The Best Graphics Cards of 2013

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What's the golden rule of building a gaming rig? You don't skimp on the GPU. Processors, RAM, hard drives and accessories can all be sacrificed without sabotaging the experience, but the graphics card is the heart of any gaming PC

The Best Graphics Cards of 2013

It doesn't matter if it's a $500 budget machine or a $3,000 powerhouse.

Finding a balance between quality and price is tough. AMD and Nvidia are the two big manufacturers regarding chipsets (Radeon and GeForce), but several third-party companies assemble the actual video cards and add the memory.

Gigabyte GV-N670OC-2GD

Chipset: GeForce GTX 670

Memory: 2GB

Price: $285 on Newegg

This is the perfect card for the budget builder. The 670 is a middle-road chip from Nvidia capable of handling high settings from fan favorites like Skyrim and some GTA IV resolution mods. It's new anti-aliasing mode helps eliminate most of the jagged edges during gameplay without sacrificing frame rate, and you can game on three monitors from a single card (4-way SLI is optional if you want to go crazy).

On top of that, Gigabyte houses 2GB of video RAM on the card, which is standard, and keeps it all cool with three massive fans — all for less than $300.

EVGA 03G-P4-2784-KR

Chipset: GeForce GTX 780

Memory: 3GB

Price: $520 on Amazon

So the GTX 670 doesn't quite wet your whistle. We get it. You want to run that new Battlefield 4 download on ultra-high settings while gaming on several monitors. But at the same time, you're not made of money. The 780 is one of Nvidia's top chipsets and, while the price seems high at $520, it's actually modest in comparison to others (don't worry, we'll get to those).

The extra gigabyte of memory makes a difference too, as games like BF4 list 3GB as the recommended dosage for video memory. Any gaming PC equipped with an i7 and 16GB of RAM should have a card like this.

Sapphire Vapor-X

Chipset: Radeon HD 7970

Memory: 3GB

Price: $385 on Newegg

Nvidia and AMD are a bit like Ford and Chevrolet. Each have loyalists who swear by the product's superiority, but in the end it's really two versions of the same beast. The Radeon HD 7970 is the chipset from AMD that's comparable to a GTX 770 from Nvidia. Both chips can manage high to ultra-high settings on modern games and handle all the shadowing, smoothing and anti-aliasing a game can challenge.

The 3GB of memory is on par with any mid- to high-end card, and the Radeon is capable of 4K resolution if you can actually afford one of the displays.

EVGA 06-P4-2791-KR

Chipset: GeForce GTX Titan

Memory: 6GB

Price: $1,010 on SuperBiiz

Alright, no more child's play. You want the biggest, baddest video card on the market and you don't care what it costs. Nvidia has you covered. The GTX Titan is, by leaps and bounds, the sexiest chipset in gaming graphics. It packs every feature under the sun and is backed with 6GB of memory that could likely handle two games at once. This card doesn't run ultra-high settings on just today's games, but will run top-notch without skipping a frame for any 2014 game as well. It's a clean grand to buy, but this card is a Ferrari among Mustangs.

SEE ALSO: Game-Changing Reasons Why Parents Can Say Yes to Video Games

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*by andreascy*