NVIDIA's GeForce 6200 & 6600 non-GT: Affordable Gamingby Anand Lal Shimpi on October 11, 2004 9:00 AM EST
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Final WordsWho knew that there would be so much to talk about surrounding the launch of a new entry-level part? Concluding is thankfully a little more concise in this case.
If all of the cards in this review actually stick to their MSRPs, then the clear suggestion would be the $149 ATI Radeon X700. In every single game outside of Doom 3, the X700 does extremely well, putting even the GeForce 6600 to shame; and in Doom 3, the card holds its own with the 6600. Unfortunately, with the X700 still not out on the streets, it's tough to say what sort of prices it will command. For example, the GeForce 6600 is supposed to have a street price of $149, but currently, it's selling for closer to $170. So, as the pricing changes, so does our recommendation.
In most cases, the GeForce 6200 does significantly outperform the X300 and X600 Pro, its target competitors from ATI. The X300 is priced significantly lower than the 6200's $129 - $149 range, so it should be outperformed by the 6200 and it is. The X600 Pro is a bit more price-competitive with the GeForce 6200, despite offering equal and even greater performance in certain cases.
However, we end up back at square one. In order for the 6200 to be truly successful, it needs to either hit well below its $129 - $149 price range, or ATI's X700 needs to be much more expensive than $149. In the latter case, if the card is out of your budget, then the 6200 is a reasonable option, but in the former case, you can't beat the X700. Given that neither one of the cards we're debating about right now are even out, anything said right now would be pure speculation. But keep an eye on the retailers. When these cards do hit the streets, you should know what the right decision should be.