Best Graphics Card for $250.00-300?

#1 Edited by blazinpuertoroc (12212 posts) -

I was thinking of a PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB GDDR5 from upgrading from my GTX295 that crapped out on me??

Anything better in that price range?

#2 Posted by Horgen (110301 posts) -

Maybe a different GTX760? I am not familiar with PNY as a brand.

#3 Posted by maynardburger (187 posts) -

AMD R9 280 is pretty much neck and neck with the GTX760 and about the same price.

Cant go wrong with either, but just letting you know your options.

#4 Posted by Geminon (1095 posts) -

GTX 770 2gb. best card in the 300 dollar price range.

#5 Edited by Arthas045 (5399 posts) -

@maynardburger said:

AMD R9 280 is pretty much neck and neck with the GTX760 and about the same price.

Cant go wrong with either, but just letting you know your options.

Also as an added bonus if you get an AMD R9 280 now you get 3 free games.

#6 Edited by BattleSpectre (6552 posts) -

@Geminon said:

GTX 770 2gb. best card in the 300 dollar price range.

#7 Edited by PredatorRules (8492 posts) -

@blazinpuertoroc said:

I was thinking of a PNY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB GDDR5 from upgrading from my GTX295 that crapped out on me??

Anything better in that price range?

If you can spend 320$ you can get MSI TWIN FROZR GTX770

If not you can get either Sapphire 280X DUAL X or Gigabyte Windforce 280X for 300$

#8 Posted by maynardburger (187 posts) -

@Arthas045:

Good point. Free games are always awesome.

@PredatorRules:

Can you actually find the 280X's for $300 right now? If so, I would definitely recommend that. That's a lot of bang for buck. Think you can get the 3 free games with that as well.

#9 Posted by PredatorRules (8492 posts) -

@maynardburger said:

@Arthas045:

Good point. Free games are always awesome.

@PredatorRules:

Can you actually find the 280X's for $300 right now? If so, I would definitely recommend that. That's a lot of bang for buck. Think you can get the 3 free games with that as well.

Sapphire / Gigabyte

#10 Edited by danxxx (682 posts) -

Ive seen some 770´s for like $315 get one of those.

#11 Edited by glez13 (8922 posts) -

You actually got two tier in that range.

The first one is starting at around $250 with the GTX760 probably being the best unless you can find a good deal from a R9280. Then you got another one starting at around $300(you won't find much to choose from since most will be past your $300 limit) with the GTX770 and maybe a R9280X that is returning to it's original price after the whole Bitcoin stuff.

#12 Edited by DJ_Headshot (6284 posts) -

I personally wouldn't go with a higher end gpu that has less then 3GB of vram. So your best options for near $300 are R9 280X with 3GB or GTX 760 4GB version. You can get the R9 280X with 3 free games now and its a bit faster then a GTX 760 but has no Physx but you get mantle and true audio support up to you which one you choose.

#13 Posted by pelvist (5046 posts) -

GTX 770. Shop smart and youll get Watchdogs for free with it too.

#14 Edited by Ballroompirate (23477 posts) -

GTX 760 all day everyday.

#15 Posted by Bikouchu35 (7529 posts) -

@DJ_Headshot said:

I personally wouldn't go with a higher end gpu that has less then 3GB of vram. So your best options for near $300 are R9 280X with 3GB or GTX 760 4GB version. You can get the R9 280X with 3 free games now and its a bit faster then a GTX 760 but has no Physx but you get mantle and true audio support up to you which one you choose.

I don't think 760 would make good use of the extra memory and justify the cost. My vote goes to 280x, I had my eye on that for a while, and they OC pretty well.

#16 Posted by maddogmark25 (3626 posts) -

@BattleSpectre said:

@Geminon said:

GTX 770 2gb. best card in the 300 dollar price range.

This. No games need anything more than 2 GB VRAM right now. UNLESS your screen resolution is above 1080P, then maybe you might want to consider more than 2GB.

#17 Edited by BattleSpectre (6552 posts) -

@maddogmark25 said:

@BattleSpectre said:

@Geminon said:

GTX 770 2gb. best card in the 300 dollar price range.

