Topic: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card  (Read 8446 times)

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Offline F9thDigi

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http://www.tomshardware.com/hardnews/20050106_120044.html



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Chicago (IL) - Thinking about a dual graphics card system? Not sure about Nvidia's SLI? Here is another option: Gigabyte just announced its own dual graphics card technology and offers a new motherboard that lets users combine any two graphics cards.

It may be expensive, but there is no doubt that the idea of combining two graphics cards within one system has spurred a flurry of new products can sparked innovation of motherboard and graphics card manufacturers. However, only Nvidia's SLI technology currently is available and users will have to work with GeForce 6600GT or higher graphics card, if they want to accelerate graphic performance in games that support SLI. Alienware's Video Array as well as ATI's Multi Rendering are still in the works.

While most motherboard manufacturers and system builders currently follow the SLI track and offer systems mainly for Nvidia's nForce4 chipset and AMD 64 systems, Taiwan manufacturer Gigabyte recently surprised with its 3D1 dual core graphics card. The side step was widely applauded and Gigabyte apparently has more ideas left in its drawers: The company now announced the first dual PCI Express for Intel processors. Since Nvidia's SLI does not officially support Intel yet, Gigabyte came up with its own approach of combining two graphic cards. The new GA-I915P board will be offered for about $150 and allows users to combine any current and future PCI Express graphic cards.

According to a spokesperson, Gigabyte engineers were able to "make the 915P chipset function like a SLI feature". The company did not disclose many details, but said that the patent pending design makes use of the PCI Express lane from the South Bridge to support an additional graphics card. The new motherboard also supports up to four displays

The company said that the GA-I915P is "not just about performance" but about innovating new solutions, this time for enthusiasts using Intel systems. Speed increases are not as dramatic as with SLI, but apparently can reach levels of 33 to 53 percent, according to benchmark results provided by Gigabyte (depending on applications and graphic cards).

Offline Javora

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2005, 07:43:33 am »
I'm not a Tom's Hardware fan but it's still a nice find.  I think this shows (to me anyway) the limitations of PCIe and that it is still a work in progress.  Notice that while there are two PCIe x16 slots there are three older PCI slots and one PCIe x1 slots.  Part of the review said "design makes use of the PCI Express lane from the South Bridge to support an additional graphics card".  My question is at what expense?  Did Gigabyte use that PCIe lane for duel graphics cards by sacrificing more PCIe x1 slots?  Also if you will notice that the one PCIe x1 slot is in between the two PCIe x16 slots where most likely it will not see any use, especially with today?s wide-bodied graphics cards.  It looks to me that the PCIe is a look but don't touch item, and I question what bandwidth impact a connected PCIe x1 would have on duel video cards.  I think that this lone PCIe x1 slot allows Gigabyte lip service to the future without having to put their money where there mouth is.  While I am glad to see that issues like duel graphics, PCIe, and SATA has gotten the computer component makers creative juices flowing again.  This only reinforces my belief that now is not the time to buy a new system or major components.  The market has a lot of shaking out to do and I do not feel like being some company's guinea pig again.

As for the motherboard it self it looks like a decent, well thought out design layout.  I noticed there is four SATA ports, two maybe SATA Raid but can't tell by the picture.  Two IDE chains, Floppy connector, on-board audio, USB, and Firewire ports.  I can't tell by the picture if there is an on-board 10/100/1000 Network connector.  I do see however a serial/parallel and PS2 mouse/keyboard ports.  The CPU has a fair amount of room for today?s heatsinks but the passive cooler for the Northbridge chip may be a little too close.  I would be interested to see some performance tests out of this board.

This board is meant for gamers, but yet still looks like a jack-of-all-trades motherboard that we have been seeing for the last couple of years.  What I would like to see for a "gamer's motherboard" is the removal of the serial/parallel ports, the on-board audio, one of the IDE ports and the floppy port.  This would give motherboard a lot more room to work with for things like more USB/Firewire ports or on-board wireless communications.  I would not like to see the removal to the PS2 keyboard/mouse in case there is a system failure that requires the keyboard and mouse not be connected to the USB ports.  The motherboard makers Bios updates would also have to be friendly with CD-RW and/or Flash drives to justify the removal of the floppy drive port.

