Top Graphics Cards for PC Gaming available in India

Top Graphics Cards for PC Gaming available in India

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In January 2008, ATI released the Radeon 3870 X2. This card has two Radeon 3870 GPUs working in tandem on a single board. As of now, the 3870 X2 is not only the costliest card in the market but also the fastest. However there is a slight catch in that. The card uses Crossfire drivers in order to achieve that distinction so that in the end it still remains on average because of uneven performances.

Top Gaming Graphics Cards

Under some circumstances the 3870 X2 can be left behind by a GeForce 8800 Ultra. And like all ATI cards, the Radeon 3870 X2 does not do a good job with DirectX 10. Of course, this should make it clear that NVIDIA will probably be releasing an 8800 GX2 to compete with it. In addition, the GeForce 9600 GT is due out soon and will give a lot of competition to the ATI Radeon 3870 X2.

Listed below are some of the best video cards along with a feature and price comparison. Please note that the prices mentioned below do not include customs duty and other taxes that may apply in your location.

Best graphics card below Rs. 3000

Radeon 2600 Pro (PCIe)
Chip code: RV630
Chip size: 65nm
Shaders: 128
Textures: 8
ROPs: 4
Memory: 128-bit, 500 Mhz
Speed: 600 MHz
DirectX 10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

This is one of those cards that you never hear about for any decent gaming performance. You can get them real cheap. The 2600 Pro is actually a 2600XT that is under-clocked. If you are a light gamer, that is you do not need to play Crysis even at low settings, then this is the card for you.

Geforce 7600 GT (PCIe)

Priced at around Rs. 3500, this is another excellent card for budget gamers, and in fact, will happily play Crysis at low settings. Also in the same category with the same specs are the Radeon 2600 XT (Rs. 4000) and Geforce 8600 GT (Rs. 4000). You might say that prices have fallen so low that for the budget gamer this is a good time.

A note of caution here. Avoid the 64 bit versions of these cards. They are slightly cheaper but the performance is absolutely worthless.

Best graphics card below Rs. 4500

GeForce 8600 GT (PCIe)
Chip code: G84
Chip size: 80nm
Shaders: 32
Textures: 16
ROPs: 8
Memory: 28-bit, 700 Mhz
Speed: 540 MHz
DirectX 10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

The 8600 GT was not really worth buying at Rs. 7000 but thanks to the price drop it now makes perfect sense to get one. Much better than the GeForce 7600 GT and the ATI Radeon X1650 XT. The card has excellent performance and can be safely overclocked and has flawless support for DirectX 10.

Note here that you are better off not buying the DDR2 8600 GT. Always buy the DDR3 version as they are much faster and there is not much of a price difference.

Radeon HD 2600 XT (PCIe)

Chip name: RV630
Chip size: 65nm
Shaders: 128
Textures: 8
ROPs: 4
Memory: 128-bit, 700 MHz
Speed: 800 MHz
DirectX 10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

Very close in performance to the 2600 XT but slightly ahead when you turn off anti-aliasing. The GeForce is certainly ahead when you turn on anti-aliasing but if that is not a big deal (you cannot use either of them above 1024×768 with full screen AA anyway) for then you should go for the cheaper option.

Best graphics card below Rs. 6000

GeForce 8600 GTS (PCIe)

Chip name: G84
Chip size: 80nm
Shaders: 32
Textures: 16
ROPs: 8
Memory: 128-bit, 1000 MHz
Speed: 675 MHz
DirectX 10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

Like all video cards the 8600 GTS was terribly expensive when it was first released but now that its price has fallen to $120 it makes a good choice. The X1950 Pro has more raw power than the vanilla X1950 because of its 256-bit memory. The 8600 has more shader power and that equates to more raw performance. It is worth considering what you want at this point, a cheaper card or more power.

Radeon X1950 PRO (PCIe)

Chip name: RV570
Chip size: 90nm
Pixel Shaders: 36
Vertex Shaders: 8
Textures: 12
ROPs: 12
Memory: 256-bit (690 MHz)
Speed: 575 MHz
DirectX 10: No (9.0c)
Shader Model: SM 3.0

This is the biggest competition to the 8600 GTS and it is more powerful too because of the 256 bit memory though there is a compromise here because if the game requires more shader computing power then the 8600 GTS gets ahead of the X1950 Pro.

