Top 5 Graphics Cards for Q1 2011

By on March 7, 2011
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The game has changed.

Last year we did a similar top5 article looking at some of the best 3D cards money can buy along with the best value for money. Back then, the market was ruled by Nvidia in both the high-end and mainstream sector. The new year, it seems, has brought along with it the winds of change that are blowing in favor of AMD instead of Nvidia.

As usual, the article will contain the top 5 cards out in the market ranked on performance, regardless of price. The cards I’ll be looking at today are all 2nd generation DX11 cards which started coming out in late 2010. Enhanced performance on Depth of Field and Tessellation are the key driving points behind all of these cards, but outperforming previous generation cards on DX 10 and DX 9 games is also high on the agenda.

Note that all of these cards are judged on their performance first, but price is obviously just as important. I have taken current MSRP (in USD) on these cards, so your mileage may vary depending on where you live and what type of card you’re going for. Any card that comes factory overclocked with a better heatsink than reference design will obviously cost more than MSRP.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
  • Colaxs

    Come on Taimoor, let’s not get carried away.

    The Geforce 570 performs better than the 6970 in all reviews I’ve read so far.

    Also, where is the 6950 available at 250 USD? Are you talking about the 1GB or 2GB version?

    Also, the Geforce 560 is a better choice than the 6870 easily.

    My ranking would be 580, 570, 6950, 560, 6850

  • Colaxs

    Come on Taimoor, let’s not get carried away.

    The Geforce 570 performs better than the 6970 in all reviews I’ve read so far.

    Also, where is the 6950 available at 250 USD? Are you talking about the 1GB or 2GB version?

    Also, the Geforce 560 is a better choice than the 6870 easily.

    My ranking would be 580, 570, 6950, 560, 6850

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      Except from Far Cry 2 and 3DMark Vantage (which is extremely biased towards Nvidia cards due to PhysX), the HD 6970 outperforms the GTX 570 in all other benchmarks.

      The $250 price is for the 1GB variant, the 2GB HD 6970′s cost around $280; whereas the GTX 570 with 1.2GB ram start from $350.

      The GTX 560 vs HD 6870 was a tie of sorts, the HD 6870 edged past the GTX 560 Ti because of a lower price point and marginally better performance in the majority of our benchmarks.

  • Naved

    WHERE IS THE AMD RADEON HD 6990?!! :O….well that should be at the top!!

  • Nitin

    Hi, Can someone tell me which is a good place to buy Graphic Cards in Dubai or GCC. Are online shops better (which ones)? I had heard that electronics are cheaper here compared to India but I have not seen a huge difference till now.

  • Nitin

    Hi, Can someone tell me which is a good place to buy Graphic Cards in Dubai or GCC. Are online shops better (which ones)? I had heard that electronics are cheaper here compared to India but I have not seen a huge difference till now.

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