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We Need A New Guide

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October 6, 2004 9:36:03 PM

Lately there has been a slew of posts about PCI-Express, mostly people who don't know anything about it, people searching for such-and-such PCIe card, when is it going to be out, is the PCIe version faster or worth the money, I heard that PCIe is way faster than AGP, and so on.

Someone should create a permanent post at the top of the list (not me of course, someone who has their facts completely straight about all of the issues), similar to THG Graphics Card Guide, and title it <b>"AGP vs. PCI-Express Explained: What You Need To Know", or something along those lines.</b> It should briefly explain the difference in architectures, and also what the current situation is for PCIe, such as whether it makes a real difference, is it worth the extra money, how much should it influence a buying decision, when will the bus be widely available on mobos, etc. etc.

I think that would be fun to write and a helpful contribution to the forum, not to mention that it (hopefully) will prevent a lot of repetitive posts with repetitive themes.

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN

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a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2004 10:05:39 PM

Agreed, I think we might want to start making a true Graphics Card Forum FaQ.

It's gotta be upgradable by hopefully more than one person (not sure if Fredi can do that), and transferable should the authors 'retire' from the forum or... get banned :evil:  .

It'd be nice to see alot of contributors.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
October 7, 2004 3:15:09 AM

hey what a great idea Grape, oh wait didn't i propose that like 20 years ago? IT JUST FELL APART!
:p 

and then my buyer's guide gets jacked :@



RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
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a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2004 4:25:11 AM

LOL!

Ahh the good old days are back. CS and GW together again, just like Peanut Butter and Chocolat. :lol: 

Hey, 'all your base' is gone!?!

Well I guess you gotta keep your sig fresh, hey wait, no I don't! :wink:


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
October 7, 2004 4:32:51 AM

how abt a flow chart or something on those lines ?

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Finger.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 7, 2004 11:25:44 AM

it would polly b a good idea to start after the a64 mobos with pcie come out. then u can get test results and really post exactly wats new

"Freeze, your under arrest for the murder of Moe Sislack and Apu Nahasapasa...OK nevermind, just moe."
October 7, 2004 6:15:23 PM

Yeah, it will definitely need to be periodically updated as PCIe capability becomes widely available (the mobos not the cards). People who want info about available PCIe cards can just look at the THG Buyer's Guide.



Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by sweatlaserxp on 10/07/04 02:30 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 8, 2004 3:57:16 AM

u Shut up!

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
October 8, 2004 6:21:42 AM

hey, I'll be your guide

if you're looking to get lost just follow me

man who fart in church, sit in his own pew
October 8, 2004 3:47:34 PM

well u can start off by:

<b>AGP</b>
<font color=red>The advantage of AGP over old PCI was increased bus speed/bandwidth. AGP has its own path way to communicate with the processor as well as to the memory whereas devices on the PCI bus have to share the 133 MB/s bandwidth allocated to it. Both the AGP (66 Mhz clock) and PCI Bus (33 Mhz clock) are on a 32 bit bus. So at 1x, AGP has double the bandwidth (266 MB/s). As it can transfer data multiple times per clock cycle, AGP 8x has ~2100MB/s of bandwith.</font color=red>

<b><i>vs</i></b>

<b>PCIe or Nvidia's PCX (not PCI-X, see below)</b>
<font color=green>PCI Express (not PCI-X) has an architecture that is serial based like the SATA while the old PCI is based upon a parallel architecture. So pin count reduces. Also the protocol is much like AGP. Devices do not share bandwidth. Theoritical bandwidth will be 250 MB/s per direction, roughly double the bandwidth of the current PCI and this is available to each device with PCI Express. The above will be the refernce lane x1. Extra lanes with bandwidth multiple of x1 can be added - x2, x4, x8, x12, x16 and x32. x16 is the new generation graphical bus interface. Low latency is also another goal of PCI Express. Nvidia, to be unique have misused the term PCX. It means PCI Express and not the specification below.</font color=green>

<b><i>vs</i></b>

<b>PCI-X (Not PCI Express or Nvidia's PCX)</b>
<font color=blue>a.k.a PCI-X 2.0. You dont have to worry about this standard. It will not be used for graphics industry. Very few desktop systems support it. It is an acronym for PCI extended, an enhanced PCI bus. PCI-X is backward-compatible with existing PCI cards. It improves speed of PCI from 133 MBps to ~1 GBps. PCI-X was designed jointly by IBM, HP and Compaq to increase performance of high bandwidth devices, such as Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel, and processors that are part of a cluster. It is similar to the old PCI architecture though with 64 bit bus and 66/133/266/533 Mhz clock. Do not confuse it with PCX, a term Nvidia uses for thie PCI Express cards.</font color=blue>


