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Best Gaming Graphics Cards For The Money: AGP Interface

The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: June 2007
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Best AGP Card For Under $100

Radeon X1650 PRO (GDDR2)
Codename: R530
Process: 80 and 90nm
Pixel Shaders: 12
Vertex Shaders: 5
Texture Units: 4
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 500
Memory Speed MHz: 400 (800 effective)

The X1650PRO with GDDR2 is actually more of an X1600 PRO. Having said that, it's a fast card for the sub-$100 price point in AGP; I've seen them go for $85 on Newegg. This bottom end card will even do a decent job in tough games like Oblivion.

Best AGP Card For ~$120: Tie

Radeon X1650 PRO (GDDR3)
Codename: R530
Process: 80 and 90nm
Pixel Shaders: 12
Vertex Shaders: 5
Texture Units: 4
ROPs: 4
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 600
Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1400 effective)

The X1650 PRO is a re-dressed X1600 XT with slightly higher clock speeds. The very high-speed memory for this class and efficient shaders help the X1650 PRO compare well to the 12-pipeline 7600 GS, beating it by a small margin in most benchmarks. Just make sure you find the GDDR3 version! The DDR2 version of the card has much slower memory, and consequently does not perform as well.

GeForce 7600 GS
Codename: G73
Process: 90nm
Pixel Shaders: 12
Vertex Shaders: 5
Texture Units: 12
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 400
Memory Speed MHz: 400 (800 effective)

With features identical to its faster 7600 GT brethren, the 7600 GS lacks only the core and memory clock speeds. The GT's clock speeds are so high, though, that the GS pales in comparison. Nevertheless, the 7600 GS is a good performer in this AGP segment.

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