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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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  • 1 Hide
    Painmaker , 15 January 2010 00:06
    Fist.

    This is my first first comment lol. Please don't ban me.
    Otherwise, great article.
  • 1 Hide
    vidpen , 15 January 2010 09:12
    Good article, glad to see the card I'm using made it in, go 5770!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 16 January 2010 14:45
    Radeon HD 5750 (Check Prices)

    Great 1920x1200 performance in most games
    Radeon HD 5770
    Codename: RV840 "Juniper"
    Process: 40nm
    Universal Shaders: 720
    Texture Units: 36
    ROPs: 16
    Memory Bus: 128-bit
    Core Speed MHz: 700
    Memory Speed MHz: 1,150 (4,600 effective)
    DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

    Are you describing the 5750 or the 5770 in your details as a different title makes it confusing. Possible typo?
  • 1 Hide
    sna , 17 January 2010 16:20
    Hi,

    Could you please calculate the price difference of higher power supply needed for cross fire choices over single cards ?

    I find this very important cos there is around 50$ difference in power supply needed to run SLI/CrossFire

    400-500 watts power supplies are cheap and can run all single cards solutions.

    so please add the power supply value into your recommendations , not all people buy/have 600-1000 watts power supplies , especially people with branded PC.
  • 0 Hide
    gnyff , 2 February 2010 18:58
    The Radeon HD 5850 comments must be a copy-paste from an earlier version??
    The HD 5770 (crossfire or not) is also 40nm and DirectX 11...