What is AGP?

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AGP is the short for Accelerated Graphics Port. It was designed in 1997 as a successor to PCI type connections. AGP is a high-speed point-to-point channel for attaching a video card to a computer’s motherboard, primarily to assist in the acceleration of 3D graphics.

AGP is commonly used for games that require the image displayed on the monitor is calculated from a data stream, rather than simply passed through the computer like a television signal.

The AGP channel is 32-bits wide runs at 66 MHz. This translates into a total bandwidth of 266 MBps, which is much greater than the PCI bandwidth of up to 133 MBps. AGP also supports two optional faster modes, with throughput of 533 MBps and 1.07 GBps.

The AGP bus has three types of slots: one called Universal which allows both 1.5V and 3.3V boards to be installed; another one that only allows 3.3V boards to be installed; and another one that should only be used by 1.5V video cards.

In 1998, AGP Pro was created. AGP Pro defined a larger slot, with more voltage pins, for high-consumption 3D video cards. In 2004, AGP was largely replaced by PCI Express. PCI-Express is fastest and supports high end resolutions for gaming systems.

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