Price Guides October 2003: Video Cardsby Kristopher Kubicki and Howard Johnson on October 18, 2003 9:17 PM EST
- Posted in
The good news is if you want a high end card you don’t have to spend $300 to get it. Usually, the Radeon 9700 Pro cards retail for about $250, putting them halfway between ATI’s most aggressive midrange card, and the ultra high end 9800 Pro. Aggressive midrange card, you say? As you might know, ATI unveiled the 9600 XT of course. (There is no particular reason why we keep linking to the Unreal2K3 benchmark, it just happens to have all the cards we keep talking about). ATI is starting to take preorders on the 9600 XT for $199 on their website, but we digress. Edit: Several readers have pointed out to me that the 9600 XT will be shipping with the single player version of Half Life 2. Naturally, if you were going to buy Half Life 2 anyway, you save yourself about $30 bucks or so by going with the XT card.
Derek and Anand trumped ATI’s 9600 XT the midrange champion, but as most of us conscious shoppers know, price can be a larger deciding factor than performance. Gigacube and Sapphire both market 9600 Pro cards for $50 less than the XT. It all depends if your $50 (25% percent of the cost) is worth 4 FPS in UT2K3 (13% percent performance). Nay, $150 is the right price for a midrange video card. However, in 8-10 weeks it sounds very plausible that the 9600 XT could fall to that magic $150 level.