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Video Card Roundup - September 2008

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In the last graphics card roundup, only the top four cards were shown in the graphs for each comparable benchmark, in terms of performance and performance per dollar.

This time, I'm going to do it differently, and show all the cards in the graphs in ascending price order so that similarly priced cards will be next to each other.

Another change in this roundup is that, instead of showing the eight comparable benchmarks, I will be presenting the ratings for each category as an index value calculated from all the benchmarks at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions. This is to reflect the overall performance in all 3D games and summarise all the data to make it easier to compare the cards.

The categories used in this roundup are as follows:

  • Performance: Highest framerate = highest performance
  • Value: Highest performance per dollar = highest value
  • Best of both: High framerate AND high value

I've added the third category because I want to see if some of the high performance cards are also good value, and vice versa. If a card is really cheap and ends up being the best value, but is the worst performer, is it really good value or is it more bottom of the barrel? That's what I'd like to show in the final category.



The performance figures are taken from each product review, but in order to compare the value of the cards I need to look at the current retail price of each card.

Rather than use any particular retailer, I chose to use Google Product Search, Froogle, to find the 5 lowest prices and then took the average of those values.   So if any one retailer has a random mega-sale or whatever right now, the averaging will be a fairer representation of the price as compared to simply taking the lowest price.

Here are the current prices, in ascending order:


Graphics card Price $USD
Gigabyte NX88T512HP v1.0 (8800GT) 136
Gigabyte 9800GT 144
Sapphire HD4850 171
Asus EN8800GT TOP 172
Palit HD4850 176
PowerColor HD4850 177
Gigabyte GV-R485-512H-B (HD4850) 188
MSI R4850 (HD4850) 199
XFX 9800GTX 206
Sapphire Toxic HD4850 211
Foxconn 9800GTX 223
Sapphire HD4870 265
ZOGIS 9800GTX 266
Visiontek HD4870 272
PowerColor HD4870 276
Palit 9800GX2 287
PowerColor HD4870 PCS+ 290
Palit GTX260 298
XFX 9800GX2 318
Asus EN9800GTX 357
Palit GTX280 431
XFX GTX280 443
Sapphire HD4870 X2 533




  1. Introduction & The Contenders
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Methodology & Price
  4. Head-to-head: Performance
  5. Head-to-head: Value
  6. Head-to-head: Best of Both (Performance & Value)
  7. Conclusion
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