To achieve the benchmarks below, Anandtech tested these cards with Electronic Arts' Crysis. First-person shooters, such as Crysis, are great ways of testing GPUs because they tax the video card in multiple ways. The results:
¹ Each benchmark score is measured in frames per second (fps). The faster the frame rates, the more fluid the action sequences will appear. 30 fps is considered the magic number for gamers.
² Prices are the lowest total price we've listed on dealnews, unless otherwise noted. Shipping is not included.
From our price results, the dual-GPU NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 offers the most bang for your buck, dusting the competition with 48.8 fps and coming in at $109 under the second place GTX 280. Keep in mind, however, that the GTX 280 is a single GPU card, not to mention one of NVIDIA's next generation cards, which will inevitably replace the architecture found in the 9800 GX2.
Therefore, if you're looking for the best deal in "next generation cards," the Radeon HD 4870 offers more than enough frame rates and comes in at $120 less than the GTX 280. Gamers be warned, however, ATI has just released the Radeon HD 4870 X2, which carries two GPUs instead of one. (There are still very few deals on this card.) Nevertheless, if you want a video card with lots of muscle, but don't have too big a budget, the 9800 GX2 is your current best bet.
Louis Ramirez is dealnews' Features Editor.