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Thread: PCI Express Questions

  1. #1
    mr. nails's Avatar m@D @n!m3 BT Rep: +1
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    i've never messed around with pci-e at all. haven't even touched one. so, my question is how do u get TRUE 16x pci-e? i've seen mb's that state dual 16x and dual true 16x. what's the difference? also, what is or even why do u need 1x pci-e? sounds like a waste of money. when getting a pci-e mb with 16x pci-e why would u want 1x slots, 4x slots, or even 8x slots on ur mb? is pci-e plug in play? just install 2 exact cards on the mb then link them on top of cards and it auto recognizes both cards and ur running sli?
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  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. nails
    i've never messed around with pci-e at all. haven't even touched one. so, my question is how do u get TRUE 16x pci-e? i've seen mb's that state dual 16x and dual true 16x. what's the difference?
    Different mobo manufacturers implement PCI-e well,differently.
    The end result is the same though.
    Early designs (and even still, the new DFI Expert board) use PCI-e slot #1 to implement 16x while PCI-e slot#2 is 2x.
    Until you implement SLI- then they both run at 8x.
    Newer boards allow 16x on either slot, but even so, when SLI is in place they both run at 8x.
    The advantage to the latter design is the ability to mount a single card in either slot and still get 16x bus speed.

    also, what is or even why do u need 1x pci-e? sounds like a waste of money. when getting a pci-e mb with 16x pci-e why would u want 1x slots, 4x slots, or even 8x slots on ur mb?
    Sooner or later many addon devices (think network cards, etc) will be designed for the 1x & 4x slots so they will ultimately become useful. Right now, they aren't.
    is pci-e plug in play?
    Yes.
    just install 2 exact cards on the mb then link them on top of cards and it auto recognizes both cards and ur running sli?
    You are confusing SLI with PCI Express.
    SLI refers to two vid cards working together...PCI-e is just the bus they are plugged into.
    SLI is getting simpler to implement, but nVidia keeps undermining the concept by releasing new cards that singly outperform the previous gen's performance in SLI.
    For instance, a 7800GT's performance alone is very nearly equal to twin 6800GTs in SLI. Maybe even better.
    Given the extra cost (TWO cards AND the extra power required and heat) SLI makes less and less sense unless you are a rich, hardcore gamer.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    mr. nails's Avatar m@D @n!m3 BT Rep: +1
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    thx for clearing some things up, but just to clear things up for me... even though u have a 16x pci-e vid crd when u run sli it only runs 8x? or 16x? that confuses me. why would a 16x crd run @ 8x when running sli?

    also, how is ati's crossfire thing going? i've heard bad. is it the same as nvidia's sli, but since it's ati they call it crossfire? they run the same? can u put 2 ati cards on a nvidia mb and run crossfire or will that run sli? do u have to run 2 ati cards on a crossfire mb to run crossfire? what's the deal with that?
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  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Formula1's Avatar Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. nails
    i've never messed around with pci-e at all. haven't even touched one. so, my question is how do u get TRUE 16x pci-e? i've seen mb's that state dual 16x and dual true 16x. what's the difference?
    Different mobo manufacturers implement PCI-e well,differently.
    The end result is the same though.
    Early designs (and even still, the new DFI Expert board) use PCI-e slot #1 to implement 16x while PCI-e slot#2 is 2x.
    Until you implement SLI- then they both run at 8x.
    Newer boards allow 16x on either slot, but even so, when SLI is in place they both run at 8x.
    The advantage to the latter design is the ability to mount a single card in either slot and still get 16x bus speed.

    also, what is or even why do u need 1x pci-e? sounds like a waste of money. when getting a pci-e mb with 16x pci-e why would u want 1x slots, 4x slots, or even 8x slots on ur mb?
    Sooner or later many addon devices (think network cards, etc) will be designed for the 1x & 4x slots so they will ultimately become useful. Right now, they aren't.
    is pci-e plug in play?
    Yes.
    just install 2 exact cards on the mb then link them on top of cards and it auto recognizes both cards and ur running sli?
    You are confusing SLI with PCI Express.
    SLI refers to two vid cards working together...PCI-e is just the bus they are plugged into.
    SLI is getting simpler to implement, but nVidia keeps undermining the concept by releasing new cards that singly outperform the previous gen's performance in SLI.
    For instance, a 7800GT's performance alone is very nearly equal to twin 6800GTs in SLI. Maybe even better.
    Given the extra cost (TWO cards AND the extra power required and heat) SLI makes less and less sense unless you are a rich, hardcore gamer.

