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Best AGP Card For ~£110 / €120: Tie

The Best Gaming Video Cards for the Money: June 2007
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Radeon X1650 XT
Codename: RV560
Process: 80nm
Pixel Shaders: 24
Vertex Shaders: 6
Texture Units: 8
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 575
Memory Speed MHz: 675 (1350 effective)

The X1650 XT has recently come down in price, and is a good competitor to the 7600 GT. Overall performance is a bit faster than that of the 7600 GT, but they trade blows depending on the game. The bottom line is that for the money you can get a really good AGP gamer's card.

GeForce 7600 GT
Codename: G73
Process: 90nm
Pixel Shaders: 12
Vertex Shaders: 5
Texture Units: 12
ROPs: 8
Memory Bus: 128-bit
Core Speed MHz: 560
Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1400 effective)

The 7600 GT is an amazing card in this price range, sporting new SM 3.0 technology and very high clock speeds to deliver excellent performance. Its weakest feature is its 128-bit memory bus, but its high memory speeds offset that disadvantage, making it competitive with 256-bit cards like the X800 XT/X850 XT and even the 7800 GS.

The worst thing we can say about the 7600 GT AGP is that the X1950 PRO shouldn't cost much more, but will outperform its predecessor easily.

Best AGP Card For ~£140 / €200

Radeon X1950 PRO
Codename: RV570
Process: 90nm
Pixel Shaders: 36
Vertex Shaders: 8
Texture Units: 12
ROPs: 12
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 575
Memory Speed MHz: 690 (1380 effective)

The X1950 PRO is similar to the X1900 GT, the main difference being that it is not based on the X1900 XT, but a whole new and less power-hungry core. The card's main competition is the 7900 GS, which it beats in almost every benchmark.

The X1950 PRO is a powerful card that will make AGP gaming viable for at least a year or two more, and these cards are becoming easier to find online. This is a great last stand for the AGP'er.

Best AGP Card For ~£180 / €220

Radeon X1950 XT (by Gecube)
Codename: R580
Process: 90nm
Pixel Shaders: 48
Vertex Shaders: 8
Texture Units: 16
ROPs: 16
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 628
Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1400 effective)

The X1950 XT - manufactured exclusively by Gecube - is simply the most powerful card ever to grace the AGP bus. This card has no direct competition, and in fact its closest competition is its X1950 PRO AGP sibling, which is much less powerful.

At the price, it is admittedly a bit of a tough pill to swallow for a dying interface. I would only recommend the X1950 XT AGP to someone with a very fast AGP system who already has a power supply with enough juice to handle the X1950 XT.

It must be noted that if you have that kind of money to spend on an AGP card - and possibly an extra £60 / €90 for a power supply that can handle it - you might be much better off purchasing a PCI Express motherboard, CPU and PCIe video card. PCI Express video cards are cheaper than their AGP cousins. If you upgrade your system to PCIe and sell your old components, you may actually spend a similar amount of money compared to buying an expensive AGP card alone.

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