The fact that the latest technology doesn’t remain that way for more than 6 months can be quite annoying to the cost conscious buyer, but it does have an upside. The fact is that today it’s easy to find an excellent 2D/3D accelerator at a price that would have only provided adequate performance not too long ago.

However, with all the talk of GeForce this, Voodoo4 that, it’s easy to feel left out if you can’t afford to buy the latest and greatest every few months. Rest assured that AnandTech has not forgotten you – we know exactly how you feel. That’s why we’re here today rounding up the best video cards out there for under $100.

These budget video cards have been instrumental in the OEM market where cost is key. Everybody is hopping into this market, even the usual performance leaders, 3dfx and NVIDIA, who have traditionally focused on the high end. Quite simply, the OEM’s mean volume, so success in this market is critical to a company’s survival.

Case in point – while the Savage4 may not have been praised so highly by hardcore gamers, it garnered a tremendous number of OEM wins, including the likes of IBM, Compaq, NEC, and many others.

What’s all this OEM talk mean for the general consumer? More options and cheaper cards that are better on the low end then ever before are now available. But remember, since many of these cards are targeted at OEM’s, you may not be able to find them in retail boxes at your local Best Buy. Rather, you’ll probably have to order it online or get it from a local shop that builds custom PC’s.

All the cards we’ll be looking at today are fully featured 3D accelerators that will more than adequately play any game on the market today. The big question is "which one does it best?" That’s what AnandTech is for, so let’s get started.

The Contenders - 3dfx

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