.02||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||150.00||Amazon||31||25||28|
|Radeon R9 270X||180||Amazon||37||31||34|
|Radeon R9 280||220.00||Amazon||43||36||40|
|Radeon R9 280X||280.00||Amazon||49||43||46|
|Radeon R9 290||429.99||Amazon||61||58||59|
|Radeon R9 290X||500||Amazon||64||59||62|
|GeForce GTX 780 Ti||600.00||Amazon||67||60||64|
|Radeon R9 295X2||1000||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 a similar 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 $780, and they're not going to perform noticeably slower than a Radeon R9 295X2 at $1000.
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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- Best Graphics Cards for the Money, September Updates
- Best Entry-Level Graphics Cards: $140 and Under
- Best Mid-Range Graphics Cards: $145 to $200
- Best Enthusiast Graphics Cards: $210 to $390
- Best High-End Graphics Cards: $400 to $800
- Best Extreme Graphics Cards: Over $800 and Multi-Card Configurations
- Graphics Card Performance Hierarchy Chart
- Conclusion: Performance Per Dollar