Again nice catch Digi, it gave me something to think about this morning thanks.

Offline F9thDigi

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2005, 08:10:37 am »
I'm not a Tom's Hardware fan but it's still a nice find.  I think this shows (to me anyway) the limitations of PCIe and that it is still a work in progress.  Notice that while there are two PCIe x16 slots there are three older PCI slots and one PCIe x1 slots.  Part of the review said "design makes use of the PCI Express lane from the South Bridge to support an additional graphics card".  My question is at what expense?  Did Gigabyte use that PCIe lane for duel graphics cards by sacrificing more PCIe x1 slots?  Also if you will notice that the one PCIe x1 slot is in between the two PCIe x16 slots where most likely it will not see any use, especially with today?s wide-bodied graphics cards.  It looks to me that the PCIe is a look but don't touch item, and I question what bandwidth impact a connected PCIe x1 would have on duel video cards.  I think that this lone PCIe x1 slot allows Gigabyte lip service to the future without having to put their money where there mouth is.  While I am glad to see that issues like duel graphics, PCIe, and SATA has gotten the computer component makers creative juices flowing again.  This only reinforces my belief that now is not the time to buy a new system or major components.  The market has a lot of shaking out to do and I do not feel like being some company's guinea pig again.

As for the motherboard it self it looks like a decent, well thought out design layout.  I noticed there is four SATA ports, two maybe SATA Raid but can't tell by the picture.  Two IDE chains, Floppy connector, on-board audio, USB, and Firewire ports.  I can't tell by the picture if there is an on-board 10/100/1000 Network connector.  I do see however a serial/parallel and PS2 mouse/keyboard ports.  The CPU has a fair amount of room for today?s heatsinks but the passive cooler for the Northbridge chip may be a little too close.  I would be interested to see some performance tests out of this board.

This board is meant for gamers, but yet still looks like a jack-of-all-trades motherboard that we have been seeing for the last couple of years.  What I would like to see for a "gamer's motherboard" is the removal of the serial/parallel ports, the on-board audio, one of the IDE ports and the floppy port.  This would give motherboard a lot more room to work with for things like more USB/Firewire ports or on-board wireless communications.  I would not like to see the removal to the PS2 keyboard/mouse in case there is a system failure that requires the keyboard and mouse not be connected to the USB ports.  The motherboard makers Bios updates would also have to be friendly with CD-RW and/or Flash drives to justify the removal of the floppy drive port.

Again nice catch Digi, it gave me something to think about this morning thanks.


No worries m8,  Always on the look out for new kit. But I think, like most here, I won't be buying anything for the next 6 months - 1 year.  Too many new things coming out in that time.

Offline Bonk

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2005, 03:29:00 am »
Gigabyte... great boards!

Another graphics bus definition? PCI, CompactPCI, VXI, AGP, now PCIe...yawn... I think its time to move it to the processor... remember when you used to have to buy a seperate math coprocessor? FPGAs man.. FPGAs...

Not sure why the big deal on the related item of the dual GPU gigabyte video card... Matrox has been doing it for ages (think you can get a 4 gpu card from them), Gigabyte should stick to mainboards I think, for fear their quality will decline as they go down that "Acer" or other genereric brand product diversification path... specialisation results in good products in this industry.

Offline FPF-SCM_TraceyG_XC

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2005, 09:26:44 am »
The first 3D graphics cards (Voodoo I think) were a seperate card that had to be added on to an existing 2D card and required a passthrough connector. The 3D rendering calculations were offloaded to the graphics chip, away from the main processor. Since then, the trend has been to offload as much of the work away from the main processor, freeing it up for other things, by adding new instructions to graphics chips. The Central Processing Unit, is not really very central anymore, and many components can now speak to each other without having to go through the CPU at all.

