post #31 of 31
The good thing about Step Up program = You get your retail amount you paid for your card, no questions asked.

The bad thing about Step Up program = You have to pay MSRP for cards. The 7950GT on their site is like $300, obviously overpriced.

The one thing though is that you're guaranteed to get a trade up. Let's say you buy a 7950GT now. In 3 months, how do you know anyone will even buy it for $120? Even if retail prices are lower than EVGA's MSRP for their step up program, you still have to SELL your card to take advantage of that route.

Here's a figurative example:
My 7950GT is roughly $220-240 if you buy it EVGA flavor. Let's say you buy that with the intention of stepping up to an 8800GTS 640 later.

Price you paid: $240
Price of GTS: $350 on Newegg
Price of EVGA GTS: $400 on EVGA
Amount you'd get traded in: $240
Amount you'd get selling: $175 if you're impatient, $185 if you wait

Amount you pay going EVGA route = $145-160 + Shipping
Amount you pay going resell route = $175-180 + Shipping

Note* = EVGA cards are similarly or cheaper than XFX/BFG cards, so going the resell route you'd be paying more to get a BFG/XFX card, and EVGA cards are quality all the same.

The main point is, if you plan on upgrading in the future, it's no question, EVGA is the way to go. If you're going to buy a card outright and keep it for a year, XFX/BFG are just as good, with a slight edge going to the double lifetime warranty.

And as for 8600GTS, it's about on par with a 7900GT/1950 Pro, but it has DX10 features and it can over-clock. The 1950 Pro is a horrible over-clocker, I don't care what anyone says, I've worked with it, it runs hotter than hell and can't over-clock very far past stock settings.

The 8600GTS however is about $35-40 more than the 1950 Pro, so it depends on what you want. If you want to play DX10 games or DX9 games maxed out, an 8600GTS isn't really the answer for you. Don't get me wrong, a 1950 Pro/7900GS/GT isn't the answer either.

Hell even an 8800GTS 320 has trouble playing some games at good resolutions with maxed settings + AA/AF. Supreme Commander past 1280x1024 with AA/AF, Company of Heroes past 1280x1024 with AA/AF, CNC3.

You should decide what games you play before you decide if it's worth it to get which card or not. 8600GTS can play a lot of games on maxed settings and scales really nicely with SLI.
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Reaper 1.0
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
*TBD ASRock 775Dual-VSTA *TBD* *TBD* 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSPower
WD 40GB 7200SATA / 80G Maxtor IDE 18x CDRW Windows XP SP2 / Fedora 64 / Vista 64 *TBD* 
CaseMouse
Cooler Master RC-330 Elite Microsoft Intellimouse USB 
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