Sapphire Technology, one of the world's largest producers of graphics cards, is planning to release three graphics cards featuring ATI Rialto bridge, which allows GPUs originally architected for PCI Express to work on platforms supporting AGP 4x or 8x. The new cards fully support DirectX 10 and are based on the latest ATI Radeon HD 2000-series GPUs. The new graphics boards are Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT (800MHz core, 1400MHz memory) with up to 512MB of GDDR3 memory, HD 2600 Pro (600MHz core, 1000MHz memory) with up to 512MB GDDR3 memory onboard and HD 2400 Pro (525MHz core, 800MHz memory) with up to 256MB of GDDR2 memory onboard.
Both Radeon HD 2600 and 2400 are fully compatible with DirectX 10 and feature advanced Avivo HD video engine, however, the model HD 2600 sports 120 stream processors, 8 texture units and 4 render back ends, whereas the model HD 2400 has only 40 SPs, 4 TUs and 4 RBEs. Even though some end-users may find the new graphics cards useful, as all of them is likely to be priced at below $199, it is unlikely that the new graphics cards will allow them to play modern games, as microprocessors on the vast majority of AGP systems are outdated for contemporary games, whereas DDR memory upgrades are already more expensive compared to DDR2 memory upgrades. It is unclear when Sapphire starts to sell the new AGP graphics boards.
News source: Xbit Laboratories