Trying to squeeze some more life out of my Dell before i start purchasing my components to make my own. Here is my current computer
- Dell e510
- MB: Dell Inc 0HJ054
- CPU Intel Pentium D 820 @ 2.80GHz, Bus @ 200 MHz and FSB @ 800 MHz
- 1GB RAM DDR2 266 MHz (PC2-4300) Chipset is Samsung.
- Ship date 4/4/2006
The concern is that it has two PCIe slots. One my video card is taking up (PCIe x 16) and one that is open (x1). My issue is that I don't have firewire builtin so I was going to get a SIIG PCIe firewire card that can provide 1394b to fit in there but I was reading up on the PCIe and since my box was shipped in 2006, pretty positive I have PCIe 1.0 or 1.1 which has a transfer rate of 250 MB/s (big B).
The device I want to hook-up to uses firewire 800 which means transfer rates of 800 Mb/s (small b). Not sure if the sources got the big B and small b mixed up but is this something I need to worry about or is PCIe (even 1.x) going to go faster than firewire 800?
Also was going to add 1 more GB of RAM. Since most motherboards don't even seem to support 1394b yet, I figure there is no waste of money on a 1394b card. DDR2 seems to still be around as well or is getting more of the same there going to be a waste? I was going to get the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R to start with on my new system. I usually try to stay one major technology step behind to save on money (so no i7 or AM3 for me right now)
PCI-E is immensely faster than firewire. It will not bottleneck at all. PCIE 1.1 is 250 MB/sec (which is 2Gbit/sec) per lane. A single lane (x1) card will transfer 2GBit per second, or 2.5x the maximum Firewire800 rate, and it supports cards with up to 16 data lanes (that's what a graphics card uses, PCI-E x16, or 16 lanes at 2000Mb/sec per lane). You will have no trouble whatsoever with transfer rates.
Now is PCI 2.x faster than firewire 800? I only have 1 expansion slot for PCIe so would like to save it for another thing I have my eye on if possible.
I see PCI 2.x has a peak transfer rate of 533MB/s if it is running 66Mhz - which will give me 4,264 Mbps, where according to reference  in OP, firewire 800 does 3200 Mbps. However in the same article, it states (for 1394b) - "This specification and corresponding products allow a transfer rate of 786.432 Mbit/s full-duplex via a new encoding scheme termed beta mode."
So confusion ensues unless it should read "786.432 MB/s" but not sure. I guess the short question is, is firewire 1394b capable of going faster than a PCI 2.x ?
I would say you are probably fine with a PCI port. Honestly, very few devices are capable of 700 megabyte per second transfers anyways, so the connection is not likely to be your bottleneck. I'd say a PCI card would perform just fine.
The peak transfer rate for firewire 800 is 800 megabits per second (100 MB/s) and the control overhead usually shaves a little off of that. A Firewire 800 RAID could reach that data rate pretty quickly. But keep in mind, that PCI (not PCI-E) is a shared bus so anything else in the system on that PCI bus subtracts from the PCI data rate.
Thanks, This will be the only PCI device in the system. Also the device I'm hooking up is an RME Fireface 800 audio recording device which new runs around US$1,600. It has Firewire 400 on it so I'm guessing the device could not exceed firewire 400 speeds else there would be some problems.