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Hey, it's another Old School Monday! This week, Senior Editor Michael Brown weighs in on Intel's AGP from our 1997 feature, The Gamer's Edge:
Intel’s Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) was the best thing to happen to the videocard market since 3Dfx Interactive introduced its Voodoo Graphics technology—as long as you opted for a motherboard with an AGP slot versus one with an integrated GPU (you couldn’t upgrade the latter).
Introduced in 1997, AGP was twice as fast as the PCI bus—a whopping 66MHz—and it delivered a direct pipeline to system memory (modern PCI Express videocards, of course, utilize dedicated local memory and routinely run at clock speed 10 times faster). But AGP had an exceedingly long technological life span; in fact, you can buy today a brand-new AGP 4X/8X videocard with a GPU as recent as AMD’s Radeon HD 4670 or Nvidia’s GeForce 6200.
Such cards will limit you DirectX 9 games, though, and they’ll be slow even at that. There’s really no good reason why you shouldn’t have moved up to PCI Express by now, but it’s always fun to look back and see what excited us back in the olden days.