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.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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