<A HREF="http://www.intelforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7626" target="_new">This page has more for a layman</A>

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by priyajeet on 10/08/04 07:00 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 8, 2004 6:00:23 PM

<i><b>WHAT YOU SAY!!!</i></b>

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN
October 8, 2004 6:49:42 PM

And a brief introduction could be something like

<font color=blue>This is a brief guide that was created to answer questions that some may have about what PCI-Express is and how it should influence a buying decision. Please make sure that you read this guide before you post any questions about PCIe in the forum, such as <i>"when will it be available?"</i> or <i>"is this card faster than the AGP version?"</i> This guide will briefly explain how PCIe works, but for the hardware-savvy we've provided links to thorough technical explanations. We will also give the facts, in plain English, about whether you should choose one over the other in this current climate.

Keep in mind that PCI-Express is a next-generation bus that is in its infancy. Its advantages are currently apparent in High Definition video editing, but over the next few years, and <i>especially</i> with the advent of Windows "Longhorn" and the next version of DirectX (WGF), its power and flexibility will become more apparent for the 3D gamer. Not only is the graphics potential staggering, but also there is the ability, in Longhorn, to plug in and switch between multiple cards on one motherboard without any busy work. Equally exciting is nVidia's <A HREF="http://www.nvidia.com/page/sli.html" target="_new">SLI</A> technology for which ATi is creating a competing technology.

The currently available PCIe cards perform virtually the same as their AGP counterparts. Occasional differences are vanishingly small and are only apparent on graphs and charts. Neither hardware nor software have reached anywhere near the limits of AGP 8x. AGP will very likely be phased out by PCIe long before its bandwidth limit becomes a bottleneck. <b>For the time being (October 2004) the only reason to choose PCIe is if that's what you have on your motherboard or if you are building a new system with PCIe.</b> As systems with two 16x PCIe slots become more widespread then nVidia's SLI will become a more important factor.</font color=blue>

Alright I don't have any more time but I think that would be a good introduction. If you guys see any inaccuracies or incongruencies then screw you. Hah hah. Let me know what you think, if anything is wrong, what it lacks, is it too long, stuff like that. Priyajeet thank you for writing that description- do you have links to any other good sites about PCIe? If we can come up with some more relevant stuff to explain then I'd say we're on our way to finishing it. If you can think of anything then post it.

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN
October 8, 2004 8:40:51 PM

yeah thats a good start. might want to add this to ur last line before the STOP. "and also a price factor" :wink:

Also change the 16x to x16.
One can also mention that as of now, PCIe is a solution to an INTEL platform. AMD chipsets supporting PCIe will come out later when they take out their hypertransposrt version 2.

links:

<A HREF="http://www.intel.com/technology/pciexpress/devnet/" target="_new">LOOK HERE FIRST</A>
This on the RHS box has the basics, overview and the videos.

Others
1]<A HREF="http://www1.us.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/vect..." target="_new">Dell PCI Express Technology whitepaper</A>

2] <A HREF="http://news.com.com/Via+brings+PCI+Express+to+AMD-based..." target="_new">Via brings PCI Express to AMD-based computers</A>

3] <A HREF="http://zone.ni.com/devzone/conceptd.nsf/webmain/70B1D3E..." target="_new">NI PCIe Overview</A>


:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 8, 2004 8:43:16 PM

<A HREF="http://www.intel.com/technology/pciexpress/devnet/docs/..." target="_new">this</A> is basically what a non-developer need to know. Infact it might be too much for a non enthusiast. For them, i think just a basic overview like i gave and u gave should suffice.

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 8, 2004 8:55:33 PM

I noticed that Via's PCIe chipset supports Sempron processors as well as 64-bit. Very cool. (I wonder if that means it supports Athlon as well- I don't see why not)

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN
October 8, 2004 9:35:00 PM

yeah sure, one of my link also shows via chipsets. but i m not sure if any of these are actually out or not.

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2004 10:48:18 PM

Well we could do that, but I like the Buyer's guide being a buyer's guide.

