Sub $200 PCI Express Graphics Card Showdown

A no-holds-barred cage match starring three middleweights: the ATI Radeon X850 XT, the Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT and the ATI Radeon X1800 GTO.
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  1. Hilarious, a link at the end to the VGA charts with no 7600GT in the database... nice.
  2. When I look for the 7600GT cards I keep finding one thing that was not talked about. The 7600GT has an SLI version. This to me makes it a great card as for the price of $300 you can have a fairly powerfull setup. I'm also seeing the 7900GT down around $240.


    http://www.consolutiontechnology.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1_5_6&products_id=6
  3. How could they forget THIS?

    An X1800XT pwns all the cards in that test.
  4. Quote:
    When I look for the 7600GT cards I keep finding one thing that was not talked about. The 7600GT has an SLI version.

    And crossfire X850XT's have been cheaper than that, so why add dual card solutions; that's not in the realm of this review.
  5. Quote:
    When I look for the 7600GT cards I keep finding one thing that was not talked about. The 7600GT has an SLI version. This to me makes it a great card as for the price of $300 you can have a fairly powerfull setup. I'm also seeing the 7900GT down around $240.


    For those of you unfamiliar with the arabic numeral system, 240 is more than 200. 300 is also more than 200. These may be great cards, but when writing a review about options for sub-$200 video cards they don't belong.
  6. Quote:
    How could they forget THIS?

    An X1800XT pwns all the cards in that test.

    Good point.
    Yeah, but when he started the review this wasn't the case. Nor was sub $100 X850XT, which came and went recently. Plus not everyone (esp. outside USA) is fortunate enough to find such cheap X1800XT's. It's imosossible to keep up with pricing bargains and even trends, so stick these cards performance into the best price you can find when making a decision. That are more $150 USD cards now in the USA, the review still stands though.
  7. I've got to say, Cleeve did an excellent job on this one; very thorough. After work with more time, I'll discuss more of why I say kudos are in order but I wanted to mention a couple little typo/errors so they can be addressed.

    1) The Oblivion chart listed with HDR/bloom does not match the description/explanation.

    2) NFS Underground 2 is headlined, when it should have said NFS Most wanted like below.

    3) And last, HL2:Aftermath? Is that correct or should it have said Episode 1?

    Sorry to just mention the possible mistakes, thought you'd want to know. No time for a real discussion of the important stuff right now, but again, THANKS for the review! Well done!

    Oh, and one more thing; why is this in the memory forums?
  8. Quote:
    why anyone would put a x1800xt in there i don't know. the point was similar performing cards for similar prices. at least i thought so.


    It's a test for sub $200 PCIe cards; the X1800XT is available for exactly $200. Who cares if it blows all the other cards away; you get more performance for your money. Wouldn't you take an X1800XT over a GTO or a 7600GT?
  9. Quote:
    It's a test for sub $200 PCIe cards; the X1800XT is available for exactly $200. Who cares if it blows all the other cards away; you get more performance for your money. Wouldn't you take an X1800XT over a GTO or a 7600GT?


    that was already answered man. That price for the 1800xt is very new (before the review started aparently), and only in the US. b/c of those reasons that card is not there. Get over it. We all know it blows them away, so if you can find it in the same price category... well duh.
  10. Wow he was obviously biased throught the review about the 850XT. Let me tell you - HDR isn't that big of a deal with these lower-end cards because you have to turn the AA and Aniso and so on down all the way or completely off to run it.
    Choice 1: Chunky graphics with beautiful lighting
    Choice 2: Beautiful Graphics with okay lighting
    DUH.

    The X850XT is the best deal out there of the three because if its silly low price and how easy it is to add a Zalman cooler to it to keep noise down and OC it. It completely smokes the 7600.

    But none of them are a x1800xt. It's what anyone with $200 should buy right now, no question about it.

