quote:Where are these cards?
quote:With the recent launch of Intel's Core 2 Duo, affordable CPU power isn't much of an object. While the midrange GPUs we will be testing will more than likely be paired with a midrange CPU, we will be testing with high end hardware. Yes, this is a point of much contention, as has always been the case. The arguments on both sides of the aisle have valid points, and there are places for system level reviews and component level reviews. The major factor is that the reviewer and readers must be very careful to understand what the tests are really testing and what the numbers mean.
For this article, one of the major goals is to determine which midrange cards offers the best quality and performance for the money at stock clock speeds at this point in time. If we test with a well aged 2.8GHz Netburst era Celeron CPU, much of our testing would show every card performing the same until games got very graphics limited. Of course, it would be nice to know how a graphics card would perform in a common midrange PC, but this doesn't always help us get to the bottom of the value of a card.
For instance, if we are faced with 2 midrange graphics cards which cost the same and perform nearly the same on a midrange CPU, does it really matter which one we recommend? In our minds, it absolutely does matter. Value doesn't end with what performance the average person will get from the card when they plug it into a system. What if the user wants to upgrade to a faster CPU before the next GPU upgrade? What about reselling the card when it's time to buy something faster? We feel that it is necessary to test with high end platforms in order to offer the most complete analysis of which graphics solutions are actually the best in their class. As this is our goal, our test system reflects the latest in high end performance.
quote:but with the recent price cuts pushing the X1900 GT down to about $230, the added performance gain of the 7900 GT might not be worth the money in this case
quote:But with cards like the 6600 GT, 6800 GT, X800 GTO and X1600 XT, the game would look much better if some settings were turned down in favor of enabling some antialiasing or a higher resolution.