Graphics Shootout: 17 Cards for a Better Gaming PC

By Jason Cross  |  Posted 2006-04-20 Print this article Print

Review: How much video card do you need? Which ones deliver the most bang for the buck? In our sort-of annual graphics card roundup, we evaluate 17 cards that cost from $80 to $600. (ExtremeTech)

If we have learned anything from our collective years of testing and writing about PC hardware and related technology, its this: Not everyone has the same needs and budget.

Sure, those brand-new, high-end graphics cards make all your games run fast with all the settings cranked way up, but the vast majority of PC enthusiasts dont have $600 to drop once or twice a year.
Similarly, those $100 cards offer tempting savings, but will they get the job done? Can you really play that game thats giving your current video card so much trouble?
Once or twice a year, we try to solve this dilemma with a big video card roundup. This time, we took 17 currently available cards representing the range of price points from $80 up to $600. Well show you benchmarks with 3DMark06 and a sample of games that are representative of the graphics-card-stressors of the day. Well show you which models deliver high fames-per-second per dollar, and just plain high frames-per-second. Ultimately, we hope to arm you with the information you need to figure out exactly which graphics card is right for you. Read the full story on ExtremeTech: Graphics Shootout: 17 Cards for a Better Gaming PC
Jason Cross Jason was a certified computer geek at an early age, playing with his family's Apple II when he was still barely able to write. It didn't take long for him to start playing with the hardware, adding in 80-column cards and additional RAM as his family moved up through Apple II+, IIe, IIgs, and eventually the Macintosh. He was sucked into Intel based side of the PC world by his friend's 8088 (at the time, the height of sophisticated technology), and this kicked off a never-ending string of PC purchases and upgrades.

Through college, where he bounced among several different majors before earning a degree in Asian Studies, Jason started to pull down freelance assignments writing about his favorite hobby—,video and computer games. It was shortly after graduation that he found himself, a thin-blooded Floridian, freezing his face off at Computer Games Magazine in Vermont, where he founded the hardware and technology section and built it up over five years before joining the ranks at ExtremeTech and moving out to beautiful northern California. When not scraping up his hands on the inside of a PC case, you can invariably find Jason knee-deep in a PC game, engrossed in the latest console title, or at the movie theater.


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