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The Best Gaming Graphics cards for the Money: December 2007

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December 3, 2007 3:45:38 PM

Detailed graphics 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 graphics card within a certain budget.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/03/best_graphics_card/index.html
December 3, 2007 4:21:42 PM

Question:
What will perform better, Old Nvidia4 Ti 4600 or new on-board Intel GMA 3100. Is there a "rating" of old cards vs new on-board?
December 3, 2007 4:55:13 PM

I've never seen a Ti4600 vs. intel GMA 3100 benchmark.

Having said that, I'd put money on the 4600 being faster. The 4600 probably performs in the neighborhood of the X1300, and I'll bet the X1300 will still beat integrated GMA 3100 by a large margin.
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December 3, 2007 5:04:04 PM

is ati really releasing some new agp cards?? i read about that on the enquirer recently but i question their credibility.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 3, 2007 5:24:05 PM

The article is incorrect. The two new additions the Radeon 3870 and Geforce 8800 GT both sell for more than the article claims.

Using Tom's own compare prices(counting only "in stock" prices):

The Radeon 3870 is not $220 but rather $280
The Geforce 8800 is not $290 but rather $300
December 3, 2007 6:02:12 PM

What part of "...street prices to $270 at the time of writing" did you misunderstand?

It's a guideline. The article follows available pricing at the time of writing... not the other way around, obviously. The article specifies that prices are apt to change, indeed they ALWAYS change over the course of the month. When things change, you'll have to take it into account and use your judgement a little.


Besides, check newegg... you can find 3870's in stock for $250 right now.

Looks like prices have even changed since you wrote your corrections... :D 
December 3, 2007 6:21:46 PM

Are they ever going to update those VGA charts?!
At least add some new benchmarks if not change the whole list.
Please?
December 3, 2007 6:29:52 PM

About the AGP versions of ATi grappics cards, the solution is the same for this generation as for the last, there is a chip that makes the translation between the PCI-e signal of the GPU and the AGP port that is available to those graphics card manufactures who wants to make an AGP version. My guess is that HIS once again, as they did with the Radeon 2600 XT will make a Radeon 3850 card, after all it would be just about the best card for AGP.

About the new Radeons, and this article, I wonder why the author decided to call them DX10 cards when they infact are DX10.1 cards, I know the diffrence is small, but it's there and ATi decerves to be credited for being the first to bring DX10.1 to market.
December 3, 2007 6:36:08 PM

DirectX 10.1?

True, the 38x0 series has it, but DirectX 10.1 point has absolutely no relevance yet seeing as how Dx10.1 hasn't been released to the public.

But for the sake of accuracy, sure - I'll update it in next month's article.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 3, 2007 6:42:18 PM


To MagicPants
Come on your expecting too much give the guys a break :) 

To bash007
When i first started using toms charts they were better than they are now not perfect could be misslesding at times (using same benchmarking for cards using differant tec my main gripe amongst others) t the GPU market was pretty stagnant at the time and every thing was comparable ie built on very similar arcitecture,even so you count how many cards are on the chart and how many differant benchmark tests each card is put through then do the math.
Its a collosale task and now with the speed (comparably) that the cards based on differant arcetecture Not to mention the DX9= XP DX10= Vista headache they now have are being released it comes as no surprise to me that they just cant keep up.
You would need a whole company dedicated to just the charts to keep it up to date.
Mactronix :) 
December 3, 2007 6:49:14 PM

the 3870 @ $215 and the 3850 @ $160 at best buy, buts its sold out. You dont have to buy from newegg. id wait till it comes in stock at best buy, paying extra for no reason at all is against my principles...yes i know about supply and demand!
December 3, 2007 6:50:52 PM

Thanks for the reply Mactronix.
I didn't say it was an easy task, it most definitely isn't, but it would be nice if every once in a while they updated benchmarks. It doesn't have to be all done at once.
But you're right, now that I think about it, if they're really going to make a completely updated and detailed chart, it would be a colossal task.
December 3, 2007 6:59:41 PM

I'll talk to the guys. The VGA charts were never something I have been involved in, but I'd like to see it continue - even if it's reduced to the newest generation of cards, like the Radeon 2x00/3x00 and Geforce 8x00 families.
December 3, 2007 7:54:06 PM

7950GX2 outperforms the 8800GTS in most cases I dont think its fair to knock it down another tier, it beats the pants off the 1950xtx.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 3, 2007 7:55:22 PM


Thanks cleeve seems your thoughts were going along the same lines as mine ie if it cant be kept up to date and relevant then maybe its time to let it go.
I was thinking perhaps the best Graphics cards for the money monthly review would be enough really if it was just extended a bit say with a short chart on each section to compare other cards not mentioned like the anyother cards chart,wouldnt that be easier to keep up to date with ?
Mactronix
December 3, 2007 8:14:23 PM

bash007 said:
Are they ever going to update those VGA charts?!
At least add some new benchmarks if not change the whole list.
Please?

