Best Video Card For $150.00 Or Less

DreamBliss

Limp Gawd
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Simple question, tough to answer. Numbers all over the place. Some new cards suck, some older cards are better, can't keep track anymore. Tired of this. So, Nvidia or AMD, what are the best cards right this moment at Amazon from $0.00 to $150.00, including shipping. Better to have cards with free shipping.

I know the price range ain't good. Want to milk this for all its worth. After 2 hours of scanning specs, looking for benchmarks/reviews, and not getting anywhere I found some 650s, but it turns out 650 Ti is good and 650 is crap. So I'm done. You guys know what's out there, please help me out.

Oh and if you can tell me why you suggest certain cards it would help me understand what the heck I should be looking for. I would appreciate that! Back up your suggestions with insider tips, numbers, personal experience, etc.

Thanks!
 

Filter

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What do you have now? What do you plan on doing with it? Personally I would save up more money
 

dragonstongue

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GTX560 vs 6870, hmmm, I would take the 6870 any day of the week, and last I checked 6870s can be had for this prices not needing to be on sale. a 7850 is ever so slightly more and also faster, radeon 8k is coming out soon don`t forget.

Anyways, 6870 would be my pick, unless you scrounge a few more $ OR somehting faster comes available.
such as a 7850 1gb, 560Ti, 660 non ti and such.
 

J Macker

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buy a used Radeon 6950 2GB that has been flashed with unlocked shaders.

They sell for $150 shipped in FS/FT.
That's FAR better performance than the other options.
 

kumquat

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The bump up to the 170-180 price range gets you a LOT more performance. I strongly suggest the 7850 or even 660.
 

dragonstongue

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yep. An oc modern gen card stronly kicks the snot out of last gen cards :) I personally would wait as long as you can, the word on the street is when the newer cards release they are bringing quite a bit more performance for the entire range, and it will be the first time the x7xx will have a 256 bus, as well as the entire range being cheaper then what it is replacing(as far as launch prices)

:O and a secret(I told you first) they will reduce the price of current cards to get rid of them.

Yeh, there is always that "sweet spot" in regards to price, performance, power among other things, $150 on average you are just getting to that spot, the mentione ~$175-$200 range is way worth the jump in 1 tier higher of a card, from something that is capable, to something that is downright fast/powerfull, like a dustbuster to a leafblower :p
 

HellStinky

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I have a Nvidia 460GTX and I have had it since its release i can play almost all my games on high and without any issues. This thing is still a good buy and they are really cheap if you can sli you would be good for a while but i do agree that you should save your money for something better.
 

StormUP

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Performance ranges seems to be $75-$125 and $175-$225. $125 to $175 where the upper end of your $150 range sits is kind of a no mans land where most things are overpriced in comparison to performance in the other two ranges.


In the $75-$125 range there are 7770 GHz editions available and a couple of them are even single slot options that take up less space.
 

StormUP

Gawd
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Additional question...what is your current power supply and do you plan on upgrading that? That information might help further narrow the field of applicable cards.
 

DreamBliss

Limp Gawd
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These are the PSUs I'm thinking about:
http://www.amazon.com/PC-Power-Cool...+Silencer+Mk+III+Series+600W&tag=hardfocom-20
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Build...ref=sr_1_8?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1358495586&sr=1-8
http://www.amazon.com/Enermax-ATX12...e=UTF8&qid=1358496359&sr=1-9&keywords=enermax

Think I have the PSU part figured out. As far as usage all you really need to know is that everything will be running at 1080p through HDMI. My monitor is a 32" LED LCD TV I bought when I was last trying to put together a computer.

I may be able to up my range, but let's keep it in the $150.00 spot for now. But maybe I can go $160 or so.

Are the Radeon 7770s really any good? The benchmarks have them all on the low end, and they are super cheap, which tells me they are probably crap. Am I wrong? I'm looking for the wolves here, if there are any in my price range, not the dogs :p

So Radeon 6870 and 7850, GeForce 460, 560 and 660. What is the difference between a 460, 560 and 660 compared to a 460 Ti, 560 Ti or 660 Ti? I can also look for a 6950, used. Any reputable, trustworthy sellers at Amazon for this option?

