Our recommendation last month, the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO^2, has gone up in price about $30, now going for $255.00. This card can still be unlocked to an X850 with the BIOS hack, but with availability so slim, there are better options. This time around, we recommend going with the Sapphire Radeon X800GTO 256MB [RTPE: 100129SR] on sale for approximately $173, but for those who live on the wild side, Connect 3D has an X800GTO that unlocks to an X850 most of the time [RTPE: Connect3D X800GTO]. Check out our forums for more info.

The new GeForce 6800 GS cards are something everyone is eager to get their hands on. And of all the GeForce 6800 line of cards, the 6800 GS is the card to go with - particularly since the 6800 GT and the 6800 Ultra are now completely gone. It is currently only marketed with three manufacturers, LeadTek, XFX and eVGA, but NVIDIA promises more availability within a few weeks. The 6800 GS is the same base design as the vanilla 6800, but it has a higher core clock at 425MHz and comes with GDDR3 at 1000MHz. Essentially, the 6800 GS card is in the same class as the 6800 GT, but at a much lower price. One drawback is that the supply on this card is very low; expect its cycle to end soon at around Q1 '06. You can read more on this card along with benchmarks in Derek's all-inclusive article.

We're seeing the eVGA GeForce 6800 GS 256MB [RTPE: 256-P2-N386] for $200.00. The 6800 GS is much cheaper than a vanilla 256MB 6800. The GS is definitely the choice to go with.

The GeForce 6600 GT is still a viable option going for approximately anywhere from $30 - $70 cheaper than the 6800 GS. The lowest priced this week is the Chaintech GeForce 6600 GT 128MB [RTPE: SE6600G-128] for $133.00.

The ATI X700 is a good mid-range card and depending on which version you go with, it'll run you anywhere from about $80 for the 256MB LE version to about $140 for the 256MB Pro flavor. We seriously recommend the 6600GT, 6800GS or even the X800GTO cards instead, but if you insist ATI sub $150, the Sapphire Radeon X700 Pro 256MB [RTPE: 100596] is a good buy.

There is still no Radeon X1600 availability. Maybe next month, we hope.

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