They update them every 6 months to a year
December 3, 2007 8:24:39 PM

Hatman said:
7950GX2 outperforms the 8800GTS in most cases I dont think its fair to knock it down another tier, it beats the pants off the 1950xtx.


Beats the pants off of the X1950 XTX? Weeeellll.... I don't know about that. The GX2 beats in most of the time for sure, but the margins aren't huge enough for me to consider it 'beating the pants' off of it.

And the GX2 takes a notable performance hit when high-quality AF is enabled to get rid of Nvidia's 'shimmering texture' problem/optimization on the 7x00 series, which the X1950 XTX doesn't have - and equals the playing field a bit.
December 3, 2007 8:32:49 PM

Good article. Now, if only I could justify spending $250 on a 3870 or 8800GT
December 3, 2007 9:09:22 PM

cleeve said:
I'll talk to the guys. The VGA charts were never something I have been involved in, but I'd like to see it continue - even if it's reduced to the newest generation of cards, like the Radeon 2x00/3x00 and Geforce 8x00 families.



Plus I think people would like to see them bench with a few more newer titles and add them to the chart. They still have Doom III in there...............I think it is about time to put that one out to pasture.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 3, 2007 9:14:12 PM

caamsa said:
Plus I think people would like to see them bench with a few more newer titles and add them to the chart. They still have Doom III in there...............I think it is about time to put that one out to pasture.


Its not really to do with the games and how new they are from what i understand, there was a thread about this a while ago and from what i remember the games are used as they run differant Graphics engines and have a reliance on Open GL or are cpu intensive some run better on Nvidia and vice versa.
Any way if im remembering it wrong im sure Cleeve can correct me :) 
Mactronix
December 3, 2007 9:42:32 PM

mactronix said:
Its not really to do with the games and how new they are from what i understand, there was a thread about this a while ago and from what i remember the games are used as they run differant Graphics engines and have a reliance on Open GL or are cpu intensive some run better on Nvidia and vice versa.
Any way if im remembering it wrong im sure Cleeve can correct me :) 
Mactronix


You are correct....I prefer Nvidia because they tend to perform better in Open GL. and I play a lot of City of Heroes.
I just think people would like to see newer titles benched on all the cards. We tend to see the high and mid range cards benched on the newer games but never the older or lower end cards. I just think some times that will help a person make a decision about whether or not to hang on to that 6800GT when they see it benched in newer games like Crysis.
December 3, 2007 11:08:13 PM

thepinkpanther said:
the 3870 @ $215 and the 3850 @ $160 at best buy, buts its sold out. You dont have to buy from newegg. id wait till it comes in stock at best buy, paying extra for no reason at all is against my principles...yes i know about supply and demand!


Or, you could go check out one of you friendly neighbourhood computer stores and buy there.

God forbid in 20 years we'll be down to Walmart, Best Buy, and TigerDirect.

I know it will cost you an extra buck. But all this "bargain hunting" we do really hurts our local economies. If which card you buy, or where you buy it depends on 20 bucks...you've got other issues other than which video card you're gonna buy. I know it matters to some...but we seem to make such a deal about it (pardon the pun). Your "principles" could be put to better use.

Not meant be a flame..just some social commentary.

Antix.
December 3, 2007 11:50:24 PM

We've already discussed updating the suite for our system builder marathons which will include Crysis, Quake Wars, and UT3.
December 4, 2007 12:57:44 AM

Typo? There is a $300-$550 section and a >$450 section. I'm guessing it should be either 300-450 or >550.
December 4, 2007 1:03:19 AM

Yep, you caught it. :D 
December 4, 2007 1:12:11 AM

I like the picture shown when you highlight the link on the front page, nothing like some old-school quad-7800 SLI!

That is, I assume those two cards are the Asus 7800GT-Dual
December 4, 2007 2:33:59 AM

Am I the only one who noticed the picture of two cards sli'd in the title of the article is named "Quad-SLI teaser"?
December 4, 2007 10:51:41 AM

Err....Am I the only person from the UK who has noticed that Toms have stopped doing 'Best Graphic Card of the month' for us Brits with prices in £'s? It was the same in November. What's going on?

prices in US$ don't really mean a lot to us due to the current exchange rate and also the fact that the whole world & their mother stiff the UK on prices :pfff:  Graphics cards being no exception.

