GameSpot's Video Card Roundup 2006

This video card guide will show you what cards are available in your price range and how they perform in today's PC games.

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This video card guide will show you what cards are available in your price range and how they perform in today's PC games. If you're just starting to learn about video cards, we recommend that you check out GameSpot's Ten Things to Know Before Buying a Video Card guide to get a few basic buying tips before jumping into the roundup.

We've divided the video cards by price into four categories: high-end, performance, mainstream, and budget. Our budget list includes all the current-generation video cards available for $100 or less. The mainstream group includes cards that retail for up to $200. Bump the price range up to $200-$400 to get to our performance cards. And finally, we have our extremely broad high-end category that includes everything over $400 that covers both single cards and dual-card setups. We've focused on current-generation GeForce 7 series and Radeon X1K series video cards in this roundup.

High-End Video Cards

You should consider buying a high-end video card or dual-card configuration if you want to play your games at the highest resolutions with the highest image-quality settings. We're talking resolutions that start at 1600x1200 (4:3) and 1680x1050 (widescreen) and image-quality settings that have the best antialiasing (smoothes out jagged lines) and anisotropic filtering (keeps textures looking good at all distances and angles) settings enabled by default. You can easily get away with buying a far less expensive card if you have a small monitor, prefer lower screen resolutions for whatever reason, or don't need extremely high image-quality settings.

Don't go high-end with the sole purpose of trying to "future-proof" your system. Inexperienced buyers will often choose the most expensive cards when putting together a system with the belief that investing in better parts now will pay off in the long run by delaying the inevitable hardware upgrade by several years. The problem with that approach is that a computer isn't a timeless item like good cookware or a classic coat, where it makes sense to pay extra for quality. Video cards double in performance every 18 to 24 months, and new cards also support a constantly growing feature set that can produce advanced graphic effects that older cards simply can't do. If you buy a $500 video card now, there's a good chance you'll be able to buy a card that's just as powerful and can produce better-looking graphics for $250 two years from now. Go for a high-end card or dual-card setup only if you require the best image quality at extremely high resolutions, but understand that top-of-the-line today becomes average in two years and ready for the trash bin in four.

Note that dual-video card SLI and CrossFire configurations have added costs beyond the price of the cards. The dual-card setups require specialized motherboards and a big power supply capable of delivering enough juice to all the components in the system.

Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2

Street Price: $535 to $650
Core: 48 pixel pipes (24 per GPU), 500MHz
Memory: 1GB (512MB per GPU), 600MHz
Recommended Power Supply: 450W

The GeForce 7950 GX2 is Nvidia's current flagship card. It has two graphics-processing units and a unique double-board stack design that requires only one PCI Express slot. It's undoubtedly the fastest single card available by virtue of its dual GPUs, but it's also the most expensive.

ATI Radeon X1950 XTX

Estimated Street Price: $449
Core: 16 pixel pipelines (48 pixel shaders), 650MHz
Memory: 512MB, 1GHz
Recommended Power Supply: 450W

Set to ship September 14, the Radeon X1950 XTX replaces the Radeon X1900 XTX as ATI's top video card. The new card actually has the same core clock speed as its predecessor, but it now supports fast 1GHz GDDR4 memory, which will help feed extremely high game resolutions. The card also features a new quieter cooling unit.

Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX

Street Price: $450 to $500
Core: 24 pixel pipelines, 700/650MHz
Memory: 512MB, 800MHz
Recommended Power Supply: 450W

The GeForce 7900 GTX is Nvidia's best single-GPU card. It's a solid performer that matches up well against ATI's Radeon X1950 XTX.

ATI Radeon X1900 XTX

Street Price: $350 to $600
Core: 16 pixel pipelines (48 pixel shaders), 650MHz
Memory: 512MB, 775MHz
Recommended Power Supply: 450W

The Radeon X1900 XTX won't be with us much longer, with the X1950 XTX arriving soon. It's still a good performer, and you'll probably find decent pricing as retailers race to unload inventory. However, the X1900 XTX is also one of the loudest cards we've ever tested, which explains why ATI gave the X1950 a new cooler design.

Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad-SLI

Street Price: $1,070 to $1,300
Core: 96 pixel pipes (24 per GPU), 500MHz
Memory: 2GB (512MB per GPU), 600MHz
Recommended Power Supply: See site

Four GPUs sounds like a lot of performance, but Nvidia is still working on getting the most out of its dual GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad-SLI offering. For the most part, you'll only see significant performance gains at extremely high resolutions and in OpenGL games. If you love Quake 4 and have a 30-inch widescreen monitor, Quad-SLI might be right for you.

ATI Radeon X1950 XTX CrossFire

Estimated Street Price: $900
Core: 32 pixel pipelines (48 pixel shaders per GPU), 650MHz
Memory: 1GB (512MB per GPU), 1GHz
Recommended Power Supply: See site

Combine a Radeon X1950 XTX card with a Radeon X1950 XTX CrossFire Edition card to get ATI's fastest dual-card configuration. The Radeon X1950 XTX CrossFire Edition will ship at the same time as the regular version, September 14.

Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX SLI

Street Price: $900 to $1,000
Core: 48 pixel pipelines (24 per GPU), 700/650MHz
Memory: 1GB (512MB per GPU), 800MHz
Recommended Power Supply: See site

The GX2 may have two GPUs on a single card, but the GeForce 7900 GTX SLI is still the fastest Nvidia dual-GPU setup around, thanks to higher graphics-core speeds. However, the GX2 is only a little slower but a lot more affordable. The GTX SLI is faster, but you'll pay a hefty premium for that extra performance.

