The big holiday season shopping rush is over, and the latest batch of PC blockbuster games has already come out, but that doesn't mean this is a bad time to pick up a new graphics card. Quite the opposite, in fact, since graphics card prices still seem to be on a downward trend.
After a quick peek around online retailers today, we noticed that Newegg is selling an HIS Radeon HD 4870 for a scant $179.99 with free shipping. There's even a $10 mail-in rebate thrown in, so if you get lucky and win the rebate lottery, you might end up only disbursing $170.
This flavor of the Radeon HD 4870 only has 512MB of memory, so it doesn't perform quite as well at very high resolutions as the 4870 1GB or Nvidia's GeForce GTX 260 Reloaded. Nevertheless, this puppy is fast enough to comfortably handle games like Far Cry 2 at 1680x1050 with all the eye candy cranked up and 4X antialiasing. If you need a sub-$200 GPU upgrade, this is probably as good as it gets.