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What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Fantasticfourum
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What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

This may seem like a ridiculous question for those of you more educated but for someone like me who doesnt it is a bit puzzling. I have call of duty 4 and apparently the graphics card i had to upgrade for call of duty 2 is now not good enough for call of duty 4  and i have seen some on e-bay but they are saying make sure your comp has pci express...I have a Dell Dimension 4300 and i havent a clue what PCI express is ?  I have looked in system info but cant find anything. I know you guys will probably know the answer and probably save me buying the wrong thing. Also the card i am interested in says it has been developed for Vista does this mean it wont work on XP ?The card in question is NVIDIA 8500 GT SUPER+ 1GB GRAPHICS CARD 1024 MB/DDR2 or am i going past the capabilities of my computer....
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Does the picture I've found help?
Motherboard with Four Slots – PCIe x16, PCI, PCIe x8, and PCI-X (from bottom to top)
Figure 9 on the page I got that picture from may also help you identify if you have a PCI express slot:
http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/3767
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

According to this http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4300/techov.htm#1101668 your motherboard has an AGP slot (Advanced Graphics Port) and hence does not support a PCIe card (this is the new graphics port standard and is much better).
Even if you replace your AGP card with the best available I suspect you will still have problems running COD4 due to your low spec CPU and lack of system memory.
Edit - this may be your computer specification
Quote
SPECIFICATIONS:
1.7GHz Pentium 4 with 256Kb of on-die Level 2 cache, 256Mb of PC133 SDRAM, Intel 845 motherboard chipset, 40Gb Western Digital WDC WD400BB-75AUA1 hard disk, 16x NEC DVD-ROM, 16x/10x/40x LG CD-RW, 64Mb DDR AGP 4x Nvidia GeForce3 graphics with DVI, 17in Dell P791 monitor, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz audio, Harman Kardon HK395 speakers, Conexant V.90 modem, Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Works Suite 2001.
VileReynard
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

These are bus types.
In the beginning was ISA - you can forget this.
Then PCI was invented and is still very much a standard.
PCI was deemed too slow for graphics so the AGP (Advanced Graphics Port) was invented - for graphics cards only.
In the last couple of years, a souped-up version of PCI (and for a couple of other reasons) was added on and given confusing names by the marketing department.
PCI-e & PCI-X are non-compatible with each other and were born at the same time - Madness Kiss Kiss
I should check wikipedia for the details.

Fantasticfourum
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Thanks.for the answers..looks like a new computer is the only answer.Has anyone any recommendations as i made the mistake of buying Dell which seem very limited in their upgrade capabilities.Are there any computers out there that wont be obsolete after a couple of years.....
The_10th
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Registered: 08-04-2007

Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Quote from: Fantasticfourum
...Are there any computers out there that wont be obsolete after a couple of years.....

Depends what you will be using it for. The software makes the hardware 'obsolete'.
Graphics card wise look at a 3850 for between £105 - £130 for 256MB/512MB respectively which will keep you going for some time and play COD4 no problem. I would buy my own parts and assemble like PJ but the economics don't allow always and this is often dearer nowadays. Dell look ok price wise but are limited in upgradability but then would you upgrade or buy a new PC in 5 years or so?
You could always buy a low-end dual core pentium (2160) for £47 and overclock if you are willing to do that or know someone who would. There are websites telling you what mobo/ram to buy and talk you through it.
Community Veteran
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

I wouldn't touch a Radeon 3850 or 3870 for gaming. The Nvidia 8800GT beats it in all tests.
You could check out Scan and user reports here http://forums.hexus.net/scan-care-hexus/
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

I have recently bought an 880GTS (the OCUK value model - think it's a jetway - on the grounds that there's only one 8800GT board supplied to all graphics card companies and I'll probably be able to overclock it anyway, though I haven't yet cos there's just been no need) and so far it's laughed at everything I've tried. Crysis - full settings. COD4 - full settings. NFS Pro Street - full settings.
(I should note here that this is at 1280x1024 with no anti aliasing, though it's worked with that on too.)
Chuffed to bits with it, I tell you. And for less than £200 including a third party heatsink, too.
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Orbrey,
You are a bit out of date. There are a number of own design 8800GT cards appearing one of which is the Palit which I have ordered from Amazon (no longer on the site - worrying) http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1255/palit_geforce_8800gt_sonic_graphics_card/index.html
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Sure?
Quote
Palit has decided to mix it up this time around with a new heatsink/fan combination

Sounds like exactly the same card to me, just one with a different heatsink/fan added (which I did myself). Looking at the layout as well it really is just that I'm afraid. Same card, pre-overclocked, and different cooling option.
Nice results though. Wonder if I'll be able to get mine up there with a bit of tweaking...
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

should have mentioned that they have added a 3 phase power supply http://www.tweaktown.com/news/8607/index.html
this is taken from the Palit publicity release
Quote
Palit Microsystems, the leading graphics card manufacturer, today announces its own design GeForce 8800GT Sonic which offers something more and above the other GeForce 8800GT in the market.
Sonic Version Palit GeForce™ 8800GT is overclocked to a core speed of 650 MHz and an incredible fast memory speed of 1.9 GHz, provides highly boosted performance compared to the default 8800GT.
3-Phase Power Supply System for Palit’s own design GeForce 8800GT allows a better power solution than 2-phase power supply system in the market; as a result, the whole graphics card is able to stays in a lower temperature meanwhile lengthen the life of the graphics card and also enables the overclocking ability.
HDMI Technology supplied provides uncompressed, encrypted digital streams via a HDMI adopter.
Palit’s Own Design GeForce 8800GT equipped with revolutionary cooling system which combines the advantage of silence from heatsink and the advantage of thermal conductivity from fan, offers something over and above the Nvidia reference design.
The Effective Cooling System fits on Palit GeForce 8800GT is designed by Palit’s R&D team.  Palit GeForce 8800GT with revolutionary cooling system stably keeps the temperature of the GPU stays in a relative cooler status even in the overclocking situation, which is good news for the overclockers.
Lower Noise is produced by Palit’s own design GeForce 8800GT. With Palit’s revolutionary cooling system, the noise is successfully reduced to 29.5dB, provides better environment for noise concern customers.

Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Ah well. It's always the case that something faster comes out just as you buy the latest gear.
Fantasticfourum
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

Looking at some of the messages it makes me realise how little i actually know about computers. I thought i had some knowledge but i actually i havent got any ie what is overclocked and pre overclocked ?Huh
VileReynard
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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

http://www.tomshardware.com/ is quite a good site for explanatory details - a bit American though.

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Re: What is PCI Express and how do i know if ive got it ?

This might help
When a graphics card is designed by either Nvidia or ATI the chipset and memory speeds are set to a safe setting which will work without problems for virtually all users.
On receipt of a card a user can increase the clock speeds himself to make everything run faster. This is overclocking.
Also some manufactures cherry pick the memory and processor chips so that the will run faster but still with no problems for virtually all users. They then increase the clock speeds during the manufacturing process. This is called pre-overclocking (overclocked before you get it)