ATI's new AGP Radeons


A bridge is born
— 2:16 AM on May 20, 2005

ALTHOUGH PCI EXPRESS is undoubtedly the future of PC graphics, AGP isn't nearly dead yet. In fact, since PCI Express platforms have only been available for about a year—or around five months if you favor the Athlon 64—AGP still has a massive installed base among mainstream consumers, gamers, and even PC enthusiasts. At least some of those users are going to want graphics card upgrade options that don't involve a motherboard swap, so it's no surprise that ATI recently spiced up its AGP Radeon family.

For a little over a year, ATI's Radeon X800 series GPUs have powered the company's high-end AGP offerings. Over that time, however, ATI has introduced a number of new graphics products, including the Radeon X850 XT PE that boasts dynamic clock gating and higher clock speeds than previous Platinum Editions, and the Radeon X800 XL built with 0.11-micron fabrication technology. For months, these new graphics cards were limited to PCI Express, but AGP versions of each have recently become available. ATI has also bolstered its AGP lineup with the addition of an All-in-Wonder Radeon X800 XT. Together, these cards breathe new life into a graphics interface that's been largely ignored for the last six months, but are they any good? Let's have a look.

   
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