Is PCI-e a Sham?

look at these 2 cards:

6800 extreme agp card

dam, only takes u to sry

1st card: XFX geforce 6800 xtreme 256, gddr3 PCI express
2nd : XFX geforce 6800 xtreme 256, gddr3 agp 8x

Shouldnt the PCI-e card have double the spec. of the agp card? or atleast a (*) stating that all PCI-e cards are capable of X16 bidirectional.

plz, if anyone can find a good comparison of these or any two (1 PCI-e,1agp) cards benchmarkes reply.

Or are the Video Card companies bullin us into thinkin that a new platform is needed for the games too come? Have they made us believe that 2 500 dollar cards in SLI mode are what we need to run the soon to be coming out games.

Gaming machines prices have been on a decline for a few years now, i talkin about u could and can get a Sick rig for under 1000 bucks. and sometimes lower still, even duelcores! Cpu's have been getting cheaper and cheaper but better and better, Gpu's have been doin the oposite, by meaning that now u can by support for your card by adding a physics ageia for 250 bucks.(a krutch for the card?) Well maybe they are getting better but we'll never know until next years games come out that the cards are made to run.

sry i was not meaning cards in sli mode. :)

all replies welcome.
25 answers Last reply
More about sham
  1. i don't think you have grasped the concept of SLi.

    You have compared two card: the 6800XT in the AGP form and the PCI-e form. These cards will have nearly the same spec AS THEY ARE THE SAME CARD, only differences are that PCI-E has double the bandwith of AGP and only PCI-E can run SLi.

    Now to SLi. Sli is where you connect 2 (almost) identical graphics cards to 'provide double the performance'(not exactly true but close) SLi is best used when you are playing high res.(1600x1200 or higher) on a large monitor.

    someone will explain it in more detail than me.

    P.S. Read This
  2. ^^^^Perfect reply
  3. When a card has "SLI" in its name, it means it can be used in SLI, with another card with same specs. 7900GTX with any 7900GTX for example.

    PCI-E slot is capable of providing more bandwidth , but current cards, including G80, cannot use the extra available bandwidth. PCI-E and AGP slots are different physically also.

    6800XTs should NEVER be mentioned here.
  4. Quote:

    6800XTs should NEVER be mentioned here.

  5. sry to all how replied the 1st time, PCI-e is what i was getting at not 2 cards in SLI mode.

    hope now this will let the discussion begin.

    as prozac26 states, the cards cannot us the availiable bandwidth, and this architecture as been out for 2 years now?

    now we've been using dx9 for 4 years, and dx10 will eventually come out, and the tech site are sayin that it will not be backwards compatible. for those of u who bought the highend new architecture gamin pci-e card for 250 to 500 bucks now along with the rest of us who want to play games with the api dx10, need to buy new dx10 cards.

    will our mother boards that we have now run next years software(os,games,dx10+)or is a new architecture known only to the Corporations be a must buy, or can we expect that our 1 year old rigs must be trashed not simply upgraded year by year.

  6. PCIe is a sham?

    PCIe wasn't even invented for graphics boards. It was created for more power and efficiency for all devices; it just so happens that it suited graphics devices as well.

    From a pure video card standpoint, AGP 8x is still excellent, but if we have the new bus why not use it?

    If you want to stay with your AGP card, you can always get a socket 939 Asrock dual-SATA2...
  7. its not for my upgrade purposes.

    its to discuse the new tech and if we are getting really what we are payin for.
  8. well as far as games go they will most likely play on dx9 as well as dx10. this will slowly stop being true as dx10 takes over.If I recall correct FEAR can run on dx8 and it is not that old of a game. I also think vista will run dx9. it does now don't see why not when they officially put it out for sale.

    now to the pci express thing. pci express has twice the bandwidth of an agp 8x slot, and right now cards cant use that much bandwidth. That had been said before, but the only reason for the switch is future proofing. So even though you cant buy a card that will use the full bandwidth of pci 16x, it allows card makers to not have to worry about a bottleneck in the bus when they develop a new tech that could take advantage of the available bandwidth.
  9. I dont see how PCI E is a sham anymore then PCI was a sham or AGP newer faster interfaces. I dont see the logic in that at all.

