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[TH] - Best Graphics Cards For The Money: May 2011

post #1 of 70
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Main highlights:

Quote:
Despite the flood of graphics card launches we reported in last month's update, two more models were introduced on April 19th: the Radeon HD 6570 and 6670. Both of these cards use the new Turks GPU equipped with 480 ALUs, 24 texture units, and eight ROPs. You may notice that this is a slight upgrade compared to AMD's Radeon HD 5570/5670's 400 ALU, 20 texture unit, and eight ROP configuration. And, and since the new cards run at similar clock rates, game performance is only marginally improved over the older products.

There are a handful of superficial additions, though. For instance, the UVD3 engine proves to be very effective, and the 6570/6670 cards provide the same high-definition video quality enhancements as higher-end Radeon cards, as demonstrated by the HQV 2.0 benchmark results we generated. In any case, gamers won't be impressed with the current price points of these new cards: at $80 the Radeon HD 6570 DDR3 performs far below the $75 Radeon HD 5670, and the $100 Radeon HD 6670 is priced far too close to the superior Radeon HD 5750 and GeForce GTS 450. The Radeon HD 6670 has one thing going for it, though: it is the most powerful reference card available that does not require a dedicated PCIe power cable, and as such it gains an honorable mention for upgraders who don't want to spend money on a power supply. To learn more, check out our Radeon HD 6570/6670 review.



Source
Edited by tpi2007 - 5/9/11 at 1:12am
 
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post #2 of 70
I left them a pretty comment:

Quote:
I hate to say it, but Tom's Hardware can be incredibly biased or simply misinformed at times. For example, starting at $100, you can pick up the Radeon HD 5750, a card that's faster than the 6670. At $150, the undisputed winner is the GeForce GTX 460 768MB. It handily beats the Radeon HD 6790 by 12% at 1680x1050, the target resolution. At $200, the Radeon HD 6870 simply makes no sense. For $30 more you can pick up a GTX 560 Ti, a card that beats it at 1920x1200 by 18%. Recommendations of the Radeon HD 6950 make no sense. Both the 1GB and 2GB versions are only slightly faster. The 1GB version is faster by wait for it... 1%... at 1920x1200. The 2GB version is an amazing 2% faster and costs $20 more for the cheap, non-reference models that won't unlock shaders and will end up being slower due to over-clocking less. The ones you want, the reference ones, cost $45 more. Unlocking the shaders gives you an amazing 3% performance boost, and when both are over-clocked/unlocked (in the case of the 6950), they end up with the same performance since the 560 OCs a bit better. Wonderful. Also, I don't understand the incessant bashing here on the Radeon HD 6990. From the looks of it, it has sold more than the GTX 590 and for a good reason: it's faster at 2560x1600, and doesn't blow up when you over-volt it. It's also an over-clocking monster, reaching 1GHz on the core and matching GTX 580 SLI. If you don't want the noise, you can just buy a water block with the money you saved from not getting a GTX 580 SLI.

Tom's Hardware, I am disappoint.
    
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post #3 of 70
They're close enough most of the time. But I can't really agree with doing something stupid like "2x 6850/6870" as the best in the 300-350 range. Doubling up on slow cards leaves you with no future upgrade route for a minimal boost over the faster/similarly priced single cards. Bad idea.
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post #4 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL_Wut_Axel View Post
I left them a pretty comment:
I have to confess I used to be a lot more active over at Tom's. Let's see if they answer your post. They usually do.

They do tweak the price brackets each month, which is something quite peculiar...

This is April's price bracket:

1 – April Updates

2 – Best PCIe Card: $120 And Under
3 – Best PCIe Card: $125 To $200


4 – Best PCIe Card: $200 To $300
5 – Best PCIe Card: $300 To $400
6 – Best PCIe Card: $400 And Up


And this is May's:

1 – May Updates

2 – Best PCIe Card: $100 And Under
3 – Best PCIe Card: $110 To $200


4 – Best PCIe Card: $200 To $300
5 – Best PCIe Card: $300 To $400
6 – Best PCIe Card: $400 And Up


Edit 1: And they also tweak the intermediate price brackets. In April there was a $80 and below, now there is $75 and below. In April the GTS450 was recommended for $105. Now, it lost the recommendation, and there is an honorable mention to the HD6670 at $100. They should certainly do some explaining to make the choices clear.

Edit 2: When it comes to 2 card recommendations, the story gets even more interesting this month.

