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The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: March 2008

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 5, 2008 6:39:50 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/2008/03/05/the_best_gaming_graphics/index.html
March 5, 2008 8:07:25 PM

You've got the 256MB Radeon 3850 in the $170 price segment, and then the 512MB Radeon 3850 in the $160 price segment. Did somebody forget to update last month's list?
March 6, 2008 12:58:17 AM

I have the feeling someone missed two VERY VERY important deals for people on a tight budget...

$150 ($130 AR)

XFX PVT88SFDF4 GeForce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$155 ($135 AR)

EVGA 384-P3-N851-AR GeForce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Which makes the HD 3850 not worth it anymore, especially when just a mere $5-10 over the HD 3850 can get you a 9600GT 512MB (This applies to all HD 3850 on newegg, retail versions that is). I would suggest a little bit of correction in the article if possible, deleting altogether the HD 3850 from it.
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March 6, 2008 3:19:45 PM

Ananan said:
Hmmmm....

8800 GTS 320 beats 9600 GT in CNET's tests and gets rated two slots slower on the table?


http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/asus-en9600-gt/4...



I some games 9600GT is faster than 8800GTS 320, i've got a BFG OC version
Pushed it to 620 Mhz, so i can say it's clock for clock with the 9600 GT, and then my OLD veteran GTS is faster... in Crysis.
Not bad for a 1,5 year technology.

Anyway next vid card will be with min 192 SP - i always double the raw power of my old card.
March 6, 2008 5:14:13 PM

Hmmm all the prices are wrong if this article was basing it on Newegg:
CURRENT average March prices (throwing out highest and lowest):
9600GT ~ $175
HD3850 256MB ~ $165
HD3850 512MB ~ $180
HD3870 512MB ~ $210
March 6, 2008 11:59:05 PM

toms= slipping and bfellow- there are several below 210... lemme link you up...

sapphire basic package
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Apallo comes with cables and after market cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and the best deal out there now w/game/zaleman cooler/cables.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and on a side note, looking at the ENTIRE product. the 3870 is still better choice. Built more around future DX10, smaller process, doesn't consume a lot of power, etc etc. I could go on but I won't. Needless to say I don't think the new 9600gt deserves to be in the same category with the 3870. not to mention the price should drop on it (9600) soon and bring prices down possibly on the 3870 as well. 9600 should be more a main stream product, not so highly priced.

also, yes, they did not mention the 88gs... they also did not mention that some of these cards that "tie" may push some people into having to purchase a new or higher cost PSU... but they never include power consumption in these charts, because only frames per second are important, might be nice to make a note of ACTUAL power consumption somewhere.... but that's fine.. I know what I need/have as well as everyone else should... but isn't the point ease and convenience?
a b U Graphics card
March 7, 2008 1:36:17 AM

Quote:
toms= slipping and bfellow- there are several below 210... lemme link you up...


Guys, we've been through this before, but he makes it pretty clear 1) he doesn't take rebates into account, and 2), this article was written and submitted some time before we get to read it. No one is slipping, prices are always changing and the best card for the money often changes weekly if not daily too. If you know your cards, this article isn't for you. It's to help those who don't know how cards rank find what's best within their budget. It's up to them to search out the current best buy for them based on todays prices and these recommendations and rankings.

I agree with you for the past week or two the 8800GS is a killer deal for the price. Shoot, I have bought 2 of them myself already for the $130 AR price. Even got a free 4GB thumb drive with the first one. And it's great to include these links to spread todays best deals. I just don't like seeing good work get trash talked because better deals come out since the words were written.
a b U Graphics card
March 7, 2008 1:52:59 AM

Ananan said:
Hmmmm....

8800 GTS 320 beats 9600 GT in CNET's tests and gets rated two slots slower on the table?


http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/asus-en9600-gt/4...

Too low res tested in that review to get a good picture. The 320MB GTS tanks as res gets higher, so I'd put the 9600GT and HD3870 ahead of it for sure too.

Look at the 320MB GTS in these reviews. http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_9600...
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=710&p=2

FS has the 9600GT > 320MB GTS in every game, at least by a bit. Huge difference in crysis, but I must say they should not have used high details as none of these cards would handle gaming at those settings if they can't average 30 fps in the GPU benchmark. Not to mention must be Vista DX10 making for such pitiful 12x10 high scores. Anyway, I personally thinks it's safe to say more often than not 9600GT > 8800GTS 320MB.
March 7, 2008 12:46:39 PM

I hate that the in the recommendation for the GTS they still don't talk about the fan. I bought the GTS 512 over the GT almost entirely because the fan is quieter, cooler, and allowed me to overclock. Also, It took up two slots as opposed to one, which might be a downside to some people. I complained about this last month, too.

Why can you not add one sentence to that description?
March 9, 2008 5:27:30 PM

don't you think that its an added cost for the SLI and Xfire configurations the price difference between a SLI or Xfire capable mobo (or other SLI config costs) and the not?! cuz IMO it's cheaper to have a single 3870x2 set-up than a SLI set-up. SLI needs SLI capable mobo, PSU, and RAM's (not to mention Procs and chassis) which is priced more than a normal set-up...
March 23, 2008 6:02:39 PM

I like these articles, they compare most graphics cards you are likely to find, and help finding a product whether you want to spend 300$ or 40$. Sure it's all an approximation, but once you find your card you can always digg up a review and find out that it's loud etc..

I wonder, though, why it includes mobile chipsets but not the intel ones, they seem to be most used (would help in deciding whether to go for dedicated gfx in a notebook).

What I think would be cool would be a little mention to help the people who build HTPCs and silent computers - they want to know which are the most powerful passively cooled solutions, and the most powerful cards that still work with (i.e.) a 300 watt psu. I dare say there might be more people of this category reading this article than the ones sitting on the aging agp bus. In this category might also fall the most powerful low profile card (for htpc people and people who want to upgrade their slim pcs).
March 23, 2008 6:10:12 PM

Thats why they call it THE BEST GAMING GRAPHICS CARD

Although they should do a similar chart for the most silent / feature filled ones too...
March 25, 2008 12:16:29 AM

I'm sure I said this in another post but the 8800GTS 512 has near as damn it the same performance as the 8800GTX (<10%) so why is it one tier down? The GTS 512 also has more than 10% performance increase over the GT.

My opinion is that the 8800 GTS 512, GTX, and the Ultra should be in the same tier.

The 9800 GX2 should be top (Granted this wasn't avaliable when the list was compiled)
March 26, 2008 11:00:34 PM

do you think playing cs with my riva 128 is not GAMING ;-)
April 6, 2008 9:22:17 PM

I've got an interesting problem. My brother wants a new graphics card, but he's in a weird situation. He likes his Opteron, but one of the CPU fans limits the length of his graphics card. He bought an 8800 GTS, but had to send it back because it was too long. His current card is an X800GTO, and he's looking for something around the 8800GTS performance that'll fit in his case. The PCB can't be more than around 7.5 inches long (19 cm approx)

He doesn't mind ordering from newegg. Anyone have any good ideas?
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