Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Best PCI-E Card For ~$180: Tie

The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: March 2008
By
GeForce 9600 GT 512 MB
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 (1800 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10 / SM 4.0

The new 9600 GT is Nvidia's answer to the Radeon 3800 series: cheap, powerful, and efficient. The 9600 GT usually performs a bit below the 3870 with no antialiasing, and a bit faster than the 3870 when AA is enabled. Both cards are in the $180 range, and both are excellent buys that make sub-$200 high-resolution gaming a reality.

Radeon 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 1125 (2250 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10.1 / SM 4.0

The Radeon 3870 is a lot of card for $180. The 9600 GT has forced 3870 prices down, and if you have $200 to spend on a graphics card, either card offers an incredible gaming experience for the dollars spent.

Best PCI-E Card For ~$230

GeForce 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 (1800 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10 / SM 4.0

The 8800 GT offers incredible Geforce 8800 GTX-class performance at almost half the price. It beats the Radeon 3870 by a notable margin, but it does tend to be a bit more expensive. That said, if you have $230 to spend on a graphics card, you couldn't do better than a nice 8800 GT.

React To This Article