    Why would a PCI have better specs then a AGP interfaced card? its the exact same card with a different interface.

    The difference between the PCI E and AGP is minimul though PCI E does come out on top alot fo the time with a slim margien.

    One advantage to PCI E is the fact they can make budget video cards that use system memory for VRAM and actualy have enough bandwidth (lol) to run with out huge bottle necks. Not every new advance thats made is made for the enthusiust user. This however is a double edge sword as SLI/xfire need the extra bandwidth.

    They dont want you to believe SLI is requiered. However with a properly coded game and super high res and detail settins it willd efanitly help alot.

    I dont see how a physics card is a crutch at all for the video card. In fact once again a properly coded game it will eventualy take ALOT of load off the video card and cpu. Also it will allow for alot deeper physics engines to do ALOT more things with out degrading visual quality or frame rates.

    But like dual core quad core and alot of other emerging techs coming out right now it doesnt do a whole lot. Nothing is coded correctly yet it hasnt saturated the market enough for develelopers to want to code it for these things yet. Once it does all of the things mentioned above will have a profound effect on gaming.

    CPU get cheaper anc heaper ecause they dont increse in power by leaps and bounds every release. However graphics cards do and thats ALOT of money to poor into development that cpu makers dont do. Now im not saying they dont poor money into thier cpus but considering the advancements made in video tech compaired to the rest of the industry its simple ecomonics.
  10. ty enforcer22, your responce is well stated and appreciated.

    still its been 2 years since the pci-e revolution:), when are we goin to see the resultes of the upgrade?

    or will supposed increases in bandwidth be applied to games? applications?
  11. You know what pisses me off? Candy corn. Now that's a sham.
  12. Once again, you are limiting your definition of upgrade to performance.

    PCIe offers more power (electricity) available for add-in cards. Certain PCIe graphics cards would probably need a separate power connector on AGP.

    PCIe offers greater bandwidth to all cards, not just graphics cards.

    It allows for bidirectional bandwidth. This means that people with turbocache and hypermemory are already benefiting from PCI express.

    There are more benefits. If you choose not to acknowledge them, then PCIe has been a horrible upgrade for you, indeed.
  13. Just because you don't understand the benifits, nor currently exploit any of them, doesn't mean it's a sham. :roll:

    AGP couldn't do HyperMemory/TurboCache, and can't variably shut down lanes when not needed (saving power), can't supply as much power as PCIe, and can't act as quickly when resources need to be shared, be it SLi, Physics or GPGPU. Also you couldn't do power multi-monitor solutions, because while everyone agrees that the performance difference between top APG and PCIe is little if nothing, the difference between plain PCI and AGP is huge.

    There's alot of headroom in the throughput of PCIe and even AGP would be fine for that perspective for single care graphics alone, but the change is alot more than that, and it's better to have more spec than needed, than just enough for today only. Either way you bump up against a limit sometime, and you'd still need to redesign, rebuild, or buy more at some point. The biggest failing of PCIe IMO was not starting with the PEG slot at 150W instead of 75, everything else works as planned, but the 75W wasn't enough to do away with the Extra Floppy/Molex/6pin connectors many expected it to.

    Think about all the cards that would've needed another additional Power connector before the GF8800 came out, and heck it and the R600 might have needed 3 if they were still riding AGP.
  14. Quote:

    still its been 2 years since the pci-e revolution:), when are we goin to see the resultes of the upgrade?

    It will take several more years for ATI or nVidia to even come close to maxing out 16 PCI-e lanes for a GPU. By then PCI-e v2 will be out.

    Even current generation AGP cards will not max out the AGP x8 slot and they were supposed to die out by now. Not even the X1950XT AGP, whenever that thing is supposed to be released, will max out the AGP x8 interface.
  15. Well only thing i can relate it to is how long did it take for 64 bit to actualy get used? couple years isnt bad though typicaly to see some improvments on it would be between 1 to 2 years. I bet games coming out rfom now on will take advantages of dual core and sli/crossfire however physics cards probly wont be alot for another 6 months to a year since its still emerging into the market.

