Nvidia said itsstandalone graphics chips and integrated chipsets will support the faster AGP 8x specification, which was released just a few weeks ago by chipmaker Intel.
Intel has revised the standard several times, boosting bandwidth from the original 528MB per second to the current 2.1GB per second. But time is running out for AGP, as Intel and others finish work on its successor,.
"AGP has kind of worn out," said Peter Glaskowsky, editor in chief of industry newsletter the Microprocessor Report. "AGP 8x will last about a year, maybe a year and a half, then we'll get PC Express graphics cards. PCI Express has way more headroom to grow."
Glaskowsky said advantages of PCI Express will include easier installation of more than one video card in a PC, for multiple-monitor setups.
Performance boosts will be minimal, though, both in AGP 8X and initial versions of PCI Express, thanks to improvements in graphics chip design that minimize the need for the chip to interact with the rest of the PC.
"I don't think end users are going to see a huge improvement," Glaskowsky said. "There are very, very few things you can do now that stress an AGP 4X connection... Graphics chips are now using better algorithms to determine when to transfer things from the card."