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As expected, a number of add-in board partners of ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, prepare ATI Radeon HD 2000-series graphics cards for accelerated graphics port (AGP) bus, which is featured on outdated personal computers. With Sapphire Technologies only getting the cards ready, GeCube has already started to sell them.

GeCube GC-RX24PGA2-D3 graphics card based on ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro graphics processing unit (GPU) and with 256MB of GDDR2 memory onboard is currently available in some Tokyo, Japan stores, reports Akiba PC Hotline web-site. The novelty costs ?11480 (about $95) and provides a very cost-efficient upgrade path for personal computers built three or more years ago.

The Radeon HD 2400 Pro is fully compatible with DirectX 10 application programming interface, can drive large high-resolution displays and also features an advanced video engine. However, its performance deserves to be better, hence, gamers will hardly be able to play DX10 titles on the solution.

Market prospects of DirectX 10-compatible entry-level and mainstream accelerators are not really clear. On the one hand, the vast majority of AGP systems feature outdated microprocessors that, most likely, neither can run Windows Vista nor DirectX 10 games properly, which means that they cannot be used for modern tasks and need no upgrade. On the other hand, if everything one need from a system is a little more advanced video playback, then the modern graphics cards can really help.

Apart from GeCube and Sapphire, Tul Corp. is also preparing ATI Radeon HD 2400- and 2600-series graphics cards for AGP systems under PowerColor brand-name.

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