Athlon 64 and PCI Express?

  Gaz W 23:27 03 Sep 2004

I've been asked quite a lot recently for recommendations for new motherboards and processors, etc, for higher end systems, but I'm not really sure myself. Is this the right time to buy?

With the Athlon 64 (skt 939) processors, there aren't any motherboards with PCI Express yet, but then is it needed yet? I've read that we've not even got up to the full potential of AGP 8x yet! Also other things that are stopping me from making a decision are things like DDR2, the fact that AMD have changed sockets for the Athlon 64 processors quickly and are probably going to do so again for DDR2 (again correct me if I'm wrong!).

I've let myself get a bit behind with the latest motherboard and CPU stuff and I need to know what to look for/recommend, so any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


  Gaz W 21:12 04 Sep 2004


  AndySD 21:29 04 Sep 2004

click here and have a read.

I must admit that I am waiting at the moment for PCI Express to arrive on an AMD motherboard.

  Gaz W 01:08 05 Sep 2004

Thanks AndySD, just the sort of information I was looking for. If it at least supports PCI Express, that leaves it upgradeable for some considerable time in terms of graphics cards I expect.

Also interesting is the fact that the article dated 24th August states "next month" - with any luck that could mean any time soon! Probably not though, but at least I know a bit more about what's going on.

Thanks again,


  ste_bla 01:57 05 Sep 2004

NForce4 boards which support PCI-X will becoming out around Feb-March 05..

DDR2 makes no real difference at moment as the memory controller is built onbard the cpu and is faster and its expensive..

I dont see why an AGP mobo wouldnt be okay with you as a nice card (9800pro) and motherboard (MsiNeo2) would cost you the same as a PCIX Card so you could get it all not and then this time next year get a cheaper (compared to now) PCI-X and a working motherboard (bugs worked out of new chipset)

  Gaz W 01:56 06 Sep 2004

I take your point that AGP is OK for performance and about any bugs in new chipsets, but the difficult thing for me is buying something I know is already obsolete. Even though the full potential of AGP 8x hasn't been reached, AGP cards are going to stop (I remember trying to find PCI versions of graphics cards 5 or 6 years ago).

The main problem is I'm building systems for other people and they aren't going to want something from me again if they find they can't upgrade after a year!

It's also difficult saying wait - is it really going to be as late as February/March?

By the way I do like the 9800 Pro - I have the 128MB one which I got for less than £130 - seems much better value than the XT or the X800 Pro! The only problem as I say is going to be upgrading it in a year - I'd be happy just to have PCI-E and Socket 939; most types of memory are still available now, so DDR 400 will be, so memory upgrades wouldn't be a problem. The same applies to Serial-ATA 2; a RAID configuration (I forget which one) would allow two smaller drives to be used together to double the performance of standard Serial-ATA or even ATA 133 anyway, so again, no problem!

Anyway thanks for your reply - every bit of information I get helps me to make my decision!


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