Its not so much the second graphics card and SLI technology, but rather, the implementation of PCI Express. PCI-Express has risen to be the industry supported successor to the PCI bus which has essentially remained unchanged since 1994. The AGP port extended the life of PCI was relieving the bottleneck of video data, but even that now has reached its limits. PCI-Express sounds good on paper, ir replaces the parallel PCI bus with a host of serial busses that each connect individually to one device. Each device is guaranteed of having its own bandwidth, since it no longer needs to share with other devices on the PCI bus. PCI-Express also has much greater bandwidth.

However... you cannot have a PCI-Express bus with an AGP port. Furthermore, the motherboard chipsets that support PCI-Express are currently only available for the Prescott Intel processors, which have been dubbed as lemons. The Athlon64 is really the only option currently if you want PCI-Express. I think this is a very bad move on Intel's part, as they deliberatly limit supplies of the 865 and 875 Intel chipsets forcing manufacturers to switch to the 915 and 925 chipsets for the Prescott processor. It also makes redundant that brand new AGP8x graphics card you just bought and forces everyone to buy not just a new graphics card, but new RAM as well, since these chipsets utilise DDR2 RAM.

If you are thinking of upgrading, I would advise against it until the market settles down again. You could be buying junk.
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Offline Javora

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2005, 07:12:02 am »
However... you cannot have a PCI-Express bus with an AGP port. Furthermore, the motherboard chipsets that support PCI-Express are currently only available for the Prescott Intel processors, which have been dubbed as lemons. The Athlon64 is really the only option currently if you want PCI-Express. I think this is a very bad move on Intel's part, as they deliberatly limit supplies of the 865 and 875 Intel chipsets forcing manufacturers to switch to the 915 and 925 chipsets for the Prescott processor. It also makes redundant that brand new AGP8x graphics card you just bought and forces everyone to buy not just a new graphics card, but new RAM as well, since these chipsets utilise DDR2 RAM.

If you are thinking of upgrading, I would advise against it until the market settles down again. You could be buying junk.

Excellent post Tracey, you certainly know your history.  And I agree, I wouldn't buy a new motherboard/CPU combo until the industry shakes itself out.  As for Intel only putting PCIe on the 915/925 boards that is just Intel marketing trying to get us to shell out more money, I don't agree with it but there it is.  I haven't heard about the Prescott processors being dubbed lemons.  I know that Intel caught some flack about the 915/925 only being able to withstand 25 CPU insertions and/or removals.  Do you have any links that I can read about this?  It really piques my curiosity, thanks.

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2005, 08:16:45 am »
I have an intel Prescott processor... and PCIx (16x thourput is pretty amazing in the benchmarking tests) So far the only issue I have has been with the vid card (ATI X600) likes to crash in Warcraft 3.  So far I haven't found a fix but it happens pretty rarely.

As far as the processor goes... if flies!  and best of all it seems to disperse the head a lot better than my old P4 2.0 ghz machine did.  Processor temp hangs about 35-39  degrees Celsius.

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2005, 11:42:15 am »
I have an intel Prescott processor... and PCIx (16x thourput is pretty amazing in the benchmarking tests) So far the only issue I have has been with the vid card (ATI X600) likes to crash in Warcraft 3.  So far I haven't found a fix but it happens pretty rarely.

As far as the processor goes... if flies!  and best of all it seems to disperse the head a lot better than my old P4 2.0 ghz machine did.  Processor temp hangs about 35-39  degrees Celsius.

GE-Raven


Hmm. Now you got me concerned. My step son Nathan has my copy of WC3 right now, But I'll have to Check It out with my Athlon 64 ATI x800 pro , and see IF the same thing happens. Then again, I'm still using an AGP card.

If I can I'll get the game back, and see If It's a driver issue, Or If I can Reproduce the problem at all.

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Offline Elvis

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2005, 12:41:15 pm »
AFAIK the above Gigabyte motherboard can only use Gigabyte brand video cards which is a draw back.