Nvidia GeForce 7900 GT SLI

Street Price: $500 to $600
Core: 48 pixel pipelines (24 per GPU), 450MHz
Memory: 512MB (256MB per GPU), 660MHz
Recommended Power Supply: See site

Single GeForce 7900 GT cards retail for $300 or less, but you can slap two together in SLI mode to get a high-end contender. We've listed the standard core and memory speeds, but several video card manufacturers offer the GeForce 7900 GT with slightly overclocked core and memory speeds.

ATI Radeon X1950 Pro CrossFire

Street Price: $556-598
Core: 24 pixel pipelines (36 pixel shaders per GPU), 575MHz
Memory: 512MB, 1380MHz
Recommended Power Supply: See site

The Radeon X1950 Pro is ATI's answer to Nvidia's GeForce 7900 GS. Unlike past ATI CrossFire implementations, the Radeon X1950 Pro doesn't require a specific CrossFire master card and CrossFire-ready card pairing to run in dual-card mode. There's only one type of Radeon X1950 Pro card, and you can place two of them on a CrossFire-compatible motherboard to enable dual-card graphics. ATI has also replaced the CrossFire's unsightly card-to-card external cable connection with an elegant internal connection similar to Nvidia's internal SLI link.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Quake 4

Image Quality

Nvidia and ATI's current card lines both present great image quality. We couldn't tell the difference between our Radeon and GeForce cards in Quake 4.

Performance

It looks like ATI has finally figured out how to maximize performance in Quake 4, the longtime benchmark stronghold for Nvidia-based cards. ATI's latest Catalyst video card drivers gave Radeon cards large performance increases in the id powered shooter. The quad-GPU GeForce 7950 GX2 SLI behemoth wins all of our tests, but that's what you'd expect from a $1,000 video card setup. In terms of single card performance, nothing comes close to beating the dual-GPU GeForce 7950 GX2.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB , GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst beta 8-282-060802a-035384E, ATI Catalyst 6.8, Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31, Nvidia Forceware 91.47 for GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad SLI.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Half-Life 2 Lost Coast

Image Quality

The Radeon and GeForce cards output very similar images in Half-Life 2 Lost Coast. It's one of the few games that current GeForce 7 series cards can render with high dynamic range lighting and antialiasing enabled at the same time.

Performance

The Half-Life 2 Source engine isn't too challenging for graphics hardware. You can get high framerates with just about any modern card while running the game without any image quality filtering, but you'll need a high-end model if you want to enable high levels of antialiasing and anisotropic filtering.

Nvidia's GeForce 7900 GTX SLI setup takes the lead once we kick the resolution up to 1920x1440 with 4xAA and 16xAF. The quad-GPU GeForce 7950 GX2 SLI setup doesn't begin to shine until we crank the resolution to 2048x1536 with 8xAA and 16xAF.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB , GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst beta 8-282-060802a-035384E, ATI Catalyst 6.8, ATI Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31, Nvidia Forceware 91.47 for the GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad SLI.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Oblivion

Image Quality

The high-end ATI cards are well suited for Oblivion because they're able to run the game with HDR and AA enabled whilethe Nvidia cards will only let you enable one or the other. The game will look pretty much the same on both cards if you disable antialiasing.

Performance

You can get Oblivion looking awfully pretty with the right settings, but you'll need a good video card to keep framerates playable. The Radeon X1950 CrossFire setup leads the pack, besting even the quad-GPU GeForce 7950 GX2 which actually scores lower than a single GeForce 7950 GX2.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB , GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst beta 8-282-060802a-035384E, ATI Catalyst 6.8, ATI Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31, Nvidia Forceware 91.47 for the GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad SLI.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

3DMark06

Image Quality

As expected, ATI's cards generate a better picture because of their ability to render both high dynamic range lighting and antialiasing at the same time. Look at the cropped image to see how important antialiasing is for image quality.

Performance

3DMark06 is a 3D benchmarking program that runs PC systems through four graphics tests and a CPU test to come up with a final numerical score. We stuck with the standard 1280x1024 3DMark06 test here since the basic score is most commonly used in comparisons.

Verdict:

The GeForce 7950 GX2 stands out when it comes to single card performance in the high-end arena. The dual-GPU video card sails by the competition with ease, and even challenges the more expensive SLI and CrossFire setups. Of course, it's also the most expensive single-card graphics package on the market. However, if you're looking for a more affordable, well-rounded offering, ATI's Radeon X1950 XTX offers impressive performance and superior HDR+AA image quality.

In the thousand-dollar range of CrossFire and SLI setups, the Radeon X1950 XTX CrossFire definitely edges out the now aging GeForce 7900 GTX SLI duo. Of course, Nvidia introduced the Quad-GPU GeForce 7950 GX2 SLI configuration to take over the flagship role, but while Quad-GPU GeForce 7950 GX2 SLI definitely scores a few dominating framerate wins, it doesn't offer a consistent level of performance across all games to make it the automatic top-performance choice yet.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB , GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB, Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst beta 8-282-060802a-035384E, ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31, Nvidia Forceware 91.47 for the GeForce 7950 GX2 Quad SLI.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

This video card guide will show you what cards are available in your price range and how they perform in today's PC games. If you're just starting to learn about video cards, we recommend that you check out GameSpot's Ten Things to Know Before Buying a Video Card guide to get a few basic buying tips before jumping into the roundup.

