Sunday, March 13, 2011

Computer Swap meeting

I went to a Computer Swap Meeting today on the assumption would see a lot of second hand stuff. We are looking for a video card so that we can play latest games. Problem was,.  the majority of stuff was new products sold at cheap discounts.

Issue we had was we were not sure if our computer needed an AGP or PCI express video card. I didnt even know the difference which is listed below.

1. PCI

PCI stands for 'Peripheral Component Interconnect'. This is a connection within the system motherboard that has been used for the last ten years in the world of computing (I think). There is a plethora of products available for PCI. These include sound cards, video cards, LAN cards and RAID controllers. The predecessor to PCI was ISA - which was one of the earlier connection types in the modern PC.

2. AGP

AGP stands for 'Accelerated Graphics Port'. It used to be that video cards were installed on the PCI bus. The problem was data transfer rate. The speed at which the PCI bus transfers data to and from the video card was too slow.

Hence, the AGP bus was launched to increase the data transfer rate of video cards. There are three specification of AGP - they are AGP 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. The latest incantation of AGP is AGP 3.0. AGP data transfer is faster than PCI, but it is slower than PCI-Express.

The fact that AGP is a pure video interconnect (but not PCI and PCI-EXpress) is a key difference between PCI, AGP and PCI-Express.

3. PCI-Express

PCI-Express is the latest incantation of peripheral interconnections. It is destined to replace both PCI and AGP, especially in the world of video cards. More products are slated to be released that support PCI-Express. Most modern motherboards have PCI-Express built-in. The speed of PCI-Express is another key difference between PCI, AGP and PCI-Express.

Incidentally, if you're looking for PCI-Express products, one of the most common would be the computer video card. These PCI-Express cards are selling like crazy and there are some really good value deals out there that will save you money. Do check them out.


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