I need a PCI-E video card for my new rig. I was going to go with a 512 MB ATI 2600 Pro but I have seen the light after reading several bad reviews about it and the 2600 XT. I am not sure what AMD is doing but it is bad currently.
So I will go with a 512 MB nVidia. I am on a budget and the limit is $150 (after any rebates). That being said, I was looking at this 8600 GTS...
Never compare core clocks of two cards on different architectures...The 8800 GTS's gpu would whip the 8600 gts like nothing. BUT..That card is NOT worth it. It's the old GTs...Not worth the money. If you are to buy anything within that price range..Get this..
Best way to go about it imo. The 3850 would stomp pretty much all those cards you listed at a great price. It's basically a lower clocked 3870, so you can just oc it if you are comfortable doing so, it's a very HOT buy atm. If you are running low resolutions, around 1280x1024 or lower, than you can nab this to save some cash.
256mb of memory, but for lower resolutions it does the job well. 512mb is more future proof, if you have a 22+ LCD monitor, best to go the 512mb route. Gaming above 1280x1024 also calls for more memory. Personally, I would never get anything less than 512mb now-a-days.
Thanks for the reply Kamrooz. I hadn't looked at the HD 3850 or the 3870. That 3850 does sound like an ass kicker. 725 MHz core clock and 256 bit rate sound good. I just want to get the most bang for the buck with my $150 budget.
For bang per buck, the 3850 and 3870 are the golden gooses atm. The 8800 GT 512 offers MUCH better performance, but costs more around 230-250. Just nab the 3850 and you'll be fine. Try to nab the 512mb version if you can afford it, but if you play in lower res, the 256mb will do fine. But do keep in mind that core clock doesn't mean anything unless you're comparing it to the same family of cards. 3850 clocks should only be compared to the 3850 and 3870, since they both run r670 gpu's. But yea, you won't be disappointed ^_^.
The 8600 is a decent card, but it's nothing compared to the 3850. The 8600 GTS is alright, but the 3850/3870 is quite new, it's pretty much a shrink of R600, so you get the architecture of the HD 2900 for a VERY SMALL fraction of the price, if you are comfortable oc'ing, the 3850 is a steal, just bump up the clock speeds and you pretty much have a 2900XT, that runs cooler, and takes less voltage/watts.
When it comes to gaming cards atm, the bargains start above the 150 mark, performance below that is decent/mediocre till you hit the 3850, after that it's a competition between the kings of the midrange, the 3850/3870 offering 2900XT abilities, along with the 8800GT offering the performance of a 8800GTX at a mere 220-250. These are all still new cards, the newest released that is. Right now we're in the era of multi gpu setups, why else would they release midrange cards offering their previous high end performance? It's a great time for bang per buck atm ^_^.