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The Best Gaming Video Cards for the Money: March 2007

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March 6, 2007 9:06:11 AM

Detailed video card specifications and reviews are great - that is, if you have the time to do the research. But at the end of the day, what a gamer needs is the best video card within a certain budget.
March 6, 2007 11:29:45 AM

Quote:
The 7600 GT is an amazing card in this price range, sporting new SM 3.0 technology and very high clock speeds to deliver excellent performance. Its weakest feature is its 128-bit memory bus, but its high memory speeds offset that disadvantage and make it competitive with 256-bit cards like the X800 XT/X850 XT and even the 7800 GS.


Regardless the prices, the 7800gs is much better considering you can overclock it much more higher than a 7600gt agp can.

Quote:
2 GTS, 4 MX 440, 2 Ultra, 2 Ti200


Never have i heard of a gf2 ti200 o_O

And it's interesting gf7 series despite their model (even if mobile versions), matching a the good old geforce 3.
I would laught to death if someone told me that back in 2001.
March 6, 2007 11:33:44 AM

Quote:

Regardless the prices, the 7800gs is much better considering you can overclock it much more higher than a 7600gt agp can.


We're talking stock performance, what you get out of the box: not overclocked. Overclocking isn't automatically something everyone does, it might be worth a mention but you can't make a buying recommendation for most people based on it.

And stock, the 7600 GT will beat the 7800 GS by slim margins more often than not... plus the fact that the 7800 GS is often overpriced into X1950 PRO territory, and no matter how high you clock it an X1950 PRO will still humiliate a 7800 GS.

Therefore, 7800 GS usually = bad buy
Related resources
March 6, 2007 11:43:29 AM

Yeah i know :D  Maybe it wasn't that worth to mention it.
I just wanted to mention that because i own a 7800gs, i acquired one a month later from it's release, so it was the best you could have for agp systems at the time, and it sounds somewhat wrong when the 7800gs is paired with the 7600gt, because techonogicaly speaking, the 7800gs is better then the 7600gt.
The only this the card lacks is higher clock, that can be easly obtainable with rivatuner or coolbits, and i was able to push my old athlon xp system from 5600 3dmarks 2005 to 6550 with a slight change on the gpu\mem clocks.

But today i would undoubtly buy the 7600gt agp of course.
March 6, 2007 12:19:37 PM

Well they are good overclockers. It sounds like it's serving you well.
March 6, 2007 12:33:54 PM

hurry up x1950xt for AGP! that's great news, a nice new card to go with my new LCD! can't wait for it.

then my x800gto becomes a nice hand me down for my HTPC.
March 6, 2007 12:58:29 PM

I just wanted to mention that I just built 2 new E6400 machines with the 320MiB 8800 GTS. After overclocking, I was able to land a 15,500 3dmark'05 and a 10,500 3dmark'06. It wasn't even a hardcore overclock. A friend with a similar config, but with a 1950 Pro, landed a 10,500 in 3dmark'05.

Personally, it's my opinion that the 320MiB 8800 GTS is the best card to hit the market in many, many years. This is because you can get very close to bleeding-edge performance at a mediocre cost. Both 8800 GTS' I own held > 15% overclock, which is phenominal for a video card; and that's in addition to blazing stock performance.

In short, If you're considering a 1950XT, I would recommend you save your pennies for the 8800 GTS. Not only is it MUCH faster, but it has DX 10 support.

On a side-note, I bought a P965 motherboard that does NOT have official SLI support (though people have gotten SLI working on the P965 with hacked drivers). I hedged my bets on nVidia becoming Intel's new best friend (i.e. SLI support on bearlake). If anyone has solid info on that, I'd be much abliged.

Thanks.
March 6, 2007 1:19:55 PM

agreed, the 8800gts is indeed a fantastic value. however, I'm not ready to buy a new motherboard, processor and memory to have pcie for it. If I was planning to buy all of these, that would be the clear best option.

personally, one more AGP card just makes more sense due to the timing of my pc purchasing (DDR1, AGP, socket 939 mobo).
March 6, 2007 1:34:14 PM

I read the article and i was looking the chart on the back and was confused by the differences between the 7950GX2 and 1950XTX classes.
while the 7950 seems to give better numbers on 3dmark the xtx beats it quite soundly on all the posted benchmarks?

I am missing something about the performance of the gx2?