    Problem with that bandwidth is it wasnt made for graphics it was made as a new buss standard to get rid of the limited PCI buss. It will basicly be applyed where needed. Games dont need it as the bandwidth on the onboard ram is VASTLY higher then the bandwidth the PCI E buss or system memory has. Storeing textures and such yeah but no computational work gets done over the buss line (with exception of the onboard vramless video cards already reffered to as hypermemory/turbocache. However those are not aimed at people who do ALOT of gaming they are cheap video optins for things like laptops or crappy $200 computers you write school work on.
  16. so u mean benefits by powerusage only? when pci-e came out i do believe that the selling point for it was the increase in gamin.

    plz, im not trying to enrage anyone, im currently using my pci-e 4x slot w/ 6800 on my duel vsta. but i dont see any improvement in any game application or power usage when i run my fx5900 agp card. i lookin for reasons why?

    its not for my upgrade purposes, its for existing hardware.

    and plz if anyone can find links that show the increases in performance between the 2 architectures, reply.
  17. again ty enforcer22 that helps.

    so if you have not upgraded to pci-e, your not left behind, yet? in some aspects, but a change can help in the comin 1 to 2 years if u have the agp type planterbloards.
  18. independant and more bandwidth per slot and more power output per slot are the major things with pci e. as far as gaming its up to the gpu to make it look better the slot isnt going to do it.

    Also scaling. Instead of being stuck with a 33mhz crap bandwidth pci slot PCI e can go from 1x lowest bandwidth it offers to 16x.

    It can run pretty much everything like scsi, video,ect.
  19. No it's not just powerusage benefits, there's much more to it like I said. Main issues: throughput, latency, power, and scalability. Also it's easier to make dual graphics slot on PCIe than it was for AGP (although not impossible for AGP, just never anywhere near as easy, practical, nor 'cheap').

    Your performance differences issues sound like they have more to do with your apps not the slot's limits or lack thereof.

    If your GF6800 isn't outperforming your FX5900, then the games you play are not very stressful, where a plain (not GT not Ultra) GF6800 will be the match of an FX5900. But that diff has nothing to do with the slot.

    A GF6200 will beat an FX5900 in some apps, but that would also have nothing to do with the slot, put a PCX5950 (PCIe) up against a plain X1300AGP and the X1300 will clobber it, not becaue of PCIe v AGP but because of the VPU and App.
  20. Quote:
    plz, im not trying to enrage anyone, im currently using my pci-e 4x slot w/ 6800 on my duel vsta. but i dont see any improvement in any game application or power usage when i run my fx5900 agp card. i lookin for reasons why?

    Put the card in a 8x or 16x slot and you may see an improvement...

    The PCI-E 4x slot is likely just as fast of a bus as an AGP 8x slot. The slots power handling capacity has nothing to do with performance; i.e. if you have a 60 watt light bulb, it will be just as bright if you screw it into a lamp that can take 60 watt or 150 watt bulbs. Same brightness, same power usage.

    There are all kinds of good reasons for PCI-E. The first is Gigabit ethernet or RAID hard drive arrays. PCI is limited to 133 MB/sec. Gigabit ethernet would use 125 MB/sec of that pipe. A raid controller can be scaled to much higher levels of performance, ~800MB/sec for some higher end RAID cards. Video card PCI-E is just a bi-product of the new architecture, why not consolidate.

    I'm personally excited about PCI-E. Now I can build a fileserver that is potentially faster than my local drive.
  21. Looks like you need a technical breakdown of AGP, PCI and PCI-E:

    But first I'll answer the unwritten question:
    -Why don't they state higher stats for the PCI-E vs the AGP card?
    -That would be miss-leading, and we'd all bitch and moan if they tried that again. After all if the chip can only process 400 MB/s, what difference is there between a 500 MB/s and a 1000 MB/s interface? None.

    Incidentally this is also similar to the fact that a 200 GB drive formats as a 187 GB drive. And why an ATA133 vs SATA 1.5 Gbps drives perform similarly for long transfers (within 10%). It's all just marketing shyt, but the GPU vendors have been crucified in the past for using it so they use it sparingly now.

    [On to the lecture!]
    PCI-E was designed to replace PCI.
    PCI-X was designed to replace PCI.
    PCI-E can also replace AGP.
    PCI-E and PCI-X are competing technologies (PCI-E is winning).

