Which PCs Feature PCI-Express?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
With PCI-express looming large on the horizon, I'm trying to get a better perspective on how long it will be before it goes mainstream. I'm asking this for the displeasure of knowing how fast my soon-to-arrive DP2GHz will face obsolescence pressure. Right now I don't have a ton of discretionary income, and I'm expecting this Mac to last for quite some time to come. Googling hasn't yielded anything all that helpful, except for a blurb about Alienware reportedly shipping PCI-express systems in the fourth quarter.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    tekmatetekmate Posts: 134member
    My guess is you will start seeing it in the next year after this coming year you will be hard pressed to find a system that doesn't have one.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    patchoulipatchouli Posts: 402member
    Intel is releasing several new P4 processors (up to 3.6GHz) along with new chipsets that have faster and more efficient DDR2, PCI Express, and a much better on-board graphics system for those who do not need or want a separate GPU (but will have the option to add one in of course). Later this year, these chipsets will ship with on-board WAP capabilities. As the article states, some PC makers will be announcing new PCs with these chipsets/processors over the coming weekend:



    http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103-5237751.html?tag=adnews
  • Reply 3 of 13
    big macbig mac Posts: 480member
    Thank you for the information, Patchouli. I really wish Apple had introduced PCI-express in this revision, but such bleeding edge competitiveness is an unrealistic dream. With the exception of USB, Apple is always far slower at adopting new technology than the rest of the industry. Of course, I'll be crushed if Apple gets DDR2 and PCI-express in for the next revision.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    concordconcord Posts: 312member
    While the first big rollout of PCI-E machines (Dell, HP, etc.) is due this weekend (or thereabouts), AGP will be around for some time to come - particularly for budget boxes. AMD is a little slower in adopting PCI-E - I don't think they're going to have much before Q4 this year. I'm sure it will take over a year to completely make the transition.



    Cheers,



    C.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Concord

    I'm sure it will take over a year to completely make the transition.



    Graphics card companies are saying 12 - 18 months.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Yes 12-18 months at least. PCI-Express' efficiency is going to require developers rework their drivers to take advantage of the new architecture. I think it's fine to want PCIe but if you just bought a Mac the only limatation I could see would be more than 2 years from now if Ati or Nvidia decided to stop shipping their fastest card in AGP form.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Yes 12-18 months at least. PCI-Express' efficiency is going to require developers rework their drivers to take advantage of the new architecture. I think it's fine to want PCIe but if you just bought a Mac the only limatation I could see would be more than 2 years from now if Ati or Nvidia decided to stop shipping their fastest card in AGP form.



    But nvidia is already working on making their fastest cards in both PCIe, and AGP versions. PCIe would still be better choice if you have it.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    But nvidia is already working on making their fastest cards in both PCIe, and AGP versions. PCIe would still be better choice if you have it.



    Yeah that's kind of my point although I was not clear. I doubt that lack of PCIe is going to adversely affect a purchaser of todays PMs for at the very least 2 years. So it seems that it would only become a detriment on todays systems once they reach 3-5 years of age which is quite old.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    tbonebstbonebs Posts: 3member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Yes 12-18 months at least. PCI-Express' efficiency is going to require developers rework their drivers to take advantage of the new architecture. I think it's fine to want PCIe but if you just bought a Mac the only limatation I could see would be more than 2 years from now if Ati or Nvidia decided to stop shipping their fastest card in AGP form.



    PCI and PCIe are in fact software compatible, just not hardware compatible. It's one of PCIe's biggest advantages. If the operating system supports PCI then it will support PCIe just fine. In regards to the previous postings, Intel just (this week) released their 915 & 925 chipsets which use PCIe not only for expansion slots but also for the chipset link between the north- and southbridge. VIA and a few other chipset makers are planning to release their own chipsets using PCIe in the coming months (for Intel and AMD processors).



    Both nVidia and ATI are releasing PCIe versions of their new graphics cards later this month or early next month. The only difference in implementation so far (that I've heard of) is that ATI's is a native PCIe card, while nVidia uses a AGP-to-PCIe bridge chip on their card.

    (From what I've read so far nVidia does not pay much if any performance penalty for using a bridge chip.)



