Introduction

Welcome back to another edition of the Price Guides.  This week, we have in-depth coverage of current generation video cards from ATI and NVIDIA.  As another reminder, the RealTime Price Guides is leaving the beta testing phase, and moving into production real soon!  We just implemented a little stronger Boolean logic in the search, so as of today, you can actually search with "NOT" clauses by prefixing a "-" to your search string.  For example, to search for all AMD products excluding Semprons, the search string would be "amd - Sempron". Please send us your comments and suggestions on how we can improve our engine.  Of course, you can always view the existing release of the engine here.  Furthermore, you can view the still beta QuickSearch RSS feed forum thread here.

Although we were promised competitive high end video cards from ATI almost three months ago, it looks like you can finally whet your appetite for the excessive (if your computer supports PCIe, that is). Unfortunately, even though we have availability on ATI video cards, price predictions are off almost by $100 and the new Radeons that were supposed to replace the X800 Pro and X800XT are not even close to competitive in price yet.  We will get into more detail concerning that in the ATI High End section.

On the low end of things, NVIDIA's TurboCache cards are in stores now in regular volume, so those of you who are just dying to try cards from last year's TurboCache launch will still have a chance.

PCIe High End Range
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  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    It's been a week now, is Wes going to let us know what issues he found with the nForce4 boards? Reply
  • rastamanphan - Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - link

    Where are the AGP ATI cards on the highend card pricelist? Reply
  • Bobby Peru - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    crucibelle, the x700 pro is not PCI-E it is AGP bus.

    they are saying, for PCI-E use x700 pro or Leadtek
    6600GT PCI-E. For AGP use XFX 6600GT. Only newer
    motherboards have PCI-E.

    I guess if nobody else is having heat problems that
    guy at pricegrabber installed his heatsink wrong.
    Reply
  • donxvi - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    XFX claims the new heatsink is 20 degrees COOLER than the old, reference design. Reply
  • fargazer - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    I have been considering a Linux desktop for a while now, and one thing I could use from a video card roundup is how well the various cards perform under Linux. Any chance of that being covered, either in a general pricing guide for video cards, or in a separate article? Reply
  • crucibelle - Monday, February 21, 2005 - link

    Kristopher,

    I was wondering if you could tell me why the 6600GT was previously recommended as the best mid-range PCI-E card (midrange buyer's guide), but now it's the x700 pro that is recommended. Why did you all change your minds? Thanks!
    Reply
  • Bobby Peru - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    This raises the general issue of possible differences between "review" pre-production boards and actual production boards. It may be asking a lot but it would be interesting if review sites were able to just buy boards at retail rather than having special boards sent to them by the manufacturer. I need to find some explanation of reading the writing on the memory chips to determine their speed. I will say that at least review sites do generally post detailed photos of the boards. I can believe that if a manufacturer wanted to shave costs before doing a production run that the memory and the heatsink would be obvious places to start. At this point I would simply ask people what their heat sinks look like, what their memory chips say, and if their board looks like the review board photos. For all we know the other review is from some agent provacateur troll. The last sentence is a typo, 1.6ns is preferable to 2.0. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    Bobby Peru: I have one of these cards and I have not noticed the thermal throttling mentioned in the price grabber "review". I cannot disrepute the 2.0ns memory, but as for gettings speeds lower than a 5950: that seems like a complete farce.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Bobby Peru - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    I wonder if AnandTech or someone who bought this card recently could comment on this review from pricegrabber...

    "I purchased this card after reading many many reviews of the GF 6600GT series of cards, especially the XFX version of this card. Needless to say I am quite disappointed with what I received.

    XFX has changed their production process for their 6600GT series of cards. No longer will you get 1.6ns memory, they are now including 2.0ns. Which by itself it not necessarily bad, but every review currently out there was done with the 1.6ns memory. You will not be able to get the same results that the reviewers have gotten in the past.

    The worst part of the changes XFX made with this card was the heat sink and cooler. The cooler they are now shipping on the card is a small underpowered piece of crap, not the nVidia standard 6600GT cooler.

    I removed the cooler, cleaner all surfaces with 100% Isopropyl Alcohol then re-installed it with Artic Silver 5. The result: the GPU runs at 55c even at IDLE with no overclocking. Under full load it hits 80c+. This cooler sucks.

    I can’t play Half-Life without choppiness as the card is throttling down because of excess heat. In 3DMark 2003, this card gets a lower score than my FX5950. Again because of heat related throttling.

    If you buy this card plan on buying a third party cooler as well. Or make sure you get an older version of the card that has the standard nVidia heat sink and fan. That way you can get the 2.0ns memory as well.
    Reply
  • glennpratt - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    AGP != PCI-E Reply

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