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Best Graphics Card for Gaming 2013

best-gaming-card-cover

Image via GeForce.com


It has been a while since we published an article. There was some issue with our ISP Reliance which is now resolved. So as our first article we decided to answer one question that a lot of people have been asking us – What is the best graphics card for gaming ? These type of questions do not have any single answer. The best graphics card depends on how much money you can spend and how capable is rest of your system( CPU, RAM, etc.). To answer this question properly we have categorized graphics card under different price points. We have analysed several synthetic benchmarks and real game performance charts to categorize the cards. So you don’t have do any work. Just decide your budget and select a graphics card from respective. But before that here is short graphics card buying guide:

(i) Graphics card buying guide:

This guide will answer some basic questions. I recommend you to go through it. If you already know this then skip to the next section.

1. 1G or 2GB or 3G. How much memory is enough?

Today we see a lot of graphics card sporting 2GB, 3GB or even 6GB video memory. Even the low end graphics cards have 2GB models. Do you really need that much video memory? The answer is no for low and mid range cards. The resolution at which you play game is also an important factor. Unless you have very high resolution monitor having a resolution of 1920×1200 or more and a graphics card with a powerful GPU you will never be able to utilize that much ram . This was confirmed by Tom’s Hardware in this article.

Many people think that more memory means more speed. 1GB of graphics RAM is more than enough for mid range cards(sub cards). But for gaming at HD resolution (1920×1080 or more) 2GB or more might give better performance.

2.  DDR2, DDR3 or  DDR5 ?

DDR5 is newer, faster and more expensive than DDR3. DDR2 is obsolete. You should always try to buy DDR5 version of a graphics card.

3. Nvidia or ATI ?

Nvidia is definitely the bigger company. But both companies are equally good. When buying a card your focus should be on which is faster for given budget ran than to which brand to it belongs. Still if you prefer Nvidia or ATI there are plenty of graphics cards to chose from. We have found ATI to provide better overclocking utilities out of the box. On the other hand driver support for Linux is better in case of Nvidia.

4. Will xx graphics card be compatible with my PC ?

Your motherboard must have a PCI express card slot. PCIe 2.1/2.0 are backward compatible with PCIe 1.0/1.1 . Similarly PCIe 3.0 cards are compatible with  PCIe 2.0/2.1.

The other thing you should see is your power supply or SMPS. It should at least be 400W and from a good manufacturer. For higher end card at least 600w is required.

5. Where to buy?

Generally you can get a better deal online than brick and mortar store. Local store also do not have the variety. But it doesn’t hurt check your local store for prices before buying online. To most of our readers we suggest to buy from Amazon. Indian readers can get better deal on Flipkart. Flipkart also has COD option so you don’t need a credit card for purchase. Link to both these stores is given below each of the cards.

(ii) Best graphics card for gaming

The graphics cards are categorized under different price points. Decide your budget and pick the best graphics card for the money. First one under each category is the recommend one. The second one is at par or slightly slower and so on.  The prices are in USD. The prices in brackets are their equivalents in INR.


1. Best graphics card under 30$ (2,000 Rs.)

Frankly in this  price range you can hardly find a gaming card. These cards are mainly for HTPCs. But if you have a very old PC with an anaemic integrated graphics then these cards can breath some life in those systems. You should be able able to play old games like counter strike 1.6, Half Life 2, etc.  easily. Newer games will only run at lowest resolution and graphics settings. Graphics intensive games will be unplayable.

1. ATI Radeon 5450 DDR3 (Recommended):

1-ati-5450This card sports a 650 MHz clock and is our recommended card in this price range. It is a very low powered card that should run with most power supplies.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 650 MHz
Memory Clock: 1000 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 80
Memory Capacity: 1GB
Bus Width: 64-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.1
Directx/OpenGL: v11/3.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn

2. Nvidia GeForce 210 DDR3:

1-geforce-210This is slower and slightly cheaper than 5450. Buy it only if you want an Nvidia card. We do not recommend it as it is even slower than Intel HD 3000 graphics (integrated).

Specifications
GPU Clock: 520 MHz
Memory Clock: 500 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 16
Memory Capacity: 1GB
Bus Width: 64-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.0
Directx/OpenGL: v10.1/3.2
Shader: version 4.1

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn


 

2. Best graphics card under 50$ (3,000 Rs.)

In this range you should be be able to play recent games at low to medium settings. You might have to tweak the settings for the games to be playable. Less demanding games like Fifa 2012 should be easily playable. But don’t expect high frame rates.

1. Nvidia GT 610 DDR3 (Recommended):

2-GT-610This card sports a faster 810 MHz clock and is our recommended card in this price range. Note that Nvidia cards have less number of cores compared to ATI but the cores are faster.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 810 MHz
Memory Clock: 1066 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 48
Memory Capacity: 1GB or 2GB
Bus Width: 64-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.1
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn

2. Radeon 6450 DDR3:

This card is comparable to GT 610. Between this card and GT 610 you should go for the card on which you can find better deal.

2-ati-6450

Specifications
GPU Clock: 625 MHz
Memory Clock: 1334 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 160
Memory Capacity: 1GB
Bus Width: 64-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.1
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.1
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn


 

3. Best graphics card under 80$ (5,000 Rs.)

From the this category and up you will find actual gaming cards. Games like Assassin’s Creed, GTA IV and Crysis 2 should run well on medium settings.

