High-End Graphics

We are now at the high-end graphics cards and to start, we'll take a look at the X800 XL cards.

With the way that most of these graphics cards are priced, you're much better off going with a GeForce 7800 GT. We are seeing many of these cards between the $250 to $280 range, and at $275, you can pick up the eVGA 7800 GT that we mentioned on the previous page, giving you better performance at roughly the same price.

However, we do have a few X800 XL cards that have dropped to below $200, making them at least worth consideration. Sapphire, Gigabyte , and Abit all have competing products in that price range (which is actually down in the mid-range cost, but for now we'll leave them as high-end). With the pending launch of ATI's X1800 GTO, though, we'd suggest waiting a bit to see where that's priced, since it has a better feature set. Remember that the R4xx cards don't support SM3.0, which could become more important now that both ATI and NVIDIA are pushing the feature.

As we mentioned with the X800 XL and 6800 Ultra cards, we'll have to apply the same rule here. These X800 XT graphics cards are, once again, outrageously overpriced. Definitely look into an X1800, X1900 or 7800.

Ah-ha. Here we go again...there really isn't anything more that we can say. Overlook this batch of cards and either move on up to the ultra-high end cards to take a step back towards the mid-range cards, which we will look at on the following page.

Index Mid-Range Graphics
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  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Thank you for writing the guide Haider, I know it must be a lot of work. I feel there are a few changes that could make it better however. As the above poster said, it would help to mention future cards, especially if they are launching within the week. In addition the best part of these guides is the author's commentary and advice, which at time was spotty. You were right on when you said that the x1800 series should be ignored in favor of the x1900s. Ditto with the x800xl and 6800gt no longer being the cards to buy. But what was with your 7800GS to x850XTPE comparison? You and I both know that no buyer needs to buy a $300 dollar AGP card anyways, since for $300 you could get an equal performing x800GTO^2 and a PCIe motherboard. In addition, why no mention of the x800GTO or GTO^2 at all, only the plain GT? What about something to the effect that the x1900XT is priced so close to the 7800GTX 256 that the nVidia card wouldn't be a smart purchase right now? Nothing about SLI or Crossfire upgrade considerations, even a warning that they are not a good idea? I think the guide could be a little better if you added a bit more advice.
  • mongoosesRawesome - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    No mention of the 7900 or the 7600 series GPU's which should be out soon. This guide should at the very least mention that these cards will be out soon, although I think it would have been better to have waited a few more days before publishing this.

    These priceguides feel more like a sampling from your RTPE than a real "guide". I'd really like to see more commentary and opionion in these guides and less of a simple listing of products. If I wanted to see how much each individual card costs, I can just do a search using the RTPE.
  • yacoub - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    The ONLY thing worth saying about videocards right now is WAIT. 7900GT, 7900GTX due out within a week. X1900XL should be near month's end.
  • AGAC - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    I will wait even more if the green and red players don´t support HDCP in their next updates. With WinVista and next gen video content being possible only with HDCP hardware I would be crazy to shell out money in hardware soon to be obsolete. My old 6800 will just have to hang on untill the dust setles on the media batlefield.

    Not to forget monitors. My recently bought NEC 1970GX LCD does not support HDCP and will be relocated to office duties (which is going to make a helluva improvement in my office desk) as soon as I decide on a new combination of video card and wide screen monitor.
  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Don't worry friend, this sounds like a bigger problem than it is. Jarred for AT has said before that is MS thinks it can release an OS that 90% of the market's video cards AND displays (which for many is the most expensive part of their PC) cannot run they would face adaption numbers that make WindowsME look like a resounding success. It's possible some sort of requirement for HDCP will be introduced much later in Vista's life cycle, but you will not need it to run the OS.
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    I agree. I would have liked to have seen this guide published on Friday, so the 7900 series cards could have been included.
  • Powermoloch - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Hmm will you add the x850xt cards on there? Newegg are selling them fairly well on the PCI-e x850xt sapphire cards. I read that they are selling them at 169.00-170+. Which is a pretty good deal by today's standards.

    If it is no problem ;)
  • kalrith - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    I agree. I just picked up an X850XT PCI-e from Newegg this morning for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82...">$154 AR. That's the same price as the 6800GS, yet the X850XT outperforms it by quite a bit in pretty much every game except Doom 3.
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Wow, that is a great price for an X850XT! That has to be the best value for mid-range cards, unless you absolutely must have SM 3 (and I don't know why it is a "must-have").

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