8800 GT brands (considering cheap card)

I'm hoping someone who is familiar with the brands and is a gamer or has tried various brands (or if you've stuck with one brand and can give your experience and opinion) can comment.

I'm trying to consider whether I should buy a used Geforce 7 series video card or buy a plain jane 8800GT or the cheapest 8800GT I can get. But, I don't know if I should be concerned with brands or seek certain brands.

I know that EVGA used to be one of the top brands but I read on here they might have slipped recently regarding quality.

Out of EVGA, XFX, BFG, Galaxy (cheapest cards I've found so far) and Zotac, which should I consider?

Also, the cheapest cards are the basic specs featuring 512MB of memory, 600MHz, 1.8GHZ etc. If these cards are around $200-$220, is that a good deal? I found the Galaxy cards for under $200 and XFX and EVGA cards (600MHZ) for $210 for either. Which one would you choose?

I like the idea of the cards also offsetting the cpu usage when playing certain video (formats) but it's probably just a bonus as it mostly has to do with Hi-Def (HD) video?

The other concern I had is the price factor and the rumour that 7900 series cards may have issues and it's a crapshoot trying to avoid one that has them. These are the artifacts going all over the screen issue that some gamers discovered. I read some threads somewhere regarding this issue. I don't plan on gaming much but I'm not sure it's worth paying $100 for a defective card or a card that has issues.

Can anyone give me their opinion and offer a unique perspective (perhaps, one that I haven't considered). I also thought that if I came across a cheaper card later, I could always sell the 8800GT. It should be able to hold enough value that I could get 90% of my money back if I so desire? However, the 8800GT seems like a card that can serve many purposes for a while and I have never bought a new video card. Seems like a good card for a first time.

Thanks in advance for any opinions, comments and advice.
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  1. if you plan to buy like right now then the only reason to go with EVGA is because of the 90day step-up program IF ya might wanna get a 9'series card when they hit the shelves.

    other than that try and go with one that has better cooling than the stock ones as the 8800gt gets real hot. something more like this one:

    because of the cooler makes this one option #1 outside of EVGA's step-up program for gettin your hands on a 9' series.

    my 2 rusty pennies.
  2. There's really no excuse for not buying that MSI card, as far as I can tell, unless you're planning on using something like the 90 day stepup. It's factory overclocked and has a decent cooling solution, and it's the cheapest 8800gt out there, pretty much.
  3. +1 for the MSI 8800GT w/ better cooling and a cheap(er) price
  4. AFAIK, all the 8800GT cards are made by flextronics or Foxconn for NV. The partners just add their cooler, retail bundle and provide the warranty/support. Card bios settings may be different of course. But build Quality really shouldn't be that different.

    edit - + 2 for the MSI Quad pipe.
  5. I have an EVGA card...but I have to tell you. If this MSI card was available when I purchase mine...I would have MSI in my computer right now. That card is sweet. Probably one of the finest 8800 GT's out there.

  6. +3 for the MSI, plus ditto what bobmitch said ^
  7. That card is more expensive in Canada. However, I found both MSI GPU cards to be around the same price, $250-$265. Is it worth the extra $$?

    The other MSI card has the model name, NX8800GT-T2D512E OC. Is it as good? It has a different cooler, though. The red card (NX8800GT) is $250 and that's as cheap as I've found so far. I can't order from newegg since they don't ship to Canada.


    It's intriguing that the MSI cards are that good. Since, they're mostly known as motherboard manufacturers. I just assumed companies like EVGA, XFX, BFG etc. are the top video board companies (and accordingly, I would be hesitant to buying a motherboard from one of themunless convinced otherwise).
  8. You said you don't game much, in which case I can't believe people are saying go with an 8800GT?!?
    If you're not into gaming, something along the 3850 or 8800GS range.
    An 8800GT is going to be overkill if you don't really want it for gaming :)
  9. I suggested a 8800GT since the other cards are either underpowered or not useful if I did try a few games out. Also, for many, the prices are too high compared to the 8800GT (and what you get). The 8600GT/S is only slightly less expensive, for e.g. although I guess some are getting close to the $100 mark?

    The video card has to be Nvidia, too. I use both *Linux* and Windows. ;-)
  10. Sorry for double post. Anybody else have an opinion on this topic? I'm concerned about used video cards. I guess I should be okay in most cases, though? Also, the Geforce 7900 series is reported to have some issues to be aware of. I want the card to be able to do some 3D graphics (Google Earth and others) but also give the option for playing games at acceptable settings (I know a lot of gamers and they're always pushing me....lol).

    I don't want to pay the going prices for these mid-level Nvidia cards but I want the card to be Nvidia since they are still best for using either Linux or Windows (best for if you use both OS's).
  11. I'd avoid the 7900 series now. They are pretty lousy in some of the new big games like crysis, COD4, UT3, etc. Shoot, Even older games like Oblivion and NFS:carbon they don't do that well at. An 8600GTS is better than a 7900GS and about $100 new. Better yet, the 8800GS for $130 AR will spank both of these and almost match a 9600GT. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150275

    edit: AH, bummer I forgot no newegg for you.
  12. or you could go for the new 9600gt cards. sub $200 and a damn good buy. performance is just below the 8800gt models. considering price/performance this should be the perfect card for ya or the ATI HD3870 (the 3870 is just ahead of the 9600gt by a wisker)

    so i'm with pauldh in going for either 9600gt/3870 or 8800gs. good cards at $200 and less!
  13. Hey, I hope no one minds me bumping this thread! I wanted to ask what anyone thinks of this card versus the MSI card:


    Btw, I am asking about the 512MB version of the card, not the 1GB one above. But, the card has the same cooling and most of the same hardware.


    I've been recommended this card if I go for a 8800GT. For price, the 9600GT is probably better for my budget but the 8800GT is only $50-$70 more depending on what I get. I don't upgrade video cards very often so it would probably be *THE* card for a while. In fact, I haven't even bought a brand new video card before! lol! I've used hand-me-downs or used older gen. cards so the 8800GT or 9600GT would be a good current gen. card.
  14. I just got that MSI card, and the video keeps crashing and I'm getting artifacts...
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