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Other Uses for an AGP Slot?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the gfx-cards-have-gone-PCIx dept.

160

SleepyHappyDoc asks: "AGP seems to be going the way of the dinosaur, but there's still a lot of slots on legacy motherboards out there. If you don't have need for the graphical advantages of AGP (say, on a headless server), what else could you use the AGP slot for? Could the advantages of AGP over PCI be leveraged in a use other than graphics cards?"

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Running a vintage AGP card? (4, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755338)

I would think that perhaps you could use the bus bandwidth and an old/slow card to do additional computation. Leverage the GPUs in the more recent AGP 3D offerings and use it for something...uh....usefull :)

Perhaps we can user in a new age of game design where you can load your machine up with older cards to assist with the heavy 3D math for a game, or maybe expose those cards as a virtual machine of some sort.

Re:Running a vintage AGP card? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755601)

Only in IT could something that was state-of-the-art five years ago and a clear industry standard even a couple of years ago possibly be described as "vintage" today. :-)

Re:Running a vintage AGP card? (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755966)

Only in IT could something that was state-of-the-art five years ago and a clear industry standard even a couple of years ago possibly be described as "vintage" today.

Indeed. But as long as enough users buy the new "standards", the industry has zero interest in defining something that lasts.

FIST SPORT! (-1, Troll)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755339)

islamics could use the slot to plug their bombs into.

As I don't know of any AGP cards that aren't gfx.. (3, Informative)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755342)

I'm going to have to go with none and move along.

Re:As I don't know of any AGP cards that aren't gf (1)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755719)

True, considering AGP stands for "Accelerated Graphics Port".

Your sig is only partly correct "The problem with slashdot is that most of its users were bullied and stuffed into lockers as kids!".

The second problem with slashdot is that most of its users are bullied and stuffed into cubicles everyday. -- How are we to make comments on the world when we don't even see it?!

Re:As I don't know of any AGP cards that aren't gf (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756102)

I'm very tempted to steal that as I quite like it :D

Re:As I don't know of any AGP cards that aren't gf (1)

Baddas (243852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756120)

Simple, I speculate!

No, but seriously, it's easy to comment on the world without seeing it.

What's difficult is to comment ACCURATELY or CORRECTLY :D

No. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755344)

AGP's architecture makes it unsuited for bi-directional communication. For what it would cost to fabricate an AGP card you could buy a PCI-Express mobo+card.

Re:No. (3, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755456)

bidi is not everything. If you have a 33k modem connection to a 256-node beowulf cluster, do you claim it's useless? AGP cards have pretty beefy serial processing chips, that can be programmed with any, generic tasks just like CPUs, and for some of these tasks they will suck a big time (but still work) and for some they will rule (stuff like lots of similar rather simple calculations on lots and lots of data - they are unbeatable.) Statistics, rendering, filtering, encoding/decoding, all such stuff is really fast. Now the downstream is pretty slow so it hurts that -very- simple calculations can't be done en masse (the GPU can do them great but they get stuck at sending them back to the PC), and hard calculations with lots of decision-making are better handled in the CPU but there is a class of tasks where the GPU is unbeatable.

so a seti@boinc gpu? (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755608)

something to process boinc packets, and only send back the result?

Re:No. (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756677)

bidi is not everything. If you have a 33k modem connection to a 256-node beowulf cluster, do you claim it's useless?
No, but it will be far less useful than the same cluster with several gigabit or faster connections, which would be far more appropriate for such a cluster.

In any event, your motherboard that has an unused (?) AGP port probably also has PCI ports. Since the only AGP cards that I've ever heard of have been graphics cards, and you need a fast connection to something, I'd suggest just using those PCI slots. If you want to use the AGP slot, you'll have to 1) design and build your card yourself from scratch, and 2) apparantly it'll be severely limited in the data rate back from the card to the computer.

Or to answer the original question, if you're not going to put a graphics card into that AGP slot, it's pretty much useless. Sure, it could be used for *something* if you were willing to design and build an appropriate card, and write drivers and such for it, but if you really need something fast (faster than standard PCI I guess), going PCI-E or 64 bit PCI would make a lot more sense.

