Price Guide, November 2005: Video Cards

by Haider Farhan on 11/13/2005 12:24 AM EST
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  • jcsamp - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    <$50: Crap.
    $50-$100: Almost acceptable
    $100-$150: Mainstream
    $150-$250: High-end
    $250-$350: Too expensive
    >$350: I'd rather buy an Xbox 360

    Unfortunately the only place where the big 2 seem to agree with me are in the lowest price brackets. More unfortunately, most users don't agree with me either and think it is just fine to go out and plop down $350 for a video card, regardless of how great it is, thus validating the card companies' outlandish prices. Stop buying those expensive cards so I can actually afford one :)
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Most consumers are sheep and the companies are marketing to them at full tilt.

    If they want to be fiscally foolish that's their problem. I'll stay satisfied with my 17" LCD and gaming at 1024x while they put themselves into debt trying to maintain solid fps at 1600x with decent looking graphical settings.

    I'm not going to give in to a retarded price model offered because others are willing to take whatever is put out for them the moment it's put there without the patience to wait for the items to drop down to a reasonable price like an educated consumer would.

    If no one bought cards at outrageous prices the providers wouldn't be able to offer them at that pricing because they would be wasting their time. They instead would have to offer them starting at a more reasonable price to get the same sales volume they can currently get at rip-off prices.

    So the people to really be sarcastically thanking or to be disappointed in are the ones buying cards at those prices without a care for rationality.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Considering the "mid-range" graphic options can barely power 1024x with decent graphical settings in the latest games, this market is truly jacked up as far as pricing goes. Reply
  • jcsamp - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    The guide seems to skip straight from 6600GT/X700 to 6200TC/X300, leaving out all those cards in between. Specifically I would have liked to see some pricing on those updated cards like the 6600 DDR2. I know there's not many producers (XFX is the only one that comes to mind), and even fewer vendors right now, but I would have liked to see some pricing data on these cards as well, since the MSRP is so low, and the performance is almost at the 6600GT level. Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    I'm not sure ~$350.00 X1800XL and 7800GT cards qualify as Ultra High-End cards in the same category with $500-and-up XT and GTX cards. Particularly when there are cards in the 'regular' high-end costing far more. Those XL and GT cards are pretty mainstream high-end I think.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Most readers would put the $350 and up price as high end, but we're also considering performance. The X1800XL and 7800GT are quite a bit faster than the best "high end" cards. We also make it pretty clear that spending $250 to $300 right now is probably not a great idea, due to the better deals in the mid-range and ultra-range cards. (See bold text at the bottom of page 2.) Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Something I've been thinking of asking the reviewers here is whether they could do a plot of price vs. performance (measured in 3Dmark05's or various things), for each of the graphics cards in ATI and NVidia's ranges. I imagine it would end up looking a bit like a "battlefield" with red and green each trying to get below each others price/performance curve. It would also make it visually really easy to see what card is where. Just a thought, anyway. I think it would be a cool thing. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    I think that would be a good idea as it would show at which point across the performance spectrum you get the best value. In other words, where you start paying a lot more for relatively small returns, and also how the low-end and mid-range value-for-money compares.

    I wouldn;t use 3DMark05 though; instead a weighted-average of actual game results, though with a proper selection of games and not the FPS only games that AT uses.
    Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Actually I was thinking just display several graphs - perhaps not as elegant, but at least it would show that which card is best depends on what you use it for. Reply
  • mjh - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    I have noticed that heat isn't an issue with the unlocked Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO2 card. Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Yea I've been wondering that too. X850XT PE (Mine OCs to PE speeds) has a two slot cooler I think, so runing at those speeds while still stable, might not be too good for the card in the long run. X800XL runing at 400/500, which is about the same as X800GTO2 at default, however still has the normal cooler, buuuuut it may be a different core made with a process, 0.11 u I think, so the question still remains??? Mine gets quite hot after a few hours of CS:S. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 60-70 C (hard to judge from the graph). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    X800XL uses .11 micron, but without the low-k dielectric material of the .13 micron process. In the end, it appears that the X850 and even X800XT cores are able to clock higher than the X800XL. GTO cores can be R423 or R428 I think, so you could end up with a card capable of X800XT performance or one capable of X850XTPE performance depending on luck of the draw. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    R428 should be "R480", of course. :) Reply
  • lexmark - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Is heat an issue with unlocked cards? Reply
  • Madellga - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Please be aware that this GTO is based on the X800, not X850 family.

    It is also easy to unlock the 16p and I could reach 560GPU/580 with stock cooler.
    Awesome, very good bang for the buck.

    The X850XT mod is for the Sapphire GTO2 only. At the end it doesn't really matter which one you get, as the difference in clock is minimal and they will benchmark very close to each other.
    Reply
  • toyota - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    "You'll find the newly released GeForce 6200 GS cards in stock at a few vendors." is that supposed to be 6800 GS? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Yes - fixed. Reply
  • DrZoidberg - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Wow, is this even better deal than unlocked GTO2? Connect3D Radeon X800XL 256MB for $130.00 after rebate. Nice!! Too bad im in Australia. Anyone can sell it to me on ebay? :) Reply
  • DrZoidberg - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    actually just read the fineprint. Notice: Purchase of an additional CrossFire Edition Graphics Card is required in order to qualify for $100 rebate.

    So its 229 + 129=358 for 2 x800xl. And then i have to buy a crossfire motherboard for this to work? Maybe anandtech can mention the fineprint cause its a bit misleading in the price guide to not mention u have to purchase a 2nd x800xl to qualify.
    Reply
  • rrcn - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Updated. :-) Reply

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