Thanks,
Marcus
March 6, 2007 1:48:51 PM

Quote:

2 GTS, 4 MX 440, 2 Ultra, 2 Ti200


Never have i heard of a gf2 ti200 o_O

And it's interesting gf7 series despite their model (even if mobile versions), matching a the good old geforce 3.
I would laught to death if someone told me that back in 2001.

There isn't a gf 2 ti200? Ohh that's why mine ceased working the other day! it never existed :twisted: (for more information http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=1581&p=1 )

From a performance standpoint way lower end cards (even in new generations) do seem to perform as good as a higher end older card; for me a rule of thumb would be highest end generation 1 ~= med/high end gen2 ~= med end gen3 ~= low/med end gen4 ~= low end gen5 ~= lower end gen 6... do note that sometimes on the same gen (hw manufacturer) there are more than 1 generation for the user... and this is just a rule of thumb...
March 6, 2007 2:05:55 PM

Quote:
agreed, the 8800gts is indeed a fantastic value. however, I'm not ready to buy a new motherboard, processor and memory to have pcie for it. If I was planning to buy all of these, that would be the clear best option.

personally, one more AGP card just makes more sense due to the timing of my pc purchasing (DDR1, AGP, socket 939 mobo).


Yes; good point. I should clarify that one should choose the 8800 GTS over the 1950 Pro when considering PCI-E.

Also of note; the 8800 overclocks better than the 1950 XT (at least from the little I've seen. I've only overclocked one and read of others' experiences with high heat with the card stock). They seem comperable stock, but when overclocked the 8800 GTS pulls WAY ahead. If not for the $70 price difference (I think it's just saphire's XT, if I'm not mistaken), I ould find it hard to justify purchasing the 1950 XT over the 8800 GTS. Even then, $70 isn't a terrible amount of money considering you can get near-GTX performance.
March 6, 2007 2:13:28 PM

Quote:
There isn't a gf 2 ti200? Ohh that's why mine ceased working the other day! it never existed :twisted: (for more information http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=1581&p=1 )

From a performance standpoint way lower end cards (even in new generations) do seem to perform as good as a higher end older card; for me a rule of thumb would be highest end generation 1 ~= med/high end gen2 ~= med end gen3 ~= low/med end gen4 ~= low end gen5 ~= lower end gen 6... do note that sometimes on the same gen (hw manufacturer) there are more than 1 generation for the user... and this is just a rule of thumb...


Okyyy, never heard of one, till nowes ^^ sorry for the death of your card tho.
And about todays mid\low end gpus matching yesterdays top gpus (and this might no be the best example in comparation to my first one), thinking about the geforce 6800ultra and when it got out, just by reading the articles and hearing it's name i was like wow, "teh best omgish", and now a much lower priced a much smaller and much less power hungry card like the gf7600gt can beat it! All hurray to techonology evolution and miniaturization etc.
Sometimes i think that hardware is evolving much more faster that than in the old days, we can't have the top pc for more than 3 months till something über better comes out and we get "ah shit, why didnt i wait a bit longer".
March 6, 2007 2:41:04 PM

Page 2 seems wrong the pricing goes £120 then £100 with the 7600GS costing £120 and the 7600GT costing £100 it seems like a small error
March 6, 2007 3:02:57 PM

Quote:

Sometimes i think that hardware is evolving much more faster that than in the old days, we can't have the top pc for more than 3 months till something über better comes out and we get "ah ****, why didnt i wait a bit longer".


Well that does matter if you:
a) have alot of money to spend;
b) need braggin rights
c) just don't have anything better to do...

My current rig (at home) is a 2x AXP MP 2400+ (2GHz K7) with 2GB ram and a 7600GT agp (or is it GS?)...

There are rigs way better than mine (and far cheaper for that matter) but this one (mostly bought in 2002-2003) is enough for most games... well I can't play with full settings all games, and some drag in some parts, but for me is enough...

I really don't mind if you get 200+ fps on fear vs the 30fps i get. Will I notice the diff?

I really hate reading an opinion stating the your gaming rig has to be a x6800+8800gtx (replace with the uber system of your choice).... I can have a rig almost as good and twice as cheap!

