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

Benchmark Results: Left 4 Dead

That's a CPU bottleneck if I ever saw one. And it's a surprising one too, because I assumed that Left 4 Dead was a little easier on the host processor than Crysis. Admittedly, our benchmark showcases scores of zombies, but that's what this game is all about. At about 30 FPS it's playable, but not very smoothly. Remember, these are average frame rates, so the minimums will dip a lot lower.

Let's add 4x anti-aliasing (AA) and 8x anisotropic filtering (AF) to spice things up:

Those look like the numbers from the previous chart, but they're subtly different. The CPU bottleneck is obviously still the limiting factor here, but look: the full gigabyte of RAM on the AGP Radeon HD 4650 is giving it a leg up against its PCIe counterpart when AA is applied.

The silver lining is that AA and AF are, in essence, "free" on all the new cards with a CPU bottleneck this severe. The old Radeon X700 isn't doing well, though.

  • 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