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Nvidia or ATI: who deserves your money

By Charles Hopkins Published 03/13/2006 | Games

Moveover AMD and Intel. What people are really interested now is about the fight between Nvidia and ATI. The PC graphics market is where the things are getting hotter everyday. And the two biggest players are throwing all they have at each other to get the bigger pie of the market.

Well both the companies are positioning themselves as makers of faster and better graphic cards. But what many gamers and power users forget is that the normal regular user dont  really need all the speed. They use their computer for surfing the web, managing their documents and may be play a few games, but for that they would hardly require a state of the art 3D graphics card.

Nvidia scores over ATI when it comes to the price sensitive segment of the market. Their GeForce4 MX line, with the MX 440 is still the most popular model. It comes with excellent 2D output and decent enough 3D power to allow you to play even the most high end games.  In fact ATI revived its old model Radeon 8500 just to remain competitive with Nvidia in this section.

The middle market segment is almost overloaded with varieties from both the companies. But strangely enough both the companies stay away from coming head on with each other in this segment. Their products are different and hence they have different sub categories to target. Nvidia's GeForce4 Ti 4200 is one of the best-selling video cards. This comes at a price tag of  around 120. ATI again caters to either the market that doesnt want to go higher than 100 with their Radeon 9100 and 9000 Pro or they  are targeting the 150 market with their Radeon 9500. but the price tag of Radeon 9500 is much too steep for the mid segment and ATI has to seriously reconsider its pricing.

In the upper-middle-class market segment ATI has the perfect graphics card with their Radeon 9500 Pro. With performance almost as good as Nvidias GeForce4 Ti 4600, Radeon 9500 Pro is all set to stir up the gaming industry. It maintains great speed even after all the graphic-enhancing bells and whistles are kept turned on.

Now we come to the high-end segment. The most popular here is still the Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600 but it is surely been challenged by ATIs Radeon 9700 and 9700 Pro.  ATI simply has no challenge to their Radeon 9700 Pro. It is a thing for the future and there is absolutely no match for its performance and features. What ATI has also done interestingly is to price the Radeon 9700 in such a way that those mid segment users who contemplated to go one rung higher with the  GeForce4 Ti 4600 will now go for ATIs offering.

Things are changing at the speed of light in this segment. Newer and better cards are being introduced at regular intervals and prices are being slashed to woo the customers. The market is very interesting and is great fun to keep an eye on. As of now ATI has a clear edge when it come to the high-end market whereas Nvidia enjoys a bigger market when it comes to the mid segment and entry level market. So both the companies have everything to play for. Things are sure to hot up in the coming months.