TechSpot: The Best Gaming Graphics Cards at 1920x1200 & 2560x1600

A powerful graphics card is likely the most expensive component in your PC if you're a gamer, but with all current and past-gen GPUs available in the range of $100 to $500, it can be tough to pick the right solution for your needs. In an effort to narrow things down, we're about to compare today's most relevant gaming cards that sell for $200 or more, testing them in a slew of games to see how it breaks down as we look for the best graphics cards for gaming at resolutions of 1920x1200 and 2560x1600.

Most GPU releases go through our testbench, however when we review these graphics cards, the GPUs are fairly new or barely making it to market, drivers are not entirely optimized, and most importantly, true market pricing has not settled down to its long-term value.

Relative performance leads more often than not remain the same through the life of the GPUs, but our take on best value is completely changed the second Nvidia or AMD decide to adjust their prices. To give you a clear example, the Radeon HD 7970 debuted to market last January with a sticker price of $550. A couple of months later the GeForce GTX 680 arrived offering better performance for less money. AMD quickly reacted slashing the HD 7970's price to $450 and the slightly slower HD 7950 from $450 to just $350.

Read on as we test eight different graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia to give you the best performance option available right now for gaming at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 resolutions.

Read: The Best Gaming Graphics Cards at 1920x1200 & 2560x1600
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11 Comments

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[Going off on a tangent warning]

I've been out of the gaming market for a number of years now, and the picture alone at the top of this page made me roll my eyes. 3 fans? That thing must be louder than a vacuum cleaner.

I have a Sandybridge machine I use purely to host virtual machines. Typically I just RDP into it and do everything remotely, but there have been occasions where I needed to go to the actual console (failing hardware and what-not)--so running it headless isn't much of an option. I had been doing that for a while, but quickly found out there's some serious caveats. Performance isn't an issue--I just need it to be able to display the BIOS / desktop for those few times a year when it's required.

I still have some old ATI something-or-other from over a decade ago--it's totally silent, as it only has a heatsink. Unfortunately my machine doesn't work with it. Point is, that's the type of card that would be ideal for me, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Meanwhile, I'm stuck using an overpowered, noisy, heat-generating card.

Who still caters to that market?

And which of these cards can you get in your shiny expensive new Mac or MacBook?

None...

(This is why reviews are running crazy of the horrid screen performance on the new MacBooks with these resolutions and people are once again turning off the OS X composers acceleration and sync features.)

thenetavenger said,
And which of these cards can you get in your shiny expensive new Mac or MacBook?

None...

(This is why reviews are running crazy of the horrid screen performance on the new MacBooks with these resolutions and people are once again turning off the OS X composers acceleration and sync features.)

What does Apple have anything to do with this article?

i bought a pc over a year ago with an Ati Radeon HD 5570 dedicated card, what would be a good upgrade card, either Ati or Nvidia? also considering doing Crossfire but it would have to be the same card, 5570? power supply is only 300 watts... anyone know what a better option would be?

I wouldn't consider SLI/Crossfire with a 300W PSU.

In terms of an upgrade, it depends on your budget, current specs and monitor resolution. But if your PSU is representative of your system you probably want to go for an AMD 7850/7870 or an nVidia 560Ti/570. Anything higher would probably be a waste.