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Best midrange graphics card 2011

Updated on April 28, 2011

Not all gamers can afford $500 graphics cards for gaming, in fact they are not even required if gaming is what you want to do. For a budget gamer, value for money is top most priority and not if it is the fastest or not. You can get an amazing gaming experience without breaking the bank. Technology is moving so fast now, you now get cards for less than $100 which perform better than cards that cost more than $300 just 2 years ago. So lets have a look at some of these cards available in the market and how they perform.

Sub $200 : AMD Radeon HD 6870/6850

The "gamer's sweet spot" as it is referred to as many times, the sub $200 category is very common. Here we have 2 great cards from AMD , the HD 6850 and HD 6870. Both are very powerful cards, you will have no issues playing all the new games at best quality. There maybe a few games where you will have to turn down the settings a bit, but still, no issues. Sadly, from Nvidia's side we don't have much in this segment. You can get the HD 6870 for $199 and the HD 6850 for around $169.

Sub $150 : Sapphire HD 5850 Xtreme

Some may be surprised as to why i selected this old gen card, well the reason is simple, it give amazing performance for the price. Even though its old, its really powerful and what makes it better is the price. The card is as good as the HD 6870 in most games, but is slightly slower in games that are heavy on tessellation. Good performance, low power consumption, low heat and a low price, what more can you ask for? You can grab this card for just $149, so get one before they run out of stock.

Sub $100 : HD 6670 or HD 6770/5770

For all the above cards, you need a decent PSU with at least 30A on the 12v rail and at least 1 6 pin PCIe power connector. Now, if you don't have that and don't require hardcore gaming, then HD 6670 is an option for you. Its a step up from the older HD 5670 and is around 15% faster and consumes even lesser power. Obviously, there is no need for a external power source, it draws power from the PCIe slot. If you need something more powerful, get the HD 6770/5770 which go for around $119, not exactly sub $100 but still a good option. Do note, the HD 6770 is the same as the HD 5770, so if you get a good deal on that, go for it. As for the price:

HD 6670 - $99 (slightly high)
HD 6770/5770 - $119

So that pretty much wraps up this guide. These are the most value for money graphics cards in this segment, if you are wondering why not even a single Nvidia product is here, its just because they have nothing better in this price range. The GTX 550 Ti is under powered and overpriced, the card is often slower than the HD 5770 (the gap is larger at higher resolution) and costs more.If you guys have any suggestions or complains, feel free to comment below.


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