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In the market for new video card...


OSNN Senior Addict
Well, I have finally outgrown my Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro. Had it for over two years now, and it has been a good one. I'm planning to buy a new video card from Newegg in the very near future. I have been reading about several models. Does anyone know the difference between these two that would justify the huge cost difference?:



My budget is currently $250-350. I will gladly take suggestions on other cards. I don't really care if it's ATI or NVIDIA, I have used both and have been happy. I just want the most bang for the buck and possibly be future-proofed as much as possibly (I plan to buy Windows Vista). Any suggestions will me much appreciated (and repped). Thanks alot.

P.S. This card will mainly be for gaming.



Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Nice Avatar.... Anyways they look almost identical except for the price. One of them has an SR in the model and I have no idea what that means. I know the cheaper one is (for some crazy reason) the retail one. The other is OEM and probably won't include the box and such. Not sure if there is any other difference.


Political User
You say you have a 9800 Pro, this is a AGP 8X card right? The ATI cards you are looking at are all PCI-E, which is pretty much all you can buy anymore. I think both Nvidia and ATI did release a bastard AGP card recently. Maybe someone knows the model number of it.

For being future proof, its a hard sell between Nvidia and ATI right now... I am sure the the zeleots will show up here soon enough :D But honestly, I dont think it matters which one you go with. There are benefits to both sides.

I think your best value however would the 7900GT, its "only" has 256MB of Vram compared to the 512 from your links... but performance per dollar Its the best value around right now.

Vanquished -
I'd expect a 6800 GT to go for at least $125-150. Mid range new generation cards are going for $200 or more

Vivid -
There were some "performance" AGP cards released. Unfoirtunately newegg ruined their great search feature so I'm going to have to dig to find them. You might want to consider upgrading your MB at the same time as the vid card. AGP is dying out really fast now.


Spammer representing.
Political User
$100.00 USD for a Sapphire X800GTO with a tweaked BIOS shipped.

12 Pixel Pipelines
256Mb DDR
R430 core set to max speed, plus memory set to highest rate at nearest divider.

I used it for about 2 months before I got my new system so I could run some games that my 9600XT wouldn't. All cables and adapters included.


Mr. Bananagrabber
Political User
I know that your response inst to me.. but is that better than the 7800gtx?
also, do you know if two 6800gts in sli would be adequate to the 7900gt?
From what I could find:
The 6800 GT SLI pair benches out about 20% faster on 3d mark 05 than a single 7800 GTX at 1024, 4AA/8AF. The 7800gtx is 15% faster than a 7900gt at those settings. I can't swear that they are identical versions of 3d mark05 because the bench's were run at different times.

I think the 7900's run cooler also. Unless I'm getting reviews mixed up they use a smaller geometry process so they end up cheaper than the 7800 series.

Based on those results the 7900 GT looks like the better choice (newer shader support, and you can always go SLI on the 7900 GT latter). Some of the vendors are also factory overclocking 7900 GT's so there is headroom if you like to play video card roulette.

The cards are close enough in performance it's really hard to make a call because of the difference in shaders. Results can vary significantly between different games especially if you want the new shader features turned on.



I think they changed the versions on the game fps tests between these 2 reviews so frame rate results aren't directly comparable.

If you run 1600 resolution the 3d mark05 scores are all about the same between your 3 choices.

PS Disclaimer - remember I blew my last upgrade choice so consider my comments carefully. ;)
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F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
The 1900xt or the 7900gt's are both good buys. THe 7900gt is probably the best bang for the buck right now and both would give substantial improvements over the 9800pro.

The 1800xt is a decent card in light of things but the 1900 series is a lot more future proof with its multitude of shader units.

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