AGP 8x vs PCIe

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Currently I'm using an AGP 8x video card (Asus A9600XT) with this

If I have to replace that card, would I be better off putting in a PCIe
card.  The literature for the motherboard refers to the PCIe slot as a
"PCI Express Graphics slot," but I can recall seeing it referred to as
"PCI Express Slot (x16 physical, x4 electric)" or something close.

Q1) Will a PCI Express x16 Video Card under perform compared to a "real"
x16 slot?

Q2) Any recommendations for a PCIe card in the $50 or less price point?


Re: AGP 8x vs PCIe

Grinder wrote:
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Well, that is Asrock for you. At least they give a list of supported
PCI Express cards. (The FAQ page mentions there is a trick to using
a 8800GT.)

x4 lane wiring is 1000MB/sec TX and 1000MB/sec RX. Assuming
most of the video card data is moving in one direction at
a given moment, this makes the slot performance similar to
AGP 4X (1066MB/sec half duplex). To see the impact of limited
slot bandwidth, there is this old article. Check *all* the
benchmarks, because some things are more sensitive to a limited
slot than others. This page is relatively bad...

while the gaming page is hardly affected...

Is your video card purchase for gaming or not ? At $50, you'll
get something which is good for 2D desktop work, maybe even
Vista Aero, but will be lacking for any strenuous game usage.


Re: AGP 8x vs PCIe

Paul wrote:
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I don't really do much gaming, wouldn't mind leaving the door open for
some slightly moldy games as they pass through the bargain bin.  With my
existing AGP 8x card, I can run Half-life 2 and Doom 3 at decent frame
rates and resolutions, so I'd be looking for at least that.

It sounds as if I would be better off going for an AGP 8x card, as they
are pretty cheap, and with all else being equal, will outperform and
PCI-E card in my machine.

Thanks, Paul, for the input.

Re: AGP 8x vs PCIe

On Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:25:46 GMT, Grinder

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Neither of these games have a particular need for 8X AGP,
Half Life 2 even runs reasonably on an old o'c nForce2
integrated video system I have, at least up to 1024x768
res., as it can run in DX7 mode.  Eyecandy and resolution
mean a lot when considering older cards, and that includes
whether you might upgrade the monitor to one having higher
native resolution in the future, through choice or monitor

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If you could get a deal on a used AGP card, maybe, but PCI
Express cards of equal performance cost less new and having
a PCI Express card it is viable for reuse in the future.

If your PCI Express slot is bandwidth limited, it would
still be offset by the potential advantage of a little
faster PCI Express card you might use.

I don't understand your question though, you're asking IF
you needed to replace it.  Is there impending doom?  Unless
it has a fan that fails and the card bakes itself to death,
the card might outlive the motherboard.

One last thought.  Your current card plays aging titles like
HL2 and Doom3 ok, but that bargain bin will have games with
progressively more and more demand on the video card just as
each generation of games did before they aged.  It means to
retain a similar usability in the future, the performance
would have to be higher.

We can't know if or how much you might watch HD video but
current generations of cards have more hardware decoding
which might come in handy, or certain models of cards might
have some features you might want like HDMI output or dual
DVI.  I'm saying that only basing a card on performance at a
few years old games leaves a lot of latitude and there are
more details you might benefit from considering.

Given all the criteria I would think about a 8500GT, which
is sometimes discounted, with a rebate bringing it down to
around $30 to 40 after rebate.  For example,
but I don't know anything about how noisey the fan is and
believe there are some passively cooled (at higher price of
course unless you happened upon a rebate for one of those).

On the other hand I feel a little higher performing card
would have better long term viability, but seldom are such
cards available for around $50.  Rarely you may find deals
on a 8600GT for closer to $65-80 after a larger rebate.  On
ATI's side, you might find a 2600Pro rebated down to about
$65-75 currently, or 2400Pro for a bit less but dropping too
low in price you aren't getting over that hump of covering
their basic manufacturing costs so there is much performance
to be gained in the $65 and up (after discounts) price range
over a sub-$50 card.

Re: AGP 8x vs PCIe

kony wrote:
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The card has a heatsink/fan that has once previously failed.  It was
still in warranty, so I got it replaced.  It's starting to act up again,
so I'm considering what I'll do if it fails this time, out of warranty.

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Given that on my current card, the fan has failed in a most annoyingly
noisy manner, a quiet card is attractive.  Thanks for your suggestions.

Re: AGP 8x vs PCIe

On Tue, 11 Dec 2007 22:22:27 GMT, Grinder

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Put a couple drops of very thick (almost greaselike
consistency) oil in the bearing.  Repeat this every year or
so.  If necessary, take the 'sink off and drill some holes
to mount a better fan with screws or nylon wire ties.
Solder the old fan connector onto the new fan if finding a
fan with the right mini-connector is a problem.

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I usually just take some old heatsink from the socket 370
era and machine it down till it's a size I like, then put a
50-60mm x 15mm thick standard fan on it.  The mounting
options are the trickier part, I've done it various ways
from putting solid strand 14 gauge wire through the sink
exiting in newly drilled holes adjacent to the original case
heatsink mounting holes (when their metal clad so the wire
can be soldered in place while pressure is on it), to
original mounting screws and new holes tapped into the
replacement 'sink, to new screws but reusing the original
springs still for tension, or sometimes getting more
elaborate depending on how inspired I am, and what the
original mount was like.

Here's a nice cheap Alpha 'sink that I put on a FX5700, nice
because it takes a standard 60mm fan (has tapped holes in
the corners, might be 4-40 thread IIRC)
but of course having something this tall with a fan on it
will at least block the adjacent slot to the video card, and
possibly even a 2nd slot will be a tight fit... I can't
recall on my FX5700 if it needed two empty slots next to it
or not, but I think not because I vaguely recall the system
it's in also has a gigabit ethernet, and sound card while
the board in it is only mATX so it's slot-limited... would
be impossible for it to take up more than one empty slot's
worth of space.

Re: AGP 8x vs PCIe

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In the real world, (from everything that I've read & heard - so this is
hearsay because I didn't keep the multitude of links) there is no noticable
difference between the Pcie running at 4x & AGP running at 8x - even with a
new Pcie 16x card in a 16x slot any benefits are only really seen at the
higher end.

Don't worry about changing your video card until you have to, by which time
Pcie will be the only way to go - unless of course you come across an
absolute bargain.

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