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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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