It would be nice to have an all-encompassing FaQ, but I don't want it to be like Slava's guide which is already outdated and has alot of questionable information in it.
If you made mention of the PCIe vs AGP in the Buyer's Guide that would cover that segment, but not really address alot of the questions we were originally talking about, but yes it would probably cut down on some repeat questions.

I still wouldn't divide up the actual cards segment yet, because until we have AMD PCIe solutions all the AMD+AGP vs Intel+PCIe comparisons are nul and void because they use different ram, different CPU types (AMD has a big impact on games), as well as far different mobo chipsets (of course), so no conclusions about the cards can really be drawn yet IMO.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2004 10:58:36 PM

Quote:
not PCI-X, which is old PCI with 64 bit bus and 66 Mhz clock

Actually that's incorrect. First it's not just an old standard, PCI-X is still being updated, I think they are at PCI-X v4.0 or something (maybe less, dunno) now.

Also the speed hasn't been limited at 66mhz for quite some time, my ASUS board has the 64-66, but now the spec extends to PCI-X 533mhz.

Othewise that kinda covers it, we could go into more detail or even history, but it depends on where this is going and why it's there.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2004 11:03:38 PM

Quote:
Neither hardware nor software have reached anywhere near the limits of AGP 8x.

I would add the little line "xxxx... limits of AGP8x <b>in the gaming world</b>." There have been examples of 8X AGP being saturated in the proffesional/workstation market, and PCIe may offer alot of performance boost there (although I still haven't seen recent benchies to show this difference).

Anywoo, just nit-picking, but it may be that our programmers haven't exploited it enough. Also I can't wait to see D3 comparisons once equal platforms are out. IF any game would show a difference I think it might be D3.

Of course as you say benchmarks show the difference, but that's not quite the same.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2004 11:15:40 PM

Nope it won't support Athlons. The pin-count isn't sufficient.

Likely they've done something on the chip to deal with the 32bit/64bit and indentity issues, but the Sempron will be the 754 pin version. Whether or not it's theoretically possible, I don't know, but they don't support it in their specs.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
October 8, 2004 11:44:01 PM

I think i was ambigous there, when I said old PCI. Actually I meant its based off the architercture of the old PCI, ie sharing of bandwidth among other devices of similar slots and not that it is = old PCI. editing it above.

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 9, 2004 4:40:19 PM

I don't see the need for VIA to support 32-bit when PCIe components are still uncommon and most people are building 64-bit systems. I have my sights set on a socket 939 system next summer if I can afford it.

I think having a separate PCIe guide would be cool because we can periodically update it. It's about time to do it because after many years of AGP, there is a whole new bus and it's a very exciting times for hardware geeks. I suppose it could wait until VIA enters the fray, but if we're updating the guide it doesn't really matter to me.

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN
October 13, 2004 7:10:14 PM

any progress on this thread ?

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/Fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 13, 2004 8:59:40 PM

It would appear the nay.

Asus p4c800 Deluxe,1 Gig Mushkin PC3200 Dual Channel 400 Mhz(222),Pentium 4 3.0 512k 800fsb HT, Thermaltake Xaser III, Thermaltake Spark 7+, Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro, eVGA GeForce 6800 GT
October 18, 2004 6:49:45 PM

Someone should do a short on the bridge chips so people will stop asking when the AGP version will be out. If we are to keep it short then we don't need to write too much more. More contributions are certainly welcome, and I will edit those things that you guys mentioned about my post. It would be nice to find out how to lock the post as well.

<A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030512/gefor..." target="_new">GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: The Way FX is Meant to be Played!!</A>
October 19, 2004 7:12:06 PM

So anyway I had some Jamaican food for lunch today- stewed goat and a heaping pile of red beans and rice. No fried plantain, but it is October in New England so who's complaining. <i>Then</i> I went to Burger King and got a chocolate milkshake for $1.29- not bad considering the size- and that nearly put me over the edge. Anyway, I have to go to a class in a few minutes so I'll keep this short.

I read about the nForce4 announcement today, but I was left kind of confused- is it only available for socket 939? What's the deal? What about 754?

<A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030512/gefor..." target="_new">GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: The Way FX is Meant to be Played!!</A>
October 19, 2004 8:00:16 PM

send me your food and i ll tell you !

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 20, 2004 3:29:20 AM

this is going nowhere

i agree with you now GW, noobs dont read the buyer's guide ever anyways, and even if they do, they still post to ask a bunch of question. I say take off the stickies.

Grape is like our human guide anyways, he's got nothing else to do here!