We've divided the video cards by price into four categories: high-end, performance, mainstream, and budget. Our budget list includes all the current-generation video cards available for $100 or less. The mainstream group includes cards that retail for up to $200. Bump the price range up to $200-$400 to get to our performance cards. And finally, we have our extremely broad high-end category that includes everything over $400 that covers both single cards and dual-card setups. We've focused on current-generation GeForce 7 series and Radeon X1K series video cards in this roundup.

Performance Video Cards

A performance card will support high resolutions with a moderate amount of antialiasing. Think about getting one of these setups if you want fairly high frame rates at 1600x1200 with 4xAA. Two of the best cards in the $200 to $400 performance category actually sit on the affordable side of $300. You can get an Nvidia GeForce 7900 GT for around $250, and you can find its recent replacement, the GeForce 7950 GT, for just under $300. ATI introduced its 512MB Radeon X1900 XT earlier this year at just under $400 but set its new 256MB version at $250 to better compete with the GeForce 7900 GT.

ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB

Street Price: $300 to $400
Core: 16 pixel pipelines (48 pixel shaders), 625MHz
Memory: 512MB, 1.45GHz
Recommended Power Supply: 450W

The Radeon X1900 XT 512MB is a decent card if you can find it for $300, but keep in mind that you can get almost the same performance out of the 256MB model since the cards are basically identical. The price premium is for the extra memory.

ATI Radeon X1900 XT 256MB

Street Price: $250 to $300
Core: 16 pixel pipelines (48 pixel shaders), 625MHz
Memory: 256MB, 1.44GHz
Recommended Power Supply: 450W

You might see Radeon X1900 GT cards for around the same price, but stick with the XT model. The Radeon X1900 GT only has 12 pixel pipelines (36 pixel shaders), and it packs a slower core and memory compared to the Radeon X1900 XT.

ATI Radeon X1950 Pro

Street Price: $278-299
Core: 12 pixel pipelines (36 pixel shaders), 575MHz
Memory: 256MB, 1380MHz
Memory Interface: 256-bit

The Radeon X1950 Pro is ATI's answer to Nvidia's GeForce 7900 GS. Its 36 shader processors and 575MHz clock speed will provide plenty of graphics power. ATI wants the X1950 Pro to hit the same price point as the 7900 GS, but we might have to wait a few weeks or months for retailers to bring prices down to 7900 GS levels. It's a bad deal at $299, but it'll be a great value at $199.

Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT

Street Price:$290 to $330
Core: 24 pixel pipelines, 550MHz
Memory: 512MB, 1.4GHz
Recommended Power Supply: 400W

The GeForce 7950 GT has 24 pixel pipelines, which is the same as the GeForce 7900 GTX but with a slightly lower core clock speed. The GeForce 7950 GT is slightly faster and has more memory than the older 7900 GT model.

Nvidia GeForce 7900 GT

Street Price: $250 to $300
Core: 24 pixel pipelines, 450-520MHz
Memory: 256MB, 1.32-1.5GHz
Recommended Power Supply: 400W

Expect the GeForce 7900 GT to fade away as the 7950 GT takes over as Nvidia's performance GPU.

Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS SLI

Street Price: $400 to $450
Core: 20 pixel pipelines, 450-525MHz
Memory: 512MB (256MB per card), 1.32-1.4GHz
Recommended Power Supply: See site

A dual-GeForce 7900 GS setup is a possibility if you have an SLI-compatible motherboard and a decent power supply. The configuration should compare well against single-GPU high-end cards.

Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT SLI

Street Price: $290 to $350
Core: 12 pixel pipelines, 560-580MHz
Memory: 512MB (256MB per card, 128-bit interface), 1.4-1.6GHz
Recommended Power Supply: See site

If you already have a single GeForce 7600 GT card and an SLI motherboard, getting a matching card will be more affordable than putting down $300 for a whole new card. Unfortunately, we were not able to get our dual-GeForce 7600 GT system running in time for publication. We will update our benchmarks with GeForce 7600 GT SLI performance results as soon as we can.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Quake 4

Image Quality

The GeForce 7 series and Radeon X1K cards generate nearly identical images in Quake 4.

Performance

The GeForce 7900 GS SLI setup leads the pack but also costs about $100 more than the closest single-card option. The Radeon X1900 XT 256MB provides great performance at a more affordable price.



System Setup:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GT 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Half-Life 2 Lost Coast

Image Quality

Aside for some minor lighting differences, both cards put up similar images even with antialiasing enabled.

Performance

The GeForce 7900 GS SLI and the GeForce 7950 GT set the pace in this test.

The Radeon X1950 Pro experienced a little trouble in our Half-Life 2 test, the problem will likely be remedied with a driver release.



System Setup:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GT 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Oblivion

Image Quality

With frame rates dipping into the low 30s, we're not willing to give up any more frames to enable antialiasing in Oblivion. Check out the Oblivion image quality comparison in the high-end card section to see how the Radeon X1K series compares to the GeForce 7 series when we enable antialiasing and HDR at the same time. Note that Oblivion generates its trees randomly--on average, the Radeon cards don't grow trees any larger than the GeForce cards do.

Performance

Getting 30fps may not seem like a lot, but it takes a lot of GPU power to get Oblivion running well at 1600x1200 and 1920x1440 with decent graphical settings enabled.



System Setup:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GT 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

3DMark06

Image Quality

Again, we can’t tell the two card lines apart with antialiasing disabled.

Performance

3DMark06 is a 3D benchmarking program that runs PC systems through four graphics tests and a CPU test to come up with a final numerical score. We stuck with the standard 1280x1024 3DMark06 test here, since the basic score is most commonly used in comparisons.



