A family PC has to be a real crowd-pleaser: your son wants fast, thrill-packed 3D games; your daughter is developing a talent for computer artwork; your wife has a black belt in Internet browsing; and you enjoy watching the occasional DVD movie. Oh, … see full wiki
When it became time to upgrade my old workstation I decided that I once again wanted a real graphic card in lieu of one built into the motherboard. My old workstation has a S3 AGP with 4Mb of memory. Even though most are AGP with at least 8Mb of Ram they tend to produce mediocre graphic and do not come with a wide range of features that allow you to fine tune the video display.
In the past I have owned a wide variety of video cards from Cardinal to Diamond Multimedia, but I have always felt most at home with the ATI cards. So it was review time again as I set out in search of the perfect video card for the money I wanted to spend (I wanted to keep the cost under $75.00 if possible). I settled on the ATI Xpert 2000 AGP 128Bit graphics card with 32MB of video memory, which I purchased from on-line merchant Mwave.com (www.mwave.com), for $72.90, OEM.
Sidebar: But what is AGP Bard? AGP or Accelerated Graphics Port is a bus interface for graphics accelerators that was originally designed for Pentium II based PCs. AGP gives graphics accelerators fast, high throughput through direct access to system memory (RAM). This allows a graphics accelerator access to more memory than available locally on the graphics card. For example, to display a scene that contains 16MB of textures, a 4MB AGP graphics card could access the PC system memory for the additional 12MB required. But accessing system memory is not always the best allocation of resources. So the more memory resident on the graphics accelerator the better! Now back to our review. The ATI Xpert 2000 offers the following features:
· 32MB of video memory · 128-bit ATI RAGE 128 graphics engine · 3D and 2D graphics · Hardware DVD video playback · 32-bit true color · 3D graphics (16.7 million colors) up to 1920x1200 resolution w/ a maximum 3D resolution of 1920x1440
· 2D graphics up to 1600x1200@85Hz · Full DirectX, Direct3D and OpenGL acceleration · Advanced 3D features including triangle setup engine, ATI's Superscalar Rendering technology, twin cache architecture, complete alpha blending, video textures, texture lighting and single-pass multi-texturing
· Full support of Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 I feel as though I made a wise decision by purchasing this card. ATI has been building graphics cards almost from the start of the PC revolution, and I trust the product. Even ported to my 7-year-old Viewsonic monitor the picture is crisp, bright and solid, with no hints of fade evident. At a resolution of 1024x768 (where I like it), there is no jitter; the display is once again solid, crisp, clear and bright! Letters are easy to read even down to the 6.5 pitch font sizing, and desktop icons are bight and easy to discern. The cards software driver allows me control over almost every aspect of video display via the Display applet in Control Panel, including:
I am not a gamer, nor do I have a DVD player (yet), so I cannot speak to those aspects of the cards performance. However, I cant imagine those that need to utilize that aspect of the cards driver set will be disappointed.
If you are looking for a bargain priced graphics card that offers superior performance, bright vibrant colors, superior sharpness, and advanced controls, you would be hard pressed to find a better bargain then the ATI Xpert 2000 AGP.