The bang for the buck graphics card.

#1 Posted by rachelepithet (1391 posts) -

I want to get back into PC gaming and play all the cheap games I've got in steam sales over the years. My last PC was built in 2008, and croaked in 2011. I haven't really played PC games since except those that will run on my iMac and it's poor 512MB Radeon M7700HD(?)

I don't have a preference between A MD or Nvidia. And I don't need games to run more than 1080p60 on one single monitor. PPhysX ain't necessary. But most of all, I'm not a fan of the most intensive CPU or GPU games (Metro 2033, Starcraft, Crysis). Most of the games I want to play came out years ago and were console ports, so they don't need a top of the line card.

My 2008 build had a 8800GT geforce, which was the value but good card of its day. It ran most of the big games of that Era (Bioshock, Call of Duty 4) fine, but struggled with poorly optimized (GTA4) or CPU intensive games (Crysis, RTS) because I didn't have a great CPU or memory.

A few years ago, I heard the 560ti card was introduced to be that kind of band for buck card.

What's the closest thing to an 8800GT today? Could a card under $200 handle Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, Borderlands 2, and Bioshock Infinite in 1080p60 with decent (high) settings?

#2 Edited by Xanadu (347 posts) -

What's the closest thing to an 8800GT today? Could a card under $200 handle Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, Borderlands 2, and Bioshock Infinite in 1080p60 with decent (high) settings?

Something like this should be able to handle the games you listed at 1080p60 its just slightly over 200 though. Usually the EVGA GeForce series are good for getting the most bang for your buck.

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#3 Posted by Andorski (5308 posts) -

AMD Radeon R9 270X. I don't think there is a card that can beat it at the $200 price point.

#4 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2768 posts) -

Here's the deal cards costing $130 and up can handle games from the last year all the way up through this year at 1080p @ 60 with decent (high) settings. These cards won't do ultra settings on most games, but that probably goes without saying.

So the question becomes when you say 'a $200 card" do you mean $220 or do you really mean more like $150? If you really mean something at $150 you are looking for one of the best GTX 750ti cards. If you mean something around $220 than the Radion 270x is a sweet spot.

So bottom line if you want 1080p @ 60 with decent (high) settings, a card that does that can cost as little as $125. If your budget can go to $220 look at a Radion 270x or a GTX 660.

#5 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1971 posts) -

OP, @monkeyking1969 has your best answer here.

#6 Edited by walletdipper (18 posts) -

MonkeyKing is spot on - The best bang for buck at (£100-£150 / $169 -$250) is certainly the 270x however I would really urge if budget allows to go for the 280x as it is quite a leap up in power. I got a really good deal on an MSI 280x 3GB a few months back and it has handled everything I can throw at it.

Basically everything above a 270x will handle your requirements, but in terms of future proofing your purchase, which I know is fairly impossible, the 280x is the bang for buck leader.

#7 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (2768 posts) -

Its a bit of a confusing site to read correctly but the website that compares cards is called GPUBoss.

They break down the best cards of under $100, under $200, and under $300. However, you really have to look at the charts because some cards in one chart are comparable in another chart and some cards appear in two. They also do head to head comparisons, but that is against the BASE/STOCK examples of each card just by numbers, so you won't see a particular Asus card stacked up against a particular Gigabyte card...the comparisons are rough and should be taken as such. Also the site is HORRIBLE at price comparisons, thus the whole site is just one tool you can use to get a feel for what is out there.

WARNING: Some of the best cards in each category are out of stock or not made anymore. The top under $100 card is a PowerColor Radeon HD 7790...good luck finding that card!! (HaHa) Why? Well, because FIRST of all the picture they show is a PowerColor Radion 260X, but that is because a 7790 is a 260x...ist just a faster newer Bonaire XTX chip of the same kind.

Thus....why the F_CK is GPUBoss pushing the magic unicorn card nobody will ever get of a Radeon HD 7790? Because, the numbers add-up right; and probably at some point 18 months ago, you could get a 7790 for $90...whatever.

So, like I hinted above take all info at GPUBoss as if some trench coat dude said, "Hey, buddy....wanna buy a Q?"

#8 Posted by BasketSnake (1199 posts) -

Nvidia 670 or 770 or 780 and you're good to go.

#9 Posted by MB (12382 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: GPUBoss is horrible...I think they just have really good SEO. If you Google virtually any combination of "GPU vs this other GPU" then GPUBoss will be one of the top results, and all they do a straight comparison of numbers which are often incorrect, and numbers don't even tell the full story. I fully believe that all that site is is a large database of old GPU specs and good SEO.

Moderator
#10 Posted by ajamafalous (11990 posts) -

EVGA GeForce Nvidia 660

#11 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2768 posts) -

@mb said:

@monkeyking1969: GPUBoss is horrible...I think they just have really good SEO. If you Google virtually any combination of "GPU vs this other GPU" then GPUBoss will be one of the top results, and all they do a straight comparison of numbers which are often incorrect, and numbers don't even tell the full story. I fully believe that all that site is is a large database of old GPU specs and good SEO.

Pretty sure that was my inference...except I used a muppet. ;-)

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