Early Morning Shopping for Video Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 25, 2004 - 10:55 AM |
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Every once in a while, I like to look around the online shops to see whats new in the world of hardware that you can actually BUY and not just read about.  Well, this morning I decided to take a look at graphics cards from around the web, and here is some of what I found.


If you are looking for an ATI-based X800 XT card (search for the lot of them here) you might be surprised that you can find them now!  Asus has both their AGP version (priced at around $600) and their PCI Express version (also priced around $600).  Gigabyte also has both an AGP version (priced under $500) and a PCI Express version (priced right at $500).  You'll no doubt notice that is a $100 price difference between the two brands, with very little difference in what you are getting for your money.  We'll have reviews of both cards soon, to show you why.  MSI, PowerColor and Visiontek also have cards available, so just click here to see the full list of X800 XT. 


There are a lot of X800 Pros for sale at various locations, so you can search for all them here as well.  They seem to be priced in the lower $400 range.  However, there aren't any PCI Express versions listed yet.


What I DID find interesting at one of our advertisers is this for sale: an MSI X800 XT Platinum Edition AGP 8x card priced at $749!!  Yes, that pricing is absolutely ridiculous, but I only bring this up to show that at least we have one available.  Newegg also has a lot of X800 cards listed as in stock, but no PE's quite yet. 


Of course now we also have to look at the NVIDIA side of things -- what can we find in the realm of 6800 GTs and Ultras?  While there aren't quite as many listings for 6800 Ultras as there are for X800XTs, there are still some available.  The prices are also listed in the $600 range, but again only two are coming up on our pricing engine -- BFG and EVGA.  (Actually, looking at it again, Dell @ Home as the BFG 6800 Ultra OC on sale for $516!)


6800 GTs are a different story all together, as we see quite a bit of them available for $400, give or take $40 on either end.  There are a lot of brands available such as BFG, EVGA, PNY, XFX, Asus and more. 


What can we learn from this exercise this morning?  The less-than-upper end cards (the X800 Pros and 6800 GTs) are in stock at nearly all major online vendors and are priced relatively close to their MSRP of $399.  You may still find a few places trying to take advantage of the shortage that existed in the past months, so be sure you check around on our pricing engine for the best deals.  As for the upper end cards, we see the X800 XTs becoming fairly accessible, but there is basically no mention of the Platinum Edition anywhere, save that one site that had one for $750!  Being as ATI is actually piting the X800 XT PE agains the NVIDIA 6800 Ultra in all of their marketing, it is becoming an annoyance to see the cards that we have been using in reviews for 3 months now STILL not available in the market.  NVIDIA's 6800 Ultra, though fairing better than the XT PE card, is still hard to come buy, with only two showing up in our morning search.  That being said, the prices of these cards (the XTs and Ultras) is just stupid -- most of them are going for $600 or more as opposed to the MSRP of $499.  I would certainly suggest either waiting for the prices to come down more or getting a Pro or GT card of your preference instead of wasting the better part of a grand on a single component of your system.  Maybe ATI and NVIDIA will start getting chips out to vendors sometime this year and you can get your Ultra card for Christmas.


I would like to hear what experiences the rest of you are having, so I have started a thread in our forums for discussion on this topic. 


 
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