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Agp video cards: the facts

© Jenny Thompson graphics card
© Jenny Thompson

The Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) is a type of standard connection for internal video cards. It is the expansion slot on the computer’s motherboard that accepts AGP video cards.

The predecessor of the AGP card

Before the advent of the AGP card technology, a PCI card was the default way of rendering 3-D graphics and video. The PCI, (Peripheral Component Interconnect) enables data to be transmitted directly to the computer’s processing unit, the (CPU). It cannot give a direct connection like the AGP.

Objective of the AGP

The AGP technology was developed by Intel with a mission to minimize the buildup of data around the PCI bus, thereby causing the slow data streaming as well as blockage.


AGP was created to be a dedicated port with no other thing connecting to it except the AGP card. Since it is not competing with space taken up by other computer devices, the AGP card will function at its utmost capacity. It can get multiple information packets through a singular request using pipe lining.

A PCI, however, requires that every packet of information request be received one after the other and later joined and sent out. The AGP makes this entire process fast and very simple.
AGP comes with three common interfaces: 1.5 V (AGP 2.0 – 4X), 3 3V (AGP1.0 – 1X and 2X), and 0.8 V.

Author’s tip:

You should first check your motherboard or PC manual before buying an AGP video card. Installing a card that is not supported by your computer motherboard will not work and may end up damaging your PC. AGP is most suitable for streaming 3-D graphics.

What difference is there between the AGP card and PCI card?

The AGP video card easily creates the appearance of a 3D image on the PC screen using a texture map which involves wrapping a 2D graphics image round a set of pre-defined parameters.

However, with a PCI card, each texture map must be saved twice thereby wasting precious time. This ultimately makes the AGP card a more efficient and faster way of streaming graphics on the computer.

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