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Best PCI-E Card For ~$550

The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: April 2007
GeForce 8800 GTX
Codename: G80
Process: 90 nm
Universal Shaders: 128
Texture Units: 64
ROPs: 24
Memory Bus: 384-bit
Core Speed (MHz): 575
Memory Speed (MHz): 900 (1800 effective)

The fastest graphics card in the world - that's exactly what the GeForce 8800 GTX is. It's also the most expensive, but it's no surprise that ultimate performance comes with a price, is it?

In all honesty, the $250 cheaper 8800 GTS 320mb would probably serve anyone well. Still, if you've got money to burn, and you will only settle for the best of the best, this is the card for you.

AGP Interface

Best AGP Card For Under $100

GeForce 6600 GT
Codename: NV43
Process: 100 nm
Pixel Shaders: 8
Vertex Shaders: 3
Texture Units: 8
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed (MHz): 500
Memory Speed (MHz): 450 (900 effective)

The eight-pipeline 6600 architecture has proven itself in the GeForce 6600 GT. This card has finally breached the $100 mark, and is a great option for AGP. Be wary of the 6600 and 6600LE, which are not nearly as fast as the GT version of the card.

Best AGP Card For ~$120: Tie

Radeon X1650 PRO (GDDR3)
Codename: R530
Process: 80 and 90 nm
Pixel Shaders: 12
Vertex Shaders: 5
Texture Units: 4
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed (MHz): 600
Memory Speed (MHz): 700 (1400 effective)

The X1650 PRO is a re-dressed X1600 XT with slightly higher clock speeds. The very high-speed memory for its class, combined with efficient shaders, help the X1650 PRO compare well to the 12-pipeline 7600 GS, beating it by a small margin in most benchmarks.

Just make sure you find the GDDR3 version! The DDR2 version of the card has much slower memory, and consequently does not perform as well.

GeForce 7600 GS
Codename: G73
Process: 90 nm
Pixel Shaders: 12
Vertex Shaders: 5
Texture Units: 12
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed (MHz): 400
Memory Speed (MHz): 400 (800 effective)

With identical features to its faster 7600 GT brethren, the 7600 GS lacks only the core and memory clock speeds - however, the GT's clock speeds are so high that the GS pales by comparison. Nevertheless, the 7600 GS is a good performer in this AGP segment.

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