AGP Roundup, Part 2: New Cards, Single-core System
In the first AGP roundup article, we started off by benchmarking the latest most-powerful AGP cards on an Athlon XP 2500+ platform. That system was representative of many older Athlon XP systems out there, and probably gave a fair but approximate indication of older Pentium 4 2.5 GHz performance as well.
In this second part, we examine how these new AGP cards perform on a newer, but not cutting edge, single-core Athlon64. The Athlon64 architecture was king before the new Conroe-based CPUs came along from Intel, so there are quite a few of them still out there, and many are based on motherboards with AGP slots instead of the new PCI express standard.
Is it worth it to upgrade the graphics card in these AGP Athlon 64 motherboards? Or should Athlon 64 owners look to the future and invest in PCI express motherboards?
Our test bed uses the ASROCK Dual-SATA2 motherboard, which is one of the few that has both a full-speed AGP interface and a full-speed PCI express interface. We're going to have a little look at just how much AGP slows a video card down compared to the new PCI express interface. We suspect that many of you will be surprised.