    BTW - what's the lag-time on the review? A month? Sheesh. It would have been easier to include the X1800XT in the review when it was first done and then edit it out if it didn't drop down in price as expected.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102008R&ATT=14-102-008R&CMP=OTC-Froogle
    I call that available to everyone. Newegg has it for $189. End of story - total no-brainer choice. The other version of it is only $10 more. Both use GDDR3 and ae smoking fast for the money.
  11. Quote:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102008R&ATT=14-102-008R&CMP=OTC-Froogle
    I call that available to everyone. Newegg has it for $189. End of story - total no-brainer choice.


    Yes, because "everyone" lives in the USA. :roll:

    From the prices around here, X850, 7600GT and 1800GTO make sense to compare, as the X1800XT is substantially more expensive. In fact, in the UK version of the site, the review is called "Sub £150", which the 3 cards are. The 1800XT, on the other hand, retails for £190-£240. Not *quite* in the right price bracket.
    Synergy6
  12. Quote:
    Wow he was obviously biased throught the review about the 850XT. Let me tell you - HDR isn't that big of a deal with these lower-end cards because you have to turn the AA and Aniso and so on down all the way or completely off to run it.
    Choice 1: Chunky graphics with beautiful lighting
    Choice 2: Beautiful Graphics with okay lighting
    DUH.

    The X850XT is the best deal out there of the three because if its silly low price and how easy it is to add a Zalman cooler to it to keep noise down and OC it. It completely smokes the 7600.

    But none of them are a x1800xt. It's what anyone with $200 should buy right now, no question about it.

    BTW - what's the lag-time on the review? A month? Sheesh. It would have been easier to include the X1800XT in the review when it was first done and then edit it out if it didn't drop down in price as expected.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102008R&ATT=14-102-008R&CMP=OTC-Froogle
    I call that available to everyone. Newegg has it for $189. End of story - total no-brainer choice. The other version of it is only $10 more. Both use GDDR3 and ae smoking fast for the money.


    nope. Newegg is US only. No canada, no europe... and between Europe and NorthAmerica that is the majority of Tom's readers. You cannot just say that b/c only one spot gets the good price that the rest need to sit it out and watch... And all articles have a lag on them, unless you want them written w/ no edititing or thought. Frankly I want the intelligent look at stuff, not some text that was written by a monkey and graphs made in crayon. ;)

    also, he is not biased against the 850 at all. He merely pointed out that IF you were partial to HDR then it should be avoided. Very simple, he said they were all = and then gave a small opinion at the end that you can dissagree w/ and still be fine. If you like the new eye candy at all then naturally the 850 is not the way to go. If you dont care then the 850 becomes viable again. Regardless, it was a good review that showed all 3 cards in a good light.
  13. I'm not replying to anyone in particular.

    In case anyone is interested in the eVGA version of the 7600GT (eVGA 7600GT KO, with a larger heat sink covering the memory chips, 580/750), my 3Dmark2005 was 6263 whike the 2006 test shows 3105.

    GPU typically idles about 23C above room temp (e.g. it is now 20C in here and the GPU shows 43C). The card fan is practically dead quiet.

    -Bob
  14. Quote:
    Wow he was obviously biased throught the review about the 850XT.


    Biased? I told it like it is, both sides of the story:

    "Other than HDR, however, there are no features used in today's game titles that would cause a visual difference if used on the X850 XT compared to the newer cards in this article."

    HDR isn't the beginning and ending of everything, I didn't claim SM 3.0 compliance gives any magical benefits like alot of people claim. But HDR is tangible. Would I have been a better reviewer if I didn't mention HDR so as not to hurt the feelings of people who are fans of the X850 XT?

    And on the other hand:

    "HDR is a beautiful thing. If you've ever spent time playing Oblivion, for me that's a deal breaker when it comes to the X850 XT."

    That's how I experience the difference. If I didn't mention it, once again, what kind of reviewer would I be? If you don't like it, write your own review.


    As far as the X1800 XT, it was nowhere near $200 when the review was written, and it's been out of my hands for a few weeks already. Of course the X1800 XT is a better bet if you can get it for under $200 now. Use common sense guys.

