It's been since the holidays that we've done a GPU buyers guide. It never seems like the right time to do a new GPU buyers guide, as NVIDIA and AMD have been pushing aggressively back and forth for leadership in the market place. When new parts or tweaked cards haven't been coming out, prices have been adjusted quickly to maintain tight competition.

Now is no exception. There are a couple spots in our line up where we will have to make recommendations based on what we know about what's happening in the market place. In competitive reviews, we try very hard to look only at that exact time slice to make our recommendations. In our buyers guides we like to be a little more flexible and take a more retail and market place view rather than the heavily technology and performance based focus of our GPU reviews.

Starting out, we're looking at the roughly $75 market where we split our recommendation between the 4670 and the 9600 GT. Prices have compressed more over the past few months, and the 4670 comes in low enough to cover many needs at very little cost. You can always spend less on graphics and get less, but if you want more than 2D, the 4670 and 9600 GT are where you should start looking.

$75 Recommendation: ATI Radeon HD 4670

 

  ATI Radeon HD 4670
Apollo $64.99
Gigabyte $79.99
Sapphire $69.99

 

And we've got the GeForce 9600 GT. Just a little more performance in some games, maybe a little less in others, with roughly the same cost. But if you want any more than that, you'll want to wait about a month.

$75 Recommendation: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT

  NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
Apollo $74.99
Gigabyte $67.99
Sparkle $89.99
PNY $97.99

 

For our ~$100 price point (plus or minus a bit) we are going to strongly recommend that people wait for about a month. This price point will be shaken up a bit in about that time and we really aren't comfortable recommending anyone purchase something in this market until sometime in early May. This may or may not further compress the sub $100 market, but there really isn't much more room down there, so we don't expect much change except at right around $100.

$100 - $200 Recommendations
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  • RU482 - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    pretty sure he means 4670 if he's mentioning a 300W PSU in an off the shelf system Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    What about the HD48501GB? Which is a much better option than the 2GB model unless you have a really expensive monitor i.e. 2560x????1920, I don't know that one.

    Oh, also, the GTS250 512MB version card is great, and IT IS shorter and built on the new referance design; not to mention XFX was selling one on newegg for $118!!!! Definetely a better option than HD4850 for that price.

    Also, the HD4830 is available at $75, so that's a better option than the 9600GT or the HD4670. 5-10 bucks more for significantly better performance.

    Seriously anandtech, this "guide" was really disapointing.
    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    Well Dewreck can't help himself, it's 100% red 100% of the time - because right after any reluctant second listed pincy line ok if I must NVidia recommendation, the pleas to not buy or go up to the next level or wait or don't get it get a better ATI happen - EVERY TIME.
    He had to back off the 4850 because raving and red roostering for that for so long got a bit tiring, so now it's the 4850x2 instead.
    LOL - great move noone noticed.
    He even claims he cannot find a 285, the 280 was less desired so don't get it. LOL
    He's so red rooster NVidia doesn't give them test cards anymore. They've almost blackballed him entirely.
    lol
    But he likes that - makes him feel he has done his crowing and stubby wing flapping well.
    Um, but the guide is great - just put on your red rooster costume, come in, start strutting about, bobbin' yer head and quackin', flap yer little twitterin wings and take off on the propaganda - just don't mention PhysX, game profiles, dual card forcing, Cuda, power savings, or things like EVGA SLI enhancement for instant sli on newly released games...Warmonger, the new Mirror's Edge, PhysX for soft bodies, etc.
    Yeah, and make sure you give the new messiah O a jingle and beg for a couple billion for amd/ati who keep losing their shirts with the bestes red cards the whooorld has ev' known !
    Can't you see a red bug eyed fanboy going for the gold with flippers and a paddle when the "good ship" lollipop is sinking !? rofl
    Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    what the hell is with all the rooster referencing??? You sound like a lunatic. Reply
  • RU482 - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    I would guess the 4830 isn't on there because it is about to disappear (and that $75 IS after rebate).

    Also, FWIW, that $79 4670 pictured (and others) can be had for $49 after rebate (often with free shipping too), making it a heck of a bang for the buck low end card.
    Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    The 4830 was a good buy when it hit - at $75 - I actually liked that and thought it might make it worth the hassles.
    It jumped up to over $100 when it was better recieved than expected - and now it's back down a bit.
    That was a good value card - not too hot, okay on power instead of going into raging powerhungry overdrive like the 4850 and 70.
    Good delivery of value, they tweaked up the shaders with that kerfluffle if you recall... they were gonna release lower perhaps.
    Anyway, the rooster did ok that time.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    hm, I didn't know anand's prices were pre-rebate. That's true though, the 9600GT/HD4670 is a heck of a lot of card for 50 bucks, I didn't think they went under 60, I never checked. Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    I meant HD4850X2 1GB, and also, you guys probably should have just held off a month on the review. Reply
  • josh6079 - Monday, March 30, 2009 - link

    The GTS 250 512MB is not shorter and is not built on the new reference design.

    That's the GTS 250 1GB.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    no dumb person, I already ordered two, from XFX, for 118 dollars each, for other people. The card is an inch and a half shorter. Anandtech's original article stated that they were just guessing, and they were wrong in that guess. Both the 1GB and 512MB versions use less electricity and are 1.5 inches shorter. Reply

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