Re:No. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756701)

There are test and measurement applications that require only a uni-directional bus. For example, high-speed digital or analog waveform generation, where the pattern is either does not repeat or depends on other inputs (so that the pattern must stream from the PC, rather than be stored on the generator itself).

With a faster, dedicated bus like AGP, products like this would allow for faster data rates, with the speed not throttled by other devices or instruments in the same PC.

However, these exact same benefits can be realized by PCI Express. And PCI Express is new, getting heavy investment, and will be much, much faster than AGP when fully utilized.

Thus, I don't think you'll find anyone developing new types of products for AGP, when PCIe is bigger, better, faster. You are better served just buying a new motherboard, like this parent suggests.

Sorry, AGP is dead. It has no use but for high-speed video, and high-speed video no longer uses it.

Well (2, Informative)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755350)

You could always make try to hack your own peripheral. [hardwaresecrets.com]

Re:Well (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755755)

Hacking together a compliant PCI card is a challenge, although if you ignore the PnP stuff and BIOS registration, it's doable for the home hacker.

As I understand it, the AGP spec would be much harder to do at home. If anyone knows of anybody with a homebrew AGP design, I would love a link.

Accelerated Graphics Port (3, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755353)

Re:Accelerated Graphics Port (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755367)

AGP 4X (266 MHz = 1.02 GB/sec) currently reigns as the latest technology.

Wow, matrox could update their documentation a little...

Re:Accelerated Graphics Port (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756497)

my favourite bit was :

As far as system buses are concerned then, AGP would definitely appear to be the highway to the future, especially given all the graphics-intensive 2D, 3D, and video applications that we run on our PCs today.

to be fair :

Copyright © 1998 Matrox Graphics Inc. All rights reserved.

More PCI-E cards (1, Insightful)

Ramble (940291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755355)

Nevemind AGP, give me a maths co-pocessor that goes right into into my spare PCI-E x16 slot.

I want those floatig point numbers faster, damnit.

Re:More PCI-E cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755408)

Never mind those floating point numbers, give me a Cell card that goes right into my spare PCI-E x16 slot.

I want those vector calculations faster, damnit.

Very limited usage, maybe (4, Informative)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755358)

AGP has more downstream bandwidth to the slot than upstream bandwidth from the slot, whereas PCI and PCIe have the same to and from the slot.

You could use it for something like a beefy sound board.. or, something...

No, not much other than graphics output really needs that kind of bandwidth differential.

Re:Very limited usage, maybe (4, Informative)

name773 (696972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755662)

maybe for running hashes on something... a hash is usually smaller than the data you used to get it, and it does take some processing

Re:Very limited usage, maybe (1)

EEPS (829675) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755925)

Ya, or maby even compression.

Re:Very limited usage, maybe (1)

EnderGT (916132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14757666)

You have a point here... Although it would not work for encryption/decryption, it seems one could build a digital signature signer/verifier accelerator that would work in an AGP slot. Large amounts of data in, small amount of data out... not sure where you'd find a high demand for frequent signings, but for verifications an authenticating domain name server or mail server could benefit.

Very limited usage, maybe-Condoms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14756366)

"No, not much other than graphics output really needs that kind of bandwidth differential."

Serving porn to the Internet.

AGP=Accelerated Graphics Port (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755374)

Since AGP is an acronym for Accelerated Graphics Port, my guess is pretty much nothing except graphics cards can be used in them.

Re:AGP=Accelerated Graphics Port (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755397)

There were quite a few non-gfx devices using the VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) slots.

It's been 1 minute since you last successfully posted a comment. Yeah, I know, fuck you slashdot.

There was this project ... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755388)

That would let you use the GPU of a video card to do other kind of computational tasks.

I can't remember the name, it was posted in /. about a year ago, maybe someone isn't as lazy as me in a sunday afternoon and will care to looj for it.

Anyway, AGP is really too 3d graphics specific as to use it for something else. It's designed to let the machine pass enourmous ammounts of information in only one direction.

