Some time ago the graphics card of my old rig died. It actually burned out little by little over the course of a week. It was a mighty(when I bought it anyhow) NVIDIA 6800 GT. The flagship card of NVIDIA 3-3,5 years ago. Googling it I found out that many 6800 GT burned out at approximately 3 years of use. Shame because I really liked that card. Digital life goes on I guess and I had to replace it. I decided that the time was right to go buy a new card (in the mean time it was wearing a humble NVIDIA TNT2 that I found laying around). The only problem was that the motherboard, an MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum, only supported AGP Graphics cards. Where the hell was I supposed to find a proper AGP card for my old rig January 2009?
Well...they do exist and I was very happy with the fact. It is not like there is an abundance of AGP cards in the market, or that there is variety but just enough to make my purchase an revive this machine for at least a couple of year. I ended up getting an ASUS ATI Radeon 3650 with 512 MB RAM for 75 euros. The other contender was an Nvidia 7600GT 512MB RAM for 100 euros. In theory ATI was a better card and cheaper than the 7600, I wanted though to get the NVIDIA. t probably has something to do with the Linux problems ATI had in the past or that I always liked better NVIDIA cards for gaming than the ones ATI produced. I do not have the slightest idea why the 7600 was priced 100 euros. The 3650 provides HD hardware decoding DirectX 10.1 support and the clock speeds are higher. In addition it sports a passive silent cooling system. Thus despite my initial concerns I bought the ATI yesterday and so far I am pretty happy with my choice. Just for the record, the rest of the AGP cards I found in the market(to buy new) was some lameass 3450 and a 6200 both of which are worse than my 6800 that burned out.
Look at the cooling system on this baby...huge. I barely fit it in the case.
For anyone looking to buy the 3650 bare in mind to not use the ATI catalyst drivers but the Saphire catalyst drivers. Apparently the ATI AGP drivers for the 36xx series has a problem that is addressed by saphire.
After I tried on some games I found out that ATI 3650 AGP sucks. It has major problems that are not addressed even by the hotfix drivers mentioned above. Find out more.