PCI vs PCIx vs PCIe vs AGP and my dual monitor dreams

When someone told me that the AGP interface for plug in cards for my PC was “like pci but better” I made the assumption that it would plug into my PCI port. Dumb me. After 20+ years with computers, I should know better.

AGP is different from the ground up and requires it’s own interface on the motherboard.

PCIe (PCI Express) is also different and is even newer than AGP.

These two are mostly for the high intensity graphics that are used in gaming.

PCI-X is not another way of saying “PCI Express”. It’s totally different and was an enhancement to PCI.

My Dell 170LN does not take AGP or PCIe. I was lucky to find a dual DVI card that can plug into my PCI slot. It took me a long time to find it because when I saw pictures of this one, I passed it by. It only has one port to plug a cable into. However, it is designed to sort out sending signals to multi-monitors. You only need a special Y cable to plug the two in.

So if you are stuck with “Conventional PCI” but want to use dual digital monitors the thing to get is an NVIDIA Quadro4 VNS 280 PCI card. This is made by PNY and also HP. You also need a separate Y cable. Be careful because you can get Y cables that have one VGA and one DVI or one that has two VGAs or one that has 2 DVIs.



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