Motherboard pci agp: History Of Graphics card motherboard slots:- PCI VS AGP VS PCI-Express VS Integrated graphics.

History Of Graphics card motherboard slots:- PCI VS AGP VS PCI-Express VS Integrated graphics.

What Types Of Graphics Card Slots Are Out There?

Over the years, computers supported different slots for dedicated graphics cards to your computers. Some of them were made for graphics cards along. In this post, we will look at the various types of these slots. Which appeared on motherboards over the year, and how each kind was more advanced than the one before. We will also take a look at integrated graphics, which’s a type of graphics cards to get if you don’t need too much graphical power.

While most of these slots are not in use today, you can find many motherboards & cards that supported them used from eBay. For that purpose, I have added links to that below each type, so you could check their availability or price.

Now, let’s get started~

Quickly go to:-

  • Integrated Graphics
  • ISA (1981 – 1993~)
  • PCI (1992-2004~)
  • AGP (1997~ – 2004)
  • PCI-Express
  • Conclusion
  • Sources & Useful Links
  • See Also:-

Integrated Graphics

As its name implies. Integrated graphics card is integrated into the motherboard chipset, or inside the CPU itself. Unlike all the other graphics card types mentioned here. Integrated graphics don’t have its own memory, it uses the main ram instead. This can greatly affect their performance, but for that very reason, they tend to be cheap.

Integrated graphics are common in business laptops. Since one wouldn’t need too much graphical power if you plan on using the computer for typing reports, spreadsheets editing or sending E-Mails. They are also good and more than capable for running older games. They may also allow you to play a limited set of modern games on low settings, but I advise you to not push your luck with one if you really care about that.

Many motherboards come with integrated graphics off the bat, with the ability to add a dedicated graphics card whenever you need to. In case of laptops, you need to weight your options, as it’s usually won’t be possible to change your graphics card.

Another name for Integrated Graphics is On-Board graphics. Intel HD graphics is one of the known ones.

ISA (1981 – 1993~)

ISA stands for Industry Standard Architecture. It is the oldest & slowest slot we discuss here. It supported a bandwidth of up to 8 MB/S. Came in 8-bit & 16-bits versions. There was an attempt to produce a 32-bits version, but it failed.

Because it was a generic expansion slot, ISA supported other types of devices besides graphics cards, like modems, sound cards and more. One of the most common peripherals used on it was the Ad Lib sound card.

PCI completely replaced ISA later on, not just for graphics cards, but for all sort of devices.

Buy and check the price of ISA Graphics Cards on eBay:-

PCI (1992-2004~)

Created in 1992. PCI stands for “Peripheral Component Interconnect”. Before it was replaced by AGP many years later, it used to be the standard slot to add a graphics card after ISA, until the increasing needs for bandwidth outgrew the bandwidth it provides. It had multiple versions, starting from V 1.0, which appeared in 1992, to V 3.5, which appeared in 2004. It supported multiple bus bandwidths:-

    • 32-bit version, supported bandwidth of 133 MB/s at 33 MHz – this is the standard configuration
    • 32-bit version, supported bandwidth of 266 MB/s at 66 MHz or 64-bit at 33 MHz
    • 64-bit version, supported bandwidth of 533 MB/s at 66 MHz

PCI is also known as conventional PCI, Parallel PCI or Legacy PCI. These names help us distinguish it from the modern PCI Express slot, which we will talk about in more details later in this article. As for the time of me writing this post, there’s not many motherboards that support it, and it’s a matter of time when you won’t find any.

Besides graphics cards, PCI supported all sorts of devices, not just graphics cards, from sound cards, USB ports cards, network cards, modems and more. Many of these functionalities are done using PCI-E nowadays, making the slot only viable to those with legacy hardware that still works (and so their owners have no reason to replace them).

Buy and check the price of PCI Graphics Card on eBay:-

AGP (1997~ – 2004)

Originally appeared in 1997. AGP stands for “Accelerated Graphics Port”. Unlike PCI, which was designed to attach all sorts of hardware to a computer, including graphics & sound cards. AGP was designed specifically for graphics cards, and its design was based on the PCI slot.

AGP allows the graphics card to communicate directly to the CPU. It doesn’t share the bus of any PCI slot on the same motherboard. It supported higher transfer rates than legacy PCI slots, and used a simpler handshaking process. Just like the case of PCI-E, AGP supports multiple speeds:- 1X, 2X, 4X or 8X. It also came in multiple versions, starting from AGP 1.0, and up until AGP 3.5. You can see the technical details in the following table:-

Specification Voltage Clock Speed Transfers/clock Rate (MB/s)
AGP 1. 0 3.3 V 66 MHz  1× 1 266
AGP 1.0 3.3 V 66 MHz  2× 2 533
AGP 2.0 1.5 V 66 MHz  4× 4 1066
AGP 3.0 0.8 V 66 MHz  8× 8 2133
AGP 3.5* 0.8 V 66 MHz  8× 8 2133

AGP was started to be replaced by PCI-Express starting from 2004. By 2008, it was harder to find AGP cards in the market.

Buy and check the price of AGP Graphics Card on eBay:-


PCI-Express is the most widely used expansion slot nowadays. If you bought a brand-new graphics card today, it’s going to require PCI-Express slot on your motherboard. PCI-Express is also known as PCI-E, it supports multiple speeds:- 1X, 2X, 4X, 8X, & 16X (The length of the slot determines the speed, see the various slots in the picture for reference). Both your motherboard & card has to support the speed in order to benefit from it. It provides the most bandwidth among all the graphics cards slots we talk about here (up 63.02 GB/s, according to PCI-E V 5.0, the next version allows for double that). You can see technical details on all PCI-E versions in the following table, including the bandwidth:-

PCI Express Introduced Line Transfer Throughput
version code rate x1 x2 x4 x8 x16
1 2003 8b/10b 2.5 GT/s 250 MB/s 0.500 GB/s 1.00 GB/s 2.0 GB/s 4.0 GB/s
2 2007 8b/10b 5. 0 GT/s 500 MB/s 1.000 GB/s 2.00 GB/s 4.0 GB/s 8.0 GB/s
3 2010 128b/130b 8.0 GT/s 984.6 MB/s 1.969 GB/s 3.94 GB/s 7.88 GB/s 15.75 GB/s
4 2017 128b/130b 16.0 GT/s 1969 MB/s 3.938 GB/s 7.88 GB/s 15.75 GB/s 31.51 GB/s
5 2019 128b/130b 32.0 GT/s[iv] 3938 MB/s 7.877 GB/s 15.75 GB/s 31.51 GB/s 63.02 GB/s
6.0 (planned) 2021 128b130b & PAM-4 64.0 GT/s 7877 MB/s 15.754 GB/s 31.51 GB/s 63.02 GB/s 126.03 GB/s

Nowadays, it’s common for motherboard contains more than one PCI-E slot. If your motherboard contains multiple PCI-E ports, make sure you install your graphics card in the fastest ones. It’s uncommon for the different slots on the same motherboard to have different speeds. e.g. One slot supports 16X, while the other two support 8X only. For that reason, it’s better to consult your motherboard manual to know the details.

