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Any PCI-Express X1 Soundcards now/or soon to be available

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  • Sound Cards
  • PCI Express
  • Components
  • Product
Last response: in Components
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July 2, 2006 11:06:20 PM

Is there anything, I've only seen PCI-e x1 TV Tuner, but nothing yet.

I have a Shuttle SN25P, so it has one 16x PCI-e, and one 1x PCI-e, the SN26P has SLi, too expensive and hard to find/buy.

More about : pci express soundcards

July 3, 2006 12:09:49 AM

I've read somewhere that Creative was playing with the idea of a PCI-E soundcard, but we'll have to wait some time.... 8)
July 3, 2006 12:11:39 AM

I have been looking for something to use in my PCIe x1 also.

What is the brand name of the TV tuner you found?

Mostly I have seen a few RAID controllers, a lot of SATA II controllers, 1394, USB2.0, and 10/100/1000 cards.

I would like to see a PCIe x1 sound card.
July 3, 2006 12:22:36 AM

There is an ATI based TV Tuner PCI-E card... ATI Theater Pro 550 is the chip, I think... :? Or something like that... :?
July 3, 2006 12:28:00 AM

Quote:
There is an ATI based TV Tuner PCI-E card... ATI Theater Pro 550 is the chip, I think... :? Or something like that... :?

Yeah, that is it. It's the PowerColor Theater 550 Pro PCI Express :) 
July 3, 2006 12:31:50 AM

Oh well.

I already have the ATI Theater 550 Pro in a PCI slot.
July 3, 2006 12:49:54 AM

Got mine from newegg 8 months ago. :D 
July 3, 2006 12:58:24 AM

Quote:
Got mine from newegg 8 months ago. :D 

How Is the video quality, what is the maximum supported resolution. Will it run fine with my 7900GT OC and my 24" Dell?

LMK :) 
July 3, 2006 1:11:27 AM

As I said mine is a PCI not a PCIe, but I do not even know the answer to most of those questions. The video quality is fine, but not great. It looks like anyother non-hdtv signal. As for resolution, I just use my normal 1440x900 desktop setting. I will have to look into that.

Heyyou27 do you have the PCIe 550? If so, can you watch tv faster than I can with my PCI 550?
July 3, 2006 1:26:22 AM

Quote:
As I said mine is a PCI not a PCIe, but I do not even know the answer to most of those questions. The video quality is fine, but not great. It looks like anyother non-hdtv signal. As for resolution, I just use my normal 1440x900 desktop setting. I will have to look into that.

Heyyou27 do you have the PCIe 550? If so, can you watch tv faster than I can with my PCI 550?

I think it's the same, since both are 1X (correct me if i'm wrong)

Wrick: Do you use the TV software that came with your tuner, or other software.

I don't really see the point of upgrading now, beacuse my mom canceled our cable TV and changed it to basice (eww) which only has like 28 channels.

She said she'd get all the channels we had before, after we come back to our vacation (3 weeks)

Also, is it possible to plug the cable jack from the tuner to a satallite reciever? Will that work? :) 
July 3, 2006 2:01:31 AM

Rule of thumb:

If it can plug into your tv, it'll plug into a corresponding port on your tv tuner. Unless, of course, you are talking about some of the new interfaces, like component video (workable) and HDMI.

But if it can go into the coax jack on the back of your tv and work, it'll work on your compy.
July 3, 2006 2:12:10 AM

Quote:
Rule of thumb:

If it can plug into your tv, it'll plug into a corresponding port on your tv tuner. Unless, of course, you are talking about some of the new interfaces, like component video (workable) and HDMI.

But if it can go into the coax jack on the back of your tv and work, it'll work on your compy.

Great, but I don't think I'll get like 1000 channels with the TV Tuner :( 
July 3, 2006 2:16:19 AM

Isn't the tuning done by the Satellite Reciever? If so, you should get the full functionality of the tv, you just have to change the channel on the reciever and not the computer.

But you're right, you do sometimes get reduced functionality with this sort of setup.
July 3, 2006 4:47:05 AM

PCI and PCIe x1 are not the same. PCIe x1 is a serial connection.

I use Windows Media Center.
July 3, 2006 4:50:48 AM

Quote:
PCI and PCIe x1 are not the same. PCIe x1 is a serial connection.


