Hi, I'm new to the site and I'm thinking about upgrading my GPU and CPU for gaming. I'm kind of a noob when it comes to this stuff so I am hoping you guys can help me rank these graphics cards based on performance.
I have read The Short List BTW, I'm more interested in how these cards compare to each other based on performance, without price included.
Just going off of Tom's monthly graphics card tier list, I'd rank them like this:
The 8800GT and the 9800GT are the exact same card if I've read correctly. It's part of Nvidia's confusing naming scheme. The 3870 and 9600GT trade blows depending on the game/benchmark, but the 4850 is above all listed. Someone correct me if I'm wrong?
4850 is definitely your best bet if you're considering it. Great card. For modern gaming, I would definitely suggest this card. The others, 8800/9800GT and 9600GT are adequate, but will need replaced soon(er).
Prices will continually drift downward. If you're happy to wait, then do so. Competition does drag down the prices, so during periods when a lot of new cards are introduced, prices tend to drop faster.
What new cards? Nvidia is considering naming current G92 parts (9800GT/GTX, etc) with "new" GTX names. The GTX150 is rumored to be the 8800GT/9800GT. I don't check the rumor mill sites that often, but I haven't heard of any new lower end GTX parts. Prices will fall as AMD releases new cards and Nvidia adjusts their prices to compensate. I don't think anything new from AMD is coming soon, so you might as well buy now and enjoy the Christmas sales.