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Gigabyte's Radeon HD 4650: Are AGP Graphics Still Good Enough?

Gigabyte's GV-R465D2-1GI

You can tell that Gigabyte is serious about this AGP-based offering right from the get-go. It sports a full gigabyte of RAM, and the large cooler is glorious overkill for the very mainstream RV730 PRO graphics processor.

The package is somewhat Spartan, with only a manual, driver CD, DVI-to-VGA adapter, and Molex-to-PCIe power adapter. That last one is especially useful for older PCs (this card's target application), because vintage power supplies don't always include a PCIe power connector.

While the PCIe version of the Radeon HD 4650 doesn't need a separate power connector, keep in mind that the AGP slot delivers less power than PCIe, which is why the AGP version of the card needs extra juice from a separate cable.

While it sports a large cooler, the card itself is fairly small at just over 7.5” long. It's wide enough to take up two slots worth of space, but the cooler does not exhaust hot air out of the case. While you might be able to squeeze in another expansion card close to the installed fan, this is something you'll probably want to avoid, since an expansion board would impede airflow.

As for outputs, the card sports a triple-shot of HDMI, DVI, and VGA connectors. The DVI output can be converted to a second analog VGA output using the included adapter, if desired. There is a warning label on the box that says the HDMI audio function will not work in Windows Vista, which is odd, but not surprising given the niche nature of this board and limited driver development dedicated to AGP-based offerings.

Both the 600 MHz GPU and 400 MHz DDR2 memory clock rates are identical to those of the reference Radeon HD 4650. While we're interested in seeing what the card can do with an overclock, we'll preface our benchmarks by saying this is coming in a follow-up story for reasons that'll soon become apparent.

Installation was a bit tricky, as the card wasn't recognized by ATI's Catalyst 9.6 driver set, forcing us to use the manufacturer-supplied version on the bundled CD (version 8.62-090423a080042E).

Now that we're familiar with the Gigabyte GV-R465D2-1GI, let's look over our test system and discuss how we'll benchmark the card.

  • amdfangirl
    Don't they have an AGP HD 4670?
    Reply
  • drealar
    *Raise up hand*
    I'm still using an AGP HD 2600XT :D.
    Good to see that Gigabyte and actually Sapphire too coming up with another card for AGP. But frankly, we (most AGP users in my neighborhood ) are keeping our dollars for now since upgrading to a new system is the most likely option in 2010.

    Another thing is, from the benchmarks, it got me worried if I ever upgrade my GPU since most of the result shows CPU bottleneck. If these are the result for a dual core Athlon, then it must be worse for my single core P4 HT :(

    Oh BTW, are you reading the power consumption correctly?
    "Even the Radeon HD 3850 and its GDDR3 memory peak at a mere 7 W more than the PCIe Radeon HD 4650 under load."
    194 - 178 = 16W. So either the graph is wrong or you mis calculated.
    Reply
  • zinabas
    amdfangirlDon't they have an AGP HD 4670?
    a quick search for "agp 4670" on newegg gave me and (Core clock: 750 mhz, 1gb ddr3)

    I own a pcie version of it and I really think before part 2 of this article goes up you should acquire one.
    Reply
  • rambo117
    amdfangirlDon't they have an AGP HD 4670?
    yah, i just saw that on the egg today. Must have just come out.
    i liked the article btw. ouch at the performance numbers though xD
    Reply
  • zinabas

    Reply
  • zinabas
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161284
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131161

    links aren't working
    Reply
  • rambo117
    yah, this is the one i saw: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161284

    looks pretty nifty. iceq FTW!
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    AGP is like Windows XP, it just never dies :D

    Anyways, it's interesting to read something about legacy ports for a change. I never even figured out how to work with computer hardware when AGP was around, so I never got to mess around with it.
    Reply
  • one-shot
    Most of these benchmarks seem to show a CPU limitation across the board. I owned that same CPU, but used a PCI-E 7900GS with it at the time. I think if the CPU limitation was eliminated, we would see a better overall comparison. Also, if there is an AGP 4670, it would be beneficial to older machines to see the benefits of that GPU. It might show the two cards being equal due to the CPU limitation we're encountering.
    Reply
  • masterjaw
    I don't think there are lots of people out there who would still hold on to their AGP slots when PCI-e cards are becoming so cheaper and the performance is way better. Even doing a low-end system upgrade would still kick older system's ass all the way to the north pole. But still, another option for those who can't get over the AGPs. They must've been clearing up some old stocks.
    Reply