PCI Express and Athlon 64s

  Ol' Greyhair 00:29 16 Apr 2004

Anyone out there with a crystal ball?
With PCI Express about to knock AGP into touch and the Athlon 64 and 64 FX currently making inroads - are we in one of those situations where now is NOT the time to buy?
For example - motherboards. Express is due to hit late 2005/early 2005. Will MBs come in today's standard PCI + AGP or will there be a cross over with Express + AGP to maintain some sort of compatibility?
Will the 64s go more towards the FX - different sockets - and if so, do we wait and see what the FX standard socket will be - 940 or 939?
This may be a 'God Knows, let's wait and see' situation but a lot of people are going to want some idea of which way they want to invest their money to safeguard future upgradeability.
I want to uprate to a better machine but I'm jiggered if I'm going to do it only to have it non upgradeable even before I pay for it.
I'm just letting off a bit of steam about the way the industry leaves customers in the dark, while fleecing them for all they are worth. Any comments?

  Gaz 25 00:33 16 Apr 2004

PCI express is very fast!

Much better, and since its not that far off... If your serious about yuor computing and games. Then wait.

Advice to anyone that wants a high powered system, in that right now, just keep the cash/credit card in the wallet...

  Sion 01:56 16 Apr 2004

Buy now, if we always waited for the latest technologies we would still be all on 486s. Its going to be some time before 64 bit computing becomes standard, heck, even M$ haven't released a 64bit home user OS yet.

As for PCI Express, yes its fast, but realistically, you dont need the extra bandwith for current games. The bandwith may be there for the card to use, but graphics cards jsut can't process that much infomation to warrant the bandwith that is offered by PCI Expres (yet anyway, give it time) And besides, how long do you think it will take for PCI express to become the mainstream format? Nvidia and ATI are planning to release cards for the format, but only high end cards (ie. cards that can actually make use of the extra bandwith)

My advice to you, go for a stop gap. That's what i've done this month. Got myself a nice budget motherboard (Asus A7V600), 2700xp and 512 PC3200 ram. Cost= £160, that will last me until PCI expres and AMD64 become a viable, and value for money upgrade.

  temp003 04:34 16 Apr 2004

Sion makes a valid point, especially if one's not after the latest and fastest, but if you have your mind set on the Athlon 64 cpus, then the currently available socket 940 is too expensive and not really worth it, while socket 754 supports only single channel memory, a waste of HyperTransport. You may want to wait for socket 939 which supports dual channel non-ECC memory. This ought to be the future mainstream platform for AMD, while 940 and 754 are for the enthusiast and budget ends. Just remember that AMD quite often has to delay its predicted releases. So the wait may be longer than you think.

As to PCI-E support, it will take some time for it to become standard, by that time you'll probably want a complete overhaul of your system anyway.

  Ol' Greyhair 00:40 17 Apr 2004

Thanks gang. All points taken on board. Knowing me, I'd like to wait but I know I won't and probably regret it about a month later. The world of the 64 is just dawning, so will we get a battle of standards in a year or so between AMD and Intel when they get their act together in this direction. (AMD are already messing about without opposition). Also with PCI Express, how many versions of new, not very compatable architecture will be trotted out on MBs and cards. Already ATI and nV are seemingly approaching it differently enough to cause problems. Every time big changes occur, and this is a biggie, we all go through a few years uncertainty of which way to jump. It's the way of the world, I suppose, but I just wish it wasn't us users who have to pay thru the nose having to second guess as to what bit of equipment has a future.

  Sion 23:41 17 Apr 2004

There will not be any 'battle of standards' over 64bit CPU architecture. Intel have pretty much just copied the AMD instruction set for 64bit. click here it will be standardised, no need to worry there.

As for PCI Express, there will only be one architecture. PCIExpress is an industry standard, therefore, everyone has to adhere to it. So again, no need to worry there !

I wouldn't fret too much about waiting. It'll be a good long while before PCI express takes off properly, and current PCI slots will be found on motherboards for several years. In fact, i doubt they will ever die out completely. They are perfect for low bandwith operations (ie. LAN cards)

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