Maybe back in 98 one would try to reuse old hardware to it's last breath, now, the prices of hardware, and the way they are built (less hacking friendly), makes it easier and cheaper to just buy new hardware, and let the old behind.

Re:There was this project ... (5, Informative)

jnik (1733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755442)

GPGPU [gpgpu.org] is what you're looking for.

Re:There was this project ... (0, Troll)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755759)

Commie pinko bastard.

Re:There was this project ... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756898)

Anyway, AGP is really too 3d graphics specific as to use it for something else. It's designed to let the machine pass enourmous ammounts of information in only one direction.

I'm pretty sure ISPs around the world are using AGP to link home users up to cable and DSL internet.

Co-CPU. (4, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755389)

I don't know of any non-gfx cards that would use the CPU but there was a C compiler released that would use the GPU instead of CPU for your generic computations (instead of 3d gfx) and for certain kinds of calculations/programs it would be equivalent of 10GHZ P4 class CPU in the means of speed. Look up archives of Slashdot for it.

Re:Co-CPU. (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755697)

i thoughed this couldn't be done properly because conditional statements are not supported by gfx cards
because they lack branch prediction skillz

i read it somewhere dont remember where so i dont know if this info is valid

Re:Co-CPU. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14756185)

Speed of light: air=299702547m/s; vacuum=299792458m/s
Speed of sound: air=345 m/s; vacuum=???

Sound waves require matter to propagate. Sound waves do not exist in a vacuum.

Re:Co-CPU. (1)

Mr_Dyqik (156524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756373)

However, perfect vacuums do not exist either. The intergalactic cluster medium is the best vacuum we know of (at about 1 hydrogen atom per cubic centimeter), but this still has a temperature (>10^5 K) and a sound speed.

VRAM Storage Device (5, Interesting)

dastrike (458983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755393)

Well, this still involves to use a graphics card, but in a bit different way.

  1. Acquire a cheapo graphics card with lots of memory, e.g some low-end NVIDIA or ATI with 256 megs
  2. Read and apply VRAM Storage Device - How to use the memory on GFX board in a different way... [linuxnews.pl]
  3. You have a bunch of memory that can be used for a ramdisk type of device or swap space

YMMV with the performance though.

Re:VRAM Storage Device (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755414)

Or you could just put another gig of ram in your PC. Odds are low that a slow, awkward 256meg of RAM will be useful for anything. Maybe a ramdisk, but even then it's tiny.

Sigh you make a lousy hacker (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755718)

I got an old dual p3 wich is limited to 768mb. Anymore and it won't even boot.

So how would propose I add another gig when it cannot even accept a single gig?

It does however have a 32mb graphics card that is not used. Oh sure it is a tiny amount of memory but when the kernel is forced to start swapping it makes a difference. Not a huge amount to be sure and it doesn't help at all when it really needs to swap a lot but it gives me just a little bit more room to play with.

Haven't thought about upgrading the card but I guess if I ever see a really cheap 256mb card it might be worth it.

A dual P3 is still plenty fast for desktop use especially since the linux kernel keeps on improving. Windows users may wish to close their ears to save themselve from terminal shock but linux installs get better with age.

Sure sure someday I am going to have to buy a new system and now that dual core chips are here the hurdle is not as big as having to buy a dual single core machine was but still, the longer I can keep this system running the happier I am

Hardware/software hacking is about making stuff go that extra mile. Just plonking a wad of cash on the counter is totally missing the point.

Re:Sigh you make a lousy hacker (1)

ksheff (2406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756347)

Is it a BX chipset motherboard? I have a dual PIII w/ a gig of ram in it and it works fine. However, at one point I had just a single Celeron OC'ed to 450 and it could only deal with 512M. I'd like something faster, but for most things, this machine is still overkill.

