Best Graphics Cards for the Money (Archive)

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cknobman

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So AMD gets recommendations across the board.

The Nvidia fanboy club is gonna have a heart attack over this.

Yesterday Michael claimed (in his article) the 980TI is still the fastest graphics card on the planet, something I thought the Fury had taken claim too (at least when it comes to > 1080p resolutions). So much for that fact Michael.
 

DbD2

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Massive gap between $120 and $220, where a huge % of the market buy their cards. Having just looked for cards at this range - where's the nvidia 750ti, and 950. 750ti is faster, lower power and uses a new architecture (maxwell vs GN 1.1) and costs about $10 more then a 360. 950 is a big step up on that, and costs about $150, latest architecture, low power, great 1080p performance (AMD only have the ancient 370 in this range) - not everyone wants to go up to $220.
 

Vilnis

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Hm, somehow do not like the new look of this much needed article. Categories by price was more useful, at least for me. Overall layout also - different, but not necessary better
 

codyleemanofaction

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I love the new recommendations by target resolution. I'd never have thought to break that down into 'playable' and 'maxed.' Genius! Great job guys! I do echo the sentiments of another reader... the layout is a little wonky. I think what's missing that the old accomplished is the Photos doing the talking, and the text explaining it. Beats me, I'm no journalist, nor web designer; Just a gamer!
 

Math Geek

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i like the new organization. this is really the question asked in the forum 1000x a day, "what card do i need to play _____ at ______ on max settings?" breaking them down by price range was nice and useful but in the end it does seem that target resolution/settings is the way we think about it more than price range.

so obviously read between the lines for the missing cards and know that if it is between "playable" and "maxed" then your settings will be somewhere in the middle and so on.... not that this will stop all the questions but hopefully it will be easier for some to use this to answer the question for themselves :)

this is the answer to "why is there such a HUGE gap in card recommendations between $200 and $350?" because everything in the middle is simply slowly upping the settings until they are maxed out at $350 970/390 price range!!!

edit: and can you put the hierarchy chart back at the end of this article or at least link to it at the end. this is rather important overall when figuring out where a specific card fits into the recommendations. is it better than ___ or worse?? and so on. of all the changes this one disturbs me a lot. PUT THE CHART BACK INTO THE ARTICLE!!!!
 

GodCorleone

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Because they're not the best for the money.
GTX 950 is a very good bang-for-buck card.
 

Gillerer

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I have a couple of suggestions for future editions of this article:

1) Add section for non-gaming discrete GPUs. Possible usage scenarios include HTPC use with video processing and output to UHD@60 HDMI2.0, as well as getting (possibly multiple) UHD@60 or QHD@60/144 outputs in a general use computer. Most motherboard integrated graphics connectors only allow UHD@30 at most, and apart from DP usually only 1920x1200@60.

2) Make some sort of mention to target framerate - requirements for 144 Hz operation at FHD or QHD are, after all, quite different from 60 Hz. Obvious setting groups that would emerge are FHD@144/QHD@60 and QHD@144/UHD@60.
 

logainofhades

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Have to admit, I liked the old format better, than this one. It was more useful, for those on a budget, and looking for what to buy. Targeting resolutions is a nice addition, but suggesting more than just a couple cards per resolution would be much more useful.
 

Gillerer

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Just to clarify, as the article stands, it's unclear whether the playble/maxed out recommendations at FHD and QHD target 60 Hz or 144 Hz operation.
 

logainofhades

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That it is. Not much slower than a GTX 960, and can often be found for a decent amount cheaper. It is pretty much my starting point, for when I make gaming rig recommendations.
 

miroslavhm

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This is a great way to present recommendations - based on the targeted usage.
GTX950 and 750 are great, but not worth paying for gaming. The minimum worth purchasing is R9 380 - and these vary on the market from $150 to $250, so pretty much making non sense a purchase of lesser capable card. Then it is GTX970 or R9 390, and then GTX980/ti. Anything else is some kind of compromise that costs too much for its purpose.
 

snakyjake

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Where can I find recommendations for someone who wants to use 3 monitors? The most processing power I'll need is for photoshop. Not sure what resolution I want too (too my resolution makes things too small).
 

danglading

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Definitely need the hierarchy chart back. I'm not sure about old (price point) vs new (performance goal) organization, but DEFINITELY need the hierarchy chart.
 

genedjr

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I do like the new format, but miss the GPU power hierarchy. Please add that to the end. It was great reference as I build used systems for a lot of people.
 

logainofhades

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Not everyone can afford these recommended cards. The GTX 950 is a solid budget card. R9 380's start around $184, going by pcppartpicker. You can get a GTX 950, for a little under $150. For low budget rigs, that can make or break a budget. Also the power requirements are less, so you don't need to spend quite as much, on PSU. The savings would be enough for that low budget rig to pay for a hard drive. I see many low budget requests in the systems forum. The GTX 950, price/performance wise, is an excellent starting point. Even THG's own review praised the GTX 950, for 1080p, or lower.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-geforce-gtx-950-strix,4270.html
VERDICT : Asus GTX 950 offers excellent graphics and cooling performance while remaining nearly silent at all times. It delivers incredible performance per dollar, and nearly renders the GTX 960 obsolete. Gaming at 1080p and below is a treat on this card.
 
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