Buy and check the price of various PCI Express graphics cards in Amazon & eBay:-


We have gone through multiple graphics cards slot types that were used in the last decades. And there’s no doubt that PCI-E could be replaced by an even better someday in the future. That may not happen soon, as we keep getting new versions of it, just like we did for AGP back in the day. For the most part, those looking to buy a new computer only need to know whether they should get a dedicated or integrated graphics. If you’re into buying an old PCs to play older games on, in which case knowing about the older slots types can help you a lot there.

I hope this post helped you know the difference between the different graphics card slots. I hope to see you again in another article.

Sources & Useful Links

  • Industry Standard Architecture (Wikipedia)
  • PCI Express (Wikipedia)
  • Accelerated Graphics Port (Wikipedia)
  • Conventional PCI (Wikipedia)

See Also:-

    • What are the advantages & disadvantages of using a Trackball? And why you should use one
    • What’s the difference between remake & remaster? (With multiple examples).

Comparison between the PCI and AGP bus

Comparison between the PCI and AGP bus
between the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and the Accelerated
Graphics Port (AGP)

AGP will deliver a peak bandwidth
that is 4 times higher than the PCI bus using pipelining, sideband addressing,
and more data transfers per clock.

It will also enable graphic
cards to execute texture maps directly from system memory instead of forcing
it to pre-load the texture data to the graphics card’s local memory.

Features that set AGP apart from PCI

  • Probably the most important
    feature of AGP is DIME (direct memory execute). This gives AGP chips the
    capability to access main memory directly for the complex operations of
    texture mapping.
  • AGP provides the graphics card
    with two methods of directly accessing texture maps in system memory: pipelining
    and sideband addressing.
  • AGP makes multiple requests
    for data during a bus or memory access, while PCI makes one request, and
    does not make another until the data it requested has been transferred.
  • AGP doesn’t share bandwidth
    with other devices, whereas the PCI bus does share bandwidth.
Pipelined Requests Non-pipelined
Address/Data de-multiplexed Address/Data multiplexed
Peak at 533 MB/s in32 bits Peak at 133 MB/s in 32 bits
Single target, single master Multi target, multi master
Memory read/write only

No other input/output operations
Link to entire system
High/low priority queues No priority queues

What does all this mean?


DIME short for Direct Memory
Execute, DIME allows for video card to use some of the main memory for
texture memory with 3D graphics.   Usually video cards have 4 MB of
RAM, some have 8 MB of RAM, but DIME allows for 12, 16, or even more memory
to be used by allocating some of the main system memory.
Pipelining As you should know from
reading Hennessy and Patterson’s ‘great’ Computer Architecture book, pipelining
is an implementation technique whereby multiple instructions are overlapped
in execution.  A pipeline is just like an assembly line.  There
are various different steps (pipe stage or pipe segments) that contribute
to the end result.  Each of these steps are done in parallel. 
The opposite of a pipelined architecture is a sequential architecture,
in which steps are completed sequentially or one after another, not in

the AGP bus uses sideband
signals to send addressing information separately from data.  This
technique allows addresss informaton to be presented to the bus concurrent
with a data transaction.   The result is a more efficient use of the
AGP bus for data transfers.  With sideband addressing, AGP utilized
8 extra «sideband lines» which allow the graphics controller to issue new
addresses and requests simulataneously while data continues to move from
previous requests on the main 32 data/address wires.
Bandwidth the amount of data a network
can transport in a certain period of time — it is the capacity for the
rate of transfer, which is usually expressed in bits per second.
  • AGP’s is pipelined therefore
    requests are executed in parallel, making execution faster than the non-pipelined
    PCI bus.
  • AGP’s address/data is de-muxed,
    therefore the AGP pipeline can work with the data gotten from the de-mux.
    The PCI bus’s address/data remained muxed so that the non-pipelined PCI
    bus works with the data gotten from the mux.

Further comparisons between AGP and PCI

  • AGP is a port (it only connects
    two nodes) while PCI is a bus
  • AGP does not replace the PCI
    bus, it is a dedicated connection that can be used only by the graphics
  • AGP and PCI also differ in terms
    of their minimum length and alignment requirements for transactions.  
    AGP transaction are multiples of 8 bytes in length and are aligned on 8
    byte boundaries, while PCI transactions must be multiples of 4 bytes and
    are aligned on 4 byte boundaries.

Benchmark Analysis

Benchmark — individual
programs or a mixture of programs that are run on a target computer to
measure the overall performance of the system, or to measure more specific
aspects of the performance, such as graphics applications, I/O processing,
etc.  Any aspect of the computers performance that matters to the
user can be benchmarked.

To find out if the AGP bus
itself is responsible for better performance, it is necessary to use two
identical cards.  Actually, cards that are identical other than the
different slot types.

Unreal Demo, by GT Interactive
Software — used a time demo to measure the frames per second (FPS) of the
3D rendering:

AGP = 18.36 FPS and PCI = 18.1 FPS

Windows 95 Benchmarks
— 3D Winbench Large Texture Scene


FIC KL-6011

  • High resolution parts of the
    large textures have to be swapped to main memory, which has a large impact
    on the PCI system.   We can see that AGP’s DIME (direct memory execute)
    system handles it much better


  • The current PCI bus supports
    a data transfer rate up to 133 MB/s, while AGP (at 66 mhz) supports up
    to 533 MB/s, which makes the AGP bus substantially faster.
  • The result of AGP is a much
    smoother frame rate and the ability to display 3D graphics and video that
    is many time more realistic and much higher quality than even before found
    on a PC.
  • AGP opens the door for high
    quality performance, high quality 3D by eliminating bottlenecks via direct
    access to system memory.

Copyright ©
1998, Hank Kuo and Adam Labelson.

Answered: PCI vs. AGP vs. PCIe? Time to Upgrade! (2022)

Wondering what the difference is between PCI-Express, PCI, and AGP? If you’re still using a computer with a PCI or AGP slot, it’s likely time to upgrade your PC!

PCI vs. AGP vs. PCI-Express

PCI-Express is currently the dominant bus for connecting expansion cards and devices (alongside USB, which is used for externally connected devices). AGP and PCI are typically no longer relevant due to their slow throughput rates of 2133 MB/s and 533 MB/s, respectively. The modern PCI-Express bus (version 5.0), on the other hand, can reach up to 63 GB/s when 16 lanes are used.

Check out the complete list of CPUs supporting PCIe 5.0 in Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 5.0?

What Is PCI?

PCI stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect. PCI is a computer bus used for attaching devices to a computer via expansion boards.

