In the latest running of the GPU bulls, there was a bit of a snag in the red cape—the platform transition from AGP to PCI Express. Because large OEMs were locking and loading to put PCI Express systems in the market, and because OEM business carves out 85-90% of the discrete PC graphics pie, both ATI and nVidia were compelled to offer PCI Express midrange GPUs first, with AGP-based offerings playing the part of follow-on. That was great for OEMs, but left many upgraders to in the waiting game. Well if you were waiting for the GeForce 6600 GT to make its way to AGP, your wait is just about over.
The new AGP-based offering has arrived, and it brings some good (though not unexpected) news: There isn't yet any performance difference between PCIe and AGP. Given that the current generation games were spec'ed out in an AGP universe, this isn't earth-shattering news, but it is nonetheless good new for gamers with AGP systems who have been chomping at the bit to get NV40 goodness into their systems. nVidia is first out of the gate with its AGP-based midrange offering, which depending on how quickly it can populate the retail channel with product, could give it a leg up this holiday season.
Today, we take an abbreviated look at the 6600 GT and show you most of what you'd expect, though we did uncover one surprise. Let's take a look.