I'm a little disappointed in video card companies today, both NVIDIA and ATI. Their high-end cards are pushing the boundaries of features performance and usability, but that all comes with a hefty price tag as well. Today, the high-end cards retail for $649 or even $749 online. Their response is that the video card takes a lot of Research and Development costs, and to an extent I agree. The high-end allows the companies to have high profit margins, but it also allows the performance mainstream and value segments to have the cutting edge features as well.
NVIDIA is a relatively new company in the computer industry. Founded in 1993, it's a relative newcomer compared to stalwarts like Intel, Microsoft, ATI, AMD and other companies that define the computer industry today. Their first card, the NV1 nearly broke the company, as Microsoft went a totally different direction with DirectX, polygons instead of polynominal rendering. NVIDIA bounced back and today is a multi-billion dollar a year revenue company with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank. XFX is a division of PNY Technologies, a company based in Korea. PNY manufactures computer components including memory, flash memory, professional video cards under the Quadro line, consumer video cards under the Verto line, and other computer components. XFX concentrates on video cards for the consumer market and game pads. Over the last few months I've reviewed many a XFX card and today I'm reviewing the XFX 6600 256MB XXX Edition card from them.