GeForce 7800GS = Shader Model 3.0
ATI has projected the need for Shader Model 3.0 to increase in future games, and expects that all new game releases will be SM 3.0 by the end of 2006. It is for this reason that we saw the firm add so much to pixel processing. ATI commented that it will not be adding any cards to its current AGP lineup; if there is a large demand, ATI expects its card manufacturing partners to fill the need. Nvidia had commented in the past that it was also not looking to expand its AGP product line, but shook up the AGP world with the release of the 7800GS.
This was Nvidia's second foray into the AGP space with Shader Model 3.0. With ATI's statements about not extending its AGP line, it is clear that Nvidia is now the only company with a card that can support all of the visual features of modern games in non-PCI Express platforms.