PCI-SIG releases the PCIe 2.0 spec

The PCI-SIG announced today that the final version of the PCI Express Base 2.0 Specification is now out and available to members. PCIe 2.0 adds a number of enhancements including increased signaling speed (5GHz) which results in increased per-link bandwidth. Specifically, each lane doubles from 2.5 GT/s under the PCIe 1.1 spec to 5 GT/s under the 2.0 spec. This translates to a PCIe 2.0 x16 link having a peak bandwidth of 16 GB/s.

The new spec also supports a number of features at the protocol level. For instance, the new spec gives the OS the ability to dynamically adjust the speed of a link, and to receive notifications when the link speed and width change. Devices based on the PCIe 2.0 spec are backwards compatible with devices based on the 1.0 and 1.1 specifications. Now that the spec is finalized, expect products that support it to start appearing in later 2007. Graphics cards will be the first products to make use of PCIe 2.0 and along with DirectX 10, expect this year to have a Crysis 2-similar release.

News source: Ars Technica

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There is indeed need of a higher spec on the market and I'm sure manufacturer's will be using it.
Now you would think: Why do we need this extra bandwidth? Well, for example if you want to implement multiple hardware on one board... Think of it: One PCIe board on your motherboard that includes: Graphics, Audio and TV!

Everything keeps getting smaller so why build a full PCB for every need (Audio, graphics...)
Once they become so small that they fit on one PCB I'm sure manufacturers will start building those things and then they will require all thi bandwidth.

Great! Now all we need is for companies to start making worthwhile PCI-E devices, because after like what, 3 or 4 years, it's still hard to find TV cards, USB cards, sound cards etc. for the PCI-E bus.

i got a PCI-E x16 slot on my mobo... why are they already making the 2.0 spec anyways since the current PCI-E standard is not gonna be obsolete anytime soon.... o well, i guess it cant hurt to go overkill so people never gotta worry about bandwidth issues at all.

It's a specification, not a directive to the electronics industry. The industry will decide when and if they implement PCIe 2.0, and that decsicion will heavily influenced by market-driven forces such as consumer demand and available supply. In other words, this will NOT be coming soon to a store near you. Coming? Probably. Soon? No.
Remember how long it took IEEE 1394 to roll out? Same deal here.

ThaCrip said,
i got a PCI-E x16 slot on my mobo... why are they already making the 2.0 spec anyways since the current PCI-E standard is not gonna be obsolete anytime soon.... o well, i guess it cant hurt to go overkill so people never gotta worry about bandwidth issues at all.
They make these new specs all the time cause that's the way IT industry works in these days. In the end it makes us believe that the new product it's better than the old one and "force" us to get the new one. To make more money...

I don't own anything PCIe. Still on AGP here. Can't see a reason to upgrade for me, no reason to upgrade something thats not broken.

AGP is still valid today. To much hype about bandwidth that nobody ever uses.

Also I think that PCi Express is a stupid and confusing marketing name.

Um, no. AGP is old and has been retired. Did you notice that the newer graphics cards are PCIe 16x only? There's a reason for that: They need more speed than AGP 8x can provide.
Go ahead: Try and buy an nVidia 8800 AGP card: They don't exist, but that won't stop you because you think AGP is "still valid today."

Croquant said,
Um, no. AGP is old and has been retired. Did you notice that the newer graphics cards are PCIe 16x only? There's a reason for that: They need more speed than AGP 8x can provide.
Go ahead: Try and buy an nVidia 8800 AGP card: They don't exist, but that won't stop you because you think AGP is "still valid today."

The last AGP card that was made was a Nvidia 7600GT. The 8 series is too new to determine an AGP series card.
However, I doubt they will make one as the 8 series is useless on any system that would have a AGP slot only, and no PCI-e. Plus, there's hardly any AGP cards in most stores nowadays, it's a sure thing it's dead pretty much.

