With the visual quality settings maxed out at 1680x1050 we are looking for an average of 60fps or more for perfectly playable performance. This calls for either the GeForce GTX 650 Ti or Radeon HD 7850. We were impressed by how well the GeForce GTX 650 Ti performed, particularly given it costs ~$50 less than the Radeon HD 7850.
Those hoping to spend a little less have the Radeon HD 7770 which delivered an average of 48fps which is enough for playable performance. This is roughly the same performance seen from the previous generation's 6850. For about the same money the GeForce GTX 550 Ti was much slower averaging 38fps as it is starting to show its age. That said the Radeon HD 7750 was really no better and the minimal price saving when compared to the 7770 just isn’t worth the performance hit.
Increasing the resolution to 1920x1200 saw the Radeon HD 7850 and GeForce GTX 650 Ti both drop slightly below 60fps. The Radeon HD 7870 was required to break an average of 60fps while the GeForce GTX 660 was much faster hitting 73fps. The Radeon HD 7950 Boost was also outclassed by the GeForce GTX 660 Ti.
Getting playable performance out of the Radeon HD 7770 was harder this time, though we expect most gamers will find an average of 36fps satisfactory.
At 2560x1600 the Radeon HD 7850 and GeForce GTX 650 Ti have been reduced to just ~33fps. For playable performance we recommend at least a Radeon HD 7870 or something similar in terms of rendering power.
The GeForce GTX 660 gets closer to the ideal mark with an average of 46fps, while the higher end GTX 660 Ti and GTX 670 were the way to go with 60fps+.