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Old 12-02-2006, 05:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Video Card questions

Basically, the new system I'm building is a budget PC. I was trying to keep it around $500 with a single core processor but decided to boost it up to a dual core.

Here's what I have now:

7600GT PCI-E
3800+ X2 (939)
1GB PC3200

Pretty basic system, but I was mainly wondering... is there any upcoming price drop expected for the 7 series cards? I'd really like to bump that up to a 7900GT (7600 is $100, 7900 is $200 at the moment) but not spend twice as much if the boost will be slight.

How much of a difference is there between the two cards (any examples would be nice, especially ones with a relatively close system)? I've looked at benchmarks but most I've seen are pretty unreliable (only benched once, often resulting is errors in data), so personal experiences would be better.

Also, is there any expected price drop (presuming one possibly around Christmas)? I saw that since a month ago when I checked, the cheaper 7900GTs dropped from $230-$240 to $200. Is this the result of the 8 series cards or is there another price drop coming soon? I know there is speculation, obviously, but anything official? I don't really know a reliable place to get news about such things from.

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Old 12-02-2006, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Disclaimer: This is only my opinion, based on my perception of the current market, and I could be completely wrong. Nobody can predict such things anyway.

I don't expect a large price drop for GeForce 7 cards yet (ie: nothing beyond the regular price behavior of electronics). The 8800 has barely a month of age, and nVidia hasn't released low- and mid-range 8 series card, and won't probably do until after christmas. So it's gonna be a while (3-4 months) before they start migrating their market towards the 8 series. In other words, the 7 series still has some juice left (hence the prices won't drop too much).

As for the difference between the cards, it's substantial. A 7900GS has a 20% to 30% performance gain over a 7600GT, and a 7900GT has a 5%-15% advantage over a 7900GS. If you're looking for cheap and powerful, consider a 7900GS. It's very overclockable from what I hear, too.

For instance, in this review they compared a XFX 7900GS to a BFG 7900GT and a BFG 7600GT. Here are sample 3dmark06 results (these are for fill rate, but the general results of their benchmarks are similar):


SuperPi 1M: 29.6s - 3DMark06: 8616
The Geek Test v3.1 Score: 36.3% - Major Geek
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The 7900GS also overclocks to 7900GT speeds without even beginning to stress itself. Very nice card, that one.
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much. That is exactly what I was looking forward.
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