    Actually, I'm surprised no-one's slamming me for not being able to get HDR & AA working on the X1800 GTO. That's where I thought I'd be getting crucified. :P
  15. Quote:
    Actually, I'm surprised no-one's slamming me for not being able to get HDR & AA working on the X1800 GTO. That's where I thought I'd be getting crucified. :P


    You got slammed for not coming to a specific, pre-determined conclusion. Same as most "slammings" around here.
    Synergy6
  16. Quote:
    When I look for the 7600GT cards I keep finding one thing that was not talked about. The 7600GT has an SLI version.


    Other things that were not talked about: the X850 XT and X1800 GTO can be used in Crossfire.

    However, two 7600 GTs/X850 XT's/X1800 GTOs > $200

    And frankly, a single 7900 GT or X1800 XT would perform better for less money. SLI/Xfire isn't really worth it with cards in this class... unless maybe those X850 XT's are still under $100.
  17. Quote:
    I've got to say, Cleeve did an excellent job on this one; very thorough. After work with more time, I'll discuss more of why I say kudos are in order but I wanted to mention a couple little typo/errors so they can be addressed.

    1) The Oblivion chart listed with HDR/bloom does not match the description/explanation.

    2) NFS Underground 2 is headlined, when it should have said NFS Most wanted like below.

    3) And last, HL2:Aftermath? Is that correct or should it have said Episode 1?

    Sorry to just mention the possible mistakes, thought you'd want to know. No time for a real discussion of the important stuff right now, but again, THANKS for the review! Well done!

    Oh, and one more thing; why is this in the memory forums?



    Thanks for the kind words Paul.

    1) Oblivion... what do you mean exactly?

    2) and 3)... yep, you're absolutely right.

    Why is this on the memory forums and not the graphics card forum?... I have no idea... :)
  18. Plekto everyone's entitled to their opinion.

    So here's mine...STFU!

    It's a good review that pretty much echos the informed answers that have been posted in the forums. All three are solid cards and it comes down to what games you play and what features you like with those games.

    I think Pauldh might be talking about your 42% figure Cleeve. That number seems high when you look at the graph. I think the figure should be closer to 30% unless my math is wrong. 26.3 x .7 =18.41, or is it not that simple??

    And yes, why is it always with the memory section?!?!?!?

    EDIT: Tell them to fix the link too.
  19. Not only is the x1800xt available for <$200 for some forum members, but so is the x1900GT.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102022

    Just a touch slower then a x1800xt, but still faster then the cards listed. I would check to see if one more paragraph could be included at the end where both cards are mentioned. I would hate for people to only look at the x1800gto, because they read an article that said it was the fastest.
  20. The bios mod that was mentioned for the X1800 GTO is for the PowerColor X1800 GTO Video Card
    http://stores.tomshardware.com/search_getprod.php?masterid=18407467&search=powercolor+X1800+GTO
    More info on the bios mod here http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=921

    Great job on the Sub $200 PCI Express Graphics Card Showdown story. Thanks for working on it.
  21. Quote:
    Not only is the x1800xt available for <$200 for some forum members, but so is the x1900GT.


    Yep. Prices and technology changes fast.

    Maybe I should do a monthly sub-$200 graphics card comparo... :)
  22. Quote:


    Maybe I should do a monthly sub-$200 graphics card comparo... :)


    LOL. I don't mean to make extra work for anyone. As I said, a paragraph reminding everyone to look for deals before they jump onto the 7600GT/x1800xt bandwagon would be nice. When I bought my x1800xt, they were above $250 normally. I knew what power they had, and waited about a week. Newegg finally put one on sale, for $230, no rebate. (ATI brand too.) A little reminder to people that sales/rebates happen, and you should always look for something better couldn't hurt. (although if your to dumb to know this, maybe we should just keep the label off the bottle...)
  23. Blasphemy! This is TOMSHARDWARE.COM not TOMSHARDWARE.DE, let the German fight for their own prices, COM is for US viewers (hence the English language thing).

    And if this card has been placed in that price category, you say recently, well, the review is recent, just modify it. It's what any good person would do.
  24. Quote:
    Blasphemy! This is TOMSHARDWARE.COM not TOMSHARDWARE.DE, let the German fight for their own prices, COM is for US viewers (hence the English language thing).


