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The Best Video Cards for Your Money: November 2006

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 31, 2006 9:48:31 AM

Video card specifications and reviews are great, but what do you do if you don't have the time to spend hours doing the research? Here is a simple list of the best gaming cards on offer for the money.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 31, 2006 9:55:56 AM

the link you supplied didn't work :( 
October 31, 2006 11:27:38 AM

I think it realy does help that they make these for us for the people that dont have time. Though i myself like to dig in to it and reserch parts because though this was helpfull there were many unanswerd questions.

Iv been thinking about this card and im not sure about it but would this card compete wit hthe 7600GT
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Related resources
October 31, 2006 11:33:19 AM

Is it just me or is that TigerDirect card WAY overpriced?!? Do yourself a favor and keep shopping around if that's the card you're considering... too many people on here have had bad experiences with TigerDirect (I'm one of them!)
October 31, 2006 12:01:57 PM

lol im not buying the card i just wanted to know if it competed against the 7600GT. Thers nothing wrong with tigerdirect newegg practicly has the same price on the same card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Yes newegg is better but i cant get stuff from newegg because i live in canada.
October 31, 2006 12:18:27 PM

Quote:
the link you supplied didn't work :( 


what he said
October 31, 2006 12:20:39 PM

The directory linked is completly missing....

Index of /2006/10/31
Name Last modified Size Description
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Parent Directory 30-Oct-2006 20:01 -
kingston_so_dimms/ 30-Oct-2006 20:01 -
sony_ps3_japan_alloc..> 30-Oct-2006 20:01 -
the_caldigit_s2vr_du..> 31-Oct-2006 09:16 -
valence_ncharge_batt..> 31-Oct-2006 09:16 -
October 31, 2006 12:29:12 PM

Where is an ATI x1950pro available for $165 ? Every place I looked has them listed for $270 and up........

:( 
October 31, 2006 12:33:39 PM

Quote:
I disagree with the comments that the 7600GT is at par with the 7800GS.

The 7800GS kicks ass!


You are of course welcome to disagree all you want.

The benchmarks say otherwise, however, putting them neck and neck as far as performance goes at stock speeds. :) 
October 31, 2006 12:38:32 PM

Quote:
Where is an ATI x1950pro available for $165 ? Every place I looked has them listed for $270 and up........

:( 


When the article was written newegg had an Asus X1950 PRO for $165.

Currently, their cheapest is $199 but it's out of stock. The initial stock sold pretty fast, I reckon they'll start filling up the channel in the next few weeks - hopefully.

If you need a card quick, grab the 7900 GS. If I'd have known the X1950 PROs would have come out of stock so quickly, I would have included them. Almost as good as the X1950 PRO, and you can find them easily for $185...
October 31, 2006 12:41:13 PM

PCI under $100
The FX5500 256MB makes for a good upgrade to revive old systems. Counter-Strike: Source averages upward of 38FPS in the lowest settings.

PCI under $130
The X1300 256MB really brings even the old systems back to life. I tested it on an Athlon 500 with 384MB's of RAM with World of Warcraft. Performance equaled a new Emachine T6528, AMD64 3500+ with 512MB and an integrated 6100 GPU.

AGP2X (Motherboards only compatable with 2X AGP GPU's.) Under $100
The 9600XT 256MB is far and away the best choice. Most older systems may require an upgraded PSU to supply enough power to accommodate the 9600XT.
http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?pfp=BR...

AGP2X (Motherboards only compatable with 2X AGP GPU's.) Under $200
Needs more research as most older Motherboards with only 2x AGP can only support 384MB's.
October 31, 2006 12:47:13 PM

Interesting picks, but honestly, if your rig is that old and you want to play games, I think upgrading to something better than PCI is absolutely necessary. The bus limits performance so much.

By the way, the 9700 PRO will work on AGP 2x boards, and will beat a 9600 XT.
October 31, 2006 12:53:14 PM

Quote:
Where is an ATI x1950pro available for $165 ? Every place I looked has them listed for $270 and up........

