Introduction

While the industry has definitely firmly attached itself to PCI Express, many enthusiasts out there are still running AGP based systems. The cost of keeping up with the pace of technology is certainly steep, so upgrade cycles for some people stretch quite a bit longer than others. Even in cases where a technophile is able to upgrade frequently, no savvy user would just throw out last year's top of the line. If that AGP box doesn't become a hand-me-down to a friend or relative, keeping an older system around for some LAN gaming when guests come to visit is definitely a nice alternative to the trash heap.

Whatever the situation, there are plenty of people out there looking to extend the life of AGP systems in one way or another. And if gaming is a primary function of the computer, graphics card upgrades are most often the way to go for users who want the most bang for the buck. Luckily, NVIDIA hasn't left the users behind. Today, the GeForce 7800 GS makes its debut as NVIDIA's first AGP 7 Series product.

It is unknown whether further updates to the AGP lineup will present themselves, but NVIDIA has said that they will be able to adapt to the demands of the market. This part, like all other recent NVIDIA AGP parts, is made possible by use of their HSI (High Speed Interconnect), which is capable of connecting AGP and PCI Express busses together. The G70 part used on the 7800 GS is a native PCI Express part, and NVIDIA aren't planning on fabbing any more native AGP parts.

Some of you may remember that we took a look at a PCI Express 7800 GS (which will never exist) when an NVIDIA partner accidentally gave away an engineering sample instead of a 7800 GT in a promotion. The specifications of the AGP 7800 GS are not very far off the part that we tested a few months back, but on the AGP platform, there is considerably less competition at the top. Add to this the fact that some manufacturers are shipping boards with higher than stock core and memory speeds, and this part could definitely push an AGP system as far as it is likely to go.

Between a Rock and a Hard Launch
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  • sandman74 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link


    I hate to repeat what the others have said, but this review was borderline useless to the very people who would come here to find out how well the card performs...

    My other half has a 6600GT, and I have a 9800 Pro. How does the 7800 GS compare as an upgrade. NO IDEA is the conclusion I reached after reading your review, which has forced me to look elsewhere.

    I did however find the article interesting to see how it compared with PCI-E cards, but thats about it.

    I think you need to add in some more cards to THIS review, rather than letting everyone wait for another AGP comparison in a few weeks time.
    Reply
  • manno - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Is everyone overlooking the fact that this is going to be a part with a $399 MSRP?, and why no 6800GT AGP, or 6800GS AGP(same thing) an ommision like that is preaty bad. Reply
  • spinportal - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    So far the guesses have been between 300 and 350 USD for a plain vanilla or OC part. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    the MSRP of the 7800 GS AGP is indeed 349US, the OC parts are about MSRP 379US, however we will have to wait to see how this translate to street pricing.

    The X850 XT PCI-E/AGP is MSRP 499US, Street 200-250
    The 7800 GT PCI-E is MSRP 449US Street 275-300
    The 6800 GS PCI-E/AGP is MSRP 249US Street ~200
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Someone from AT should probably say this, but perhaps they think it's obvious:

    This article is about the launch of the NVidia GeForce 7800GS GPU. It is NOT about a particular vendor's board. Vendor boards are tested in vendor roundups or occaisionally individual board reviews.

    While I agree it would have been *interesting* to see the vendor cards tested at their shipping clock speeds, that is really for another article. A GPU launch article should test either reference hardware or vendor hardware set to reference clocks, and this article does exactly that. Period. Quit complaining.

    People should also keep in mind that neither AT nor most other sites re-run every benchmark on every card for every test. They test the new card on their standard hardware platform using current benchmarks, and then use benchmark numbers for other cards from recent tests. Older cards were last tested on an older platform using older benchmarks, so no comparable benchmark numbers are available.

    AT isn't going to re-benchmark a pile of older cards unless doing so is the POINT of the article. This article, again, is about the launch of a new GPU, not a 'Mid-range to High-end AGP Comparo' or '7800GS Vendor Roundup'.

    Reply
  • spinportal - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Then why doesn't AT just have a Video Chart that can pull similiar Min/Max/Avg FPS for each type of test at each resolution / AA / AF setting at-a-glance? Instead we have to muck around dozens of articles and have no generic yardstick. Why include the 7800GTX then if not to compare? Stop being an apologist. Reply
  • spinportal - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Let me be more clear..
    Why can't AT build an result aggregator database / spreadsheet?
    Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Your kidding right? Ok 1) You do realize that more than one person does reviews for Anandtech. 2) Due to 1 (see above), it would be a weebit difficult to ship the standardized review rig to each persons house. 3) The tests done on games change over time. When 6800 Ultra's were being reviewed, there was a totally different set of games being played. 4) As with 3 (see above), hardware changes over time. If they wanted to test on the same system for every graphics card YEARS apart, they would still be using a 486.

    This isnt Toms. If you want the VGA Charts, go get them.
    Reply
  • spinportal - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    Im sure this being a *technical* site, one can factor in plain vanilla CPU/mobo/chipset and formulize those effects vs. the video card. I guess Futuremark's database is closer to where I'm going, where its a composite scoring system, and then an overall, but not divergant and possibly too specialized and even misses the market's techniques. Tom's chart is a bit fuzzy to read it makes my eyes blur at times ;) I mean I could try to scour thru AT and do my own chart in excel (and factor in platform %), but who has time Reply
  • Sharptooth - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    First, I enjoyed this review as it has relevance to me (NF2 AGP user). However, as already mentioned, it would help to compare this card to other AGP cards (6600GT, 6800GT/Ultra, X800XT/PE, X850XT/PE) because AGP systems use these cards. That way, it'll help to access any inherent value (if any) to purchasing. Also, while most reviewers have chosen A64 AGP systems, benchmarking on other platforms (like Socket A) would be extremely appreciated as many (including me) still use these systems.

    --Fernando

    Reply

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