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AGP vs. PCI-E questions
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Psychlone
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Default AGP vs. PCI-E questions - 03-03-2008, 03:40 | posts: 3,719 | Location: Searching for more light...

Alright...this is actually a pretty stupid question, especially from a seasoned member here, and I realize that there are going to be varied opinions on this, but I just need to understand.

The AGP bus wasn't even close to saturated when PCI-E became the new standard (and with PCI-E 2.0 just around the corner)
Motherboard manufacturers are still using the older AGP bus on some of their motherboards (entry to mid level?) - even though we all know it's outdated technology, PCI-E 2.0 advancing as we speak.

So, my real question here is this: Why are motherboard manufacturers still implementing AGP instead of hopping to the newer industry standard of PCI-E 2.0 compliance, AND, why is ATi justifying the older AGP technology by even making AGP cards?? - *Especially* the top of the line cards such as the 3850's ???

The reason I ask is because I see so many threads from people that are upset about ATi's lack of AGP driver fixes, but it's an oxymoron - ATi is still making them, despite being an outdating tech...this doesn't make any sense to me.

As for the people that end up *having* to purchase an AGP ATi card, I realize that the purchase is moved by their need for a good card that their motherboard supports - which is why I don't understand why motherboard manufacturers aren't adopting the PCI-E 2.0 standard and leaving the old AGP bus behind (again, even though I already know the AGP bus hasn't ever been fully utilized)

With every new era comes advances in technology - the old PS/2 replaced by USB, parallel and serial replaced by USB as well, from magnetic core memory to 30pin, all the way to present day 240 pin DDR3 and graphical GDDR5 - as well as all the older busses that haven't been mentioned including PCI which is being replaced (slowly) by PCI-X and soon to change again...

Anyway, just thought that some of you fellow Gurus could help enlighten me as to why some manufacturers are still clinging onto older technology and obviously not keeping up on the maintenance for it.

Thanks in advance for any information passed along...

Psychlone
   
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Spathi
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Default 03-03-2008, 04:49 | posts: 420 | Location: Australia

Most people upgrade when their computer either blows up or they need more speed (for a game they like, CAD etc etc).
Some people upgrade because they think they need to after reading marketing material.
Some people upgrade because they want to or get bored.

In my case I looked carefully and came to the conclusion that currently most PC's are a waste of money as none of them can run HD/high/ultra everything with no sweat (unless you spend a fortune and then eat your power bills), so it buys me 2 more years. I also saw people were having problems with PCIe slots and sharing, so it will probably be worth waiting.

For some people it will mean they can toy with Vista without buying a new PC As well as this consider that people like me have never played these older FarCry, F.E.A.R., x3 type games so that will be enough to keep us happy for a while. This week I am playing the second half of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and it is way better than when I played the first half on a 6800 last month. I can also tell you M&M was more stable with the 3850 than the 6800.

It is cheaper and easier to just bung a new card in if it does the job good enough (and it does for me and I think I have the first 8x AGP motherboard released or maybe second). The tricky bit is working out if it will do the job, but then some people will not even care if it does not.

I think currently many of the 'bad' issues you see are PSU, MB BIOS/driver related. Also, the R6xx has a lowish fill rate (I think), but it is enough to live with. As you say the drivers/bios probably still need tweaking for fans etc.
   
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Spathi
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Default 03-03-2008, 05:25 | posts: 420 | Location: Australia

To answer it more from the point of view of ATI, someone else described it as ATI having an 'army' of PCIe to AGP bridge chips to use up. Maybe they were/are banking on there being enough people left unwilling to upgrade their whole computer to form a market for a few more AGP boards.

When there are a few more heavy duty games in a couple of years then you will have your wish and AGP will die.

EDIT:
Regarding PS/2 being replaced by USB.. there is no way you will catch me plugging my KB into a USB port... too much latency for the game I play the most and I have a low latency KB. All is not always how it seems if you look deeply enough. PCIe was too save production costs, USB was for unified compatibility. DDR DualChannel is similar in performance to equivalent DDR2, DDR3 is not really utilized yet... nothing can really use more than 1333 to any great benefit.

Last edited by Spathi; 03-03-2008 at 05:40.
   
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homberg
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Thumbs up 03-03-2008, 16:50 | posts: 31 | Location: Praha, Czech

Spathi, you have the same MB, CPU, Graphics card. Good job!
   
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Psychlone
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Default 03-03-2008, 17:24 | posts: 3,719 | Location: Searching for more light...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spathi View Post
Most people upgrade when their computer either blows up or they need more speed...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spathi View Post
...so it buys me 2 more years. I also saw people were having problems with PCIe slots and sharing, so it will probably be worth waiting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spathi View Post
It is cheaper and easier to just bung a new card in if it does the job good enough (and it does for me and I think I have the first 8x AGP motherboard released or maybe second). The tricky bit is working out if it will do the job, but then some people will not even care if it does not.
I think currently many of the 'bad' issues you see are PSU, MB BIOS/driver related. Also, the R6xx has a lowish fill rate (I think), but it is enough to live with. As you say the drivers/bios probably still need tweaking for fans etc.
While I agree with every point you make, and certainly understand and can validate your personal viewpoint, what I don't get is; with the current price of motherboards - even top-of-the-line motherboards, I personally would drop an extra $350 (motherboard and 3870 included) for an upgrade that I'm going to be able to utilize for another couple years - but better yet, I've 'semi-future-proofed' myself by going with the PCI-E version of the mobo.