:( 


When the article was written newegg had an Asus X1950 PRO for $165.

Currently, their cheapest is $199 but it's out of stock. The initial stock sold pretty fast, I reckon they'll start filling up the channel in the next few weeks - hopefully.

If you need a card quick, grab the 7900 GS. If I'd have known the X1950 PROs would have come out of stock so quickly, I would have included them. Almost as good as the X1950 PORO, and you can find them easily for $185...

Cleeve, the Asus card on newegg comes into stock every now and then, but disappears damn quick (funny that!) if you want it you need to add an email alert, then act quickly!
October 31, 2006 12:58:40 PM

There's really nothing else worthwhile in the 180-250 range?
October 31, 2006 1:03:11 PM

Quote:
I disagree with the comments that the 7600GT is at par with the 7800GS.

The 7800GS kicks ass!


Ummm... look at your specs. I think you might be a bit biased. I'll defend the X850XT PE to the death too. It doesn't mean the X850XTPE can outperform a 7600GT. Those are good cards.
-cm
October 31, 2006 1:04:37 PM

I know why I can not read it - everytime I browse to the link I get redirected to tomshardware.co.uk, that has not been updated yet...

Cleeve can you update the sticky as there is no way I can find to read the article, it shunts me to .co.uk every time...
October 31, 2006 1:09:02 PM

Quote:
AGP2X (Motherboards only compatable with 2X AGP GPU's.) Under $100
The 9600XT 256MB is far and away the best choice. Most older systems may require an upgraded PSU to supply enough power to accommodate the 9600XT.


Dude I got a PCI express mobo that is a fata1ity board and i got it for 120 bucks. 200 bucks for AGP 2X???? WTF?
-cm
October 31, 2006 1:16:07 PM

Right, not I have managed to read it, yes spot on....

But the December article should be very interesting.... :) 
October 31, 2006 1:22:33 PM

Nice link.Too bad the 7800gs by gainward is only sold in europe.Kind of sucks as I would enoy a card like that for my other system.Oh well,such is life.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.4 S-939
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X7800GT IN SLI
2X1GIG DDR IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR 1280X1024
ACE 520WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
October 31, 2006 1:30:06 PM

Quote:
Interesting picks, but honestly, if your rig is that old and you want to play games, I think upgrading to something better than PCI is absolutely necessary. The bus limits performance so much.

By the way, the 9700 PRO will work on AGP 2x boards, and will beat a 9600 XT.

Your correct but the 9700 PRO is a bit hard to find and at a price of $89 for only a 128MB. Price is important and at $49.98 the 9600XT is the better choice due too the rig is old.
October 31, 2006 1:32:37 PM

Quote:
Nice link.Too bad the 7800gs by gainward is only sold in europe.Kind of sucks as I would enoy a card like that for my other system.Oh well,such is life.Goodluck.


Hold on a week or two, the X1950 pro for AGP is coming to north america, and it'll perform close to gainward's 7800 GS for less $$$.
October 31, 2006 1:36:48 PM

Quote:
AGP2X (Motherboards only compatable with 2X AGP GPU's.) Under $100
The 9600XT 256MB is far and away the best choice. Most older systems may require an upgraded PSU to supply enough power to accommodate the 9600XT.


Dude I got a PCI express mobo that is a fata1ity board and i got it for 120 bucks. 200 bucks for AGP 2X???? WTF?
-cm
Kind of why I didnt waste time on reserching the AGP under $200 segment. PCI on the other hand could be worth a costly card as systems today sale with only PCI.
October 31, 2006 1:51:58 PM

Quote:
I disagree with the comments that the 7600GT is at par with the 7800GS.

The 7800GS kicks ass!

