Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch

New Interlink: PCI Express

Three x1 and one x16 PCI Express slots.

Different from PCI or PCI-X, PCI Express (or PCIe) is based on a serial protocol. This means that the interface can get by with a very limited number of wires. In exchange, these are clocked much faster than the PCI bus in order to obtain a high bandwidth. Additionally, that bandwidth can be easily multiplied by merging several PCI Express lanes. The specification provides for five different slot types: x16, x8, x4, x2 and x1, whereas that is referred to as "by sixteen", taking the widest PCIe variant as an example.

PCI Express is a bi-directional point-to-point link, meaning that it basically offers the same bandwidth in both directions and does not need to share its bandwidth with other devices, as is the case with parallel PCI. Due to its modular architecture, motherboard makers will be able to distribute the available PCI Express resources to their preferred slot configuration. A total of 20 PCI Express lanes can be arranged as one x16 PCIe slot and four x1 PCIe slots, which is also common practice with the 900 chipset series. Or five x4 PCIe ports can be implemented for mid-range server systems. Whatever is mathematically doable can be implemented with PCI Express. Also, PCI Express could make it possible to mix chipset components from different manufacturers.

Both the PCI bus and AGP are to be replaced by PCI express. Although Intel does not support AGP with any of the new chipsets, we expect the interface to remain in the market for approximately one more year. It might even take much longer until the PCI bus disappears, but because the costs for implementing this interface are quite low today, that should never be a problem.

PCI Express Lines Bandwidth per Stream Bandwidth, duplex
1 256 MB/s 512 MB/s
2 512 MB/s 1 GB/s
4 1 GB/s 2 GB/s
8 2 GB/s 4 GB/s
16 4 GB/s 8 GB/s
32* 8 GB/s 16 GB/s
  1. Intel's 775 Launch Mixes Ambition With A Strong Aftertaste
  2. First Contact
  3. Obstacles And Hurdles
  4. More Findings
  5. New Socket: LGA 775
  6. LGA 775 Processor Installation
  7. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  8. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  9. MSI's CPU Installation Tool
  10. Transitional Products
  11. Poor Thing: Intel Reference Cooler
  12. New Processors: P4 Prescott Up To 3.6 GHz
  13. Specification Overview
  14. Model And Pricing Information
  15. Processor Overview
  16. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV
  17. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV, Continued
  18. 925X Express Chipset
  19. 915G Express Chipset
  20. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  21. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  22. 915P Express Chipset
  23. Chipset Devices
  24. Intel Puts The Lock On Overclocking
  25. How To Unlock The Overclocking Lock
  26. New Memory: DDR2-533, Continued
  27. DDR2 Memory Vendors
  28. Intel Flex Memory Technology
  29. New Interlink: PCI Express
  30. More SATA, More RAID, More Ports
  31. Matrix RAID
  32. Creating A RAID Array
  33. More HD Performance For Free: Command Queuing
  34. More Networking: Intel Wireless Connect Technology
  35. New Audio: High Definition Audio
  36. Asus P5AD2 Premium
  37. Foxconn 925A01
  38. Test Setup
  39. Benchmarks And Settings
  40. Platform Benchmarks
  41. DirectX 8 Benchmarks
  42. DirectX 8 Benchmarks, Continued
  43. DirectX 9 Benchmarks, Continued
  44. Video Benchmarks
  45. Video Benchmarks, Continued
  46. Application Benchmarks
  47. Application Benchmarks, Continued
  48. Synthetic Benchmarks
  49. Synthetic Benchmarks, Continued
  50. Processor Power Consumption
  51. Integrated Graphics Benchmarks
  52. Game Benchmarks
  53. Halo
  54. Far Cry
  55. Video Performance
  56. Networking Benchmarks
  57. Storage Subsystem Benchmarks
  58. Conclusion
  59. A Final Note
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  • So how do you unlock it?