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AGP Interface

Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: April 08

Best AGP Card For Under $100

Radeon HD 2600 PRO
Codename: RV630
Process: 65nm
Universal Shaders: 128
Texture Units: 8
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 600
Memory Speed MHz: 500 (1000 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10 / SM 4.0

In this category, we recommend the low-priced Radeon 2600 PRO. This card is almost as fast as the older GeForce 7600, but can now be found for less than $100 on the aging AGP bus. As such, it’s a good buy.

Best AGP Card For $110

Radeon HD 2600 XT
Codename: RV630
Process: 65nm
Universal Shaders: 128
Texture Units: 8
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 800
Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1400 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10 / SM 4.0

The 2600 XT is relatively new to the AGP scene, but it is almost as cheap as its PCIe cousin. This is a decently fast DirectX 10 card available for AGP, and it surprisingly offers a great deal of performance at the $110 price point. But be forewarned that it’s been reported that the official ATI drivers don’t work with the AGP version of this card, but that the modified Omega drivers work fine.

Best AGP Card For $130 To $200: None

With AGP X1950 PRO and 7900 GS stock almost impossible to find, there are no longer any compelling AGP cards to purchase in this price segment. With no retail products available in this segment for the first time, this is perhaps the beginning of the end of AGP support.

Best AGP Card For $225

Radeon 3850 512 MB
Codename: RV670
Process: 55nm
Universal Shaders: 320
Texture Units: 16
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 670
Memory Speed MHz: 833 (1666 effective)
DirectX / Shader Model DX 10.1 / SM 4.0

Forever rumored and now finally available to purchase, the Radeon 3850 is, frankly, a curiously powerful card for the aging AGP bus: possibly too powerful to be properly utilized on the single-core CPUs that are typically paired with this platform.

Regardless, this is the most powerful AGP card you can get. Perhaps you have an AGP gaming system you just can’t bear to part with, or perhaps you have an anomalous motherboard that has both a dual-core CPU and AGP slot. Whatever the reason, you can’t get better than an AGP 3850, and if anyone ever releases a more powerful card in the future for the dying bus, we’ll be incredibly surprised.

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  • 0 Hide
    Katreat , April 16, 2008 5:59 PM
    I would personally like to see the higher end video card rankings include not just SLI options. First, if you are upgrading an existing single card system an SLI option is not an option. Second, if you are building new or dont have an SLI MB then that best for $300 option is more like best for $400 because in most cases you will pay $100 more to just set up SLI. It requires a bigger PSU than a single card system would need and most newer SLI MBs, like the 780i series, are more expensive than the single card alternative, like a P35. IMO going to SLI is not the best option for many people. Nothing wrong with including it in the review for those with a SLI capable MB but it should not replace what is the best card in that price range.
  • 0 Hide
    robertito , April 16, 2008 6:19 PM
    I can't SLI on my Mobo and don't plan to get a SLI mobo any time soon. IMO single card solutions are always better as some games don't support SLI and sometimes the improvement over the single card is only a few FPS.
  • 0 Hide
    crazy032 , April 17, 2008 6:10 AM
    Also agreed, I don't plan on spending what extra cash I do have on a second video card.
  • 0 Hide
    Katreat , April 17, 2008 6:28 AM
    Your final table is really messed up. you have ATI and Nvida cards mixed up. Also you are missing relatively new cards like the 8800 GTS 320 which is a great buy used right now as people upgrade.

    Also, in reference to my earlier post, could you treat SLI like you do AGP with a seperate list? Recomending SLI to people who dont already have an SLI MB is not helpful at all.
  • 0 Hide
    switch495 , May 5, 2008 2:12 AM
    I'd also like to see single slot suggestions for the high end... and a comparison on how they stack up the SLI.
  • 0 Hide
    r1948 , May 10, 2008 10:32 AM

    A submission for the under $100 card: Powercolor AX3650 1gb ddr2 128 bit $64.99 after $20 rebate. Only $130 for 2 gb in crossfire.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 18, 2008 7:26 AM
    This chart is for gaming cards. I would like to see same charts but then for video-editing users, dtp-users, allround-users.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2008 5:09 PM
    Hrmmmm.... SLI and Vista still not working correctly? Ive heard from all my gamer buddies this is true, and I just switched (I love vista, i hated till i tried it). Anyways Im on a 512 Geforce 8800GT loving graphics and was thinking about buying another 8800GT for the SLI...but apparently SLI doesnt work with Vista (something about Nvidia drivers and Vista)... Is this true or is that Mac antivista propaganda?
  • 0 Hide
    salem80 , February 5, 2009 2:37 PM
    that's old news nows , before the amazing HD 4000 series come out .
    i have HD 4650 (bought it for 72$ now in newwegg cost 40$ )
    and it's beat GF9500GT in everything .
  • 0 Hide
    utkarsh_03 , December 22, 2009 2:46 AM
    8800 gt for pcie1.0a board. does it work on good speed