Best 3d card for around $100

Please suggest. I have a PCI-e slot and need to purchase a 3D card. My budget is around $100.

Looking around newegg, it seems to come down to X800 / X800GTO (older ATI, but fast), X1600Pro (and an X1600XT open box) - newer ATI, better features (PS3.0) but typically lower performance on current games than the X800 series.

In Nvidia, the choice seems to be 6600GT or 6800XT (open box).

Also depends on what you think of 128MB, 256 or 512MB of RAM - 128 may be a little light, but the performance level is probably insufficient to do justice to 512MB - comes down to applications, some use a lot of textures but little clever studff, and could be impaired by 128MB instead of 256, while others will take all the power that can be thrown at them, and never mind how much RAM.

Thanks a lot Matth

So I think my current X300SE is a bad buy.

How about the

7300 (PNY GeForce 7300 GS Video Card, PCI Express, 256MB GDDR2) - this is selling in COMPUSA for $80

I think 7300 series is supposed to be better than 6600 right?

Also what do the GS and GT - Is GT a higher end card compared to GS? I assume the same thing applies for ATI - GT (high end) and GTO (low end) and SE (low end)?

yes the 7300 is better. i think GT is better than GS. Type in ‘7300gs, 7300gt’ in google and u will see.


And between

  1. PNY GeForce 7300 GS ($80)


  1. SAPPHIRE 100156L Radeon X1600PRO 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Overclocked Edition CrossFire Ready Video Card - Retail ($90 after MIR)

Which one’s better?

based on those specs i’d go for the Radeon.

The 7300GS is the absolute bottom of the Nvidia 7-series, on a par with the ATI X1300 (bottom of the X1k series). Unless you can run to a 7600, forget the Nvidia 7-series.

As for all those letter suffixes, they make my head spin…

ATI suffixes (that I can be resonably sure of):
PRO = A bit faster
XL = Usually OEM specials, similar to PRO
XT = fastest model

GTO seems to mean “good to overclock”, or was that the GTO2 that was a truly insane overclocker, built from lefover top end chips.

I think the nvidia GS is slow and GT is fast, but lost track of them ages ago

Can’t find exactly identical models, but it looks like an X800 series ATI or a 6800 series Nvidia both wipe the floor with the x1600’s - with rebate, just in the range
6800 model - looks equivalent to GT in clock speeds.
Has 256MB RAM and a 256 bit memory bus (cards with a 128 bit bus can hit memory performance limits in some operations)

PPS. Do you have a PCI-E power connector - the midrange segment of cards may or may not require it, some do, some don’t, if you don’t have a connector, then it may need a replacement PSU as well, or a molex to PCI-E adapter if there is enough power reserve to allow it.


I read a few benchmarks and found that the 7600 SE is a good buy. Better performance than the 6800 and low price. I think this card fits my needs, so I bought it. By the way circuit city sells this for $89 after rebates (cheapest i could find).

let us know how you fair with that card. Ive got the 7900 and its brilliant.