To be honest, it's been a little hard to get excited about PCI Express graphics. Since June, the only available PCI-E platforms have been Intel's 900-series chipsets, which are saddled with the Pentium 4's comparatively poor gaming performance. Help is on the way, though. New chipsets from ATI, NVIDIA, and VIA are finally bringing PCI-E to the frame rate-friendly Athlon 64 platform, reinvigorating interest in PCI Express graphics.
Renewed interest in PCI-E graphics isn't just being driven by Athlon 64 chipsets, though. A new wave of next-gen PCI Express graphics cards led by ATI's Radeon X700 family and NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 series offer surprisingly compelling performance at astonishingly affordable price points. But which one is right for you? Our friends at Tech Report have rounded up an array of mid-range PCI-E graphics cards from Abit, Albatron, Chaintech, Gigabyte, and XFX to find out.