- Will I need to buy a video card to go along with my 1600SW?
- What is the difference between the AGP and PCI video card?
- Does the 1600SW support DVI?
- Will the 1600SW run on my [fill in your favorite video card]?
- Is the Mac PCI card different from the PC PCI card?
- What is happening with Number Nine-are Number Nine cards still available?
- Why isn't the Number Nine PCI card for Mac offered anymore?
Will I need to buy a video card to go along with my 1600SW?
The 1600SW comes bundled with either a digital video card or the MultiLink Adapter.
The bundled digital video cards are engineered specifically for the 1600SW with an LVDS digital output-the interface utilized by the Silicon Graphics 1600SW flat panel display. MultiLink enables the 1600SW to accept both analog and DFP or DVI digital signals by converting them to the display,s native LVDS digital interface. This allows users to connect the 1600SW to most standard video cards.
For the best possible picture quality, however, SGI recommends that you pair the MultiLink adapter with a
"SuperWideTM savvy" graphics card. SuperWide savvy cards support the 1600SW
display's native 1600x1024 resolution and will provide the ultimate image quality. More information on
SuperWide Savvy cards and latest drivers.
What is the difference between the AGP and the PCI video card?
A brief review of interface slots may help illustrate interface lineage and history.
In order of first to last, as they relate to video cards:
|ISA 8 bit||First version of interface slots on motherboards. Limited bandwidth and 8 MHz clock speed.|
|ISA 16 bit||Second version of interface slots. Wider data path, slightly faster clock speed at 16 MHz.|
|VESA Local Bus||Added 32-bit data path and faster clock speeds.|
|PCI||32-bit data path and increased 33 MHz clock speed.|
|AGP||Accelerated graphics port, new dedicated PC standard for 3D graphics. High bandwidth, 66 MHz clock rate.|
Today, there are three main contenders for video card interfaces:
|AGP 2x||533MB/s||66 MHz|
|AGP 4x||1GB/s||133 MHz|
According to the above table, AGP has a higher theoretical bandwidth than PCI. Does this mean that AGP is better than PCI? Not necessarily. In general, actual performance of your AGP and PCI cards will depend upon many factors, including video card chipset, processor speed, cache installed, RAM type and amount installed, video mode, and operating system, just to name a few. However, comparing two otherwise identical video cards and systems, you can pretty much expect better performance out of AGP cards and systems.