Offline Elvis

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2005, 01:25:06 pm »
Quote
The market has a lot of shaking out to do and I do not feel like being some company's guinea pig again.


Socker 754 iis mature and I would say the time is right to build a system based upon that socket and the nForce 3-250 chipsets. Add in some good DDR400 and a Gforce 6 series card along with one of the newer 250GB, 16MB cache hard drives and your good to go for a couple of years. The best thing is that you can do it fairly cheaply.

motherboard:http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-136-147&depa=0: $109
processor:http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=19-103-483&DEPA=0: $190
memory:http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=20-145-480&DEPA=0: $144
hard drive:http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=316142&pfp=BROWSE: $150
video card:http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=14-130-220&DEPA=0: $213

Total: $706

Recycle existing case, optical drives, psu, and os.

The idea of future proofing is hard because most people don't truly upgrade they just just buy a new system.

Ps: The hard drive was the only "shopping" done. Find better deals, and splurge on a 6800GT. 


Offline Javora

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2005, 05:07:13 pm »
The same could be said for the 478 Intel, which is why I have been suggesting people that already have that series to wait 6 months to a year before buying a new system.  PCIe, SATA, and DDR2 Ram will all be getting a revision soon.  The Geforce 6 cards can't even overload the old AGP bandwidth yet.  DDR2 Ram only gives a 1~3 percent speed boost right now which is hardly worth the extra cost.  That is why I suspect AMD hasn't jumped on board the DDR2 ride yet.  On top of all of that CD/DVD drive makers are planning to release SATA ready drives.  When that happens expect to see the entire industry to drop the old IDE devices like a hot potato.

This isn't a case of trying to future proof a machine.  Over half of the motherboard is either under or has just finished a major overhaul.  There are just too many things waiting in the wings to suggest people run out and buy a new system right now.  I suspect before the end of the year this will all change.  But again now is not the time to spend hard earned money on a new system that will be obsolete in 6~9 months (think RD Ram).  Honestly I haven't seen the industry in this much flux since the change over from ISA to PCI and I don't think that even compares to what we are seeing now.  So no, given all of that I don't want to be some company's guinea pig again.  So if you already have a 478 or 754 based system then I suggest wait, however your mileage may very.

Offline Elvis

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2005, 08:30:08 pm »
IIRC correctly there is something about the on chip memory controller on the current 754 and 939 chips that makes them incompatible with DDR2; which would explain why AMD hasn't hopped on the bandwagon.

As far as being someones guinea pig what is going to be different in six monthes time? And how long after the introduction of the newest tech till it is "non guinea piggish" to buy? My guess is if your sitting on a 1.5Ghz P4 with older IDE drives your going to be satisfied with a socket 754 or 478 system.

For the enthusiast(with dollars) it really doesn't matter, cutting edge is cutting edge, being a guinea pig is what they live for; with a  increase in their 3dMark2005 scores. For the budget enthusiast(like me) sitting on a 478 or 754; there really is no reason to put the money into socket T or socket 939, PCIe or SLI(like I could afford 2 cards).     

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2005, 09:07:25 pm »
IIRC correctly there is something about the on chip memory controller on the current 754 and 939 chips that makes them incompatible with DDR2; which would explain why AMD hasn't hopped on the bandwagon.

The memory controller on the Athlon 64/ Athlon FX/ Opterons and the socket 754 Semprons is built into the CPU and AMD has not yet chosen to implement DDR2 support.  They have indicated that they will.  At present speeds fast DDR seems to outperform DDR2 and is cheaper, so the motivation to add support is low.
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Offline Javora

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2005, 09:23:39 pm »
IIRC correctly there is something about the on chip memory controller on the current 754 and 939 chips that makes them incompatible with DDR2; which would explain why AMD hasn't hopped on the bandwagon.


That is only part of it.  Digital Silence talks about that plus the price/performance that I talked about earlier.


