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PCI Express Interface: $350 To $400

Best Video Cards For The Money: August '08
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Best PCI-E Card For $350:

2x Radeon 4850 in Crossfire Configuration
Codename: RV770
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 800
Texture Units: 40
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 625
Memory Speed MHz: 993 (1986 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10.1 / SM 4.0

In the limited 4850 Crossfire benchmarks we’ve seen so far, AMD has really learned to squeeze the performance out of its new cards. While a single Radeon 4850 performs in the same realm as the GeForce 9800 GTX, it looks like two 4850s in Crossfire will completely decimate the dual-GPU GeForce 9800 GX2, and even put the hurt on the powerful new GeForce GTX 280. Remember, the GeForce GTX 280 costs about $80 more than two Radeon 4850 cards!

At this performance level and at this price, we have a hard time recommending anything more expensive than two Radeon 4850s. As more data surfaces as to how the 4870, GTX 260 and GTX 280 perform in multiple card configurations compared to two 4850s in Crossfire, we might add a higher price point to the list. But for now, the power of two 4850’s in Crossfire is our top recommendation for performance.

HONORABLE MENTION: $360

2x GeForce 9800 GTX in SLI Configuration
Codename: G92
Process: 65nm
Universal Shaders: 128
Texture Units: 64
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 675
Memory Speed MHz: 1,100 MHz (2,200 MHz effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10 / SM 4.0

While two Radeon 4850s are really the way to go in terms of price/performance, those of you who have an SLI motherboard will probably find staying with Nvidia’s video cards a cost-effective choice. For you folks, two GeForce 9800 GTX cards are about as good as it gets, offering performance a bit less than two Radeon 4850 cards in Crossfire for only a little more money.

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  • -1 Hide
    middeneast , August 5, 2008 8:18 AM
    The 2x 9800gtx's specs are wrong :)  Accidentally took the same specs as the 4850 in crossfire.

    Not that it matters a lot, but hey :D 
  • 0 Hide
    pulasky , August 5, 2008 8:29 AM
    Quote:
    Be forewarned that it’s been reported that the official AMD drivers don’t work with the AGP version of this card, but that the modified Omega drivers work fine.

    Serious look here http://support.ati.com/ics/support/KBList.asp?folderID=10551
  • 0 Hide
    aleluja , August 5, 2008 8:55 AM
    I wish i could get HD4850 for only 175$.
    It costs 230$ where i live :D  And that is the cheapest Gigabyte model.
    And HD4870 costs 340$.
  • 1 Hide
    otheos , August 5, 2008 9:09 AM
    I think you need to revise the texts on the AGP cards. Both for drivers (as noted above) and a few more clues regarding the performance.
  • 2 Hide
    Transsive , August 5, 2008 9:51 AM
    Would someone fix the table on the last page of this article.
  • -1 Hide
    gridener , August 5, 2008 10:00 AM
    I guess you forgot to mention the 9800GT. Its out for purchase and you can get one for around 140$-160$.
  • 1 Hide
    modtech , August 5, 2008 10:13 AM
    4850 costs $250 here and at that price it's still worth it.
  • 0 Hide
    kitsilencer , August 5, 2008 10:28 AM
    First time in a LONG time that ATI is dominating Tom's recommend list. Good to see.
  • 0 Hide
    tntom , August 5, 2008 1:03 PM
    There is something wrong with the table on the last page
  • 7 Hide
    Ignotus , August 5, 2008 1:05 PM
    THe 9800GT is mentioned... it's the 8800GT. :-D
  • 0 Hide
    hixbot , August 5, 2008 1:13 PM
    Can they take the time to write new paragraphs? Even just to slightly change the wording so we can see that the authors actually give a #$%5.
    Official drivers now work for AGP ATI cards. Get with it.
  • 0 Hide
    nottheking , August 5, 2008 1:19 PM
    Good to see another update; the list needed one. Though there are some comments I have to make... As well, of course, as my slight disappointment that it appears that while still a pinned thread, it appears that the thread in the Graphics & Displays forum is no longer quite connected with the list itself.
  • 0 Hide
    origosis , August 5, 2008 1:20 PM
    hixbotCan they take the time to write new paragraphs? Even just to slightly change the wording so we can see that the authors actually give a #$%5.Official drivers now work for AGP ATI cards. Get with it.

    Alot of Work Goes into Testing the cards ALOT! and besides this is a monthly article that most people will simply flip through to thier price point see what card they need then run to Newegg. So extra work on the article may fall on deaf ears.

    I agree I like to hears each persons opinion on each card, but even I just like to skim this article each month.
  • 0 Hide
    hardwarekid9756 , August 5, 2008 2:12 PM
    It's very pleasant to see Radeon finally get some Face time on the BVCftM charts. It's been a GeForce world for so long, and even if I have dabbled in the dark side, it's always a pleasant relief to see my champion back on the board.
  • 0 Hide
    ahslan , August 5, 2008 2:14 PM
    great work guys! Keep it up!
  • 2 Hide
    gwolfman , August 5, 2008 2:15 PM
    I still think Tom's should recommend single board graphics cards at the higher end even though some crossfire/SLI configurations are better. Some people don't want SLI/CF configurations, power requirements, and some can't run it due to their chipset or limited PCIe slots.
  • 1 Hide
    cleeve , August 5, 2008 2:31 PM
    gwolfmanI still think Tom's should recommend single board graphics cards at the higher end even though some crossfire/SLI configurations are better. Some people don't want SLI/CF configurations, power requirements, and some can't run it due to their chipset or limited PCIe slots.


    I did. The 4870 is in there... that's the best performing single card for the money. The 260 and 280 are overpriced by my reckoning.

    If they lower the price, or the 4870 X2 comes in at a reasonable price, those will be put on the list too.
  • 1 Hide
    gwolfman , August 5, 2008 2:54 PM
    Even if the 280 is overpriced, isn't it still faster than the 4870? It's still good to see the 4870 in there and I'm sure the x2 will make it in somewhere.
  • 2 Hide
    spaztic7 , August 5, 2008 3:25 PM
    I think this review is much, much better than the July. Good stuff and thanks for the disclaimers at the beginning!!!

    Keep up the good work!
  • 0 Hide
    vladsinger , August 5, 2008 3:34 PM
    Ahem - the tables on the last two pages don't seem to be rendering.
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