Print 29 comment(s) - last by PaxtonFettel.. on Jun 6 at 3:48 AM

Sapphire HD 2600 XT AGP

ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT on a 4-layer PCB
Sapphire prepares AGP and 4-layer HD 2600s

Sapphire Technology has two new ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT models on display at Computex 2007. The two new ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT models include an AGP model and a new lower cost PCI Express model. The new Sapphire HD 2600 XT features identical specifications as the PCIe counterparts with 120 stream processors and a 128-bit memory interface. Sapphire equips the AGP model with 256MB of GDDR3 memory.

The Sapphire HD 2600 XT AGP also features DVI, VGA and TV-outputs. Although the card is AGP, it still requires additional power via a PCIe power connector. Nevertheless, the Sapphire HD 2600 XT AGP brings high-definition HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback with AMD’s Universal Video Decoder, or UVD, and DirectX 10 support to AGP users.

Sapphire is also preparing a lower costing ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT-based PCIe offering. Sapphire manages to reduce costs by trimming the PCB down to four layers instead of the typical eight layers. Due to the PCB reduction, the internal CrossFire connectors are absent, so the card will not be hardware CrossFire compatible.

However, Sapphire claims the CrossFire connector-less ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT-based card will support software CrossFire once AMD releases drivers capable of the feat. Additionally, the trimmed down card features dual DVI and TV-outputs. The card does not require any extra power.

Expect Sapphire to officially unveil the HD 2600 XT AGP and the slimmed ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT-based card when AMD officially releases the GPUs next month.

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By cheetah2k on 6/5/2007 11:34:11 AM , Rating: 2
Its great to see that someone is still thinking of the little fellas still stuck on AGP.

I bought into the PCI-E market a long time ago, but there are still a lot of people out there with 5-6 year turn overs in PC equipment.

Good work Sapphire!

RE: Excellent
By Eurasianman on 6/5/2007 12:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, it's great that Sapphire is doing this.

However, is the 2600XT gonna be better than my GeForce 6800?

I mean, nVidia's 8600s don't compare to nVidia's 7900s (particularly the 7900GS).

Can't wait to see some benches!!!

RE: Excellent
By maroon1 on 6/5/2007 12:56:34 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, 8600GTS is overall better than 7900GS, specially in shader-intensive games like oblivion and STALKER

RE: Excellent
By PaxtonFettel on 6/6/2007 3:48:26 AM , Rating: 2
Only just though, certainly not enough to make upgrading from one to the other worthwhile. And when you consider that the 7900gs is a cinch to overclock, there's really no point. I plan on keeping mine until DX10 games are a little less thin on the ground.

RE: Excellent
By johnsonx on 6/5/2007 12:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'm not a little fella, nor do I consider myself 'stuck'. But my oc'd dual-core X2 running on a Asus A8V (K8T800 Pro chipset) serves me quite well, thank you, so I see little reason to upgrade as long as there are still AGP cards to be had when I want one. I have an X1600Pro AGP now, and it's served me well enough so far. This HD2600 AGP is quite tempting, assuming the price is right.

RE: Excellent
By FITCamaro on 6/5/2007 1:34:51 PM , Rating: 1
I have the same motherboard(Deluxe version) and I agree, I have a 6800GT in it and if the price is right, I might throw one of these in it. I don't plan to run any DX10 games on the machine but having an upgrade path still is definitely nice.

RE: Excellent
By johnsonx on 6/5/2007 5:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
oh, yeah, mine's A8V Deluxe too. I wish ASUS would update the bios to support Cool'n'Quiet under Vista, but I'm not holding my breath. I found that RMClock works fine on Vista (although I have to Allow it to run at every boot up), and Cool'n'Quiet works fine with it.

RE: Excellent
By GlassHouse69 on 6/5/2007 2:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
via k8t800 pro chipset is the best chipset in many years. it is very fast and also has the least wattage by about 30-40 watts less on load compared to ANY other a64 system out there. it just lacks dual channel memory so you lose like 3-4 frames at times which normally doesnt matter.

RE: Excellent
By Slaimus on 6/5/2007 3:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the chipset has nothing to do with memory, since the memory controller is on the CPU. The only requirement is support for 1GHz HT of socket 939 processors (socket 754 is only 800MHz HT).

Many socket 939 boards had this chipset.

RE: Excellent
By Spoelie on 6/5/2007 4:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
That wattage difference is impossible, chipsets generally consume no more than 20watts in total (except some really hot ones like 680i or X38), and u are talking about a 30-40watt DIFFERENCE in consumption? Dream on

RE: Excellent
By Spyvie on 6/5/2007 1:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
6' 220# 45yo non little fella here...

My HT rig is still S754/6800GS AGP, running an OEM copy of Vista ultimate thats locked to the mobo. If a DX10 AGP card becomes available for under $200 I'm all over it.

By kilkennycat on 6/5/2007 12:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
A pretty simple technical exercise for them since they have their PCI-e to AGP bridge chip. Still quite a bit of life left in the AGP upgrade market and the Dx10 GPUs open the window to the Vista/Dx10 gaming world.

By Goty on 6/5/2007 12:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
I had heard that NVIDIA has planned on not bringing the 8x00 series to AGP, but I might be mistaken.

By Spoelie on 6/5/2007 12:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't it really depend on the manufacturers? Daamit doesn't provide an agp version, but sapphire designed one, they just took the rialto bridge and did a board design.

