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Albatron’s ATOP(AGP-to-PCI Express) bridge card, which is supposed to allow usage of AGP 8x graphics cards with PCI Express mainboards, has recently emerged in some Japanese stores as a demo sample. Apparently, the bridge supports only NVIDIA-based graphics cards and only some of them.

The ATOP device from Albatron is based on NVIDIA’s BR02 bridge that coverts AGP signals into PCI Express and otherwise. NVIDIA uses BR02 with its GeForce PCX and some GeForce 6800-series graphics cards to allow AGP 8x graphics processing units (GPUs) to operate on systems supporting only PCI Express x16 (PEG x16) bus and also utilizes on some GeForce 6-series graphics cards to let PEG x16 GPUs to work in AGP 8x systems.

Graphics card should be plugged into AGP 8x slot located on the top edge of the ATOP and then the whole construction should be installed into a computer with PCI Express x16 bus. Albatron notes that a special bracket should be used for ATOP and AGP 8x graphics cards.

Albatron’s bridge card can work with a number of graphics cards only, including GeForce MX4000, GeForce FX 5200, GeForce FX 5700 LE, GeForce 5700, GeForce 6200 (AGP), GeForce FX 5900 XT, GeForce 5900 and GeForce 6800. It is unclear whether it is physically impossible to let the ATOP work with other NVIDIA GeForce-based graphics cards, but currently Albatron only advertises the given lineup, according to Akiba PC Hotline web-site.

The ATOP allows usage of both low-profile and typical AGP 8x graphics cards. Though, in the latter case a user will not be able to use TV-Out and upper monitor connector, as they would be located above the graphics card’s bay in the case.

Pricing and availability details were not released again, but given that the device is being demonstrated, it should be available shortly.

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