NVIDIA announces PCI Express product line

— 9:47 AM on February 17, 2004

NVIDIA has decided to jump into the PCI Express game right away with a series of products based on its current GPUs plus an AGP-to-PCI bridge chip. NVIDIA's custom-developed AGP-to-PCI bridge will sit between the GPU and the PCI Express bus, translating the GPU's AGP talk into PCI-E language. According to NVIDIA, the GeForce PCX product line based on this arrangement will look like so:

  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 5950- based on the award-winning GeForce architecture, this new GPU delivers extreme graphics power and performance for extreme gamers.

  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 5750 - designed for high-performance gaming with NVIDIA's full suite of cinematic effects and an unmatched feature set.

  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 5300 -delivers state-of-the-art, best-in-class features and the reliability users have come to expect from NVIDIA, at an affordable price.

  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 4300 - provides entry-level pricing coupled with strong performance, unbeatable visual quality, and DVD playback.
Since these products are based on existing GPUs, sorting out what's what shouldn't be too hard. The GeForce PCX 5300, for instance, is based on the GeForce FX 5200. In some cases, core and memory clock speeds have been tweaked a little bit, just to give the new products a little more juice, as happened during the transition to AGP 8X. The tricky one is GeForce PCX 4300, which is actually based on a GPU called the GeForce MX 4000, which seems to be a rebadged GeForce4 MX.

You can see an image of the GeForce FX 5300, with its PCI Express interface, here.

NVIDIA has pledged to ship its PCI Express solutions "in lock-step with Intel," and claims to have shipped "more than 1000 PCI Express boards to customers and partners." I expect that means we'll see some GeForce PCX performance numbers somewhere on the web today; we'll keep our eyes peeled for them. Don't expect much in the way of performance gains over the AGP versions of these products, though; bridging to PCI-E alone isn't likely to achieve that.

Of course, the bridged approach to talking PCI Express is only a temporary, less-than-perfect measure. NVIDIA's NV40-series GPUs should come with native PCI Express interfaces built in. For now, though, NVIDIA has a family of PCI Express-compatible products ready to roll.

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