With all the focus on high end video cards you might start believing we are living among millionaires. Unfortunately it’s not quite true, while it’s cool to see how fast the latest gear can make games run, in the end most people will go for the more reasonably priced products out there.
The focus of this roundup is to help you make an educated decision on your next purchase, with a semi-filled wallet we try to find the best bang for the buck mid-range PCIe video card.
With High-End products priced between $300-600, you should be able to pick up a good mid-range card between $100-200, we’ve included the following VGA cards in our test (prices mentioned are from the time of writing this roundup)
|Asus X1300 Pro Silent 256Mb||~$100|
The cheapest card in our roundup, the X1300 series is borderline low-range with a price tag of ~$100. This Asus model features passive cooling which is a plus.
|Sparkle 6600 GT 128Mb ||~$110|
nVidia's mid-range video card which preceded the 7600GT can now be had for ~$110
|Powercolor X800GTO 128Mb||~$120|
This previous generation video card from ATI can now be found for $110-130 if you shop around a bit.
|Asus X1600 XT Silent 256Mb||~$170|
The X1600XT can be found for ~$150, this particular Asus model with passive cooling costs just a bit more at ~$170.
|eVGA 7600GT CO 256Mb||~$180|
Pricing on a the new mid-range card from nVidia starts at ~$180.
|Club 3D X1800 GTO 256Mb||~$200|
The X1800GTO based VGA cards were originally priced at ~$250 but ATI recently announced a nice price drop, and this card can now be found for ~$200.
|eVGA 7600GT CO SC 256Mb||~$210|
The Super Clocked version from eVGA is approximately ~$30 more expensive, but does come with a quite noticeable speed bump in the GPU/Memory department.
Piotke's Test Setup
|CPU || AMD Athlon 64 3500+|
|Mainboard ||MSI K8N SLI|
|Memory ||2*512MBDDR PC3200|
|Video ||A lot :)|
|Other ||Seagate 7200.7 120 GB |
Before we delve into benchmarking, let’s have a look at the specifications from the different VGA cards ->