If there is anything else, please let me know. Thank you for coming in here and helping me focus my search.
 

dragonstongue

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6870/7850 for the radeons, I wouldn`t bother with the 460s anymore, 560ti preferable or a 660 non ti for saving the cash.

There is a noticable performance improvment from each step 460-560-660, 660 are great card as far as performance, power, and $/value, 6870 are also great performing cards, however, the 7850 are just so much more powerfull and overclock like mad with the right model while still being less power hungry then the cards they beat out.
http://www.hwcompare.com/13303/geforce-gtx-660-vs-radeon-hd-7850/

The best cards are always the more expensive ones on average, for the 660, that would be MSI power version, one of the best 7850 is Aus DCII for its overclocking prowess, and yes I mention the overclocking simply as the cards are very much capable of it, can a hell of alot of extra performance, and at least with the newer cards, thier power/temps don`t go through the roof by doing so.

7770 are decent, but that is the lowest I would go for a "gaming" card, they are bandwidth limited number 1 which tends to hurt performance at higher resolutions, being a better fit for 1050p not 1080p, there is just so much more to be had for not much more cost, I think taking it all into account, anything one tier above which would be a x850 series AMD or x60 series Nvidia would be far better picks to get the most value for your $.

A place I like to go to compare raw specs is gpu review, this can show some baseline performance levels, as well as different card modles and the like, however, it isn`t always super up to date either, but a good reference point to go by http://www.gpureview.com/superlatives.php

Antec Neo Eco 520 would be a good power supply to have, more then enough for any single card out there, even with overclocking. I see it recomended lots by Danny Bui.

Also, there was no 460Ti, there was 3 460s the 460 768mb 4601gb, and 460SE, 460SE was slightly better at high resolutions but overall the 4601gb was the best pick for its gen somewhere in the 15% better range, the 560 560Ti was at least a 18% better performer, and more or less same with 660 vs 660Ti, the difference between the 650 and 660 is quite huge actually.

I wouldn`t bother with a 6950, a 7850 is more or less equal in nearly every regard but actually excells at some games due to the way the card is built, and as mentioned, overclocks like mad and gains alot of performance in doing so, more then the 6950 did, and use a heck of alot less power as well :) I hear ot thrown around a fair amount 7850 is ~5% better at reference clocks, not counting games that use it more efficently.

Anyways hope this helps, and your welcome :)
 

dragonstongue

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^ excellent price and find, I would take Seasonic over OCZ and day of the week and twice on sundays :)
 

Eureka!

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Why are you guys talking power supplies? Neither the 7770 nor the 7850 are particularly power hungry. If your current power supply can deliver 250W on the 12V rail, there's no need to upgrade. Otherwise, a $30 CX430 or ECO 620W power supply is all you need to power one GPU. Sure you can spend $73 on a Seasonic but when you're operating on a budget, why bother?

In any case, 7850 2GB often drops to around $160 after rebate, while the 7850 1GB can be had for around $140. Either one would be a good upgrade from the 7770, while the 2GB offers you a lot more (1GB isn't enough anymore for 1080p). I would stretch the budget, do $180 shipped and then get back $20 later for the 7850 2GB.
 

kumquat

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Why are you guys talking power supplies? Neither the 7770 nor the 7850 are particularly power hungry. If your current power supply can deliver 250W on the 12V rail, there's no need to upgrade. Otherwise, a $30 CX430 or ECO 620W power supply is all you need to power one GPU. Sure you can spend $73 on a Seasonic but when you're operating on a budget, why bother?

In any case, 7850 2GB often drops to around $160 after rebate, while the 7850 1GB can be had for around $140. Either one would be a good upgrade from the 7770, while the 2GB offers you a lot more (1GB isn't enough anymore for 1080p). I would stretch the budget, do $180 shipped and then get back $20 later for the 7850 2GB.

OP appears to be planning a new PC and needs a PSU.
 

Eureka!