Verdict:

All the cards perform well, but the Radeon X1900 XT 256MB looks to be the winner when we take pricing into consideration. It offers up nearly the same level of performance as the 512MB version but costs a lot less. The GeForce 7950 GT also puts up great numbers but doesn't consistently outperform the Radeon X1900 XT 256MB enough to justify the 20 percent price premium.

System Setup:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950 GT 512MB, GeForce 7900 GT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 256MB, Radeon X1900 XT 512MB, Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.9, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

This video card guide will show you what cards are available in your price range and how they perform in today's PC games. If you're just starting to learn about video cards, we recommend that you check out GameSpot's Ten Things to Know Before Buying a Video Card guide to get a few basic buying tips before jumping into the roundup.

We've divided the video cards by price into four categories: high-end, performance, mainstream, and budget. Our budget list includes all the current-generation video cards available for $100 or less. The mainstream group includes cards that retail for up to $200. Bump the price range up to $200-$400 to get to our performance cards. And finally, we have our extremely broad high-end category that includes everything over $400 that covers both single cards and dual-card setups. We've focused on current-generation GeForce 7 series and Radeon X1K series video cards in this roundup. We opened our multi-part series with the high-end cards. The next installment covers the budget cards.

Mainstream Cards

Consider getting a card in the sub-$200 range if you're looking for a good value or just want something to hold you over until it's time to upgrade for next year's DirectX 10 games. This category almost always has one or two cards near the top of the range, $175 to $200, that offer very good performance comparable to much more expensive cards. This price range also has a few older-generation cards, such as the Radeon X850 XT, that might not be able to support the latest graphics effects but can still put out some great frame rates.

Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS

Street Price: $199-225
Core: 20 pixel pipelines, 450-525MHz
Memory: 256MB, 1.32-1.4GHz
Memory Interface: 256-bit

Nvidia's latest GeForce 7900 GS GPU is an absolute bargain. You'd normally expect to find a 20-pipe card with 256-bit memory in a higher price bracket. Chances are you'll also get a recent game with the pack-in bundle since the GS just started shipping. Our EVGA e-GeForce 7900 GS shipped with Hitman: Blood Money.

Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT

Street Price:$145-175
Core: 12 pixel pipelines, 560-580MHz
Memory: 256MB, 1.4-1.6GHz
Memory Interface: 128-bit

We get solidly into the mainstream category with the GeForce 7600 GT. The GPU is respectable with 12 pipes and a high clock speed, but the 128-bit memory might limit performance at more-challenging graphics settings.

Nvidia GeForce 7600 GS

Street Price: $100-150
Core: 12 pixel pipelines, 400MHz
Memory: 256-512MB, 800MHz
Memory Interface: 128-bit

The GeForce 7600 GS is a lot like the GT--they have the same number of pixel pipelines and vertex shaders, but the GS has lower GPU and memory clocks. The GS also gets dangerously close to budget territory, so watch out for those sketchy 512MB models.

ATI Radeon X1800 GTO

Street Price: $200-250
Core: 12 pixel pipelines, 500MHz
Memory: 256-512MB, 1GHz
Memory Interface: 256-bit

The Radeon X1800 GTO is a 12-pipe version of ATI's Radeon X1800 GPU. You'll find a few available online, but supplies should be drying up as ATI is currently preparing to release a new $200 card to go up against Nvidia's GeForce 7900 GS.

ATI Radeon X1600 XT

Street Price: $100-150
Core: 4 pixel pipelines (12 pixel shaders), 590-600MHz
Memory: 128-512MB, 1.4GHz
Memory Interface: 128-bit

The Radeon X1600 XT originally shipped with a $249 price tag, but ATI had to slash the price as the card's performance failed to compete with similarly priced cards. The XT fits in much better at its current price point, but it'll be replaced by the Radeon X1650 Pro as ATI's $100 mainstream option.

ATI Radeon X1600 Pro

Street Price: $100-130
Core: 4 pixel pipelines (12 pixel shaders), 500MHz
Memory: 128-512MB, 780-800MHz
Memory Interface: 128-bit

The Radeon X1600 Pro is another dead card walking. It's been replaced by the Radeon X1300 XT. You're better off picking up a Radeon X1600 XT or Radeon X1650 Pro for the same price.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Quake 4

Image Quality

Both sets of cards output fantastic images, making them almost indiscernible from each other.

Performance

In the $100 to $200 range of video cards, how much you pay truly affects performance level. While many of ATI's cards sit at the lower end of the spectrum, they don't provide even half the performance of the GeForce 7900 GS. However, the Radeon X1800 GTO gives a slight performance advantage over the GeForce 7900 GS.

We dusted off ATI's older Radeon X850 XT card to see how it would compare against today's cards and it did fairly well, just five frames per second slower than the 7900 GS in both tests. However, there are drawbacks to the Radeon X850 XT, namely a lack of Shader Model 3.0 support.



System Setup:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7900 GS, GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 7600 GS, Radeon X1800 GTO, Radeon X1600 XT, Radeon X1650 Pro, Radeon X1600 Pro. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Half-Life 2 Lost Coast

Image Quality

Once again, we're presented with images that don't differ much in quality. Aside from lighting differences, we couldn't tell the GeForce 7 series or Radeon X1K cards apart.

Performance

The GeForce 7900 GS is the clear winner in Half-Life 2, but the Radeon X1800 GTO isn't far behind.



System Setup:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7900 GS, GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 7600 GS, Radeon X1800 GTO, Radeon X1600 XT, Radeon X1650 Pro, Radeon X1600 Pro. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Oblivion

Image Quality

The Radeon X1K's much-touted HDR and AA combination doesn't come into play much at the mainstream level since we often need to disable antialiasing just to keep frame rates playable in Oblivion. Minus the antialiasing advantage, the images look nearly identical.

