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Learn me Pci-e and beyond

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 19, 2008 8:34:57 AM

Hi and ahead of time, thanks for the helping hand.

I've been in University and out of of the pc scene for the last 3 years. While I am doing my own searching, I need help filling in the massive void of information between 2004 (PCI-E just came out) to present. I was offered a job at Microsoft testing video cards, and it's a great way to get going on my loans, and the future prospects are not bad at all.

My interview is this friday, so please, learn me video cards :bounce: 

Thanks!
Alex!

More about : learn pci

August 19, 2008 11:28:22 AM

backonshore said:
Hi and ahead of time, thanks for the helping hand.

I've been in University and out of of the pc scene for the last 3 years. While I am doing my own searching, I need help filling in the massive void of information between 2004 (PCI-E just came out) to present. I was offered a job at Microsoft testing video cards, and it's a great way to get going on my loans, and the future prospects are not bad at all.

My interview is this friday, so please, learn me video cards :bounce: 

Thanks!
Alex!


I can say with reliable logic, that what you said, remembered me of a internet meme related to a 300 Spartans movie.

I can advice you to download the (www.microsoft.com) Directx SDK and the (www.nvidia.com) CUDA SDK. Hope you got a thing for C++!!

i++
a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2008 12:04:07 PM

I hope you really like reading...

The best quick overview I could think of would come from Wikipedia.
I would recommend you start bye refreshing yourself on AGP and PCIe and then move on to a basic overview of Video Cards, GPU's and Stream Processing. After that, read a quick Comparison of nVidia GPU's and also the Comparison of ATI GPU's. You will probably want to make your self familiar with the last few generations from each company. From nVidia this would include the GF7, GF8, GF9 and GT 200 series. From ATI, look at the R520, R600 and R700 series. Make sure to look over the Intel GMA page also as many systems use these integrated solutions.

I know this is quite a bit of reading but if you can keep the important parts of these articles fresh in your head on Friday you should be in pretty good shape. If you have a little more time and you head has not exploded yet, take a quick look over the FSB and HyperTransport pages. This will give you a basic understanding of how the data is routed through the system and to the GPU.

Best of luck with your interview!
If you have any questions about anything, just drop a post.
Related resources
August 19, 2008 12:57:09 PM

Hi, thanks for reply. I dont mind reading, and no worries, it's not too much. After all, I'm not starting from scratch, just a bit behind.

A few questions that I have so far:
Is there a preferred motherboard/video card combo: Ati+AMD or Intel + nVidia?
What's the 'best' video card on the market?
Who is generally considered better, Ati, nVidia, or someone else?
Are there any widely spread compatibility issues

Technical stuff aside, I really dont want to get blind-sided with something obvious.
August 19, 2008 1:23:01 PM

backonshore said:
Hi, thanks for reply. I dont mind reading, and no worries, it's not too much. After all, I'm not starting from scratch, just a bit behind.

A few questions that I have so far:
Is there a preferred motherboard/video card combo: Ati+AMD or Intel + nVidia?
What's the 'best' video card on the market?
Who is generally considered better, Ati, nVidia, or someone else?
Are there any widely spread compatibility issues

Technical stuff aside, I really dont want to get blind-sided with something obvious.


Ati makes the best cards atm. That have changed this last generation (R700).
Intel still owns the crown in the CPU side, AMD in the Chipset side. AMD and ATI have merged.
Best card ? 4870x2.
Whos better ? well, thats is relative. You better like reading.

Compatibility issues. Again you better like reading. They are almost all simple question, but it is long to reply.

Vary long !!!
a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2008 1:56:47 PM

Those questions are all subjective and quickly changing with new hardware releases.

Right now, Intel has a large lead with CPU's and their platforms are very nice to boot.
Most current Intel platforms support ATI's CrossFire but nVidia's SLI is limited to crappy nVidia based motherboards.
I call them crappy Mb's because they have troubles overclocking, run hot and have a slew of other issues.
Intel based systems can overclock very nicely right now, BTW.
Most can overclock about 50% above rated with out to many issues.

On the AMD side, their CPU's have had a tougher time of it.
The Phenom x4 is a decent chip but it's performance compared to Intel's Core 2 Quad line is very much lacking.
Their recent motherboards have a very nice feature set and, relative to Intel's offerings, fairly powerful integrated graphics.

The best GPU on the market is an interesting subject.
ATI and nVidia have taken different routes as of late.
Where nVidia prefers a single large GPU core, ATI likes to sell several more cost effective GPU to compete at the high end.
As such, the single fastest CARD is the 4870x2 as it contains two of the 4870's RV770 cores on a single PCB.
The single fastest GPU is nVidia's GTX 280 which holds a small lead over the much cheaper 4870.

I would consider ATI to be the market leader at this point even without the fastest GPU core on the market.
Their 4850 and 4870 cards outperform and under price nVidia's competing solutions, the 9800GTX+ and GTX 260 respectively.
In addition, ATI's R670 and R700 lines are fully DX10.1 compatible.
A feat that nVidia is not able to claim as the design of their stream processors limit them to DX 10.0.

Neither have any noticeable compatibility issues.
I seem to remember some of the GF8 series cards being incompatible with PCIe 1.0a but that standard has been replaced with PCIe 1.1 and later PCIe 2.0 for a few years now so this is pretty much a non issue. ATI offers monthly driver updates and I believe nVidia's come quarterly. Any issues that are discovered are normally corrected quickly with the next release.

Anways, I have to run and catch the train home.
If you need any more info, just post back.
!