The algorithms and techniques for the two technologies are different. Video cards tend to be good at one or the other, not both. 2D performance is important to handling drawings (autocad), typical business uses, and photo manipulations. 3D performance is important to games and other dynamic picture rendering applications. Routine business work -- word processing, spreadsheets, etc is undemanding. Routine 2D work and is generally done adequately by any video card.
The commonly used specification for 3D is OpenGL
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