Best graphics card between Rs. 7000-8000

Radeon 3850 256 MB (PCIe)
Chip name: RV670
Chip size: 55nm
Shaders: 320
Textures: 16
ROPs: 16
Memory: 256-bit/833 MHz
Speed: 670 MHz
DirectX10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

The Radeon 3850 is the first card below Rs. 8000 that has DirectX 10 support and one that offers performance that is close to the top of the line cards. Not comparable perhaps but close enough for most gamers. The Radeon 3850 gives you the same performance as a GeForce 8800 GTS but for around Rs. 5000 cheaper. If you have the budget for it then this card is a God-send for you.

Radeon 3850 512MB (PCIe)

Chip name: RV670
Chip size: 55nm
Shaders: 320
Textures: 16
ROPs: 16
Memory: 256-bit/833 MHz
Speed: 670 MHz
DirectX10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

This is the 512MB version of the same card and allows you to run the same games at a much higher resolution. You can even go to ultra settings in some games.

Best graphics card below Rs. 10000

Radeon 3870 (PCIe)

Chip name: RV670
Chip size: 55nm
Shaders: 320
Textures: 16
ROPs: 16
Memory: 256-bit/1125 MHz
Speed: 775 MHz
DirectX10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

This is a powerhorse card for those who can afford it. In fact, the only reason why you would not want to buy it if you can is because you opt for the GeForce 8800 GT that has a more power than the Radeon 3970.

GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (PCIe)

Chip name: G92
Chip size: 65nm
Shaders: 112
Textures: 56
ROPs: 16
Memory: 256-bit/900 MHz
Speed: 600 MHz
DirectX10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

This card will give you nearly the same performance as the GeForce 8800 GTX but at only around half the cost price. It is slightly costlier than the Radeon 3970 but the extra price is perfectly justified considering that you are getting incredible graphic computing power. For the gamer who wants maximum game performance but does not wish to burn a hole in the pocket this is an excellent choice.

Best graphics card below Rs. 15000

GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB (PCIe)

Chip name: G92
Chip size: 65nm
Shaders: 128
Textures: 56
ROPs: 16
Memory: 256-bit/900 MHz
Speed: 600 MHz
DirectX10: Support
Shader Model: SM 4.0

If you just want an extra bit of juice and are willing to pay for the marginally extra performance then the 8800 GTS is for you. It is better than the 8800GT in only one respect and that is in that it uses 128 universal shaders as compared to the 112 universal shaders of the 8800 GT. For most gamers the 8800 GT will be more than enough but if you have a few extra thousand bucks to spare and you must run your game at the highest possible resolution, then make sure to get yourself an 8800 GTS.

Best graphics card below Rs. 20000

Radeon 3870 X2 (PCIe)

Chip name: RV670
Chip size: 55nm
Shaders: 640
Textures: 32
ROPs: 32
Memory: 256-bit/900 MHz
Speed: 825 MHz
DirectX10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

SLI is much praised in the media but first, there are too many issues with running two cards in the PC and second, not everyone can afford the double price tag. ATI did a clever thing by putting two GPUs on one card and giving the same performance boost that you would get from a multi-card setup. Of course, with a price as high as this, the performance ought to be spectacular but like all ATI cards even all this power does not allow the Radeon 3870 X2 to compete with similarly powered NVIDIA cards in DirectX10 games.

Two GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB in SLI (PCIe)

Chip name: G92
Chip size: 65nm
Shaders: 112
Textures: 56
ROPs: 16
Memory: 256-bit/900 MHz
Speed: 600
DirectX10: Yes
Shader Model: SM 4.0

These are 2 GeForce 8800 GT cards installed in SLI configuration. The installation is not quite straightforward for everyone and configuring the cards to get them working at optimum performance will not be easy. The biggest advantage to this card is that it will be much better than the Radeon 3870 X2 in DirectX 10 games.

Jitender Pal Singh Saan

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