After PCI was introduced in 1992, computer owners could use PCI slots on a motherboard for attaching numerous types of expansion boards. PCI expansion boards include graphics cards, sound cards, modems, TV tuners, additional USB ports, and hard drive adapters.

When PCI was introduced, it replaced various other slots on a motherboard, such as ISA and VESA Local Bus (VLB).

PCI can reach a throughput of 533 MB/s.

Even in 2021, there are still a few motherboards available with PCI slots alongside newer ports. However, for any new PC build, you’ll probably want to skip this feature.

What Is AGP?

AGP stands for Accelerated Graphics Port. An AGP slot on a PC’s motherboard is used for connecting a graphics card to the PC. AGP was introduced in 1997 as a replacement for the slower PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) bus.

Rather than sharing the bandwidth of the PCI bus with other devices, AGP provides a dedicated bus for the video card. AGP had double the bandwidth compared to PCI and could read textures directly from system memory, unlike PCI, which had to copy the textures.

AGP had a throughput of up to 2133 MB/s, compared to PCI’s 533 MB/s maximum.

Starting in 2004, PCI-Express began replacing AGP and PCI.

What Is PCI-Express?

PCI-Express (PCIe) is an electrical bus used in nearly all modern consumer and server PCs. PCIe slots on desktop PCs allow for connecting various expansion boards, including graphics cards, sound cards, video capture cards, network/Wi-Fi cards, storage devices, and more. PCI-Express is the successor of PCI.

PCIe 5.0 is the latest version of PCI-Express on the market.

PCIe 5.0 x16 can reach speeds of 63 GB/s.

Snickerdo / Wikimedia

How Fast Is PCIe?

PCI-Express speeds are based on the PCI-Express version and the number of lanes used. One lane is referred to as x1, two lanes as x2, etc. PCI-Express technically supports up to a width of x32. However, most consumer motherboards have some set of these PCIe widths: x1, x2, x4, x8, x16.

PCI-Express Speeds (Rounded)
PCIe 4.0 PCIe 5.0
x1 Bandwidth 2 GB/s 4 GB/s
x2 Bandwidth 4 GB/s 8 GB/s
x4 Bandwidth 8 GB/s 16 GB/s
x8 Bandwidth 16 GB/s 32 GB/s
x16 Bandwidth 32 GB/s 63 GB/s

Intel’s 12th generation CPUs currently provide PCIe 5. 0 support for CPU lanes (i.e., one x16 or two x8 PCIe slots) and PCIe 4.0/3.0 speeds for the remaining lanes.

The bandwidth for each PCIe 5.0 lane is 4 GB/s. 4 GB/s per lane means that if you use a PCI-Express 5.0 x16 device, it would have up to 64 GB/s of bandwidth available to it.

NVMe M.2 SSD cards use 2 or 4 lanes, which means they have 4–8 GB/s available to them with PCIe 4.0.

Samsung 980 1TB M.2 SSD
Check Price on Amazon

Amazon Affiliate Link

NVMe PCIe add-in cards can use up to 16 lanes in an x16 slot, thus having up to 32 GB/s of bandwidth available to them with PCIe 4.0.

In comparison, PCIe 3.0 has half of the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0.

PCI-Express 3.0 Speed (Rounded)
x1 Bandwidth 1 GB/s
x2 Bandwidth 2 GB/s
x4 Bandwidth 4 GB/s
x8 Bandwidth 8 GB/s
x16 Bandwidth 16 GB/s

Which CPUs Support PCIe 4.

0 and PCIe 5.0?

PCIe 5.0

Intel’s 12th generation Core processors, code-named «Alder Lake,» support PCIe 5.0. Intel 12th Gen Core CPUs use an LGA 1700 socket.

AMD has not yet released its PCIe 5.0 processors but is expected to include PCIe 5.0 support in their next-generation Zen 4 architecture, which AMD is expected to release in September, 2022.

Check out the complete list of CPUs supporting PCIe 5.0 in Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 5.0?

PCIe 4.0

Most of AMD’s Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series, Ryzen Threadripper 3000 series, and Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3000 series processors support PCIe 4.0. Intel’s 11th generation processors, code-named «Rocket Lake,» support PCIe 4.0.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
Check Price on Amazon

Amazon Affiliate Link

Check out the complete list of CPUs supporting PCIe 4.0 in Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 4. 0?

Other Considerations When Building a PC

Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:

  • Cases:
    • How to Choose the Best PC Case
  • CPUs:
    • Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 5.0?
    • Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 4.0?
    • LGA 1700 CPU List
    • LGA 1200 CPU List
    • Look up an Intel or AMD CPU on TechReviewer for related recommendations:
  • CPU Coolers:
    • What is the Best Type of CPU cooler for a Gaming PC?
    • How to Choose a CPU Cooler for Your PC
    • Best LGA 1700 CPU Cooler for Intel’s 12th Gen Core Processors
    • Best AM4 CPU Cooler for AMD Processors
  • Storage:
    • Can an SSD Improve PC Gaming Performance? and Does an SSD Increase FPS for PC Gaming?
    • Storage Type Comparison: M.2, U.2, NVMe, SATA, SSDs, HDDs
  • Memory:
    • How to Choose the Best RAM for Your PC
    • How Much RAM Do You Need for Gaming? and Is 32 GB of RAM Worth It for Gaming?
    • DDR4 vs. DDR5? Which You Should Buy
    • Is DDR5 Worth It? The Benefits of DDR5 and What Is DDR5?
    • Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support DDR5?
  • PCI-Express:
    • Is PCIe 5.0 Worth It?
  • Motherboards:
    • Which Motherboards Support PCIe 5.0?
    • Which Motherboards Support PCIe 4.0?
    • Which Motherboard Should You Buy for Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs?
  • Graphics Cards:
    • Which Graphics Cards Support PCIe 4.0?
  • Power Supplies:
    • How to Choose the Best Power Supply for a Gaming PC
    • How to Choose a PC Power Supply
  • Keyboards:
    • Best Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming
  • Monitors:
    • How to Choose a Gaming Monitor

Learn More About PCI-Express

Want to brush up on the latest PCIe products, versions, and features? Check out the articles in this PCI-Express series:

  • What is PCIe?, What is PCIe 5. 0?, and What is PCIe 4.0?
  • Is PCIe 5.0 Worth It? and Is PCIe 4.0 Worth It?
  • Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 5.0?
  • Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 4.0?
  • Which Motherboards Support PCIe 5.0?
  • Which Graphics Cards Support PCIe 4.0?
  • How Fast is PCIe 5.0? and How Fast is PCIe 4.0?
  • Is PCIe Backward Compatible?
  • Can I Put a PCIe x4 or x8 Card in an x16 Slot?
  • Can I Use a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD in a PCIe 3.0 Motherboard Slot?
  • Can I Use a PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD in a PCIe 4.0 Motherboard Slot?
  • Can I Use a PCIe 4.0 Graphics Card in a PCIe 3.0 Slot?
  • Can I Use a PCIe 3.0 Graphics Card in a PCIe 4.0 Slot?
  • What is the Latest Version of PCIe?
  • PCI vs. AGP vs. PCIe? Time to Upgrade!