Gawd
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OP appears to be planning a new PC and needs a PSU.

Corsair CX430, or Antec ECO 620. Both are well-rated power supplies under $50, with the lowest price at $20 for the CX430. Well-reviewed, with some models known to peak over 500W stably on the CX430.

At ~$100 price range, 7770 or 650 Ti.
At ~$160 range, 7850.

That's really all the options you have new. There isn't much in terms of an inbetween card.
 

Scheibler1

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I'd buy a used card on this forum ir craigslist. GTX 480, ati 6950, GTX 560ti in that order
 

dragonstongue

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I would throw the 6870 in there as well, I have seen them able to be bought new for ~$140 which is a great price for the card it is, but that extra $40 gets a nice boost as well, but in regards to the 6870/770 rough same price and 6870 is by far the better, as it should be considering the power difference.
http://www.hwcompare.com/11924/radeon-hd-6870-vs-radeon-hd-7770/

CX series are ok, but I do not think I would go with a 430w unit, well reviewed or not, if it is for a "new" build I would go for a quality 500w minimum, at least this way here there is less worry about it flaking out when used for awhile under heavier loads, the older CX units were seasonic made, newer ones are CWT made, they are meant for basic system builds, not gaming rigs/overclocking etc. rated for 30c is a little low, but this is my opinion. I would opt to pay more for a longer warranty and a more powerfull unit, even if you are not using the extra power it has, at least it can handle it, redlining anything is not good for it, and relying on safety features is never a good idea in my mind. I say 500-650 is more then ample enough.

For a decent midrange gpu and cpu clocked(by you or factory) I think loaded wise around ~350-400w higher end rigs usually in the ~450-600w and multi-card type 600-the moon :p
 

Eureka!

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I would throw the 6870 in there as well, I have seen them able to be bought new for ~$140 which is a great price for the card it is, but that extra $40 gets a nice boost as well, but in regards to the 6870/770 rough same price and 6870 is by far the better, as it should be considering the power difference.
http://www.hwcompare.com/11924/radeon-hd-6870-vs-radeon-hd-7770/

CX series are ok, but I do not think I would go with a 430w unit, well reviewed or not, if it is for a "new" build I would go for a quality 500w minimum, at least this way here there is less worry about it flaking out when used for awhile under heavier loads, the older CX units were seasonic made, newer ones are CWT made, they are meant for basic system builds, not gaming rigs/overclocking etc. rated for 30c is a little low, but this is my opinion. I would opt to pay more for a longer warranty and a more powerfull unit, even if you are not using the extra power it has, at least it can handle it, redlining anything is not good for it, and relying on safety features is never a good idea in my mind. I say 500-650 is more then ample enough.

For a decent midrange gpu and cpu clocked(by you or factory) I think loaded wise around ~350-400w higher end rigs usually in the ~450-600w and multi-card type 600-the moon :p

I calculated ~360W with an overclocked i5 and an overclocked 7970 (measured 400W coming off the wall during stress testing). A 7850 on a 430W is absolutely fine. The 7850 draws something like 130W. If you really are worried, the Antec Eco 620W is around $30 on sale. I wouldn't push for a $73 PSU on a budget build, and either way, he won't be even close to redlining it.
 

dragonstongue

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http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

I shot higher and went bulldzoer overclocked(which are obviously more power hungry) and adding extra fans, dvd drives 2 hard drive etc for the "just in case he want to side of it" ~550watts.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5261/amd-radeon-hd-7970-review/27 but yes you are probably much closer to the ballpark then I am, a decent 500w will be fine, I think 400-450 might be a bit low if wanting to keep it for awhile though(with overclocking factory or self) though I imagine the 12v load will make/break it more then anything else. I think that is it, for now it will be fine, but what happens when PSU starts aging and such as they all do?

A build on a budget, and a budget build are 2 different things altogther. $150 for the gpu $175 seems a bit more reasonable, seeing as there is quite a bit more performance for the slight increase in cost, although I do not think getting a just capable power supply is ever a good idea, but thats just IMHO.
 

Eureka!