Last month the recommendation at $330 was 2x HD6850, and an honorable mention at $335 for the GTX570. Now that the GTX570 is cheaper than the two Radeons, it still only gets an honorable mention at $330 vs $340 for the Radeons.
Edited by tpi2007 - 5/9/11 at 3:11am
 
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post #5 of 70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeras View Post
They're close enough most of the time. But I can't really agree with doing something stupid like "2x 6850/6870" as the best in the 300-350 range. Doubling up on slow cards leaves you with no future upgrade route for a minimal boost over the faster/similarly priced single cards. Bad idea.
Fully agree. I always regard a second card as a later addition to the system or if I want the absolute best - having two of the best cards. Buying two midrange cards like that doesn't make much sense, especially because SLI and Crossfire are not exactly 100% reliable (microstuttering and bugs) and are not present in every game, not to mention the added power consumption, noise, space requirements inside the case (may prevent you from adding other add-in cards). That's why it should be a second thought, after a few months, not buying them straight away instead of a high end card.
 
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post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL_Wut_Axel View Post
I left them a pretty comment:
Nice +Rep
post #7 of 70
Tom's articles are never that good anyway, and who here even bothers taking in what they say in these monthly charts?.. You can usually find everything in there for less than their prices.
    
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post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi2007 View Post
I have to confess I used to be a lot more active over at Tom's. Let's see if they answer your post. They usually do.

They do tweak the price brackets each month, which is something quite peculiar...

This is April's price bracket:

1 – April Updates

2 – Best PCIe Card: $120 And Under
3 – Best PCIe Card: $125 To $200


4 – Best PCIe Card: $200 To $300
5 – Best PCIe Card: $300 To $400
6 – Best PCIe Card: $400 And Up


And this is May's:

1 – May Updates

2 – Best PCIe Card: $100 And Under
3 – Best PCIe Card: $110 To $200


4 – Best PCIe Card: $200 To $300
5 – Best PCIe Card: $300 To $400
6 – Best PCIe Card: $400 And Up


And they also tweak the intermediate price brackets. In April there was a $80 and below, now there is $75 and below. In April the GTS450 was recommended for $105. Now, it lost the recommendation, and there is an honorable mention to the HD6670 at $100. They should certainly do some explaining to make the choices clear.
Yes, this is something that always gets on my nerves. Every month it seems as if they 'tweak' the prices instead of just being consistent so we can get a good overview of what has actually changed.

For example, they should simply do:

Best Graphics Card for the Money for May 2011

Best PCIe card: $100 and under

Best PCI-E card for $50: Radeon HD 4650

Best PCI-E card for $75: Radeon HD 5670

Best PCI-E Card for $100: Radeon HD 5750

Best PCI-E card: $200 and under

Best PCI-E card for $125: Radeon HD 5770

Best PCI-E card for $150: GeForce GTX 460 768MB
Honorable Mention: Radeon HD 5850 (poor availability)

Best PCI-E Card for $175: Radeon HD 6850

Best PCI-E Card for $200: Radeon HD 6870

Best PCI-E card: $300 and under

Best PCI-E card for $225: None

Best PCI-E card for $250: Tie
Radeon HD 6950 1GB
GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Best PCI-E card for $275: None
Honorable Mention: Radeon HD 6950 2GB (2GB of VRAM gives it an advantage over the GTX 560 Ti at resolutions 2560x1600 and higher)

Best PCI-E card for $300: None

Best PCI-E card: over $300

Best PCI-E card for $325: GeForce GTX 570

Best PCI-E card for $350: None
Honorable Mention: Radeon HD 6970 (2GB VRAM advantage at 2560x1600 and higher over GTX 570)

Best PCI-E card for $375: None

Best PCI-E card for $400: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2win

Best PCI-E card for $475: None
Honorable Mention: GTX 580 (GTX 460 2win is faster but does not support SLI)

Best PCI-E card for $500: None

Best PCI-E card for $700: None
Honorable Mention: Radeon HD 6990 (for those who prefer over-clocking)
GeForce GTX 590 (for those that prefer something quieter)

And yes, you can use this to determine the best cards for the money.
Edited by LOL_Wut_Axel - 5/9/11 at 2:55pm
    
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post #9 of 70
Hey, where did you get GTX 560 Ti is 18% faster than 6870? And the 6950 is faster than the 560 Ti :/
    
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post #10 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razi3l View Post
Hey, where did you get GTX 560 Ti is 18% faster than 6870? And the 6950 is faster than the 560 Ti :/
See here:



New drivers can change the situation quite a lot. For the 6950, I never said it was slower. I said it was 1% faster but over-clocks less.


Edited by LOL_Wut_Axel - 5/9/11 at 2:23am
    
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