Have a suggestion or correction for this article? Send us an email at:
[email protected]

You can also contact the author at:
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What kind of expansion slot should you use for your video card?

Video card information
  • How to select a video card
  • How to install a video card
  • How to troubleshoot video card problems
  • The big fat table of video cards
  • AGP compatibility for sticklers
  • DVI compatibility for sticklers
  • Troubleshooting AGP
  • Troubleshoot your video card by underclocking
  • Diagnose your video card problems by comparing with example corrupted screens
  • Troubleshooting DVI problems
  • The basics of 3D graphics without making your eyes glaze over — just enough to get you started
  • How to uninstall your current display drivers
  • How to install display drivers for your video card
  • Understanding video RAM memory bandwidth
  • What kind of expansion slot should you use for your video card?
  • VGA video card outputs

What kind of expansion slot should you use for your video card?

There’s lots of slots

To add a video card to your computer, you have to pick an
expansion slot.
There have been many kinds of expansion slots over the years so most
contain more than one kind of slot. They usually have a few of
the older slots and a few of the newer ones. The slots differ greatly in
speed so you need to pick the right kind of slot.

The motherboard shown above includes most of the slots that you’ll run into
these days. It’s a little unusual in that you don’t often see motherboards
which have both PCI-Express slots and an AGP slot. The best slot to use for
video cards is the PCI-Express x16 slot. The next best is the AGP slot. The
next best is a PCI-Express x1 slot but video cards which fit that slot are
very hard to find as of late 2006. The
worst choice for a video card is a PCI slot. If you’re building or buying a
new computer then be sure to get one with a PCI-Express x16 slot. You
shouldn’t buy anything else. Some low-budget computers are sold with
integrated video
and have neither a PCI-Express x16 slot or an AGP slot. With that kind of
computer you’re stuck using a very slow PCI slot when upgrading your video
system. You definitely want to avoid that situation. Many
low-budget computers with integrated video include either a PCI-Express x16
slot or an AGP slot so be sure to get one of those. That way you’ll have
good choices available if you decide to upgrade your video system. If you
only have a PCI slot then your upgrade choices are extremely limited,
underpowered, and overpriced.

Slot kind Year of introduction Peak transfer speed
PCI-Express x16 2004 4
write speed and 4
read speed simultaneously
PCI-Express x1 2004 250
write speed and 250
read speed simultaneously
AGP 8X 2002 bandwidth shared between reads and writes to a maximum of 2. 133
many implementations are limited to 267
read speed
AGP 4X 1998 bandwidth shared between reads and writes to a maximum of 1.067
many implementations are limited to 267
read speed
AGP 2X 1996 bandwidth shared between reads and writes to a maximum of 533
many implementations are limited to 267
read speed
AGP 1X 1996 bandwidth shared between reads and writes to a maximum of 267
PCI 1993 bandwidth shared between reads and writes to a maximum of 133

PCI-Express is the newest kind of expansion slot used in PCs. It is
technologically superior to the older slots in every way. PCI-Express can be
referred to using various names: PCI-Express, PCIe, or PCI-E. They all mean
exactly the same thing. There’s another completely different and incompatible
bus called PCI-X so be sure not to get them confused. Despite the similarity
in names, there’s no hardware compatibility of any kind between PCI and
PCI-Express. You can’t plug PCI cards into PCI-Express slots or vice versa.
It was just the computer industry doing their level best to confuse people.
(Just for the record, the USB 2.0, USB High Speed, USB Full Speed
naming debacle is the current leader in «the most confusing naming
convention in existance» competition. The PCI-Express, PCI confusion is
somewhat farther down the list.)

In PCI-Express x16, the «x16» part is pronounced, «times sixteen» or «by
sixteen». The number
following the «x» is the number of PCI-Express lanes in the slot. The more
lanes in the slot, the faster it can go. The motherboard picture above shows both
a x16 slot and a x1 slot. Video cards are normally designed to fit in x16 slots
since they are the fastest. You can also get video cards designed for x1
slots. Those are normally used only if you want more than one video card in
the computer. Most motherboards have one PCI-Express x16 slot for a video
card and one or more x1 slots for other things like network adapters. Less
common are x4 and x8 slots. You can «up-plug» PCI-Express cards. That means
that you can plug a PCI-Express x1 expansion card into a PCI-Express x1, x4,
x8, or x16 expansion slot and it will work (as long as the motherboard
doesn’t have bugs). The x1 expansion card can only run at x1 speed in any of
those slots but it will work. Likewise, you can plug x4 expansion cards into
x4, x8, and x16 slots and you can plug x8 expansion cards (if you can find
one) into x8 and x16 slots. But you can’t «down-plug» PCI-Express cards
because an expansion card with a higher number of lanes (the «x» value)
physically won’t fit into an expansion slot with a lower number of lanes.
For example, a x16 expansion card won’t fit into a x8, x4, or x1 slot.

When it comes to video cards, some motherboards can be extremely picky about
up-plugging. You should always be able to plug a x1, x4, or x8 video card
into a x16 PCI-Express slot and have it work. It may only run at x1 speeds
but it should work nonetheless. Unfortunately, many motherboards have
problems with video card up-plugging. As time passes, the motherboard
should have better support for up-plugging video cards but for now it may not
work. Plugging a x16 video card into a x16 slot always works and plugging a
x1 video card into a x1 slot almost always works but the other combinations
may not work properly. If you have problems up-plugging a video card then you
should go to the
manufacturer’s website and update the motherboard
That’s where they will fix problems with expansion card up-plugging.

Some motherboards come with two PCI-Express x16 slots so you can run two full
speed video cards at once. This is normally used only by serious gamers who
want the highest possible performance in
games. NVIDIA has a dual-card implementation called
SLI and ATI has
a version called
In these modes, both video cards work together on the same game to increase
performance. Many motherboards with two PCI-Express x16 slots have special
rules about using the second x16 slot. With some motherboards you have to
plug a small circuit board into the motherboard to enable the second x16
slot. Even when enabled, the second x16 slot may have special restrictions.
In some cases that slot may not work with anything but video cards. The
manual of a dual x16 slot motherboard will tell you if there are any restrictions related to its
x16 slots. Don’t assume that you can treat them like «normal» PCI-Express
slots unless the motherboard manual says so.


