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Extreme GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7970
If the GeForce GTX 690 is too rich for your blood, and you're happy with what is essentially the second-fasted graphics card, then the AMD Radeon HD 7970 is the card for you.
For about $50-$80 less than the GeForce GTX 680 you get pretty much the same performance, and a card that will take anything you can throw at it.
There are overclocked GHz versions of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 available for an extra cost, but to be honest, most regular AMD Radeon HD 7970 cards are already well overclocked and paying extra gains you little in the way of performance.
You can pick up a Radeon HD 7970 for under $400, making it a far more sensible buy than the GeForce GTX 690.
Price: From $400.
Image source: XFX.