About "the wait a bit longer" in computer terms this is always true (as in most parts of live); just quoting some1 I don't remember who "life is what happens when you are making plans"... in computer the best is to spend as much as you can, when you can, when you need it (and getting as much mem as possible :lol:  )

PS: for personal and professional reasons I always use nvidia cards - just because you can make them easely work in linux!
March 6, 2007 3:27:12 PM

I couldn't agree more specially when you say :

Quote:
in computer the best is to spend as much as you can, when you can, when you need it (and getting as much mem as possible


I was on a athlon xp2000+ with a geforce 3 till the mid of 2004, and then my cpu died, so i had to replace it for a athlon xp 2600+ (used, it was plain cheap ^^), then again i was able to make and excellent trade, my gf3 for a ati9500pro for a few euros, but then in the end of 2005 the damn thing died on my screen with multiple artifacts, and it forced me to get my latest card, the 7800gs i said above, and i promissed to myself to never, ever, Ever spend so much money on a graphic card, God knows much i regret it now. x_x
March 6, 2007 3:36:13 PM

good linux drivers is the only real reason to stick w/ one company over the other. But even that is changing now as ati has some (finally) good lin-drivers coming down the pipe soon. :) 

But as to your comments on what is "good enough"... that is a rather subjective statement. I know that my eyes are much more sensitive to (old crt) refresh rates than others. This translates into more sensitivity to framerates, which means that for the (relatively) same experience as you get from your 7600gt (with high quality/low FPS), I would have to run a 7900gt just to keep the same settings and get the FPS needed for me to enjoy it. Not jumping on you per-se, just pointing out that those that buy a spendy card are not just ppl w/ $, braggin rights or nothing to do. Some of us just want to enjoy the fruits of our labor.


Those are just numbers out of my nether-regions, but the concept is still there. It is this very subjectivity that this article addresses. For a given price-point/budget, what is the best you can get? The answer is there. 'nuff said. ;) 
March 6, 2007 3:58:54 PM

Quote:
good linux drivers is the only real reason to stick w/ one company over the other. But even that is changing now as ati has some (finally) good lin-drivers coming down the pipe soon. :) 


they are really getting better... but even today (actually it was 2 weeks ago) I had alot of problems with installing an ati card in fc6... nvidia ones never (at least until now) any problems...

Quote:
I would have to run a 7900gt just to keep the same settings and get the FPS needed for me to enjoy it. Not jumping on you per-se, just pointing out that those that buy a spendy card are not just ppl w/ $, braggin rights or nothing to do. Some of us just want to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

You may have misunderstood me... What I meant was the people that upgrade to an über system every 3 months... I know ppl who had an fx60/62 and upgraded to a x6800... who had a 7900gtx and upgraded to a 1900xtx or a 7950gx2 to a 8800gtx...

I'm not saying you shouldn't spend $300+ on a gfx, I'm just saying you shouldn't spend $400+ every couple of months...
March 6, 2007 4:03:30 PM

Nice job Cleeve. :) 
March 6, 2007 4:25:07 PM

Quote:
they are really getting better... but even today (actually it was 2 weeks ago) I had alot of problems with installing an ati card in fc6... nvidia ones never (at least until now) any problems...
as have I, but word on the street is that the winds will change... ;) 

Quote:
You may have misunderstood me... What I meant was the people that upgrade to an über system every 3 months... I know ppl who had an fx60/62 and upgraded to a x6800... who had a 7900gtx and upgraded to a 1900xtx or a 7950gx2 to a 8800gtx...

I'm not saying you shouldn't spend $300+ on a gfx, I'm just saying you shouldn't spend $400+ every couple of months...
Ahh, gotcha. I agree with what you're saying then. 8)
March 6, 2007 4:50:12 PM

just a nitpick but

Quote:
and costs more than $100 less than its


that may be able to be worded a bit better.


otherwise good article.

maybe i'll get a new agp card for my 3000xp system :p 
March 6, 2007 6:57:29 PM

Interesting that you sneakily added details of those mobile graphics in that new hierchy chart. So, the geforce go is quite a bit below the corresponding GeForce series' model numbers for desktop cards. I knew that would be the case, but I wasn't thinking the difference would be quite as wide as your chart indicates.

Let's see if anyone else is interested enough to make any comments about the new addendum...
March 6, 2007 7:20:32 PM

Laptop chipsets are bizarre... a Geforce Go 7600 GT is 12-pipe... but the Go 7600 is 8 pipe! The the go 6800 Ultra isn't 16 pipe like the desktop version, it's 12 pipe!

Similart story with the Radeons: in some cases (like the Mobility X1800), the GPU has the same specs as it's top end counterpart. But then you look at the mobility X1900, it's crippled down to X1900 PRO specs.