Agreed, just a step down from my 7800GT but my friend likes his a lot
October 31, 2006 3:25:03 PM

What about the 300$ range 7950GT.. and other cards in this price slot?.. your saying there is nothing worth looking at in the 250-350 range??

utterly annoying.
October 31, 2006 3:47:29 PM

Quote:
What about the 300$ range 7950GT.. and other cards in this price slot?.. your saying there is nothing worth looking at in the 250-350 range??

utterly annoying.


I find it hard to advocate a $280 7950 GT when the X1950 PRO keeps up with it for about $200.

But the 7950 GT is PCI express, and not available in AGP.


As far as AGP, the 7800 GS fans don't seem to want to believe that the AGP 7600 GT is just as fast.

They need to check out the benchmarks...
October 31, 2006 3:52:43 PM

Nice article Cleeve. Can't wait to see benchies for the X1950pro AGP, when that comes out.
October 31, 2006 3:59:33 PM

I'm working on it... :) 
a b U Graphics card
October 31, 2006 4:40:37 PM

Quote:

By the way, the 9700 PRO will work on AGP 2x boards, and will beat a 9600 XT.


BBTW, regarding his recommendation; neither the R9600XT nor the R9600P will work on a 2X only mobo as they are only 1.5V and 0.8V, whereas 2X only implies 3.3V, so I like your R9700P recommendation bettert than his recommendation which will not work. 8)

https://support.ati.com/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questi...

Also anyone recommending an FX needs to get their head checked there are a ton of better options out there from not just nV and ATi, but even SIS, etc.

PS, I knew the GF7800GS defenders would come out of the woodwork to get you. :lol: 
October 31, 2006 4:49:57 PM

Quote:
PS, I knew the GF7800GS defenders would come out of the woodwork to get you. :lol: 


I'm just glad GW's gone easy on me. :) 
October 31, 2006 4:55:48 PM

I am surprised the GeForce 7950 GT was not included.
It has 24 real pipelines, it costs less than US$300, and will outrun the X1950 Pro.
a b U Graphics card
October 31, 2006 4:55:52 PM

Quote:
AGP2X (Motherboards only compatable with 2X AGP GPU's.) Under $100
The 9600XT 256MB is far and away the best choice. Most older systems may require an upgraded PSU to supply enough power to accommodate the 9600XT.


Dude I got a PCI express mobo that is a fata1ity board and i got it for 120 bucks. 200 bucks for AGP 2X???? WTF?
-cm
Kind of why I didnt waste time on reserching the AGP under $200 segment. PCI on the other hand could be worth a costly card as systems today sale with only PCI.

Dude, stop posting until you have time to clean up your statements, it just makes you look bad and confuses people looking for good information.

A) like I mentioned to Cleeve, the R9600 series is 4X and 8X only, and will not work on a "2X AGP only MoBo" as it only support 3.3V min, not the 1.5 of the R9600 series which starts at 4X slots.

B) PCI is NEVER worth a costly care in the gaming world! You either mean PCIe or you're confusing rare multi-monitor situations where PCI is valuable with gaming. Either way bad advice for this thread/topic. Take a break from posting until you get your statements correct.
October 31, 2006 5:55:24 PM

I just got the 7950 GT 512M and it works very nice in Band of Brothers (Oops, edit, should be Company of Heroes.... Shows how much I associate the two!!!). I will test others later.

Ah, i finally found the ASUS 1950.... They put it all the way at the bottom since it is out-of-stock...

Question is, people say it compares directly with the 7950... In what ways does it compare? Anyone have any clue? What areas would teh 7950 possibly beat the 1950 pro?

Is it a driver issue?

I would like to know as I think I still have a few more days left on my Newegg return policy that might enable me to switch....
October 31, 2006 5:58:28 PM

Quote:
I am surprised the GeForce 7950 GT was not included.
It has 24 real pipelines, it costs less than US$300, and will outrun the X1950 Pro.


