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The Great and Last AGP Graphics Card Roundup - ATI vs. nVidia

By: Shawn Baker | Editorials in Video Cards | Posted: May 27, 2005 4:00 am

ATI Offerings


ATI haven't offered a lot in the AGP department since the X800XT was released. From there they seemed to mainly concentrate on the release of PCI Express with the X700, X850XT and X800XL. It looked like AGP users were going to miss on this line up of cards until recently, when we saw all the cards come out at the same time.



To support the AGP market, ATI use a converter chip which translates PCI Express signals to AGP using the bridge chip pictured above.


- Radeon X700PRO



The original plan for ATI was to offer a PRO and XT variant of the X700 series of cards but with pricing being similar to the 6600GT and performance falling short to say the least they quickly scrapped the idea of the X700XT.


Weighing in with a core speed of 425MHz and a memory speed of 860MHz DDR the X700PRO looks like it could offer quite a punch to the competition. On top of this we have 128MB of DDR3 memory and 8 pixel pipelines - the X700PRO is ready to take over where the 9800PRO finished. With faster memory and a reworked core the X700PRO is designed for gamers who don't want to spend a bucket load of money on graphics card yet get good performance for games that are out now and coming in the near future.


- Radeon X800XL



The X800XL quickly became one of the most popular ATI cards thanks to its 16 pipelines, excellent price and incredible performance for PCI Express users. While the X700PRO takes over from the 9800PRO, the X800XL takes over from the discontinued X800PRO which was accompanied with only 12 pipelines.


With a core speed of 400MHz and 256MB of DDR3 standard clocked at 980MHz DDR the X800XL is going to be a big contender in the AGP market. One thing that we must mention about this card though is the sheer length of it. We are moving back to the TI4600 days with the size of this card and the X800XL is not a small form factor friendly graphics card. We have seen 512MB variants of this card pop up for PCI Express users so it will be interesting to see if AGP users get the same luxury.


- Radeon X850XT / Platinum Edition



The X850XT was released to replace the X800XT card with it bringing slightly higher core/memory speeds as well as a little bit of extra voltage to try and increase the yield rate of the card.


The X850 comes in two variants - the standard X850XT and the X850XT Platinum Edition. The standard version comes clocked at 520MHz on the core and 1080MHz on the memory. The Platinum Edition weighs in slightly better with a core of 540MHz and the memory running at a speedy 1180MHz with 256MB DDR3 as standard on both cards.


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