make money with your web site

2012 Best Mid-Range Graphic Cards

These mid-range graphics cards represent the sensible money for most PC gamers – combining great raw performance with a price tag that won't make you pass out.

If you're looking to power a screen with a native resolution of 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1080, then you really don't need to get anything more powerful than this. At least given the current slew of games.

These cards also hold an ace up their sleeve if you have an SLI or CrossFire motherboard in your rig, because they enable you to boost the performance of your machine by adding in a second card as your needs progress.

5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Originally designed to replace the GTS 450, the GTX 550 Ti has recently found itself being pushed out of the frame by the Radeon HD 6790 (which we're looking at next). Yes, it's a next-generation graphics card, but is that alone enough to make it relevant? Not really.

As with the Radeon HD 6790, The Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti suffers comparison with the slower, but more-affordable GTS 450 and the faster, and only a bit more pricey GeForce GTX 460. Indeed it's testament to the GTX 460 that it still manages to define this end of the market.

If you've got a 20-inch or 22-inch screen, then the GTX 550 Ti is briefly worth considering, because it will produce playable frame rates at 1680 x 1050 at reasonable settings.

Unfortunately, unless there's a bizarre disease that specifically targets the GTX 460 and removes it from the world, we'd recommend hunting down that older card every time.

4. Asus EAH 6770 DC

Asus has released the highest-clocked passively-cooled graphics card around in this, the Asus EAH 6770 DC.

And it's whisper quiet too.

There was a time, not too long ago, when if you wanted to build a silent or very quiet PC you knew you were going to have to sacrifice any notion of serious gameplay to get the quietness needed for the system you were building.

Well, helping to kick that idea out of touch, Asus has introduced the EAH6770 DC SL/2DI/1GD5. A really snappy name to remember that mouthful is. The card combines AMD's HD6770 core with, it must be said, a pretty massive passive heatsink and cooling array.

It's created a passive card that makes a pretty good fist of playing today's demanding games even at high resolutions.

Although size-wise it's not a card for the more compact of PC cases.

3. AMD Radeon HD 7850

The HD 7850 pretty much finalizes AMD's current plans for the Southern Islands line up, bar the crazy-expensive dual-GPU New Zealand card which is likely waiting on Nvidia's new cards.

The AMD Radeon HD 7850 is also the card that's arguably got the most chance of being successful out of this family. At the price it looks likely to retail at, the sub-£200 mark, it could well be the highest-selling of AMD's mid-range cards.

The fact AMD has filled out these lower-caste cards with all the same features as their higher-end brethren is refreshing, as is the fact that we'll get all the HD 7850 goodness in such small footprints as 7.8-inches.

Again, it's the same Graphics Core Next story – the overclocking headroom is immense. The OC path is the only way to get the most out of these cards.

2. Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti

The GTX 560 Ti is essentially the direct replacement for the awesome GTX 460.

Though that's not actually how it's running. The performance of the GTX 560 Ti actually means it's retiring the GTX 470 with the GTX 570 effectively retiring the GTX 480 and the GTX 580 just standing on it's own. In competition terms the GTX 560 Ti is being pitched directly against AMD's sub-£200 Radeon HD 6870, but is also touted by Nvidia as something that can also take on AMD's Cayman-powered Radeon HD 6950.

The GTX 560 Ti hits Nvidia's marketing claims of 30% better performance over the GTX 460 and isn't asking any more for it than it did for the previous generation.

The impressive overclocking capabilities of the card are also worth special mention, especially considering the card is recommended to come in below the £200 mark.

1. AMD Radeon HD 6950

Every few years a graphics card is released that sums up that generation better than any other. We're talking about the likes of the 8800GT and the budget-focused Radeon X1950 Pro. Cards that transcend their immediate markets and time frames and stand up for years to come as being bang on the money.

The AMD Radeon HD 6950 defines the market. Cheaper cards look up to it for its raw power, while the top-end cards are mindful of the sheer value it offers and are rightly fearful of what can be achieved when two are cajoled together in CrossFire.

The Radeon HD 6950 isn't a subtle reworking of the first generation of DX11 graphics in the same way that Barts is, but rather a complete reworking of the inner logic of AMD's graphics chips. And it's an incredible card for it.

The performance is incredible, at console-breaking 1080p resolutions, and in DX11 games it punches well above its weight. If you're looking for a no-nonsense card that will last you until DX12 rolls out, and don't plan on running insanely high resolutions, this is the card for you.

Those with the stomach for it will discover that they can turn their £200 Radeon HD 6950 into a fully fledged 6970 with a BIOS flash as well. Here's a card that both AMD and Nvidia are going to be hard pushed to beat any time soon. It's simply incredible.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...