While the 32-bit PCI expansion slots we see on motherboards today are still the most commonly used for adding on to a computer, their role as a slot for a graphics card has rapidly dwindled. Dwarfed by the wide availability of AGP and the numerous advantages both AGP and Pci-Ex have over PCI, there is very little room for the aging standard. However, there are still some scenarios in which a PCI graphics card is needed. What to do, then, for the few out there who need a PCI card with current-day functionality? Believe it or not, one of ATI's
vendors, GeCube, is going to start selling a PCI Radeon X1300
card. Called the RX1300-LP 128H, it uses a new type of technology that lets the PCI-Express GPUs be used on the PCI bus. Of course, the role of such a card is definitely not for a gamer, as the 133MB/sec maximum transfer rate of the PCI bus is not sufficient for anything heavy:
The product is not positioned as an upgrade option for a machine intended for gaming, but rather than a device to replace a damaged graphics card in an office computer. Previously ATI offered Radeon 7000 and Radeon 9200/9250 solutions for PCI bus, whereas partners of rival Nvidia Corp. offered GeForce 5500 and GeForce 6200-class products for PCI bus.
Wide-spread availability may not happen, and pricing is not known. With such a small potential market, it's likely it will be available in limited quantity and only in some retailers, or perhaps online only. Still, it's interesting to see vendors going after such a small market.