Video Cards Price Guide: Demystifying December Edition

It's been a couple weeks since our last guide but fortunately we have a lot to show for it today!

A few days ago, we put out the announcement concerning our QuickSearch RSS Feed. For those of you that don't use Firefox yet, here is another great reason. All of our products are listed in a condensed RSS feed that we update every few minutes with price and shipping information on every product in our database! We are also giving away developer RSS feeds for anyone who would like one as well with custom pricing information.

For those interested in the QuickSearch feed, simply grab a copy of the newest Firefox from Mozilla's website. Next, go into the bookmarks menu and then into the Bookmark Manager. Navigate to "File", then "Add new Live Bookmark". When the window pops up asking for a "Feed Location", you want to put in the address: http://labs.anandtech.com/rss.aspx


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This RSS feed is a bit bigger than most, with several hundred products each having their own entry. However, you can quickly navigate through these links as they are sorted by category (either in the dropdown or the Bookmark Manager).


When we put our RSS feed live, a few readers found the little Easter Egg we left for them (complete access to the Price Guide Backend!). As most people know, we are very proud of our link traffic software that we developed in house to compete with PriceWatch and other engines. Traditionally, the only way to search this engine was via our RealTime Pricing page here on the AnandTech servers. For those of you that like to live on the edge a little, you can also search via the Beta search engine found on labs.anandtech.com.

Simple enter the product you wish to search for, then click on the "Filter" button on the next page. Filtering tells the engine which product you meant to look for exactly. In cases where an exact match was found, the engine brings you to the correct page on its own. Below you can see what the engine returns if we enter the search string "NEC 3500A".


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From here you can see a list of merchant prices we have recorded and a simple plot of prices we have tracked for the product over the last 120 days. In some cases you will see spikes in the plot; these are days where there was usually a deep discount day or a day where a better merchant ran out of stock and the engine was forced to list a higher priced merchant. In any case, enjoy the Beta engine for now, and be prepared for a bigger announcement once we finalize things. We now bring you back to your regularly scheduled Price Guide.

Also, don't forget to check out the AT Staff's Holiday wish list! Each editor has a few picks each week concerning great gift ideas for the holidays.

Introduction

There was so much video news this last week that it's easy to imagine how anyone could get lost in the video card frenzy over the last two weeks. We had five new video card launches from ATI, a few from NVIDIA, someone mentioned the word Volari here or there, and Half Life 2 showed up on our desktops (well - if you didn't get banned from Steam anyway). Here is a quick rundown of what's been going on in the review-space and retail-space over the last few weeks.

  • November 16, GeForce 6600GT AGP Launched (Article)
  • Half Life 2 Launched (Article I, Article II)
  • Mobility Radeon X800 and X300 Launch (Article)
  • GeForce 6600GT AGP starts to hit shelves
  • ATI Launch - Radeon X850, X800 (Article)
  • Radeon X700XT AGP just starts to hit shelves

With all the numerous launches and NDAs, it can be difficult to decide which card makes sense to buy - not just which is the fastest. In fact, our benchmarks show it is very easy to determine the best $600 video card design win. Alas, buying such a video card is kind of a moot point since "video card availability" and "nonexistent" are two common phrases that often end up in the same sentence. Regardless, buying a video card never used to be something that cost a month's paycheck, and it still shouldn't be. The price guides emphasize buying smart, so today we are going to go through a few video card options and do just that.

NVIDIA Video Cards
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  • Staples - Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - link

    There is no midrange that we know in terms of mid range price now days. The midrange costs $250+ now days. Gone are the days where you could get mid range performance for $150. Reply
  • lsman - Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - link

    read x800 will replace x700xt (stop production) Reply
  • Visual - Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - link

    The thing about 6600GTs costing $50 "tommorow"... it can't happen. nVidia will always have the MX cards - the 6600GT will just not be sold "tommorow". Just the same as why you cant get a Radeon9600 for $50 now.

    Your comment that one should "run" to buy a 6600GT because ATI will release a competitor soon... just doesn't make sense, man! If the X800 actually "begin to edge out the 6600GT's advantage" then waiting will get you a better card, or a lower price :p Or I've misunderstood something...

    I'd also like to see you consider the 6800LE cards in your guides... or aren't they available in USA? I know they're supposed to be OEM model only, but they're available in my country already.
    Reply
  • stncttr908 - Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - link

    On the ATI page where it says Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB, the card linked is the Sapphire Atlantis, a 128-bit memory card. This could present quite a few problems to people who think they're finding a 256MB 9800 Pro w/a 256-bit bus on the cheap. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, December 06, 2004 - link

    I like the new setup. For me, it clears up the mid-range section of cards, somehwat. I'd like to see even cheaper cards, as well. I have no idea what the best card uis in the $90 - $120 price range - the NV 5700? Plain ATI 9600?.

    I find it amazing that I bought a GF4 Ti4200 way back for $120, and I still can't purchase much of an upgrade (if at all) for the same price!
    Reply
  • bob661 - Monday, December 06, 2004 - link

    Has anyone OC'd the 6600GT? How high is it OCing? Reply
  • bob661 - Monday, December 06, 2004 - link

    I like the new setup. Plus, when were mainstream cards less than $200? During the TNT2 days? Reply
  • Grettir - Monday, December 06, 2004 - link

    The summary of prices is largely uninteresting. What we (collectively) need is a set of X/Y plots of price/performance so we can tell where the knees are in value for the dollar. With the corpus of data that Anandtech has worked so hard to accumulate, you could provide real value for your viewers by having the instantly updated chart as prices change. Reply
  • Questar - Monday, December 06, 2004 - link

    Kristopher,
    Yes there was a coupon involved, I think it was for 30% off.
    Reply
  • wyrmrider - Monday, December 06, 2004 - link

    my son got an nvidia 6800gt for around 200 + tak at comp usa
    why no 6800 in roundup??

    wyrmrider
    Reply

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