1. ATI Radeon 6670 DDR3 (Recommended):

3-ati-6670-ddr3This card has 128-bit wide bus giving giving greater bandwidth than 64-bit cards. This is the fastest card that does not require any auxiliary power connector and our recommended card in this price range.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 800 MHz
Memory Clock: 1600 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 160
Memory Capacity: 1GB
Bus Width: 128-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.1
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn

3-gt-630-ddr5

2. Nvidia GT 630 DDR5
DD5 memory gives extra bandwidth to this card but it is still slightly slower than the above card. This card is harder to find online. DDR3 version is readily available and cheaper but it is much slower.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 810 MHz
Memory Clock: 1333 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 96
Memory Capacity: 1GB
Bus Width: 128-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn


4. Best graphics card under 100$ (7,000 Rs.)

In this range the graphics cards should be able to run most of the games at medium to medium high settings. Still at higher resolutions (> 1920×1080)  these cards may not give good frame rates.

 

4-ati-7750-ddr5

ATI Radeon 7750 DDR5 (Recommended):

This is a high performance card that consumes very low power. Its great performance is partly due to the large number of stream processors (512) and high speed DDR5. This is the best graphics card under 100 bucks. Don’t take our word for it. Read the great reviews it has received on Amazon and Flipkart.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 800 MHz
Memory Clock: 4500 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 512
Memory Capacity: 1GB
Bus Width: 128-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn


5. Best graphics card under 150$ (10,000 Rs.)

These graphics cards can easily play games like Crysis 3 and Battlefield 3 at high settings.

5-ati-7770-ddr5

1. ATI Radeon HD 7770 DDR5 (Recommended)

This is the successor of of the famous 6770 and lives upto its reputation.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 1000MHz
Memory Clock: 4500 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 640
Memory Capacity: 1GB
Bus Width: 128-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 2.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn     fkrt-buy-btn

2. Nvidia GTX 650 DDR5

5-gtx-650-ddr5The performance is close to HD 7770 but it is slightly slower in some of the games. Still a good buy at this price.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 1071 MHz
Memory Clock: 5000 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 384
Memory Capacity: 1GB or 2GB
Bus Width: 128-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11.1/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn   fkrt-buy-btn (1 GB)  fkrt-buy-btn (2 GB)


6. Best graphics card under 200$ (15,000 Rs.)

In this range the graphics cards will run all the latest games at high settings as well as at high resolutions.

 GTX 650 Ti Boost DDR5 (Recommended)

6-gtx-650-ti-boostMake no mistake. This is not same card as listed in previous category. See the ‘ Ti Boost ‘ in the title. There are 3 variants of GTX 650.

GTX 650 < GTX 65 Ti < GTX 65 Ti  Boost (Best)

This card benefits from wider bus of 192-bit and faster memory clock of 6008 MHz. Also the number of CUDA cores is considrably higher.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 993 MHz
Memory Clock: 6008 MHZ
Processors and Cores: 768
Memory Capacity: 2GB
Bus Width: 192-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.3
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn (2GB)    fkrt-buy-btn (2GB)


7. Best graphics card under 300$ (20,000 Rs.)

The games will run all the games at ultra high settings as well as high resolutions. It is a tie between both the cards. You can’t go wrong if you buy either .

 1. Nvidia GTX 760 DDR5

7-gtx-760-ddr5With the extra wide 256-bit bus the the GPU has enough room to flex its muscles.

Specifications
GPU Clock: 993 MHz
Processors and Cores: 768
Memory Capacity: 2GB
Bus Width: 256-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11.1/4.3
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn (2GB)    fkrt-buy-btn (2GB)

2. ATI Radeon 7950 DDR5

7-ati-7950-ddr5Very high bus width of 384-bit and 1792 shaders makes this graphics card very powerful. If you are buying this card we suggest  to buy Sapphire Vapor-X. Vapor-X is a proprietary cooling technology that uses a custom heatsink and liquid to cool the card. As a result the cards are cooler and quieter.

This card is slightly costly in Indian market with the cost of 24.6k INR . Although on Amazon it is easily available around .

Specifications
GPU Clock: 850 MHz
Processors and Cores: 1792
Memory Capacity: 3GB
Bus Width: 384-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11.1/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn (3GB)    fkrt-buy-btn (3GB)


 

8. Best graphics card under 500$ (30,000 Rs.)

These are some of the fastest card on earth. With a good CPU these cards will shine. Don’t pair these with weak CPUs.  Also make sure you have a capable power supply(SMPS) as these cards are power hungry. These cards have enough power to support multi monitor setup: ATI eyefinity and Nvidia Surround. Once again both card listed below have comparable performance. So both are recommended.

1. GTX 770 DDR5

8-gtx-7770-ddr5

Specifications
GPU Clock: 1046 MHz
Processors and Cores: 1536
Memory Capacity: 2GB or 4GB
Bus Width: 256-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11.1/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn (4GB)    fkrt-buy-btn (2GB)

2. ATI Radeon 7970 DDR5

8-ati-7970-ddr5

 

Specifications
GPU Clock: 925 MHz
Processors and Cores: 2028
Memory Capacity: 3GB or 6GB
Bus Width: 384-bit
Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
Directx/OpenGL: v11/4.2
Shader: version 5

amzn-buy-btn (6GB and 3GB)    fkrt-buy-btn (3GB)


 

Conclusion

Now you must have an idea about the best graphics card for gaming suitable for your budget. Buying a graphics card is a tough task. You have to take many factors into account. This is  further complicated by changing prices and newer graphics cards and games being released every month. If you have any doubt regarding any card or whether your favourite game will run properly on certain graphics card then just leave a comment. We will be happy to help.

 Image credits: Flipkart, Amazon

About Aamir Rizwan

Aamir Rizwan is a passionate blogger and the founder of TechAnger.com. He likes staying at the top of latest technology. In his free time he enjoys listening music, watching House MD and playing third person shooters.