The XFX Radeon HD 6850 is not the absolute fastest card in our test, but it delivers the best all-round package of graphical grunt, value and efficiency.
For the money the sort of gaming performance you can squeeze out of the card is downright impressive. Any card that can offer double figure frame rates in Heaven 2.5 at 2,560 x 1,600 has to be taken seriously.
Below that the other XFX card, the Radeon HD 5770, is another excellent budget offering. At just over £80 for this single-slot version you can hit very playable figures in just about all the games in our benchmarking suite at the standard resolution of 1,680 x 1,050. Indeed the 1080p benchmark of Shogun 2 shows that it will even give that resolution a good go too.
On the Nvidia front though things don't look so good in the budget segment. With the GTX 460 starting to disappear, and not at a good price, the next generation cannot take up the slack.