Doesn't outrun the X1950 PRO by enough to justify an $80 price difference (actually more than $100 when those asus X1950 PROs were available for $165)

They perform very closely in alot of cases, and unless I'm mistaken the X1950 PRO will even beat it in a few titles.


The X1950 PRO review at firingsquad had the X1950 PRO beating the 7900 GT in everything except Quake4 and LOMAC. And the 7950 GT isn't that much faster than the 7900 GT...
October 31, 2006 5:59:18 PM

Nice article; and very handy to have the AGP cards as well. If nothing else, useful for advising friends who don't upgrade unless a dire necessity; and useful also for those who want an interim solution while waiting for Vista to gel before getting a new system.
October 31, 2006 6:24:59 PM

Thank you for the 7900 GS recomendation. After doing some research, the 7900 GS was very reasonable and it is very easy to overclock to the 7900 GT level. This makes it an even better deal. I can't wait to try it out!

:D 
October 31, 2006 6:51:00 PM

Quote:
Also anyone recommending an FX needs to get their head checked there are a ton of better options out there from not just nV and ATi, but even SIS, etc.


Not sure why anyone would even entertain the idea of PCI....

You can build a C2D PCI-E system < $400 that would smoke a PCI-based system so bad, it would make chuck norris cry.

Why would you spend $150, or anything for that matter, on PCI. AGP 2x is in the same boat.
October 31, 2006 7:05:55 PM

Quote:
AGP2X (Motherboards only compatable with 2X AGP GPU's.) Under $100
The 9600XT 256MB is far and away the best choice. Most older systems may require an upgraded PSU to supply enough power to accommodate the 9600XT.


Dude I got a PCI express mobo that is a fata1ity board and i got it for 120 bucks. 200 bucks for AGP 2X???? WTF?
-cm
Kind of why I didnt waste time on reserching the AGP under $200 segment. PCI on the other hand could be worth a costly card as systems today sale with only PCI.

Dude, stop posting until you have time to clean up your statements, it just makes you look bad and confuses people looking for good information.

A) like I mentioned to Cleeve, the R9600 series is 4X and 8X only, and will not work on a "2X AGP only MoBo" as it only support 3.3V min, not the 1.5 of the R9600 series which starts at 4X slots.

B) PCI is NEVER worth a costly care in the gaming world! You either mean PCIe or you're confusing rare multi-monitor situations where PCI is valuable with gaming. Either way bad advice for this thread/topic. Take a break from posting until you get your statements correct.

Nice Sourgrapes but heres the system requirements as to the 2X AGP 9600XT.
Quote:
Intel¨ Pentium¨ 4/III/II/Celeronª, AMD¨ Duron/Athlon¨/Athlon XP¨ or compatible with AGP 2X (3.3v), 4X (1.5V), 8X (0.8v)

Look at the link its there in black and white. As for your B) suggestion I guess PCI GPU's are a tax right off. :roll:
http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?pfp=BR...
October 31, 2006 7:11:20 PM

Good job, Cleeve! Can't wait for more. Shame the X1900XT/7900GTO left so quickly, they were good cards for the money. Hopefully, the X1950XT will take top spots. Information about X1950XT:

Basically a slightly stripped-down X1950XTX, with 625MHz core clock (90nm) and 1800MHz (of GDDR3) memory clock. Also comes with HDCP. Bad things: Same old X850XT PE cooler and only 256MB of memory, while it's closest competitor, the 7950GT has 512MB. Hopefully HIS can rectify the first part, but I think we will just have to live with 256MB. I know the performance increase is minimal at best, but I like the "feeling" of having 512MB.

~Ibrahim~

Linkage!
October 31, 2006 7:35:42 PM

Quote:

By the way, the 9700 PRO will work on AGP 2x boards, and will beat a 9600 XT.


BBTW, regarding his recommendation; neither the R9600XT nor the R9600P will work on a 2X only mobo as they are only 1.5V and 0.8V, whereas 2X only implies 3.3V, so I like your R9700P recommendation bettert than his recommendation which will not work. 8)

https://support.ati.com/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questi...

