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3D HARDWARE TERMS

AGP - The Accelerated Graphics Port is an enhancement of the PCI slot that is common to all Pentium and greater systems. Whereas PCI is an all-purpose expansion slot, AGP is, as the name suggests dedicated to high speed graphics and 3D. It runs at a a speed of 66MHz and is capable of transferring up to 528 MB of data per second and has many unique abilities that were absent from the PCI standard.

AGP 2X - AGP 1.0 implements a feature known as AGP 2X. This theoretically doubles the potential bandwidth of the AGP port. The card in the slot must support this feature in order for it to be used. If in use, 3D graphics performance is much improved.

AGP 4X - A similar concept to AGP 2X that ups the potential transfer rate from 528MB per second, to around 1GB per second.

AGP Memory - The ability of the AGP standard to address memory that is not onboard the video card. If an AGP video card supports this feature it has access to main memory as well as to it's onboard memory, allowing more room for the storage of large textures.

DRAM - Dynamic Random Access Memory is a well established RAM type that is the at the very least, the basis for most memory currently used in PC's. DRAM is made up of arrays of small capacitors that each store a single 'bit' of information.

Frame Buffer - A Frame Buffer is a section of video memory that acts as a temporary store for the colour information required to draw a full frame.

RGB - Red Green Blue is the colour set that acts as the basis for all other colours on a display monitor. These colour values directly relate to the 3 electron guns present in all CRT based colour display units. Mixing and varying the intensity of these colours can produce any other colour required.

SDRAM - Successor to EDO RAM and much faster, SDRAM is cheap to make and as a result is the most common RAM architecture used on modern video cards.

SGRAM - Very similar to SDRAM (above), but, has added capabilities that make it particularly well suited to storing graphics information. Video cards that use SGRAM as opposed to SDRAM will have a slight speed advantage.

SLI - Scan Line Interleave is a special feature of the Voodoo2 chipset. If you place 2 x Voodoo2's in 2 different PCI slots the Voodoo2's will share the work load of the graphics, thus, near doubling the 3D performance. The Voodoo2's must have matching memory configurations in order for this to work.