Anybody have PCI express?

Does anyone have a new computer with the new PCI express bus? If so, have you noticed the system performance improvements? Any effects on stability, etc? I generally go the AMD route, should this make me switch?

I’ll give it just one bump for the daytime crowd.


I don’t have one but my thinking is that you aren’t going to see performance increases yet with the poor selection of videocards out for PCI/E. My BFG 6800 GTOC beats the pants off the current offerings.

AMD should have a PCI/E board within 6 months. I’m personally waiting for AMD.

The specs for PCI/E look great but there aren’t many (or any) cards out there that need it just yet.

I’ve got PCIe with my Dell Precision 670, but I ordered it with the basic Quadro NVS 280. I’m still waiting for someone to ship a PCIe Quadro FX 4400 card for it, which nobody was selling last I looked a few weeks ago. My guess is that such a card will be in the $1000+ range, since the Quadro 3400 lists at $1100 on Dell’s site.

Alternatively, I’d take a considerably cheaper PCIe nVidia 6800 ultra card, but I don’t see anyone selling one yet.

I was just looking at an AGP GeForce 6800 and under features it says, “PCI express support.” :confused: What exactly does that mean? I don’t see how PCIe and AGP could be anything other than mutually exclusive.

Leonard: can you pls give us a link? Thanks.

Here you go.

Athlon 64 boards with PCI-E are already starting to hit the review sites, so you should be able to buy one in a couple months. Overall, there really isn’t any performance gain in using a PCI-E video card right now; current games don’t come anywhere near to stressing the 8xAGP bus, (hell, they are just starting to max out the 4x bus) so the extra bandwidth just doesn’t help right now. I think you would see more a gain in performance from gigabit ethernet, Firewire800, and Hard drive controller cards, areas that were stressing the old PCI bus, before graphics show any improvemnt.

It’s a typo. The interface on that card is AGP. I guess what they mean by that is that soon PCI/e 6800s will be available.

But the 6800 is interesting in that with PCI/e “dual card” systems are possible like my old Voodoo cards that I once had. SLI is interesting although it doesn’t double your processor power and with something like the 6800, is going to be a headache to power and cool.

I had to bump up my PSU to 480 watts and even with 7 fans I’m running at 67C.

I’m not big on HD tech but is there any HDs on the market right now that stress IDE 133 or the SATA interface limits? I picked up a Seagate 160 gig SATA drive but as I understand it Toms Hardware only shows SATA drives to be pushing 112 Mbits/sec.

Seems rather overkill to put a HD controller on a PCI/e interface. Firewire 800 on the other hand is going to be super sweet although, again, not much is going to need such a fat pipe.

A single disk doing well organized video streaming will push about 480 Mbps. Also, a lot of companies are coming out with port muxes that will merge up to 14 disks on a single feed so they can hit wire saturation pretty quick. Finally, since HDTV will need over 1 Gbps per stream, there will be more than enough need for high bandwidth interfaces. Of course, the real reason behind PCI/e and SATA is that devices like disks are becoming smaller and smaller and they can’t physically fit parallel interfaces on them.

I’m not an expert on PCIe, but I am a geek (and play one on TV), so here’s my thumbnail understanding:

PCI-Express offers 500MBps (@1x) to 4GBps (@16x) of bandwidth ( or 4000Gbps to 32Gbps in RadioWave’s parlance – bits vs. bytes/sec), which is pretty far above what single disk drives can deliver. You couild hook up really extreme RAIDs that would use this bandwidth, but that’s not the real push behind PCIe.

PCIe’s primary use for now will probably be as a CPU<->GPU interface, which I personally find pretty exciting. The last couple of generations of GPUs from NVidia and ATI are really extreme, and PCIe offers us imaging/audio nerds the chance to use GPUs for things other than DOOM – a GPU can be hijacked to use for non-3D work such as audio processing and imaging.

The AGP bus was (sort of) single-directional – fast from the PC to the video card, slow the other direction. PCIe 16x slots are much faster, and more importantly, fast in both directions, so work from the main machine can be offloaded to the GPU and come back to main memory very quickly. Consequently, we’ll soon see things like MPEG decoding and encoding or signal processing or, well, whatever, offloaded to your video card, and some really processor-intensive, non-3D apps will see some incredible benefits in the near future.

All of that having been said – the benefits aren’t there yet for common users. I expect there will probably be some really extreme games in the next 12 months or so that use PCIe to some benifit, but for right now, IMHO, PCIe is good for developers and vendors of huge streaming servers.

PCIe is the bus for the future. And most of the benefits are still in the future. :slight_smile:

Oops, that should have read “4Gbps to 32Gbps in RadioWave’s parlance” etc.