AMD Radeon R9 280X (Smart Buy)
From the article: AMD Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, And R7 260X: Old GPUs, New Names, Written by Chris Angelini and Igor Wallossek, Oct 7, 2013
Here's what we said: There’s another positive in all of this for AMD: in the process of hacking away at its flagship’s price tag, the company pushed Tahiti into a price band Nvidia doesn’t service. True, R9 280X is slower than the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. But the card is also about $30 cheaper. At $300, there’s a $50 premium over GeForce GTX 760, but that board doesn't handle QHD resolutions as well with detail settings cranked up. If I was building a PC to game on a 2560x1440 display and wanted to get in the door as inexpensively as possible without sacrificing graphics quality, the 280X would be my card. That value is why I’ll hand the Tahiti-based board our Smart Buy award. There’s certainly something to be said for revisiting a GPU when it's selling for $200 less than the last time you reviewed it.
AMD Radeon R9 290X (Tom's Hardware Elite)
From the article: Radeon R9 290X Review: AMD's Back In Ultra-High-End Gaming, Written by Chris Angelini and Igor Wallossek, Oct 23, 2013
Here's what we said: In the spirit of getting massive performance at a substantial discount, then, I’m giving AMD’s Radeon R9 290X Tom’s Hardware’s Elite award—the first time a graphics card has received this honor, I believe, during my tenure. The decision was controversial. Nvidia still does thermals, acoustics, and aesthetics better. But now it’s also charging a hefty premium for those luxuries. AMD’s card is faster, cheaper, and it makes an effort to keep acoustics under control, so long as you stick with its Quiet mode. AMD reworked its approach to CrossFire and now has a more elegant solution that, while not perfect (we still measured dropped and runt frames inSkyrim, along with notable variance in other titles), does facilitate frame pacing right out of the gate at resolutions all the way up to 7680x1440. I’ll get more enthusiastic about the R9 290X if third-party designs start showing up with better cooling. Until then, it’d be downright negligent to not recognize this card’s class-leading performance at a price we paid for Radeon HD 7970 two years ago.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 (Smart Buy)
From the article: The GeForce GTX 770 Review: Calling In A Hit On Radeon HD 7970, Written by Chris Angelini, May 30, 2013
Here's what we said: GK104 might be an older GPU, but it’s still a potent piece of gaming hardware. Just ratchet up its clock rates, retrofit it with the best looking and performing graphics cooler we’ve ever seen, and knock its price back $50 from the GeForce GTX 680’s price point as of one week ago. AMD was sitting pretty with its Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition at $450. But GeForce GTX 770 walked into the bar, turned over a table, and showed the same sort of aggression we saw when it launchedGeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost under $200. And that’s why we’re bestowing Tom's Hardware's Smart Buy award on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770. Although high-end graphics cards are still expensive, we’re happy to get more performance in a better-built package for $100 less than what we could buy a year ago in GeForce GTX 680.
PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition (Smart Buy)
From the article: Tahiti LE, Tested: PowerColor's HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition, Written by Igor Wallossek, Feb 10, 2013
Here's what we said: Despite its high power consumption, the PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition presents a really interesting prospect for overclockers and budget gamers alike. If you don’t have the cash for a real Radeon HD 7950 or a GeForce GTX 660 Ti, then the HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition sits in as an excellent alternative. The sole caveat of our recommendation shows up as a slight ding each month on our power bill. But we have to let this product's performance per dollar speak for itself. So, we’re giving the PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition our Smart Buy award.