| When purchasing a video card it is important that you look at the available locations as pre-cautions before installing your new video card.
PC Computers will generally have the availability of three connections, AGP, PCI and ISA.
You will generally only want to consider and be able to find AGP or PCI video cards.
AGP � AGP or Advanced Graphics Port is a new standard available on Pentium II and later motherboards. Introduced in 1997, AGP is a 32-bit Bus designed for high demanding video cards. AGP has a direct line to the computer memory, which allows 3-D elements to be stored in the system memory instead of the video memory.
PCI � PCI or Peripheral Component Interconnect was first introduced in 1992 today the PCI Bus is one of the more commonly used Buses in the PC computer.
ON-BOARD VIDEO ISSUES
Before installing a Video card, verify that your computer has an available location for the card to go into, or that your card currently installed can be removed and replaced with the new video card. In addition be aware of potential issues when installing a new video card on a computer that has on-board video.�
Another important consideration when purchasing a video card is the amount of video memory that card contains. Like system memory the more memory located on the computer video card the higher the resolution and more efficient the video card is capable of running at.
With the advances in video acceleration several types of 3D solutions are now available. If you plan on using your computer to play video games or do video acceleration ensure that it supports at lease one of the following acceleration modes.
OpenGL � Originally developed by Silicon Graphics, there are now currently two available implementations of OpenGL. Microsoft OpenGL, developed by Microsoft and Cosmo OpenGL, developed by Silicon Graphics.�
3DFX GLIDE � Proprietary API developed by 3DFX. To utilize Glide you must purchase or own a card developed by 3DFX.�
Direct3D � Software API developed by Microsoft and used on IBM computers to allow programs to write code to utilize whatever graphics card may be installed in the computer.�
Warranty � How long is the warranty and what does it cover.
Support � Is the technical support number a free number is it open 24 hours 7 days a week.
(courtesy of www.computerhope.com)