Wrapping Things Up
If you want the best performance you have to pay for it. On the other hand, it is a good day for those looking for better graphics cards while on a tight budget.
From the benchmark results, the Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Ultimate is a solid performing graphics card, and for around $210, it is a good buy. Graphics cards based on GeForce 7950GT are also a good buy. They are currently selling for $30-$40 more. You can find rebates on both card types, which will pull the cost down some. If you are very conscience with what's in your wallet, these will not steer you amiss.
Author's Final Thoughts
This article was originally supposed to offer a look at a factory overclocked graphics card but it soon turned into what you just read. While it is interesting to see how manufacturers are positioning their products and how far they are willing to warranty overclocked cards, I thought the impact on one's wallet was even more interesting. I had received emails asking where the better performing value cards were. The Radeon X1950 Pro, GeForce 7900GT and 7950GT are all good buys. I wish they were less than $200 but that is what the market is currently dictating for this performance level. If you have other things you would like to see, please feel free to pass your questions and ideas onto us.