PCI-E or AGP?
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Thread: PCI-E or AGP?

  1. #1
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    PCI-E or AGP?

    Im building a new shuttle xpc, and wanted to know if i should go for PCI-E or AGPx8.
    If i go for pci-e then the cpu will be a P4 560 3.6GHz 775.
    Only because shuttle dont make PCI-E for the AMD64 yet.
    If i go for AGPx8 i will go for an AMD 64 4000 or AMD 64 FX 55.
    Is there a lot of difference between the PCI-E and AGPx8?
    Or is there an AMD 64 board out yet which will support PCI-E?
    Will that be the best option, i just play games and movies on the pc.
    I need to know the best combination before i start spending.

  2. #2
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    Hmm... Squeezing a 3.6 GHz Prescott into that kind of a small case, sorta makes me worried about cooling. But to be fair, so does the thought of squeezing an FX-55 in there.

    Now add a good gaming card, for example a 6800 GT, and that's another 100W.

    I don't know, it seems to me like that's (A) a helluva lot of heat dissipated in a very small volume case, and (B) a helluva lot of power drained from the tiny PSU.

    _If_ you actually get that kind of a setup adequately cooled, IMHO it definitely won't be quiet. We're talking some serious case fan goodness to get that kind of heat out of the case.

    If you really want to go that high end, IMHO you might be better off with a well ventilated tower case. E.g., the CoolerMaster Stacker seems to be designed to move ridiculous quantities of air, even with slow fans.

  3. #3
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    That said, yes, in the meantime there are NForce 4 boards for the socket 939 A64. And they're PCI-Express. Even SLI ones, if you're crazy _and_ rich

  4. #4
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    Go PCI-E if you intend to upgrade a lot.

    If you are OK with the 6800 ultra performance until you upgrade the whole PC, then A64 would be IMO a lot better platform for xpc.

    I wouldnt expect any PCIe xpc solutions before the end of the year.

    I said 6800 ultra performance bc its quite possible that this will be as high as AGP will go and next generation of high performance cards will all be PCIe only.

    BTW there is no difference between PCIe and AGP8x in real world application bc todays cards are barely able to fill up AGP4x bandwidth, let alone require anything faster then AGP8x

  5. #5
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    Ok, if a go for a bigger case & PSU which cpu will be better for games.
    And which out of AMD or Intel works the best with either the agp or pci-e, i am looking to upgrade at some time in the future.
    Also will i notice an improvement on the spec i allready have if i go for one of the combinations above?

    My spec at the moment

    shuttle sn85g4
    amd 64 3400
    1gig geil ram
    160 sata hd
    nvidia gf fx 5900 ultra 256meg

    the system is warm at times and does get a little noisey.
    But has always been stable.

  6. #6
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    If i do go for pci-e which make is best to go for?

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by taff32

    Also will i notice an improvement on the spec i allready have if i go for one of the combinations above?
    you dont say what VC you are getting with the two options above, so excluding video card, the answer is NO

  8. #8
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    As Falcon wisely noted, the graphics card makes a lot more difference nowadays.

    Plus, an upgrade from an A64 3400+ to a 4000+ isn't really worth the money IMHO. You're looking at several hundreds of dollars for the mobo and CPU, for... 200 MHz extra speed and double channel memory.

    And an upgrade to a 3600 MHz Prescott is more of a step to the side, than an "upgrade". You'd be blowing even more money (including the DDR-II RAM) to... get more or less the same performance as before.

    Honestly, unless you're literally swimming in money and ran out of ideas what to blow them on, I really don't see either as worth the money.

    Plus in higher resolutions and with FSAA and AF the CPU barely makes a few percent difference anyway. You may notice that all the CPU benchmarks on the net are done in 640x480, or at most 1024x768 no-FSAA no-AF. That should tell you something.

    Upgrading the graphics card is what will make a difference in games. You should see more than 2x speed difference between a 5900 and a 6800 GT, and more so if you go 6800 Ultra.

  9. #9
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    The PCI-e boards for AMD are not out yet. They should be VERY soon (I'm still waiting for mine ). They are even saying the SLI boards will be out before the end of the year. VIA, SiS, and ATI also have PCI-e boards for AMD being made right now too. All should be out soon.

    I would go for AMD and PCI-e if you can wait. If you really want a top-of-the-line system, then I would skip the Shuttle box. If you would go for an Athlon 3500+ 90nm and a GeForce 6600GT or Radeon x700Pro then it should fork fine in a SFF system. A P4 3.6Ghz is rated for 115w and a GeForce6800U is rated for 120w. That is 235w just in the CPU and graphics card. Now think of this in SLI. That is 355w just for the CPU and GPU. Don't forget memory, motherboard, mose, keyboud, USB, hard drives, optical drives... AnandTech backs up these numbers here:

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2284&p=5

    He shows 329w at the plug with an Athlon64 4000+ with a GeForce 6800U in SLI. If you compare the P4 3.6 to the Athlon 4000+ here:

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...px?i=2275&p=13

    ...you will see that the P4 system draws about 51w more. That would put the load at the wall at 380w. This is also likely on a test bed and not in a case, so the extra load of case fans, lights, and extra drives are not pressent. I think an Antec 550w would be the norm for a P4 SLI system!

    A full sized case with good cooling and a very good power supply is a must.
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

  10. #10
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    I have to agree, changing the CPU and motherboard will not be a worthwhile upgrade at all. The graphics card is certainly ripe for picking though!

    For 329 you could grab yourself an AGP version of the ATi X800 XT PE, or 269 for the X800 Pro. Only reason I mention these over the 6800GT and Ultra is the power requirement; that Shuttle PSU might be struggling already and a new-line nVidia card might push it over the edge. The ATi offerings are likely similar or less than the 5900XT you already have in terms of power draw, and typically come with single slot cooling solutions (if you have anything in the PCI slot that is).

    If you enjoy the small Shuttle form factor then I wouldn't force a change to a larger platform based on needing a more powerful PSU. MATX and other small PSUs are getting more powerful all the time, I am confident that with Shuttle having established their market so well they will be offering an AMD/PCIe solution capable of running the latest graphics cards and CPU combinations sometime in the future, in time for your next major upgrade. I am still amazed that my 200W MATX box can run a 72W Athlon, Radeon 9800 Pro, hot IBM HDD, 2 fans and not complain at all. I think PSU stability has a lot to do with it. If I was asking for advice in building this system again I'm sure most people around here with their 500W Enermax's and Antecs would reckon it was not enough!

    Just to bring you down to earth, I am looking at upgrading to the spec you already own! Not that that means you shouldn't upgrade, but really, why would you want a new CPU if you are only playing games and watching films on it?!?

    BB.
    If you've got your money for nothing, who cares if the chicks are free!

  11. #11
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    Im only upgrading because somebody is interested in buying the system off me for 650GBP, so i dont mind spending a little bit more to upgrade.
    So it looks like i will stay away from the P4, and opt for another AMD 64/FX55.
    So that just leaves which make and type of card to go for.
    I have always gone for Nvidia, never had an ATi before, so maybe its time for a change.
    It seems Ati have more options at the moment on the PCI-E range than Nvidia.
    PCI-E will be more future proof than agp as well, just need some recommends on what to go for, that is if the ATI is the better choice card.
    And it will draw less power it a get another shuttle system.

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