6. Zotac GTX 260 Amp2! - £176

Zotac gtx 260

So good it deserves an exclamation mark, Zotac's GTX 260 includes 216 stream processors, rather than the GTX 260's standard 192. What on earth does that mean? Basically, it's a bit faster than your standard chip, although not hugely so - our benchmarks were much the same as the original card's. But when we reviewed it the price was a tad too high at £235, but now that's tumbled it's worth looking into.

Read our Zotac GTX 260 Amp2! review

7. Asus EAH5830 DirectCU - £183

Asus eah5830

Asus' version of AMD's ultra-brilliant 5830 is the cheapest DirectX 11 graphics card in our round-up. Essentially a pruned version of the 5870, it still includes a whopping 1,120 stream processors, and a 256-bit memory bus. Asus has included its own overclocking software, which makes getting more performance out of the card a doddle. Admittedly, there are better-performing AMD cards out there for just a little bit more, but if you've got exactly £183, it's the card for you.

Read our Asus EAH5830 DirectCU review

8. EVGA Superclocked GTX 460 768MB - £188

EVGA superclocked gtx460

It may only include a humble 768MB of memory, but EVGA has overclocked this GTX 460 to the point of no return, and into the realms of incredibly high benchmarks. It scored a whopping 38 frames per second in the verdant tropics of Just Cause 2, although it did lose out to Zotac's non-overclocked card in some tests. But the best bit is EVGA's 10-year warranty - it's truly a card for life. If we're still playing games in 10 years' time.

Read our EVGA Superclocked GTX 460 768MB review

9. Zotac GeForce GTX 460 1GB - £200

Zotac geforce gtx460

Most cheaper graphics cards are merely chopped-back versions of high end cards, but Nvidia went back to the drawing board with the GTX 460, perhaps understanding the importance of the price point. It's a moved that paid off, with the re-jigged GPU pumping out smooth frames per second in all our tests, and even providing a bit of all-important overclocking headroom. It's also DirectX 11 friendly, so you can enjoy those beautifully tesselated flags and puddles..

Read our Zotac GeForce GTX 460 1GB review

10. ATI Radeon 5850 - £200

ATI radeon 5850

We're truly in the lofty heights of graphics cards now, with both Nvidia and AMD's top chips floating around. The latter's 5850 is a stripped-back version of the far pricier 5870, but that also means cooling and efficiency are improved, so there's less noise and heat emanating from your PC. It puts on a hell of a performance, too, able to run the likes of Crysis and Just Cause 2 without even flinching. It's not the fastest card you can buy, but it definitely gives you the most bang for your buck.

Read our ATI Radeon 5850 review

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Liked this? Then check out DDR2 vs DDR3: which RAM should you buy?

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