AGP High End

Unfortunately, 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.  

PCIe High End Range Mid-Range


View All Comments

  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    It's been a week now, is Wes going to let us know what issues he found with the nForce4 boards? Reply
  • rastamanphan - Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - link

    Where are the AGP ATI cards on the highend card pricelist? Reply
  • Bobby Peru - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    crucibelle, the x700 pro is not PCI-E it is AGP bus.

    they are saying, for PCI-E use x700 pro or Leadtek
    6600GT PCI-E. For AGP use XFX 6600GT. Only newer
    motherboards have PCI-E.

    I guess if nobody else is having heat problems that
    guy at pricegrabber installed his heatsink wrong.
  • donxvi - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    XFX claims the new heatsink is 20 degrees COOLER than the old, reference design. Reply
  • fargazer - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    I have been considering a Linux desktop for a while now, and one thing I could use from a video card roundup is how well the various cards perform under Linux. Any chance of that being covered, either in a general pricing guide for video cards, or in a separate article? Reply
  • crucibelle - Monday, February 21, 2005 - link


    I was wondering if you could tell me why the 6600GT was previously recommended as the best mid-range PCI-E card (midrange buyer's guide), but now it's the x700 pro that is recommended. Why did you all change your minds? Thanks!
  • Bobby Peru - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    This raises the general issue of possible differences between "review" pre-production boards and actual production boards. It may be asking a lot but it would be interesting if review sites were able to just buy boards at retail rather than having special boards sent to them by the manufacturer. I need to find some explanation of reading the writing on the memory chips to determine their speed. I will say that at least review sites do generally post detailed photos of the boards. I can believe that if a manufacturer wanted to shave costs before doing a production run that the memory and the heatsink would be obvious places to start. At this point I would simply ask people what their heat sinks look like, what their memory chips say, and if their board looks like the review board photos. For all we know the other review is from some agent provacateur troll. The last sentence is a typo, 1.6ns is preferable to 2.0. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    Bobby Peru: I have one of these cards and I have not noticed the thermal throttling mentioned in the price grabber "review". I cannot disrepute the 2.0ns memory, but as for gettings speeds lower than a 5950: that seems like a complete farce.

  • Bobby Peru - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    I wonder if AnandTech or someone who bought this card recently could comment on this review from pricegrabber...

    "I purchased this card after reading many many reviews of the GF 6600GT series of cards, especially the XFX version of this card. Needless to say I am quite disappointed with what I received.

    XFX has changed their production process for their 6600GT series of cards. No longer will you get 1.6ns memory, they are now including 2.0ns. Which by itself it not necessarily bad, but every review currently out there was done with the 1.6ns memory. You will not be able to get the same results that the reviewers have gotten in the past.

    The worst part of the changes XFX made with this card was the heat sink and cooler. The cooler they are now shipping on the card is a small underpowered piece of crap, not the nVidia standard 6600GT cooler.

    I removed the cooler, cleaner all surfaces with 100% Isopropyl Alcohol then re-installed it with Artic Silver 5. The result: the GPU runs at 55c even at IDLE with no overclocking. Under full load it hits 80c+. This cooler sucks.

    I can’t play Half-Life without choppiness as the card is throttling down because of excess heat. In 3DMark 2003, this card gets a lower score than my FX5950. Again because of heat related throttling.

    If you buy this card plan on buying a third party cooler as well. Or make sure you get an older version of the card that has the standard nVidia heat sink and fan. That way you can get the 2.0ns memory as well.
  • glennpratt - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    AGP != PCI-E Reply

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