Re:Sigh you make a lousy hacker (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14757585)

So how would propose I add another gig when it cannot even accept a single gig?

well, you could break out the solder, and a bread board, and pick up a memeory controller that can work across a pci bridge, preferably as an ide/scsi controller, and of course a memory socket or two (depepnding on the memory controller you picked out) and then , on boot up initialize that ram as a swap drive, using something like norton ghost, or dd ;) and viola a gig of swap, with all the performance of 'real' ram. sure finding places where you can buy all the controllers, capacitors etc, and wiring up the breadboard is perhaps a little more than you want to do... but um yeah it's definitely something that puts you apart from the pack ;)

Re:VRAM Storage Device (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755419)

I've always loved that hack.

Re:VRAM Storage Device (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755525)

Dude, look at the prices. You can buy a gig of PC3200 for like $50 these days. It's incredibly cheap.

Re:VRAM Storage Device (1)

dastrike (458983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755590)

True, it wouldn't be much point purchasing a graphics card to use for this kind of purpose, but if one has already a graphics card left over, it could be put into use in this way.

And a gig for $50 USD? I'd love to see such low prices over here in the People's Republic of Sweden... Can't be had for lower than $101 USD currently, after searching for the lowest prices. Sigh.

Re:VRAM Storage Device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755657)

People in the US gets everything for half price. Petrol, electronics, politicians... the list goes on.

Re:VRAM Storage Device (1)

3dr (169908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755735)

I haven't seen it for US$50 anywhere. Maybe $80 on sale, but $100/Gb is still the norm for *good* memory.

Re:VRAM Storage Device (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756316)

Look on Newegg. Maybe not $50, but you can get a gig of no-name memory for around $60. Corsair ValueSelect is $70 or so. Corsair is a pretty good manufacturer, last I checked.

Your sig (0, Offtopic)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756365)

You have the coolest sig ever.

Re:VRAM Storage Device (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756415)

Looks to me like they've just reinvented the RAMcards we used to expand available memory space in XTs, 286s, and the occasional low-end 386.

In fact my 286 has one that was used as a RAMdisk, effectively doubling performance.

Of course, in that era we were talking adding between 2mb and 8mb, and being happy to have it!

Use for old AGP cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755410)

I've wondered about what to do with old AGP cards (and PCI cards) as well. Would there be any way to make an adapter for the new PCIe slots to allow use of old cards? I know physically it would a difficult case fit, but technologically I would not expect it to be too difficult.

With today's high-speed busses, maybe someone could make an external case that accepts old PCI and AGP cards?

Re:Use for old AGP cards? (2, Informative)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755610)

An adaptor to use AGP cards in PCI slots already exists. It's called AGP express, and is made by ECS. A bridge chip to run AGP in PCIe should also be possible, and I'm sure we'll see one as demand increases.

Not an adapter (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14757203)

I think you confused the hardware. It's not an adapter, it's an integrated integrated solution on some ECS motherboards to woo over cheap upgraders. It's an AGP slot soldered to the motherboard, but uses a bridge chip to run over the PCI bus. This means any AGP card you throw at it can't run at full AGP speeds, so it's really no better than an off-center PCI slot. It also means that you'd have to buy a new motherboard to take advantage of it.

Not a lot (4, Interesting)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755426)

AGP is a one-way architecture - the motherboard sends data to the graphics card, the graphics card processes it and sends it to the monitor. The limitations of this way of working are why dual graphics card solutions were never practical on AGP once you started increasing the complexity of the data - the bus wasn't capable enough.

That said, it's not impossible to get it working. You just need to get around the one-way bus problem. There are two obvious solutions for this, to my mind: (ignoring the fact that no cards exist to do it for you)

Use it for one way data
You create a card that acts only to process and send away data. At its simplest, this might be an audio card (without line-in, obviously). Getting slightly more creative, the card could take the 'load' of preparing documents and printing them off the CPU, although I can't see this being useful. Using a rather crossfire-like setup, you could send the output of a suitable graphics card into an input on another, and use it as a pre-processor; at its most basic this could be used to divide a signal in half to be processed by two (or more) cards, or getting more complex it could render something simple - perhaps hidden windows, for use in transparency effects, or perhaps acting as a 2D processor and leaving 3D work to the 'bigger' card - tag this as 'rendered' and send the output to its big brother.To be honest though, this seems a little ridiculous.

