AGP vs. PCIe

efliv

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2005
16
0
0
Hello Everyone,

I've decided to build my first computer as my old one is on its last legs. The purpose of the machine is for FPS games, Multimedia (dvd, xvid, and possibly dvr), general 2d apps, and possibly some web development. I recently bought a 20" widescreen LCD monitor and would like to have a machine that can run HL2 in high-res widescreen mode.

I don't have a ton of money to throw around and am considering upgrading in steps. Videocard first, then moving up with new motherboard/cpu/ram combo. However, I noticed there is a big push to PCIe instead of AGP in the video card and motherboard segment. I'd like to go AGP because it would allow me to upgrade incrementally, while I'd have to buy all components at once with PCIe, and because PCIe vcards and motherboards appear to be more expensive.

So, my question is, is it really worth the extra money for PCIe now? Or will I be dissapointed with my AGP board in a year or two when I might want to upgrade my vcard again?

Thanks
 

imported_kouch

Senior member
Sep 24, 2004
220
0
0
I would say that unless you are looking to be someone who upgrades to the best and newest components each generation, AGP should suffice since most new gen vid cards will probably ship some main stream cards in AGP version (with bridge chip its not that hard). Although PCI-e is going to be the future in the long run, i wouldn't worry about no AGP cards being available in the market in the next 6 months.
 

efliv

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2005
16
0
0
Thanks for the response.

I agree that within 6 months, AGP shouln't be a problem. But what about longer periods? I'm planning to hold onto this motherboard/cpu combo for at least 1 to 2 years. Do you think in 1-1.5 years I'll have trouble upgrading to a compeditive AGP card?
 

hafa

Member
Jan 7, 2005
40
0
0
I'd predict that within 2 years AGP will have achieved that same status that ISA enjoys today. The extra cost is, IMHO, well worth it.
 

Insomniak

Banned
Sep 11, 2003
4,836
0
0
The extra cost to go to PCI Express is minimal, and it's the newest standard. AGP is going to go away faster than anyone thinks, so if you're building this machine for the long haul, I'd go ahead and go PCIe.
 

AnnoyedGrunt

Senior member
Jan 31, 2004
596
24
81
I'd say that it depends on how much you want to spend right away.

For PCIe graphics, the best sweet spot seems to be the 6600GT card @ $200. If you go any higher than that, you will typically be paying much more than an equivalent AGP card (if you can even find a PCIe version).

So, if you have anythings slower than a 9700pro, you'll probably see quite a difference with a 6600GT.

If you have a 9700pro or faster, then the choice is more difficult because the 6600GT, while faster than the 9700pro, won't be a huge boost like the higher priced cards would be.

If you think the video card upgrade is worth it, then I would definitely go PCIe right now. IMO, the AGP versions of the next gen cards will not be any faster than the AGP versions of the current top of the line (which are still extremely fast). So, if you stick with AGP now, then I'm betting you will never see performance much better than the X800XT or 6800 Ultra (which still may be fine for the next several years, depending on your usage).

If you question the video card upgrade, then probably sticking with AGP is the best bet, and then when you are ready in a couple years you would probably be able to easily buy a new Mobo and video card and reuse your proc (as long as it is an AMD 939, since they work on both PCIe and AGP mobos).

Considering that Mobo's are one of the less expensive parts of a system, it may not be too bad to get a new one in a couple years when you are ready for your next upgrade cycle.

I don't know though, I'm kinda struggling with the same situation.

I currently have an AXP 1800+ with a 9700pro, and I am ready to get a new A64 setup. I'd prefer PCIe, but I don't feel that a 6600GT is worth the upgrade so I'm holding out for the X800XL, which would be a very good upgrade if it ever arrives @ its $300 MSRP.

At the same time though, I could just buy a NF3 based mobo now, with a 939 chip and ram and a SATA HDD, and keep using my 9700pro (which is fast enough for the games I currently play). Then I could get an NF4 mobo and a PCIe video card in a couple years when they are cheap and reliable and available (or maybe an ATI or VIA based mobo). I would be able to keep using the rest of my components, so the upgrade wouldn't be too bad. Also, if I go with a 3200+ proc now, I'd have some upgrade potential on the CPU too if I wanted.

