Imaginary video card?
September 27, 2006 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Does the Geforce 7600 GT for the AGP bus really exist? And where can I buy it?

I was reading this article in Tom's Hardware today which says that the best Nvidia AGP card for $175 is the Geforce 7600 GT. But I can't seem to find any retailer who actually sells such a thing, it's only available for the PCIe bus. If it doesn't exist, how did Tom's Hardware review the darn thing?
posted by octothorpe to Computers & Internet (17 answers total)
you may need to buy it online
posted by jaded at 8:27 AM on September 27, 2006

oh crap. those are all PCIe except one, which is out of stock.
posted by jaded at 8:28 AM on September 27, 2006

Quick Newegg search.
posted by Diskeater at 8:28 AM on September 27, 2006

And it is out of stock...but it looks like it does exist.
posted by Diskeater at 8:28 AM on September 27, 2006

Yea, I did those same searches and came up just as empty.
posted by octothorpe at 8:46 AM on September 27, 2006

Not to rain on your parade, but I've read a number of reviews on Tom's Hardware (among others) that rates anything Nvidia in the 7000 series as requiring the PC Express bus, or you're just throwing your money away because of the bottleneck of the AGP.
posted by thanotopsis at 8:57 AM on September 27, 2006

I am holding a 7600GS AGP card in my hands...

Okay well not right this second because I'm typing, but I'm certain it exists. I'm not sure about the GT specifically.
posted by ODiV at 9:48 AM on September 27, 2006

Compare the AGP version at $172 vs the PCIe version at $114 after rebate. Depending on your processor and chipset, you could probably get a cheap motherboard with a PCIe slot for $60. Going this route, you spend the same amount, get better video performance (due to the faster PCIe video bus), and you have more upgrade options for the future. Most motherboards have SATA drive connectors so that allows you to upgrade to faster hard drives as well.

By sticking with AGP you're paying more and getting less via a shrinking legacy product pool.
posted by junesix at 12:11 PM on September 27, 2006

thanotopsis and junesix, those aren't really the answers that I was looking for but from doing more reading, you're probably right. Sigh. These things are always more complicated (and more expensive) than you expect.
posted by octothorpe at 2:44 PM on September 27, 2006

I disagree. SATA drives can't output fast enough to use the interface. Your "slow" 7200 rpm drive is just as fast. Your old CPU may very well be the bottleneck on your system but that doesnt mean it cant use the 7600 card. Sure, your buddy's PCIe based system will be faster but that's purely academic. If it blows away your current geforce4 or something then you just saved youself a few hundred dollars by not buying a CPU, mb, and RAM. If youre not looking for cutting edge 3d performance you'll probably be alright with an AGP based system for a while. If you want to show off your benchmarks and play everything at 'high' then spend the cash.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:10 PM on September 27, 2006

DDA, can you provide links to back up what you're saying? Because you're essentially saying that everything hardware manufacturers have been doing for the past couple years is worthless.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 6:25 PM on September 27, 2006

Not really. SATA is 13% faster than PATA and its an investment in the future. The old ultra/ATA PATA stuff would bottom out when the next big storage change happens. So far there is no big hard drive breakthrough to use all of that SATA lovliness.

Also the new CPUs are great but the real question is it worth the money to a casual gamer who has the option to use a powerful AGP card and his existing CPU to get another 12 months worth of gaming for his rig? Up to him, but right now people do have the choice of upgrading their legacy systems and still be able to play games even if the marketers say otherwise.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:35 PM on September 27, 2006

Depending on your processor and chipset, you could probably get a cheap motherboard with a PCIe slot for $60.

Then add the cost of the new processor, since your old one is a different socket type, then there's the new RAM...

Seems like when I've looked at benchmarks, the AGP vs. PCIe hasn't mattered that much. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong benchmarks?

Generally in a game, you try to avoid uploading stuff on that bus. Local memory bandwidth on the card to its own RAM tends to be more important.
posted by blenderfish at 2:32 AM on September 28, 2006

Ahh.. here we are, Tom's Hardware VGA Chart.

Yeah. Notice, for instance, the X850 XT PCIe is 114 fps in their HL:Ep One test, while the AGP version is 111. X600 Pro vs. X600 Pro AGP is a difference of 48 to 49 FPS. Hardly a major bottleneck. There are other examples on that chart. Of course, individual cards may vary, and you should always research the exact card you want to buy, but I wouldn't make sweeping generalizations about AGP.
posted by blenderfish at 3:04 AM on September 28, 2006

While the PCIe is definitely faster, better voltage, and becoming the standard, AGP is still more than enough to handle anything you can throw at it.

No video games use 2GB/s bandwidth - let alone the 4GB/s with PCIe - and hi-def video is only 20-50 MB/s-ish. There is really, in terms of typical consumer applications like games, no difference in performance. The question is if you want to upgrade your motherboard/processor now or later. Just realize that the last of the AGP cards is being produced now, if at all any more, and within 6 months or less you won't be able to get anything other than PCIe.

I just purchased a nvidia 6800 GS AGP8x (a decent mid-range card at the time) almosta year ago. It runs Doom 3 better than any card I have seen so far (I don't have the cash or the PCIe slot for the newer cards). I'm happy. I found some good recommendations here .
posted by dozo at 4:24 AM on September 29, 2006

No video games use 2GB/s bandwidth

Hi, there, dozo, I'd like you to meet a little friend of mine called Oblivion.

I just purchased a nvidia 6800 GS AGP8x (a decent mid-range card at the time) almosta year ago. It runs Doom 3 better than any card I have seen so far

Then you haven't seen too many cards. My last card (a 5600GTx AGP4x w/256MB of RAM) ran Doom3 at a very respectable FPS, but when I tried to play Oblivion, it still ran choppy at all the lowest settings.

Now, I'm running at 7800GTx w/256MB of RAM on a PC Express based board with a Duo 2 CPU in it (a relatively recent Dell XPS purchase) -- and Oblivion runs choppy when I get more than 3 or 4 monsters on the screen at the same time.
posted by thanotopsis at 4:44 AM on September 29, 2006

blenderfish, which is why I said "Depending on your processor and chipset..." The idea is that if octothorpe isn't using a significantly outdated proc and chipset, he could probably find a cheap mobo that accomodates his existing proc and RAM and still provide PCIe and/or SATA. If a reasonably priced one isn't available, then of course it makes sense to go with the AGP card and ignore the PCIe route altogether.

Easy answer: If you can find it for $175, go for it.
Complicated answer: You can maybe get more bang for the buck at $175 by purchasing the PCIe version for $114 and a cheap >=$60 that will work with your existing processor and RAM.

Addendum: Newegg now has the Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition with VIVO (TV pass-through) PCIe for $120. Very nice performance that beats out the 7600GT for $5 more.
posted by junesix at 11:33 AM on September 29, 2006

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