Performance

The Radeon X1800 GTO and the GeForce 7900 GS duke it out over first place with no definite winner. It isn't too difficult to see how the rest of the cards play out.



System Setup:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7900 GS, GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 7600 GS, Radeon X1800 GTO, Radeon X1600 XT, Radeon X1650 Pro, Radeon X1600 Pro. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

3DMark06

Image Quality

The same as with Oblivion, ATI's antialiasing advantage with HDR doesn't come into play since we'll always sacrifice image quality to get playable frame rates. Both sets of cards present almost the same, jaggy images.

Performance

3DMark06 is a 3D benchmarking program that runs PC systems through four graphics tests and a CPU test to come up with a final numerical score. We stuck with the standard 1280x1024 3DMark06 test here, since the basic score is most commonly used in comparisons.



System Setup:
System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2. Graphics Cards: GeForce 7900 GS, GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 7600 GS, Radeon X1800 GTO, Radeon X1600 XT, Radeon X1600 Pro. Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.47.

Verdict:
The Radeon X1800 GTO and the GeForce 7900 GS trade wins a few times at the upper end of the mainstream cards, but we're going to have to side with the GeForce 7900 GS because of its lower average cost and consistently better performance. At $200, the GeForce 7900 GS is the perfect card to keep you occupied until it's time to upgrade to a DX10 card for the holiday 2007 game releases. However, keep an eye out for the Radeon X1900 GT and Radeon X1900 XT 256MB. Prices for both cards are closing in on the 7900 GS.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

This video card guide will show you what cards are available in your price range and how they perform in today's PC games. If you're just starting to learn about video cards, we recommend that you check out GameSpot's Ten Things to Know Before Buying a Video Card guide to get a few basic buying tips before jumping into the roundup.

We've divided the video cards by price into four categories: high-end, performance, mainstream, and budget. Our budget list includes all the current-generation video cards available for $100 or less. The mainstream group includes cards that retail for up to $200. Bump the price range up to $200-$400 to get to our performance cards. And finally, we have our extremely broad high-end category that includes everything over $400 that covers both single cards and dual-card setups. We've focused on current-generation GeForce 7 series and Radeon X1K series video cards in this roundup. We opened our multi-part series with the high-end cards. Our next installment covers the budget cards.

Budget Video Cards

You can find a few decent cards in the budget section, but do your research because there are many horrible cards in this price range. The budget aisle is filled with inexperienced buyers who don't know a lot about video cards but are absolutely sure they don't want to spend more than $100 on one. Since that describes a large portion of the PC-buying public, the sub-$100 section can be a scary place to shop. Manufacturers have filled it with a disgusting number of cheap video cards highlighting all sorts of useless features, in the hope that one of them will spark some kind of unfortunate "Wow, I've heard of 64-bit, so this card must be good!" buyer recognition.

You'll need to navigate through the memory minefield to find a passable card. Getting a card with a decent amount of memory, around 128MB, is important, but also be sure to check the memory interface specification to make sure you're getting the best memory bandwidth possible. Most high-end consumer video cards ship with 256-bit memory, but budget cards often ship with 128-bit or 64-bit memory, which can bottleneck game frame rates with insufficient memory bandwidth. If a card model ships with 128-bit or 64-bit memory bus options, go with the 128-bit interface.

Sub-$100 video cards that can play the latest games do exist. Whenever Nvidia or ATI release a new line of GPUs, they offer versions for the high-end, performance, mainstream, and budget buyer. This "top to bottom" strategy ensures that all customers will get the same basic feature set, such as H.264 high-definition video or DirectX 9 Shader Model 3.0 support. Chips in the same product line will share a common feature set, but manufacturers can vary GPU prices by producing models that offer different levels of performance. A high-end model might have the full chip running at the fastest possible speed, while the budget model might be a smaller chip running at half the speed.

When you're buying a budget card, the best you can hope for is a card that supports the latest graphics features and offers passable frame rates at a reasonable resolution, such as 1024x768 or 1280x1024. You will likely need to move up to a more expensive price range if you also want high frame rates or antialiasing.

Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT

Street Price: $70-85
Core: 8 pixel pipelines, 350-400MHz
Memory: 128-512MB, 530-800MHz
Memory Interface: 64-bit, 128-bit

You would have had to pay $400 for an eight-pixel-pipeline, 350MHz video card just three years ago, but now you can get one for under $100 in the 7300 GT. Make sure to get the 128-bit-memory version. Also pay attention to core and memory speeds since they can vary widely.

Nvidia GeForce 7300 GS

Estimated Street Price: $50-70
Core: 4 pixel pipelines, 550-575MHz
Memory: 128-256MB, 540-810MHz
Memory Interface: 64-bit

The GeForce 7300 GS has a speedy core; however, that core only has four pixel pipelines. It's marginally faster than the GeForce 7300 LE, but when you're down this low, it doesn't mean too much.

Nvidia GeForce 7300 LE

Street Price: $45-$60
Core: 4 pixel pipelines, 450
Memory: 128-256MB w/TurboCache, 333-650MHz
Memory Interface: 64-bit

You'll find the LE as the default graphics option in many desktop system configurations. Do yourself a favor and pay to upgrade to a better card. A discrete card with four pipes and a 64-bit memory interface is better than integrated graphics, but not by much.