That seems like a decent plan as well, but I don't really know. Maybe I'll wait till my B-day in March and see how things are looking.

I think for me the deal breaker is the less than stellar upgrade of a 6600GT over the 9700pro. If I had a slower card than the 9700pro, then I'd probably go PCIe right away with a 6600GT.

Later,
D'oh!
 

MisterChief

Banned
Dec 26, 2004
1,128
0
0
Listen, AGP is a tried and true technology. PCIe is still in infant stage (version 1.0), and it's possible that some unforseen problem may arise in the future. So, for current gaming applications, AGP is still going strong; but, if you like to be on the "bleeding edge" of technology, then by all means, use PCIe.

Edit: Is it possible that AGP may be upgraded to x16 in the future?
 

Insomniak

Banned
Sep 11, 2003
4,836
0
0
Probably, but why waste the manpower, resources, manufacturing facilities, and R&D Dollars and hours when there's already something better out there?

This like Microsoft putting out Windows XP and then going back and deciding to make Windows ME to satisfy those people who REALLY like Windows 98...although whether or not ME was a step up from 98 is VERY debatable.
 

shiznit

Senior member
Nov 16, 2004
422
13
81
Originally posted by: Insomniak
This like Microsoft putting out Windows XP and then going back and deciding to make Windows ME to satisfy those people who REALLY like Windows 98...although whether or not ME was a step up from 98 is VERY debatable.

good point, Windows ME is the worst OS micro$oft ever made. Personally, i was gonna go with NF3 and AGP, and even bought a 6800 card to put in the system, but i just sold it and i'm gonna wait to NF4, i want to be able to upgrade in a year or so.

 

imported_kouch

Senior member
Sep 24, 2004
220
0
0
yes I am kind of in the same boat. Currently I have a very nice AXP-M setup with my proc runninga at 2.6 ghz. I wanna upgrade to A64 but then I would have to ditch my sweet 6800 Limited Edition --> ultra (running at 420/1200). Also I would end up paying more for the PCI-e cards if I could ever find anything besides a 6600GT. Also I hear rumors of Venice come out in a couple of months and s939 being on its way out by 2006 and being dual core incompatible. I just dont know what to do....I might just buy a nice roomy case and upgrade my Water cooling loop and wait and see what happens with the Venice.
 

hafa

Member
Jan 7, 2005
40
0
0
Originally posted by: kouch
yes I am kind of in the same boat. Currently I have a very nice AXP-M setup with my proc runninga at 2.6 ghz. I wanna upgrade to A64 but then I would have to ditch my sweet 6800 Limited Edition --> ultra (running at 420/1200). Also I would end up paying more for the PCI-e cards if I could ever find anything besides a 6600GT. Also I hear rumors of Venice come out in a couple of months and s939 being on its way out by 2006 and being dual core incompatible. I just dont know what to do....I might just buy a nice roomy case and upgrade my Water cooling loop and wait and see what happens with the Venice.


I can relate, kouch.

My AXP 2600+ @ 2.4 ghz with W/C, a Tyan 9600 Pro and 15K cheetah still performs quite Satisfactorily, even though it's almost 2 years old.

It's just the promise of a three-monitor setup that has me salivating over the NF4 chipset, and with the news that ultra boards will have 2 pci-e 16x slots available, I'm poised to upgrade as soon as they're widely available and the bios bugs have been worked out.

One note here: If you are waiting for the "next big thing" you'll be waiting for a very long time, as it's like the end of the rainbow. When you've found a compelling reason to upgrade, go for it. Otherwise, wait.
 

SunSamurai

Diamond Member
Jan 16, 2005
3,914
0
0
Originally posted by: MisterChief
Listen, AGP is a tried and true technology. PCIe is still in infant stage (version 1.0), and it's possible that some unforseen problem may arise in the future. So, for current gaming applications, AGP is still going strong; but, if you like to be on the "bleeding edge" of technology, then by all means, use PCIe.

Edit: Is it possible that AGP may be upgraded to x16 in the future?

Paranoid much?

PCIe is several years old, just becuase we are now getting it as consumers does not mean its an infant technology. Its just a bus. Its really not that complicated and monsters arnt going to jump out of the PCIe slot and eat you.