See, when I needed an upgrade in graphics from my old AGP A8V Deluxe, I decided on the HiS IceQ3 X1900XT - always had good luck with them, great product, easy to overclock the crap out of because of the advanced cooling, etc. So, when I did make the purchase, I also knew that I was going to need to keep my CPU (a Clawhammer 4000+ at the time) - as well as the RAM (Corsair XMS 3202C2v1.3) to avoid just banking a whole new system - so I spent $157 on an A8R32-MVP Deluxe and another $280 on the X1900XTX (good deal at the time!)...and my 'semi-future-proofing' has worked well for me. I kept the Claw 4000+ overclocked at 2.85GHz in the new motherboard for about a year, I kept the XMS3202C2 overclocked at 550MHz for that time, and didn't spend *any* other money on the system...I upgraded the CPU to a one in a million Opteron165 when I got bored with the old single core, and I've since upgraded the GPU to the HiS IceQ3 X2900XT, but everything else in my case is the same from that last build - so I've effectively spent a total of (157 for the mobo + 280 for the X1900XTX + $155 for the Opty + $350 for the X2900XT - 280 for the X1900XTX because I put it in my wife's computer (along with the A8V and Clawhammer) = $662 in 3 years now...and I'm still holding out for a major upgrade because I can.

Not to unjustify your argument, or to undercut your belief or the way you've done it, but for me, clinging onto the older AGP just because my motherboard is AGP is really a dead end...especially for what a really good overclocking s939 PCI-E board costs nowadays... Again, for me, it couldn't work any other way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spathi View Post
To answer it more from the point of view of ATI, someone else described it as ATI having an 'army' of PCIe to AGP bridge chips to use up. Maybe they were/are banking on there being enough people left unwilling to upgrade their whole computer to form a market for a few more AGP boards.
When there are a few more heavy duty games in a couple of years then you will have your wish and AGP will die.
Now this I can believe - All manufacturers of goods will rely on the end users to consume all the old products so they don't take a loss on the costs of those 'shelved' products. Makes sense because I own a huge restaurant - First In, First Out, and don't throw it away unless it's unusable.
And, I do realize there are plenty of people left who simply don't want to upgrade from AGP until something bigger and better comes along. - I've got a funny story attached to that: When the 3.5" 'Floppy' disks came out, I just 'knew' that they'd never catch on...after all, they only held 2X as much data as the DD DD 4 1/4" Floppy...so I never upgraded to an internal 3.5" Floppy drive - and guess what I missed? *Nothing* - for a long time. All the games that were coming out for the old monochrome monitor and 64K memory systems came out on the 4 1/4" Floppies. Then, one day, I couldn't find the big floppy Floppy disks anymore except in special places - seems they were being outdated and replaced with this newer 3.5" Floppy (even though it was HARD and not floppy!!!)

Point is, I understand both sides of both points of view in this thread. Maybe I just wasn't thinking like someone who isn't me!! There is nothing wrong with holding onto what you've got for as long as you can - while most of my buddies have *SCREAMING* systems using the Core2 or Quads, a couple even with some nasty Phenoms - I've still got my little trusty Opteron and my ~ 3 year-old system plugging along.

Psychlone
   
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Spathi
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Default 03-03-2008, 21:08 | posts: 420 | Location: Australia

For me it was time saved, not money...
open box, stick cpu and card in.
and fun...
maxed out old system

I almost did get a new system, this AGP card just gave me everything I wanted now and lets me hang out for large enough SSD drives and what ever comes after the intel x48 chipset and DDR3.

A new system would really involve researching heavily what to get and chasing updates for a year or two for every component. The worst being I would have to back up the system and test the new raid array for several months and then I would still be stuck with a system that can not play next years HD games at full settings.

If I had looked last year, it was a no brainer.. upgrade everything, ATI did something which I agree is strange and gave people an option not to.
Quote:
Maybe I just wasn't thinking like someone who isn't me!!
ahaha, people on these sites are not typical users. Typical users get an xbox and whatever for a pc.

Last edited by Spathi; 03-03-2008 at 21:11.
   
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Spathi
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Default 03-03-2008, 21:16 | posts: 420 | Location: Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by homberg View Post
Spathi, you have the same MB, CPU, Graphics card. Good job!
LOL!

I made a new BIOS if you want,
http://newbling.net
read me is inside, and here...
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.c...76e27be41ac806

EDIT:ignore the 3850 driver, that is just for AMD motherboard people who are having problems, power color site is too slow for them to dl it.

Last edited by Spathi; 03-03-2008 at 21:24.
   
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Curtimus
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Default 03-04-2008, 08:01 | posts: 156 | Location: In my own little world.

Perhaps ATI is gaining sales in a market Nvidia has largely abandoned.
   
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Only Intruder
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Default 03-05-2008, 15:14 | posts: 280 | Location: Bradford, UK

I can't believe there are people out there with the same mindset as me. I.E. Try and get the best out of an old system!

Well, I just have to ask, is it worth popping in a HD3850 alongside a Northwood 3.06GHz 533MHz FSB?
   
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Spathi
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Default 03-05-2008, 21:22 | posts: 420 | Location: Australia

decide for yourself
http://newbling.net/BenchmarkImages/HD3850/
   
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Only Intruder
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Default 03-05-2008, 22:06 | posts: 280 | Location: Bradford, UK

I probably should have asked, is it worth taking out my X1950 and popping in a HD3850 lol
   
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Spathi
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Default 03-06-2008, 01:26 | posts: 420 | Location: Australia

Probably not, wait for the next one or if it never comes get it cheaper l8r.

I would be interested in what the difference is for some games though, the X1950 might actually be faster in certain games on older systems.

Could you run the X2 demo benchmark twice (default settings and maxed) and paste the results? If you want to do that then tell me your CPU freq and I will run it at your settings.

p.s. Remember to run StarForce remover after using the X2 demo

Last edited by Spathi; 03-06-2008 at 01:34.
   
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