The AGP slot was the standard slot used by video cards before it was
replaced by PCI-Express x16 slots. They are four different AGP speeds. AGP 8X
is pronounced «AGP eight times». The eight refers to the speed. There are
also slower speeds of 4, 2, and 1 times. When it comes to games, as of late
2006, there is very little speed benefit in going faster than AGP 4X (about 1
You gain at most a few percent by going from AGP 4X to a faster slot.
As time passes it will make more of a difference. As of late 2006, AGP has a
much more limited selection of video cards than PCI-Express x16. AGP cards are
usually more
expensive than PCI-Express x16 cards in the same speed range. On top of that,
the fastest video cards are not available for AGP at all. Basically, AGP is
in the process of being orphaned. If you’re getting a new computer then make
sure that it uses PCI-Express x16 rather than AGP.

You do have to be a little careful when getting AGP cards because not all AGP cards
are compatible with all AGP motherboards. If you go shopping for AGP cards
right now then all you’re likely to find are «AGP 8X, 4X» cards. Those are
compatible with any motherboard which supports AGP 4X or AGP 8X. But there
are some old AGP 2X or AGP 1X video cards and there are also old AGP 2X or 1X
motherboards. New video cards may not be compatible with old motherboards
and old video cards may not be compatible with new motherboards. It’s hard to
buy the old AGP 2X 1X video cards or motherboards these days but you may run
into them. That’s why it pays to be careful. That’s especially true if you’re
buying used hardware.

Each AGP card has one or two slots in its card edge. If a video card has the
3.3 volt slot, then it can use 3.3 volt signaling. If it has the 1.5 volt
slot then it can use 1.5 volt signaling. If the card has both slots then it
can use both signaling voltages. The newest version of AGP added support for
0.8 volt signaling but it did not add a new kind of slot. If a video card
supports either 1.5 volt or 0.8 volt signaling then it has the 1.5 volt slot.

The AGP connectors on the motherboard are keyed to prevent insertion of AGP
cards which would be damaged if plugged in. An AGP 3.3V motherboard connector
can only accept AGP cards which have the 3.3V slot. If you try to insert a
card without a 3.3V slot into an AGP 3.3V motherboard connector, the
card will bump into the connector key and cannot be inserted. Likewise an AGP
1.5V motherboard connector can only accept AGP cards with the 1.5V slot. An
AGP universal motherboard connector has no keys and therefore can accept any
kind of AGP card. An AGP card with both voltage slots can be plugged into any
kind of AGP motherboard connector. If you can plug an AGP card into an AGP
motherboard connector, then they are compatible. So you need to check to see
that the video card can fit into the motherboard connector to know if they
are compatible. This page gives you a
more detailed explanation of the rules AGP compatibility.


You can still get video cards for PCI slots but they tend to be obsolete and
overpriced. The selection is very limited. Many low-end computers come with
integrated graphics
rather than a separate video card. This is done to cut costs. Unfortunately,
integrated graphics are very poor performers at
graphics. If you don’t play games, then integrated graphics may be just fine.
But if you’d like to increase the graphics performance then you need to add a
«real» video card. Unfortunately, some computer manufacturers make some
low-end models with integrated graphics which do not have either AGP or
PCI-Express x16 slots. You should never buy such a computer. Integrated
graphics are okay as long as you have the option to upgrade if you need to.
But if you buy one of those bad low-end machines then your only graphics upgrade
option is to use a PCI slot. PCI will be a serious performance bottleneck.
And you’ll get stuck buying an expensive, obsolete, PCI video card. The best
way to avoid this miserable fate is to avoid buying these crippled computers
in the first place. Make sure that your new computer has an AGP slot or
(preferably) a PCI-Express x16 slot. It will save you lots of grief (and money)
if you decide to upgrade your graphics system.

When purchasing PCI video cards you need to be careful about compatibility
with the PCI expansion slots on the motherboard. There are two things which vary in PCI
expansion slots: the voltage, and the number of bits. PCI Slots can support either 3.3
volts or 5 volts. PCI has a system of keys which only allows expansion cards
to fit into the motherboard connector if it provides the correct voltage. As
shown in the picture above, a 5 volt PCI motherboard connector has a key near
the right end. A 5 volt PCI expansion card has a slot which lines up with the
key. That allows you to plug a 5 volt PCI card into a 5 volt PCI connector.
You can see a «real» PCI connector in the motherboard
picture above. 3.3 volts is similar but its key is near the
left end. This system allows you to plug 5 volt cards into 5 volt PCI
connectors but not into 3. 3 volt PCI connectors. Likewise, you can only plug
3.3 volt cards into 3.3 volt PCI connectors and not into 5 volt connectors.
If the expansion card can run on
both 3.3 and 5 volts then it has both slots and fits into both 3.3 and 5 volt
PCI motherboard connectors.
PCI expansion slots also support two different widths: 32
and 64 bits. The 64 bit
motherboard connector is longer than a 32 bit connector. Most PC motherboards
come with 32 bit slots but some come with 64 bit slots. A 32 bit PCI expansion
card will work fine in a 64 bit slot. PCI video cards are 32 bit cards.

Most PCI slots on PC motherboards are 32 bit, 5 volt slots. Most PCI video
cards are also 32 bits and 5 volts. Many of the PCI video cards also support
3.3 volts. As a result, most PCI video cards work fine in most PCs. However,
there are some motherboards out there with other kinds of PCI slots. 64 bit,
3.3 volt slots are common in workstation-oriented motherboards. If you want
to use one of those then you’ll need a PCI video card which supports 3. 3
volts. So, before purchasing a PCI video card it’s a good idea to make sure
that the PCI video card and motherboard are compatible. If the PCI video card
fits into the motherboard expansion connector then they’re compatible.

Power supply information
  • Compatibility issues for ATX power supplies and motherboards
  • A short history of PC power supply voltage rails
  • So what’s all this rubbish about multiple 12 volt rails?
  • All about the various PC power supply cables and connectors
  • Rail complications #1 — current limit problems: too much current
  • Rail complications #2 — cross loading problems: unbalanced current
  • Rail complications #3 — minimum loading problems: too little current
  • Using PC power supplies in things other than PCs
Useful technical information
  • How to install your motherboard chipset drivers
  • Test your motherboard memory with Memtest86
  • Torture test your CPU with Prime95
  • How to find specifications for your computer
  • Create a system restore point in case something goes wrong
  • Getting administrator privileges
  • Fiddling with your BIOS
  • How to boot into safe mode or VGA mode
  • Rate your CPU speed at games
  • Glossary of technical terms
Random stuff
  • My favorite RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 coasters
  • PeepFactory peep generator for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

What is AGP(Accelerated Graphics Port)?

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    An Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) is a point to point channel that is used for high-speed video output. This port is used to connect graphic cards to a computer’s motherboard. It increases the speed at which machines can render graphics while using the system’s resources more efficiently. The primary purpose of an AGP is to convey 3-D images much more smoothly than is possible on a regular PC.


