The X850 Pro should get you more FPS in games, but the X1650 pro will support shader model 3. Which is more important to you?
I think that regardless of SM3, the X850 is the clear-cut winner if the pipes are infact unlockable. I have an X800GTO unlocked to an X850XT and overclocked to an X850XTPE and let me tell you, it's a fine card (except for that whole vacuum cleaning sound, but your card doesn't have that style of fan). My friend has an X1650 and even without the SM3 effects enabled with near identical setups, my card whoops his through and through in near-every game. The whole X1600 series was a disappointment entirely.
I'm not sure about SM3, Ive read about it and without seeing it, I cant really predict its benefit. Are all x850Pro Vivo cards unlockable??? From what I have found the answer would be yes since I believe these were the subsets of cards that were not laser cut at the factory.
I'm not sure about SM3, Ive read about it and without seeing it, I cant really predict its benefit.
There are benefits to SM3 like better lighting effects, but if you are a gamer then I would not substitute FPS for a little more eye candy.
can you not wait for the x1950pro AGP ?? (not sure of AGP price though)
Good advice! This card should take the AGP performance crown and still cost around $200. Also it supports SM3. It would be the best choice but the only down side is finding one. I'm sure they will be available in the coming weeks.