Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Best AGP Card For ~$175: Tie

The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: March 2007
By

Alert! These cards are getting harder to find, and may be soon phased out.

Radeon X1650 XT

Codename: RV560
Process: 80 nm
Pixel Shaders: 24
Vertex Shaders: 6
Texture Units: 8
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 575
Memory Speed MHz: 675 (1350 effective)

The X1650 XT has recently come down in price and is a good competitor to the 7600 GT. Overall performance is a bit faster than that of the 7600 GT, but they trade blows depending on the game. The bottom line is that for $175 in AGP you can get a really good gamer's card.

GeForce 7600 GT

Codename: G73
Process: 90 nm
Pixel Shaders: 12
Vertex Shaders: 5
Texture Units: 12
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 560
Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1400 effective)

The 7600 GT is an amazing card in this price range, sporting new SM 3.0 technology and very high clock speeds to deliver excellent performance. Its weakest feature is its 128-bit memory bus, but its high memory speeds offset that disadvantage and make it competitive with 256-bit cards like the X800 XT/X850 XT and even the 7800 GS.

The worst thing we can say about the 7600 GT AGP is that the X1950 PRO shouldn't cost much more, but it will outperform its predecessor easily.

Best AGP Card For ~$220

Radeon X1950 PRO

Codename: RV570
Process: 90 nm
Pixel Shaders: 36
Vertex Shaders: 8
Texture Units: 12
ROPs: 12
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 575
Memory Speed MHz: 690 (1380 effective)

The X1950 PRO is similar to the X1900 GT, the main difference being that it is not based on the X1900 XT, but a whole new and less power-hungry core. The card's main competition is the 7900 GS, which it beats in almost every benchmark. But the 7900 GS isn't available in AGP flavor, which makes the X1950 PRO the fastest AGP card available*

*Rumor has it that the X1950 XT will soon be available in an AGP flavor. If this is released, it will easily take top spot as the most powerful AGP graphics card.

The X1950 PRO is a powerful card that will make AGP gaming viable for at least a year or two more, and these cards are becoming easier to find online.

It must be noted, however, that if you have the money to spend on an AGP card, you may be much better off purchasing a PCI-express motherboard, CPU and PCI-express graphics card.

PCI express graphics cards are cheaper than their AGP cousins. If you upgrade your system to PCI-E and sell your old components, you may actually spend a similar amount of money compared to buying an expensive AGP card alone.

React To This Article