I have both that XFX and the evga superclock 8800GS. Not only is the evga much faster due to higher clock speeds, it has a quieter cooler with a variable speed fan. The XFX is not bad, but with it's slow mem clocks( and slow chips that I doubt will overclcok anywhere near the speeds of the evga), and that 2 pin fan, I would say the evga is easily worth the extra money. I made a harness and use a zalman fanmate with the XFX to quiet the fan down.
The Asus on the other hand, I can not vouch for personally. Price is worth looking into compared to the evga. It has a decent enough looking cooler, BUT it's still a 2 pin fan so it's not variable speed. I'd check and see if you can find user ratings or a review of it if noise is a concern. Also, I do not know the mem chips it uses, to know if it is at or above rated spec already, or if they are faster chips with room to OC to evga SC speeds.
He is in Canada so I think the 8800GT is $130+. And the 9600GT costs about the same and only trades blows with that evga SC, probably beating it with fsaa but losing without fsaa. In the States you could get an 8800GS for $70 shipped AR. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hm that's a lot of good info, thanks a bunch. And yes it sucks that no newegg in canada yet . Right now it's down to either the EVGA Superclocked or the Asus 9600GSO. From googling it seems normally 9600GSOs come with dual slot cooling, whereas the asus does not so that might be a minus. But $87 seems like a pretty good deal for a card of that calibur in canada.
I guess it all comes down to how long they're gonna last and how good the asus warranty is (says 3 years online, EVGA is lifetime no?).
The 9600GSO liek the 8800GS, seems to not have a reference cooler. Each brand seems to stick a different one on them.
I really don't think 3 year vs lifetime is a big deal. If priced the same, sure grab the lifetime. And honestly, if price is about the same and there is no special game bundle to sway me, I would always go EVGA. But it surely is not worth 30% more money, and all it takes is a more attractive game bundle and I swap to another brand. (XFX had COD4 recently for example)
I really don't think 3 year vs lifetime is a big deal.
That depends on how long you keep your hardware. For example I still have a X1900XTX on one of my rigs. But my main rig has a 8800GTX, and my every day working PC [for office/web,etc)(see sig) had a 8400GS.
I agree with you and also tend to keep hardware a long, long time, until retired or given away someday. I just had an arctic cooled 9800 pro die last week in one of my kids systems. In it's place went my old 9500 pro that was packed away back in the retail box. But would I have paid $30 extra for a lifetime warranty on it over ATI's 3 year? Nope, although maybe they'd give me something better for it if I could have returned it.
But, rarely does that old a card get daily use like mine and seem to die; 3 years is pretty good and most people do want a new card by then.