It depends on what you will be doing as the 8600's have hardware based encoding/decoding help; this can be a boon if you have a slower cpu and want to watch HD video, if you have a faster cpu then it wouldn't help as much but still help. If you are going straight games, then check some reviews, by the time most games are ONLY Dx10 the 8600 will have a cheaper replacement anyhow probably.
Bought an MSI 8600 GTS silent edition after much research into the current GPU/VPU scene and I am very pleased indeed. Excellent qualiy card with a well thought out and ingenous cooling solution, grills and gas pipes galore; how do they think this stuff up?? Plays all current games at a respectable frame rate, which means all older games are more or less of a walk over for this card; trust me I know, loaded up Starwars Battlefront in XP and it just played and looked so much better than my 6800 Ultra which I paid £380 for at the time !! Image quality is second to none as seen in Bioshock which it plays flawlessly with all effects turned to high. The textures and water effects are amazing; ressembles those seen in PS3 and XBOX 360 titles, infact I reckon it churns out higher frame rates than those consoles and was designed to be greatly improved through driver updates. What else? DX10 ready, HDCP, fast as 7900 GS or X1950PRO !! but DX10 capable, totally new GPU design, silent and lower power consumption. Come on you do the maths, forget the higher powered vacum cleaner models which offer ridiculous framerates at the cost of high noise, heat and price; if I leave my PC on all day I'd hate to think my 8800GTX was whirring away making my system really hot and shortlived whilst doing nothing but running word! I believe a PC should be stable, silent, efficient, cutting edge and durable. This is what I have strived to build and achieved. I built my PC all through ebuyer and here is a list of components I have used.
XPRO 500 Watt PSU (Amazing build quality, no really!)
MSI 8600GTS (nice piece of kit, very powerfull for mid range)
AMD 64 X" 4000 CPU (multi tasking here we come and an energy efficient CPU if I may add)
1 GIG Crossair twinned pairs XMS2 DDR2 6400 (very reliable and quick, great heatsink)
MSI K9AGM2-FIH Socket AM2 (micro ATX, PCI express x16, AMD chipset, HDMI!)
EYE-T Black X-Blade Mid Tower Case - With 450W PSU
Pioneer DVD Dual Layer R/RW Drive
Maxtor 250GB SATA Drive
And there you have it, the ideal PC for all your needs.... End of story...
wow, you still using mx400?? i tho they are only to be found at computer museum. anyway, if you are a gamer then go for x1950pro,x1950xt, or 7900's cards. but if you want to use it to watch hd videos then it has to be 8600gt.
Will people stop saying DX10 when referencing anything under the 8800-series. Have you people looked at the reviews? The 8600-series doesn't have the muscle to push DX10 features...I mean the card has a 128-bit memory interface for Christ's sake.
The best card in your budget is the x1950xt at $167.
As others have said: the X1950Pro is by far the fastest card of the three, but if you can get the x1950xt that'd be even better. Question: where are you finding this $167 x1950xt? I know someone who is in the market for a new $150-200 card.