We would like to welcome you to another edition of our video card price guide. With the holiday season approaching quickly around the corner, there are a few new options for this week as well as some significant price reductions.

You'll find the newly released GeForce 6800 GS cards in stock at a few vendors. Also, the new high-end X1800XT series was recently released since our last price guide. The new GeForce 7800 series is something we suggest you take a look into if you have the money to splurge for ultra high-end graphics. And like always, SLI is something we do not recommend you invest your hard earned cash into.

Be sure to check out our RTPE system at http://labs.anandtech.com. Surely a valuable source for all your computer hardware buying needs!

Ultra High End Graphics

Now these cards are not something we would recommend you purchasing, but if you're the type who wants the "latest and greatest" hardware, then these ultra high-end graphics cards are for you. Bringing you the best performance possible yet, these cards would be sure to amaze you. But at these outrageous prices, we'll pass.

We're not noticing many significant price reductions this week with the GeForce 7800GTX cards. If anything, many of the cards are going up in price. Leading the pack this week is the XFX 7800GTX 256MB [RTPE: PV-T70F-UNF] at $457.00 shipped. Nothing spectacular, but this card went down $11 -- definitely better than nothing. Over the course of the past couple weeks, it has begun to stabilize at about $460.00.

XFX GeForce 7800GTX 256MB

The card with the "largest" reduction in price will have to go to the eVGA 7800GT 256MB [RTPE: 256-P2-N515] now at $315.00 after a $40 MIR. Astute readers will also notice the introduction of NVIDIA's new 7800 GTX 512MB cards at a couple places. Coming in at a whopping $699 for now, the cards definitely aren't cheap. You'll have to check back later this week to find out how they actually perform.

If you are going to go for one of these ultra high end cards, we would recommend you go with a 7800 series card rather than a 6800 series. A single GeForce 7800 performs better and is cheaper than going with a 6800 Ultra in SLI.

There have been some major fluctuations in 6800 Ultra prices lately, indicating that they're nearing EOL. Going forward, the 6800 GS is supposed to replace both the GT and Ultra in the mid-range market, so we may already be picking up shortages on the cards. Down about $177.00 this week - after jumping up $150 the week before! - the BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra OC 256MB (PCI-E) [RTPE: BFGW68256UOCX] leads the 6800U market at $385.00.

The R520 cards are on sale now and definitely something we would recommend over the X850XT. The best price we were able to find this week, was on the Sapphire X1800XL 256MB [RTPE: 100133] on sale for $374 shipped. It competes well with the 7800 GT cards, although it's more expensive. We've also picked up at least one X1800 XT 512MB, for just over $600.

High End Graphics
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  • jcsamp - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    <$50: Crap.
    $50-$100: Almost acceptable
    $100-$150: Mainstream
    $150-$250: High-end
    $250-$350: Too expensive
    >$350: I'd rather buy an Xbox 360

    Unfortunately the only place where the big 2 seem to agree with me are in the lowest price brackets. More unfortunately, most users don't agree with me either and think it is just fine to go out and plop down $350 for a video card, regardless of how great it is, thus validating the card companies' outlandish prices. Stop buying those expensive cards so I can actually afford one :)
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Most consumers are sheep and the companies are marketing to them at full tilt.

    If they want to be fiscally foolish that's their problem. I'll stay satisfied with my 17" LCD and gaming at 1024x while they put themselves into debt trying to maintain solid fps at 1600x with decent looking graphical settings.

    I'm not going to give in to a retarded price model offered because others are willing to take whatever is put out for them the moment it's put there without the patience to wait for the items to drop down to a reasonable price like an educated consumer would.

    If no one bought cards at outrageous prices the providers wouldn't be able to offer them at that pricing because they would be wasting their time. They instead would have to offer them starting at a more reasonable price to get the same sales volume they can currently get at rip-off prices.

    So the people to really be sarcastically thanking or to be disappointed in are the ones buying cards at those prices without a care for rationality.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Considering the "mid-range" graphic options can barely power 1024x with decent graphical settings in the latest games, this market is truly jacked up as far as pricing goes. Reply
  • jcsamp - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    The guide seems to skip straight from 6600GT/X700 to 6200TC/X300, leaving out all those cards in between. Specifically I would have liked to see some pricing on those updated cards like the 6600 DDR2. I know there's not many producers (XFX is the only one that comes to mind), and even fewer vendors right now, but I would have liked to see some pricing data on these cards as well, since the MSRP is so low, and the performance is almost at the 6600GT level. Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    I'm not sure ~$350.00 X1800XL and 7800GT cards qualify as Ultra High-End cards in the same category with $500-and-up XT and GTX cards. Particularly when there are cards in the 'regular' high-end costing far more. Those XL and GT cards are pretty mainstream high-end I think.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Most readers would put the $350 and up price as high end, but we're also considering performance. The X1800XL and 7800GT are quite a bit faster than the best "high end" cards. We also make it pretty clear that spending $250 to $300 right now is probably not a great idea, due to the better deals in the mid-range and ultra-range cards. (See bold text at the bottom of page 2.) Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    Something I've been thinking of asking the reviewers here is whether they could do a plot of price vs. performance (measured in 3Dmark05's or various things), for each of the graphics cards in ATI and NVidia's ranges. I imagine it would end up looking a bit like a "battlefield" with red and green each trying to get below each others price/performance curve. It would also make it visually really easy to see what card is where. Just a thought, anyway. I think it would be a cool thing. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    I think that would be a good idea as it would show at which point across the performance spectrum you get the best value. In other words, where you start paying a lot more for relatively small returns, and also how the low-end and mid-range value-for-money compares.

    I wouldn;t use 3DMark05 though; instead a weighted-average of actual game results, though with a proper selection of games and not the FPS only games that AT uses.
    Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Monday, November 14, 2005 - link

    Actually I was thinking just display several graphs - perhaps not as elegant, but at least it would show that which card is best depends on what you use it for. Reply
  • mjh - Sunday, November 13, 2005 - link

    I have noticed that heat isn't an issue with the unlocked Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO2 card. Reply

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