Gawd
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Those calculators are way high, and are designed in mind with those no-name power supplies which can't deliver their rating. You are right about PSU aging, and power supplies sag.

Which is why those that be give us a 620W budget power supply for $30:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371031

I will not disagree, having a nice Gold-rated power supply is never a bad idea. Nicer components and smoother power delivery. On the other hand, if you are building a $500 PC with an i3/FX6300 and a 7770/650Ti, that's 20% of the cost or more just for a PSU which would never be maxed out. CX430 and ECO 620 sits in for the rest of us who build computers on a budget... even if they are not the best, they are backed by big companies (Corsair and Antec).
 

dragonstongue

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agreed, I still would not go with a 430w though, seems a little slim, more becuase of the parts that maybe/may not be used. a 750-900w for most folks is way overkill, some still get them, gold cert units are usually quite $ for what they give, silver/bronze are usually more budget freindly(HX750 at the time perfect example)

No matter I suppose, as long as the OP is happy with what he decides to get, and it works as intended awesome :)
 

Omegas

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That Antec 620C is a monster PSU for the price and great performing one that you'll be using for years to come. I'd snag the 7850 and forget abou the 8 series as you really don't know when they (the mid lvl) will be showing up and available. It may be another 6 months or so.
 

DroppedGT

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hands down the best video card below $200 is the MSI 460GTX 1GB Cyclone. You can get 2 on ebay and SLI/ Overclock = 580GTX or better performance.

You can get two for < $150 and play anything.. maxed.. 100fps + I use this setup to stream intense graphical games @ 1080p which brings down FPS big time but I still hold 60fps + all the time with a decent overclock. They run very cool.

Proof - http://twitch.tv/npnasty/new

and cards on ebay - http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...5573.m570.l1313&_nkw=460+cyclone+msi&_sacat=0

I've had this for a couple years and don't plan on upgrading anytime soon. At most I may get a capture card to free the GPUs of any strain from processing everything twice. 1080p always on 2 24" monitors.
 

DreamBliss

Limp Gawd
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OK, so I have saved this thread and will be card searching shortly.

I really would rather go for a quality 500w. I wouldn't go any lower, some 256 bit cards say they require this size PSu. 500w future proofs me.

I have set aside the link to the Seasonic. How does that stack up to the Corsair Builder, Enermax and PC Power and Cooling I listed?

Thanks for all your help folks! Oh and BTW, not planning to overclock or SLI/Crossfire. Just want to get a good performing 1080p HD card with DX11 that'll get me by until I can earn the dough for something else. Probably be 128-192 bit for now, with a 256-384 bit upgrade later.
 

needmorecarnitine

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Eureka!'s logic made sense.

Get a good quality PSU on sale instead of a platinum fanned, Corinthian leather sleeved high-end model. Set up a deal alert at slickdeals for Antec and you should see an Eco model come up every so often in the $30 or less range (520 or 620W is fine).

I also agree with DroppedGT's suggestion of a used 460. Of course there are better cards now but the price/performance ratio went to shit starting with the 5 series. Even a single 460 would be beyond decent for 1080. You can find those starting at around $60
 

Fritingo

Limp Gawd
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OK, so I have saved this thread and will be card searching shortly.

I really would rather go for a quality 500w. I wouldn't go any lower, some 256 bit cards say they require this size PSu. 500w future proofs me.

I have set aside the link to the Seasonic. How does that stack up to the Corsair Builder, Enermax and PC Power and Cooling I listed?

Two 600W supplies and one 500W? Two oranges are not like one apple :cool:. Anyway...

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W: made by Seasonic and is a great supply. But expensive (partially due to having modular cables). 5 year warranty.

Corsair CX600: made by CWT. Unknown, potentially variable quality. Jonnyguru gives the 430W version of this supply a "9 recommended" rating. But I don't agree with it. Uses a sleeve bearing cooling fan (that have a fraction of the life of ball bearing ones), Chinese caps (Samxon, which may or may not be OK) and so on. Only 2 year warranty, no modular cables.

Enermax NAXN 500W: also made by CWT, again unknown, potentially variable quality. 3 year warranty, no modular cables.

