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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Technologies

Here are some important technologies pertinent to current and next-generation PCs, with a brief explanation of each:

ACPI

Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) is the current standard for configuring system components under Plug and Play, monitoring the health of the system, and managing power usage. It replaces Intel’s Dynamic Power Management Architecture (DPMA) and Advanced Power Management (APM). All current PCs and motherboards include at least partial ACPI support. ACPI is one of those technologies that isn’t quite “here yet.” When it works as it should, which is usually, it provides power management and other functions that many find useful. When it doesn’t work properly, or when it conflicts with other technologies such as USB, it can cause very subtle, intermittent problems that can have you pulling out your hair. It can also cause very nonsubtle problems, including systems that go into a coma rather than suspending, screens that refuse to unblank even though the system itself is running, and so on. In general, when we encounter a system that hangs or otherwise behaves strangely, our first suspects are the power supply or the memory. But ACPI conflicts are also high on the list.

AGP

Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) is a dedicated video port connector, introduced in 1997 by Intel and now nearly ubiquitous. In theory, AGP improves video performance by removing it from the 33 MHz PCI bus and by allowing a video adapter to use main system ...

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