This week’s Throwback Thursday is all about a product announced by Albatron back in 2005 that allowed users to use their old AGP graphics card with a newer PCIe compatible motherboard. The product was marketed as the Albatron ATOP and targeted users who wanted to ‘save on upgrade expenditures and extend the life your AGP card’. Here’s a sample of the press release that Albatron put out back in 2005:
Because the AGP 8x standard has been around for a while and continues to provide more than adequate graphics performance, there still exists a large base of users with very capable AGP 8x VGA cards. Until now consumers have been hesitant to upgrade to a mainboard with the PCI-Express standard because it would also mean having to purchase a new PCIe VGA card. With the ATOP card you can now upgrade to a PCI-Express mainboard, continue to use your existing AGP-8x card and worry about purchasing a new PCI-Express VGA card at a later time.
Your AGP-8x card simply piggybacks on the ATOP card's AGP-8x slot located on the top edge. The ATOP card is then plugged into the mainboard's PCI-Express slot. The only other installation requirements are replacing the bracket on the AGP-8x card with an ATOP bracket and installing the appropriate driver.
We came across the product much later in October 2010 but in truth, e-bay scouring proved fruitless. The Albatron ATOP turned out to be even more mysterious and rare than we thought. If you have encountered or used to an Albatron ATOP adapter please go ahead and chime in with your reminiscences in the forum comments below.