ATI Graphics Buyer's Guide Spring 2006, Part 1

Introduction, Continued

NVIDIA's product line is also enjoying a few updates. The new arrivals are the GeForce 6800 GS, the 7800 GT with 512 MB of VRAM, and finally the GeForce 7600 and 7900 cards. While the 6800 GS is basically a replacement for the 6800 Ultra, the 7800 GT receives a performance boost in the form of a memory increase to 512 MB. Gainward makes excellent use of the GeForce chips' 3D performance potential in their Golden Sample line of cards, which run at higher speeds right from the start.

Another highlight of the year 2006 with regard to graphics cards is certainly the resurgence of products for the AGP interface. Despite all predictions to the contrary, the two key players in the graphics market have decided to show mercy on those with older systems by once again supplying AGP parts based on current chips. The Radeon X1600 Pro and the GeForce 7800 GS, for example, are very solid 3D upgrades that can provide a nice performance boost in newer games.

We have divided the field of 27 candidates into three articles of nine cards each. This article represents the first part and thus covers the first nine cards. The benchmark results and feature tables will be supplemented with each new part of this guide, meaning you will be able to compare all 27 cards with one another when the third article goes live. Here is the list of cards that we will cover in the upcoming parts 2 and 3 of the buyer's guide:

Outlook Part 2

  • Gainward Golden Sample BLISS 7800 GT PCX
  • HIS Radeon X1800 XL
  • HIS Radeon X1900 XTX
  • Powercolor Radeon X1600 XT
  • Sapphire Radeon X1300 Pro
  • Sapphire Radeon X1800 XT OC
  • Sapphire Radeon X1900 XTX
  • Xpert Vision Radeon X1600 Pro Golden

Outlook Part 3

  • Gainward Golden Sample BLISS 7600 GT PCX
  • Gainward BLISS 7900 GTX PCX
  • Gainward BLISS 7900 GT PCX
  • Asus EAX X1600 XT Silent
  • Gecube Radeon X1800 GTO
  • MSI RX1900 XTX-VT2D512E
  • Powercolor Radeon X1300 Hypermemory 2
  • Sapphire Radeon X1600 XT
  • Sapphire Radeon X1800 XL