Maybe a dumb question but can someone explain to me the new PCI Express x16 graphics cards. Namely, do you need a special motherboard with PCI express slots? or can they be plugged into a normal PCI slot?
I guess AGP slots have gone by the way, so much for that great innovation.
Nothing ever seems to be backwards compatible anymore. A completely new computer every 2 or 3 years seems the manufacturers goal now.
There are two types of PCI Express slots, x16 and x8. Back in the day the only way to SLI was via x8 but now everything is dual x16. YOU DO need PCI Express slots to use a PCI Express card, they are not backwards compatible. The main advantage of PCI Express is not only the extra bandwidth but with Express there is not just one data buss to transfer the data. there is multiple data buses which allows for faster 2-way data transfer thus increasing bandwidth for pushing more pixels. It's basically a 2-way serial connection with x16 having 16 "lanes" and x8 having 8 "lanes" for transferring data traffic. technically x16 is twice as fast as AGP moving 4GB/s to AGP's 2GB/s, but x16 moves that in either direction, AGP couldn't.
My motherboard is maybe 3 years old now, It has AGP and on board SATA.
I have been using SATA drives for that time but now when I look to upgrade the graphics cards are not compatible and, as you say, everything has changed.
Oh well, start again and junk it in another 3 years. Imagine if you had to junk your car every 3 years.
PCI-Express is an inconvenience for people wanting to upgrade, but in the end is worth it.
THey perform MUCH better than AGP cards, and have way more bandwidth. Less bottlenecking, more expandability.
A PCI is express card theoretically twice faster than AGP graphics card. It costs alomost the same nowadays. I have Asus a8n e mobo that came with pci e slot. performance is good and one should always prefer newer technology as it comes with added features.
Do you have SM 3.0 or 2.0?