A rather predictable, yet still interesting picture may be seen in the Performance-Mainstream category battle. There is no question that AMD/ATI boasts the fastest offering in this sector. If you are looking for a reasonable upgrade, Radeon HD 5850 is the way to go for you. With a lead of 20% over GeForce GTX 275, the Canadian based solution wins across the board. AMD's card manages to deliver a near-comfortable frame rate in lower resolutions, but just as with the Premium solutions, you will want to disable or lower a few settings, at least in the multiplayer battle.
If a price tag of $300+ still feels a bit heavy, you should take a look at the other side of the river. Santa Clara designed GeForce GTX 275 graphics chip puts up a good fight and manages to close down the gap to a more powerful Radeon HD 5850 in the higher resolutions. Although some jerkiness may still occur in certain scenes due to unimpressive min. FPS numbers.
As for the less pricy products, the GeForce GTX 260 turns the tide and outperforms Radeon HD 5770 graphics card. Nonetheless both cards are slow even at 1280x1024 and we can't really recommend them for the Eye Candy addicted players. Having said that, AMD's offering is quite a bit cheaper at $160-180 as opposed to Nvidia's price tag of $190-220. Add to this DirectX 11 support and it should probably make sense to take a close look at Radeon HD 5770.
Just as with the Mass Effect 2 review, our favorites in the upper and lower segments of the Performance-Mainstream category are AMD’s products. If you are not on a tight budget and can afford to make a solid investment, go for the Radeon HD 5850 graphics card. It is the only product in this category that can provide somewhat conformable minimum fps level. On the other hand Nvidia’s products are still a good pick if you are not interested in latest DirectX support.