Welcome to the Sharky Extreme Video Card Price Guide, which compliments our CPU and Memory guides by presenting a snap-shot of the overall market. This follows the same basic pattern as our CPU price guide, starting off with individual lists for both NVIDIA and AMD, then separating them into the various entry-level, mainstream and high-end market segments, and finishing up with a sorted price list combining all the cards.
The video card price lists are not meant to duplicate the vendor selection of an online price engine like PriceWatch or PriceGrabber, but instead looks to present a monthly view of the overall video card marketplace. The video cards and manufacturers in the price lists are selected due to video chip and brand popularity, market visibility, and overall positioning. In some cases, we only show the OEM price for less popular models, while including multiple retail cards at the hotter ends of the market.
* Please note that unless otherwise stated (using an OEM designation) the listed video cards are full retail boxed editions, and unless expressly listed as PCIe or AGP, are assumed to be the default format.
The AMD-ATI market starts with the Radeon 9X00-based video cards, ranging from the entry-level Radeon X300/HD 2400 to the mainstream Radeon X1650 XT/HD 2600 XT, and extending all the way to the top-of-the-line Radeon HD 3800 and 4800-series cards. The following list is sorted by product line to give a full view of the various AMD-based options. The Radeon HD 2000, 3000 and 4000 series cards featured in the list are the models that are readily available online, and we continue to drop last-generation cards that are extremely difficult to find. As ATI had previously halted production on their popular All-in-Wonder brand, we started listing prices for the TV Wonder 550, 600 and 650 HD cards.
With a few exceptions, the pricing activity in ATI-based video cards continues to slow down, and we're not seeing the same movement as even a few months ago. There were six listings that fell by double digits, including the Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB (-$48), Radeon HD 4870 1GB (-$33) and Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 (-$18) video cards. We also added some new ATI models this month, with the Radeon HD 4830 1GB and Radeon HD 4850 2GB being the most prominent. Four cards also jumped by over $10, with the All-in-Wonder HD 3650 512MB spiking by $47. This led to an aggregate chart drop of only $79, which is not far off the $73 chart drop we posted in November.