Is PCI-Express a bad idea?_ Not at all._ It cuts manufacturing costs and simplifies trace design; from that perspective alone its a smart advance._ But dont confuse smart advance with performance advantage._ Based on the numbers weve seen here, the average game and application (even the modern ones) typically do not take advantage of AGP 8x._ None of our games showed more than a small increase._ Professional applications are a different story, there we saw boosts of 30-40%._ Its also been suggested that certain specified applications, like video editing, might run more smoothly over the PCI-Express system.
For the gamer, however, PCI-Express is going to be a non-issue._ Given that most games today barely stress the AGP 2x bus, moving to double AGP 8x isnt going to do anything._ Its the equivalent of widening a highway no one drives on._ Had AGP developed in the direction it was intended to things might be different, but it didnt._ Now, to some extent, its a solution to a problem no one has._
If youre still running on an original Athlon, P3, or Socket 423 P4, than a PCI-Express system might not be a bad idea, but if youve got something newer and arent using a specialized application demonstrated to gain from PCI-E, we wouldnt bother planning to upgrade._ Youll just be throwing money away after hype._ The reality is, in many cases we're barely pushing AGP 2x, sometimes 4x._ 8x, despite now being two years old, is mostly hot air.
PCI-E is huge because the GPU can do in real-time for video what the CPU can only hope *and* allow the CPU to read that back.
It's not huge on the PC side because no apps can do that, but what a goddamn coup that would be to show PCI-E systems at NAB *and* software that can make the most of it. I don't care what kind of GHz or dual-core Intel/AMD show, having Apple's video suite take advantage of this on new Pmac and Tiger will steal the show, without a doubt.
Of course, nobody should be shocked if Apple blows it instead. They always seem to be one cylinder short of a V8 when it comes to this kind of stuff. My only hope is that the painfully long delay is a result of them making sure their shit is together on this one.