Is PCI-Express x16 really worth it?

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dalearyous

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Jul 17, 2003
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ive heard so many different reviews and accounts. some people say that pci express isn't worth it because right now we aren't even filling up the 8x AGP. i dunno, post your thoughts. obviously pci express is supposed to be much faster, if not now, eventually. basically pretend money wasn't an issue and your building a new system and can't really decide if pci express is worth it.
 

dalearyous

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Joined
Jul 17, 2003
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136
ok i just read a ton of reviews and benchmarks. it seems to me that PCIe is only theoretically faster. its as if you buy PCIe if your board only supports PCIe. im debating on whether buying a cheap PCIe card in hopes of a new vid card around the corner that will be able to tap the potential power of PCIe. or shelling out the massive amounts of cash and not get a new one for 3-4 years
 
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Bandwidth of AGP 2x: ~500MB/sec
Bandwidth of AGP 4x: ~1,000MB/sec
Bandwidth of AGP 8x: ~2,000MB/sec
Bandwidth of PCIe x16: ~4,000MB/sec

Bandwidth of the RAM on an old Nvidia TNT2-M64 AGP 2x/4x videocard: ~1,300MB/sec
Bandwidth of the RAM on a typical modern high-end gaming videocard: ~20,000-30,000MB/sec

The speed of the AGP slot used to be an issue back when AGP videocards didn't have much RAM on them, or it was slow (e.g. with the M64, which shipped in a lot of cheap computers), and they had to store textures in main system memory; but AGP 4x only improved performance by a few percent over 2x, and 8x a few percent over 4x... the extra bandwidth that PCIe x16 offers simply isn't going to make any different to actual performance these days. The bottleneck isn't the AGP or PCIe slot, it's the RAM on the videocard.
 
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