Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Best PCIe Card: Mid-range

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: October 2011
By

Best PCIe Card For ~£90:

Radeon HD 5770 (Radeon HD 6770)

Good 1920x1200 performance in most games, some with lowered detail

Radeon HD 5770/6770
Codename: RV840 "Juniper"
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 850
Memory Speed MHz: 1200 (4800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0
Max TDP:108 W

The Radeon HD 5770 (also available re-badged as the Radeon HD 6770, with the added bonus of Blu-ray 3D decode support) is an extremely attractive sub-£90 option, offering a worthwhile upgrade beyond the similarly-priced Radeon HD 5750 and GeForce GTS 450. This card is one of our price/performance favourites. And with Radeon HD 4870-class performance, it's an excellent starting point for the mainstream gamer.

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

Best PCIe Card For ~£105:

Radeon HD 6790

Good 1920x1200 performance in most games, some with lowered detail

Radeon HD 6790
Codename: Barts LE
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 840
Memory Speed MHz: 1050 (4200 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0
Max TDP:150 W

AMD's Radeon HD 6790 delivers DirectX 11 support, multi-display support via Eyefinity, and HD audio bitstreaming capabilities in a modest gaming card.

Because the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB is now missing in action, we're now giving the sole recommendation to AMD's card, whereas this would have been a shared honour previously.

Read our full review of AMD's Radeon HD 6790 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

Best PCIe Card For ~£130: Tie

Radeon HD 6850

Good 1920x1200 performance in most games

Radeon HD 6850
Codename: RV970 "Barts"
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 960
Texture Units: 48
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 775
Memory Speed MHz: 1000 (4000 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0
Max TDP:127 W

AMD's Radeon HD 6850 proved to be a worthy adversary against the GeForce GTX 460 1 GB, and the AMD card's aggressive MSRP forced Nvidia to drop its own suggested pricing in order to stay competitive. As a result, PC gamers win with exceptional performance at prices under £150.

Both cards offer DirectX 11 support and HD audio bitstreaming capabilities. The main differentiators are Eyefinity multi-monitor support favouring the Radeon card, while the GeForce board has access to Nvidia's 3D Vision infrastructure that includes 3D gaming and Blu-ray 3D support. It should be noted that the Radeon HD 6800-series' list of compatible stereoscopic devices is growing. However, it's nowhere near as large as Nvidia's. Only time will tell if AMD's own 3D brand can gain the partner support it requires to serve as a notable feature.

Read our full review of AMD's Radeon HD 6850 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

GeForce GTX 460 1 GB

Good 1920x1200 performance in most games

GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
Codename: GF104
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 336
Texture Units: 56
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core/Shader Speed MHz: 675 / 1350
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (3600 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5

160 W

Of course, the Radeons can be CrossFire'd and the GeForces can be SLI'd, so motherboard support should be taken into account, too.

Read our full review of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.

React To This Article