Creating a feedback path for 2-way data
This, in my opinion, is where it could be useful. The moment you add a way to send data back - at its simplest, I suppose this would be a SATA or IDE cable and suitable software that continuously reads the contents of the 'hard disk' - you have an opportunity for a specialised processor. The hack would be incredible difficult, granted, but the processor on a graphics card would seem to be well suited to encode video. You send your stream to the AGP card, it converts it to mpeg4 (for example) and sends it back via SATA, taking 99% of the load off the processor. (These cards have recently started to appear for PCIe, so the is definitely a market). With some sort of feedback path, the card could do anything a PCI card can do, but substantially faster thanks to AGP's higher bandwidth - the trick is getting a decent feedback loop.

After all that, though, I think the practical answer is no, there is no use for an AGP slot other than graphics; there is no demand for other cards, so they just don't exist.

Re:Not a lot (1)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755449)

I suppose you could have some sort of device which acts like a RIP and drives a big printer. Something involving lots of page generation. Something like a graphics card ;-)

Re:Not a lot (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755492)

That's the problem - there are lots of applications, but only as long as what you want is effectively a graphics card. AGP is just too specialised to allow anything massively different without changing the fundamentals of how the interface works.

Re:Not a lot (1)

Penguin's Advocate (126803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755749)

AGP isn't entirely a one-way bus. Plenty of AGP video cards were able to do video capture without using any other bus to grab the data. At the very least the ATI All-in-Wonder cards have been doing it almost since AGP first existed.

Re:Not a lot (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755780)

Hmm, that's true. Any idea how much upstream bandwidth is provided? I tried Googling it, but everyone seems to think it's purely downstream. :)

Re:Not a lot (1)

Fulg (138866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756377)

AGP isn't entirely a one-way bus. Plenty of AGP video cards were able to do video capture without using any other bus to grab the data.

Indeed. IIRC, the AGP bus supports the PCI protocol too (so you could have an AGP card in PCI mode). It is possible for the GPU to read from and write to normal system memory, provided the memory is locked and the pages are contiguous (so called PCI memory). Back when I was writing video drivers, we used that feature to quickly get data out of the GPU when we could. I suspect video capture cards use this feature, as it's painfully slow to get anything out of AGP memory.

I don't recall the speed ratings, though... There were lots of gotchas (cache coherency, synchronization issues, etc) but even then it was faster than anything the CPU could do.

Re:Not a lot (5, Interesting)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755782)

AGP is a one-way architecture - the motherboard sends data to the graphics card, the graphics card processes it and sends it to the monitor. The limitations of this way of working are why dual graphics card solutions were never practical on AGP once you started increasing the complexity of the data - the bus wasn't capable enough.

No.

AGP is a two-way, point to point architecture that has a single master and a single target. Data can be written to and read from the graphics card memory, but you can't exercise the full range of PCI I/O operations. The data transfer rates are asymmetric, with sending data to the card greatly favored over reading data from the card, but they are most certainly two-way.

The SLI argument is a lesser error, if you would even call it that. You could have, but never as far as I know actually did have two AGP busses in a system. Thus I suspect that it would have been possible to do SLI with AGP, especially when you consider that existing implementations of SLI require an additional card-to-card link, which means (likely, this last part is speculation) that there is very little return data being transmitted from the cards back to the PCI express switch beyond that which you would see in a single card system, whether it is PCI express based or AGP based.

Re:Not a lot (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755885)

Thanks for the clarification. I had a feeling that there was some potential for two-way communication, but Googling for it produced only people saying that it was a 1-way system, so I figured I was wrong.
Thanks for the information. I think most of my points still stand though, since the bandwidth available to send information back is likely insufficient to really exploit a chip's power in a two-way system.

Re:Not a lot (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756014)

Like I said before, I disagree in theory. However, in practice you're right. The cards would have to have a PCI express-like card-to-card bus to bypass the AGP return data rate limitation (and being handed off across independent busses), but I believe that existing PCI express cards are using the card-to-card link for almost the same purpose (to keep from passing data back through the PCI express switch). In the case of a PCI express card, it's probably just a matter of dedicating a portion of the lanes supported by the GPU to the link. In the case of an AGP card, it would require a wholly different type of bus tacked on in addition to the AGP circuitry, which would make it cost prohibitive and/or impractical.

