Cheap Video Cards

ATI and nVidia

The main competitors in the video card race are ATI video cards and nVidia video cards. Both these companies keep pushing the boundaries to produce ever higher quality and ever stronger performance from their graphics cards.

Of course, as always, the main focus goes to the high-end video cards aimed at gamers. Both ATI video cards, nVidia video cards and others allow players to achieve ever higher frames per second from their games at increasingly high resolutions.

This involves developing new technologies all the time. Like technologies that take two video cards and pair them together to achieve better results. ATI video cards had a strong hold on the video card market for quite a while, but nVidia have done a good job at producing better video cards which are now a serious threat to ATI.

Video card slots

Along with the evolution of video cards has come and improvement in the interface with the motherboard.

The slot, which is where the video card is connected to the motherboard can come in 3 different varieties nowadays, usually suggesting the price range the cards for it will fall into.

The three different kinds are:

  • PCI - The oldest kind, always found on motherboards
  • AGP - Different speed varieties, but is being phased out, still great even for high end games
  • PCI express (PCIe) - Matches fastest AGP, but has future potential
Connect3D Radeon 7000 / 32MB DDR / AGP / VGA / RCA / TV Out / Video Card
Connect3D Radeon 7000 32MB DDR AGP w/ TV Out

PCI slots

This is a standard expansion slot, all motherboards have them. The design of PCI slots means that they are not capable of the kind of transfer rates that are needed for gaming graphics.

Only cheap video cards come in this flavor, but with that said, they are still worth a look at, just because they are cheap does not mean they are bad.

PCI Express slots

This slot, which is the newest, and becoming more and more popular, was the answer to the extra bandwidth needed by newer games. Although initially it doesn’t actually outperform AGP, the potential is there.

As well as the bandwidth, it supports other things, like the ability to use 2 PCIe slots and put 2 video cards together, using SLI technology.

My opinion would be to go for a PCI Express slot, just because of the future proofness. However, good deals can be had on AGP cards, as the technology gets phased out, the slightly older cards become cheaper.

« Previous page   |   Next page »

All Pages: 1 2 3 4 5