Summer 2006 GeForce 7 Graphics Gear


After looking at the features and performance, what card should you choose? This is where consumers see the price and either give out a sign of relief or gasp with sticker shock. The gaming experience has many levels, but it is the price tag - like with many other things-that ultimately counts.. If you want the best experience you need to be willing to shell out cash for it.

The GeForce 7600GT can be had for as little as $150 and as much as $185, depending on the make and model. The XFX GeForce 7600GT we reviewed retails for about $175. This is clearly a midrange value card. Those looking to do some gaming on a limited budget can find excellent value in the GeForce 7600GT.

The GeForce models 7800GT and 7800GTX are being phased out, and replaced by the 7900 series cards. A 7800GT can be purchased for about $330 to $360. The 7800GTX models are about $380 to $500. If you seek a solid performer without the added cost, the 7800GT is the card for you - as long as you find a good deal.

Before you break open you wallet for the 7800GT, the GeForce 7900GT might be an even better buy. The move to the 90 nm process and the redesigned core allow you to pick one up for as little as $270, leaving many 7800 cards overpriced-and the performance results show this.

If you desire serious caliber performance without astronomical price tags, then the PNY Verto GeForce 7900GTX will do you best. At $435 - $445 you can grab a special edition card with a free flash drive and tool kit. Moving to the realm of the elite, the GeForce 7950GX2 is just that: elitist. For about $550 you can purchase SLI on a stick. If you are so adventurous, you can purchase two and wait for the drivers to enable Quad SLI, but that will set you back by $1,100. The performance is there and the status you will gain from it with your hardware loving friends might be worth it, though.

That said, our sweet spot for the Nvidia GeForce 7 series is the 7900GT. It gives the best overall experience for enthusiast gamers at the lowest relative cost. Many people think of Vista and DirectX 10 now, but The best gaming you will have for the time being is with the cards that are on the market now. If you are sitting on the fence you should not only consider what you are saving by waiting for the next great card, but also the cost of missing out on what you could experience now.

Join our discussion on this topic