Nvidia's GeForce 7800 GS breathes life into AGP

Santa Clara (CA) - If your computer system is potent enough for your current needs and doesn't justify the upgrade to PCI Express, there is still a way to keep the graphics power up to date: Nvidia today released its 7800 GS graphics processor for AGP-based graphics cards that promise a speed upgrade over 6800 GT models.

It's no secret that the transition to PCI Express is still lagging behind in some market segments. While the business decline for AGP is declining for graphics cards manufacturers, there is still money to be made. Nvidia even believes that the market is large enough to justify the release of a new model based on its high-end 7800 chip.

The 7800 GS comes with all the goodies of the GeForce 7-series, which include support for DirectX 9, Shader Model 3.0, high dynamic range rendering, transparency and adaptive anti-aliasing. The graphics processor is clocked at 375 MHz, come with a memory clock speed of 600 MHz and integrate 16 pixel pipelines as well as six vertex shaders. 7800 GS cards carry 256 MB of GDDR3 memory and are SLI capable.

According to Nvidia, the new cards will be working in any 4x and 8x AGP environment and are positioned to provide an upgrade opportunity from 6800 GT models. The company stated that users will see a performance of about "10 - 25%" over the 6800GT.

Illinois-based BFG was the first vendor to announce availability of a 7800 GS model, offering the usual slight overclock (400 MHz core /625 MHz memory). Officially, Nvidia said that it expects 7800 GS cards to be available in Best Buy stores on February 5 with etailers following on February 6. Prices are expected to come in between $300 and $350.

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