I’ve been keeping my eye on availability of NVidia 8800GT cards for the last few days, hoping to catch a deal. Just a few minutes ago I got a notification that NewEgg had an XFX 8800gt in stock for $209.99. I was all ready to buy it when I noticed that it was a 256MB version (rather than 512).
I think I’m going to hold off, but I think that the appearance of a 256MB card at any price is a good sign, because it suggests that the GPU is available in sufficient supply that manufacturers are willing to use them to build lower priced cards. With any luck we’ll see 512MB cards in stock in the next week for the $250 recommended retail price, if not less.
I’ve been thinking about getting a new video card, and i’ve been intrigued by card’s based on the latest NVidia 8800gt chip, and the AMD/ATI Radeon 3870. The 8800gt cards are distinctly faster, but they are distinctly more expensive. The 3870 is cheaper, still plenty fast, and also uses less power at idle, which can be a good thing for keeping things quiet when not gaming.
Or I should say the 3870 was cheaper. Soon after it came out, it sold out, and the re-order prices at places like Newegg were almost as much as the low end of prices for the 8800gt (which is also in short supply). Right now, Newegg has 8800gt’s at the stock 600MHz clock speed in stock for $269, while a 3970 is in stock for $249.
Looking more broadly, there is a greater variation of prices, and better deals, especially if you are willing to wait for a few days or weeks.
In Stock Now
I’m leaning towards the PNY from MWave for $240, since the price is good and it looks like it could be in soon. I’d go for the higher-clocked XFX cad from Buy.com if there was any sort of ETA on it, since the price is good and I think it’s a “Alpha Dog” model with the improved fan. If I could find some stackable Dell coupons, I’d order from them, unfortunately, I missed a 20% cash-back promotion for paying with PayPal at the Dell store by a couple of days.
I’m thinking I could order this weekend and be done with it, but I wonder if there aren’t better deals in the middle of the week.