64-bit PCI-X video card?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Will.MA, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Will.MA

    Will.MA Stunt Coordinator

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    My old PC built on an XP [email protected]`2.2GHz/NVidia 5900XT just isn't cutting it for movies/games since I now put them on a big screen, so recently I began building a new system for games & ffdshow use. I'm not sure if the bottleneck is the CPU, display card, or both, so it all is being put out to pasture--the wife gets it for a personal machine [​IMG]

    Anyhoo, originally I decided on a rig consisting of Dual Opterons, but after a reality-check from the prices of the associated hardware, I have settled for a single-Opteron core for now to keep costs down. My mind is pretty set on a video card built from the 6600GT chipset as I'm not exactly the wealthiest man in town.

    Now that I've purchased the CPU, EPS12-24P PSU, E-ATX case etc, I notice that the PCI express slot on the Tyan Thunder S2885 ISN'T similar in physical configuration to the pictures of the video cards I was shopping to buy. It would appear that a given mobo & video card aren't immediately compatible just because they're both PCI 16x spec. Who knew?

    What a headache I have. I'm too far invested in the gear to go back to another CPU/chipset platform, yet I can't find a video card that fits into any of the 64-bit PCI-X slots it has. I really don't want to buy a card in the AGP spec because since I'm kinda buying into new technology, such a choice would be somewhat self-defeating [maybe its just my personal perception].

    Has anyone a clue on a suitable performance card for this system that will actually fit one of the Thunder's express buses without sending me into the poor house? Or haven't the display card makers embraced those interfaces yet? If I wanted a Fiber HBA or SCSI adapter I'd be right at home. Anything else seems kinda scarce from the cursory inspection I've performed thus far.

    Any suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Your problem is that you're confusing PCI-X with PCI-express Your MB has PCI-X slots for expansion (i.e. SCSI adapters, etc), but has an 8x AGP slot for video. Truth is that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. While PCI-e has much more potential than AGP, the theoretical limits of AGP haven't been reached yet, and the new PCI-e cards don't necessarily benchmark any higher than the 8x AGP's.

    FYI I've heard that Nvidia is producing a new video card that is PCI-X aimed at users of the new Apple G5's, but I'm pretty sure that's still just rumors.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    More then that, because apple video cards work via a different endian addressing mode, thus they wouldn't flip and support anyway..
     
  4. Will.MA

    Will.MA Stunt Coordinator

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    Seth, thanks for clearing up the confusion for me. I'm relieved that the AGP interface isn't nearing the end of its life. I feel much better about my building plans now.

    One other question: As this machine will be used equally for gaming/movie front-end, I thought of setting up the SYSTEM partition on (2) 10k RPM SATA drives in RAID 0 array. Will I slow down the speed these disks and defeat their potential benefit to the box if I run 7200 drives from the other two SATA posts for general storage needs? I haven't built with SATA before and I want to make sure it doesn't have the same confinements with respect to mixing drive speeds as PATA.

    It's amazing how quickly one falls behind the times unless they keep up with the latest developments in computing technology. I can't believe how little I know about what's going on...
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I have not heard of any of the speed issues you mention occuring with SATA. I cannot say for certain though, as I only have 7200rpm SATA drives in my system.
     
  6. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    No. Because each SATA channel is an independant master channel through the southbridge, each channel has equal bandwidth, and is not universally negotiable across other channels to the LCD (Lowest Common Denominator). This was the problem with PATA, in that if you paired a fast HDD (ATA/133) with a slow CDROM drive (PIO4 let's say) then the entire cable chain would work at the fastest supported signaling rate of the lowest connected device.

    Not true of SATA.
     

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