Budget Graphics Card Round-up: 13 Sub-$150 Boards Tested

By Julio Franco ยท 38 replies
May 12, 2011
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  1. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Nice comprehensive review.

    No doubt a category that could have a different conclusion for every day of the week, given the price fluctuations in these segments - the GTX460 768mb @ $105 (after MIR), HD 5770 at <$100 prices and HD 5750 starting at $80 being prime examples.
  2. Nice breakdown of the cards. I am sure there is a big market for these. I have to say tho I find your conclusion at the end were you say the 6790 "trounced" the GTX 460 and 550ti Yes it cleaned the floor against the 550ti that's just the red headed step child of Nvidia, but the 460 was not "trounced". I went back in your review and counted the times the 460 was on top and the 6790 was on top. I negated anything that was within 1 FPS as a margin of error and came out with the 460 having 12 wins and the the 6790's 9. Now did you do a different thing to come up with that 3% margin in the 6790's favour? I just am asking no fanboi here just looking at it and wondering where the "trouncing" is.
  3. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Very true but at least with a wide range of results readers can make their own evaluation based on current pricing.

    Actually we started by saying this...

    This leaves the GTX 460 and HD 6790 to duke it out for the $150 throne. Compared to the GTX 550 Ti, the HD 6790 was 11% faster, while it was just 3% faster than the GTX 460 on average. In addition to being slightly faster, the 6790 used a tad less power, so we feel that it is the better choice.

    If you look at the 1680x1050 data which is what we discussed in the review the 6790 was 3% faster as claimed. As for getting all excited over the word "trounced", well that was the editor making things sound a little better, I used the word "superior" originally but at the end of the day we meant the same thing. To dumb it down the 6790 overcame the 460 and it did at 1680x1050.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Remind me not to get you guys to do my tax return.
    I think you'll find that the percentage is a little smaller than 3% at 1680.

    GTX460 768mb = 557 fps total (ave. 69.6 fps)
    HD 6790 = 562 fps total (ave. 70.3 fps)

    Difference should be 0.9%

    Other than that the sentiments are valid - a win is a win regardless of margin.
  5. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Beauty of numbers, one can find many ways to present the same data after 'massaging' it according to needs ;)

    Generally a very nice effort otherwise.
  6. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    As long as all data is massaged in the same way I don't think there is a problem. We simply rounded if off game by game rather than all at once.
  7. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    I would just like to add that while the GTX 460 1 GB, GTX 460SE 1 GB and HD 6850 1 GB are priced above the $150 limit for this round-up, they are still part of the sub $200 graphics market and they do bring a lot of performance to the table for a small increment over the $150 bracket.
  8. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Indeed, from our conclusion...

    "While we won't hesitate to recommend the Radeon HD 6790 at $155, if you're serious about playing demanding games with quality settings beyond medium, you should really consider spending a little extra on the HD 6850 as it offers considerably more performance for a small premium at $175."
  9. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    I was replying to DBZ's comment, and personally I'd rather do it game by game, instead of rounding it off; but that is just my opinion with which others may disagree.
  10. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Ahh then sorry it seems we agree ;)

    I only do it that way because we discuss the results individually. Adding it all together is much quicker and easier but then I would end up with two different totals.
  11. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Exactly :)

    Is it possible to do a review of mobile graphic solutions? By the way, I have talked with Matthew about this suggestion, and explored some issues with it, but I think still it could be done. For example, if you take GTX460M and pit it against other options, by getting notebooks with Quad or Dual core CPU configurations. Notebookcheck does a 'reasonable' job with mobile graphic reviews, but one feels like it can be improved. Besides, mobile options (read notebooks) are making inroads into desktop segment, so it may be an idea worth exploring. Thanks
  12. The GTX460 768mb has a trick up its sleeve - overclocking. If that is taken into consideration, at 900-950mhz on the GPU, it will mop the floor with the HD6790. Also, the GTX460 768mb cards can often be found in the $95-110 range with rebates. So if you look hard enough, the GTX460 is the best gaming card in this round-up for the $$. (And I am not an NV fanboy as I own an HD6950).
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Me thinks thee doth protest too much...:p
  14. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,676   +991

    Update: Intel's Sandy Bridge built-in GPU performance scores have been added in all tests for straight comparison with the most affordable discrete boards.
  15. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 475   +84

    I wonder how those charts will change when Llano will enter the stage and a MB AM3+ with A3550 processor in crossfire with a HD6670 will challenge Nvidia and Intel.
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I doubt the charts would change at all.

    (A3550 = FM1 socket not AM3+.......bad fanboy, no donut)
  17. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Excellent review. Will definitely come in handy.
  18. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Nice round up Steve. Just a heads up though for those looking for a card in this price range, the Radeon HD 5850 depending on where you shop is selling for ~$150. Which in my opinion if you can find it for that much is the best available card which still can holds its own.
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    I was fixin to say the same. newegg has the 5850 for 150 w/rebate, and will run roughshod over any card on the chart.
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I was going to include the Sapphire 5850/5830 Extreme in my post regarding fluctuating pricing influencing results (post #2). The problem being that the SKU's are out of stock at Newegg and some other big etailers. Being a model designed to clear excess inventory makes its sustained availability a little questionable.
  21. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Exactly why it was not included, that and there are no samples left.
  22. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    "Run roughshod" huh? Me likely when you use dat ol' fash-und kinda power speak.....:rolleyes:.....It be time to break out the Village People's greatest hits......
  24. Jiraiya

    Jiraiya TS Rookie

    HD 6790 better than the GTX 460 768MB this joke

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