Sapphire Radeon X850 XT PE: AGP 8X
Summary & Conclusion
Benchmark Summary: The Sapphire Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition performed very well throughout our entire battery of benchmarks. In every game, except for Doom 3 and Chronicles of Riddick, the Sapphire Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition (and the ATI built X850) was the best performing card that we tested here. And where it did trail behind the GeForce 6800 Ultra, the GeForce's performance lead wasn't monumental.
Sapphire's AGP Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition is arguably the fastest AGP video card available. In every one of our custom in-game benchmarks, and in every synthetic test, this card performed at or near the top of the charts. Doom 3 Engine based games proved to be somewhat of a weakness, as they historically have been for all ATI based video cards, but it still produced very good framerates in those tests. They just weren't on the same level as NVIDIA's high-end cards. Sapphire included a decent assortment of cables, manuals, and software with the card, it overclocked well, it was stable, and the cooler doesn't make very much noise in most situations. And best of all, even though this card is a relatively elusive "Platinum Edition", it's readily available at a multitude of retailers at a price-point of about $475. At that price, the Sapphire Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition is a bit more expensive than a GeForce 6800 Ultra, but the larger investment is justified considering this particular card comes with a couple of good games and its performance was superior in a majority of the benchmarks. We really liked the Sapphire Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition and are giving it a solid 9.5 on the Heat Meter.