video card interface AGP or PCI?


I’m planning on buying a new video card, and I dont know what the difference between an AGP or PCI slot is, or even if my computer has either of em, how could I find out?


Look up your motherboard to see what specs it has. To find this out, either open up the case, it should be written on the board, or try Sisoft Sandra - that will tell you your board name.

A small thing. Your post says AGP or PCI, I would guess you are refering to pci-express, which is shortened to PCI-e. PCI is an even older interface, still in use, but not for video cards for quite a while. Basically it’s PCI < AGP < PCI-e. Hope that clears up a few things for you :slight_smile:


Chances are zero for PCI express and well over 90% for AGP. With 1.8 GHz and less then 512 MB your system is defintily an older one from a time where PCI Express wasn’t available. The only problem you might have is that you don’t even have an AGP port.


I’m also thinking of upgrading my nVidia FX5200 (starting to lag abit) to 6600GT. Went to the local shop (small family-owned shop) for advice and told me I could be better off getting a new system because with a 6600GT on a AGP they say it’s getting towards a system bottleneck suggesting I can’t upgrade it further than a 6800. They say AGP has had it’s day and I’ll be better off in the long run with a new system with a PCI-e slot. Needless to say I was slighty irritated because I don’t really want to get a new system. However, getting a new system be better over a longer term if AGP is on it’s way out. This is the case? The card itself would cost around £200, a new system starts from around £600 just for the base, the spec is pretty good though.

This PCI-e is pretty new to me. Only heard of it about 4 weeks ago :blush:. Is it faster than 8X AGP? Are there more cards available for PCI-e and are future high-end cards going to end up being PCI-e only? While I have some money to spend I would rather make the right choice now. :slight_smile:


yes, agp is the older standard nowadays that will eventuall be phased out. getting a new gfx card vs. a new system would be a no-brainer for me :wink: because all the installation and setup trouble wouldn’t be worth it if all i wanted is a little speedup, gfx-wise. that’s assuming that you have a working system, that you do not want to phase out.

you can still get agp-cards but the selection starts to get thinner. i don’t think pci-e cards are vastly superior right now just because of their interface, it’s probably more of the same ol’ shove-it-down-the-customers-throat. if you decide to buy an agp card, do it now. these will only get more expensive over time as agp becomes more and more obscure.


Honestly, there’s not much of a performance hit with the Geforce 6 series when you compare AGP and PCIe cards of same spec. Most applications dont even tax AGP 8x, let alone PCIe x16. So if you plan on having your system for another few years, I would just opt for a Geforce 6800GT or 6800NU (you cant get a GS, PCIe only). Other than that, you wont be able to get anything higher, as most new video cards (Nvidia’s 7 series for example) dont even have AGP varients in the works.

So there is some truth to what your local shop told you. You will not be able to get the latest and greatest cards, however the top of the line 6800s should be perfectly fine (and probably the best you’ll be able to get on AGP from now on…) Eventually you will have to upgrade that AGP slot to PCIe, if you want any new tech… But if you can put it off for a few years and not spend the money, all the better :slight_smile:


Thanks for the advice. I think I just upgrade the card and the PSU for the time being, will save me quite abit of money and time anyway and possibly afford a better system later for the same price on offer now. Thanks alot :slight_smile:


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