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PCI Express Graphics Cards

Ultra High-End

Here you have the same choice as among the topmost cards for the AGP slot. The ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition is the fastest device of this class, but it is also the most expensive. Most users would think a price of $549 rather steep.

A graphics subsystem based on NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI (two cards joined across the Scalable Link Interface) would put you back much more, but it does not always gain the upper hand since this technology needs special optimization of the ForceWare driver for particular games.


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

The best buy, like with the AGP equipment, is the ATI RADEON X800 XT, which surpasses the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, especially in FSAA+AF modes. These two cards cost the same money, about $470 and higher, according to PriceWatch.com. Considering this, ATI’s device looks more appealing.


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

ATI’s architecture shows its best in the “eye candy” mode, but NVIDIA’s cards still win some games, particularly Doom 3 and some flight simulators. That’s why we can’t give you any advice as to what device to buy – you know better what games you’re going to play!

For people who don’t care about money the ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition will be the best options, as it runs all existing games at a breathtaking speed. There’s only one hitch – this card hasn’t yet appeared in retail shops. The ATI RADEON X800 XT is a good choice, too. The NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra in its PCI Express incarnation is still a rarity and costs a lot, so you may want to prefer it only if you want much speed in particular games and a quality OpenGL driver. A system with two GeForce 6800 Ultra in the SLI mode would cost much more. So far the SLI technology doesn’t work correctly in many games, so this is yet a toy for enthusiasts rather than a real method of improving the speed of the graphics subsystem of your computer.

 
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