Sapphire is already shipping an AGP-based version of the Radeon HD 3850 SKU, proclaiming it to be the world's fastest AGP solution.....probably.
Using the tried-and-trusted Rialto bridging chip as the enabler for the AGP conduit on the PCIe-based DX10.1-supporting architecture, the card opens up the possibility of upgrading your old AGP system's graphics without having to invest in a new motherboard and, possibly, RAM and CPU.
The card clocks in a 700MHz core and 1700MHz memory, packs in a healthy (and needed) 512MiB frame buffer and, as per the reference design, utilises a single-slot cooler.
Released later on this month, Sapphire will be retailing a PCIe-based Radeon HD 3850 with a whopping 1GiB frame buffer.
We can see the point in adding extra on-board memory to cope with games that utilise larger textures, thereby decreasing the need to run back to system memory on a regular basis, but 1GiB does seem overkill for what amounts to a budget card. Then again, with memory prices at ridiculously low levels, Sapphire shouldn't charge a huge premium for this part over other models in its HD 3850 range.
Stay tuned for reviews on both models, folks.
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