Providing the same interest for an nvidia agp card, I don't see any reason why a nvidia manufacturer wouldn't be able to design one.

By GlassHouse69 on 6/5/2007 2:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
i have read, on here, that agp cannot work with 8xxx series cards ever without taking a huge hit in performance, if working at all.

By Omega215D on 6/5/2007 2:46:41 PM , Rating: 2
XFX brought the GeForce 7950GT to AGP so it does look promising that AGP is still alive and kicking. Now let's see if this company can bring a GeForce 8800GTS to the AGP arena unless of course it's power requirements are too high.

By Slaimus on 6/5/2007 4:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
I also heard IBM does not want to make the HSI chip (AGP-PCIe bridge) for nvidia anymore. Hopefully, someone else is making them right now.

Which 2600XT PCI-E = 2600XT AGP?
By Fenixgoon on 6/5/2007 11:35:59 AM , Rating: 2
can anyone clarify this for me?

if the mainstream 2600XT PCI-E only has 64 shaders.. that seems bit disappointing, unless that is the cutdown version mentioned later in the article.

By raven3x7 on 6/5/2007 11:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
It has 120 shaders. maybe a typo?

RE: Which 2600XT PCI-E = 2600XT AGP?
By shabodah on 6/5/2007 11:47:52 AM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the 8600GTS and 8600GT have only 32 shaders? And the 8500GT 16?

By maroon1 on 6/5/2007 12:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
Stream processors is not everything

8600 series has more Render Output Pipelines and Texture mapping units than HD2600 series

By Spoelie on 6/5/2007 12:12:27 PM , Rating: 3
arf, read anand's review of the hd2900xt on the shader config situation

8800gts/gtx has 96/128 superclocked scalar shaders
hd2900xt has 64 vec4+1 (5x64 = 320) shaders
hd2600xt has 24 vec4+1 (5x24 = 120) shaders
8600gts has 32 superclocked scalar shaders

The "5 times" math is however not accurate to make ati's shaders compare to nvidia's shaders. Ati only can have 64 threads in flight compared to 128 on their top models for example. So for the midrange, there are situations where the 8600gts has a more optimal configuration. Most of the time ati's solution would have more power, providing the drivers can extract the right parallelism! And this is the sour point for ati atm, they chose a too complex architecture so that driver optimisation has to happen almost on a per app basis. This is also why you will prolly see ati's products underperform in the beginning, but will hopefully outperform their nvidia counterparts in 6 months or so. But by then the next generation will already be here.

Sweet card.
By RjBass on 6/5/2007 12:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
I just plugged in a 2600 XT PCI card into a system last night, and I have to say, i'm seriously impressed. The card isn't running as hot as I thought it would, and it is playing BF2, Warcraft, and Company of Heroes all flawlessly.

The card is flippen huge, but it's not as loud and as hot as I expected, but allot of that might have to do with the 210mm fan on top of the Antec 900 case. Regardless, aside from it's sheer size, it's a fantastic card, and works very well with the May 31st Driver update.

I wonder what the power consumption will be like on AGP, but still it's really cool that Sapphire has made this card available to AGP users.

RE: Sweet card.
By Spyvie on 6/5/2007 1:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing you mean 2900XT PCI-E?

RE: Sweet card.
By RjBass on 6/5/2007 2:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
errr ya. Sorry.

By Lightning III on 6/5/2007 7:57:35 PM , Rating: 2

Well at least the new king of agp dx10

What I would like to see is head to head bench marks

with the gecube x1950xt agp
with the HIS x1950pro iceq turbo II agp
this card to see who the last king of AGP
and where ever nvidia tops out at in the agp market

6800 oc or 7950gt somewhere in there

now if sapphire does the dual card on a slot bringing some kind of basterdized crossfire to agp then for sure

all hail the new king

doesn't that make you agp users salivate

what facinated me as we move to pci express 2.0

was how close the alleged bandwith staved x1950pro agp were running neck and neck with their pcie brethren
sometimes I think new standards are just to try and get us to upgrade for some vaporware improvement

when especially when the 2% that pcie systems were beating the AGP systems was really the diffferance between ddr and ddr2

not 8 lanes and rialto vs 16 lane pcie

just somthing to ponder



p.s. hey Kris what do we have to do to make this happen

By nerdye on 6/5/2007 9:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
The 7950gt is the the best agp card Nvdia has to offer as of right now, none of the gforce6 series hold a candle to it. I would also love to see the 7950gt agp against the best of what ATI has to offer, agp still has life left in it for single card solutions it seems. The same argument that agp slots are still viable is similar to 939 users have with ddr1, while ddr2 has basically no performance benefit with socket 940, yet is dr2 is "cheaper", just as pci-e gpus are. I love options for the people though, options sell more products, saphire, you've made the correct move so long as the production costs do not stifle your profits.

By ajfink on 6/5/2007 5:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia has not included an AGP-bridge system in their 8x00 series like AMD has in the 2x00 series. So, Nvidia would need to make modifications to its current designs, or it could be impossible, for Nvidia to make an AGP compatible DX10 card. Nvidia wrote off AGP with its new lineup, and it seems like a semi-decent movie for AMD to keep the bridge in its cards to allow products like this. A 2900XT or upcoming 2900XTX would be severely bottlenecked in an AGP system, but a 2600~ wouldn't be so much.

By SirJoe on 6/5/07, Rating: -1
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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