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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  • Spoelie - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    I think you missed the point of this article. It was not meant as a review of the particular brands, but of the card nvidia just released. Those are the reference clocks and that's what nvidia is putting out right now, it is the baseline you can expect all the 7800gs cards to do, not what some brands may do. That they just happened to use an evga card to show it doesn't really have anything to do with the matter.

    I'm pretty sure there will be a followup article discussing the differences between the brands and their clocks, with some lower end comparison cards everyone is craving for thrown in for good measure. I hope you can leave your pants on till then.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    If the context is seen as those cards, for that price, we can reasonably assume only someone ignorant of clock speeds would pay same price for a lower clocked stock card, else they'd planned to really o'c it themselves.

    So, we do care what some brands do because it's not that we're buying a "7800GS" if we do, rather we're buying a 7800GS for 7800GS performance levels which are not a conceptual thing but an actual product.

    Who wears pants? ;)
    Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    No kidding, I was actually VERY upset and confused as to why you downclocked the retail parts, or at least didn't run tests both ways. VERY poor reviewing on this one IMO, not typical of Anands norm. IF I go out and purchase a eVGA 7800GS for my FX-51 AGP system, I"m sure as hell not going to underclock it the second I get it. I would most likely just leave it at stock and call it a day.

    PLZ for the love of God, show us the true out of the box performance numbers, and compare it to other cards like my AGP x800XL, or the 6800GT/Ultra AGP parts.
    Reply
  • bldckstark - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    This is my idea of a hard launch --> A buyer has to be able to purchase the part on the day of the launch, or it is not hard. Not ALL buyers, but enough stock so that parts are available to purchase nationally for at least 24 hours. Nationally meaning the part would have to be at a national retail chain (Best Buy, CompUSA, Fry's, etc.) or online where a price search engine can find it.

    So my definition of hard launch is, parts nationally available for 24 hours, or it is soft.

    What do the rest of you think? Fair or not?
    Reply
  • dqniel - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Very fair. Reply
  • dqniel - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Very disappointing. This card at stock is $300 yet has worse performance than the x850xt in most cases which is about $210 now...

    Perhaps I need to see some results with this thing overclocked and the pipes unlocked (if they truely can be)
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    The AGP version of the X850xt is way higher than $210, more like around $400. IMO, its pointless to get it. You can just get a new mobo for the price difference, especially if you already have a good processor.

    When I went to PCIE, I bought a new mobo, Sempron 2800+, and X800GTO2, all for ~$350 $350. Then then sold my old setup for $150, so my net cost was $200, and I have a much faster cpu as well as a faster video card. Way better than paying $300 or so dollars just for a new video card.
    Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Well to be more accurate, the X850 XT AGP can be had for <250. Heck I bought an X800 XT PE last summer for $249 shipped, and some people are now getting the 850's for less than that. You don't see these deals widely advertised, as it would compete with the 800GTO's.

    Now to be fair, dgniel compared street prices of the X850 to MSRP of the 7800GS which is apples-to-oranges. But I don't think too many people pay $400 for X850 XT's anymore, seeing as a 7800GT will match its performance for 100 less and better feature set.
    Reply
  • Avalon - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    So how many pixel pipelines does the card have, 16? Let's see some benches of it overclocked. Reply
  • rcxplane - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Check out this review
    http://www.ngohq.com/home.php?page=articles&go...">http://www.ngohq.com/home.php?page=articles&go...

    If the numbers are correct it shows an overclocked 7800GS with stock cooler getting a higher score than the 7800GT.
    I have read in several places that people have been able to unlock the unused pipelines and shaders using RivaTuner.
    If all this is true then Its a must buy for all of us still using AGP

    I agree with all above. I would also like to see the card compared to the AGP 6800GT and Ultra with OC scores.

    Reply

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