Sapphire Readies DirectX 10 Graphics Cards for Old Computers

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the new graphics cards will allow them to play modern games, as microprocessors on the vast majority of AGP systems are outdated for contemporary games, whereas DDR memory upgrades are already more expensive compared to DDR2 memory upgrades.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

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Staples starts computer recycle program

Next Story

Tech Gear takes a look at the Samsung Q1B

27 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Sounds great for AGP users (like me) but unless you got a high-end AGP-based system (which not everyone will have) your gonna have to upgrade anyway and it will be cheaper and easier to go PCI-e. I'd seriously consider getting a Dx10 compliant AGP card but my CPU (and RAM) is a serious bottleneck, as it is my 6800GS is too much for it, going any higher is a waste of money for me. Still if you got a decent AGP-based system, this will be very good news indeed

also if pci-e cards are only 2-3 percent faster than agp 8x, then people with agp 8x have no need to upgrade to PCI-E unless they have a slow CPU.

From the OP:


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.


I absatively posilutely call BS on that. I currently have a P4 Northwood-C-powered system (ASUS P4C800E-Deluxe mobo) running *Vista Ultimate* (the graphics are from an ATI AIW 9700 Pro, which hasn't even been *manufactured* since 2005), and I have a WEI of 4.1 (the CPU is the weak link); however, even C&C3 has a minimum WEI of 3.0 (and a recommended WEI of 4.1). There are certainly faster CPUs (even faster CPUs that will fit this same motherboard) that take the AGP bus (my Northwood-C is 2.6 GHz OC'd to 2.85 using the stock HSF; there are faster stock N-Cs, not to mention Original Prescotts and Athlons). Where has the reporter been living; under a rock or in a cave?

Then there are the LGA775-based systems with the 865PE chipset. These systems started out with the Prescott-B; most were updated to support the Pentium-D (some even support Core Dup and Core2Duo), and all have AGP (not PCIe) graphics slots. And don't even get me *started* on the non-Intel chipset makers (such as VIA and SiS).

There are Quite A Few customers that would buy DX10-based AGP cards (including me) simply because it lets me delay laying out even more money for a complete changeover (while DDR2 is less expensive than DDR, it requires a motherboard change, which requires a CPU change, which requires a graphics card change). So it's one change vs. *four* changes (and that doesn't count the PSU upgrade, which will certainly be a requirement). Why spend additional money when it's not necessary?

You can still get AGP boards today. Since the S939 and AM2 boards are so similar, some firms just did a top-to-bottom reissue of their stuff, resulting in weirdness like the ASRock AM2NF3-VSTA (Yes, a Socket AM2 board with the NF3 chipset!)

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Mode...-VSTA&s=AM2

They also sell a boatload of these lame little boards here which have the VIA chipset on them, and offer Core 2 support, DDR400/DDR2-533 support, and either an AGP slot or a PCI-Ex4 slot wired up as an x16 one.

Are these going to be running at the same speed as their PCIE counterparts?? Cuz i have a shuttle motherboard with a amd x2 +3800 and all i would need to do it buy one of these to play dx10 games correct? And what about the 2900 is there going to be an agp version of it?

I was kinda happy about having an option for DX10 without building a new computer for PCI-E, but then after reading the comments, i remembered that for DX10 i'd have to run Vista...

so forget it...

AGP users should just upgrade their PC instead of throwing $200 for an "upgrade" that will allow them to play the latest games at 1024x768 with medium-low quality setting.

It's another story if all they need is smooth HD video playback.

Awesome!

This will make many AGP users very happy including me

I'm running a P4 3.4ee oc'ed to 3.75 and runs Vista smooth like butter, can't wait to replace my x800xt with this. I knew it was a good move passing on the x1950/xt agp's

I purchased an X1950 Pro recently too :/
But I won't upgrade the graphics until mid 2008 at the earliest. Should be able to get a nice card by then.

But this is great news for people with AGP boards.

There are many computers currently on the market that use the intel 845 and 865i chipsets that either have intel core2 duos in them or are readily upgradeable to core 2 duo and have the lga775 slot.

To say that you can't run vista and new processors with agp is irresponcible at the very least.

I'm pleased to see a manufacturer step forward and take a chance on AGP. It is still a large and healthy market. Now if only we could see someone do the same thing with nvidia cards...

Chances are if you still have AGP.... your using an old(er) computer, and I'm willing to bet you won't be happy running games under vista on a slow system... just my thought.

For the casual gamer, that has a decent Athlon 64 or Pentium 4 system, there isn't a lot you can't do; Vista runs fine on my A64 3000+, with an AGP 6800, and 1 GB of RAM. Sure, it's not the fastest thing in the world, but it's more than fine for what I do most of the time.

But it has gotten to the point, where it is almost just cheaper to go for DDR2 and PCI-E, rather than updating the AGP card, and get a slightly better performance boost.

I currently have the 7800 gs(which i think is the highest card i can get for AGP atm)... maybe an ATI card has higher specs... but I will def pick up the HD 2600 to use on my p4 3.0 ghz for my HTPC

Whats the point, if you have an old computer vista won't run well at all and vista is the only place you will get directX 10.

You know you can get AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ on an AGP motherboard, and it'll run Vista very well. even a Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ will do.

Yes but why update to a dead end technology? If you're spending money on a serious graphics card you should really update to PCIe so that you can keep it if you upgrade CPU/motherboard, whilst if you're going for a budget card is there really any point? It just pins you back on older hardware and means you lose more when you upgrade in the future.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Yes but why update to a dead end technology? If you're spending money on a serious graphics card you should really update to PCIe so that you can keep it if you upgrade CPU/motherboard, whilst if you're going for a budget card is there really any point? It just pins you back on older hardware and means you lose more when you upgrade in the future.

So buy a card you can't use in your current pc just in case you upgrade your current pc to PCIe? /confused