Graphics cards. They’re probably the most important part of a gaming computer, but one of the major problems is what graphics card you should buy. There are tons of different graphics cards at a wide range of budgets, and today, we’re going to look at the best cards for your money. There are two questions you should ask yourself while looking through this list: How much am I looking to spend and what games do I want to play? Here are the Best Graphics Cards for Oct. 2014.
Let’s start with the lowest cost and work our way up. All the cards will be based on their performance against the other cards in their price bracket.
<$100 – R7 260
This GPU is a very good value card. It’s essentially a rebrand of the Radeon 7790, but it comes with the good things that the high end Hawaii GPUs have, such as TrueAudio and Freesync support (when it comes out). This is a good card for someone who wants to play light 1080p games, but the card can play games like Battlefield on low settings at 720p or maybe 1080p. It’s a good card for anyone who wants to get into PC gaming and maybe only has a store bought PC.
$100-140 – GTX 750Ti
The GTX 750Ti is another good card for people with a store bought PC like an HP or Gateway and want some more gaming capability. A great thing about the GTX 750Ti is that some of them don’t need external power, and can pull their power from the PCI-Express slot. It can even run Battlefield 4 on low-medium settings with 30+ FPS. It’s a great card at this price point.
$140-180 – R9 270
The R9 270 is a really good card. It’s the first card that most games will run very well at 1080p, and can easily allow you to boost up the graphics settings. It’s a good card for this price point, and overclocks like crazy. plus, it comes with great cooling, and can be whisper quiet under load.
$180-220 – R9 280
The R9 280 is probably the best card you can get for around $200. It comes with 3GB of RAM, some really awesome coolers, and can really be pushed in the overclock. It is also significantly more powerful than the competition at this price point, and should definitely be considered for people with 1440p monitors.
$220-260 – R9 285
The R9 285 is a bit puzzling. While it is the replacement for the R9 280, it lowers the amount of VRAM to 2GB, but also lowers the power draw. You’d have to weigh the options a bit, but I think if you want to save money in the long run, the R9 285 is a good contender.
$260-300 – GTX 770
The GTX 770 is a really good card. It practically destroys most games on 1080p, even on ultra settings, and since it recently got a price drop, you can find them for pretty cheap compared to what they used to cost. If you like Green, the GTX 770 is highly recommend for less than $300.
$300-340 GTX 970
The GTX 970 is one of the new cards Nvidia recently released. It uses the same Maxwell architecture as the 750Ti, meaning it will be low power. In fact, it’s probably the lowest power that Nvidia has ever had one of their flagship cards at, pulling just a 145W TDP. That’s just insane! That’s less than the $140 R9 270! Easily one of the most interesting cards on this list, and it can overclock like crazy. It’s crazy how it’s just 80% of the power of the GTX 980.
Now, I could keep going, but I found that between $340 and $550 the only card worth a damn is the GTX 970. So we’re not going to keep going through all of the cards, just to hear the same thing.
>$500 but <$1000 – GTX 980
The GTX 980 is Nvidia’s new flagship. It’s a crazy good card, and it also has the Maxwell architecture. It has a 165TDP. Just let that sink in for a minute. That is just insane for a flagship card. Plus, you get overclock ability, so you can get even more power from the card. It’s the best card between $500 and $1000, and should be considered for enthusiast builds.
>$1000 – R9 295×2
It’s a dual GPU card. With a water cooler. Only for the extreme enthusiasts.
So, there you have it, all the best cards in their price point. There’s a nice mix of Nvidia and AMD. Nvidia is dominant of the higher end graphics card area, while AMD definitely pulls the most punches in the budget area. So if you’re looking for a new GPU, set your budget, and shop around. You might find something great.