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Best PCIe Card: $280 To $390

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: August 2010
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Best PCIe Card For ~$300:

GeForce GTX 470 (Check Prices)

Exceptional 1920x1200 performance, Good 2560x1600 performance in most games

GeForce GTX 470
Codename: GF100
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 448
Texture Units: 56
ROPs: 40
Memory Bus: 320-bit
Core/Shader Speed MHz: 607 / 1215
Memory Speed MHz: 837 (3348 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

Quite often, it seems that the 470 performs closely to the Radeon HD 5850. But in some cases, the GeForce GTX 470 really stands out, and even gives the Radeon HD 5870 a run for its money. Now priced at $300, the GeForce GTX 470 gets a solid recommendation for being a powerful DirectX 11 card with extra functionality like PhysX and 3D Vision.

Read our full review of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 470 for more information on the card and its underlying architecture.

Best PCIe Card For ~$310: None

Honorable Mention: 2 x Radeon HD 5770 in CrossFire Configuration (Check Prices)

Exceptional 1920x1200 performance, Good 2560x1600 performance in most games

2 x Radeon HD 5770 in CrossFire
Codename: RV840 "Juniper"
Process: 40 nm
Universal Shaders: 1600 (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: 1200 (4800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5.0

A pair of Radeon HD 5770s in CrossFire is a very effective high-end configuration for the dollar, often besting even AMD's Radeon HD 5850 on the performance front. The extra expense required by CrossFire manifested in high-end motherboards and power supplies prevents a clean recommendation, but this setup remains a viable option.

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

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    Avro Arrow , 13 October 2010 21:53
    I have to take issue with Don's choice for best card at the ~$135 mark. The ATi Radeon HD 4870 1GB currently sells for that price and there's no way in hell that the HD 5750 is even close to matching its power. Hell, even the HD 5770 falls before the 4870. At this point in time, eyeFinity and DX11 are non-issues since so few games use DX11 anyway (I can only think of one, Alien vs. Predator). In addition to that, no card weaker than a Radeon HD 5850 is powerful enough to properly handle DX11 tessellation so the purchase of the 5750 or 5770 is a complete waste unless you intend to add at least one more in crossfire later. On the other hand, two HD 4870s in crossfire match and even exceed the power of the Radeon HD 5870 and if you're lucky enough to have the right motherboard like I do, four of them brings you into Radeon HD 5970 territory. All for what, in this case, around $300-$400. You can't tell me that there's a better deal than that. Sometimes the previous generation gives a break on price and in this case, there's no deal out there at any price point that's as good as this.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121376