LeadTek 6800 and eVGA 6800 Ultra Extreme: New GeForce on the Blockby Derek Wilson on July 9, 2004 1:00 AM EST
- Posted in
Price/Performance AnalysisWe decided not to use the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) in our value calculation because people are buying the cards at market prices, not suggested prices. To answer the question "what card should I buy right now?" we have to evaluate the situation as it stands.
As a reminder, here is the street pricing data that we gathered and estimated (all prices are USD).
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950: $380
NVIDIA GeForce 6800: $300
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT: $410
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra: $540
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme: $600
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro: $180
ATI Radeon 9800 XT: $400
ATI Radeon X800 Pro: $420
ATI Radeon X800 XT: $540
ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition: $600
When applying a graph to some set of data, it becomes more tangible and concrete, almost more "real" in a sense. But prices always fluctuate in the market, drivers come out that change performance, and people attach differing values to certain aspects of a product. The value graphs we have included are only one indicator in a sea of data. But making decisions between cards is difficult in very close race we have, and any indicator we have helps.
Interestingly, the 9700 Pro puts in a strong showing. Of course, in determining what purchase to make, we need to take into account minimum acceptable performance levels as well. The 9700 Pro may be a good value for many games, but it just won't deliver the frame rates in current and future titles, at the resolutions to which people are going to want to push their systems.
If something on the performance level of a 9800 XT or 5950 Ultra is desired, the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 is the way to go, every time. It's cheaper than both previous generation top-of-the-line cards, and offers better consistent performance and scalability than both. Of course, we haven't taken a look at a comparable product from ATI yet, but if it performs on par with the 6800, we'll be in good shape here. We are hearing rumors of an X800 SE part, but we have no confirmation from ATI on this. We will definitely re-evaluate the situation when that card comes to market, but for now we are very impressed with the performance and value of the stock 6800 part.
For higher performance, which is a better value? Should you go with the 6800 GT or X800 Pro? Is it a choice between the 6800 Ultra and X800 XT? Well, the answer is: go with the card that gives you the best value for the games that you like.
If that's too difficult a decision to make, our data shows the 6800 GT to lead the X800 Pro in performance. Maybe the $10 is a factor to you and maybe it isn't, but in this close race, price should definitely be a determining factor.
We can also see the 6800UE leading the X800XTPE most of the time as well. Gamers who choose these very high performing (and priced) cards will likely place less value on "value" than on how well the card does under on particular game. In those cases, check the performance graph for the game of choice and go for it.