You don't need that much bandwidth. I have a PCI-E 16x slot with only a 4x bus width. Needless to say, my 7600GT scores exactly as other computers that have a full 16x bus width.
Maybe the 8800 series may require close to the full 16x, but I highly doubt it...

zivan56 said,
You don't need that much bandwidth. I have a PCI-E 16x slot with only a 4x bus width. Needless to say, my 7600GT scores exactly as other computers that have a full 16x bus width.
Maybe the 8800 series may require close to the full 16x, but I highly doubt it...

Really? I didn't know anyone made motherboards that have PCIe x16 slots wired for only 4 lanes. 8 lanes? Yes. 16? Sure. 32? Yep. But not 4.
What's the name of your your motherboard?

Croquant said,

Really? I didn't know anyone made motherboards that have PCIe x16 slots wired for only 4 lanes. 8 lanes? Yes. 16? Sure. 32? Yep. But not 4.
What's the name of your your motherboard?


ASRock 775 Dual-VSTA

I don't understand why anyone would want a motherboard that has both AGP and PCIe slots on it, especially when the PCIe x16 slot only has 4 lanes wired to it. You can't make an SLI rig with it, and (correct me if I'm wrong, but) you can't even use both slots at the same time. Sure, you save a few bucks over buying two different motherboards, but really, motherboards aren't THAT expensive. For about sixty bucks more you could have had a SLI-ready PCIe x16 motherboard, even though the SLI mode would have been 8x-by-8x and not 16x-by-16x (You'd be looking at about $300 to $350 for that kind of SLI-32 goodness.)

Me? I'm waiting for someone to finally make a motherboard that has four fully x16 PCIe slots on (in glorious dual SLI-32 mode) it so I can run two quad-SLI video setups on the one rig, thereby allowing me to render stereo 3D with the highest achievable frame rate on the planet.

Croquant said,
I don't understand why anyone would want a motherboard that has both AGP and PCIe slots on it, especially when the PCIe x16 slot only has 4 lanes wired to it. You can't make an SLI rig with it, and (correct me if I'm wrong, but) you can't even use both slots at the same time. Sure, you save a few bucks over buying two different motherboards, but really, motherboards aren't THAT expensive. For about sixty bucks more you could have had a SLI-ready PCIe x16 motherboard, even though the SLI mode would have been 8x-by-8x and not 16x-by-16x (You'd be looking at about $300 to $350 for that kind of SLI-32 goodness.)

Me? I'm waiting for someone to finally make a motherboard that has four fully x16 PCIe slots on (in glorious dual SLI-32 mode) it so I can run two quad-SLI video setups on the one rig, thereby allowing me to render stereo 3D with the highest achievable frame rate on the planet. :laugh:

Because I have better things to do than to waste all that money at once. I bought the components over months of waiting for sales, so I could build a killer development system for cheap (and not have to wait a couple of months using a PCI video card).
If I got a SLI motherboard, I would have a pointless x16 bus which I would never fully use, have a pointless second video card which would probably give me double the framerate on my screensaver, and make me pointlessly throw away 1 GB of RAM.
A couple of bucks? Try 1/4 of the price of regular motherboards. And you can't get a decent 875 based mobo for less than $150 CAD.
You can't do SLI, nor do you need it if you do what I do. And yes, you can use both AGP and PCI-E at the same time (why would I?).

There's a massive flaw in your statement. You don't make standards so that you can run the current generation hardware, you create a standard so that future hardware will work on it. No doubt in a few years we'll see manufacturers make use of that extra bandwidth, and it should allow them to keep increasing processing power for many years after that.

And if the OS can dynamically change the bus speed, PCIe2.0 means that we can conserve power - good for the card, the bills, the environment, and mobile users.

We'll first see this in Intel's Bearlake-X chipset, which should come around Q3'07 and may even have SATA600 support (yes!). Hopefully in a new Mac Pro

VazaGothic said,

I believe it was actually 7800GS (that's what I am using anyway).

One model up from that, only one manufacturer made it. Gainward, the 7800GS+, which is a 7900GT GPU core hidden behind the name. There was only 1500 units ever made/sold.
They were good at confusing everyone with the names though.