Mid-Range Graphics

A few months ago we could safely say that ATI had almost nothing competitive to offer in the $100-$200 video card segment. In our last guide we saw the X800 starting to hit the streets in numbers. This week ATI brings us even more quality mid-range solutions: the X800 GT, X800GTO and X800GTO squared (GTO2).

With 8 pixel pipelines, the X800GT is positioned between the X700 and X800 in ATI's model hierarchy (although it usually performs about the same as an X800!). The X800GTO features a 12-pipe version of the R420, R423, or R480 core depending on the card vendor.

However, our pick for this week will definitely be for the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 256MB [RTPE: 100130]. This card features the R480 core with all 16 pixel pipes enabled for a price of around $220! These cards overclock very well, but since ATI sold the cores as excess inventory, they can't be labeled what they really are, X850 parts. Update: Some cards have 16 pipes enabled, some have 12. All unlock to 16 with a very simple BIOS flash.

With the launch of the 7800GT, the plain 6800 series cards are dropping to around $200 as well. Choosing between the 6600GT and 6800 can be difficult. The main difference is that the 6800 features a 256-bit memory interface. However, manufacturers of the 6800s are using slower memory in their PCIe adaptations of the cards than in the AGP versions. The XFX 6800 remains a good value for AGP users at $150 after mail in rebate [RTPE: XFX 6800 AGP].

On the 6600GT front you can see that prices haven't really moved much over the last month. These cards have been flying off the shelves and thus come into lower supply then usual so expect prices to actually increaseover the next few months. The X800GTO and GTO2 are great alternatives to the 6600GT.

Also, we've gotten word from manufacturers that the GeForce 6600GT and FX5200 components are in allocation right now. Due to their popularity, NVIDIA has slightly limited the number of chips per manufacturer. As a result, 6600GT prices aren't really expected to change much through December.

For the lower end of the mid-range products the ATI X700 remains a good bargain cards under $120. The Connect3D Radeon X700 Pro 256MB [RTPE: Connect3D X700 Pro] is still the best X700 bargain this week even though prices have risen a few dollars.

High End Graphics The Low End
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  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, October 04, 2005 - link

    quote:

    With the launch of the 7800GT, the plain 6800 series cards are dropping to around $200 as well. Choosing between the 6600GT and 6800 can be difficult. The main difference is that the 6800 features a 256-bit memory interface.


    And the fact that the 6800 has twelve pipelines and the 6600GT has only eight isn't a main difference?
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 03, 2005 - link

    quote:

    This card features the R480 core with all 16 pixel pipes enabled for a price of around $220!


    That's better than spending $30 more and getting an X800XL how exactly?
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, October 03, 2005 - link

    *Is the R480 core in any way better than the core of the X800XL?
    *What is the difference in RAM latency and clock between this card and an ATI X800XL?
    *Are you really getting 95% of the performance of an X800XL for only $30 less, or are you better off paying the extra $30 to get the X800XL?
    Reply
  • zemane - Sunday, October 02, 2005 - link

    On page 1, the RTPE link for LeadTek GeForce 7800GTX 256MB takes to eVGA GeForce 7800GT 256MB, instead. Reply
  • islandtechengineers - Sunday, October 02, 2005 - link

    im not making millions yet.... i feel like every 3 months i'll have to dish out around 500 for a newer card.... $2000 a year in video cards anyone? Reply
  • qquizz - Sunday, October 02, 2005 - link

    lol, write it off as a business expense! Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Sunday, October 02, 2005 - link

    $2000 a year in video cards = you need a money management class :P or enroll at a gamer rehabilitation center. haha

    Lets see:
    Geforce4 Ti4600 = $300.........2002
    Radeon 9800PRO AIW = $250......2004
    Radeon X800XL = $350...........2005

    So $900 over 4 years = $225/yr on video cards.... Looks like I need to kick it up a notch :)
    Reply
  • xsilver - Monday, October 03, 2005 - link

    i think he's refferring to if you made the huge mistake of:
    6800gt ultra AGP
    6800gt ultra SLI PCI-E
    7800gtx SLI
    all in close to 12 months

    actually I think thats more than $2k there

    and if you were really stupid, you could have bought yourself 2x 6600gt's too when the first 6800ultras were in very low supply (just to try out SLI, why? i dont know) -- there are people on the forums that have done this...
    Reply
  • SuperFubario - Sunday, October 02, 2005 - link

    My 7800Gt is coming tuesday....upgrading from a 4400TI. Like day and night boyyyy! Good time to pick one up as the price is just falling. Reply
  • Brian23 - Sunday, October 02, 2005 - link

    I could use a new card. Still running my GeForce 3 Ti450. However, with new cards just around the corner, I'm going to wait until spring semmester is over and just upgrade the whole PC instead. I'll get an X2, 19" LCD, fast PCIe card... I cant wait! Reply

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