PCI Express is a new interface for connecting cards to your motherboard. It has increased bandwith from current PCI and AGP (with a thundering 4GB/sec bandwith). The slots for PCI Express will be different for graphics and normal cards (more pins for the graphics slots).
Rumours around ATi's next chipset, R4xx, suggest that it will first appear with a PCI Express interface, but it has also been said that it will ship with a PCI Express to AGP bridge. nVidia, however will initially release it's NV4x graphics with an AGP interface.
PCI Express will be appearing in Spring.
A 16x connector for your GPU, and the small thing is a 1x connector.
The Intel Pentium 4 Prescott will be Intel's next biggest release, available around February. The Prescott P4 will be made using new techniques and new instuctions, plus a tighter design with shorter interconnects to go faster and do more than the current Northwood P4s. A downside is that it will kick out a fifth more heat.
You can probably expect a 775 pin connector, PCI Express compliancy, a 1 GHz front side bus and a 4 GHz clock speed around the end of the year.
I've just read that Prescotts will support DDR2 memory from the off.
Intel arch rival, AMD, plans to switch to a 90 nanometer process some time in the middle of the year, but up to then AMD are going to continue using their 130nm process - exactly like that of the Northwood P4. The 90nm 64 FX, codenamed San Diego, should appear along with the Winchester and the Paris, both codenames for the 90nm Athlon 64 and Athlon XP chips.
More 64 bit motherboards will be appearing over the next few months, including chipsets from ALI, ATi, nVidia, SiS and Via.
The AMD vs. Intel will really be cooking up in the Summer, and it will become clear whether AMD's 64 bit domination plans have been futile or not.
Pretty soon, nVidia will release the successor to its NV3x series of cards, the NV4x. It will feature full support for the key technologies used in DirectX 9.1 - Pixel Shader 3.0 and Vertex Shader 3.0. It will initially appear with an AGP interface, as PCI Express will not be appearing till Spring, at the earliest. Although there is much speculation about the actual hardware configuration of the next nVidia crop of cards, but it is likely that it will feature eight rendering pipelines (up from four) and at least GDDR-II RAM. This is probably going to appear coinciding with the launch of Doom 3 and before CeBIT 2004. Maybe the second week of March?
ATi's R4xx chip, codename Loki, will probably be appearing about the same time as nVidia's next chip (above). There is also a lot of speculation about this chip's features, but Pixel and Vertex Shaders 3.0 will be supported, as well as the 32-bit processing precision required for the next generation of DirectX. Rumours are that it will be twice as fast as current Radeons and will feature PCI Express from the start.
XGI is basically a spin off from SiS.
Look here: New Kid on the Block
From those bechmarks, XGI's cards look very promising. You may say, "Pah!" but considering that its a beta card, running on alpha drivers, I'm pretty impressed.
I don't know much about this yet, but I heard from Clocker that it will offer better speeds and less heat output that normal DDR RAM.
This I have heard, from a few sites. DDR2 RAM will probably not become mainstream this year, simply because its so expensive. It costs around 2x as much as DDR RAM, and several motherboard manufacturers have shown little interest in supporting DDR2 RAM because of this issue.
CasesOriginally posted by Source on this Info
Unless DRAM makers can narrow the price gap between DDR and DDR2 chips to under 20%, DDR2 memory is not likely to become a mainstream choice before the end of this year, local board makers said. DDR2 chips are estimated to enjoy close to a 100% price premium over DDR chips. The gap is mainly due to the limited number of suppliers. Companies that have introduced DDR2 chips are Elpida Memory, Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics.
Look at my post here.
I'll update this more, ask me and I'll research whatever I can about upcoming stuff.