If you are looking for the best AGP video card for gaming, this Techspirited article is aimed at helping you out with that. Presented here is a list of some of the best cards available in the market today.
Technology is steadily evolving to provide computer game aficionados with an even more enthralling gaming experience. As animation technology gets better with every passing day, game developers are offering a more realistic and life-like gaming experience. However, to enjoy these new 3D gaming experiences, you need the right video card installed on your computer. AGP video cards are one of the many technologies that have evolved to serve this need. Although these cards have been surpassed by the more advanced PCI express video cards, people who have old computers still prefer them.
What is AGP Technology?
AGP is an acronym for ‘Accelerated Graphics Port’. It is a high speed point-to-point communication channel, developed for connecting a video card to a computer motherboard. Video cards that are compatible with AGP channels are called AGP video cards.
The AGP technology was specifically designed to make the rendering of 3D computer graphics possible. One could even say that they were expressly developed for gaming applications. Compared to old PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) based cards, AGP offered higher speeds due to its dedicated pathway, directly leading to the CPU. In short AGP is a dedicated bus, specifically designed for graphics adapters.
These cards offer great performance, when it comes to rendering complex geometries and fast switching to newer scenes in real time. AGP cards have been phased out progressively since 2004, by the new PCI express cards, but there are still quite a few good AGP card options available for users who are using AGP compatible motherboards in their personal desktop computers.
Best AGP Video Cards in the Market
The first thing to look for, when buying an AGP card, is the memory bandwidth. This bandwidth decides the speed of communication between the graphics processing unit and the graphics memory.
Second thing to look for, is the memory size of the graphics card. It is an important parameter, as more the memory size, more is the speed at which the graphics card works. Typical memory sizes of AGP cards fall in the range of 256 MB to 1GB.
The other thing to look out for, is hardware and software compatibility. It would be impossible to tell you specifically which would be the best card for Windows 7 or ‘World of Warcraft’. Most AGP cards work well for graphic intensive games, and operating system compatibility is not an issue, if you have the right driver software and adequate RAM.
Let us take a look at three of the best cards available in the market.
1) Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 512MB AGP
The Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 is the best of the lot, with superior performance even on higher resolutions like 1680 x1050. It has a 256 bit memory bus along with 512MB of GDDR3 RAM. This combination provides for a smooth gaming experience. With a price tag of around $100, it is a good choice for a video card.
2) Diamond ATI Radeon HD 4650
This is a 4-series AMD graphics card, based on the AGP bus architecture, and the only one of its kind. It comes with a 128 bit memory bus and 512MB memory. It consumes low amount of power and generates less heat. It can easily play the latest Blu-Ray and HD-DVD quality videos. Priced a little over $100, it is a good video card for medium resolutions and budget gaming.
3) Asus Radeon HD 3650
The Asus Radeon HD 3650 has a passively cooled graphics processor, which makes it a ‘silent’ performer. With a 128-bit memory bus, 512MB on-board memory, and HDMI output support, this AGP video card is good for anybody who plays older generation games, which are not that graphics-intensive, and is good enough for regular rendering of video applications.
These were some of the best AGP cards that you can choose from. When it comes to graphics-intensive 3D gaming, one always wants more in terms of video card performance. However, if you want to stick to the venerable AGP technology, the video cards listed above are some of the best that are on offer.