I bought this card because I wanted a quick fix without having to spend a ton to upgrade for a PCI-e graphics card solution.  The Radeon X1950 Pro AGP is a great choice for the gamer who wants to stay with AGP for a bit longer, and who currently has a 6800GT or lower.  Is it worth ~$300?  That depends on your financial situation and budget, but if you’re like me, you can sell your old card and try to make up the difference with the Radeon X1950 Pro.

To me it was a viable solution, and I’m happy with the performance I’m experiencing over my previous video card, the GeForce 6800GT. All my games can now be played at my high native resolution, with antialiasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.  A year from now, I likely will still be satisfied with the performance, and this will give me time to save up for a new rig, and then I can go with PCI-e video cards.

However, if I had more X1950 Pro video cards to choose from right now, I would return this Visiontek video card back to the store and get a better alternative.  For example, Diamond Multimedia has a 512MB X1950 Pro that is $50 cheaper.  Unfortunately, as of this writing, availability of the X1950 Pro AGP cards are very slim.  For now I’ll stay with this card, as I’m happy with its performance, but if a better card becomes available and I can still return this card to Best Buy, I’m going to jump at the opportunity.

On the box for this card is the label “XGE”, which stands for Xtreme Gamer Edition, which Visiontek wants to prove the card is for “xtreme” gamers.  A sensor on the GPU would make the label more deserving. As it works now, a gamer would have to use a 3rd party program to overclock, and jump through hoops to find the max overclock while staying stable. The lack of a sensor makes this difficult. The copper heatsink was a very nice touch, but the loud always-running-at-100% fan, and no sensor to monitor temperature really hurt its chances with the hardcore gamer crowd.

Even if you don’t care about overclocking, you may still find a better purchase with other manufacturers’ solution, especially if you save money with their’s.  Right now the only reason to get Visiontek’s is if you are having a hard time finding other X1950 Pro AGP cards, and like me, don’t want to wait for something else.

More information on this card at Visiontek’s website.

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