The graphics card enables you to view images on your monitor. The data that is communicated between the graphics card and the computer goes through the graphics card’s interface or slot or bus. There are several types of graphics interfaces: integrated cards, PCI, PCI Express and AGP. The different graphics card allow for varying bandwidth. The greater the bandwidth means better performance.
Integrated graphics cards
The integrated graphics card is built into a computer’s motherboards are much less powerful than “dedicated,” or stand-alone graphics cards. Most computers are shipped having integrated graphics cards. It will be necessary to upgrade graphics card should you want to play 3-D games or videos.
Peripheral Components Interconnect (PCI)
Among the interfaces for graphics cards, the slowest is the PCI (Peripheral Components Interconnect). The older video cards use the standard PCI slots but these PCI slots are now growing obsolete due to their limited speed and memory. These cards are needed for a few rare systems lacking an AGP or PCI-E slot (usually the low end cheap desktops.) They are useful for adding additional graphics cards to a computer. However, the top rated graphics cards no longer use this interface and use the PCI Express instead.
Accelerated Graphics (AGP)
It is designed to display 3-D images (from CD-ROMs or web sites, for example) much more smoothly and much more quickly. AGP is very useful in gaming, 3-D video or engineering or scientific graphics programs. There are still some older top rated graphics cards come with this interface, as well as, some of the best laptop graphics card. However, AGPs are slowly becoming obsolete.
Peripheral Components Interconnect Express (PCI-Express)
PCI Express is the highest bandwidth port and also the newest trend for top rated graphics cards. The best laptop graphics card also uses this interface. PCI-Express system supports up to 16x speeds. There are some graphics cards still come with both the AGP and the PCI-E 16x models. However, the top rated graphics cards often have only PCI-E 16x.
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