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
October 20, 2004 3:56:15 AM

true, very true. I static post can never match up with day to day technological evolution. And hence we get questions. I personally if am buying something I rather ask directly that read an article not updated for a while. Its the same as online editorial reviews. People already get the idea of what they want. But not being sure, they come and ask, and for that I think the best way is to post a question abt that. Though we always can point them to the guide, but they ll come back and ask questions. Its with everybody. Nobody gets up one morning saying - OK ILL BUY A COMP TODAY. LETS GOTO THG AND ASK WHAT SHLD I GET. Whether n00bie or oldie or enthusiast or non enthusiast, they will look at editorial reviews 1st get A,B,C down and then ask which out of A B C he shld get. And if we point him to that THG buyers guide, hes getting nothing better that the online editorial review. So in that case its useless. And ur right abt Grape, as long as hes here giving those essay type detailed (tooo detailed sometimes) answers, who needs a guide anyways?

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 20, 2004 7:55:03 AM

I read the guide when I first came here
October 20, 2004 2:36:42 PM

PCIe is out and therefore I think it deserves its own guide, even if it is brief, especially since nForce4 is coming out next month. PCIe is the central issue with a lot of posts, and it's almost always something that has been asked 100 times before.

<A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030512/gefor..." target="_new">GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: The Way FX is Meant to be Played!!</A>
October 20, 2004 2:47:20 PM

Any reason y THG is using the term Hard News on thir main page ?

Aint that used by [H], of course no [] but still, i cant use [M]icrosoft on my website (if i had one)

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
October 21, 2004 3:55:42 PM

Hard news sounds 1337??

Asus p4c800 Deluxe,1 Gig Mushkin PC3200 Dual Channel Level II V2,Pentium 4 3.0 512k 800fsb HT, Thermaltake Xaser III, Thermaltake Spark 7+, Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro, eVGA GeForce 6800 GT
a b U Graphics card
October 22, 2004 9:48:33 PM

You could also link to other guides like <A HREF="http://www.d-silence.com/feature.php?id=252" target="_new">THIS</A> one.

EDITED to ADD Priyajet's Info for test purposes;

"well u can start off by:

<b>AGP</b>
The advantage of AGP over old PCI was increased bus speed/bandwidth. AGP has its own path way to communicate with the processor as well as to the memory whereas devices on the PCI bus have to share the 133 MB/s bandwidth allocated to it. Both the AGP (66 Mhz clock) and PCI Bus (33 Mhz clock) are on a 32 bit bus. So at 1x, AGP has double the bandwidth (266 MB/s). As it can transfer data multiple times per clock cycle, AGP 8x has ~2100MB/s of bandwith.

vs

<b>PCIe or Nvidia's PCX (not PCI-X, see below)</b>
PCI Express (not PCI-X) has an architecture that is serial based like the SATA while the old PCI is based upon a parallel architecture. So pin count reduces. Also the protocol is much like AGP. Devices do not share bandwidth. Theoritical bandwidth will be 250 MB/s per direction, roughly double the bandwidth of the current PCI and this is available to each device with PCI Express. The above will be the refernce lane x1. Extra lanes with bandwidth multiple of x1 can be added - x2, x4, x8, x12, x16 and x32. x16 is the new generation graphical bus interface. Low latency is also another goal of PCI Express. Nvidia, to be unique have misused the term PCX. It means PCI Express and not the specification below.

vs

<b>PCI-X (Not PCI Express or Nvidia's PCX)</b>
a.k.a PCI-X 2.0. You dont have to worry about this standard. It will not be used for graphics industry. Very few desktop systems support it. It is an acronym for PCI extended, an enhanced PCI bus. PCI-X is backward-compatible with existing PCI cards. It improves speed of PCI from 133 MBps to ~1 GBps. PCI-X was designed jointly by IBM, HP and Compaq to increase performance of high bandwidth devices, such as Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel, and processors that are part of a cluster. It is similar to the old PCI architecture though with 64 bit bus and 66/133/266/533 Mhz clock. Do not confuse it with PCX, a term Nvidia uses for thie PCI Express cards.

"


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheGreatGrapeApe on 11/14/04 04:02 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 22, 2004 11:54:36 PM

hehe, look above ur post :wink:

:tongue: <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/priyajeet/fing.jpg" target="_new"><i><font color=red>Very funny, Scotty.</font color=red><font color=blue> Now beam down my clothes.</font color=blue></i></A> :tongue:
!