Price Guides, February 2005: Video Cardsby Kristopher Kubicki on February 19, 2005 12:05 AM EST
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AGP High EndUnfortunately, even though we now have many options on the PCIe platform, current generation Radeons still have a few weeks before they begin to saturate the AGP market. Thus, X800 Pros slated for gradual replacement by the X800XLs are still way overpriced. The lowest prices on Radeon X800 Pro remained in the high $300s [RTPE: Radeon X800 Pro AGP], while the extremely prolific AGP GeForce 6800GTs continued to mop up the realistic high end AGP market with cards as low as $340 [RTPE: GeForce 6800GT AGP]. It's been a while since we looked at AGP 6800GT cards, and drivers have changed quite a bit since then. We did recently look at the PCIe counterpart in our X800XL preview and in our original X850 launch coverage.
However, the real nail on the coffin for the X800 Pro are the benchmarks that we posted back in November detailing the GeForce 6600GT. There's no mistake about it, the GeForce 6800GT is the best performer in the high end AGP sector, and the only way that that will possibly change is if the Radeon X800XL can beat it in price in the next couple weeks.
PNY surprised us this week with a GeForce 6800GT [RTPE: VCG6800GAPB] priced considerably lower than anyone else on the market.
Save the few availability hiccups here and there, this card has certainly been on the move. PNY and eVGA almost always dictate the bottom line for retail NVIDIA video cards, so don't be surprised if most of the other GPU-only NVIDIA merchants start dipping in price as well in the next couple of weeks.
The X800 Pro moved very slightly over the last month, particularly the Sapphire X800 Pro [RTPE: Sapphire Radeon X800 Pro 256MB AGP]. Given the fact that the X800 XL is expected to stabilize at the $299 price point, we would have to expect the X800 Pro to fall at least to that level or lower before it gets phased out. Unlike NVIDIA video cards, ATI video cards have fallen historically in price before hitting complete EOL; although, with the recent paper launches, we would be open to the thought that ATI has changed their marketing strategies a bit in the last few months. A $250 Radeon X800 Pro would be an outstanding buy, but we wouldn't be surprised if ATI simply pulls the cards out of availability before they get anywhere near the $300 price point.