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, then ranges from the entry-level Radeon HD 2400/3450 to the mainstream Radeon HD 2600 XT/3650, 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.
Our ATI video card chart shows a combination of price increases and decreases, with the latter winning out in the end. There were five price cuts that hit double digits, and notable drops included the Radeon HD 3850 256MB (-$27), Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB (-$25) and Radeon HD 4870 512MB (-$15) video cards. There were also four price increases of $10 or more, with a $64 spike to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB card being the largest. These two forces collided and the result was an aggregate chart drop of only $36 for the month of February.