The first DirectX 10 card in AGP format
Just like an alien creature in some 1950s B movie, AGP refuses to die.
No matter what the big two in the graphics market might say or think, the demand is still large enough for them to make AGP versions of the latest technology.
This is one of the latest AGP cards from Sapphire and is based on the AMD’s RV60 core (more commonly known as the HD2600 Pro), and it brings DirectX 10 support for the many still using an AGP-based motherboard.
The specification of the AGP version of the HD2600 mirrors the PCI Express edition: 600MHz core and 500MHz (1GB effective) memory clocks and 120 stream processors. The card comes with 512MB of GDDR2 memory running via a 128-bit bus. It also has the HDCP support and Universal Video Decoding Technology of the PCI Express version, but cannot record audio at the same time due to the bandwidth restraints of the AGP bus.
The only addition to the printed circuit board (PCB) is the bridging chip on the rear of the card to allow the PCI Express architecture to talk to the AGP interface, which is cooled by a thermal pad. And at last there’s a use for that spare floppy drive power connector, as this is what the AGP version of the HD2600 uses to draw power.
A very compact board, measuring just 17cm long, Sapphire’s HD2600 Pro AGP uses a single-slot cooling solution to cool just the GPU while the memory chips are left uncovered. This shouldn’t be a problem as the Hynix HY5PS121621CFP-2 chips are rated at just 500MHz, so unless you’re thinking about overclocking the board they won’t need any extra cooling.
The rest of the hardware bundled in the box consists of a driver CD, DVI-VGA adapter, TV out connector, HDTV breakout cable and a four-pin Molex to floppy drive power cable adapter.
You can see full performance scores for this card and other DirectX 10 cards on our benchmarking site www.reportlabs.com
Pros: DirectX 10 support for AGP based systems; good value Cons: Lacks the ability to output audio like other Radeon HD cards Overall: If you need DX 10 support for your AGP system, then Sapphire’s HD2600 Pro is worth looking at
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