Price Guide, February 2006: Video Cardsby Haider Farhan on February 5, 2006 10:00 PM EST
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Yes, it's that time once again, where we take a look at the latest market trends with every gamer's favorite piece of hardware: video cards. With the standstill in much of the computer hardware we have noticed for some time now, there has been quite a bit of action this week with a few decent drops in prices. There are also a number of cards with mail-in rebates that we discovered and listed the ones we thought were great buys.
Do look into the RTPE for your other hardware needs. You have the ability to search for product SKU's, for instance, "100-435805". This makes searching for an exact product a breeze. You can also try searching for product categories like "AMD CPU". Another exceptional feature is the ability to ignore certain words from your search results. To do this, you would add the "-" (minus) sign and the word. For example, if we were searching for all Pentium CPUs except the Pentium D, we would enter: "Intel Pentium - D". These are just a few examples, yet there are many more tips you can find near the search field at http://labs.anandtech.com.
Starting off this week's price guide, we will take a look at the Ultra High-End graphics cards.
Ultra High-End Graphics
The 7800GTs are starting to gradually come down in price. The best deal we are seeing this week is the MSI GeForce 7800GT 256MB [RTPE: NX7800GT-VT2D256E] on sale for approximately $270 shipped after a $30 mail-in rebate. You can see from the graph below that this card has reached its lowest price point yet.
MSI GeForce 7800GT 256MB
There are a few GTX cards going for roughly the same price which are the best prices we can see as of today. First off, you have the eVGA GeForce 7800GTX 256MB [RTPE: 256-P2-N528] which is on sale for $440 after a $20 mail-in rebate. Next up, you have the LeadTek GeForce 7800GTX 256MB [RTPE: PX7800GTX] going for $450 shipped. Then you have the XFX GeForce 7800GTX 256MB [RTPE: PV-T70F-UNF] priced at $460. You can see now there are plenty of cards, along with these we just pointed out, that are under $500. Whether that's a deal for you or not, that's up to you.
We can see that there are four 512MB cards in which we are picking up on that are available in stock. The cheapest one we are noticing is the XFX GeForce 7800GTX 512MB XXX [RTPE: PV-T70F-YDF9] priced at an insane $755. While the 7800GTX is a great card, a X1800XT 512MB will get you better performance for the price and we encourage you to check those out.
Do take notice that each card comes with a different bundle than any other. Some may include any combination of a number of games, DVD playback software, video editing software and different sets of cables and dongles. The point here is for you to choose the bundle that will best suit you and your interests/needs.
Currently, our RTPE is only picking up on a single 7800 GS. From XFX, you have the 256MB GeForce 7800 GS [RTPE: PV-T70K-UAF7] being sold for approximately $328. Don't forget to check out Derek's GeForce 7800 GS review for more information.
The newly released X1900 cards from ATI are doing an excellent job of competing, both price and performance wise. Already down $60, the PowerColor Radeon X1900XT 512MB [RTPE: 1900XT512OEM] is priced at $490. For being on the market for only a few weeks, you can see in the graph below that this X1900XT has already seen a very nice drop in price.
PowerColor Radeon X1900XT 512MB
If you're looking for the best of the best, look no further than the X1900XTX. Down $10 this week, the ATI Radeon X1900XTX 512MB [RTPE: 100-435805] is on sale for about $590 shipped, while the Sapphire Radeon X1900XTX 512MB [RTPE: 100150] being down about $19, is going for about $600.
Over in the ATI section, we're seeing the Connect3D Radeon X1800XL 256MB [RTPE: 3039] priced at about $330 shipped. Although going up approximately $15, the ATI Radeon X1800XL 256MB [RTPE: 100-435703] is marketed at $370 shipped. The best deal this week, and you're in luck if you're looking for an All-In-Wonder card, the ATI Radeon X1800XL 256MB A-I-W [RTPE: 100-714400] is very reasonably priced at $350 shipped after a $30 mail-in rebate.
If you're in the market for a 512MB X1800XT, the best deal we can find for you is the Sapphire Radeon X1800XT 512MB [RTPE: 100134] going for approximately $475.