When it comes to buying video cards that pesky cost factor always manages to wriggle its way into the fray. We've long since passed the days when a good CPU could push a computer to its limits. It seems as though the CPU is getting to be more and more of an accessory for the video card. With prices dropping so quickly on obscenely powerful processors, you have to find a place to spend all that hard-earned cash. A quick peak at Pricewatch shows that the AthlonXP 2000+ can be had for a bit over $100, and the highly overclockable Northwood can be had for pennies. These CPUs put you within a hair of the best either Intel or AMD have to offer. Spending more cash on those extra 100MHz or so isn't likely to bring you more frames or much more performance on your daily tasks. The extra money would be far better spent on a faster hard drive or a quicker video card.
Enter the ASUS GeForce 4 Ti4600 - about as elite as you can get in the video card scene. With the average GeForce4 Ti4600 costing slightly above the $300 mark, many would scoff at this price and gladly pay roughly half this sum and walk away with a Ti4200 that performs well above what it costs. This isnít even factoring in the fact that the majority of these cards are phenomenal overclockers. When we venture into the realm of the V8460 Deluxe, the price takes a rather dramatic rise into the $370 range. Quite a jump even if you are considering spending $300 on a video card, or a Carl Lewis like leap if you had your sights set on a Ti4200.
The grandaddy Ti4600
As the saying goes Ė if you have to ask, you probably canít afford it. I cannot count the times Iíve heard that used in the audio industry. Where even a set of cables can set you back the cost of an entire computer. Itís debatable over whether your money is well spent, but itís pretty much assured more money will get you more performance in the computer industry. On occasion, the prices are a bit skewed, but you always have some chart pointing out where that sweet spot lies between those who have too much cash and those who want to maximize the bang.