Some good holiday news for those looking to outfit new rigs, the price of the Radeon X1600XT 256MB has been cut by ATI quite a bit. In the U.S., you can pick up the XT version for $179 and the Pro version for a mere $129, putting the card under the price of similar nVidia offerings. Coupled with Shader Model 3.0 support (which the X800 series lack) and adequate speed for games today, it isn't tip-top but both are decent cards nevertheless. Comparable nVidia cards have still been able to keep a performance edge over ATI's X-lines, but oft times for the majority of users, a lower price can be much more attractive, which has typically been nVidia's strong point in the past year. We may see retaliation from nVidia in the form of price cuts from them as well, but that may just be wishful thinking. Recently, ATI revised the design of the X1600, giving it a 256bit memory bus over 128bit, providing a needed boost in performance.
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