Quote
As far as being someones guinea pig what is going to be different in six months time? And how long after the introduction of the newest tech till it is "non guinea piggish" to buy? My guess is if your sitting on a 1.5Ghz P4 with older IDE drives your going to be satisfied with a socket 754 or 478 system.


Because as I said earlier about half the motherboard will have changed since then.  The newest system by then might be worth buying by that time instead of the 478/754 systems.  Between six months to a year PCIe, SATA, and DDR2 (or DDR3 by then) will all have already gone through it's revision.  What I have said in the past in this forum is this. "If you already have a 478 (or 754) based system to hold on to what you have for about six months to a year.  If you feel you need to upgrade then upgrade peripherals like Graphics cards, sound cards, Ram, or maybe even a faster CPU.  However if you have a 423 or older based system and feel you need to upgrade then go with a 915/925 based Intel system with PCIe or a comperable AMD system".  Again your mileage may very.


Quote
For the enthusiast(with dollars) it really doesn't matter, cutting edge is cutting edge, being a guinea pig is what they live for; with a  increase in their 3dMark2005 scores. For the budget enthusiast(like me) sitting on a 478 or 754; there really is no reason to put the money into socket T or socket 939, PCIe or SLI(like I could afford 2 cards).


You are talking what I said out of context.  How many cutting edge guinea pigs do we have on this forum???  I'm certainly not a cutting edge enthusiast.  My suggestions (and they are only that) was based on some questions that the people on this forum were asking.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Offline FPF-SCM_TraceyG_XC

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2005, 12:47:03 am »
However... you cannot have a PCI-Express bus with an AGP port. Furthermore, the motherboard chipsets that support PCI-Express are currently only available for the Prescott Intel processors, which have been dubbed as lemons. The Athlon64 is really the only option currently if you want PCI-Express. I think this is a very bad move on Intel's part, as they deliberatly limit supplies of the 865 and 875 Intel chipsets forcing manufacturers to switch to the 915 and 925 chipsets for the Prescott processor. It also makes redundant that brand new AGP8x graphics card you just bought and forces everyone to buy not just a new graphics card, but new RAM as well, since these chipsets utilise DDR2 RAM.

If you are thinking of upgrading, I would advise against it until the market settles down again. You could be buying junk.


Excellent post Tracey, you certainly know your history.  And I agree, I wouldn't buy a new motherboard/CPU combo until the industry shakes itself out.  As for Intel only putting PCIe on the 915/925 boards that is just Intel marketing trying to get us to shell out more money, I don't agree with it but there it is.  I haven't heard about the Prescott processors being dubbed lemons.  I know that Intel caught some flack about the 915/925 only being able to withstand 25 CPU insertions and/or removals.  Do you have any links that I can read about this?  It really piques my curiosity, thanks.



Thankyou. Here's a few websites for you to browse through.

http://www.anandtech.com/default.aspx
http://www.pcstats.com/#news
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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2005, 04:53:49 pm »
IIRC correctly there is something about the on chip memory controller on the current 754 and 939 chips that makes them incompatible with DDR2; which would explain why AMD hasn't hopped on the bandwagon.

As far as being someones guinea pig what is going to be different in six monthes time? And how long after the introduction of the newest tech till it is "non guinea piggish" to buy? My guess is if your sitting on a 1.5Ghz P4 with older IDE drives your going to be satisfied with a socket 754 or 478 system.

For the enthusiast(with dollars) it really doesn't matter, cutting edge is cutting edge, being a guinea pig is what they live for; with a  increase in their 3dMark2005 scores. For the budget enthusiast(like me) sitting on a 478 or 754; there really is no reason to put the money into socket T or socket 939, PCIe or SLI(like I could afford 2 cards).     
What do you mean by this as I have a 1.5 GhzP4?what are IDE drives and a socket 754 or a 478 as I am useing the onboard integrated video being a SIS650 with 64 mb of shared video?I am considering or going to have to get a video card as as my SFC3 is being laggy or useing up to much of the processor as Tracey mentioned below.Thanks any Advice on Video Cards?