It's an unholy mess in the laptop GPU world...
March 6, 2007 9:27:36 PM

ya, w/ the little bit that I knew of lappy-graphics I knew it would be a mess. Model #s mean very little anymore. :roll:

you did a great job though of getting them in there. Nice that there is something that you can look at and ballpark where a particular chip should perform.
March 6, 2007 11:22:40 PM

Quote:
I read the article and i was looking the chart on the back and was confused by the differences between the 7950GX2 and 1950XTX classes.
while the 7950 seems to give better numbers on 3dmark the xtx beats it quite soundly on all the posted benchmarks?

I am missing something about the performance of the gx2?


Thanks,
Marcus


I think quite a few reviews of 3dmark software vs. nvidia performance have shown that nvidia integrates a bit of code in their drivers/software to artificially inflate scores on 3dmark--I think it might even be on this website. So just 'cause an nvidia card scores higher on 3dmark than an ATI card doesn't mean it actually performs better in games. Besides, I think artificial benchies are a bad way of evaluating a video card--nothing beats actual game performance.
a b U Graphics card
March 7, 2007 12:46:23 AM

good article 8)

i had too read it as i just got an 88gts 640mb.
and a new 16x10 monitor.

my old 68gt and 10x7 monitor were great, most all games with high
settings. greatgameplay.

not so with the new monitor and 68gt. :cry: 
March 7, 2007 12:59:28 AM

Quote:
Nice job Cleeve. :) 


Indeed. Good article.

These are great updates. They give accurate recommendations with short explanations.
March 7, 2007 6:13:06 PM

Nice article and one that I am find myself waiting for every month surprisingly, I only wish Tom's Hardware would update the VGA charts and include the X1950XT in it.
a b U Graphics card
March 7, 2007 8:45:24 PM

Quote:
Laptop chipsets are bizarre... a Geforce Go 7600 GT is 12-pipe... but the Go 7600 is 8 pipe! The the go 6800 Ultra isn't 16 pipe like the desktop version, it's 12 pipe!


HAha Mobility n00b! :twisted:

Yeah it's borked, but you get used to it after a while, it's like thinking about commends in different computer languages or such, you just get used to what all the acronyms etc means (like in telephone world, Analgoue Voice versus Data [even if it's data carried voice]). You just get used to it.

I try and help ARP keep their list up to date with the occasional e-mail, but I haven't checked in a few months, but it's pretty much one of the clearest lists out there IMO;

http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=98&pgno=0

Considering this is the only world I shop in personally I tend to stay on top of things for mobile.

Here's the BIGGEST problem with mobile solutions IMO, none of the clock speeds are guaranteed, nor usually the same from one MFR to the next. My Gateway is under powered in comparison the usual specs for an MRX700, but with ATiTOOL I can easily clock it to 425/450+ (I stopped the ATT at 435/460 because dind't have time for it to find max Memory, bu I though this is likely 'hot' enough). I play Oblivion at 400/425 since it gets warm after 2-6hours of playing if I go above that (palm rest actually gets very uncomfortable when at 425/450 about a 5+degC difference really noticeable, but no artifacts).

It makes it very hard to compare when Dell ships one speed X1600/GF7600 and ASUS ships a completely different speed, and Gateway and HP yet another due to their power/heat concerns. It's also hard to find the same configuration across reviews too. Even Xbit with alot of their ASUS A vs ASUS B has clock or chipset or memory differences that can easily influence results.
March 11, 2007 10:16:15 PM

The hierarchy chart is very helpful; I wish you'd offered it earlier, as it really helps with card comparisons and decision-making.

Still, even tho I now know that my new 7600GS is 2 tiers better than my old 9800 Pro, I can't tell how much better. Nonetheless, very helpful; thanks!
March 11, 2007 11:08:18 PM

Quote:
I read the article and i was looking the chart on the back and was confused by the differences between the 7950GX2 and 1950XTX classes.
while the 7950 seems to give better numbers on 3dmark the xtx beats it quite soundly on all the posted benchmarks?

I am missing something about the performance of the gx2?