BTW: According to an NVIDIA GPGPU presentation [nvidia.com] the AGP return data path in an AGP 8X bus runs at 1/3rd the data rate of the send data path (page 51 of 52). These same people claim that AGP 8X transfers 2.1GB/sec, which means that the AGP 8X return path is around 700MB/sec, which is slightly slower than the 64 bit 133 MHz PCI-X bus (~1064MB/sec). When the graphics people claim that the bus crawls, just remember that their view of bus speeds is jaded in comparison to most.

AGP is a one-way architecture? Not. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14757553)

Kijori: AGP is a one-way architecture

That's a funny thing to say given that the highest rated post above yours is "VRAM Storage Device" [slashdot.org] which describes how to use the RAM on an AGP graphics card as block storage [linuxnews.pl] .

One-way swap or filesystems just aren't that useful.

Besides, how do graphics cards read textures from system RAM if they can't signal anything back?

AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755479)

It was designed to only ever be used for graphics, and it cannot be used for anything else. True, VLB may have been only for graphics, and yet I've seen the occassionaly scsi card or ethernet nic for it, but it was still more general-purpose. Read up on the AGP docs, and they make it clear... there can be no other uses.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

dreamer-of-rules (794070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756286)

Designed for something != can't be used for anything else.. I have an HP all-in-one OfficeJet, and it's making a great paperweight to keep the recycled cardboard from spilling all over the garage. :)

For a more practical example, there's Linux on XBox, Linux on Mac, Linux on Palm, Linux on iPod...

Hey! Linux on AGP cards!

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756320)

Have fun then. The timings on the AGP port are more masochistic than even those on PCI, and you have zero proposed applications for it other than video. I can think of some ugly uses for busses in the past (just about anything involving storage and/or video on USB), but AGP for something else would take first prize.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756555)

Have fun then. The timings on the AGP port are more masochistic than even those on PCI, and you have zero proposed applications for it other than video. I can think of some ugly uses for busses in the past (just about anything involving storage and/or video on USB), but AGP for something else would take first prize.

Well, if you strip away the DAC, GPU, and other non-memory components of an AGP card, you can still use the AGP port as a rudimentary memory expansion port using the Linux MTD driver. [linuxnews.pl]

Good if you have a PCIe slot and an AGP slot on your new mobo. Reserve the PCIe display for 3d, use a minimal amount of memory on an older card in the AGP slot as a second 2d-only head. Use the remaining video RAM on the AGP card as a ramdisk or for swap space.

The 256 MB on your old AGP-based card looks much more useful.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

rimmon (608966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756319)

Better hurry and tell these guys: http://www.gpgpu.org/ [gpgpu.org]

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (0)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756391)

Better explain to them that they're using graphics cards for it. Dumbass.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

rimmon (608966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756492)

Before I run to my mommy and cry because you called me "dumbass", let me quote you:

"It was designed to only ever be used for graphics, and it cannot be used for anything else"
Which is a statement as wrong as it can get. Maybe it's not a good idea, maybe there are better ways to achieve what these guys are doing, but that doesn't change the fact that your point ist plain and simple wrong. You know, smarter people then you were wrong when uttering such statements, better be careful...

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756575)

And I'm supposed to have a more polite response for someone that pulls the most minimalistic *software* exception out of their ass, and has the gall to be sarcastic about it? What do you think that GPU is doing there, sitting on that *graphics card* ?

It's even more grating, considering that you didn't even bother to read the original question, which is asking about it in a way that tends to make one thing he is asking about *hardware*. So don't go crying to mommy, go crying to your remedial english teacher, and beg her to give you a lesson in reading comprehension, dimwit.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756550)

What about that ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500 DV I had? That not only managed to send uncompressed Video over the AGP bus to the CPU, but also a Firewire port!