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2005, 07:20:08 pm »
Quote
What do you mean by this as I have a 1.5 GhzP4?what are IDE drives and a socket 754 or a 478 as I am useing the onboard integrated video being a SIS650 with 64 mb of shared video?I am considering or going to have to get a video card as as my SFC3 is being laggy or useing up to much of the processor as Tracey mentioned below.Thanks any Advice on Video Cards?


If your just looking at video cards, I'm going to guees that the motherboard that your using doesn't have an AGP slot. Which means that if you want to get a video card your going to have to get a PCI card not an AGP or PCI-X card. I would look at one of these cards:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-140-027&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-145-055&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-131-411&depa=0

But before I spent money on a video card I would look at how much RAM your system has. If your system runs on DDR(and theres a good chance it does) you could get a performance increase by increasing the amount of RAM.   

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2005, 07:25:28 pm »
Quote
What do you mean by this as I have a 1.5 GhzP4?what are IDE drives and a socket 754 or a 478 as I am useing the onboard integrated video being a SIS650 with 64 mb of shared video?I am considering or going to have to get a video card as as my SFC3 is being laggy or useing up to much of the processor as Tracey mentioned below.Thanks any Advice on Video Cards?


If your just looking at video cards, I'm going to guees that the motherboard that your using doesn't have an AGP slot. Which means that if you want to get a video card your going to have to get a PCI card not an AGP or PCI-X card. I would look at one of these cards:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-140-027&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-145-055&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-131-411&depa=0

But before I spent money on a video card I would look at how much RAM your system has. If your system runs on DDR(and theres a good chance it does) you could get a performance increase by increasing the amount of RAM.   
I do have an agp slot and I have 376 mb of DDR2100 or 2700 ram.

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2005, 08:17:54 pm »
Quote
What do you mean by this as I have a 1.5 GhzP4?what are IDE drives and a socket 754 or a 478 as I am useing the onboard integrated video being a SIS650 with 64 mb of shared video?I am considering or going to have to get a video card as as my SFC3 is being laggy or useing up to much of the processor as Tracey mentioned below.Thanks any Advice on Video Cards?


If your just looking at video cards, I'm going to guees that the motherboard that your using doesn't have an AGP slot. Which means that if you want to get a video card your going to have to get a PCI card not an AGP or PCI-X card. I would look at one of these cards:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-140-027&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-145-055&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-131-411&depa=0

But before I spent money on a video card I would look at how much RAM your system has. If your system runs on DDR(and theres a good chance it does) you could get a performance increase by increasing the amount of RAM.   
I do have an agp slot and I have 376 mb of DDR2100 or 2700 ram.


I think Elvis is correct about increasing the amount of Ram you have in your system.  The thing is since you have a 1.5ghz P IV, you could have RD Ram, old SD Ram, or first generation DDR Ram so check the specification sheet on your machine before you buy.  Is the AGP slot in your system currently empty?  If it is then you are using on-board video, so when you buy a new video card remember to turn off the on-board video before you connect a new AGP video card.

Most on-board video does not have memory of it's own so it siphons memory from your system Ram, usually in chunks of 32mb or 64mb.  Even if you disable the on-board video, you may not be able to reclaim all of the system Ram, it's not a big deal just an FYI.  So when you add a video card you should notice a small speed bump right there.

As for which card, I wouldn't go with more than an ATI 9600XT from Elsa given your system specifications.  But then I don't know how much you want to spend on a video card or what you are using it for.  Hope this helps.

Offline Elvis

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2005, 09:02:29 pm »
Well if you have an AGP slot thats a whole other story. A 9600Pro or 9600XT would be a good choice. I myself prefer Nvidia cards but ATI won that round, so definetly go with a 9600Pro or XT, 512MB of ram wouldn't hurt either.

Offline Redshift the Kook

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2005, 08:12:25 pm »
http://www.tomshardware.com/hardnews/20050106_120044.html



Quote

Chicago (IL) - Thinking about a dual graphics card system? Not sure about Nvidia's SLI? Here is another option: Gigabyte just announced its own dual graphics card technology and offers a new motherboard that lets users combine any two graphics cards.

