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NVIDIA will not deliver native PCI Express x16 graphics processors when the first mainboards supporting the new interconnection emerge in the second quarter. But the firm’s partners will be in a position to offer graphics cards for PCI Express bus, as NVIDIA has some headroom with its AGP GPUs along with technology called High-Speed Interconnect.

Reports over AnandTech and PC Watch web-sites claim that NVIDIA’s existing GeForce FX graphics processors as well as forthcoming NV40 chip boast with overclocked AGP interconnection that is capable of transferring up to 4GB per second – bandwidth on par with PCI Express x16 interconnection.

NVIDIA’s spokesman confirmed the unofficial information.

Currently NVIDIA’s graphics chips work using AGP 8x bus, but once they are equipped with the company’s AGP-to-PEG bridge, they will bolster the transfer rate to the so-called AGP 16x speed between the graphics processor and the bridge. The latter will work with PCI Express for Graphics lane at some 4GB/s speed. Therefore, provided that the bridge itself does not cause tangible latencies, NVIDIA’s GeForce FX and NV40 graphics chips will see a speed boost from PCI Express.

NVIDIA will call designs for PCI Express slots with GeForce PCX brand-name.

Even though native PEG x16 (PCI Express for Graphics x16) support ATI promises to bring may be more advanced from technology point of view and provide higher performance and bandwidth, NVIDIA’s approach may probably help the company to better control its inventory, as GPU lineup will be unified for AGP and PEG platforms. In contrast, ATI will have to stock two separate lines of its VPUs.

NVIDIA’s key add-in-card partners, such as ASUSTeK Computer and Microstar International, confirmed plans to manufacture PEG x16 graphics cards using NVIDIA’s High-Speed Interconnect.

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