AGP 4X & AGP Pro

As we mentioned in The Chipset section of this roundup, the main difference between the Apollo Pro 133 and the Apollo Pro 133A chipsets is that the latter supports AGP 4X while the former boasts only AGP 2X compliance. 

In spite of this, most motherboard manufacturers are opting to use universal AGP connectors on all of their motherboards, regardless of whether or not they support AGP 4X.  The universal AGP connector features no 1.5v keying for AGP 4X or 3.3v keying for AGP 1X/2X cards.  This allows the slot to accept all AGP 1X, 2X and 4X compliant cards, although in the case of motherboards based on the 693A North Bridge, only transfer modes up to AGP 2X are supported. 

Out of the twelve motherboards we rounded up, two of them (both of which used the 693A North Bridge) featured slots keyed for AGP 1X/2X cards while the rest featured universal AGP slots. 

AGP Pro is another trend we have been noticing with motherboards, but the AGP Pro slot is reserved mainly for workstation level systems that have graphics cards which require the additional power supplied to them by an AGP Pro slot.  Because of this, it is highly unlikely that you will see an AGP Pro equipped 133/133A motherboard, but at the same time, we have yet to see any video cards that absolutely require the use of an AGP Pro slot. 

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