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Sub $200 PCI Express Graphics Card Showdown

Sub $200 PCI Express Graphics Card Showdown
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The three musketeers...

When it comes to 3D graphics accelerators, there is a widely-accepted "sweet spot" where price and performance meet: about $200. This market position probably got its start with the original GeForce2 MX, the first "budget" card to not be embarrassed by the high-end card of its day, the GeForce2 GS. Since that time, the "powerhouse for the masses" tradition has been carried on by many notable cards, like the GeForce 4Ti 4200, the Radeon 9500 PRO, and the GeForce 6600 GT.

One of the latest cards to be added to this list of distinction is the Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT. Upon its release, it simply embarrassed its intended competition, the ATI Radeon X1600 XT. The 7600 GT remained relatively unchallenged until two things happened: ATI released the Radeon X1800 GTO, and slashed the price of the Radeon X850 XT.

Now that all three of these contenders are below the magic $200 mark, discussion forums are filled with talk about which is the best. So we decided to pit them head to head, and really push them to their limits with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting, and high resolutions. The goal, of course - to see which card is the victor.

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