Yesterday I talked a bit about finding the best deals on the main components for a Core i7 CPU and Intel X58 chipset gaming machine along with the triple-channel RAM the machines take advantage of. Today we are going to look at another of the key components you will need if you are trying to build a Core i7 gaming rig -- the video card or cards.
One of the best features of the new X58 chipset mainboards is that it supports both NVIDIA SLI and ATI Crossfire technology so you can have multiple graphics cards from both vendors. That opens up a world of choices for the gamer since you can get one board and then find the best deal on graphics cards no matter the brand.
For fans of NVIDIA, the hottest graphics card offered at this time is the GTX 280. The GTX 280 is expensive without a doubt and if you want the best performing of the breed, the factory overclocked units cost even more. Newegg doesn't offer XFX's XXX or Black editions of the GTX 280, but it does offer the stock clocked XFX GTX 280 for $459.99 right now before an additional $10 mail-in rebate. Newegg offers gamers on a tighter budget the EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Video card for $259.99. The Superclocked version is EVGA's factory overclocked card. Gamers on an even tighter budget can get the XFX 9800 GTX+ Black Edition, one of the highest performing 9800 GTX + cards available, for $229.99 before a $30 mail-in rebate.
TigerDirect offers the XFX GTX 280 stock video card for $469.99 before a $50 mail-in rebate. After the $50 rebate, TigerDirect is about $40 cheaper than Newegg for this card. Tiger offers the EVGA GTX 260 Superclocked video card for $259, the same price as Newegg. TigerDirect doesn't offer the XFX 9800 GTX+ Black Edition, but it does offer the stock XFX 9800 GTX+ for only $169 after instant savings and a $30 mail-in rebate. It's hard to beat that card for that price.
Gamers who aren’t fans of NVIDIA can also get ATI products with similar performance. The top of the line ATI card right now is the Radeon HD 4870 X2. Newegg offers the factory overclocked MSI HD 4870 X2 video card for $549.99. This card offers 2GB of GDDR5 RAM and dual GPUs. Stepping down the line a bit is the Radeon HD 4850. Sapphire offers a very special HD 4850 X2 with dual GPUs and 2GB of GDDR3 RAM for $384 at Newegg. A standard Sapphire HD 4850 512MB video card sells for only $149 at Newegg.
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TigerDirect offers the Sapphire HD 4870 X2, which isn't factory overclocked like the Newegg MSI card, for $479.99 after an instant savings of $50. Tiger offers the Sapphire HD 4850 X2 for $10 less than Newegg at $374.99. The single GPU Sapphire HD 4850 retails for $224.99. The price difference between Newegg and Tiger is due to the TigerDirect card having 1GB of RAM.