I'm looking to build a new rig - A64 3000 S939, PCI-e for what will become my main system - but of course on a budget. It'll be used for surfing, mild 3d games (flight and driving sims, zoo sims, etc). So I don't need the latest greatest card as my kids won't be old enough for the greatest 3d games for a while. I'm looking for a budget card since I'll likely upgrade to a DX10 card next year or when it becomes a requirement to get to DX10.
Anyway, the following candidates are all about $100 right now:
X800GTO 256 mb
X1600pro 256 mb
6800XT 256 mb
Personaly I would go with the x800gto it more prowerfull than the x1600pro and the 6800Xt (I believe the 6800xt only has 8 pipes however it does the the possibly to be unlooked from what I understand). I mean the x800gto only has 2.0B Sm support but that should hold you until the directX line of cards come out anyway.
I had a 6800xt and have a800gto2. I can tell you the 6800xt was horrible would not get it. I got the gto2 because it was great after mods. I dont know how a regular gto compares but i see they are mod friendly so it might not be a bad deal, i'd stay away from the 6800xt.
You can always check toms vga charts see what card you like best.
If you're not gaming much go with the X1600Pro, better features and usually cheaper.
For gaming the X800GTO would be a better choice.
The GF6800XT isn't worth it, not a good card, far too crippled, and the lickelyhood of unlocking is low (also it has 128bit memory not the 256 of even the basic GF6800). There are some cards with the name XTreme, and they are just slightly crippled, but do seem to have 256bit memory, but even still not very attractive.
While once a nice bargain, the 128MB X800's and GTO's stayed about the same price the past month while the 256MB version dropped in price. I have used a couple of these, good cards a little above the 6600GT, X700 pro and X1600 pro. But with the 700MHz mem speeds, spending the extra for the 980MHz clocked 256MB powercoler is a a better buy. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...