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AGP 4x or AGP 8x

Posted By : Eugene of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 4, 2003

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I am thinking of purchasing a new computer. I have one in mind, but the motherboard it uses (the ASUS A7V333) uses AGP 4x. The computer comes with a GeForce 4 Ti4200 graphics card. I was wondering, will the fact that it has no AGP 8x slot affect the video performance? I play a lot of games, and sooner or later I may need to upgrade my graphics card. Will the fact I can't use AGP 8x have any impact then? Is it possible to add AGP 8x to a motherboard, or would I need a completely new board?

This question was answered on March 4, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Optimally designed for cutting-edge software applications of high-performance desktop systems, the AMD Athlon XP processor provides exceptional performance for 3D gaming, digital media, office productivity and overall computing That's the skinny on your motherboard

3dfx bought STB, and S3 bought Diamond, leaving Creative Labs as the only big player making graphics cards based on Nvidia's latest creations With Creative Labs' established distribution channels, the 3D Blaster Annihilator will be the easiest of the GeForce-based cards to get your hands on This card uses a straightforward implementation of the GeForce reference design, with some nice display utilities thrown into the mix The AGP 4X overview

AGP 8X A Closer Look


AGP 8X technology has recently been introduced by NVIDIA, ATI and SiS for improved performance on their current video card solutions These companies are consistently striving to increase video performance in the state of the PC industry More bandwidth, higher throughput, higher utilization, faster core and memory speeds, smaller die size Anything possible to gain an edge over the competition

SiS was the first company on the scene to introduce an 8x AGP capable video card (the Xabre 400) and all other companies have consequently followed suit We are still waiting for the chipset industry to fully adopt the new standard but it surely won't be long SiS was again first on board and will soon be joined by Intel, VIA and AMD who have plans to fully support AGP 8X in their chipsets as well

Today I'd like to give some thoughts and observations into what benefit (if any) that you can look for when moving from the current AGP 4X standard to the newer and faster AGP 8X In addition to highlighting a few of the key technologies used with AGP 3.0.



The Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) was first introduced back in 1996 as simply AGP1.0 AGP 1.0 incorporated both the AGP 1X and 2X specifications and it was up to the individual chipset manufacturers on which spec to run with As with any new technology, there was a trial period to get all the bugs worked out and eventually, AGP simply became "the standard" Everyone came on board to support both AGP 1X and 2X which greatly increased bandwidth over the aging PCI video form factor Initially the gains were small, but once the hardware matured, and software was devised to take advantage of the added bandwidth, we then were able to fully benefit from the new and emerging technology, which eventually led to the improved 4X spec (AGP2.0) and finally where we are today at the 8X AGP spec, also known as AGP3.0 AGP3.0 spec doubles the bandwidth of AGP 2.0 to 2.1GB/sec After moving from from AGP 2X to 4X, the reality of double the performance never quite materialized, and I suspect we will see the same with 8x

Chart courtesy of Intel Corp.

Below is a quick reference to keep in mind throughout this article

AGP 1.0 - AGP 1X - 2X

AGP 2.0 - AGP 4X

AGP 3.0 - AGP 8X


What is AGP?

"AGP is a high-performance interconnect between the core-logic chipset and the graphics controller for enhanced graphics performance for 3D applications AGP relieves the graphics bottleneck by adding a dedicated high-speed interface directly between the chipset and the graphics controller as shown below."


About the author

Posted by Eugene of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 4, 2003

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