|PowerColor X1650 XT 256MB AGP Video Card
The PowerColor X1650 XT 256MB AGP Video Card breathed some new life into a solid system that really only shows its age due to AGP graphics being featured. Performance in benchmarks and many games was better than expected, and showed that there really is no reason to retire a system simply due to the fact that it doesn't support PCI-Express. In addition to the strong performance, it produced a low level of noise and was able to run on a power supply rated far below the published specifications minimum.
Although the positive features carry the card to a strong final rating, there were a few issues worth noting. The first one was the fact that it would not seat properly in the AGP slot. This could be an isolated issue, but considering that at least four other cards have fit properly in the test system, it was a bit puzzling. Other issues that may be seen as negatives to some include the absolute inability to overclock, the lack of a component video output, and the rather minimal software bundle. None of these tarnish my final opinion of the X1650XT, but I have never failed at overclocking a card at least a little bit, and it would have been interesting to squeeze a bit more performance out of it just for kicks.
A search of PriceGrabber lists two retailers carrying this card for just over $165 (US). Although this is quite an investment in an older technology, the testing did show that you can still squeeze some solid performance out of an AGP slot. Compared to other high end AGP cards on the market, this one finds itself positioned just slightly more expensive than cards with lower specifications (GeForce 7600 and Radeon X1600), and far less expensive than cards with stronger specifications (GeForce 7800 and Radeon X1950).
Given the solid performance, low noise operation, and the ability to breathe some life back into an AGP gaming rig, the PowerColor X1650 XT 256MB AGP Video Card earns the awards of "Recommended" and "Gaming Approved". There aren't many faster/stronger AGP cards on the market, and this is a great choice if you are dead set on passing on PCI-Express for at least one more upgrade cycle!
» Strong performance for an AGP card
» Can get that older AGP system back up to speed on many modern games
» Fairly quiet cooling fan
» Dual DVI and TV-Out
» Ran fine on a 300W PSU (despite specifications calling for a 450W minimum)
» Card didn't quite seat properly in AGP slot
» Minimal software bundle
» No component output for HDTV
» Wouldn't overclock at all
» Good deal of money to invest in "old technology"
Special thanks to PowerColor for providing the PowerColor X1650 XT 256MB AGP Video Card to Bigbruin.com for review!
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