Thanks,
Marcus
The 7950GX2 is actually two 7950GTs in SLI, and SLI does not always show a large framerate increase; also, Tom's VGA charts don't seem to show any difference with SLI, and that's leading me to believe they're just messed up. Both the 7950GX2 and X1950XTX are no longer good buys, as an 8800GTS will outperform either card.
March 12, 2007 11:07:09 AM

lol are you serious? ever since SLI was (re)introduced, I have only seen a few benchmarks of a few scenarios where they even reached a 50% performance increase, and those were VERY few. SLI is NEVER worth it performance/dollar, and in many benchmarks actually performs SLOWER. I do not claim to know why, maybe games are not programmed to take advantage or there's little to no benefit to be had, but either way it's a waste of money 100% of the time.

at least in that area, I trust tom's vga charts to show me there's no value in it. I would imagine some increases can be found here and there by using later drivers than they used to benchmark the cards when they were release candidates or brand new with beta drivers, but it's still not worth it so who cares.
March 18, 2007 7:34:28 PM

Quote:
10,500 3dmark'06. It wasn't even a hardcore overclock. A friend with a similar config, but with a 1950 Pro, landed a 10,500 in 3dmark'05.


Thats pretty good score for a GTS.But i think it must be more than average overclocking though.
My brother got a 1950 Pro and he managed to oveclock it quite a bit (i thought that one wasnt so good at it) and he gets around 5700 3DM-06 score.
March 18, 2007 8:04:16 PM

Quote:
4 Ti 4600, 4 Ti 4800, FX 5700 Ultra, 6200


The 6200 compared to a FX 5700 Ultra? And a GF4 Ti 4800?

Is this correct? :?
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2007 8:25:07 PM

Quote:

The 6200 compared to a FX 5700 Ultra? And a GF4 Ti 4800?

Is this correct? :?


When everything is factored in, the first part makes sense due to the playability fo the GF6200 in most modern games. For example the FX5700U wasn't playable in Oblivion until they made an ultra low quality, which the GF6200 was playable on low. And their performance is withing a few frames of each other, the GF6600 blows the FX5700 away, so what else would you compare it to?

As for the GF4ti4800, it's more about old game performance. I'd give a bit of a nod to FX5700U and put the FX5700 as close to the GFti4800, but it's a question of degrees, the comparisons seem fine to me.
March 18, 2007 8:58:15 PM

Well, thanks for clearing that up for me, Ape.
Always a pleasure to have you around here. :D 
March 19, 2007 12:06:14 AM

Best card for $230 = X1950XT?? I just bought my X1950XT a few days ago for $200 even....
March 19, 2007 10:42:33 AM

for the 300th time this has been answered since the original article in this series was written (AND MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE), PRICES CHANGE! why mention you got it cheaper, what do you think that will accomplish? is that a helpful/useful contribution?

the prices change constantly as more cards are released, and are priced differently via different retailers and in different countries/continents. The TIERS in price and performance are the more important aspect to consider, and it is easily apparent to read between the lines and figure out what card to buy if the price has come down.
March 19, 2007 1:54:42 PM

OK, I tried searching and probably missed it - so apologies.

But...more specific than the article mentioned can my fellow gear-heads share their opinions on the following:

I recently upgraded an old motherboard to a hybrid board which will allow me to slowly migrate to Core2 Duo. (Currently Pent D 830 3.0 ghz, 1g ram) The board has AGP only, but was a cheap pathway to better tech later. At the moment I have an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, 256MB, 256-bit card.

Is there a cheap later gen AGP option (even if it is 128-bit) that will outperform my current card? I am content to keep what I have until I save up to go Core2 duo with new motherboard and PCI-e, but would hate to miss out on better performance if a cheap solution exists. Cheap to me I suppose would be $150 or less, with $100 or less as ideal. The new card would be lasting me 6-9 mos, so I am torn on what to do.

Any thoughts? thx.
March 19, 2007 2:27:23 PM

I'd look for a used AGP X800 XL on ebay.

You can find them for under $100, it'll beat the hell out of your 9800. Close to AGP 7600 GT performance.
March 19, 2007 3:23:54 PM

Cleeve,

What do you think of the x1900GT? The egg has it for $130, but it is only 12 pipes and I think the x800xl is 16 pipes? It is 256-bit though, which is nice.

Oops, scratch that, they had it labeled AGP but it is not. Sorry.
March 19, 2007 3:28:49 PM

For $130 it's a good deal. But it's probably worth the few bucks extra for the X1950 PRO, which has the same architecture but higher clockspeeds.

It's not really 12 pipes, it's 12 TMUs and 36 Pixel Shaders.
The X800XL is 16 TMUs and 16 Pixel shaders...
March 19, 2007 4:24:39 PM

One last question Cleeve and then I'll quit pestering ya.

The egg also had a XFX 7600GT with a 580mhz core and 1500mhz mem, but it is 128-bit. Would this still smoke my 9800 even tho it is 128-bit? At $179, I am guessing I can't be far from some decent 256-bit cards that would do better tho.

