Detailed graphics card specifications and reviews are great - that is, if you have the time to do the research. But at the end of the day, what a gamer needs is the best graphics card available within a certain budget.
So if you don't have the time to research the benchmarks, or if you don't feel confident enough in your ability to make the right decision, fear not. We at Tom's Hardware Guide have come to your aid with a simple list of the best gaming cards offered for the money Compare Prices on 2600 XT Video Cards.
August Review And September Updates
September is rumored to see the release of the AGP interface's first DirectX 10 offerings, the Radeon 2400 and 2600. ATI's partners have shown demo AGP cards at shows. There are also rumors of Nvidia's midrange 8500 and 8600 making a showing in the AGP interface as well, although I'm not aware of any companies showing demo cards of these models.
The other rumor we've heard is that ATI plans to release a cut-down and cheaper version of the Radeon 2900 XT to do battle with the GeForce 8800 GTS 320mb, which now rules the sub-$300 price point. With no official release from the company however, we doubt it's going to happen within the next month or so.
While rumors of upcoming cards abound, August offered no new choices to graphics card buyers, only slightly shifting prices.
For example, the X1950 XT got more expensive with the cheapest models moving to the $200 price point. This is unwelcome news, as the X1950 XT could formerly be found as low as $160. However, the X1950 XT is still a great card for the price.
On the positive side of things, the prices of the 7900 GS seem to have lowered to the level of the X1950 PRO again, meriting both cards' inclusion in the $125 price category.
Other than pricing, there is a bit of good news on the driver front as Nvidia has released a beta driver that allows their 8500/8600 series cards to accelerate high-definition graphics on Windows XP. Previously, the 8500/8600 series cards were only capable of this functionality on Windows Vista
The Best Gaming Graphics Cards For The Money
A few simple guidelines to keep in mind when reading this list include:
- This list is for gamers who want to get the most for their money. If you don't play games, the cards in this list are more expensive than what you need to pay for;
- Prices and availability change on a daily basis. We can't offer up-to-the-minute accurate pricing info., but we can list some good cards that you probably won't regret buying at the price ranges we suggest;
- The list is based on some of the best U.S. prices from online retailers. In other countries or retail, your mileage will most certainly vary;
- These are new card prices. No used or open box cards are in the list; they might be a good deal, but it's out of the scope of what we're trying to do.
Check the The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money Series Overview for more articles in this series.