    Yeah you are correct. 2 7800gt's in SLI would only gain you 10-25 Frames in a game. But one of the major benefits from it, is that it combines the video memory and the bandwidth, which is really good. But other than that, yeah sli is a waste of money, imho.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. nails
    thx for clearing some things up, but just to clear things up for me... even though u have a 16x pci-e vid crd when u run sli it only runs 8x? or 16x? that confuses me. why would a 16x crd run @ 8x when running sli?
    16x is the total speed available through the PCI-e bus.
    When you run a single card, it uses (theoretically...in real life, never) all of the 16x available. Go to SLI and each card runs at 8x, for a total of 16x. The whole idea of SLI is to reduce the workload on each card so it can run at higher settings.


    also, how is ati's crossfire thing going? i've heard bad. is it the same as nvidia's sli, but since it's ati they call it crossfire? they run the same? can u put 2 ati cards on a nvidia mb and run crossfire or will that run sli? do u have to run 2 ati cards on a crossfire mb to run crossfire? what's the deal with that?
    Although SLI and Crossfire essentially do the same thing they are not interchangable as the motherboard must support whichever process you are running.
    Obviously, nVidia is in no hurry to enable Crossfire support on a nF4 chipset board and vice-versa.
    The new x1900 ATI cards are supposed to be kickass but I don't really follow the whole vid card extremism too closely.

    Keep in mind that I am old and grey and mostly look at video games for the tits.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Formula1
    But other than that, yeah sli is a waste of money, imho.
    SLI can be economical, and it can be a waste of money.

    okay, examples:
    if you run out and buy two $400-$500 cards as soon as they're released, just so you can make an SLI configuration and have the hottest hotrod on the block for a while (until a single-card solution comes out, that beats it every which way)... then you've prolly got more dollars than sense. total waste of money, unless you're rich or you're planning to use them for just a little while and then recoup most of their price on eBay before the value drops.

    if you buy one new SLI compatible card at a high price, then use it for a while... and well, maybe you can't afford to replace it with another expensive card, a year later? so what do you do. buy another card (of the same model you've already got) when the price has dropped, which allows you to upgrade your setup without spending a fortune. this doesn't sound like such a bad idea to me.

    i never really expected multi-card SLI to make a comeback in the hobby market, though. some of the old 3DFX voodoo cards could be placed in a multi-card SLI setup, but then with the voodoo 5 they decided "well, why don't we just put two identical graphics chips on the same card, and have them do SLI without the need for multiple cards?" the voodoo 5 was not as expensive as buying two high-end single-chip cards, but it was still expensive. that was the last we ever saw of SLI gaming cards (nvidia and ATI made cards shortly thereafter, which were faster than the voodoo 5 and only used single graphics chips) till recently, so it seemed as if the market had decided the short-term benefit is just not worth the high price. 3DFX made a pretty huge mistake, though, when they pinned all their hopes on this one extremely high-end product, and didn't have a good low-end product to complement it (the voodoo 4 used the same chip as the voodoo 5, but only had one chip instead of two, and its performance was pitiful). i suppose if you put SLI out there and promote it effectively, somebody will want it, but it's not going to be a top-selling solution because it seems to have a pretty low "bang for your buck" value to early adopters.
    Last edited by 3RA1N1AC; 02-09-2006 at 07:43 AM.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    mr. nails's Avatar m@D @n!m3 BT Rep: +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker
    Although SLI and Crossfire essentially do the same thing they are not interchangable as the motherboard must support whichever process you are running.
    <-- running slow. so, in order to run sli it has to say sli mb? and also with the crossfire? has to say crossfire compatible or what not? u can't run both on 1 mb? i can honestly say i've never seen a crossfire mb. all the mb's i've seen have said nvidia sli.
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  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    S!X's Avatar L33T Member BT Rep: +5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. nails
    so, in order to run sli it has to say sli mb?
    Yes, and has to have two PCI-E 16x slots.
    Last edited by S!X; 02-13-2006 at 03:49 AM.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    yupperz01011

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    S!X's Avatar L33T Member BT Rep: +5
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    Quote Originally Posted by XxEtrnlDeathXx
    yupperz01011

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