Friday, February 03, 2006

Tech Link (Video Card): AGP Video Card Isn't Dead, Yet

Well, seems like AGP is still very much alive and kicking, at least that's what NVIDIA is hinting now that they released a high end video card for the faithful. The works is very much commendable, specially for those who have invested very much with their AGP based motherboard, or simply for those who wanted a stable system based on the good ol' AGP socket. I've gathered quite a few of the reviews around the web, so you'll definitely get busy reading up the full scoop.
Images owned by respective sites/OEMs

OWNERS OF PC SYSTEMS with AGP slots have been getting the shaft lately when it comes to graphics cards. NVIDIA released its GeForce 7 series this past summer, and ATI has introduced not one, but two generations of high-end Radeon X1000-series GPUs. Yet neither company has seen fit to introduce a fast new AGP card, somehow figuring that the upgrade market would prefer PCI Express so overwhelmingly it didn't matter. That seems to be a rather harsh assessment given the fact that one can slide an Athlon 64 X2 into a reasonably decent Socket 939 AGP mobo like the Asus A8V and get a dual-core CPU upgrade.

Public Relations is a clever game and it's all about telling people enough without giving any future plans away. What Brian didn't reveal was the company's GeForce 7800 GS plans on AGP and that was what we picked up on in December. After the complaints and petitions made by die hard AGP users when NVIDIA launched GeForce 7800 GTX coupled with Brian's statement, today's announcement comes as no surprise.

NVIDIA and its partners have launched the GeForce 7800 GS AGP for those die-hard AGP users who don't have the funds to complete a full system upgrade to PCI-Express. We've teamed up with BFG Technologies, NVIDIA's leading partner in North America, to bring you a launch day product review.

While PCI-Express is admittedly a much better bus design, not only due to the sheer bandwidth available but also because of the flexibility in graphics card configurations (SLI, Crossfire, or just a boatload of regular cards driving more monitors than you can shake a stick at), the AGP market still commands a majority -- 55% in fact, as reported recently by The Inq. Completely ignoring half of the consumers out there is not a good business plan by any measure, and we're happy to report today that NVIDIA has stepped up to the plate, and is offering an AGP incarnation of their latest graphics architecture.

The reference clock speeds for the GeForce 7800 GS are 375MHz for the core, with a 1.2GHz memory speed. As is the case with many of NVIDIA's current offerings though, they've given some flexibility with the clock speeds to their partners. Today we'll be looking at XFX's version of the GeForce 7800 GS, which boasts a 440MHz core speed, and 256MB of 1.3GHz DDR3 memory.

Today, NVIDIA is releasing the GeForce 7800 GS AGP GPU. The reason for this launch is that end-users are not moving to the new PCI Express platform as fast as the company thought they would. So, with that happening, NVIDIA is bringing those users who do not have the funds or are not ready yet to take the plunge to get a new motherboard, CPU and GPU a GPU that will prolong the life of their systems.

While the world seems to only care about PCI Express (PCIe) video cards now days, NVIDIA has taken a moment to move their newest technology a step backwards in terms of interface, as well as performance. The GeForce 7800 GS AGP is being launched today and is what can best be described as a fully emasculated 7800 GTX or heavily neutered 7800 GT. While it shares some of the best features of NVIDIA's shining new GeForce 7800 technology, you can't help but wonder what the hell somebody at NVIDIA was thinking when they decided the 7800 GS AGP should be a eunuch.

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