The Best Gaming Graphics Cards for the Money: February 2008

AGP Interface

Best AGP Card For Under $100

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Radeon X1650 PRO
Pixel Shaders:12
Vertex Shaders:5
Texture Units:12
Memory Bus:128-bit
Core Speed MHz:400
Memory Speed MHz:400 (800 effective)
DirectX / Shader ModelDX 9.0c / SM 3.0

In this category we're recommending the extremely cheap Radeon X1650 PRO. Yes, it's a DDR2 card, but it's only $65, and would make a decent upgrade for an AGP system with an older card like a Radeon 9600 or Geforce 5900.

Best AGP Card For ~$115

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Radeon HD 2600 XT
Universal Shaders:128
Texture Units:8
Memory Bus:128-bit
Core Speed MHz:800
Memory Speed MHz:700 (1400 effective)
DirectX / Shader ModelDX 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 available for AGP, and surprisingly offers a great deal of performance at the $110 price point. Be forewarned that it's been reported the official ATI drivers don't work with the AGP version of this card, but the modified Omega drivers work fine.

Best AGP Card For >$150: Wait

AGP cards are getting increasingly harder to find, and for this month's article we were unable to locate an X1950 PRO or 7900 GS in North America under $200. We're not willing to recommend either of those cards for that price, especially with the Radeon 3850 coming to AGP.

While the 3850 has been seen for sale in the UK, we can no longer find it online, and assume at this point that the manufacturers are only making very limited stock. Time will tell if more of these AGP super-cards will show up in the future, but for now, the Radeon 2600 XT is a good stopgap card for those of you still clinging to the AGP interface.