If you’re a PC gamer, then you know how important it is to have the latest and greatest video card technology. With major releases like Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3, and Black Ops 2 pushing your hardware to the limit, you’ll want to spend a few hundred dollars on a good video card that can keep up with the demand.
Today, we’re going to highlight some of the best video cards that money can buy. These video cards were chosen due to their perfect combination of speed, cost, and durability. Just find the price you’re willing to pay for a video card and check out the listings below:
$150 and less
This category is dominated by two different cards: the GTX 650 Ti and the Radeon HD 7770. Both cards perform well in benchmark tests, although the GTX 650 Ti is significantly better when playing today’s most popular games.
The HD 7770 tends to cost between $20 to $30 cheaper than the 650 Ti, but the GTX 650 Ti remains the top choice for this category.
Winner: GeForce GTX 650 Ti
$150 to $300
Nvidia also takes this category, which ends up being a competition between the Radeon HD 7950 ($300) and the GeForce GTX 660 Ti ($280). However, those who want to pick a decent card without spending a lot of money should look at the Radeon HD 7870. The HD 7870 has only slightly lower performance benchmark ratings than either of the two cards listed above, although it costs just $240.
The GTX 660 is your best option in this category, although Radeon’s cards are not far behind in either price or performance.
Winner: GeForce GTX 660
$300 to $400
Radeon takes this category with the Radeon HD 7950 Boost, which provides nearly identical performance ratings to premium cards like the GTX 670. The Boost actually makes an important difference – it provides a 10% ‘boost’ to performance over the standard 7950 due to its overclocked core. Since both cards are the same price, choosing the Boost model certainly won’t hurt.
But the most important reason why the Boost wins this category is because of the price. Both the 7950 and the 7950 Boost are available for $300. Meanwhile, the GTX 670 is priced between $350 and $400, depending on which brand you choose.
Due to its winning combination of top-tier performance with a mid-tier price, the Radeon HD 7950 Boost is the best in the $300 to $400 category. And if the Boost model isn’t available, then the HD 7950 isn’t too far behind in terms of performance.
Winner: Radeon HD 7950 Boost
$400 and more
Once you’re spending this much on a video card, you can expect top tier performance in every video game on the market today, as well as those that are released within the next two to three years. If you have the money, these cards tend to offer the best value and longest-lasting performance.
But they’re not cheap. The two biggest video cards in the $400+ market are the GTX 680 and the HD 7970. The GTX 680 costs about $470 while the HD 7970 can be found for about $400. Since the cards performed almost identically to one another in benchmarks, there’s really no reason to splurge on the GTX 680.
Winner: Radeon HD 7970