Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For Under $55:
Radeon HD 4650 (Check Prices)
Great 1280x1024 performance in most games, 1680x1050 with lowered detail
|Radeon HD 4650|
|Core Speed MHz:||600|
|Memory Speed MHz:||400 (800 effective)|
|DirectX/Shader Model:||DX 10.1/SM 4.1|
You will not find a card that packs more punch than ATI's Radeon HD 4650 at the alluring $55 price point. With solid stock performance and an overclockable GPU, this card is an excellent starting point for our list of recommendations, and a wholly worthwhile upgrade if you're currently stuck using a motherboard limited to integrated graphics.
Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For ~$70:
Radeon HD 5570 DDR3 (Check Prices)
Great 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in many games with lowered detail
|Radeon HD 5570|
|Universal Shaders:|| 400|
|Texture Units:|| 40|
|Core Speed MHz:|| 650|
|Memory Speed MHz:||900 (1800 effective)|
|DirectX/Shader Model:||DX 11/SM 5.0|
At $70, the Radeon HD 5570 DDR3 can take a recommendation for being a solid performer at a relatively low price, and won't disappoint folks who don't want to upgrade their power supply to accommodate a more powerful graphics card.
Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For ~$80:
GeForce GT 240 GDDR5 (Check Prices)
Great 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in most games with lowered detail
|GeForce GT 240 GDDR5|
|Universal Shaders:|| 96|
|Texture Units:|| 32|
|Core Speed MHz:||550|
|Memory Speed MHz:||850 (3400 effective)|
|DirectX/Shader Model:||DX 10.1/SM 4.0|
Yeah, we're surprised, too.
When the GeForce GT 240 was introduced it represented poor value for the dollar, but prices have dropped a lot since then, and the GeForce 9600 GT is quickly becoming hard to find. Yes, the $90 GeForce 9800 GT and Radeon HD 5670 are faster options, but it's impossible to recommend those cards at $90 when the Radeon HD 4850 can be found for $10 more.
In addition, the GeForce GT 240 is a power sipper and doesn't require a dedicated PCIe power cable. And as a bonus, it's one of a handful of GeForce cards that are able to accelerate Blu-ray 3D playback.