This. No games need anything more than 2 GB VRAM right now. UNLESS your screen resolution is above 1080P, then maybe you might want to consider more than 2GB.

Yep. 3GB hahaha.

Nah seriously, depends on how much mods you plan to run too.

#18 Posted by maynardburger (187 posts) -

@Bikouchu35 said:

@DJ_Headshot said:

I personally wouldn't go with a higher end gpu that has less then 3GB of vram. So your best options for near $300 are R9 280X with 3GB or GTX 760 4GB version. You can get the R9 280X with 3 free games now and its a bit faster then a GTX 760 but has no Physx but you get mantle and true audio support up to you which one you choose.

I don't think 760 would make good use of the extra memory and justify the cost. My vote goes to 280x, I had my eye on that for a while, and they OC pretty well.

Agree. Predator showed me you *can* actually get the 280X for $300 now, so its pretty much cream of the crop in terms of performance-per-dollar in this area. That's not based on its vRAM either, which I think people are freaking out about too much right now. Usage will get higher, but by the time 2GB isn't enough to run a game with moderate settings, a current midrange card is going to be quite low-end in general anyways. Basically, vRAM will be the least of your concerns.

#19 Edited by Bikouchu35 (7529 posts) -

@maynardburger said:

Agree. Predator showed me you *can* actually get the 280X for $300 now, so its pretty much cream of the crop in terms of performance-per-dollar in this area. That's not based on its vRAM either, which I think people are freaking out about too much right now. Usage will get higher, but by the time 2GB isn't enough to run a game with moderate settings, a current midrange card is going to be quite low-end in general anyways. Basically, vRAM will be the least of your concerns.

Vram is the least of the concerns, but I was basing on op's record with the gtx 295 which hints that he may keep the card for a while. Keep in mind skyrim modded and some games are hitting the 2gb roof already and by next year the games will likely be more resource intensive as we start digging into the next or current gen(console) of games.

Personally why I am stressing the vram is that my gtx 570 has been crapping on me and I know is still a performer at modest settings, but the 1.2gb vram is running its course hence the hick ups during intense scenes, while compared to its peer 1.5gb to 2gb at the time which is likely faring better.

#20 Edited by maynardburger (187 posts) -

@Bikouchu35 said:

@maynardburger said:

Agree. Predator showed me you *can* actually get the 280X for $300 now, so its pretty much cream of the crop in terms of performance-per-dollar in this area. That's not based on its vRAM either, which I think people are freaking out about too much right now. Usage will get higher, but by the time 2GB isn't enough to run a game with moderate settings, a current midrange card is going to be quite low-end in general anyways. Basically, vRAM will be the least of your concerns.

Vram is the least of the concerns, but I was basing on op's record with the gtx 295 which hints that he may keep the card for a while. Keep in mind skyrim modded and some games are hitting the 2gb roof already and by next year the games will likely be more resource intensive as we start digging into the next or current gen(console) of games.

Personally why I am stressing the vram is that my gtx 570 has been crapping on me and I know is still a performer at modest settings, but the 1.2gb vram is running its course hence the hick ups during intense scenes, while compared to its peer 1.5gb to 2gb at the time which is likely faring better.

Extra vRAM is only useful if your card can take advantage of it, though. Which is why a 4GB 760 typically isn't gonna perform better than a 2GB 760 in almost any situation.

Here's a comparison of a 770 2GB vs a 4GB version, with various games played at various resolutions.

http://alienbabeltech.com/main/gtx-770-4gb-vs-2gb-tested/3/

You can see that even at the higher resolutions, the performance benefit of the 4GB is either negligible or non-existent. Its not that these games simply dont benefit from higher vRAM at higher resolutions, its that the card itself doesn't have the memory bandwidth to put that extra vRAM to good use. So even if future games might perform well with higher vRAM, you still need a card that can utilize it, which a 760 cant.

So there's really no reason to get a 4GB 760/770 at all. Not even with a heavily modded Skyrim or playing at high resolutions. You're paying an extra $50 or something for an extra frame or two, maybe.