ATI Radeon X1650 Pro

Street Price: $130-$185
Core: 12 pixel shaders (4 pixel pipelines), 600MHz
Memory: 256-512MB, 700MHz
Memory Interface: 128-bit

Starting September 14, ATI will replace its Radeon X1600 XT part with the new Radeon X1650 Pro. The original X1600 XT card shipped for just over $150, and while the Radeon X1650 Pro has an MSRP of $99, street prices have hovered between $130 and $160, pushing it out of the budget category.

ATI Radeon X1300 XT

Estimated Street Price: $89
Core: 12 pixel shaders (4 pixel pipelines), 500MHz
Memory: 128-bit
Memory Interface: 128-bit

The Radeon X1300 XT looks more like an X1650 than an X1300 with its 12 pixel shaders, and the XT's performance should be very similar to its more expensive sibling.

ATI Radeon X1300 Pro

Street Price: $95-130
Core: 4 pixel shaders, 600MHz
Memory: 256MB, 400MHz
Memory Interface:128-bit

With only four pixel shaders, the Radeon X1300 Pro will struggle to keep up with the Radeon X1650 Pro and the GeForce 7300 GT. Current prices are hovering in the $95 to $130 range, but ATI has told GameSpot that the street price should drop down to $80 shortly.

ATI Radeon X1300

Street Price: $52-100
Core: 4 pixel shaders, 450-600MHz
Memory: 128-512MB, 500-700MHz
Memory Interface: 64-bit, 128-bit

The Radeon X1300 is the base model for a lot of very inexpensive budget cards. Manufacturers offer variations with a number of different core and memory clock speeds as well as versions with 64-bit and 128-bit memory. Stay clear of the 64-bit versions for sure, but with only four pixel shaders total, we should probably stay away from the 128-bit versions, too.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Quake 4

Image Quality

ATI's cards can render Shader Model 3.0 high dynamic range and antialiasing at the same time. However, once we get down to the budget range, the feature isn't as important because cards in the sub-$100 range simply don't have the horsepower to crank out both HDR and antialiasing at the same time. As a result, both Nvidia and ATI render fairly similar images.

Performance

ATI's Radeon X1650 Pro kicks out some serious frames--well, as serious as they get in the sub-$100 range. It bests Nvidia's cards by a wide margin, and it leaves its X1300 XT sibling in the dust.

[Update - September 27th, 2006]
We've disqualified the Radeon X1650 Pro from our budget category because it's promised $99 MSRP has failed to materialize; most retailers currently offer the card for $130-180. As such, the Radeon X1300 XT becomes the new budget cost-performance champ.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2.
Graphics Cards: GeForce 7300 GT, GeForce 7300 GS, GeForce 7300 LE, Radeon X1650 Pro, Radeon X1300 XT, Radeon X1300 Pro, Radeon X1300 256MB, Radeon X1300 128MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Half-Life 2 Lost Coast

Image Quality

Nothing too surprising here, the images look the same for the most part aside from some lighting differences.

Performance

In what looks to be the start of a trend, the Radeon X1650 Pro dominates the rest of the budget challengers. The only card that manages to get near it is the Radeon X1300 XT.

[Update - September 27th, 2006]
We've disqualified the Radeon X1650 Pro from our budget category because it's promised $99 MSRP has failed to materialize; most retailers currently offer the card for $130-180. As such, the Radeon X1300 XT becomes the new budget cost-performance champ.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2.
Graphics Cards: GeForce 7300 GT, GeForce 7300 GS, GeForce 7300 LE, Radeon X1650 Pro, Radeon X1300 XT, Radeon X1300 Pro, Radeon X1300 256MB, Radeon X1300 128MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Oblivion

Image Quality

The reflections and the lighting differ on the two pictures, but we can't pick out any significant quality difference between the two cards.

Performance

Oblivion is barely playable on most of these budget video cards. The Radeon X1650 Pro walks away the winner by a large margin, but 25 frames per second isn't exactly blazing speed.

[Update - September 27th, 2006]
We've disqualified the Radeon X1650 Pro from our budget category because it's promised $99 MSRP has failed to materialize; most retailers currently offer the card for $130-180. As such, the Radeon X1300 XT becomes the new budget cost-performance champ.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2.
Graphics Cards: GeForce 7300 GT, GeForce 7300 GS, GeForce 7300 LE, Radeon X1650 Pro, Radeon X1300 XT, Radeon X1300 Pro, Radeon X1300 256MB, Radeon X1300 128MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

3DMark06

Image Quality

We wouldn't be able to tell the two pictures apart if we didn't label them beforehand. Image quality evens out when you don't have the GPU power to enable antialiasing.

Performance

3DMark06 is a 3D benchmarking program that runs PC systems through four graphics tests and a CPU test to come up with a final numerical score. We stuck with the standard 1280x1024 3DMark06 test here, since the basic score is most commonly used in comparisons.



System Setup: AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 CPU, Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe Motherboard, 1GB (512MB x 2) Corsair XMS Memory, 160GB Seagate 7200.7 SATA Hard Disk Drive, Windows XP Professional SP2.
Graphics Cards: GeForce 7300 GT, GeForce 7300 GS, GeForce 7300 LE, Radeon X1650 Pro, Radeon X1300 XT, Radeon X1300 Pro, Radeon X1300 256MB, Radeon X1300 128MB.
Graphics Drivers: ATI Catalyst 6.8, Nvidia ForceWare 91.31.

Verdict:
[Update - September 27th, 2006]
Originally, the Radeon X1650 Pro was our budget card of choice. However, its MSRP of $99 turned into a street price that ran the gamut from $130 to $185, which pushed it squarely out of the budget category. Compare it to the mainstream cards of our guide.

