Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Best PCIe Card: $90 And Under

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: July 2010
By

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
Codename: RV730
Process: 55 nm
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

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
Codename: RV830
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 400
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
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
Codename: GT215
Process:   40 nm
Universal Shaders: 96
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
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.

React To This Article