    .COM means Commercial, .US means USA, Sherlock. There are other countries that speak English you know; Australia, UK, Canada etc. None of those use American dollars as their currency either.
    Synergy6
  25. But all I want is .XXX :wink:
  26. Quote:
    COM is for US viewers (hence the English language thing).


    And I thought the English invented English...

    This new learning amazes me, joex444. Explain again how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.
  27. Quote:
    Actually, I'm surprised no-one's slamming me for not being able to get HDR & AA working on the X1800 GTO. That's where I thought I'd be getting crucified.

    Have you checked your PM's :P JK. It's more fun slamming you for not including all sub $200 Newegg open box cards. :roll:

    Since AA+HDR works for me, it was tempting. But what can ya do; under deadlines I can understand why you couldn't just keep working away at it, so I cut you slack. (this time :roll: ) Anyway, Oblivion has not given me issues, but Farcry 2Xaa is still all I have been able to do with HDR, and I still think FS didn't have fsaa working in their test. Hopefully that official 1.4 will come out and fix that.


    Quote:
    1) Oblivion... what do you mean exactly?
    I goofed and was looking at the bottom chart during part of the top description. No idea how I did that one. :oops: I Hope you didn't put any time into trying to figure out what I meant. :?
  28. Quote:
    COM is for US viewers (hence the English language thing).


    And I thought the English invented English...

    This new learning amazes me, joex444. Explain again how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.

    :lol:

    Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?
  29. Quote:
    1) Oblivion... what do you mean exactly?

    I goofed and was looking at the bottom chart during part of the top description. No idea how I did that one. :oops: I Hope you didn't put any time into trying to figure out what I meant. :?
    I did but...apparently I'm wrong...although I don't see how???
  30. It never fails... I get a new video card [7600 GT KO] and a week later a review about this card [matched up to ATI cards] comes out.

    Oh well, I guess I did okay on going Nvidia SLI MB and GT 7600 for starters...

    ;)
  31. Don't worry about it. As the review shows, there isn't a bad card in the bunch. Enjoy your gaming.
  32. agreed.
  33. One point not covered very well was that the x1800gto was the latest in technology from both providers. It does shaders and directx with more ability than the other two. So, in terms of product life, the x1800gto will last a lot longer than the x850 or 7600. That alone gives it the hands down win. Unless of course you enjoy replacing your hardware once a year (I know I know, I'm one of those who does replace once a year...)
  34. I'm just wondering why the x1800GTO was in this article. On the last page there was a list of 32 e-tailers selling x1800GTOs and the cheapest one was ~$240. I thought this review was for sub-200? There is one e-tailer listed on Pricewatch that has them for 198. Maybe the price has gone us since the publishing of the article?

    Edited to include Pricewatch info.
  35. Good points people. How do we know the author meant US$ it could have been CD$, AU$, NZ$, etc. If any of those were the case a US$199.99 video card would be out of the question.

    Comment to the editors: Since this is an internation website please specify which dollars are being used. Tom's was pretty good about making these distinctions, I don't know what happened.
  36. If it were me, I'd skip the GTO and go for the XT which can be had for $199.99 US dollars right now:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102007

    Or the X1900GT for $195

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102022
  37. Quote:
    so you posted just to repeat an invalid point which has been mentioned at least 6 times. good for you.


    What? Are you drunk?
  38. Quote:
    so you posted just to repeat an invalid point which has been mentioned at least 6 times. good for you.


    What? Are you drunk?

    The word you were looking for was "right" instead of "drunk", and yes, he was correct.
    Synergy6
  39. Both of you two are idiots. Do you even know who my original post was replying to? didn't think so. Egg on you face washes off, go do it now.

    I was replying to (a single reply to Prolfe who asked why the X1800GTO price was $240, not $200.)

    I bet you both feel really stupid now, huh.
  40. [in reply to: Prolfe].. Hmm, there's obviously *no* way I could work out who you were replying to. So, you thought wrong.

    Also, "If it were me" shows that you weren't really replying to anyone, you were giving your own opinion. Lay off the bull, please, it's not cool.

