Though the latest generation of processors be it AMD or Intel come with their respective AMD's Radeon HD and Intel's HD Graphics series built in to their processors, they are quite weak for playing the big titles. If you consider playing low end games like Fay Cry 1-3 or even the ones with low 3D requirements like Diablo III then these integrated GPUs are just fine to go with. New games like Assassin's Creed Unity, Crysis 1-3 or Battlefield 3-4 and even Hardline are graphic intensive games and require a good Graphic Card to run especially if you have a weak CPU like the AMD A4, Intel i3 or the Intel Pentium Dual Core installed!
After a long research and feedbacks from various users I've observed that the current generation of mid to high end graphic cards are good enough to play all the top rated titles at ultra high settings on 1080p resolution! Obviously they are not the titans of gaming industry for which you might have to sell a kidney to buy.
Besides a affordable price, one of the benefits of using a mid to high end card is that you won't likely need to upgrade your desktop's power supply. Many brand-new cards don't need extra leads from your power supply, saving you from that frustrating moment when you open the case to install your new card only to find your power supply unit can't handle it.
Below is the list of a few that I've shortlisted:
1.Sapphire Toxic R9 270X 2GB
The Toxic R9 270X is an overclocked version of the AMD Radeon R9 270X. It runs at a high clock speed of 1.1GHz, and will happily boost up to 1.15GHz. At 1.5GHz, the Toxic R9 270X’s memory speed is also high, which should mean higher speeds and better frame rate by faster utilization of the 2GB DDR5 memory at a 256bit memory bandwidth.
Having 1,280 stream processors and supporting cross-fire technology this is the best graphic card in its price slot both in terms of performance and catchy looks.
The sapphire r9 270x features a second generation vapor-x cooler design, lighter in weight but delivering the industry acclaimed quiet and efficient cooling associated with this brand.
Though the company claims a maximum digital resolution of 4096X2160 but it can go all the way upto 5,760x1,080 through the eyefinity technology delivering smooth gaming performance even at medium to high settings!
Unfortunately it has a down side, you’ll need a deep case in which to install it because the card is a massive 308mm long! Also once installed, you’ll need two spare 6-pin PCI-E connectors to power it.
I hate being bias but this is my personal favorite in the category.
2. HIS R9 270 iPower IceQ X² Boost Clock
Architecturally, the R9 270 is identical to the AMD Radeon HD 7870 that launched in the spring of 2012. Both cores feature 1,280 stream processors, 80 texture mapping units, and 32 render output units (ROPs). The difference between then and now boils down to clock speed (the HIS R9 270 runs at 900MHz base, 925 clock compared with an even 1GHz for the old AMD 7870) and of course, price. When it launched on March 12, 2012 the Radeon HD 7870 was a at double the price of that of R9 270 and that makes something of a difference when it comes to evaluating its overall performance. What makes the R9 270 potent at this price point is that it retains the same number of render outputs and a large frame buffer (2GB, more than enough for games in 1,920 by 1,080) but is only just over half the price of the MSI R9 280X Gaming 3G.
3. MSI R9 280X Gaming 3G
In most ways, the R9 280X is a re-branded AMD HD 7970 offered at a lower price. It offers substantially similar clock speeds, total RAM (3GB, with a 384-bit memory path) and display hardware. There are a few fringe benefits that come courtesy of the new R9 series, like the ability to attach up to three displays to the DVI and HDMI ports simultaneously, rather than being forced to use DisplayPort for two of three panels. But the big news here is thats not only is it newer but the price cut—a deep enough slash that even an older part suddenly acquires a nifty new gleam.
4. Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost
The new GTX 650 Ti Boost is the third graphics card to carry the "GTX 650" designation. The Ti Boost is clocked at 980MHz. It supports Nvidia's GPU Boost technology and will increase its clock speed up to 1033MHz if thermal headroom allows it to do so.
The GTX 650 Ti Boost has 768 shader cores and 64 texture mapping units (TMUs). This means the new GTX 650 Ti Boost's pixel fillrate is 23.5 GPixels per second! It even supports a Multi-GPU setup via SLI. The GTX 650 TiB has a 192-bit memory bus clocked at 1500MHz, for a total of 144.2GBps of RAM bandwidth.
All these features combined make it the best bet in the lower segments of the Nvidia GPU range.
