3D Accelerator Card basics

I need to know the basic idea of how a 3D accelerator card works.  IE: how it interacts with memory and the CPU and the benefits it provides over a standard card.  Maybe an example of an instruction cycle that calls upon the card.  Also, can a computer achieve the effects such as z-buffering, anti-aliasing etc, without a card?  I know about antialiasing etc, I just need to know the mechanics of how the thing works.
AaronMAsked:
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j2Commented:
..and yes, of cource it can do all this wiothout a card.. but it will be Dramatically slower.
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