    The AGP was developed by Intel in the year 1996 and was launched in Socket 7 Intel P5 Pentium and Slot 1 P6 Pentium II processors. Gradually everyone started using it. Chipsets like VIA Apollo VP3, SiS 5591/5592, and the ALI Aladdin V were the first Socket 7 chipsets to support AGP.
    Early AGP boards used graphics processors built around Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and were simply bridged to AGP. It can be said that the AGP is built from the PCI that PCI is the base. Bridging didn’t help the cards benefit much from the new bus except for the increased 66 MHz bus clock and the doubled bandwidth over PCI. Intel’s i740 was explicitly designed to exploit the new features of AGP. In fact, it was designed to texture only from AGP memory.

    AGP Version Comparison Table

    The various versions of AGP are discussed here

    Interface Clock Speed Speed Transfer Rate
    AGP 1.0 66 MHz 1x and 2x 266 MB/s and 533 MB/s
    AGP 2.0 66 MHz 4x 1, 066 MB/s
    AGP 3.0 66 MHz 8x 2, 133 MB/s
    Characteristics of AGP
    • It has high quality and very fast performance.
    • It has a direct path to the PC’s main memory.
    • It connects to the CPU and operates at the speed of the processor bus.
    • It sends video information more quickly to the card for processing.
    • It uses the main memory to hold 3D images.
    • It provides the graphics card with two methods of directly accessing texture maps in system memory: pipelining and sideband addressing.
    • The port is identified by its brown colour.
    Applications of AGP
    • It enabled to develop new classes of applications on the PC such as 3D CAD/CAM, data visualization and 3D user interfaces.
    • Direct Memory Execution of textures-The texture maps are directly accessed from the system memory instead of pre-loading the texture data into the Graphic card’s own memory and then accessing it. It eliminates the extra work by allowing the texture to remain in system memory where it can be directly executed on by the graphics chip.
    • Creation of 3D images- The CPU must perform intensive 3D calculations. The graphics controller processes the texture data and bitmaps. In many cases, the controller has to read elements from 7 or 8 different textures and combine them into a single pixel on the screen. When this calculation is performed, the pixel must be stored in the memory buffer. The memory occupied by these textures are so large, they cannot be stored on the video card’s buffer. With APG they are stored in the main system memory.
    Advantages of AGP over PCI

    AGP was introduced as a replacement for the slower Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) interfaces. AGP provides a direct line of communication to the CPU and RAM, which in turn allows for quicker rendering of graphics.

    Differences between AGP and PCI
    AGP is a port PCI is a bus
    AGP normally has a clock speed of 66 MHz PCI bus normally has a clock speed of 33 MHz
    AGP normally has a transfer rate of 2, 133 MB/s PCI normally has a transfer rate of 132 MB/s
    AGP has a non local memory and is able to access the system memory directly. PCI has a local memory and relies solely on the memory of the video card.
    AGP memory allows AGP cards to store texture maps in system memory itself. PCI stores the texture maps in the memory of the video card itself.
    AGP receives information simultaneously which makes the graphics quicker and smoother. PCI receives information in “groups” instead of all at once.
    AGP makes pipelined or multiple requests for data during a bus or memory access PCI doesn’t make pipelined request that is it does not make another until the data that is currently requested has been transferred.

    Motherboard Slots Types » [PCI, PCIe, PCI-x, AGP, RAM, ..].

    Throughout the generation of computing, various expansion motherboard slots have been used on the system board. Now, there are different types of slots on the motherboard introduced in order to expand and improve its functionality.

    Since computers generally come with a basic set of input and output devices when assembling. Due to this reason, computers have expansion slots because many desktop PCs need to be upgraded or customized with extra hardware & features to carry out specific tasks that are not provided in the primary PC.

    In the beginning, the usage of expansion slots was a lot because the motherboards were not as complete as they are now, and specific peripherals were needed.

    In fact, newer and high end expensive motherboards have much options for expansion slots and features built right into the motherboard, eliminating the need for many cards additional expansion units.

    And today you are in the right place because, in this article, you will discover the “All Types of Motherboard Slots” below:

    What is the Purpose of Motherboard Slots?

    Different Types of Slots on Motherboard

    1. PCI Slots

    2. PCIe Slots

    3. PCI-X Slots

    4. AGP Slots

    5. ISA Slots

    6. EISA Slots

    7. VESA Slots

    8. RAM Slots

    9. AMR Slots

    10. CNR Slots



    What is the Purpose of Motherboard Slots?

    The Motherboard is the most important largest circuit board often used in computers. It has a primary CPU (central processing unit) connected to an array of chips for peripherals like printers and speakers. These peripheral chips are separate from the CPU and communicate via expansion slots.

    There are typically 24 expansion slots of 6 inches long on Motherboard, with each slot sporting eight pins that can be plugged in by inserting a flat cable into its appropriate site.

    The purpose of these expansion slots on the Motherboard is to allow additional components such as memory devices to be connected to the main computer in order to increase performance capabilities or add new features without having unneeded parts within the casing of your computer case.

    Different Types of Slots on Motherboard

    You may notice, most motherboards have PCIe slots, but this is not the case before. If you come across an old motherboard, you will appreciate that it does not have this type of slot, but somewhat different ones. Let’s get to know the different types of slots on the motherboard.

    1. PCI Slots

    A PCI slot is an interface on the motherboard that allows you to put in a device that requires power, famous for coming with the first Intel Pentiums in 1993.

    The PCI stands for ‘peripheral components interconnect’, a standard computer bus to connect peripheral devices directly to your motherboard. Its name comes from its physical location between two other elements and from the electrical signals it sends and receives.

    The devices installed on such PCI slots are very diverse: various controllers, Wi-Fi adapters, TV tuners, satellite receivers, etc. The number of available slots on motherboards ranges from two to six.

    2. PCIe Slots

    Image of PCIe or PCI Express slots on the motherboard.

    PCIe or PCI Express slots are the most common slots on the motherboard that optimize the communication with the microprocessor.

    Well, it was a milestone in the history of computing, becoming a standard that has not yet been replaced but has been improved. It began to be used in 2005 developed by Intel, gradually replacing the rest of the expansion slot models.

    When you need to mount a TV Tuner Card, Power Supply, Video Cards, or Storage Drives like NVMe based on a PCIe protocol, PCI Express Slots will be used for that purpose. There might be several numbers of PCIe slots on the motherboard.

    Pro Tip – Want to use NVMe SSDs for gaming but don’t have one – get an external drive to play games based on NVMe protocol.

    3. PCI-X Slots

    As a presence of the PCI slot, the PCI-X slot was also developed. You should not confuse these acronyms with PCI Express. The ‘X’ in this case refers to ‘expanded’.

    One PCI-X slot on the motherboard is for the PCI Express (PCI-E)-based graphics card connected to the CPU via a dedicated 16x or 32x direct link to provide high bandwidth and low latency. The remaining slots are used for other functions as follows: –

    • PCMCIA Card,
    • Wireless LAN Card,
    • Bluetooth Card.