5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti
The GTX 750 Ti is a card that comes in two flavors ie 1GB and 2GB. Like Nvidia's previous GPU, Kepler, it's built on a 28nm process node—but don't be fooled. Nvidia has aggressively optimized this architecture for high performance and low power consumption, with truly impressive results. The GTX 750 Ti is rated for a board power of just 60W! This is what makes this card so special and worthy to be in the list.
The GTX 750 Ti's 640 cores, 40 texture mapping units, and 16 ROPs. Its not too powerful as compared to the others in the list but due to its low power consumption and price factor it has a very high price to performance ratio. So for a budget user who doesn't have a powerful PSU installed in your system, this should be your first pick.
6. AMD Radeon R9 270X
The AMD Radeon R9 270X is AMD's new midrange graphics card aimed at gamers who want strong 1080p performance, but can't afford luxury models. Like most members of the Radeon R7/R9 family, it's a refreshed version of a previous architecture—in this case, the AMD Radeon HD 7870 at PinnacleMicro. Specifically, it's a drop-in replacement for that chip, but at slightly higher clock speeds.
The old AMD 7870 ran at 1GHz core clock, while the new chip runs at 1,050MHz. Memory transfer speeds are also up significantly, from 1,200MHz to 1,400MHz, a gain of some 17 percent. Where the original AMD 7870 shipped in both 1GB and 2GB flavors, the new R9 270X is strictly 2GB only. All of the retail cards currently shipping have the same set of display outputs—one HDMI, one DisplayPort, and two DVI. This should allow for a great deal of flexibility, and users can run up to three monitors off a single card, without relying on DisplayPort alone.
7. Asus Radeon R9 280 Direct CU II
The Asus Radeon R9 280 Direct CU II card ships with a base clock of 874MHz and a maximum clock speed of 980MHz. The memory clock also gets the R9 280 Direct CU II a slight boost, from 1,250MHz to 1,300MHz, for an effective data rate bump from 5GBps to 5.2GBps.
The R9 280 Direct CU II is a solid choice if you use a 1080p monitor, and its near-silence when under load is definitely a boon. The only caveat to the cooling solution is that the card exhausts hot air directly into the case. If you don't have air conditioning in the summer months, or your chassis is already hot, you may not want the additional thermal load.
8. Nvidia GeForce GTX 660
9. MSI Nvidia GTX 970 4GB OC
The MSI GTX 970 is a high-level graphics card based on Nvidia's Maxwell architecture. It's much less expensive than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, but it offers the same low-power consumption and decent performance for its power envelope. Ultimately, the AMD Radeon R9 280X, is its arc competitor, is significantly cheaper—though it also consumes a great deal more power.
The differences between the GTX 970 and the Nvidia GTX 980 are relatively small in terms of memory. The GTX 970 has 1664 cores (down from the Nvidia GTX 980's 2048), 4GB of RAM, and a memory clock of 1050MHz. The MSI GTX 970 is clocked higher than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 reference model, with a base speed of 1,102MHz and a boost clock of 1,312MHz. Like the Nvidia GTX 980, the GTX 970 is extremely efficient, with a 145-watt power draw—which means there's no need for a big power supply unit.
10. Sapphire AMD/ATI Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC 4GB
The Sapphire AMD/ATI Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC 4GB video card looks good and has the performance to back up the good looks especially after the massive price cut by AMD. The Toxic 3X GPU cooler is about as big of a GPU cooler that I've have ever seen on a dual-slot video card. It stretches 12-inches in length and is comprised of two aluminum finned heatsink arrays that use six copper heatpipes to help dissipate the heat from the AMD GCN 1.1 GPU. This card stands out from the crowd due to the WindForce 3X GPU cooler that uses six copper heatpipes (2x 8mm and 4x 6mm) and three 75mm cooling fans to keep this factory overclocked card running smoothly. This beefy GPU cooler marketed as being able to handle thermal designs of up to 450 Watts. It is able to keep the cards temperatures under control at both stock and overclocked speeds!
The R9 290X Tri-X OC 4GB comes clocked at 1000 MHz core and 1040 MHz boost with 2816 shader processors! The 4GB of GDDR5 memory runs on a 512-bit bus and is clocked at 1300MHz. It comes with a maximum resolution of 4096x2160 capable of handling high end games on ultra high on even a triple monitor setup or a 4K setup. It ships with dual-link DVI-I, dual-link DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. All of the video outputs are standard size, so no adapters are needed, which is nice.
Also to top it all up it supports quad CrossFire, which I don't think you'll ever be needing!
So this was the list that I came down upon as per what I observed and experienced, do leave a comment for any additions or suggestion if you have any. As always your queries regrading the same are most welcome.