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What is PCI Express?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ummm, Oct 13, 2008.

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  1. ummm

    ummm Thread Starter

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    What is the function of PCI Express? Do they only connect video cards to the motherboard? What type of PCI Express is the fastest currently?
     
  2. BG-0

    BG-0

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    There are PCI-express 1x, pci-ex 4x, pci-e 8x pci-ex 16x (varieties 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0(the fastest of all PCI-E). The PCI-E 16x slots are used mainly to connect only video cards, but especially PCI-E 1x slots are used for other devices (SATA controllers, usb expansions?, etc).
    4x and 8x slots are becoming rare.
     
  3. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Are you refering to AGP 4x & 8x slots as being rare?
     
  4. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Well, they at least... I thought few (new) boards have actual PCI-E 4x and 8x slots? Not just speed-wise. Am I totally mistaken?
     
  5. Compiler

    Compiler

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    There are physical slots of those sizes... but you're right, I don't think anyone makes such boards. I thinks its logistics that caused that. When you manufacture parts, each different part costs money.

    An x1 PCI Express lane is about twice as fast asa PCI slot. Most types of devices DO NOT need more than that. Network cards, TV Tunners, IDE controllers, modems, etc. An x8 PCIe slot is about the same as AGP x8. And these are PCIe 1.1 spec. 2.0 doubles the perfomance ability. And PCIe 3.0 is again double over 2.0.

    Anyways, back to $$$$... I think its simply cheaper and easier to make only x1 and x16 slots. Many boards support dual x8 PCIe configurations... or require it for SLI/CF operations... while physically, they are x16 slots. Remember, you can FIT an x1 card into an x16 slot and visa-versa. Yep, a GTX 280 card and be plugged into an x1 slot AND WORK.... slowly.

    So they install several x16 slots and can allow the user to configure how much performance to allocate into the slots.
     
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