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NVIDIA Corp., a leading graphics chip designer, quietly announced it had begun shipments of its entry-level GeForce 6200 visual processor units for AGP 8x bus. The announcement confirms strength the market of graphics cards for AGP still has in spite of ongoing transition to PCI Express interconnection.

“The GeForce 6200 GPUs offer best-in-class performance in the value segment by taking the GeForce 6 graphics architecture, which has been described as the most advanced in the world, top-to-bottom in the NVIDIA product line-up,” NVIDIA said in its statement that is available on a number of web-sites.

Not many details are known about NVIDIA’s GeForce 6200 AGP graphics processing unit, however, its specifications are likely to be similar to PCI Express flavour of the GeForce 6200: 4 pixel and 3 vertex pipelines, around 80 million of transistors inside, produced using 0.11 micron process technology. The chip is capable of numerous features the rest of the GeForce 6-series, such as DirectX 9.0 with Shader Model 3.0, UltraShadow II technology, PureVideo, etc.. NVIDIA did not unveil how the company’s GeForce 6200 AGP supports the bus: using a special bridge-chip, or natively. The former would add some extra costs to the product, while the latter case would make the cards more cost-efficient.

NVIDIA is likely to position its GeForce 6200 graphics product for AGP 8x bus as an entry-level solution. Large PC makers and OEMs are unlikely to adopt the product, as they are transitioning their product ranges to PCI Express bus. White-box makers as well as retail customers seeking for affordable upgrade are likely to applaud the GeForce 6200 AGP, as the product supports a lot of latest features, does not cost a lot and also does not require to use modern mainboards with PCI Express interconnection.

GeForce 6200 AGP GPUs are shipping now to NVIDIA partners, with GeForce 6200-based graphics boards expected from leading add-in card manufacturers in February. Pricing is to be decided.

NVIDIA does not currently host press release concerning the GeForce 6200 AGP product on its web-site, some of its partners among makers of graphics cards have already put up the specs of their GeForce 6200 AGP products, but then withdraw the documents due to unclear reasons.

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