PCI express question

By crazdude · 10 replies
Dec 3, 2005
  1. well, what is the difference between pci-e and pci-e x16? are they both better than agp or what? or the same thing? can someone answer this? can normal pci-e be used for video cards also? asking b/c i got a computer with an intergrated radeon x200 video card. but i see that it has 3 pci slots and one PCIe, so am wondering if i even got tired of this x200 card cud i put in another one? i also opened my pc and saw a long black slot, is that a PCI x 16 slot (those are the ones mostly used for video cards, right?) vuz if it is, what kinda cards cud i install into my pc? by the way its an HP Pavilion a1211n desktop computer

    my specs are

    amd anthlon 64 3500+
    512 mb ram
    windows xp
    250 gb hardrive
    17'' hpvs dsl monitor
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    pci-e x16 is like having the bandwidth of 16 pci-e x1 slots. Pci-e x16 is faster than agp, but pci-e x1 is slower than agp, but faster than regular pci. Pci, Pci-e x16, and agp 8x are all different and incompatible. A pci-e x1 card can go in a pci-e x16(or x8, x4) slot though.

    There is one pci-e x1 video card I know of.
    It's not for gaming though.

    Pci-e x1 is very short(less than pci), and pci-e x16 is long(longer than pci).
    If it's longer than a pci slot it likely is pci-e x16.
  3. gary_hendricks

    gary_hendricks TS Rookie Posts: 107

    Hi crazdude,

    First of all, let me give you a background on PCI Express.

    PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Express is a scalable I/O (Input/Output) serial bus technology set to replace parallel PCI bus which came standard on motherboards manufactured from the early 1990s through 2004. In the latter part of 2004 PCI Express slots began appearing alongside standard ISA and PCI slots. The PCI bus which was popular a few years back is slowly getting phased out.

    What's the history behind PCI Express? Well, first let's look at some history. Intel first introduced PCI technology in 1991 to replace the ISA/EISA bus. It was later taken over by The PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) who revised the protocol in 1993.

    Although robust enough to last over a decade, total available bandwidth of just 133 MB/ps shared between slots meant that high demand devices quickly saturated resources. In 1997 this problem was partially alleviated by implementation of a separate AGP slot (Accelerated Graphics Port) with dedicated bandwidth. Other steps were also taken at the chip level along with integrated components, which helped to extend PCI’s viability. However, with the advent of SATA, RAID, Gigabyte Ethernet and other high-demand devices, a new architecture was required.

    Intel answered with PCI Express, or PCIe for short.

    PCI Express has several advantages, not only to the user but to manufacturers:
    • It can be implemented as a unifying I/O structure for desktops, mobiles, servers and workstations
    • It’s cheaper than PCI or AGP to implement at the board level. This keeps costs low for the consumer.
    • It is also designed to be compatible with existing Operating Systems and PCI device drivers.

    PCI Express is a point-to-point connection, meaning it does not share bandwidth but communicates directly with devices via a switch that directs data flow. It also allows for hot swapping or hot plugging and consumes less power than PCI.

    However the most promising feature is that it is scalable meaning greater bandwidth can be achieved through adding “lanes,” ostensibly future-proofing into the next decade.

    The initial rollout of PCI-Express provides three consumer flavors: x1, x2, and x16. The number represents the number of lanes: x1 has 1 lane; x2 has 2 lanes, and so on. Each lane is bi-directional and consists of 4 pins. Lanes have a delivery transfer rate of 250 MB/ps in each direction for a total of 500 MB/ps, per lane.

    • For example, PCI Express x1 has 1 lane, 4 pins and transmits 500 MB/ps. It is intended for use with devices.

    • PCI Express x2 has 2 lane, 8 pins and transmits 1000 MB/ps. It is intended for use with devices.

    • PCI Express x16 has 16 lanes, 64 pins and transmits 8000 MB/ps. It is intended for use with graphics cards that need high performance.

    The 16-lane (x16) slot replaces the AGP for PCIe graphics cards, while the x1 and x2 slots will be used for devices. As graphic demands increase, x32 and x64 slots will be realized, and future versions of PCIe are expected to drastically increase lane data rates.

    Also, you don't want to confuse PCI Express with PCI-X, used in the server market. PCI-X improves on standard PCI bus to deliver a maximum bandwidth of 1GB/ps. PCIe has been developed for the server market as well, initially with the x4, x8 and x12 formats reserved. This far exceeds PCI-X capability.

    Standard PCI is predicted to remain popular throughout 2006 while consumer-owned products and shelf-products filter through the market. Manufacturers of products that have high bandwidth requirements will logically be the first to take advantage of PCI Express capability with graphics cards leading the way.

    PCIe slots are available on both Intel and AMD motherboards.

    Now, to answer your questions:
    Well, as explained above - the difference lies in the number of lanes supported.

    As explained above, PCIe x1 and PCIe x2 are the other flavors and they will cater more to devices rather than graphics cards.

    No problems there. If you want to get a new video card, get a PCIe one and slot it into that PCIe slot.

    The best thing here is to post a picture of that slot if you have it. I'm not too sure if that long black slot is an ISA slot or a PCIe x16. Unlikely to be an ISA slot though - they are so old that they not common in computers anymore.

    Hope this helps, crazdude. Let me know about that long black slot and if you have any further questions about PCI Express.
  4. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 183

  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Again gary_hendricks, If you are going to quote articles, it is a good idea to give credit to the person who actually wrote it.

  6. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 183

    well, with my current system cud i play games decently good?

    specs are
    athlon 64 3500
    windows xp home edition
    250 gb hard disk
    512 ram
    intergrated ATI Radeon express 200 (uses shared mem)

    is that good enough to decently play rome total war?
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    At the sake of being up-tight, please give credit to copied articles by reference of a URL or at least the name of the source.

    It's the nice thing to do. :)
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Sure, that will work for you. How well it works is based on your own perception though.

    Some people like it buttery smooth... Others can handle a little jerk here and there. Some people don't mind turning texture details down a notch while others gotta have it cranked up. So how well it runs really depends on yourself. :) But yes, it will play and should be playable at least at low detail settings. The only thing holding you back will be that integrated chip.
  9. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 183

    i know, dam intergrated chip, i shud get a new one.
  10. kartik.gandhi

    kartik.gandhi TS Rookie

    PCIe signal measurement

    I am a beginer for PCIe technology. I want to know that how we can check PCIe signals? Is there any EVM comes which can be used to my computer's pcie slot and i can measure the signals using any Logic Analyzer?
  11. kartik.gandhi

    kartik.gandhi TS Rookie

    just reply to my query as soon as possible
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