As much as ATI and nVidia wish they didn't have to worry about the aging AGP connector anymore, there is no denying that there is still a big market out there for this platform. While the PCI Express equivalent to its AGP counterparts might be slightly cheaper (since the AGP versions require bridge chips), the cost of moving to a PCI Express based system is much greater with items like motherboard, memory, CPU all possibly needing an upgrades as well. And this is why we are still seeing current AGP graphics cards on store shelves.
The graphics cards we are looking at today may be the last of the AGP generation high performance products as there is nothing solid been said that ATI and nVidia will support AGP in their next generation cards. While we will know more about nVidia's future line up next week during Computex 2005 at the moment it is still up in the air concerning what will be happening with AGP.
ATI has just released a large lineup of AGP cards to compete with the already strong nVidia set of cards in this department. So which AGP graphics cards do you choose - ATI or nVidia, X850XT PE or 6800 Ultra and so on? While we do have a number of different brands throughout our article, we'll only be focusing on the GPU / VPU as opposed to the brand - which means we aren't at all fussed on the quality of the package or the features provided. We'll provide the numbers of eight different graphics cards so you can make an informed decision on which to buy.
If this is going to be the last of high quality AGP cards its time to start looking at what you think is going to last you for the next year or so since by then PCI Express and DDR2 are going to be more mature and we will well and truly see Dual Core processors in full swing. We will be having a quick look at our ATI offerings and then move on to the nVidia ones and get straight into benchmarking all these cards to see what you should put your money on.