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Gigabyte's GV-R465D2-1GI

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

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.

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