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PCI Express (pros and cons)?

By lifesaver247
Dec 13, 2004
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  1. I am looking to build my first gaming PC but I am getting a few different ideas as to what to use. I need some ideas or suggestions. Since PCI Express is new, that is what I have thought that I wanted to get until a few min. ago. I was talking to a PC builder on the phone and asking him what to buy and he said that PCI Express is not a good way to go. He said that no games have been made for it yet and they are already coming out with a PCI Express 2 in a couple of months.

    What I am wondering is if I am going out on a weak and unstable limb in getting a PCI Express at the present time. Below is a list of what I really wanted to be included in the system but I don't know if it is a good idea now or not.

    Motherboard with 4 DDR2 memory slots, PCI Express capability, Serial ATA connector capability, AMD 64FX processor. I also want to use Corsair DDR2 memory.

    I really don't know if all this is a good idea or not. I am pulling my hair out trying to find the most bang for my buck and find the best innovations.

    PLEASE HELP!

    Thanks!
  2. marcothy

    marcothy TS Rookie Posts: 27

    For starters, you cannot get an AMD Motherboard that will support DDR2, only DDR. They have no plans on making a board that supports it either -in the near future at least.

    AMD boards also will not get PCI Express until maybe late February.

    To be honest, to buy and build a computer right now, IMHO, is a bad investment. I say investment because PC's are in a transitional period. CPU's are shifting to 64 bit-which thats not new, AGP shifting to PCI Express-still in the middle of it, PCI Express is adapting to SLI capabilities-barely on the OEM market, DDR memory is going to DDR2. Current systems are about to outdate themselves at an alarming rate.

    If I were you, and you have a current manageable rig, I would wait until at least 2nd Quarter next year to buy and build.

    If you go PCI Express, make sure you go SLI capable.

    Anyway-if that gives you anymore questions, let me know.
  3. lifesaver247

    lifesaver247 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So, in short you are saying that most of the new stuff is a great idea but but still a-bit rough in performance? Especially since not all manufactures have the technology out yet. I gues I didn't know that AMD was not supporting DDR2. Check out ASUS at their website and look at their new motherboard (the one a the top of the list), is this DDR2? And finally, what is SLI?

    Thanks!
  4. marcothy

    marcothy TS Rookie Posts: 27

    SLI is an old technology from old VooDoo PCI graphics cards where you get two video cards to do the work instead of 1. SLI stands for scalable link interface.

    You can get the stuff thats out now and get good performance.

    The reason I think it's best to wait a while, the same stuff you buy now can drop in price almost 60% once the market changes. DDR should drop significantly as more DDR2 supported boards get out.

    If you want DDR2 though, you need to go with an Intel-based Motherboard. AMD released in the last few weeks that they are not incorporating DDR2 boards anytime soon.

    As for Asus, if you get an AMD based board, of course it will be DDR. If you are going with PCI Express (recommended) then I also recommend making sure you get one that is SLI ready. You don't have to use 2 video cards now, but the option is there if you want to upgrade later. The good thing about that A8N-SLI Deluxe is you have 8 total SATA hook ups, and 4 of them are at the new speeds of 300 MB of sustained throughput-which is double the speed of standard SATA. That board is great to get...to be honest-thats the first AMD board I have seen with PCI Express-let alone SLI.

    My wife will hate you for pointing that out to me.... :knock:
  5. lifesaver247

    lifesaver247 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So what is your honest opinion about DDR vs. DDR2? Will I be stupid to go with an AMD that has DDR? Or are the options that P4 offers w/hyperthreading going to out weigh AMD because of DDR2? Just another opinion!

    Also, I have been seeing "I/O" lately and I don't know what that means.

    Thanks!
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

    I/O stands for Input/Output. A keyboard-port would be an example of an I/O device.
    To be futureproof, go for an AMD64. AMD is well ahead of Intel with 64-bit processors.
    PCI-Express/SLI is all nice and good, but for now extremely expensive. The current top-ATI and NVidia cards are equal in performance to the new PCI-express cards, and cost considerably less. If you always want the latest and the greatest, you will need considerable funds. Also, by the time (even in 6 months) you have bought your bits and built your PC, I am sure a newer "better" technology will come up, which makes your rig outdated.
    Go for the best you can afford now, and enjoy the pleasure of having built your own PC.
  7. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    It is worth going for a P4 just because you can use DDR2 RAM. The only advantage that DDR2 has over DDR is that it has a higher clock speed (533Mhz as opposed to 400Mhz), but this is only needed by the P4, as the P4 is paticularly memory bandwidth hungry, AMD processors work fine without.
    The think that most DDR2 manufacturers DO NOT point out, is that DDR2 has a higher latency, meaning it can actually be slower, depending on how you use your PC.

    The main reason why AMD do not wish to move to DDR2 AFAIK, is that it would mean a move to a new processor core (since the memory controller is implemented in the CPU rather than on the motherboard with Athlon 64).

    If you really want high bandwidth memory (533Mhz) then there is DDR available guaranteed to run at that speed OCZ, Crucial, Corsair, Kingston, etc. all offer performance memory kits way above the DDR Specification (PC3200 = 400Mhz) in speed, but these also cost a considerable amount more. Unless you are overclocking there really is no point.

    Not exactly, in 3Dfx Voodoo terms it meant Scan Line Interleave, which meant that each video card rendered exactly half of the screen (in the form of alternate scan-lines). The new NVIDIA SLI system stands for Scaleable Link Interface, and in operation, each graphics card renders either every other frame, or alternatively they render different proportions of a frame.
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