It may be expensive, but there is no doubt that the idea of combining two graphics cards within one system has spurred a flurry of new products can sparked innovation of motherboard and graphics card manufacturers. However, only Nvidia's SLI technology currently is available and users will have to work with GeForce 6600GT or higher graphics card, if they want to accelerate graphic performance in games that support SLI. Alienware's Video Array as well as ATI's Multi Rendering are still in the works.

While most motherboard manufacturers and system builders currently follow the SLI track and offer systems mainly for Nvidia's nForce4 chipset and AMD 64 systems, Taiwan manufacturer Gigabyte recently surprised with its 3D1 dual core graphics card. The side step was widely applauded and Gigabyte apparently has more ideas left in its drawers: The company now announced the first dual PCI Express for Intel processors. Since Nvidia's SLI does not officially support Intel yet, Gigabyte came up with its own approach of combining two graphic cards. The new GA-I915P board will be offered for about $150 and allows users to combine any current and future PCI Express graphic cards.

According to a spokesperson, Gigabyte engineers were able to "make the 915P chipset function like a SLI feature". The company did not disclose many details, but said that the patent pending design makes use of the PCI Express lane from the South Bridge to support an additional graphics card. The new motherboard also supports up to four displays

The company said that the GA-I915P is "not just about performance" but about innovating new solutions, this time for enthusiasts using Intel systems. Speed increases are not as dramatic as with SLI, but apparently can reach levels of 33 to 53 percent, according to benchmark results provided by Gigabyte (depending on applications and graphic cards).



That's a very cool setup but the CPU would be a bottleneck, I'm not sure how fast it will actually run.
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Offline Javora

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2005, 07:30:24 am »
...and I have 376 mb of DDR2100 or 2700 ram.

Since you added this part after the initial post I'll respond to it now.  Actually you have 384MB of Ram, your on-board video card is taking 8MB for itself.  Look and see what the maximum amount of Ram your motherboard can handle before you look into buying more Ram for your system.  Since you are running WinXP you going to want at least 512MB of Ram or more if you can.  I wouldn't go more than 1024MB if your machine can even handle that much.  Also look and see what type of Ram is in your machine now (2100 or 2700), you don't want to mix those two types of DDR Ram in your system.

BTW since you?re on-board video is only using 8MB of Ram.  Any video card you stick into that system is going to make a huge performance difference.  That on-board video is a serious bottleneck on your system.  I'm surprised some of your games are even running with that.  If you want to upgrade your system and not buy another one, I would suggest both a Ram and video card for your system.  If you can only afford one upgrade at a time than I would go for the video card first.  Hope this helps.

Offline Age

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2005, 05:49:22 pm »
...and I have 376 mb of DDR2100 or 2700 ram.

Since you added this part after the initial post I'll respond to it now.  Actually you have 384MB of Ram, your on-board video card is taking 8MB for itself.  Look and see what the maximum amount of Ram your motherboard can handle before you look into buying more Ram for your system.  Since you are running WinXP you going to want at least 512MB of Ram or more if you can.  I wouldn't go more than 1024MB if your machine can even handle that much.  Also look and see what type of Ram is in your machine now (2100 or 2700), you don't want to mix those two types of DDR Ram in your system.

BTW since you?re on-board video is only using 8MB of Ram.  Any video card you stick into that system is going to make a huge performance difference.  That on-board video is a serious bottleneck on your system.  I'm surprised some of your games are even running with that.  If you want to upgrade your system and not buy another one, I would suggest both a Ram and video card for your system.  If you can only afford one upgrade at a time than I would go for the video card first.  Hope this helps.

Yeah it does and I can go up to as high as 1 gigs of ram of PC2100 and I need a bigger hard drive as well. I am looking at is video card and hard drive first?What suggestions do you have for midrange vidcard for either Nividea or ATI.I kinda like Nvidea.Thanks.

