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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  • APKasten - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    No. It could be considered a contradictory statement. An oxymoron is a phrase, not a sentence. ;)

    But I still disagree with you. Since AGP is still a viable platform for playing current games. In fact, the 7800 GS keeps AGP systems relevant, because it puts an AGP card on the market that utilizes the most advanced kinds of mainstream video technology.
  • Alphafox78 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    ditto Reply
  • JWalk - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    I would be interested in seeing the scores from the eVGA version of this card. It has significantly higher clock speeds. I would expect that it gives quite a bit better scores. As it stands now though, if I were looking for an AGP card, I would look toward the X850 XT. The non-PE version can be found for $250 or less. The stock-clocked 7800 GS is a nice card, but not a very good deal at $300 or more.

    So, to conclude, looking forward to some numbers from the over-clocked eVGA 7800 GS. :-)
  • neogodless - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Unfortunately, comparing this card only to cards that are PCI Express only or you won't be upgrading from (like the X850XT PE) is kind of pointless...

    I say this because I think the question worth asking is "Is this card a viable upgrade for AGP users", so you would want to compare it to cards like the 6800GT, 6800, 6600GT, and perhaps those Radeon counterparts. Then, having the X850 line in there for comparison would give you a good idea as to which you'd want to upgrade to.
  • Alphafox78 - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    I second this, why not put in a 6800GT or Ultra? if you have a 6800 card it would be nice to know if this card is faster. I stopped reading after I found out there were no cards I found usefull to compare it against.. Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Also, both the X850 XT and X800 XT were available in AGP. I think the poster was looking for a way to get SM3.0 by swapping out his X850 XT AGP ? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    The PCIe numbers are useful to AGP users in that it shows where the cutoff between the highest possible AGP performance is and the next step up in performance possible on a PCIe platform.

    That being said, we are planning on looking at the AGP version of the X1600 as compared to the AGP 6800 GS, so we will certainly revisit this issue.

    Derek Wilson
  • fishbits - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Huh? If you're using AGP and looking to upgrade the video card, what does it matter what the PCIe cards are scoring? If you'd decided to go PCIe, pretty much any of the cards out would be better in one way or another. Maybe just throw in one 7800 GT or such for that comparison. What's "useful" to someone looking to uprade an AGP card is how it will perform compared to what he has, a 6600GT, 6800GT, 6800GS (AGP version), a 97-9800 and a few of the XXX800XLXXLX X's. That's what they need to be able to see if the card's worth it, or maybe it is time for them to switch to PCIe. Speaking of which:

    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.

    AT's been on this jag for a while now. It was just 18 months ago you were recommending an AGP board as your "Editors Choice" to readers. While some upgrade more frequently, I don't see the guy who buys a top-of-the-line mobo and expects to get two years out of it as in the same category as the guy trying to nurse his Sempron system along. Oh well, at least it's better than when PCIe was available for less than a year and offering zero performance benefits compared to AGP, yet AT was insisting that avid gamers shouldn't expect to see any new AGP products.
  • GoatMonkey - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link


    XXX800XLXXLX X's.

    You forgot a few "T"s.

  • hshendon - Thursday, February 02, 2006 - link

    Anyone know what the numbers are for the same tests for a 6800 Ultra?

    I think I am happy to see that there is a 7800 part for the AGP users out there like me, but I am not sure if I should get it because I can never find comparisons to the 6800 Ultra.

    I know I would get the better shader model and more pixel pipelines, but what does that really mean in a head to head comparison?

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