Graphics cards

Nvidia cards

Nvidia GeForce MX series - The oldest series of cards still available for sale, finding them now is rare, as they are surpassed by both the 5000 and 6000 series. They can be found for as little as $30-40 now, and are only suitable for basic computing operations such as word processing and internet browsing.

Nvidia GeForce FX 5000 series - An older but still widely available range of cards, the 5000 series of cards are equivalent to ATI's 9000 series, ranging from very low cost to mid-range cards. They do not have nearly as much geometry processing power as the 6 series, but can hold their own in terms of fill rate.

There are a very large number of variations, ranging from the ultra-cheap GeForce FX 5200 to the very powerful GeForce FX 5950. There are too many to go through in detail here, and most are very difficult to find, but here is the full list of graphics chips in this range available from Nvidia:

  • GeForce FX 5200
  • GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
  • GeForce PCX 5300
  • GeForce FX 5500
  • GeForce FX 5200
  • GeForce PCX 5750
  • GeForce FX 5700LE
  • GeForce FX 5700
  • GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
  • GeForce FX 5900
  • GeForce PCX 5900
  • GeForce FX 5900 XT
  • GeForce FX 5900 Ultra
  • GeForce FX 5950 Ultra

The performance across the range varies considerably. For example, the still-available FX 5500 makes a rather poor video card by today's standards - but it can be bought very cheaply. Its fill rate power is about 80 per cent that of the GeForce 6200, and its geometry processing power is roughly quarter of the newer 6200 cards.

At the top end of this range, however, the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra is an excellent card, in spite of its age. It has fill rates and vertex processing power roughly equivalent to the GeForce 6600.

Nvidia 6800ultra

GeForce 6 series -- The GeForce 6 series is Nvidia's current mainstream and high-end line, currently comprising of the GeForce 6200, GeForce 6600 and GeForce 6800. Cards using the 6200 chips are difficult to find, although if you can find them they should be in the sub-$200 category of products. The 6600s cost around the $300 mark, while the powerful 6800 cards can cost $600 or more.

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