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Video Card Roundup - September 2008



If you have been gaming on a PC for quite some time, you've probably realized by now that the single most important component of your computer, for gaming performance, is the graphics card. It is said in the computer games industry that audio accounts for roughly 10% of the gaming experience, and the about 90% is visual. Obviously, good gameplay makes it a good experience, but here we are talking about the instantaneous experience, what you see and hear.

Console game development works within extremely confined limits, and tries to make the most of the graphics hardware.   PC game development, however, is often designed to scale the 3D engine so that the game performs at a playable level on mainstream cards, brings flagship cards to their knees, and possibly even allows the game to be played on entry level cards.

So, which card is right for you? Do you have a unquenchable hunger for the highest performance? Would you rather find the best value card? Or, would you like to get find a middle ground between maximum performance and bang-for-buck?


The Contenders:

Granted, the CPU, RAM and motherboard configurations were not always the same, but all configurations were fairly even matched   All the graphics cards will be compared against each other in one large group.

Asus EN8800GT TOP
Asus EN9800 GTX
Foxconn 9800GTX
Gigabyte 9800GT
Gigabyte NX88T512HP v1.0 (8800GT)
Gigabyte GV-R485-512H-B (HD4850)
MSI R4850 (HD4850)
Palit 9800GX2
Palit GTX260
Palit GTX280
Palit HD4850
PowerColor HD4850
PowerColor HD4870
PowerColor HD4870 PCS+
Sapphire HD4850
Sapphire Toxic HD4850
Sapphire HD4870
Sapphire HD4870 X2
Visiontek HD4870
XFX 9800GX2



  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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