THG's Xmas 2002 Holiday Buyer's Guide

Graphics Cards And Sound Cards

ASUS V8440 GeForce 4 Ti4400 Graphics Card

Making Themselves Heard: 11 GeForce4 Ti4400 and Ti4600 Cards

The Asus V8440 Ti4400 is a good choice for a GeForce 4400 card, but of course there are other cards that might be cheaper and worth checking out.

The Ti4400 series cards are the cheapest of all of the cards that we consider to be a solid investment at the moment. Although they are a little slower in terms of performance wise than the Ti4600 cards, they do cost less than $200 in most places. We like the Asus V8440 as it provides a good balance of quality and value for the money. The Gainward GeForce 4 cards also offer good value for the money and are quite popular, too.

Radeon 9700 Pro Graphics Card

ATI Increases Its Lead: The New Radeon 9700, 9500 PRO and 9500

Well, NV30 is no where in sight and although we got a pretty good preview of the technology, this holiday season belongs to ATI. If you want the ultimate in graphics performance this holiday season, it will be the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro.

Our graphics guru Lars Weinand is known to be tough on every graphics card that he reviews. With the introduction of the Radeon 9700 Pro, he said "ATi has earned itself not only the performance crown in gaming environments, but also that of the technology leader!"

With a price tag of $399, the 9700 Pro isn't cheap, but it is built for the future with full DX9 support. A spot-check of the current pricing reveals that you can have one of the third-party Radeon 9700 Pro cards for as little as $340, which is a bit less than the full list price.

Still this makes an excellent gift for the hardcore gamer, but if they don't have a machine to take advantage of the power that the 9700 Pro has to offer, you might be better off considering the 4600ti or 4400ti - from a variety of NVIDIA partners - which are less expensive, but don't offer the performance that the 9700 Pro. If you want the best this holiday season, than this is it. And don't be afraid of looking at the third-party 9700 Pro solutions - all of the models that Lars has looked at so far don't stray from the 9700 Pro reference design.

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