    (Warning: some of the exact specs below are may be incorrect but mostly accurate)

    PCI is a 32 bit parallel architecture (sends 32 bits at a time), and it's bandwidth (how much data it can move at a time) is easily saturated these days, causing PCI devices to have to wait to send data (waiting = slow). PCI can move about 133 MB/s (not much these days).

    PCI-X is just like PCI (backward compatible too), but with a wider data size. PCI-X can move a bit over 1GB/s (about 10 times PCI), but usually far less. PCI-X is used in some server envionments, but not much anywhere else due to marketing and other issues (never really 'took off').

    PCI and PCI-X are parallel connections (move data in large chunks at the same time). PCI and PCI-X is a shared bus in that all devices attached to it must operate at the same speed. The slowest device makes all other devices wait in line (bad for 3D).

    PCI-E is a serial connection (streams data one bit at a time at a very high clock rate). PCI-E can be made faster by adding additional 'lanes' (X1, X4, or X16 are examples, using 1, 4 or 16 lanes each, moving more bits at a time) or by increasing the clock rate (move more bits per second). PCI-E can move data upwards of 8GB/s (I think). PCI-E devices operate on dedicated buses, no sharing, no waiting (good for 3D).

    AGP 8x can move data at about a 1 GB/s (I think).
    AGP replaced PCI for video devices a long time ago to bypass the shortcommings of PCI for 3D graphics.

    Is PCI-E better than AGP for todays video cards, not really.
    Will PCI-E be better for video cards of the future, you bet, plus it support SLI and crossfire (AGP does NOT), and other devices too.

    PCI-E can be used for non video devices too (sound cards, RAID controllers, giga-bit network cards, etc). AGP can only be used for video cards (there are 1 or 2 exceptions, but nothing relavent today).
    Also, PCI-E can be scaled to faster performance than PCI-X or AGP with less effort down the road.

    Did you know: a single gigbit network card on the PCI bus running at full speed can saturate the entire PCI bus (at 100% utilization).

    Is PCI-E a sham?:
    NO. PCI-E is just a different connection style that is technically more capable than AGP. Since AGP is being phased out, if you have a choice, get a new PCI-E video card (and motherboard, etc).

    So, does the same GPU with a PCI-E connector perform better than the SAME card with an AGP connector?

    Not really (a couple percent maybe), it depends on a few technical factors too: The more capable the system and GPU the more performance you'll see in the PCI-E vs AGP versions, but still nothing to get excited over.

    Besides, AGP cards cost more than PCI-E cards these days, so why get your panties in a bunch over the connector if you have a choice.

    FYI, I've got an XP2000+ system with 1 GB of DDR400 and a GF5600 AGP 8x card. Right now I'm looking at a whole system upgrade, as a freakin' fast GPU won't help me much anymore. If you think I'm 'upgrading' to an AGP're nuts.

    Hey, what can I say, I like long posts full of technical stuff, after all, "'tis better to be a smartass than a dumbass".

    I believe it is better to educate others so they understand it later.
  22. PCI is also a shared buss PCI E isnt.
  23. now thats what i was lookin for, awesome. ty sdxn 2000 and we all can learn from that and the posts from enforcer22 also the last post from the greatgrapeape.

    u've all been a great help :D
  24. Anyway, the CPU/GPU industry evolves its products in an almost completly artificial way designed to make as much $$$ as possible, that's the only logic behind all their releases. Come to think about it: there will never be a point where hardware will be lagging behind what sofware requires, nor will there be a point where any hardware you can buy can overkill anything thrown at it. Actual affordable hardware will always be precisly on the brink of not being able to run next-gen software, not because the industry can't do better, just because they don't want to do better since they have to create a need for better hardware if they want to stay in the game.

    The moment you accept to buy a computer you accept the industry playing on you this game of artificially limiting hardware capabilities, and if you don't want to accept being fooled then be stuck without a computer, that's the sad reality of consumerism.

    Just my 2 bits of rant. hope you like.
  25. Well... Indeed that's the way the whole computer industry works. But I like it. If it weren't for that, we'd still be playing on ZX Spectrums and the internet would not exist.
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