    Synergy6
  41. good review man
    it covered like you said the sub 200$ gpu cards
    .
  42. Quote:
    One point not covered very well was that the x1800gto was the latest in technology from both providers. It does shaders and directx with more ability than the other two. So, in terms of product life, the x1800gto will last a lot longer than the x850 or 7600. That alone gives it the hands down win.


    The X1800 GTO and 7600 GT both support SM 3.0. Neither has a DirectX feature over the other.
    The X1800 series is supposed to have the ability to perform 32 bit HDR and AA at the same time, that was covered really well.


    As far as the title, I'LL SAY IT ONE MORE TIME: This article was conceived and written a while ago, when the X1800 GTO was below $200 and the X1900 GT and X1800 XL were $240+.

    Yes, if I could do it again I'd change the title. Sorry everyone.

    now, can we move on? :P
  43. Quote:
    now, can we move on? :P


    But there might be no more to say :(
    Synergy6
  44. I for one was surprised that all these cards did as well as they did, and were as close as they were. I just bought a 7600gt ko for the new computer I'm building and after reading this, I was happy to see that it didn't get roally pwned bye the other cards. I must say that this was a very well done and unbiased review that shows all cards in their own light. The one thing I wish it could have, is for the 7600gt to be in the video card preformance list.
  45. Just wait for the 7900GS to hit retail. It's going to stomp all the cards in this category. :P
  46. I'm just wondering why the x1800GTO was in this article. On the last page there was a list of 32 e-tailers selling x1800GTOs and the cheapest one was ~$240. I thought this review was for sub-200? There is one e-tailer listed on Pricewatch that has them for 198. Maybe the price has gone us since the publishing of the article?

    BUT NOT EVERYONE IN EUROPE CAN GET A X1800GTO FOR $198!!!

    FOUL!!!!!!

    In case anyone missed the part where the person who wrote this article went off on me, claiming that another card we all mentioned for less than $200 wasn't a valid choice because it couldn't be had everyplace on the planet for under $200 - and yet his example he did include was also U.S. - only...

    Then went off on us further, in an order to back up his stupid rationalizations... So all of this is moot. He forgot to mention a card that is a better deal than any of them and won't admit it. Typical.

    What's next? Another motherboard test with twist-ties and wood spacer blocks? Tom's hardware reviews are rapidly turning into a joke.
  47. I hate it when I know a pram somewhere is missing its rattle.
    Synergy6
  48. Quote:
    In case anyone missed the part where the person who wrote this article went off on me, claiming that another card we all mentioned for less than $200 wasn't a valid choice because it couldn't be had everyplace on the planet for under $200 - and yet his example he did include was also U.S. - only...


    I wrote the article, and can't find a reply I made to you where I 'went off on you' or 'claimed that another $200 card wasn't valid'?

    I do recall defending myself when you accused me of being biased against the X850 XT because of it's lack of SM 3.0 capability. But if you read the article you can see I mentioned both sides of the story on that; that it's pretty much only useful for OpenHXR HDR type implementation, but on the other hand OpenEXR is very nice in the games that support it. In fact, I think the X850 XT came out very well.

    All three of the cards did, actually.


    Quote:
    Then went off on us further, in an order to back up his stupid rationalizations... So all of this is moot. He forgot to mention a card that is a better deal than any of them and won't admit it. Typical.


    Are you serious? Where am I going off on anyone? What did I rationalize? I did mention that the X1800 XT and X1900 GT being under $200 now is a bad thing, or that they shouldn't be reviewed? Jeez. Of course they're good buys, of course they're better than the X1800 GTO. But they weren't under $200 when I reviewed the cards...


    What is with the hate on me Plekto? I'm not sure why you're so emotionally invested in what you're accusing me of doing, but you have to relax dude.

    I'll say it again, because some people are having a hard time with this; The article was written a little while ago. The X1900 GT ansd X1800 XT were over $200 at the time, and the X1800 GTO was below $200. I've even apologized for the name of the article.

    Is that so hard to believe? Honestly, is it? Or do you really think I've got it out for you and the new sub-$200 offerings with some crazy conspiracy theory?

    What's more likely? Let's put Occam's razor to use and see what we come up with, mmkay? 8)
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