Video Cards - ATI

ATI's X800 series cards continue to be among the priciest of options this week, sporting price tags in the range of $400+. This, of course, is not unexpected, since the bleeding edge has always been where the dollar signs are. This means that we cannot reasonably recommend the X800 (Pro of XT) to anyone except the most hardcore enthusiast. Don't get us wrong - the performance is definitely worthy of the price tag, with reviews showing essentially double the performance of the last generation 9800 Pros.

For those on a more earthly budget, the Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro continues to be our favorite video option. The fact that this card can be had for under the $200 price-point goes a long way towards making this a wise purchase.

Whether you go for the absolute highest end of video performance or not, it is worth keeping in mind that many new Intel motherboards are starting to push PCIe very strongly. A lot do not have AGP slots and do so in favor of PCIe. So, if you're going to be building an entirely new system, it does make the X800 a more plausible solution.

Both the Sapphire and PowerColor Radeon 9600 Pros are available for under $140 for the low-end or budget segment. The 9600 Pro has been known to provide a lot of bang for the buck even in gaming, but if gaming is not a requirement, this card is just as well suited for everyday computing.

Index Video Cards - NVIDIA


View All Comments

  • Rainman - Monday, September 20, 2004 - link

    I ordered from ewiz the Gainward 5700 for 90 dollars. I got it today and it seems it is a 5700LE. Their website left out the LE, although if you look closely the image on the website indicates it is an LE as well as the product item number.

    I'm in the process of RMA'ing the card and I've had quite a few loops to jump through already.
  • alm4rr - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link


    Did Jason get a chance to look over whether or not it's feasible to move the price listing under the link (b/c of CMS as stated in comment section of previous price guide)

  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    MIDIman: Thanks for the heads up. I removed it and emailed ewiz too.

  • MIDIman - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    The Sapphire 256mb 9800 Pro at E-Wiz for $185.40 is incorrectly listed. From their webpage, the model number is "1024-2C47-00-SA" - A quick google search will show from Sapphire's webpage (as well as the description on E-Wiz's webpage) that this is 128-bit AND the non pro version of the board.

  • ShizNet - Sunday, September 12, 2004 - link

    in this review
    KingMax was one of the TOP dogs, or was behind by no more than 5-10% of leader... this stick can be had for around $100.. and someHow there is not a one word about company or product whatSoEver
    i got 2 of these for under $100 each (b4 price went up) - and i'm more than HAPPY
  • Aquila76 - Sunday, September 12, 2004 - link

    #3 - I had my GF2GTS up until last month when the fan died and the chip fried during NFS:Underground. I'd had it since it was released(1999?). I got an FX 5200 from NewEgg for $60 to replace it for now (my MB has no onboard video) and it runs everything pretty well. When I rebuild my PC in January, I'll probably pick up a major card. Reply
  • johnsonx - Sunday, September 12, 2004 - link

    Yep, there's zero point in spending more than $40 for a video card if the computer is not going to be used for gaming or other 3D graphics work. 7000-series and GF4MX-series cards do everything such a PC needs, and can even do light-duty gaming. Heck, I've got a GF2Ti in my computer that I mostly use for work, yet I've not yet run into a game I wasn't happy playing on it.
  • l3ored - Sunday, September 12, 2004 - link

    i clicked on the comments to post the exact same thing. why do you recomend $100 video cards for web browsing?? Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, September 12, 2004 - link

    "Gainward's GeForceFX 5700 128MB is currently going for under $100 and should suit the needs of a PC intended for web browsing, emailing, and office applications without trouble."

    I'd say on-board video is suitable for that. If you want more, then you can get an ATI Radeon 7000 with TV out and DVI connector for $30. There is no reason to sepnd more, unless you game, or want VIVO.

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