I think he was referring to the bandwidth of the interface. And no, they are not the same bandwidth, either. Both very different from each other.

hybrid09: If you know the difference, its similar to the difference between ISA and PCI, only its a bigger difference in both size and speed.
July 3, 2006 5:00:03 AM

Yeah, I did say correct me if I'm wrong.

But I was wondering which one has better performance, the PCI-e, or PCI

As for the channels, I understand it now. But I'm going to try to plugin the satallite reciever via S-Video into my dell lcd in the morning.
July 3, 2006 8:08:12 AM

Quote:
Is there anything, I've only seen PCI-e x1 TV Tuner, but nothing yet.

I have a Shuttle SN25P, so it has one 16x PCI-e, and one 1x PCI-e, the SN26P has SLi, too expensive and hard to find/buy.


This may indeed be the only PCI-e 1x audio solution and its proprietary to Abit, on their AN8 SLi ...check the peripherals photo....( http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.asp?Image=13%2D... )

If Abit can ceate and release this kind of solution, one might get the impression that Creative is holding out on the enthusiast market, eh?
July 3, 2006 3:27:39 PM

Quote:
Is there anything, I've only seen PCI-e x1 TV Tuner, but nothing yet.

I have a Shuttle SN25P, so it has one 16x PCI-e, and one 1x PCI-e, the SN26P has SLi, too expensive and hard to find/buy.


This may indeed be the only PCI-e 1x audio solution and its proprietary to Abit, on their AN8 SLi ...check the peripherals photo....( http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.asp?Image=13%2D... )

If Abit can ceate and release this kind of solution, one might get the impression that Creative is holding out on the enthusiast market, eh?
Damn, only way to get that is to buy the motherboard eh, lol I'm too lazy.

I was just wondering If in the future (next year or this year) creative would make something good similar to the sound cards they have now (x-fi) for PCI-e only users.

I might ditch the TV tuner, because judging by the reviews, they stated that the APP to watch tv kind of sucked, but video was ok. I have to see it to believe it, so I might get that after I come back from vacation.
July 3, 2006 4:23:45 PM

I do not think there is any reason to get a tv tuner that uses the PCIe x1 slot. TV tuners are a proven tech in the PCI slot, and have little if any preformance problems. This might not be the case with HDTV tuners, but that is for someone else to answer.

I plan on using my PCIe x1 for something that could take advantage of the preformance increase over a PCI. Such as a RAID controller, or future sound cards.
July 3, 2006 10:33:58 PM

Quote:
If Abit can ceate and release this kind of solution, one might get the impression that Creative is holding out on the enthusiast market, eh?


I think it may just be that this card is barely a sound card. Not to mention it isn't even pci express. I know this for 2 reasons: the slot is in the wrong place, and the slot is reversed from a pci express slot.

While it may use the same connector, more than likely they just rerouted the leads from the backplane to the connects on this card and ran it up the back, leaving room for the heatsink on the backplane.

The reason that it isn't out for pci expressa yet is probably because there is no need for it yet. [Most] Everyone still has a plethora of available pci slots, which are more than adequate for most, if not all, soundcards.

Oh, and pci express is faster than pci, to answer your question.
July 3, 2006 10:42:11 PM

Quote:
If Abit can ceate and release this kind of solution, one might get the impression that Creative is holding out on the enthusiast market, eh?


I think it may just be that this card is barely a sound card. Not to mention it isn't even pci express. I know this for 2 reasons: the slot is in the wrong place, and the slot is reversed from a pci express slot.

While it may use the same connector, more than likely they just rerouted the leads from the backplane to the connects on this card and ran it up the back, leaving room for the heatsink on the backplane.

The reason that it isn't out for pci expressa yet is probably because there is no need for it yet. [Most] Everyone still has a plethora of available pci slots, which are more than adequate for most, if not all, soundcards.

Oh, and pci express is faster than pci, to answer your question.
Yeah I thought so, and guessed right about PCI-e being faster than regular PCI.

So basically I would have to wait, to see something like this, but there are no rumors or anything yet explaining of the design of a sound card.

My SN25P already has great sound, but it's always awesome to have a better soundcard, also considering I am a music nut.
July 3, 2006 10:52:20 PM

It's always great to have a great sound card.

It'll probably be a year or two before we start seeing more products utilizing the PCI-e interface. I'm always wanting to uprade from the old parallel interfaces to the new serial interfaces (pci - pci-e, ata - sata, etc.). Unfortunately, when a new peripheral technology surfaces, it usually takes a while before it becomes industry standard. That is why until only recently you could still buy serial mice at some stores.

