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Best PCIe Card: $195 To $240

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: September 2010
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Best PCIe Card For ~$200: Tie

GeForce GTX 460 768 MB (Check Prices)

Great 1920x1200 performance in most games

GeForce GTX 460 768 MB
Codename: GF104
Process:   40 nm
Universal Shaders: 336
Texture Units: 56
ROPs: 24
Memory Bus: 192-bit
Core/Shader Speed MHz: 675 / 1350
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5

The GeForce GTX 460 768 MB delivers impressive performance and a reasonable price tag, impressive power usage (especially after having tested the GF100-based boards), and low noise output.

It's the first card we've really been blown away by at its $200 price point since AMD's Radeon HD 4890 was phased out, although this card's presence has forced the Radeon HD 5830 price down to the same level.

Read our full review of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 for more information on the card and its underlying architecture.

Radeon HD 5830 1 GB (Check Prices)

Great 1920x1200 performance in most games

Radeon HD 5830 1 GB
Codename: RV870
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 1120
Texture Units: 56
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 800
Memory Speed MHz: 1000 (4000 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5

The Radeon HD 5830 remains competitive with the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB. Nvidia's latest mainstream stunner forced AMD to push prices down to $200, where we originally claimed that it belonged. The card no longer enjoys a competition-free landscape, but it remains a viable option.

Read our full review of AMD's Radeon HD 5830 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

Best PCIe Card For $225: 

GeForce GTX 460 1 GB (Check Prices)

Great 1920x1200 performance in most games

GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Codename: GF104
Process:   40 nm
Universal Shaders: 336
Texture Units: 56
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core/Shader Speed MHz: 675 / 1350
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5

Priced $30 higher than the 768 MB version, Nvidia's 1 GB GeForce GTX 460 enjoys the benefits of a larger frame buffer, a wider memory path, and a corresponding increased ROP count. Performance is naturally higher than the 768 MB model, which is the reason Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 1 GB deserves a recommendation of its own for folks able to utilize the full 1 GB of memory (in our launch coverage, this was an issue mostly at higher resolutions with anti-aliasing enabled).

Read our full review of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 for more information on the card and its underlying architecture.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    jamesedgeuk2000 , September 20, 2010 10:36 AM
    So the GTS450 costs 20% more than the GTX260 yet its a tier lower? RIPOFF!
  • 15 Hide
    ray-ng , September 20, 2010 11:07 AM
    I occasionally see the Radeon 4870 for $99.99 on Newegg. How come it wasn't mentioned??
  • 15 Hide
    micr0be , September 20, 2010 8:15 AM
    after a year my 4870x2 is still the "best man" so to speak.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    nativeson8803 , September 20, 2010 6:16 AM
    I'm glad I purchased a GTX 460, it was a great upgrade from my 9800gtx+. I'm thinking of going SLI, but since I'm on a 775 platform (q9550 @3.5) I wonder if there would be a bottleneck there and maybe I should hold off?

    Hope to see a pricewar!
  • 7 Hide
    Opc , September 20, 2010 6:28 AM
    What is a GTS 45 ? I just love the GTX 460
  • 1 Hide
    Tamz_msc , September 20, 2010 6:29 AM
    I totally agree with the selection of cards in the 200+$ range.
  • 7 Hide
    darthvidor , September 20, 2010 6:33 AM
    nice to see nvidia competing finally with amd.
  • 5 Hide
    Reynod , September 20, 2010 6:33 AM
    Thanks Don ... nice roundup.

  • 9 Hide
    jgv115 , September 20, 2010 6:48 AM
    C'mon nvidia! Lower the GTS450 to 100 dollars!! You know you want to ;) )
  • -3 Hide
    nevertell , September 20, 2010 8:07 AM
    nativeson8803I'm glad I purchased a GTX 460, it was a great upgrade from my 9800gtx+. I'm thinking of going SLI, but since I'm on a 775 platform (q9550 @3.5) I wonder if there would be a bottleneck there and maybe I should hold off?Hope to see a pricewar!


    No. There was a test with 2 480's sli'd with both 16x/16x and 4x/4x, and there were no bandwidth bottlenecks.
  • 8 Hide
    basket687 , September 20, 2010 8:10 AM
    On newegg GTX 460 768MB is listed for $170.
  • 15 Hide
    micr0be , September 20, 2010 8:15 AM
    after a year my 4870x2 is still the "best man" so to speak.
  • 8 Hide
    Darkerson , September 20, 2010 8:54 AM
    Always love reading these best GPU / CPU articles. Keeps things in perspective! Keep up the good work!
  • 1 Hide
    RCPG , September 20, 2010 9:42 AM
    Completely agree with darkerson.

    Just a minor correction:
    Middle column, 8th row, HD HD 5670.

    And as opc said: "What is a GTS 45 ?"

    Thanks.
  • 13 Hide
    mitch074 , September 20, 2010 9:55 AM
    My goodness.

    My card is a recommendation. Again.

    Who'd a thought the HD4850 would be such a long-lasting value 2 years ago?
  • 18 Hide
    jamesedgeuk2000 , September 20, 2010 10:36 AM
    So the GTS450 costs 20% more than the GTX260 yet its a tier lower? RIPOFF!
  • -3 Hide
    joytech22 , September 20, 2010 10:53 AM
    My GTX470 SLI setup is a recommendation woohoo!! (well not mine, but you get the idea)

    I'm glad i got them, but now i have to sacrifice the upcoming AMD Processors because pretty much nobody will be making a SLI version of AM3+ or AM4...

    There are only 2 DDR3 SLI boards that i could find from almost EVERY major manufacturer for AMD boards.. and next generation will be lucky to have one..
  • 15 Hide
    ray-ng , September 20, 2010 11:07 AM
    I occasionally see the Radeon 4870 for $99.99 on Newegg. How come it wasn't mentioned??
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 20, 2010 12:15 PM
    Nice roundup... :) 

    But, just like Gamer's cards how about a nice roundup for HTPC oriented discreet cards? Many people are building their own HTPCs or going to something readymade (those ION boxes). But mot DIYers usually hit this question while finalizing the config, which discreet card with give bang-for-buck for HTPC?

    Something on that topics would be great help, especially if done a review roundup based around video decoding/de-interlacing/post-processing and overall picture quality perspective.
  • -4 Hide
    rantoc , September 20, 2010 12:36 PM
    480 GTX SLI in 2560x1600 FTW!
  • 8 Hide
    bujinyun , September 20, 2010 12:54 PM
    ray-ngI occasionally see the Radeon 4870 for $99.99 on Newegg. How come it wasn't mentioned??


    I completely agree with you. I just bought 2 4870 1GB for just $200 on newegg. It's quite shocking that it's not on the recommendation list.
  • 1 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , September 20, 2010 1:27 PM
    Ouch 3 months in a row going against the 5850 after being here for 9 months!!
  • 0 Hide
    gxpbecker , September 20, 2010 1:38 PM
    I love these articles. Debating on getting a 460 1g or just wait for the 6xxx series to come out ... along side price drops lol.
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