    The motherboard may not have any slots left available if it has two PCI slots used by a RAID controller or another function.

    Also, this type of slot isn’t widely used in the range of desktop motherboards. They are more oriented to server or workstation environments since they allowed higher bandwidths than conventional PCI.

    4. AGP Slots

    The acronym AGP stands for ‘Advanced/Accelerated Graphics Port’, and they are mainly designed to support video/graphic cards with high bandwidth requirements. The main advantage of these slots type is that they support a simple direct connection between the CPU and the motherboard without any connectors or cables needed.

    AGP slots are a type of motherboard used for personal computers which were popular in the early 2000s. Initially, AGP slots were designed as an upgrade to plain PCI slots. Now, this slot is the successor to the original PCI.

    AGP was the mainstream until the successor standard PCI Express was put into practical use. It first appeared around 1997, and the version was released up to AGP 3.0, but due to the limit of transfer speed, it was almost replaced by the PCI Express standard around 2005.

    The appearance of a new evolution known as PCI-Express provides more excellent performance in terms of frequency and bandwidth. Thus, the leading manufacturers of graphics cards, such as ATI and Nvidia, have presented fewer and fewer products for this port.

    5. ISA Slots

    ISA expansion slots are the oldest types of slots on the motherboard. ISA stands for ‘Industry Standard Architecture’ because no other slots were invented at that time. The components designed to install on ISA slot were huge in size and among the first slots to be used in personal computers.

    Network cards, video cards, and other extended hardware are installed with the help of ISA slots.

    Today, Modern motherboards no longer have ISA slots. These slots were included until the first models of the Pentium III microprocessor, then it was replaced in 2000 by the PCI slot.

    6. EISA Slots

    The EISA ‘Extended Industry Standard Architecture’ slots were introduced to compete with Micro Chanel Architecture by IBM.

    Are you looking for a new motherboard that can support more than 4 ESIA Slots? Luckily, most motherboards nowadays include five or more ESIA slots built-in.

    The main thing to remember when it comes to ESIA Slot configurations is that they range from 1x to 16x. That’s because the number in front of the x denotes how many cards are in one slot.

    7. VESA Slots

    VESA stands for ‘Video-Electronics Standards Association’, it is a group of monitor and graphics card manufacturers that establish video bus and display standards. The aim of VESA slots is to optimize the video operations.

    Although, VESA slots were only used in the PCs for a little amount of time. VESA Company introduced these slots but after some time, ISA Bus replaced VESA.

    8. RAM Slots

    The RAM slot on the motherboard determines the type of RAM your computer can utilize. Depending on the motherboard, typically numbering 2 or 4 (sometimes more on high-end motherboards), usually located at the motherboard’s upper-right corner.

    Although the RAM slots are the last thing that comes to your mind when you’re purchasing your computer, it would be good to check that out too. Sometimes a motherboard can be a bit older, meaning that you can’t plug in the latest RAM modules to upgrade.

    9. AMR Slots

    The AMR ‘Audio/Modem Rise’ slots are generally found on Pentium 3 and Pentium 4 computers on some of the motherboards. Intel designed these expansion slots to communicate with the motherboard by offering analog capability. These slots are used to install modems and sound cards.

    This specification allows the motherboard to be manufactured at a lower cost and frees up industry-standard expansion slots in the system for additional compatible peripherals.

    With the integration of modems and sound cards, more people using broadband, and better technologies like PCI Express, AMR never achieved mass adoption. Today AMR is no longer found or used with any modern motherboard.

    Ever thought? why motherboards and PCBs are green in color mostly?

    10. CNR Slots

    Communications and networking slot or CNR slot is only used by the customized systems for networking. It is a specification that supports audio, modem, USB, and LAN interfaces on core logic chipsets.

    Today this slot is no longer found on motherboards and has been replaced by PCI and PCIe.


    Understanding these main types of slots on the motherboard can help you know some history and development of the various slots & the internal working of the PC in better ways.

    Apart from these popular expansion slot types, here are some common questions that arise in the mind of users. Let’s get to know FAQs related to types of slots on motherboard.

    How many expansion slots does my computer have?

    Depending upon the computer manufacturer, the exact expansion slots keep varying. The total number of expansion slots is unique for every manufacturer. The best way to determine the total slots on the computer’s motherboard is to consult with the expert or reading the manual.

    Which is the fastest expansion slot?

    PCI Express slot is considered to be the most advanced and fastest slot on the motherboard. Most of the PCs from today come with PCI Express slots.

    Does a laptop have an expansion slot?

    It’s possible for a laptop to have an expansion slot, but it may not be possible for every model or design. Many laptops with expansion slots are designed with them in the back so they won’t impede the Wi-Fi signal or other features on the device.

    What is the most common expansion slot today?

    PCI Express is the most common expansion slot today. It can be found on the motherboard of almost every computer today.

    Which expansion slot is using the main memory?

    PCI Express expansion slot replaced the older AGP, and it is used to accelerate the video tasks. So, the PCI Express expansion slot used the main memory.

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    PCI Express slot is considered to be the most advanced and fastest slot on the motherboard. Most of the PCs from today come with PCI Express slots.

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    It’s possible for a laptop to have an expansion slot, but it may not be possible for every model or design. Many laptops with expansion slots are designed with them in the back so they won’t impede the Wi-Fi signal or other features on the device.

    , {
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    PCI Express expansion slot replaced the older AGP, and it is used to accelerate the video tasks. So, the PCI Express expansion slot used the main memory.


    Note: When installing an expansion card, before removing the case from the computer, be sure always to turn off the PC first and unplug the power cord from the back of the power source. Expansion ports are usually located near the RAM slots, but that’s not always the case.


    If you want better quality hardware, then you will have to purchase an expansion card that plugs into your motherboard’s slot. One who wants the most customization will need a lot more than what the average user would need, so they should buy some upgrades before purchasing their PC from the store.

    As with the slot on the motherboard, there is also a socket for the CPU. I have explained in our previous article, you can read ‘4 types of CPU Sockets‘.

    If you liked the insights, you could share the article “Types of Motherboard Slots” on social networks too.

    report this ad

    AGP and PCI-E in one bottle! Review Gigabyte GA-8VT880P.

    8 June 2006, Thursday

    *Cofradia Intel*



    for section


    This material was written by a site visitor and has been rewarded.

    Just a review of the complicated motherboard Gigabyte GA-8VT880P.

    Table of contents:
    1) Introduction
    2) Specifications and board design
    3) Board in operation
    4) Overclocking and performance
    5) Overclocking features
    6) Conclusion


    PCI-express video cards have almost completely replaced AGP video cards, but many users are quite satisfied with the performance of their AGP video cards, but when buying a new motherboard, they would like to install a PCI-E video card in the future. Should I change the motherboard again?

    Not necessary if you buy a Gigabyte GA-8VT880P.

