The Real Deal
Here's what really matters when you're buying a video card:
Keep in mind that there is no standard for specs.
Most specs you see out there don't mean jack.
While they advertise that a card can do 25 million poly/sec & unlimited hardware lights, what they fail to mention, is that it can't do both at the same time. You get the idea. The main things you want to look for are the RAMDAC speed, MEM Core speed, MEM Bandwidth, and AGP specs. Now, the other specs might be useful for comparison, but just remember that they are optimum, theoretical maximums, and have no *real* bearing on real-world performance. They represent what the card "should" be able to do. But again, they list the abilities assuming that that's all the card will be doing at one time, so specs represent the cards FULL processing power performing that ONE action, which (needless to say) doesn't happen in a real-world app.
RAMDAC speed is going to have the most effect on overall speed, with the memory bandwidth limiting the card's texturing ability.
The new GF2 GTS is a good buy with a RAM bandwidth of about 1.7G/sec. If you really want some power, you can go with the GF2 pro which has super-fast ram at like 3.2G/sec. I have a Geforce 2 GTS & I love it. I will eventually upgrade to a GF3, but like someone else pointed out, you have to watch nVidia's product cycle and wait until the price comes down enough. Anyone looking at a GF3 should hold off a few more months, cause you're gonna see the price start to drop about $200