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756597)

That is actually interesting. Would be curious to know just how the firewire port interfaced to the rest of the system.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756959)

It was an AGP to PCI bridge that didn't work right in 90% of systems you installed it in.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

XO (250276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14757868)

agp is an extension of pci, i don't think you need to bridge them.

  AGP cards can be run in PCI mode, which just slows them down.

Re:AGP is a port, not a bus. (1)

XO (250276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14757850)

actually, VLB was designed as a higher-speed replacement for ISA, and had a definite speed advantage over the PCI that was just becoming available at the time. PCI ended up surviving a heck of a lot longer, though.

I had a motherboard with 3 VLB slots and 3 standard ISA slots.

Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755527)

Business card holder? Come on, live on the edge.

Leverage (3, Insightful)

_Splat (22170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755632)

Leverage is not a verb. Please stop using it as such. See the article posted today about loss of literacy.

Re:Leverage (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755723)

Hey genius, apparently you have neither encountered "leverage" as a verb nor taken the trouble to make sure you're right, because leverage can indeed be used as a verb.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dict.asp?Word=lev erage [thefreedictionary.com]

Re:Leverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755938)

Not the OP, but if you had looked further on the net (eg. google leverage+verb) you would have found that it only came to be used as a verb in America (the land of "verbing nouns")! Reputable printed dictionaries DO NOT recognise 'leverage' as a verb.

The OP was correct - though it is commonly used now in many parts of America and online (and in business, especially!) as a verb, the correct use would be something akin to "provide leverage for" or "to provide leverage".

I'm not personally opposed to descriptivism (versus prescriptivism) in language use, but in this case the OP was quite correct for formal use, though in informal use, language is quite a bit more relaxed. I suggest we let it go as this is not in any way a formal forum, and everybody knows what was meant!

Re:Leverage (2, Informative)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756065)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthimeria [wikipedia.org]

An Ask Slashdot post isn't exactly poetry, but using "leverage" as a verb is not only a de facto use of the word, it's also a recognized figure of speech.

Re:Leverage (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755825)

not everybody speaks english at home
so yes we make syntax and grammatical errors.
but FYI my english is much better then your dutch probably.
so please stop bitching and contribute something usefull to this thread.

Re:Leverage (1)

briansmith (316996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14757339)

Any word can be a verb if a group of people use it as a word. The fact that a huge number of people have a good idea of what "levereage (v.)" means, I think it is fairly safe to say that it is a verb now.

This is how languages evolve--take a social linguistics class. Or, at least leverage the knowledge contained in this Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescriptive_linguist ics [wikipedia.org]

Re:Leverage (2, Funny)

mike.newton (67123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14758077)

At least it's been around since the 1930's. What gets me are the Olympic announcers using 'podium' as a verb. No really. "The fact that he podiumed is an amazing indication of how far he's come in the last 4 years."

If you're running a server... (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755636)

AGP might be a one-way bus, but if you're planning to run a headless server like GP would suggest – assuming, of course, that most of what it does is sends rather than receives packets, what about having an AGP-based network card that could handle sending more bits at once? And since it's mostly a one-way, maybe a cheaper PCI card exclusively for receiving?

The only problems with that as far as I can see is that no such card exists, and that unless you have a really wicked high-speed connection (OC-6 ;-) such a thing would be useless anyway...

/dev/null (5, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755640)

As it is write only, it is ideal for implementing a hardware /dev/null on Unix systems.

/dev/crypto (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756059)

On further investigation, this is not true ... the GPU can do graphics operations on host memory, which necessarily requires writing to it (and AND, OR and XOR into it). Although access is limited to 32 bit quantities, it would be quite feasible to define a command address into which you write the address of a parameter block containing instructions. These could operate like scsi commands, which would be appropriate for block (vector) operations. One location in the block contains the command status, whihc you poll to determine when the command is complete (although most graphics systems support interrupts).

What sort of operations? Well encrypt/decrypt for a start. A GPU would be a suitable architecture to support an encrypted file system, as it could encrypt/decrypt entire file read/write blocks in place while waiting for disk head movement to settle.

