TechSpot: Top Budget to Mainstream Graphics Cards

The last few months we've seen both AMD and Nvidia turn their attention to the high-end segment of the graphics market. In addition to launching their latest single-GPU flagship boards, both companies just recently launched a couple of dual-GPU beasts. We have to say it's great to see such spirited competition as it's usually customers that reap the benefits.

That's especially true today as mainstream cards are getting more and more powerful and even a $100 product is capable of far more than you may give it credit for. So, while AMD and Nvidia settle the score at the super expensive enthusiast level, TechSpot gets a look at what's been happening elsewhere. They've compiled a table with the best options at several price points between $70 and $200.

Read: Top Budget to Mainstream Graphics Cards

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yup, my 6870 can handle any game at max settings like a hot knife through butter. Its coz most games are built for inferior consoles, and ported to PC. its a shame really. if only nvidia or AMD to advantage of this lull, and developed a true masterpeice game for PC.

one can dream. but Metro 2033 will do justnow. also wish i hadnt wasted my cash on Crysis 2

rageagainstmachine said,
yup, my 6870 can handle any game at max settings like a hot knife through butter. Its coz most games are built for inferior consoles, and ported to PC. its a shame really. if only nvidia or AMD to advantage of this lull, and developed a true masterpeice game for PC.

one can dream. but Metro 2033 will do justnow. also wish i hadnt wasted my cash on Crysis 2

How loud does it get when running DX11 games? ATi cards tend to make a lot of noise when it's in heavy use cause of the fan they use. At least from the cards I've had in the past before switching to Nvidia. Currently I've gone back to ATi with the 5870 and so far the noise isn't all that bad but it does make a high fan noise during bios to hdd detection before windows load then it quiets down. Never does that with my old Nvidia GTX 260.

Morisato said,

How loud does it get when running DX11 games? ATi cards tend to make a lot of noise when it's in heavy use cause of the fan they use. At least from the cards I've had in the past before switching to Nvidia. Currently I've gone back to ATi with the 5870 and so far the noise isn't all that bad but it does make a high fan noise during bios to hdd detection before windows load then it quiets down. Never does that with my old Nvidia GTX 260.

I just bought a couple of 5670's for a pair of machines, they work much better than I expected for the application I intended. Very quick and worth buying.

Its typical a guide like this comes out AFTER I spend some time looking for some good budget cards

Teebor said,
I just bought a couple of 5670's for a pair of machines, they work much better than I expected for the application I intended. Very quick and worth buying.

Its typical a guide like this comes out AFTER I spend some time looking for some good budget cards

Agreed. i got a Radeon 5670 512MB for about $90 back around July-Aug 2010 (seems to be roughly around $70 nowadays) and it offers a lot of bang for your buck and it's really power efficient to as it uses around 15-20watts idle.

it was a big boost over my old power hog of a card which was a Geforce 7900GT. plus not to mention it's much smaller in size to.

the card i got is this one... http://goo.gl/XlFZy , but the one the article linked to is probably better simply because it seems to have a better cooling fan on it and is basically cheaper. although the one in the link i got would be around $65 after rebate.

my card idle's around 38-40c and under a full load with Furmark it peaked @ 95c (i let it run for about 31minutes as it seems to take roughly that long for temps to stable out. stock fan speed is 28% in auto mode and it raised up to 79% when it peaked @ 95c. my room temp was about 71.5f at time of test ). keep in mind Furmark really hammers the card (it's a torture test for a GPU just like Prime95 is for a CPU) where as normal gaming, say Crysis 2, it's roughly 80-83c.

i seen people put add-on cooling solutions (in random online articles) to that Radeon 5670 card and it's stone cold (roughly in 40-45c range if i recall correctly) after that EVEN WITH Furmark as temps dropped drastically.

p.s. Radeon 5670 is roughly the same as a Geforce 9800GT.

Edited by ThaCrip, Apr 6 2011, 4:36pm :

i also forgot to add in i was on full overclock to as stock it's 775mhz/1000mhz. i put it to 850mhz/1050mhz (which is the MAX the Radeon drivers will allow).