Price Guide, January 2006: Video Cardsby Haider Farhan on January 9, 2006 1:49 PM EST
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Here is where AGP users will find their best card for the best possible price: the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO 256MB [RTPE: 100131] on sale for $220. While this card has gone up about $20, it's still a decent deal.
One of the last cards in its category available, the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 256MB [RTPE: 100130SR] is going for $206. For something a bit cheaper while still being a decent performer, the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO 256MB [RTPE: 100129] would be a great choice at about $45 cheaper than the GTO2 mentioned above, for a cost of $160.
Competing with the above cards is the 6800 GS series. Going for $194, the eVGA GeForce 6800GS 256MB [RTPE: 256-P2-N386] is an excellent deal. Thankfully, the 6800 GS cards have come down considerably in cost. In our last video card price guide, we mentioned that many of the 6800 GS cards had shot up to about $300, taking them right up to the 7800GT pricing league. At the moment though, these are priced very fairly for their performance standpoint.
Update: The AGP version of the 6800GS has recently dropped into the market. Our RTPE is currently only listing one card from two vendors, but as the channel strength increases, and the more vendors have it in stock, we'll be able to bring you more information. At the moment, we are seeing the eVGA GeForce 6800GS 256MB [RTPE: 256-A8-N387] going for $235.
The GeForce 6600GT's are doing fairly well. For you looking for an AGP card, your best bet this week would be to go with the eVGA GeForce 6600GT 128MB [RTPE: 128-A8-N350] going for $140. Coming in close behind is the Chaintech GeForce 6600GT 128MB [RTPE: SA6600G-128] for $147 and the XFX GeForce 6600GT 128MB [RTPE: PV-T43A-ND] for an even $146.
PCIe users are looking at about the same prices as AGP users are, although a bit cheaper, the cheapest 6600GT (PCIe) this week is the XFX GeForce 6600GT 128MB [RTPE: PV-T43G-ND] going for $130. Close behind is the Chaintech GeForce 6600GT 128MB [RTPE: SE6600G-128] on sale for $137. You can find a few others going for about $140 from manufacturers like Albatron, eVGA, Gigabyte, LeadTek and PNY.
The X700 cards are fairly decent performers, although the 6600GT's generally perform slightly better. We recommend going with a 6600GT rather than an X700, but if the price is right, an X700 should be ok. For just under $100, the Sapphire Radeon X700 128MB [RTPE: 100121SR] is quite difficult to beat.
As long as you can get an X800 GTO/GTO2 for about $200, these X1600 cards are not what we would suggest going with. Especially because of the performance we saw from them, they're not too appealing compared to the competition.