Video Cards

Before you purchase a new video card you need to know what your Motherboard will accept. You also should check to see if you have On-Board Video, that is where the Video output connector is part of the Motherboard itself. Take a look at my webpage on identifying the connectors on the rear of your PC.

Video Cards have some major differences that you must understand. They are PCI cards, AGP cards and PCI Express cards, which fit into a different type of slot as show in the picture below:

slot

 

Next there is the type of connector that connects the Video card to the Monitor; Analog (VGA) or Digital (DVI) on both the card and your monitor as shown in the two pictures below:

VGAVGA

DVI DVI

PCI was developed first and is the most limited in terms of performance.

AGP offers as much as 8X improvement over PCI in terms of performance. There are several different versions of the AGP slot. AGP 1.0 is an older standard that is no longer used. Most AGP video cards are designed to work only with the newer AGP 2.0 and 3.0 versions.

PCI Express is a expansion slot that is becoming the new standard for high speed internal devices for computers such as graphics cards. PCI Express slots come in several types defined by the number of lanes the slot has to communicate with described as x1, x4, x8, x12, x16 and x32. The most commonly found types inside current computers are the x1 and x16. Graphics cards are available that will run on both x1 and x16 cards. However, all high performance graphics cards use the x16 slot.

This shows five PCI slots (white) which take various type of cards; video, modem, USB expansion and so on. At the far left is an AGP video card slot (black).

slot

 

slot

 

slot

 

PCI Express Card with both VGA and DVI connectors:

slot

 

slotPCI Express Slot X16 (black)

 

slot

 

slot

 

Asus has managed to include 4 PCI Express slots, and 3 PCI slots. The first 1X PCI E slot is for the included audio card. Then we have one PCI slot, and then the first 16X PCI E slot, then a 4X PCI E slot, then another PCI slot, and then the final 16X PCI E slot, and finally the last PCI slot.  Yes, they managed to alternate each slot type for a total of seven slots.  Scattered all around the slots are the capacitors. On the far right edge you will find the two external USB connectors surrounded by a blue plastic guide, then the black floppy connector, and finally a red firewire connector.

 

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