Also anyone recommending an FX needs to get their head checked there are a ton of better options out there from not just nV and ATi, but even SIS, etc.

PS, I knew the GF7800GS defenders would come out of the woodwork to get you. :lol: 
Dude, stop posting until you have time to clean up your statements, it just makes you look bad and confuses people looking for good information. Take the t off of Better and SIS please.
October 31, 2006 7:54:57 PM

Quote:
Kind of why I didnt waste time on reserching the AGP under $200 segment. PCI on the other hand could be worth a costly card as systems today sale with only PCI.


8O That's a typo right? You did mean PCI-E didn't you..?
October 31, 2006 8:16:49 PM

I am sure the X1950 PRO will beat the 7900 GT and crush the 7800 GS.
When I look for cards, I worry most about the lowest denomination.
Such as, the x850 does well in Oblivion, but has no HDR.
So I am willing to spend the extra $80-100 to make sure the weakest link is not so weak.
I also own a 7800 GS, expensive and I never wanted another AGP card. Not as good as the 7900 GT, but at least does fairly well on all games.
October 31, 2006 8:26:25 PM

Quote:
Kind of why I didnt waste time on reserching the AGP under $200 segment. PCI on the other hand could be worth a costly card as systems today sale with only PCI.


8O That's a typo right? You did mean PCI-E didn't you..?
No but when I say costly that to me is $100. I'm the type of gamer more interested in design than graphics. I come from a time where your char was a stick man and 800X600 is giant leap in graphics.
October 31, 2006 8:35:08 PM

I think then any video card ever made after 1995 is good enough.
You might find a version of Bolo, Hard Hat Mac, and Wizardry.
Maybe your modern CPU can render FightSim 1.0 in real-time (All MAX settings!)

not sarcastic, just brings back good memories.
October 31, 2006 8:37:31 PM

Real-time? Bull. I can get a frame every 10 seconds...

lol, just messing with you.

~Ibrahim~
October 31, 2006 8:46:54 PM

Quote:
well, guess what so did alot of us but some of us move with the times. of course old games had and have their appeal but why even play on a comp if you are happy with marbles.

Good point but we all have to live with in our own budgets. Dont fell bad for me as my sons PC is a PCI-E system. He loves his 1600x1200 on World of Warcraft. I choice to stay at the lower graphics lvl so he can have the best.
October 31, 2006 8:56:56 PM

Quote:
I think then any video card ever made after 1995 is good enough.
You might find a version of Bolo, Hard Hat Mac, and Wizardry.
Maybe your modern CPU can render FightSim 1.0 in real-time (All MAX settings!)

not sarcastic, just brings back good memories.

True and the only reason I replaced my old 3DFX Voodoo3 is for compatibility issues. T&L and only 16MB was killing me on almost every new program. SSE has me on a few but I can work around those.
October 31, 2006 9:20:42 PM

Quote:
hmm, sacrificing your own pc for the sake of your sons. decent thing to do i suppose. least you are allowing your son to have the same level of tech and enjoyments you had in your day. it may not be 2d but relatively it is the same.

He's a good kid and I want him to have what other kids his age has. I regrete in a way getting him addicted to PC's. On the upside he saves part his snack money to pay this World of Warcraft month fee so I know hes not spending it on drugs.
a b U Graphics card
October 31, 2006 9:28:21 PM

Quote:

Nice Sourgrapes but heres the system requirements as to the 2X AGP 9600XT.


Read the link, and stop posting BS.

I don't care what COMPUSA has you believing, Belive me, who knows more about this card than anyone else in the Forum, R9600 series is 4X 8X only, PERIOD. READ ATi's own info.

Seriously, you're like a store clerk at BestBuy or CompUsa, do some research before posting crap.

Quote:
Look at the link its there in black and white.


Look at my link: ATI > compusa. [/b[

Idjit! :roll:
!