Mid-Range Graphics

Finally - here, we can now see some reasonably priced graphics cards in the mid-range line-up. Starting this batch off, we'll begin with the X800 GT cards.

There are quite a few which are between $100 to about $150, not a bad price at all. The cheapest that we can find today is the Sapphire Radeon X800GT 128MB [RTPE: 100125SR] for about $110, which has seen about a $25 decrease. Following fairly close behind is the 256MB variant of the said card, also from Sapphire [RTPE: 100126], which is on sale for about $134. This is definitely not the lowest price at which we have seen this card priced, although nonetheless, it's still a great price and unquestionably one to consider.

The 6800 GS cards have proven themselves worthy time and time again. These can be a great alternative to ATI's X800 GT line-up. Ones to consider are the eVGA GeForce 6800GS 256MB [RTPE: 256-P2-N386] for you PCI-e users. We can see that this card is going for about $154 after a $15 mail-in rebate. AGP users are still in luck. This week, we are seeing the 6800 GS from XFX [RTPE: PV-T40B-UDF3], another excellent brand, going for roughly $219 shipped.

For a cheaper alternative to the 6800 GS, a 6600 GT can be an outstanding choice. To state the obvious, we recommend that you try to stay towards the low end of these prices because you will only end up paying the same premium for a 6800 GS card.

The X700 cards are fairly decent performers. We would say slightly worse than a 6600 GT, though they are still worth considering, especially for you hardcore ATI fans out there. Although unlike the 6600 GT graphics cards, there aren't many AGP cards out there. In fact, our RTPE is only picking up on a single X700 Pro. So if you are looking for a mid-range AGP card, price-wise, you would be slightly better off going with a 6600 GT

We have noticed that the X1600 cards from ATI aren't creating much of an impact within the mid-range market even though their prices are extremely low. It's actually quite obvious, the X1600 line-up isn't much of a performer and a 6800 GS would be something better to consider. These cards are competitive with the 6600GT, but with over twice the memory bandwidth the 6800 GS is simply out of reach.

High-End Graphics Low-End Graphics
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  • dstigue - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    The 7800 GT that was listed with 512mb as quoted "It's a fairly large card and is not at a very friendly price tag either, going for about $820...yikes!" is actually 2x7800 gts on one board with 256 mbs for each. Why would it be so big? Why so expensive? Did none of this ring a bell? Even the name dual as in EN7800GT DUAL/2DHTV/512? I don't mean to rib ya but come on your supposed to be a techie.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    Fixed. :)
  • rrcn - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Although Jarred already did, I'd also like to personally thank you all for your comments and suggestions, and am sorry for the late response.

    If time allows, I will add the X850 cards to the guide this time around, if not, then expect to see them in our April video card price guide. =)

    Since I see that readers here actually do want to see more advice rather than just good bargains, I will be sure to have more of that in there next time.

    The reason the X800 XL is still considered high-end is due to its price point. We mainly use the prices to determine what categories the cards would fall into.

    I will also contact our RTPE administrator, if no one else has already done so, and have him add the BFG 6800 GS to the RTPE.

    Again, thanks for all the comments and keep them coming! =) It really helps us know what you guys are thinking and what you want to see.

    Haider Farhan
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. There's a fine line between respecting NDA and leading our readers astray. I've added a bit and commented a bit just to clarify things. Cheers!
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    I can respect that, but the 7900 launch is one of the worst kept secrets in the history of launches... :-)
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Well, I would have mentioned it, but then Haider could have written this article last week and it just got posted. Since he updates these Price Guides once a month for each segment, two weeks before the launch and two weeks after isn't so bad.
  • TheCanuck - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Just bought the 6800GS at Chiefvalue.com for $197.99 with free shipping. Best deal I've seen so far: http://www.chiefvalue.com/app/productdetails.asp?s...">Link

    All the retailers are trying to screw over AGP users with these higher prices. There's no reason AGP should be $30 to $40 more than PCI-e.
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Great pirce on the AGP 6800GS, as well. I guess AGP cards can be more expesnive do to the PCI0AGP bridge chip that it requires. More likely its supply and demand, though. I'm sure they sell a lot more PCIe cards than AGP.
  • yacoub - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    It's definitely funny seeing the X800XL called "high end" considering it can barely run modern games at 1024x with everything turned up. I would recommend revising the section titles or pushing everything down a level (X1800 series could be 'high end', X800 series is 'mid-range' or whatever is the next level down.)

    I have an X800XL and I can't wait to get a better card so I can actually run games like NFS:MW and FEAR at 1280x1024 with everything high, which I can't currently do with the X800XL.
  • etriky - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    Just an FYI. The Asus 7800GT 512MB card is their dual processer card. Still freakin expensive though.

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