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AGP vs. PCI — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 30, 2023
AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) is specifically designed for graphics cards, while PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) is a general-purpose connection standard for devices.
AGP vs. PCI — What's the Difference?

Difference Between AGP and PCI


Key Differences

AGP, or Accelerated Graphics Port, is an interface specification primarily aimed at connecting graphics cards to a computer motherboard to enhance video performance. PCI, or Peripheral Component Interconnect, is a broader standard, allowing various devices like sound cards, modems, and network cards to connect to the motherboard.
When considering speed and bandwidth, AGP was developed to handle the demands of graphic rendering more efficiently than the standard PCI slots. While PCI serves multiple types of devices and has a shared bandwidth among those devices, AGP dedicates its bandwidth to the graphics card.
From a historical standpoint, AGP was introduced after PCI to specifically address the graphical demands of computers. As graphics became more integral to computing, the generic PCI slot wasn't sufficient. AGP provided a solution to this, focusing solely on graphics performance.
AGP slots and cards are distinct in design and cannot be fitted into PCI slots and vice versa. Over time, however, both AGP and PCI have been largely replaced by newer technologies like PCI Express (PCIe), which combines the advantages of both and offers even higher performance.
In terms of usage, while AGP was primarily reserved for graphics cards, PCI slots accommodated a wider variety of devices. This flexibility made PCI slots more prevalent in computers, even if an AGP slot was also present for the graphics card.

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Graphics cards
Various devices (sound cards, modems, etc.)

Bandwidth Allocation

Dedicated to graphics
Shared among multiple devices


After PCI for enhanced graphics
Earlier standard for device connection

Design and Compatibility

Distinct and not interchangeable with PCI
Universal design for multiple devices

Relevance Today

Largely outdated
Also outdated but was more prevalent than AGP

Compare with Definitions


A solution for dedicated graphics bandwidth.
With AGP, graphic-intensive tasks became smoother.


A general-purpose connection standard for devices.
He added a sound card to one of the PCI slots on his motherboard.


An interface for graphics cards.
The older computer has an AGP slot for its video card.


A predecessor to the newer PCI Express standard.
Although PCI served well for years, PCI Express brought about faster speeds.


A slot designed to enhance video performance.
For gaming in the 90s, having an AGP slot was crucial.


An interface accommodating a variety of components.
The computer's motherboard had multiple PCI slots for expansion.


A predecessor to modern graphics connection standards.
Before PCIe became dominant, AGP ruled the graphics realm.


A versatile slot for multiple device types.
She used the PCI slot to install a new network card.


A specialized connection distinct from PCI.
She had to ensure her new graphics card was AGP-compatible.


A widely-adopted standard in older computers.
Back in the day, almost every computer had PCI slots for additional components.

Common Curiosities

What does AGP stand for?

AGP stands for Accelerated Graphics Port.

Which offers better graphics performance, AGP or PCI?

AGP was specifically designed for enhanced graphics performance compared to the generic PCI.

What is the primary purpose of PCI?

PCI, or Peripheral Component Interconnect, is used for connecting various devices to a computer's motherboard.

Can I put a PCI card in an AGP slot?

No, AGP and PCI slots and cards are distinct and not interchangeable.

Are AGP and PCI still common in modern computers?

Both AGP and PCI have largely been replaced by PCI Express (PCIe) in modern computers.

Was AGP introduced before PCI?

No, AGP was introduced after PCI to address growing graphical demands.

Which has a broader range of uses, AGP or PCI?

PCI has a broader range of uses, accommodating various devices, whereas AGP is specifically for graphics cards.

Why was AGP developed if PCI already existed?

AGP was developed to provide a dedicated connection with higher bandwidth for graphics cards, addressing limitations of PCI.

Was PCI used for graphics before AGP's introduction?

Yes, before AGP, graphics cards were commonly installed in PCI slots.

How many devices can a single PCI slot support?

A single PCI slot supports one card, but the PCI bus itself can support multiple devices.

Can I use both AGP and PCI slots in a single computer?

Yes, many older computers had both AGP for graphics cards and PCI for other devices.

Are AGP and PCI the same as PCI Express?

No, PCI Express (PCIe) is a newer standard that combines features of both and offers higher performance.

Can I upgrade an AGP graphics card to a PCI graphics card?

You would need a PCI slot on your motherboard; they are not directly interchangeable.

Are modern graphics cards AGP or PCI?

Modern graphics cards predominantly use PCI Express (PCIe), not AGP or PCI.

Why aren't AGP and PCI found in the latest computers?

Newer standards like PCI Express (PCIe) offer better performance and have replaced AGP and PCI in modern systems.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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