As noted by others here, the Antec NEO ECO 620C (620W) is a better value buy than any of the above. Made by Seasonic, 3 year warranty, only $30 after mail in rebate at that other vendor. Looks in fact (via the specs) to be the same thing as that Seasonic M12 II 620 linked earlier, with the exception of the Antec not having modular cables.

If you really want modular cables, the M12 II linked earlier looks like the best value (but I know from your prior posts you are cost-constrained, I wouldn't spend extra).

Edit: the poster above (who posted as I was writing this) gives the link to that "other vendor" for the Antec ;).
 
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DroppedGT

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heh 575w for $25 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817170017

you can buy a couple and still pay less. Had someone buy one and no problems in past year. Also you can go SLI later since you don't want to now. Just buy same card again and double power.

My 3Dmark11 score went from 1 460GTX @ 3000 to 2 460s overclocked @ 7960 points. Overclocks amazingly even after they come MSI overclocked. Run them at 900/1800/900 max voltage 1.7v with MSI afterburner.
 

Eureka!

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heh 575w for $25 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817170017

you can buy a couple and still pay less. Had someone buy one and no problems in past year. Also you can go SLI later since you don't want to now. Just buy same card again and double power.

My 3Dmark11 score went from 1 460GTX @ 3000 to 2 460s overclocked @ 7960 points. Overclocks amazingly even after they come MSI overclocked. Run them at 900/1800/900 max voltage 1.7v with MSI afterburner.

Antec ECO is a far better deal at $30 than a Logisys PSU.
 

Darq

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We just got a new GTX 650 for the A/V machine at church, and it seems to be pretty stout...and if you get the vanilla versus the Ti, you can find them for closer to $100 after MIR [or the Ti is right at $150 if you want MOAR CORES!!1!]. On NewEgg they have the Glaxy 650 Ti for $149.99 after $10 MIR, I think.
 

dragonstongue

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6870 is still the faster card vs the 460, 650Ti is a tad bit slower in most things though not much.

I still think you should be going the 560Ti-660 vanilla level or 6870/7850 for good to great performance for the amount you will be spending.

460 were for thier time very good GPU, but that time is past now, unless you can get them for under $100, aceptable performance yes, but why get acceptable when you can get great :)

I wouldn`t even think about a 650 non Ti for gaming performance, they are sorely under powered if you plan on doing any level of decent games with eye candy and such. Great card for video, light gaming(face book and the like) no different then a 6770 or a 7770 at that point, but I most certainly would not use one for a gaming build. $150 or so should get you a 6870-660 vanilla-maybe even a 7850 1gb if you look in enough places and catch a deal.

with the 530c or 630c and the MK II vs anything else listed really. I guess it is just that, just cause they are "Rated" at X wattage does not mean they can give said wattage for X time especially in regards to acceptable riple, noise, operating temps(hotter they get less power they give needing to work harder etc).

CWT makes good power supplies these days, the newer CX power supplies from Corsair are made by them, as are the newer Eco units, they are very acceptable in build quality as well as components used. Seasonic on the other hand is a very well known design house, if the unit in question is well performing, even using a slightly older build design it is very unlikely to be a different design in any way no matter when you buy said supply. Most of the higher end units that are great are Seasonic, CWT, and Super Flower built these days, there is a reason behind that. http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums...I]General list of PSU makers and thier "tier"

IDK, its just that, like anything else, find ones that you like and review review review to find the parts that are worth having. A quality 500 for a few $ more is far better then a 500 unit that can barely give the power and have terrible regulation is just able to supply the rated power as using low grade components etc. A gold or platinum rated supply are a little much for most folks silver/bronze are perfectly fine and not much more then something "just" rated 80+.

Anyways. 650Ti for say $110 or 6870 for $140 I would take the 6870 at the drop of a hat, better all around gaming card. 560Ti 660 vanilla vs 7850 1gb I would take the 7850, GTX570/580 660Ti(especially something like MSI power edition) vs 7850 DCII or the like, well, that would def be a harder pick :p
 
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