    PCIe does in fact have a great benefit over PCI-X & regular PCI, PCIe does NOT share bus bandwidth among the expansion cards. Each card has its own dedicated channel to the host controller, hence the x1 or x16 (referencing the number of channels the expansion slot has). This prevents one device (i.e. a network card) from hogging bandwidth. This usually is not a problem (for PCI-X) unless you fill most of your expansion slots or you use several cards that demand large amounts of bandwidth.



    (Warning: Please do not take this as fact)

    I believe, although I have not found much evidence one way or the other, that PCIe is actually easier for motherboard manufacturers to implement than PCI or PCI-X because it is a serial interface versus the parallel interface for PCI & PCI-X. (Because parallel interfaces require that the motherboard traces be equal in length. Whereas I believe a serial interface can have slightly differing length. Thereby making the design of the motherboard easier.) I'd be happy to have some input on this if anyone knows more.



    Regardless, the PC industry will not take 2 to 3 years to transition to PCIe. Within 6 to 12 months most new computers will be using PCIe. (With Intel systems being the first and later AMD.) Graphics cards are already transitioning to PCIe, with the rest of the expansion card flock to following in the next year. This will be greatly push along by the fact that Dell, HP and others will require PCIe expansion cards to go in their (at least initially) Intel-based systems. With such large companies demanding PCIe cards the supply will follow (quite quickly).



    I'm not planning on purchasing a G5 system until they are using PCIe. Of course, I can not currently afford it so the point is moot.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    coolmaccoolmac Posts: 259member
    Dell Dimension 8400
  • Reply 11 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    TBoneBS



    I should have clarfied my statement better. PCIe won't require large changes to prep for PCIe. However Intel recommends strategies in programming to realize the full potential of PCI e.



    Yes each "x" in PCIe corresponds to a 250MBs lane. Plus you have virtual channels to further segment traffic.



    I'm pretty sure PCIe will be cheaper to implement. Maybe not so much initially but it will definitely come down rapidly. The market will switch over quickly but ATI and Nvidia will be selling AGP for legacy systems for some time.



    I really can't wait to see how PCIe holds up with some heavy duty cards pushing a lot of data. Say for instance I have a Fibre Channel card along with a high end HD capture board. Or for the musician say I have a Powercore and UAD-1 both running full tilt. If everything runs without a hitch you're going to see some happy faces.



    If fact I've always known that PCIe wasn't going to make a difference for graphic cards. And it won't for another year or two. Bi-Directional PCIe is nice at 8GBps throughput but that's nothing compared to onboard GDDR3 memory which does 30+ GBps. Cards will eventually move to 256 standard and high end 512MB(Game cards..high end 3D boards are there already) so it's unlikely that graphics really needs the bandwidth. Hell a 8x PCIe lane would suffice just fine.



    However imagine pushing 440Mbps XDCAM SR video through a 'puter. Luuuuuuuucy we're going to need more throughput. PCIe is the way.



    Oh yeah I keep forgetting PCIe goes to 32x so that's 8GBps each way. We probably won't see "real" support for a bit for that.



    OT:

    Apple will definitely have PCIe in the next revision. I'd love to see them hit the ground with SATA II support(NCQ) and I think it would really rock if they added and HDMI port on the back. www.hdmi.org HDMI is cool in that it's signal compatabile with DVI but also adds the capability of transferring multichannel uncompressed audio unlike SPDIF. Think about this now. Apple could have an HDMI port that breaks out in cable to DVI and audio I/O or runs into a breakout box. HDMI is going to be the standard connector for HDTV products and eventually your DVD or HD players. It's already on Pioneer, Sammy and Panny units. What else is Apple going to use for Audio/Video I/O that'll have as much sway as HDMI in two years. Nothing.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    An HDMI port would make it too easy to connect a Mac to a TV. And we all know that TV is a big no-no...
  • Reply 13 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by wmf

    An HDMI port would make it too easy to connect a Mac to a TV. And we all know that TV is a big no-no...



    Come'on Steve...Digital Hub me!!!



    Man how long did it take us to get toslink/spdif out? Guess my grandson will have decent connectivity someday LOL.
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