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Best PCIe Card: ~$300 To $400

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: January 2010
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Best PCIe Card For ~$310:

2 x Radeon HD 5770 in CrossFire (Check Prices)

Exceptional 1920x1200 performance, good 2560x1600 performance in most titles

2x Radeon HD 5770 in CrossFire
Codename: 2 x RV840 "Juniper"
Process: 40nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 850
Memory Speed MHz: 1,200 (4,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

The new Radeon HD 5770 sports DirectX 11, triple display outputs, and the ability to bitstream high-definition audio content from Blu-ray movies, all of which contribute significant value to ATI's newest mainstream graphics cards. Aside from the features however, when you put two of these cards in CrossFire you end up with serious high-resolution gaming performance.

Read our full review of ATI's Radeon HD 5770 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

Honorable Mention:
Radeon HD 5850 (Check Prices)

Exceptional 1920x1200 performance, 2560x1600 in most titles

Radeon HD 5850
Codename: RV870 "Cypress"
Process: 40nm
Universal Shaders: 1,440
Texture Units: 72
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 725
Memory Speed MHz: 1,000 (4,000 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

While it might not be as fast, the new Radeon HD 5850 has some definite advantages over a pair of Radeon HD 5770s in CrossFire. It doesn't need a CrossFire-compatible motherboard, it uses a lot less power thanks to its 40nm manufacturing process, and it sports DirectX 11 capabilities (plus Eyefinity). It's just a shame that these cards are now selling for more than $50 where they originally launched.

Read our full review of ATI's Radeon HD 5850 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

Best PCIe Card For ~$400:

Two Radeon HD 4890 cards in CrossFire Configuration (Check Prices)

Good 2560x1600 performance in most games

2 x Radeon HD 4890 in CrossFire Configuration
Codename: 2 x RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 1,600 (2 x 800)
Texture Units: 80 (2 x 40)
ROPs: 32 (2 x 16)
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 850
Memory Speed MHz: 975 (3,900 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1

Two Radeon HD 4890 cards should, on average, perform on par or better than a single GeForce GTX 295, and will definitely beat out a single Radeon HD 5870. Plus, these Radeons cost less than either option. If you have a CrossFire-compatible motherboard and want some serious performance at high resolutions, this route is the way to go.

Read our full review of ATI's Radeon HD 4890 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

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