The budget crown now falls to the Radeon X1300 XT, which has the same core as the Radeon X1650 pro, but with different clock speeds. For roughly $80, the Radeon X1300 XT decisively outperforms other budget offerings and you should actually be able to purchase the card for under $100.

What video card upgrades are you considering? Share your personal video card selection philosophy in the comments below!

Discussion

1113 comments
matt168
matt168

no u wouldnt need 512 or 1gb vid memory 256mb is fine vram doesnt really matter. dual 8700GT would be better

djmokong
djmokong

I need advice if its better to have a single or dual Geforce 8700GT 512MB DDR3 EXTREME GPU card? i just like to play games,and as long as the graphics are nice its fine with me. im just thinking if i really need dual cards or a single card would do.so far the games i've seen has recommended 256 mb of memory,so would i need 512 mb or 1gb o video card memory?is it better to have dual 512 mb cards?any advice would be great.thanks!!

matt168
matt168

where are u finding a 7950GT 512mb a budget? everywhere i look its close to $400

matt168
matt168

could he ati radeon x1650pro play WoW at max settings fine?

Cheese202
Cheese202

I have a 7950 GT and i can still run every game i own at full settings at 1440x900 res... I've yet to find a game that i cannot crank. Of course, its gonna suffer soon as actual DX 10 games come into play, but the 300 bux i spent on it last year is a great value.

zephonwing
zephonwing

7950GT 512MB is a fine, budget card right now' every game at max detail running at 1280x960 is more than enough for most people out there, including FEAR, Oblivion, Dark Messiah and X3, not to mention HL2. Plus, it's only around $200 now, since the 8600/8800 series came out. 07/2007

matt168
matt168

i think ill stick with a 7900GS or if i fin the 1950pro ill buy it. but my 7300Gt works fine. F.E.A.R. at max without shadows, 2xaa 16xaf 1024x768 res i get 30fps+(i checked it with fraps)

el_carl
el_carl

@Bennycal The x1950 pro is a bit better then the 7900 gs. Also, we can't tell you what YOU think a playable framerate is. Thats for you to decide. I can deal with slow fps until about 25 fps. Then I start getting frustrated.

unreal_ll417
unreal_ll417

Bennycal 7950 GT KO is better then the X1950pro the 7950 GT has 24 pixel pipelines and the X1950pro is running in crossfire and it only has 24 pixel pipelines

Bennycal
Bennycal

Is the X1950Pro better than the 7900GS?

Bennycal
Bennycal

also what would be a playable, smooth framerate for oblivion?

Bennycal
Bennycal

Are 7900GS rubbish coz there not even listed here?

bulldog7
bulldog7

I agree, the tech guy at Dell should know what he is talking about. chances are you'll be fine to replace it. It's a new dell so it probably is standard PSU. But if you're really worried about this, pay Bestbuy or future shop $30 to install it and put all your fears away. That way, it won't get screwed up at all. They'll test it there and if it works, then awesome, no damage. if it fries, then they get to replace your computer for breaking it with incompetance. It's a win-win situation, really.

Trazac
Trazac

Even if what bulldog says is true, if the manufacturer says it can take it, you should take their word since it is their computer and since they have tested them. Dell is a reliable company, so their word will help you with any hardware upgrade questions. Just never ask them to help fix your computer, you will wait weeks for their response and help, if they even try to help you in any way.

airwalk_102
airwalk_102

well i was on the live chat with one of the dell people and i was told that the dell e520 will take a standard psu but after you telling me bout frying the comp im beginning to have doubts i really dont want to break this like 2 monthes after purchase

bulldog7
bulldog7

No, 305W is not the max output of your computer, it can go higher, I think something like 400W, but buying a new pSU is the safest thing to do for sure. I don't know what type your PSU is, but i've read horror stories of people replacing their Dell PSU's with regular ones and completely frying their computers. I'd get someone to just confirm the PSU you are buying is compatible. Or go to Future shop and let them install one for like $30 (so that if it fries, it's all their fault!!! ahhaha, no seriously, that's an option)

airwalk_102
airwalk_102

oh so is the 305w the current out put of all my hard ware? and thanks for taking the time to write all that ;) also this isnt an older model its only just about 2 months old. ive also just been reading and i think i will get a new psu as there is a sligh chance that if the psu were to die it could take my motherboard with it.

bulldog7
bulldog7

airwalk_102: Hang on a sec. Don't go rushing out to buy a new power supply. Dell's power supplies are NOT rated the same as other PSUs, they are purposely rated less than others because they are NOT rating their max output, which others that you'd buy in a store do. I have a Dell Demension 8400 with a Dell rated PSU @ 350W, but Dell rates things differently. 305W is closer to 400W, 350W is even higher. Go onto the Dell community boards on dell.com and look at the threads. Even a Dell tech will tell you the rating is very different, it's not the same as others rate them. I'm actually running a 8800GTS 640MB on my Dell (350W); I am doing this on the advice I found at Dell.com, and it purrrs like a kitten, runs without a hitch. And it's all because the PSU can handle much more than 350W. From the thread on Dell.com, you'll find out that Dell underrates their PSU's by roughly 30%. So don't replace that PSU just yet!!!! Go look on the threads at Dell first, or call and talk to a tech there and see if they'll tell you what your max W is for your PSU. The rating is just different from other companies; other companies tend to list the MAX output for marketing purposes where Dell doesn't do this (cause they aren't selling PSUs I suppose). So ya, hold off on that for now until you find out (and again, i'm running a 8800GTS on a 350W dell system and it runs perfectly). But if you happen to decide to upgrade your PSU, then be careful. SOME, not all, but SOME dell PSUs (older models i'm told) are proprietary and require special replacement PSUs and not the standard ATX ones (even though they LOOK like standard PSUs!!!!) hope that helps

airwalk_102
airwalk_102

thanks Trazac yeah was thinkin along the lines of a 550w psu and i will be getting a GTS its all i can afford found them chep enough on newegg.com. i am pretty sure it is only a 305watt which will just have to go so if i order the card i will order the psu with it.

