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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Video Cards | Video System Interfaces ]

Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP)

AGP stands for Accelerated Graphics Port and is a new "bus" (not really a bus but similar) specifically intended for high-speed interfacing between the processor and the video card. Much the way the bandwidth on ISA video cards became a bottleneck when users moved to graphical operating systems, the bandwidth on PCI video cards is actually being strained by a new trend that is making much higher demands on video performance: 3D graphics. AGP addresses this problem by defining a new interface for video information that quadruples the theoretical bandwidth of current PCI buses, and has the potential to go higher still in performance.

AGP is a port, and not a bus, because a bus can support multiple devices and AGP cannot--it is a point-to-point connection between the video card and the processor only. AGP is based on the PCI 2.1 64-bit extension.

Specifically designed for video, AGP has several other advantages over PCI that make it ideal for video implementations going into the future. It is the "next big thing" in the video area on PCs. Read about it in much more detail here in the section on buses.

Next: Bus Mastering

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