So the word is be patient. There are likely no technological hurdles for the companies to overcome to produce products like this. It is merely a sociological one. When it is time, we will see products proliferate. In the meantime however, we are stuck with IRQ conflicts and bandwidth sharing issues. Don't know if you ever have had a problem with that, but with too many pci devices, you can really overload your computer's IRQ abilities and cause some wierd errors.

On a side note, I would like to see more network cards utilizing the pci-e interface. Gigabit cards easily saturate the PCI interface, and may even come close with the pci-e x1 interface. It will be exciting when you can get a board with 5 PCI-e slots of various X speeds.
July 3, 2006 10:59:14 PM

Quote:
If Abit can ceate and release this kind of solution, one might get the impression that Creative is holding out on the enthusiast market, eh?


I think it may just be that this card is barely a sound card. Not to mention it isn't even pci express. I know this for 2 reasons: the slot is in the wrong place, and the slot is reversed from a pci express slot.

While it may use the same connector, more than likely they just rerouted the leads from the backplane to the connects on this card and ran it up the back, leaving room for the heatsink on the backplane.

The reason that it isn't out for pci expressa yet is probably because there is no need for it yet. [Most] Everyone still has a plethora of available pci slots, which are more than adequate for most, if not all, soundcards.

Oh, and pci express is faster than pci, to answer your question.

As usual, I just learned something. Thanks! 8O
July 4, 2006 12:11:42 AM

Quote:
The reason that it isn't out for pci expressa yet is probably because there is no need for it yet. [Most] Everyone still has a plethora of available pci slots, which are more than adequate for most, if not all, soundcards.


That's right on. Sound isn't as labor intesive as Video..not even close. They can easily get away with using PCI still. When motherboards start coming out with PCI-E only, then you will prob see sound cards for PCI-E. So is creative holding out? Not really..why waste time and money when its not needed.
July 4, 2006 12:40:59 AM

Quote:
Got mine from newegg 8 months ago. :D 

How Is the video quality, what is the maximum supported resolution. Will it run fine with my 7900GT OC and my 24" Dell?

LMK :) The video quality is pretty good and should work fine with your 7900GT.
Quote:

Heyyou27 do you have the PCIe 550? If so, can you watch tv faster than I can with my PCI 550?
Yes I have the PCIe 550, and watching tv should be no faster or different than with your PCI version. I only paid extra for the PCIe version because my motherboard only has 2 PCI slots and one is being used by my X-FI.
July 4, 2006 3:05:18 AM

Lol. I was joking about the your tv watching abilities being faster.

Sound cards are not data intesive becasue there has not been any changes in sound quality standards on an industry level in some time.
July 4, 2006 4:18:10 AM

Did anyone answer the OP's question?
Anyway, this is why.

Quote:
As far as PCI Express (PCIe) is concerned, which is the next bus, what we found is that the performance of PCIe is truly bad for audio. We are seeing four times degradation on the bus for audio.

PCIe is designed for graphics and high data transfer, but audio sends very small packets and the overhead can be very big! Moving the data across PCIe is much, much higher than PCI. So what we have to do is go back to the drawing board and work on the transport part of the chip and re-design it to add more silicon to overcome some of the problems we had with PCIe. So for us to come up with a PCIe solution is going to take a while because we have to overcome the problems we're facing with that bus.
July 4, 2006 5:32:25 AM

Quote:
Did anyone answer the OP's question?
Anyway, this is why.

As far as PCI Express (PCIe) is concerned, which is the next bus, what we found is that the performance of PCIe is truly bad for audio. We are seeing four times degradation on the bus for audio.

PCIe is designed for graphics and high data transfer, but audio sends very small packets and the overhead can be very big! Moving the data across PCIe is much, much higher than PCI. So what we have to do is go back to the drawing board and work on the transport part of the chip and re-design it to add more silicon to overcome some of the problems we had with PCIe. So for us to come up with a PCIe solution is going to take a while because we have to overcome the problems we're facing with that bus.



Well it seems there is a technological reason after all...
July 8, 2006 5:12:56 PM

In addition to the high overhead imposed with PCI-e, there is still one more reason:

PCI is a 32-bit, 33 MHz. There's other variations (mostly on server boards, but I'll not delve into it here). Assuming no other devices are on/using the PCI bus (impossible, but let's go with theoretical transfer rates), you're looking at ~1 Gb/s, or 125 MB/s.

