Inspecting the Board
At first glance, the Sapphire Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition AGP looks much like ATi's PCI Express version of the card, but considering they have very different interfaces there are some obvious physical differences. The most obvious of which is the AGP connector along the bottom edge of the card.
This cooler on this card is designed to draw air over the copper-finned heatsink that's mounted atop the GPU and expel it from the case, and is identical to an ATI build card, save for the custom Sapphire decal. The fan used in the cooler is throttled according to the GPU's temperature and can potentially get loud. When it's initially powered up, the fan spins at its maximum speed, at which point it is relatively noisy. It was the loudest part in our test system when spinning at its top speed, but after a few seconds it spins down and is barely audible. With our test system at idle, we could barely hear the Sapphire Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition. We should also note that through hours of gaming and benchmarking, and through an extended overclocking session, this card's fan never had to spin up to its maximum speed and remained relatively silent. The potential is there for some noise if GPU and system temperatures get out of hand, but in a well-ventilated case, we doubt the fan on this card will need to spin up considerably. The advantage of a design such as this is that much of the heat generated by the GPU is expelled from the system, which should help to keep case temperatures in check. The main disadvantage is that a dual-slot cooling solution blocks the use of an adjacent slot, and it may not fit in most small form factor systems.
The Sapphire Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition has a simple heat plate mounted to the RAM on the backside of the card, it has a single DVI output, a single DB15 output, and a ViVo connector. The PCI Express version of X850 XT Platinum Edition is configured with a pair of DVI outputs, however. The Sapphire Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition's core is clocked at 540MHz, and its memory is clocked at 590MHz (1.18GHz). And at the upper corner of the board you'll see its molex supplemental power connector. Unlike the PCI Express version of this card, the AGP Sapphire Radeon X850 Platinum Edition uses a 4-pin power connector, not the 6-pin version designated for PCIe systems.