Offline Javora

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2005, 07:47:26 pm »
Yeah it does and I can go up to as high as 1 gigs of ram of PC2100 and I need a bigger hard drive as well. I am looking at is video card and hard drive first?What suggestions do you have for midrange vidcard for either Nividea or ATI.I kinda like Nvidea.Thanks.

1GB Max is good, I would go with to sticks of 512MB, which should be pretty cheap now.  As for hard drives I just bought a 200GB Seagate hard drive for about $130USD and have been loving it.  Seagate comes with a 5-year warranty now which I think is hard to pass up.  My first suggestion for a video card is the one I have to stick with, for price/performance I really can't think of anything that will beat that 9600XT.  I have been running ATI for a few years now and I really like the way ATI handles them selves.  ATI's drivers are as easy to install now as anything nVidia has to offer IMHO.  So I don't think you will go wrong with that video card.  Just remember when everything is all said and done and a year or two down the road when you are ready to buy another system.  This machine will be a very good second machine for running as a game server or as a second machine for the kids.  Again hope this helps.

Offline Monty

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2005, 04:45:04 am »
The first 3D graphics cards (Voodoo I think) were a seperate card that had to be added on to an existing 2D card and required a passthrough connector. The 3D rendering calculations were offloaded to the graphics chip, away from the main processor. Since then, the trend has been to offload as much of the work away from the main processor, freeing it up for other things, by adding new instructions to graphics chips. The Central Processing Unit, is not really very central anymore, and many components can now speak to each other without having to go through the CPU at all.

Its not so much the second graphics card and SLI technology, but rather, the implementation of PCI Express. PCI-Express has risen to be the industry supported successor to the PCI bus which has essentially remained unchanged since 1994. The AGP port extended the life of PCI was relieving the bottleneck of video data, but even that now has reached its limits. PCI-Express sounds good on paper, ir replaces the parallel PCI bus with a host of serial busses that each connect individually to one device. Each device is guaranteed of having its own bandwidth, since it no longer needs to share with other devices on the PCI bus. PCI-Express also has much greater bandwidth.

However... you cannot have a PCI-Express bus with an AGP port. Furthermore, the motherboard chipsets that support PCI-Express are currently only available for the Prescott Intel processors, which have been dubbed as lemons. The Athlon64 is really the only option currently if you want PCI-Express. I think this is a very bad move on Intel's part, as they deliberatly limit supplies of the 865 and 875 Intel chipsets forcing manufacturers to switch to the 915 and 925 chipsets for the Prescott processor. It also makes redundant that brand new AGP8x graphics card you just bought and forces everyone to buy not just a new graphics card, but new RAM as well, since these chipsets utilise DDR2 RAM.

If you are thinking of upgrading, I would advise against it until the market settles down again. You could be buying junk.


Interesting story here... if its true.

P4 chipset which has AGP and PCIe.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=20784

Offline Javora

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2005, 01:30:07 pm »

Interesting story here... if its true.

P4 chipset which has AGP and PCIe.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=20784


It doesn't supprise me, most duel PCIe motherboards are PCIe 8x boards (namely Asus).  The PCIe and the AGP are running off the same data chain.  I was wondering when something like this would happen.  However this also tells me that SLI is a fad with a very limited life span unless PCIe goes through a major speed upgrade (PCIe 64x anyone).  I expect that the next generation video cards will over power current SLI and we will go back to single video card systems.  Just another reason IMHO to hold off buying the "latest and greatest" for a while.

Offline F9th0mega

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Re: Gigabyte launches dual graphics mobo - for any PCIe graphics card
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2005, 03:54:31 pm »
AFAIK the above Gigabyte motherboard can only use Gigabyte brand video cards which is a draw back.





nah the moard works with any pci-e card unless its somthin real special... you must be thinkin of the gv-3d1 made by gigabyte... its a dual gpu card wich only works on this mobo... although id wait for dfi to make its sli board... or go with agp for now... i like my msi k8n neo2 platinum... runs great...
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