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Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: AGP Interface

The Best Graphics Cards for the Money: May 08
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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’re recommending 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. At that price, it’s a good buy.

Best AGP Card for $100:

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 almost as cheap as its PCIe cousin. This is a decently fast DirectX 10 card for AGP, and surprisingly offers a great deal of performance at the $100 price point. 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 $110 to $160: 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 $175:

Radeon 3850 512MB
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 a curiously powerful card for the aging AGP bus. In fact, it’s possibly too powerful to be properly utilized on the single-core CPUs that are typically found on 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 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. If anyone ever releases a more powerful card in the future for the dying bus, we’ll be incredibly surprised.

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