Even so, maybe its stupid to spend this much and I should just save for new mboard and go pci-e earlier than later.

Gads, this is a tough call, lol! Be nice if there was a cheap $75 or so card on the egg that would give the bump. Ebay has a couple x800 xl, but they are on 6 days or more and the better needs a 3rd party cooler added which will add to the cost.

thx again.
March 19, 2007 5:46:17 PM

The 7600 GT will compete on par with 256-bit cards like the X800 XT because it's memory and core clocks are so high. It is, to date, the only 128-bit card that can do that. It'll even beat the 256-bit X800 XL by a small margin, and it'll kill your 9800.

Patiently waiting to see if you can snipe a real cheap X800 XL on ebay while saving up for a new platform is probably your best bet.
March 19, 2007 9:42:38 PM

Quote:
It is, to date, the only 128-bit card that can do that.


I can't wait for 04/17. We'll see a couple of 128-bit cards that will crush many 256-bit cards... :mrgreen:
March 21, 2007 7:14:13 PM

Cleeve (or others),

I was able to pick up a 256bit X800 GT (256MB) PCI-express on the cheap and brand new. How does this compare to the XL and will it still tromp my 9800pro?

Since it was so cheap, I also bought a new hybrid motherboard (Asrock 4coredual-vsta) and will use it to migrate over time to core2 duo and faster DDR2 memory. However, the PCI-e on this board is, I believe, limited to 4X due to the Southbridge, but I figured I should still see a significant performance increase given that it is PCI-e versus AGP.

Key Old Specs:
Socket 754, AMD Athlon 64 Newcastle (2.0ghz)
1g DDR400
Radeon 9800Pro, 256MB, 256bit, AGP

Key New Specs with new board:
Pentium D 830 (3.0ghz now, will try overclocking when new memory)
1g DDR400 (replacing eventually to 2g DDR2 667)
Radeon X800 GT, 256MB, 256bit, PCI-e (4x)

Any thoughts/advice anyone?

thx.
March 21, 2007 7:23:03 PM

Not all good news, that's pretty much a parralel upgrade:

1. Even PCIe x16 offers no performance increase over AGP. The bottleneck is the graphics card, not the bus bandwidth.

If that board's chipset halfheartedly uses a workaround to offer a PCIe slot, it might actualy be SLOWER than the AGP slot due to latency issues... I'd look for reviews on that board.

2. The X800 GT should perform a bit faster than a 9800 PRO, but not much. They are both 8-pipeline 256-bit cards, the X800 is clocked higher which should give it a bit of a bump though.
(The X800 XL is 16 pipelines, twice as many as the GT!)

The X800 GT's real strength is it's overclockability. Some can be overclocked much higher than stock, if you're up to trying you might be pleasantly surprised.

If you could go back and do it again, you would have been better off getting an X1650 PRO or 7600 GS on the cheap.

Should've asked us first sir! Next time. ;) 



[EDIT] It looks like there's no tangible performance penalty using the PCI express slot from these benches at Anand testing your motherboard's AGP vs. PCIe slots. Whew!

The AGP slot looks to perform only a couple percent faster on average...

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2814&p=3
March 21, 2007 7:29:52 PM

Wow, wish my card was as fast as your reply lol!

OK, well I took a chance since it was so cheap, but I can always ebay the sucker and do better.

Assuming the card is the bottleneck then, does 128bit versus 256bit factor much into my situation then? (I am working my way through your sticky and learning as I go, so apologies if I haven't got there yet.)
March 21, 2007 7:33:00 PM

Both the 9800 and X800 are 256-bit cards.

The X800 GT is clocked at 475 core/490 memory though, while the 9800 PRO is clocked at 380 core/340 memory.

That's where you'll see a performance increase with the X800 GT. So it wasn't a downgrade by a long shot. You might even notice a slight increase in performance which is good. :) 
March 21, 2007 7:43:37 PM

Whew!

Good to hear and yeah I was hoping to trying overclocking it some as I learn more.

So is the 128bit versus 256bit much of an issue given my board choice? I couldn't gather if this was that important or not from the read at Anand's site, maybe I need to reread it in more detail. But I assume 256bit or higher is always preferable, unless the 128bit core and mem clock speeds are insanely high and the card is cheaper in price.

On a side note, amazing how much change has taken place in this area in the last 2 years!
!