Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

PCIe Interface: $90 To $140

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: Jan. '09
By

Best PCIe Card For $95 : Tie

Good 1600x1200 performance in most games; 1920x1200 in most titles with some lowered detail

Radeon HD 3870
Codename: RV670
Process: 55 nm
Universal Shaders: 320
Texture Units: 16
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 775
Memory Speed MHz: 1,125 (2,250 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.0

At $95, the Radeon HD 3870 is an easy recommendation, positioned between the GeForce 8800 GT and the new Radeon HD 4670. It is still a force to be reckoned with at 1600x1200 and even at 1920x1200.

GeForce 9600 GT
Codename: G92
Process: 65 nm
Universal Shaders: 64
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 650
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (1,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

The 9600 GT is a good match for the Radeon 3870 as both are excellent choices at the $95 price point.

Best PCIe Card For $115 : Tie

Good 1600x1200 performance in most games; 1920x1200 in most titles with some lowered detail

Radeon HD 4830
Codename: RV770LE
Process: 55 nm
Universal Shaders: 640
Texture Units: 32
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 575
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (1,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.0
The new Radeon HD 4830 finally gives AMD something to compete against the legendary GeForce 8800 GT (as well as its identical sibling, the 9800 GT). Just as the 8800 GT is a crippled 8800 GTS, the Radeon HD 4830 is a crippled HD 4850. Both cards are excellent, while one winning over the other depends on the game or the image-quality settings.

GeForce 9800 GT (aka 8800 GT 512 MB)
Codename: G92
Process: 65 nm
Universal Shaders: 112
Texture Units: 56
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 600
Memory Speed MHz: 900 (1,800 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10/SM 4.0

While the Radeon HD 4830 offers the 8800/9800 GT its first competition in its price class, the card remains a strong contender and is still a viable option. However, it has been reported that some 9800 GTs have been found in the wild with 3-way SLI support.

React To This Article