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Best Call of Duty Ghosts Graphics Cards for the Money 2014

Updated on September 19, 2016
AMDs new R9 270X as well as the 600 Series GTX 660 from NVIDIA are good options in the $200 price range.
AMDs new R9 270X as well as the 600 Series GTX 660 from NVIDIA are good options in the $200 price range.

Good Value Video Cards for Activision's Call of Duty Ghosts

A lot of next generation console gamers are skipping the the console generation altogether and switching to the PC. In one of my more recent posts I spoke about the differences between an Xbox One and building a $500 gaming PC.

While there are advantages and disadvantages to both options, many gamers are opting for either a Windows 8 or soon to be released Steam OS optimized PC as their portal of choice for next generation games.

If you're with them and opting for the freedom that comes with a gaming PC, then here's a couple good graphics card options for Activision's all new Call of Duty Ghosts.

Resolution and Flexibility through the PC

For the Xbox One gamers will be upscaled from 720p to 1080p. This was necessary in order to achieve the 60 FPS or frames per second which most first per shooter genre gamers demand. For the PS4 the game will be upscaled from 720p until you download the day one patch.

PC Gaming Pushes New Resolution Limits:

For PC gamers the options are less limited allowing many to play the new COD release in 1080p, 1280p, 1440p, or even in 4k resolution as NVIDIA has shown.

What Other Improvements do you Get with the PC?

There are many other PC exclusives that improve gameplay in Call of Duty Ghosts. These include better shadowing, shading, lighting, anti aliasing, realistic animal fur, and better particle effects.

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Benchmarks from Tom's Hardware, Guru3d, and Digital Storm give us a pretty good picture of what we should look for in 1080p, 1200p, and 1440p resolution.
Benchmarks from Tom's Hardware, Guru3d, and Digital Storm give us a pretty good picture of what we should look for in 1080p, 1200p, and 1440p resolution.
Benchmarks from Tom's Hardware, Guru3d, and Digital Storm give us a pretty good picture of what we should look for in 1080p, 1200p, and 1440p resolution.

Find Call of Duty Benchmarks

I'll be using benchmarks from Tom's Hardware, Guru3D, and Digital Storm to be making this post. If you have a particular graphics card that isn't mentioned on this post, then be sure to take a look at benchmarks there or elsewhere for an exact comparison.

Using benchmarks for the particular game you're most interested in is the best way to make sure you get optimized Call of Duty Ghosts performance for your PC.

Before we take a look at my picks here's a look at the system requirements for Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Minimum System Requirements Vs. Recommended

  • OS: Same - 64Bit Windows 7 or 8 is Ideal
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8200, AMD Phenom X3 8750 or for Recommended an Intel i5 - 680 or better.
  • RAM: 6 GB RAM Vs. 8 GB Ram
  • Hard Drive Space: 40 GB of hard drive space is required for both.
  • GPU: GTS 450 or HD 5870 is the bare minimum while optimal gaming can be achieved through a GTX 760 or better.
  • DirectX: 11

With the HD 7790 now available for around $100 even budget gamers can experience a new game like Call of Duty Ghosts in 1080p.
With the HD 7790 now available for around $100 even budget gamers can experience a new game like Call of Duty Ghosts in 1080p.

Best COD Ghosts Graphics Cards for the Money 2014

While Call of Duty Ghosts does not have the graphically intense requirements of a game like Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4 it does require a decent card to play it at an average of 60FPS in 1080p. For those who want to play it in 1440p, you'll need a much heftier GPU.

Don't Be Afraid to Remove MSAA or Lower Your Settings

At the $100 price point you can't purchase a graphics card that will run Call of Duty Ghosts at 60FPS in 1080p. If you're willing to tweak your settings, then you'll get there.

Best COD Video Card Under $100

While you're a bit limited in the settings you'll be able to play a good GPU like the Radeon HD 7790 would be ideal in this category. It'll give you the best bang for your buck. Also, if you need to upgrade in the future, then an additional 7790 will give you a substantial performance boost.

HD 7790 Vs. R7 260X

Overall the 7790 gives you very similar performance when compared to the R7 260X in COD Ghosts. Because the R7 260X is the newer option you'd pay up to a 50% price increase for very little FPS gain. This is especially true when you factor in rebates which are generally available with the 7790.

Performance:

In 1080p the 7790 should give you around 45 FPS on average.

Sapphire   Radeon HD 7790 1GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/DL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card  11210-00-20G
Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/DL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11210-00-20G

A rebate for this card generally puts it around $100. If it's not available look for other HD 7790s which are on rebate for the month to stay within the price category. Overall this is a good entry-level performance card for COD Ghosts as well as many other modern titles.

 

Best Call of Duty Ghosts Graphics Card Under $150

In the under $150 category it's really a battle between the GTX 650 TI Boost, the HD 7850, and the Radeon HD 7870. All prices being equal, the HD 7870 will give you the most performance and should be able to handle 60 FPS 1080p gameplay if you set terrain/blur to off and SSAO to low.

650 TI Boost Vs. HD 7870 Vs. HD 7850

In comparison the 650 TI Boost will give you 51 FPS on average and the 7850 50.5 FPS using the same settings.

That being said this isn't a completely fair comparison simply because I was able to find both the 7850 and the 650 TI boost for around $130 while the cheapest 7870 was around $159.

Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHZ OC 2 GB 256 -bit GDDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100354OC-2L
Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHZ OC 2 GB 256 -bit GDDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100354OC-2L

After rebate the Sapphire HD 7870 should come in at right around $159. The 650 TI Boost and 7850 are good performers here and can be found for around $130.

 
Slightly less expensive as the R9 270X the GTX 660 still brings around 60FPS in Extra settings if you're willing to go with high textures and set SSAO at low.  For around $170 after rebate it's a good entry to mid-level card.
Slightly less expensive as the R9 270X the GTX 660 still brings around 60FPS in Extra settings if you're willing to go with high textures and set SSAO at low. For around $170 after rebate it's a good entry to mid-level card.
5 stars for R9 270X

Best Call of Duty Graphics Card Under $200

In the under $200 your choice is really between going with the HD 7870, R9 270X and the GTX 660. In 1080p both the R9 270X and the GTX 660 are good performers here.

While AMD's mantle technology may give you slightly better performance overall NVIDIA's promised GPU-Z will prove more desirable to many.

GPUs Above $300 for Call of Duty Ghosts

While gamers looking to play COD in 1440p may want more extreme cards most will do more than fine with a $300 card like the GTX 770 or r9 280X. Even in 1200p with 2x MSAA and maxed Extra settings they reach 45FPS. Any tweaking will send them well in excess of that.

What if I want to play in 120FPS+?

Want to play with the new 120Hz + refresh rate you purchased? Gamers looking to operate at above 120 frames should be able to easily do so by lowering the settings and removing the anti aliasing.

What Video Card Will You Be Running for COD?

Reader Poll, Please Take the Time to Vote. (Find the closest equivalent GPU)

See results

My Final Thoughts

Overall gamers fair pretty well in Call of Duty Ghosts by purchasing a moderately priced graphics card. I really think gaming is optimized well in the $300 price range, but even gamers with a $100 to $200 budget should be able to easily play in 1080p.

© 2013 Brandon Hart

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