scoots9
scoots9

How well will oblivion run at 1024x768 and 1280x1024 with a Radeon x1950 pro?

kncocalderon
kncocalderon

thx guys...... another question how can i see my power supply?? i pretty sure i sound like a retardesd, sorry my English its very bad,

Trazac
Trazac

@airwalk_102 get a 500w power supply if you want to get any G80 card. Also, if you bought a crappy Dell computer, get a new power supply, you'r gonna need one. Make sure you have 30amps on the +12v Rails @kcoalern Don't get a GX2, get an 8800 GTS/GTX since the are better and the GTS isaround the same price. Also, figure out your power supply, its more important than your mother board, so long yoru mother board has a PCI-E slot

airwalk_102
airwalk_102

hey all i was just wondering do you actually need a 400w powersupply for the 8800gts 320 mb i think i have a 305w but i really dont know it is a dell deminsion E520 and i was also wondering is there any special you would need for this i have a PCI-express slot 16x. if so i am willing to change the motherboard as you can overclock anything on a dell mobo :(

bulldog7
bulldog7

ummm, crack open your case and see if there's enough room, another pci express slot. if not, then no. and your power unit needs to be able to support it too. Saying it's an intel motherboard really doesn't say much at all. It really depends on the specific motherboard.

kncocalderon
kncocalderon

i have 2 gb ram, 3.4 intel dual core and intel motherboard with bus pci express can i have a Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2???

bulldog7
bulldog7

Just bought an 8800 GTS, Kicks ass; i highly recommend it. I'm running: P4 3gighz, 2gig Ram, 8800 GTS 640MB. All is smooth. And I bumped that card up from and x300, what a huge leap. And despite owning a Dell, i've been able to upgrade with minimal to no hassle.

Trazac
Trazac

Not if you have an intel board, and not if you only have one Slot

kncocalderon
kncocalderon

i have 2 gb ram, 3.4 intel dual core and intel motherboard with bus pci express can i have a Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX SLI???

Trazac
Trazac

X1950 Pro handels most games at 12x10 very well. I was surprised. Most people have monitors limited to 12x10, so its an awesome card when it comes to that resolution. The only game that I would say that you would have to go to 10x7 with would be oblivion, which isn't much to say since oblivion only plays really well on the G80 series. That and you could go up to 12x10, you owuld just have to disable grass and some shadows settings I believe.

matt168
matt168

lol srry computer was going really slow so i clicked a bunch of time

matt168
matt168

ok, i dont really care much for performace but my max resoutlion is only 1280x1024 but i mostly play at 1024x768 but as long as i play mostly all all medium settings+ i'm fine

matt168
matt168

ok, i dont really care much for performace but my max resoutlion is only 1280x1024 but i mostly play at 1024x768 but as long as i play mostly all all medium settings+ i'm fine

matt168
matt168

ok, i dont really care much for performace but my max resoutlion is only 1280x1024 but i mostly play at 1024x768 but as long as i play mostly all all medium settings+ i'm fine

matt168
matt168

ok, i dont really care much for performace but my max resoutlion is only 1280x1024 but i mostly play at 1024x768 but as long as i play mostly all all medium settings+ i'm fine

matt168
matt168

ok, i dont really care much for performace but my max resoutlion is only 1280x1024 but i mostly play at 1024x768

Trazac
Trazac

I would personally think that a good idea. The X1950 Pro does as well as the 7900 GT and almost as good as the 7950 GT at times. It also costs a crap load less. If you truly what a good look at it, go to guru3d.com, they have good articles.

matt168
matt168

its was oneo f the cards i was looking at and 7950GT was the other but should i just stick with a x1950 pro?

Trazac
Trazac

If you can find it for the right price, its an awesome card.

matt168
matt168

is the 7900GT a good card?

Trazac
Trazac

you forgot to mention it was better too. This is one more reason why stupid people shouldn't buy or mange a computer

matt168
matt168

$700 for a 1950XTX? wow u could have brougth a eVGA- super clocked 8800GTS for $300 and its only 9inches long and 4.4inches heigth and only need one pci-express x16 slot

KenRmaster
KenRmaster

My boy bought the uber edition 1950XTX and now he feels jipped cause they're not DX10 .. poor kid and he just dropped down $700 big ones .. oooo weee.

Trazac
Trazac

1950 pro is better between those. But unless you really need it, don't buy a card right now. That and buy from newegg.com, its cheaper

matt168
matt168

i was looking at the price thy had for it at bestbuy. but which one of the 2 cards is better to get? idrc about these new dx10 cards

el_carl
el_carl

@matt168 Now you can get an xfx or evga or bfg 7900 gs for around $150

matt168
matt168

should i get a 7900GS or ati 1950 pro? and the dude looking for a new vid card for only 200-230$ u can get a pny verto 7900GS. my friend has it and plays bf2142 at all high settings and gets a constant 60-70fps

Trazac
Trazac

The eVGA 8800 GTS 320 MB Super clocked just came out, it only costs $299, and the performance is just great. So in the long run, getting a card like the 7600 GT is a bad idea. Not to say its a bad card, just to say that its becoming dated quick. Buying a new card now wouldn't be a wise idea, especially if its from the 7 series cards. Wait until other things come out, and then decide what you should buy.