Any chance we can have our own feature again, with prices based on UK e-tailers (eBuyer, Dabs, Scan, Aria, Overclockers UK)

Cheers

December 4, 2007 11:40:17 AM

The current rule of thumb for $ to £ is to multiply by 2/3. In my experience this is about accurate. Who reads the UK site anyway??
December 4, 2007 12:13:33 PM

I think the 8800 GT is mispriced - I purchased one (MSI) from dell 2 weeks ago for 224 shipped. I think if you hunt around a bit, you will find it for prices around there. The 280 - 300 price for the 8800GT is common, but I know this won't last - especially 2 months from now when Nvidia releases the 9xxx series.

It's also my belief that the 8800gt has performance comparable to the 8800gtx (as many benchmarks here at Toms have suggested)

Happy Hunting.
December 4, 2007 1:56:18 PM

I submitted the UK article with pounds including VAT at the same time as the US article, not sure when they'll post it though.
December 4, 2007 4:03:17 PM

i saw that the 8600gt is a bit better than the 2600xt at the charts but it only has a 256MB of ram while the 2600xt has a 512MB i wonder if the 2600xt will take advantage at the future games because of it's ram capacity ....... so i need advice which one i got to take
December 4, 2007 4:36:43 PM

i have a ques.....
what is the card used for the interface of the article?? its really a nice one and got lots of output :) 
December 4, 2007 4:45:49 PM

Ram capacity doesn't really have an effect on this tier of cards.

Keep in mind that the 2600 XT can perform better than the 8600 GT with AA off. Also, if you're going to get an 8600 GT, make sure it's a GDDR3 version and not the crippled DDR2 version.
December 4, 2007 7:30:15 PM

crusoe74 said:
Err....Am I the only person from the UK who has noticed that Toms have stopped doing 'Best Graphic Card of the month' for us Brits with prices in £'s? It was the same in November. What's going on?

prices in US$ don't really mean a lot to us due to the current exchange rate and also the fact that the whole world & their mother stiff the UK on prices :pfff:  Graphics cards being no exception.

Any chance we can have our own feature again, with prices based on UK e-tailers (eBuyer, Dabs, Scan, Aria, Overclockers UK)

Cheers

December 4, 2007 7:32:05 PM

Thankx, Cleeve. Found it now :hello: 

December 6, 2007 9:14:03 PM

I noticed above and in the review that you say to get the 8600GT with DDR3 mem, but in the Holiday Shhopping Guide you recommend a card with DDR2. By you I mean TOM"S.

Happy Holidays
December 7, 2007 2:19:33 AM

I didn't choose the products for the holiday guide, so I can't speak to that.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 2:33:11 AM

Still waiting for the P690 in that list. :non: 

Prejudice is a terrible thing there Cleeve !! :kaola: 

December 7, 2007 1:28:20 PM

Do you mean the matrox card, or the ancient IBM unix server? :D 
December 7, 2007 5:52:19 PM

Speaking of the holiday guide, I was under the impression that the 800GT (if you can find it) generally outperforms the GTS, is that not true?
December 7, 2007 6:15:03 PM

Yes, the 8800 GT outperforms the GTS.

I do believe the writers had to select some of the components in advance, so the GT didn't exist yet.
December 7, 2007 8:14:23 PM

Well, at least you can find the GTS, while the GT still seems to be a bit tricky.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 8:38:55 PM

hergieburbur said:
Well, at least you can find the GTS, while the GT still seems to be a bit tricky.


Just occured to me you dont suppose that the reason that you cant find a GT easily is because they have a backlog of the old GTS cards and dont want to/wont discount them to shift them so have made the GT scarse in the hope that people will get fed up and buy an old GTS ?
Then again it could be as simple as they got it wrong because they are doing the marketing differantly this time ie midrange card first followed by the higher and lower models and they just plain screwed up.
I mean its easy to sell the good chips and bin the lower performing ones for a new sku latter like they used to do before maybe coming out with the midrange first is giving them a headache with choosing which chips should be which ?
Just a thought.
Mactronix
December 7, 2007 8:43:17 PM

Both entirely possible.
December 11, 2007 4:30:55 AM

So wait the 7950 is better then the 8600gts ????
i thought the sevens were obsoleat
cant spell sorry
December 11, 2007 4:45:25 AM

just because is G80 it doesn't mean its better than any 7x00.


You'll find this type of situation many times not only with Nvidia naming scheme but also ATI.

take the 8400GS for example, you wouldn't expect a 6600GT to beat it..

Or an HD2600 XT to get beat by an 1800 XT
December 11, 2007 5:04:48 AM

Oh, wow now i have to check prices on the 7950 then if its better then the 8600gts.
December 11, 2007 5:08:15 AM

the 7950 GX beats the 8600GTS by quote a bit, and the 7950 GX2 beats the 8600GTS by an awful lot
December 12, 2007 4:02:08 AM

Yea, I was like about to try and get on till i saw they were dx 9 so i guess i'll have to save a lil extra for the 8800 gt
!