For most folks, it's not necessary to spend more than $200 to get a graphics card that performs admirably. None of the cards we tested deserve our highest Best of Tom's award, nor does one stand out for a Recommended Buy honor. Rather, we want to pick three winners from the long list of boards we tested in several different categories to receive our Tom's Hardware Approved nod.
The results from our benchmarks prove that the market for graphics cards is over-saturated and that the cheapest cards are hardly worth more than the materials of which they're made. At the low end of the scale, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti does not convince us at the current pricing. The cheapest models are still too expensive to justify a purchase, while the Radeon HD 6790 offers decent performance for similar money. The GeForce GTX 560 (without the Ti suffix) doesn't stand a chance against the Ti version. Here, too, the price is simply too high.
In terms of performance, the GeForce cards are generally ahead of the Radeons, but they are also more expensive and handicapped by higher power consumption. This has a negative impact on their efficiency. There is also room for improvement when it comes to performance per watt.
- Picking The Right Graphics Card
- Test System And Test Conditions
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: DirectX 11 Games
- Benchmark Results: DirectX 10 Games
- Benchmark Results: DirectX 9 Games
- Power Consumption Measurements
- Temperature Measurements
- Noise Level Measurements
- Tom's Hardware Performance Index
- Performance Per Watt
- Results: Performance Per dB
- Conclusion And Recommendations