As you all know that the two top graphic chip manufacturers are Nvidia and AMD. Both are fighting neck to neck for winning the best GPU award in almost every category. Nvidia is present in this category from the start of the GPU era but AMD on the other forays into the GPU market after acquiring ATI. Let us leave this history behind and go straight to some useful discussion.
Choosing a graphic is definitely a very confusing task now a days. A low level or HTPC based GPU from both these chipmakers start from as low as Rs. 1,500 and can go as high as Rs. 65,000 for dual GPU high end cards. Your need and budget will be the deciding factor in choosing your first GPU.
Also note that there are some performance difference between the present ultra high end cards from Nvidia and AMD with Nvidia having the upper edge. But the performance difference is not that high that you will go into depression that you have purchased a AMD card. Also previously AMD was known for low price and low power consumption and Nvidia on the other hand is known for high power consumption and more performance . But today scenario is same for AMD but Nvidia has lowered the TDP value of its present generation Kepler based graphic cards thereby snatching a market share from market from AMD in the form of customers who usually go low power consumption cards.
Budget is the next big thing. The amount of money you want to spend on GPU is really a deciding factor. If you have spend 20,000+ rupees on a GPU to watch just full HD movies than this is a sheer wastage of money. You can do the same thing with a Rs.1,500 GPU also.
List of best graphic cards as according to the budget are listed below:
If budget is up to Rs. 5,000
There are plethora of options in this price range from both AMD and Nvidia.
For watching movies and general entertainment my recommendation is Sapphire HD 6450 for Rs. 1,800. This card is beat for watching Full HD movies and is also compatible with Windows 7.
For playing games at low or medium setting at low resolution my recommendation would be Sapphire HD 6470 for Rs. 4,700.
If budget is up to Rs. 10,000
For a low end car in this category my recommendation would be Sapphire HD 6770 for Rs. 6,500. This card is one of the best mid range GPU out there that can play many games at mid to high settings at a decent resolution.
For a high end card in this price range go for Sapphire HD 6580 for Rs. 9,000. This card is definitely a serious performer and can play games at high to ultra settings.
If budget is up to Rs. 15,000
For a low end card in this category go with Sapphire HD 6870 for Rs. 11,000. This card is one step below from 6950 but packs some serious power. It can flawlessly play most of the modern games out there at ultra settings except few.
For a high end GPU in this category go with Asus GTX 560 Ti DC 2 for Rs. 14,000. This card matches AMD 6950 in performance but comes at a lower price tag than 6950.
If some dealer is giving you AMD 6950 from any brand including HIS, Sapphire, MSI or Asus for less than Rs. 15,000 than blindly go for it. It is definitely a great card from AMD and you will not get wrong with it.
If budget is up to Rs. 20,000
For a low end car in this category go with Sapphire HD 6950 for Rs. 16,000.
For a high end card go with Asus or MSI Nvidia GTX 570 for Rs. 20,000 or AMD Sapphire HD 7850 a new generation 22nm based GPU for Rs. 17,500.
If the budget is up to Rs. 30,000
For low end GPU in this category go for Sapphire HD 7870 for Rs. 22,500. It is a new generation GPU based on 22nm architecture.
For a high end card in this category go for Sapphire HD 7950 for Rs. 26,000. A solid card with lot of VRAM for smooth experience.
If the budget is up to Rs. 40,000
The only recommended GPU in this category is from Nvidia that is GTX 680 which is based on latest Nvidia architecture named Kepler. Nvidia GTX 680 beats similarly priced AMD 7970 by a decent margin side by side consuming less power than a 7970 which is a great accomplishment by Nvidia in terms of power efficiency. Asus GTX 680 is what i recommend in this price range which is available at a price range of Rs. 33,000.
Ultra High End Dual GPU cards
This is the most expensive category and is recommended only for hard core gamers and animation enthusiasts. The only card from 22nm generation available in this category is from Nvidia that is GTX 690 which basically has two GTX 680 chips integrated on a single board. The competitor card from AMD in this category is yet to be launched and will be called as AMD 7990. AMD 7990 is presently not available in the market and also GTX 690 is available in very limited quantities. Asus launched GTX 690 in India at a massive price tag of Rs. 71,000. Now it must be lower than that but no shopkeeper whom i know is presently have the stock of this behemoth.