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SAPPHIRE 100288L Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-Bit DDR2 AGP 8X HDCP Ready Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here 03/31/2011

This review is from: SAPPHIRE 100288L Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-Bit DDR2 AGP 8X HDCP Ready Video Card

Pros: When the card actually works, it works beautifully. Since I don't like working on my laptop, I bought this card to replace a dead Nvidia video card for my Dell Dimension 4600. It certainly breathed new life into an old machine. DVD movies looked wonderful, and although I don't play many games, the games I did play looked magnificent for such an old computer.

Cons: While ATI can build a nice video card, they cannot write functional drivers or installation programs to save their lives. Unless you have above-average tech savviness, DO NOT EVER ATTEMPT TO INSTALL AN ATI DRIVER PACKAGE THAT IS NOT ON A DISC. Unless you're up for a challenge, that is.

My card worked well for a month, but then the troubles set in. Ati2dvag.dll infinite loop errors. Random computer crashes. Not-so-random computer crashes caused by flash videos (think Youtube, videos on The Daily Show's website, etc.). Random crashes while playing games. Random crashes while browsing the web and while working in Word and Excel. I've seen more Blue Screens of Death in the past 48 hours than I've seen over the lifespan of this computer. Several times over.

If you buy this card, be prepared to spend significant chunks of time doing research, uninstalling, and reinstalling drivers. As an added bonus, ATI seemingly cannot write a setup/installation program that actually launch

Other Thoughts: AGP video cards were on the way out years ago. The main reason people buy them today is extend the lifespan of otherwise perfectly functional computers. None of us go into the AGP video card market looking for bleeding edge graphics. No, what we need is solid functionality.

ATI simply cannot provide a video card and video card software that just works. That's all we need: something that works and something that is reliable.

ATI just cannot deliver. Instead, spend your money on Nvidia video cards. You'll save yourself a few gray hairs and much needless frustration.

As for me, I'm as stubborn as a bull. I'll find a way to get this card to work. Eventually.

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Michael B.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael B.

Date Joined: 11/03/07

  • Reviews: 1
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 03/31/11
  • Last Review: 03/31/11
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