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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  • Ezza - Saturday, February 04, 2006 - link

    This article needs to be taken with a grain of salt since the 7800GS in the article is a PCI-E engineering sample. In this article the 7800GS scales very well when overclocked, hopefully the AGP version will show similar gains when overclocked. Reply
  • Stas - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    I have x800 Pro o/c. I really want to upgrade but buying a new mobo + video card is a bit too expansive. If only I could get a better video on the level with 7800GT and x1800XL, I would be happy. Unfortunatelly, 7800GS just doesn't cut it (you've seen the tests). I wish they come out with AGP versions of 1800XL and 7800GT, I would have gotten one. But then again, ATi and nVidia both make chipset with PIC-E, thus it is profitable for them to have people buy new mobos with PCI-E. :( Reply
  • NullSubroutine - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    it seems rediculous to me that with an agp part, you compared...not other AGP parts, but high end pci-express cards. i have an agp system, i want to know how much better it is than other AGP cards out there, not a top of the line card, that would require me to upgrade my processor and mainboard.

    again, you have done so in the past, so i request it once again. many people buying this product run either 10x7 or 12x10 with and without 4x 8x. these were left out in the line graphs, i request them once again. otherwise without both these things, i think it leaves us people who would considering to buy this product, needing to go elsewhere to find out how it compares, and what is a good buy.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Agreed. Not everyone is as interested in how a card does at all kinds of maxxed out settings and features as we are at what measures would be needed to use the card for modern games, playable rates. If a feature entails a significant performance penalty, but one has an AGP board, of course they'd disable the feature when necessary.

    I also fail to see the logic in lowering card clock speeds when (all) 2 samples were shipped at a higher rate. While one may not want to manually raise the speeds for the tests, the out-of-box speed a card uses should be considered stock no matter what nVidia spec'd. IOW, I don't see a lot of people underclocking their cards, it would be a scenario never seen in gaming use, IMO.

    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link


    X850 XT non PE
    6800 GS (AGP)
    6800 GS (PCI-E)
    EVGA 7800 GS at it's factory OC Settings.
    6800 Ultra
    6800 GT
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    In addition to the aboe now that I think of it I would like these 2 to be included as well.

    6800 AGP
    6600 GT AGP
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the suggestions, we will certainly consider including these cards in future AGP performance comparisons.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson
    Reply
  • Boushh - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    I agree with others that you should have picked other cards for a comparison. Specialy considering your introduction words in the article.

    The point is that it's about users who still use up-to-date AGP systems (like me) that would like to know if this card is worth the money and wait a little longer to upgrade to PCIe.

    Therefore the comparison should have been between this card and other AGP cards at the same price point, or more expensive ones. Now you only tested the X850. A card that most people reading the test will probaly not even consider as an upgrade. And comparing it to the X1900XTX and 7800 GTX 512 Mb ? Come on ! Like these cards would be viable upgrades considered by the people who are intrested in this card..

    Besides, if I want PCIe numbers I can read any of your other tests.

    There are also no noise, power consumption, and OC results (I bet the eVGA would beat the X850 hands down). And the test was done on a medicore ULi based board instead of a high-end S939 board.

    Sorry for the harsch comment, but I simply had to say this ;-)
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Friday, February 03, 2006 - link

    80% agree.

    You only failed on one post.
    "And the test was done on a medicore ULi based board instead of a high-end S939 board."

    You forget that there arent no longer high eng AGP systems.
    The existing ones are "outdated".
    Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    quote:

    The point is that it's about users who still use up-to-date AGP systems
    Isn't this an oxymoron?
    Reply

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