Deal of the week: ATI's Radeon X1950 Pro

The star of our weekly deal today is ATI's new Radeon X1950 Pro. While the card has been off to an expensive start at most online retailers, we've spotted a Sapphire-built Radeon X1950 Pro selling for $199.99 over at Newegg. That's actually 99 cents above ATI's launch price, and Nvidia does provide some stiff competition in the same price range with its GeForce 7900 GS. However, the X1950 Pro is still a nice deal for a few reasons.

We found the Radeon X1950 Pro to be faster than the GeForce 7900 GS in F.E.A.R., Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, although the GeForce did score a win in Quake 4 as Nvidia cards tend to do in OpenGL games. The X1950 Pro also has better-looking anisotropic filtering and antialiasing than the 7900 GS, and you can even use it to run Folding@Home faster than a general-purpose processor. Additionally, the X1950 Pro's stock cooler is a few decibels quieter than that of the 7900 GS under load, and Sapphire's card offers video input functionality.

We'd normally recommend ATI's Radeon X1900 XT 256MB over the Pro, but that card seems to have largely disappeared from both Newegg and our price search engine, where only significantly marked-up models remain. All in all, if you're looking for a good $200 graphics card today, Sapphire's Radeon X1950 Pro is definitely an attractive choice.

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