A trio of PCI Express graphics cards compared

If you need mid-range PCI-E graphics now

ALTHOUGH THE FIRST wave of GeForce 6600 series reviews have already hit the web, cards based on NVIDIA's latest mid-range PCI Express offering may not be available in volume until sometime next month. Rumors are also swirling that ATI will introduce a mid-range Radeon X700 PCI Express card to counter the 6600 series, but there's no telling when cards based on that unannounced graphics chip could arrive. If you're in the market for a mid-range PCI Express graphics card and can afford to wait a month or two, you'll probably end up deciding between variations of the GeForce 6600 or Radeon X700.

But what if you need a mid-range PCI Express graphics card today?

You have a couple of options: ATI's Radeon X600 XT and NVIDIA's GeForce PCX 5900, derived from these companies' respective AGP offerings, the Radeon 9600 XT and GeForce FX 5900. Both of these PCI-E cards are available for around $200, and we've rounded up a trio of cards from Abit, Albatron, and Gigabyte to determine which is worthy of your new motherboard's PCI Express x16 graphics slot.

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