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Agp Data Width


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#1 jolt8me

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:31 PM

So i am looking to upgrade my video card. My pc is a dell dimesnion 8200. The agp is 4x which says
AGP connector data width (maximum)32 bits

Does this mean that it doesnt matter if the card i get is 64 or 128bit memory becuase it will go down to 32bits due to the connector?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:13 PM

No...it means that it will handle 32-bit applications, which are standard XP applications. Memory on a video card/chip has nothing to do with 32-bit specs.

You could "upgrade" to an 8x AGP card...although, at this time I fail to see any reason to do such a thing.

Bottom line: It's your motherboard which determines what is upgradeable and what is not. If your motherboard supports 4x AGP and you install an 8x AGP card...the card will run at the default 4x AGP rate built into it.

I just looked at the manual for your system, http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...ecs.htm#1101572

AGP 4x is all that is supported by that motherboard, so...in order to upgrade the video, you would need a new motherboard and video card/chip.

If that is your desire, it's probably time to start thinking "new system" or "barebones".

Louis

#3 Platypus

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 10:14 PM

Your supposition is basically correct, jolt.

The standard AGP connector is 32bit data width as indicated. There was a 64bit slot used on very high-spec professional video cards. But the bus width is only part of the story, the bandwidth (Data Transfer Rate) is enhanced, in comparison with the PCI slot AGP is based on, by running at 66MHz, and using multiple clocking.

Whether the data bus width between the video chipset and the on-card video memory is 64 or 128 bit is not directly related to the AGP bus connector bitwidth. A 64 or 128 bit memory bus will contribute to the DTR between the video chipset and that on-card memory, and this can be expected to be much higher than the AGP port DTR.

When the card needs to access system memory or obtain instructions from the CPU, this is done through the AGP port, so yes, at those times the bandwidth is restricted by the 32bit AGP slot. This means there would not be as much performance improvement between the two (64bit & 128bit video memory bus) as could be expected on an 8x AGP system, as the 4x AGP port will be something of a bottleneck.

Edited by Platypus, 11 August 2008 - 10:18 PM.

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