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Best PCIe Card: $90 And Under

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: June 2010
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Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For Under $50:

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 $50 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 (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 (1,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

At $70, the Radeon HD 5570 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 9600 GT (Check Prices)

Great 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in most games with lowered detail

GeForce 9600 GT
Codename: G94
Process: 65 nm
Universal Shaders: 64
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 650
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (1,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

The GeForce 9600 GT is still a great entry-level performer, thanks in part to its high-end 256-bit memory interface and speedy DDR3 memory. It's a solid choice on an $80 budget, even if the architecture on which it centers is showing its age.

While the GeForce GT 240 is beginning to encroach on this card's price territory, the 9600 GT remains a bit faster than even the GDDR5 version of the newer card, and its recommendation remains secure for the time being. While fluctuating GeForce 9800 GT prices have edged out the GeForce 9600 GT last month, that card can no longer be found for $80 at the time of writing, allowing the GeForce 9600 GT to retain it's former recommendation.

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