agp or pci video card?

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john_waldrum

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I was given a gigabyte GA-5AX motherboard with an AMD k6-2 450 mhz cpu. I was wanting to put in a video card capable of playing some 3D games, nothing fancy, not a big gamer anyways. Any ideas on what would work with this setup and which would be better.
 
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I'm not familiar with the motherboard but as a general rule AGP will give you more bandwidth then the the PCI slot. Further, the AGP slot is a direct connect to the CPU so 3D games look smoother and play faster (higher frame rates). However, if you mostly use your computer for business apps (Word, Excel etc etc) you're not going to see much difference. Between the two I'd go with an AGP card because it will keep a PCI slot free for other uses. Never know you may want to network your computer in the future. Can't do that with an AGP slot.
 

john_waldrum

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That was what I was thinking, but what is the differnce between the 2X or 4X AGP???
 
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John

the difference is speed. 4X is a lot faster. You have to check if your mobo supports 4X or else it will automatically drop back to 2X mode.
 

john_waldrum

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How do you check that LadyLisa? I have been to the website, but did not see anything there, I know the motherboard has an AGP slot though.
 
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I say definately go with AGP for several reasons: (1) It has its own allocated bandwidth which is separate from PCI. (2) it is usually twice as fast as PCI--PCI is generally 1/3 that of the FSB...AGP is generally 2/3 (3) free up a PCI slot (4) PCI devices run faster because the AGP doesn't touch the PCI bandwidth (5) smoother graphics for games (6) it's just better. :D

You can find whether your board supports Pro/4x/2x (either or all three) by looking in your manual... or you can tell by looking at the AGP interface. If it has a plastic safety guard inside the interface, then your board supports Pro/4x/2x. (it would still be in there since you haven't used an AGP Pro yet) To my knowledge, all modern boards support at least 4x/2x mode... but since your board supports the k6, I can say anything for sure.
 

john_waldrum

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Are you sure that just does not mean 1 agp slot as 5 X PCI means 5 PCI slots and 2 X ISA means there are 2 ISA slots???
 
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I think so... however at the time maybe there was only 1x out there and that is why they don't specify (nowadays they always do). To my knowledge, Pro/4x/2x can all run at 66 mhz. From the looks of the interface though... it looks like 1x as I have never seen an AGP setup like that before. I'll try and find when 2x was developed. When was the mobo manufactured? If it is 1x you will have a very hard time finding one... and I imagine it isn't forward compatible with 4x/2x as they most likely weren't in the works yet.
 
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Best way I can explain it (which isn't that good) is you know how you can buy a CD-ROM drive at 24x or 36x or 52x. Well that means the drive is 52 times some agreed upon rotational speed. With AGP I believe that 1x is 66ghz, 2x is 133ghz and so on. The higher the bus speed (i.e. 133ghz) the more bandwidth available to transfer data.
 

john_waldrum

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As far as manfactured date? Good question, I am sure it is at least 2-3 years of age anyways.
 

john_waldrum

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sorry gbrumb missed your post, I just want to make sure that it is 2X compatible before I go and spend the money on the card and find out it does not work. Appreciate the help and input.
 
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Sorry this is slighty OT... but doesn't the greater spin not speed it up much as they transfer data at the same speeds? I mean... doesn't an ata-33 52x perform the same as say a 32x then? Seems to me its just like the difference between 5400 and 7200 rpm HD... which amounts to only a few milliseconds.
 
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