#21 Posted by GameBandit8 (73 posts) -

hey you can get a very powerful gpu with 250-300. i recommend you buy used but good condition, and to save money

#22 Edited by blaznwiipspman1 (6085 posts) -

most of the people posting here are noobs so the message is definitely lost that the r280x is the best option out of those choices. The ones with most tech knowledge/non biased and have been here the longest are horgen/predatorrules/bikouchu/dj headshot. They have been in pc hardware forums and have posted consistently in here for a very long time so they know what they're talking about. Ignore the rest, they will just recommend geforce like brain dead zombies. Ignore battle specter and 04cadharrer, both are highly ignorant and biased. horgen is also a bit biased towards geforce but hes fair overall.

So yeah go for the r280x radeon, best choice hands down.

#23 Edited by Weird_Jerk (597 posts) -

Another option to consider would be the 7950. With a $20 MIR from newegg, one of the Sapphire versions that has great reviews is only $212. I'd suggest this to save a few dollars and because the 7950 trades blows with the 760 but costs at least $30 less (unless you go for the reference PNY brand 760, which is around the $230 mark).

#24 Edited by DJ_Headshot (6284 posts) -

@maynardburger said:

@Bikouchu35 said:

@maynardburger said:

Agree. Predator showed me you *can* actually get the 280X for $300 now, so its pretty much cream of the crop in terms of performance-per-dollar in this area. That's not based on its vRAM either, which I think people are freaking out about too much right now. Usage will get higher, but by the time 2GB isn't enough to run a game with moderate settings, a current midrange card is going to be quite low-end in general anyways. Basically, vRAM will be the least of your concerns.

Vram is the least of the concerns, but I was basing on op's record with the gtx 295 which hints that he may keep the card for a while. Keep in mind skyrim modded and some games are hitting the 2gb roof already and by next year the games will likely be more resource intensive as we start digging into the next or current gen(console) of games.

Personally why I am stressing the vram is that my gtx 570 has been crapping on me and I know is still a performer at modest settings, but the 1.2gb vram is running its course hence the hick ups during intense scenes, while compared to its peer 1.5gb to 2gb at the time which is likely faring better.

Extra vRAM is only useful if your card can take advantage of it, though. Which is why a 4GB 760 typically isn't gonna perform better than a 2GB 760 in almost any situation.

Here's a comparison of a 770 2GB vs a 4GB version, with various games played at various resolutions.

http://alienbabeltech.com/main/gtx-770-4gb-vs-2gb-tested/3/

You can see that even at the higher resolutions, the performance benefit of the 4GB is either negligible or non-existent. Its not that these games simply dont benefit from higher vRAM at higher resolutions, its that the card itself doesn't have the memory bandwidth to put that extra vRAM to good use. So even if future games might perform well with higher vRAM, you still need a card that can utilize it, which a 760 cant.

So there's really no reason to get a 4GB 760/770 at all. Not even with a heavily modded Skyrim or playing at high resolutions. You're paying an extra $50 or something for an extra frame or two, maybe.

That's quite surprising how little the performance increase is even at higher resolutions then 1080p with current games wonder how the difference will fair in a few years. But if the relatively low memory bandwidth keeps it from fully utilizing the extra vram then not going to matter even if the games benefit from more vram then 2GB.

Looks like the gpu's that can really benefit from it have extra vram already as the standard with no lower vram options 7900 series with its 384 bit bus and good memory overclocking had 3GB across the lineup, the GTX 780 and Ti both have 3GB,R9 280-290X 3-4GB and Titan with 6GB.

#25 Edited by Qixote (10760 posts) -

@pelvist said:

GTX 770. Shop smart and youll get Watchdogs for free with it too.

Thanks for the tip. Good timing since I have been shopping for a new build. I see this offer is available from all online retailers and it expires tomorrow (5/15). It's good for various listed nvidia cards.

Now watch the game end up sucking, knowing my luck.

#26 Posted by mastershake575 (8359 posts) -

The 770/280x are cutting it close to your maximum so if that's an issue than the Sapphire Dual X R9 280 can be found currently for $210 after promo code (your would be getting a 7950 boost with good overclocking capabilities for $210 which is a good option if money/budget is tight).