    So, the Gigabyte GA-8VT880P Combo motherboard is based on the VIA PT880Pro chipset and is designed for the use of Intel processors for the LGA775 socket, supports DDR/DDR2 memory in a single/dual channel configuration, is equipped with AGP 8X, PCI-E x16 (actual speed x4) and three PCI slots.

    The VIA PT880Pro chipset has no competitors, because only it can offer support for AGP 8x and PCI-express at the same time, and thanks to the heroine of the review, we can use all its advantages.

    Although there were some shortcomings, PCI-E on VIA works at 4x speed, but I want to reassure you that this had little effect on performance.

    As a comment, I would like to note that many manufacturers equip their boards with connectors for AGP cards, but this is not the case, AGP is connected to PCI there, due to which the performance of the card drops significantly, and not all cards are supported.

    Specifications and PCB design

    *Supported processors: all LGA775 processors with a bus frequency of 533/800MHz (at the time of publication)

    *RAM: DDR 333/400 MHz, DDR2 400/533 MHz, two DIMMs for each type, maximum 2GB (according to the instructions for the board). Simultaneous operation of DDR+DDR2 is not supported.

    *AGP 8x and PCI-express x16 (actually x4) interfaces for video cards. Simultaneous operation of two types of video cards is supported, but AGP cannot be a slave (apparently, they forgot to add the initial AGP initialization to the BIOS).

    *Southbridge: VIA VT8237R Plus.

    *Sound controller: 8.1 Realtek ALC880.

    *Network controller: Realtek 10/100/1000 HD/FD.

    *HDD: 2 IDE / 2 SATA 1.0 with the ability to combine HDD into a RAID array.

    *Other interfaces: USB 2.0 8 ports, 4 rear + 4 via brackets, 2 COM and 1 LPT.

    The board has internal connectors for front audio connectors, additional connectors for connecting 8.1 speakers without sacrificing a microphone and line input, and a connector for connecting SP-DIF.

    *Board revision: 2.0


    *1 x IDE cable

    *1 x FDD cable

    *1 x SATA cable

    *Rear plug, disk, sticker, instructions and a couple of mini-instructions for proper processor installation and assembly.

    The board comes in this box:

    And the board itself:

    All connectors are well located and there will be no problems with assembly.

    Northbridge is content with a passive cooler, but don’t worry, that’s enough. Although, when using the Pentium D, it gets very hot.

    Let’s look at the highlight of the board — AGP and PCI-E connectors:

    The slots are located far from each other, thanks to which you can install two types of cards at the same time and not be afraid of overheating due to blocking the air supply for the AGP card by the PCI-E card.

    Southbridge VIA VT8237R plus is not equipped with a cooler. slightly heated, there are two SATA connectors next to it.

    Different types of memory slots differ in color (yellow for DDR2, red for DDR) and are located at a decent distance from each other, so that the user will not make a mistake when installing, and will also be able to install a large cooling system on the memory, or just enjoy good ventilation of the modules.

    The board has a drawback — the BIOS chip is soldered to the board, and not installed in the «crib», so before updating the BIOS, it is better to connect the computer to an uninterruptible power supply.

    4-phase processor power circuit (judging by the number of chokes):

    There is no cooling on mosfets, but no one bothers to install it

    I want to note that their temperature depends on the appetite of the installed processor.

    Processor socket for surface mounting, so that its legs do not interfere with the installation of plates on the back of the board.

    To clarify, on some boards a through-hole socket is used, as a result of which its legs stick out from the back of the board.

    The board is in operation
    The board started without any problems, with PCI-E and AGP video cards from ATI and NV (Power Color Radeon X800GT, MSI-Medion Radeon 9800XT, MSI GeForce 6600GT. Only with the MSI Radeon 1600 Pro card did problem with analog horizontal sync over DVI.

    I would like to note that not all boards based on the VIA VT880P chipset work with ATI video cards, for example ECS.

    Utilities report maximum PCI-E speed of 16x.

    It is possible that the chipset does indeed have 16 PCI-E lanes, or this is done for better compatibility with video cards.

    BIOS looks quite normal:

    Overclocking is controlled by the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.).

    As you probably noticed, there are no RAM settings, except for the choice of a divider, and this puts an end to «good» overclocking.

    But don’t despair, Gigabyte hides some settings on its boards, and doesn’t document it. To activate them, you need to press Ctrl-F1 in the main menu, and after that Setup takes the following form:

    The Advanced Chipset Features item appears and other settings are added, including the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) item:

    The Advanced Chipset Features item is entirely dedicated to configuring RAM and AGP:

    Let’s examine the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M. I.T.):

    We can change the system bus frequency from 133 to 600 MHz:

    Change DIMM frequency:

    To the delight of an overclocker, the board can fix AGP/PCI frequencies, and when you change the FSB in the information line, this frequency changes to the resulting one. To fix it, we just need to set the «Fixed AGP / PCI frequency» item to «Enabled» and select the desired ratio from the list.

    The voltage on the processor can be raised to 1.6 V, and on the memory by 0.7 V:

    I would like to note that POST displays the processor multiplier, bus and resulting frequency, as well as the actual speed of the memory.

    Overclocking and performance
    Overclocked with a brand new Pentium D 805.

    It should be noted that the 2T mode is enabled by default for the memory.

    Overclocked processor:

    Timings changed manually. Let me remind you that the board sets timings only for SPD.

    As you can see, after overclocking, the memory board sets Bank Interleave = None (more is better). In the BIOS, you can set the value from Disabled to 8. The maximum working value for my memory (the cheapest, NCP) is 4. However, due to the gluttony of the processor, it was not possible to achieve stability at values ​​4 and 2, however, with the same values ​​​​and the Celeron processor pay was stable.

    In 3D Mark 05 and a non-overclocked PCI-E MSI GeForce 6800GS video card, the following result was obtained:

    Note that during overclocking, the GlacialTech 5600 cooler was used, there was no exhaust fan in the case, as well as airflow for the batteries. In a word, I did nothing to increase the stability of the board. I am sure that if you install good cooling on the processor and on the mosfets, the overclocking results will be better.

    Overclocking features
    I’ll start with the main one, the memory frequency is tied to the FSB, and when the latter increases, it is necessary to reduce the frequency of the first. And here the disadvantage of the board is revealed — with the memory divider «166-DDR333» the board does not start at high FSB values, and it also behaves differently on different dividers, it is necessary to choose the optimal one. 200-DDR400 and/or «overclocker» memory is best.

    The second feature — the higher the FSB, the more unstable the memory, even if its frequency is lower than the nominal value. Oddly enough, increasing the VDIMM helps.


    Attractive price ($65 on,

    compatible with all video cards and processors, good overclocking features.


    Not available for price!

    Among the features, I would include the need to install cooling for batteries for serious overclocking.

    TINC, *Cofradia Intel*

    This material was written by a site visitor and has been rewarded.