Can a sub $100 graphics card really hang with today’s $300-$600 cards?
According to Tech Report yes.
After a very exhaustive review of eight cards from Nvidia and ATI, the answer is definitely yes. Although the final recommendation is for the Radeon 4850 a $170 card with a $30 mail in rebate, the sub $100 cards, those being the Radeon 4670 and Nvidia’s 9600 GSO, still hang in there in most of yesterday’s games. The 4850 would also have to be my recommendation as well after seeing all the numbers. The 4850 was top card in all gaming test except Crysis: Warhead, although it draws more power that’s to be expected with a higher end card.
I was always a big Nvidia fan myself but since AMD acquired ATI I’ve been leaning the other way and this report pushes me just a little further. Although it will be awhile before I build a new rig, I’ll probably be using an ATI card.