Now, let's take some 24-bit 7.1 Audio, at 48 KHz. The sound samples are sent to the sound card in bursts of 32-bit transactions, so there's some overhead. In addition to the overhead, there's PCI latency (how long the device can hold the interrupt; and how long it must wait to assert an interrupt on the bus), OS scheduling, and about a hundred other variables to plug in to the formula, but we'll look at data portion for now:


[code:1:0c79d33aa6]32-bit * 48 KHz = 1.5 Mb/s per channel

1.5Mb/s * 8 channels = 12.2 Mb/s = 1.5 MB/s[/code:1:0c79d33aa6]


With an additional 20% transfer overhead (fairly average for sound cards), we're talking close to 14.7 Mb/s or 1.8 MB/s. Even if the PCI bus is having interrupts asserted on it by other devices (hard drive, chipset ops, graphics, etc), we're still only using 1.4% of bus capacity during PCI transfers.

PCI-e has a max bandwidth of 2.5 Gb/s per lane, which is overkill. The statement above also holds true in that a serial point-to-point bus has even more overhead, since it has to reassemble all of the bits on the other end, which makes more work for the chipset integrated on the sound card, be it in a new PCI-e bridge device, or on the primary sound processor itself.

Of course, this whole spiel is just the data that is sent to the card itself, the processing flags, and doesn't include data received from the sound card during these transactions.


So, I guess the short answer would be that unless PCI disappears completely (someday it may), we won't be seeing a PCI-e sound card any time soon.


Cheers,
July 9, 2006 12:00:33 AM

Quote:
In addition to the high overhead imposed with PCI-e, there is still one more reason:

PCI is a 32-bit, 33 MHz. There's other variations (mostly on server boards, but I'll not delve into it here). Assuming no other devices are on/using the PCI bus (impossible, but let's go with theoretical transfer rates), you're looking at ~1 Gb/s, or 125 MB/s.

Now, let's take some 24-bit 7.1 Audio, at 48 KHz. The sound samples are sent to the sound card in bursts of 32-bit transactions, so there's some overhead. In addition to the overhead, there's PCI latency (how long the device can hold the interrupt; and how long it must wait to assert an interrupt on the bus), OS scheduling, and about a hundred other variables to plug in to the formula, but we'll look at data portion for now:


[code:1:825b573aca]32-bit * 48 KHz = 1.5 Mb/s per channel

1.5Mb/s * 8 channels = 12.2 Mb/s = 1.5 MB/s[/code:1:825b573aca]


With an additional 20% transfer overhead (fairly average for sound cards), we're talking close to 14.7 Mb/s or 1.8 MB/s. Even if the PCI bus is having interrupts asserted on it by other devices (hard drive, chipset ops, graphics, etc), we're still only using 1.4% of bus capacity during PCI transfers.

PCI-e has a max bandwidth of 2.5 Gb/s per lane, which is overkill. The statement above also holds true in that a serial point-to-point bus has even more overhead, since it has to reassemble all of the bits on the other end, which makes more work for the chipset integrated on the sound card, be it in a new PCI-e bridge device, or on the primary sound processor itself.

Of course, this whole spiel is just the data that is sent to the card itself, the processing flags, and doesn't include data received from the sound card during these transactions.


So, I guess the short answer would be that unless PCI disappears completely (someday it may), we won't be seeing a PCI-e sound card any time soon.


Cheers,


Dude, thanks for information, once again, I learn something here.
July 9, 2006 3:53:53 PM

Quote:
Sound isn't as labor intesive as Video..not even close. They can easily get away with using PCI still. When motherboards start coming out with PCI-E only, then you will prob see sound cards for PCI-E.


Quote:
So, I guess the short answer would be that unless PCI disappears completely (someday it may), we won't be seeing a PCI-e sound card any time soon.


eh..I already said that a page up ago. But thank you very much for the technical explanation.
July 9, 2006 4:19:57 PM

I have read all the posts and have one more thing to add :) 

Creative says they have looked at making a PCIe card but they felt that that it was electricly noisy ? what ever that means ? I think they will make a PCIe version of the Xfi line when the time is right. Should be very soon I know some mobo's are dropping PCI soon.
!