External PCI-Express Cabling Spec Now Official

After many years of slow development and support for external PCI-Express device, the PCI Special Interests Group (PCI-SIG) announced this week the availability of the PCI-E external cable specification revision 1.0. Cables will be developed for all PCI-Express link widths (including x1, x4, x8 and x16) and external devices will be able to use signalling rates of up to 2.5 gigatransfers per second (GT/sec), possibly doubling to 5 GT/sec later on. The speeds are limited to the host, the adapter and the cable but according to the specification's outline, the future looks promising. External PCI-Express products are expected on the market in less than a year.

"This specification helps the industry create new products that will take PCIe technology out of the box – enabling PCIe solutions for IO expansion drawers, external graphics processors, tethered mobile docking, communications equipment and embedded applications," said PCI-SIG chairman Al Yanes.

News source: DailyTech

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16 Comments

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this is interesting.
I was planning on getting a laptop at the end of this year, then buying the ASUS XG station thing so I could game on it aswell, but after reading up a bit, and finding it can only operate a PCI-e x1 (unless Asus have developed a work around), I gave up on the idea. However, this is brought the idea back to reality lol. If they can use this to make external graphics cards that work with laptops, and is out by the end of this year, then its a real possibility for me (it would save me buying a laptop, and upgrading my desktop lol).

adversedeviant said,
i doubt it. only a handful of stuff use the usb2.0 bandwidth limit

this is for external pcie/pci stuff

And what are the most popular usb 2 devices? What's that? You mean the ones that use the full spec of usb 2?

adversedeviant said,
i doubt it. only a handful of stuff use the usb2.0 bandwidth limit

this is for external pcie/pci stuff

SATAII exists yet i dont think any harddrives use even SATA150's possible bandwidth, or am I wrong?

adversedeviant said,
well this blows usb out of the water

ya reckon? 480mbit/s VS. 32,000mbit/s

bring on the i-ram's with a ePCI-e interface!

It could be like our component hi-fi stereo systems. The amp would be the main part, or in this case, the CPU, mobo, RAM and other small parts. Then we can stack on top the GPU, sound and other peripheral boxes with their own power supplies built in. Sounds cool.

Oh, goodie. Just in time for ATi and nVidia to have developed graphics cards which were overtaxing reasonable PSUs (stupid: Why don't the 8800 and R600 cards come with an external power brick), which probably would cost less than upgrading a 450W PSU to 750W to handle them.

Hak Foo said,
Oh, goodie. Just in time for ATi and nVidia to have developed graphics cards which were overtaxing reasonable PSUs (stupid: Why don't the 8800 and R600 cards come with an external power brick), which probably would cost less than upgrading a 450W PSU to 750W to handle them.

I'm guessing you don't actually own an 8800. My 8800GTX, E6600 @ 3.6 (400x9) and 18w DDC pump for my WC run fine on a Corsair HX520 (read: 520W PSU).

Emmy said,

I'm guessing you don't actually own an 8800. My 8800GTX, E6600 @ 3.6 (400x9) and 18w DDC pump for my WC run fine on a Corsair HX520 (read: 520W PSU).

Did I say 520? No. I said 450.

You can run an entire competently configured system (nice C2D or Athlon 64, possibly even an X2, single 7600...) on the amount of current two 8800 or R600 cards will draw THEMSELVES.

Hak Foo said,

Did I say 520? No. I said 450.

You can run an entire competently configured system (nice C2D or Athlon 64, possibly even an X2, single 7600...) on the amount of current two 8800 or R600 cards will draw THEMSELVES.


2x8800GTX's will draw about 250, maybe 300, watts at full load. With a high efficiency 450W PSU I'm sure you could run a very good C2D system with a single 8800, but you would need 520ish for a SLI set-up I think.

See this thread for some interesting info: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3075 . Rated PSU wattage is almost entirely hype. People can feel good about a 700w/1000w PSU, but that's about all it's worth to most people (read: unless you're running a stacker filled with HDDs). What is more important is the total amperage on your 12V rails - a 420W with 40A on the 12v rail will beat a 700W with 2A on the 12v rails - an exaggerated example, but you get the point.

Take a look at this. I put 4 HDDs, 4 sticks of RAM, the most powerhungry processor there is (mm Quad Core) and 6 sata HDDs with SLI'd 8800GTXs and just barely broke 700W and you know what? That calc adds 30% to be safe.