RAM drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755660)

One of those RAM drives, like you can get now that go into a old PCI slot, and where you can then put your old slower RAM and make it useful again.

addition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755695)

replying to self. After that card with the RAM drive, a battery card that plugs into an old PCI slot, that in turn your new AGP slot RAM drive plugs into with a cable, giving you somewhat persistant RAM. The batt gets recharged from the PCI slot somehow,or perhaps it's just a placeholder to put it someplace, and use one of the DC rails to keep it charged.

Video compressor (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14755700)

Many seem to be saying that the AGP has a lot of bandwidth going TO the card but not coming back from the card. This seems well suited to feed uncompressed video to a card in the AGP slot, have the AGP card compress the video into whatever format you wish, and then send back the compressed data.

Data processing with DVI output? (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755850)

As a few people said, GPU could be used for some heavy-duty data processing, especially vector and matrix math. And what to use for output? DVI. It's digital. So you just put the data into AGP, make GPU process it and get the result as three-channel data stream (RGB).

That one is obvious (1, Funny)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755874)

You could make a lovely planter out of it. The two tiered pins would make for an exceptionally easy 'layered' approach, maybe some lucious greens in back, and shorter flowering bits in front.

You would simply be the envy of all the other sysadmins in the data center.

      -Charlie

P.S. Paint your boxes in pastels to compliment the florals. Black and silver is so 2004.

Re:That one is obvious (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14755965)

> The two tiered pins would make for an exceptionally easy 'layered' approach

This definitely calls for some shrubbery.

This could never work (1)

Osmosis_Garett (712648) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756355)

Plants require sunlight, don't you know?

Re:This could never work (1)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756672)

"Plants require sunlight, don't you know?"

What is this 'sunlight' thing you speak of? None of my admin friends have a clue as to what you are talking about. Does it plug into AGP, or is it a PCI-X thing? Voltage requirements? Driver compatibility?

Don't leave us hanging there guy.

        -Charlie

Ask Slashdot ... (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756269)

  • Other uses for a VESA Local Bus slot?
  • Other uses for a Microchannel slot?
  • Other uses for an EISA slot?
  • Other uses for an ISA slot?
Do we see a trend here?

Re:Ask Slashdot ... (2, Interesting)

Forbman (794277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756739)

VESA Local Bus did have various other cards besides video cards available for it, including high performance disk drive controllers. AGP's design was deliberate by Intel to really only be useful for video cards, such as its mostly one-way data flow. Intel wasn't too happy with the VLB design, which was pretty much a hack, and also that it couldn't control how it was used, and was concerned about the power requirements and having to design for potential bad VLB card designs to protect itself.

Headless, then... (2, Interesting)

chivo243 (808298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756356)

Gotta have'm, 90% of our servers are now running headless(yikes) where have all the monitors gone? As for all the other slots, I guess it was poor planning from the beginning. But if you look at the market as being constantly in the state of BETA! then it all makes fucking sense.... just my two euro cents. Wait a damn, minute, as long as I have been drinking, and can type..Does the fact that MS has stopped support for some OS's now and others soon, that they have finally found all the bugs, and do not need to support their product???

Re:Headless, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14756526)

Sorry for posting anonymously, but...

Out of curiosity; headless as in truly headless or kvm? How'd you solve a situation were you loose connectivity to a server if it's headless? Run to the back of the rack and plug in monitor/kbd?

I know with HP (among others) you have management cards that act as an kvm extender, but at work we opted for kvm switches over this solution.

Cheers.

duh a fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14756397)

i think a fan would be an easy way to fill that sucker up.

Not just for AGP. (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14756670)

like all obsoleted slots, you can jam some cardboard in there and you have yourself a nifty place to put your keys!

Lets see more programs for the PC XT first! (1)

SC00813D03S (942698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14757806)

Might as well ask, " What other uses are there for VESA Local Bus slots, there seem to be plenty that were made?" It was a hacked PCI slot that has been overtaken by the simplicity of PCI EXPRESS. It like programming towards the 150mhz Pentium Pro, so much potential but why bother when there is so much engineering demand for NEW technologies that are less gimped
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