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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:22 am

I still use it for my HTPC tower, i5 750, 16gb dual channel gskill 1600, EVGA GTX 670 and a Xonar DG that I picked up for a measly 25 bucks.

However it was kind of silly to buy it because my audio just goes over HDMI.

I think I will get use of it this year though, as I have a baby on the way in April and the crib will be in my home office where my x79/GTX 970 gaming desktop is, my gaming sessions may become more casual with headphones and an x360 controller so that my gaming is quiet and in the living room.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:29 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Sound cards, TV tuners, disk controllers, USB expansion cards, etc. all switched to PCIe in mid-2008. There has been no reason for a new gaming PC to need a PCI slot since then.
f0d wrote:
the xonar dg which tech report reviewed and gave an editors choice rating in november 2010 is still being sold
If you bought a PCI sound card when a PCIe version was available, you made a mistake. If you bought a Xonar DG when the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium was available (starting in mid-2008), you made a mistake.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:30 am

PCI is considered legacy technology but it's still in there because it adds flexibility and more importantly, support for old cards. This is particularly important to industrial applications and it doesn't hurt to put one or two of them on a board to help sell it to a wider audience. If your competitor still puts PCI slots on their boards, why wouldn't you? It doesn't cost much and it makes sure your board has one more checkbox ticked.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:41 am

Also worth pointing out that there are a limited number of PCI-E lanes on any given Intel chipset. Z87/Z97 support 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the CPU, generally always split between one or two (sometimes three) GPU slots. Then there are only 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes from the chipset:

-If you want a third GPU slot, that might take 4 of those lanes.
-Additional controllers on the board (SATA,NIC) will take at least one or two of those remaining. (That leaves 2 lanes, and you've laid out 3-4 slots.)
-Assuming an ATX board with 7 slots, you've got 3-4 slots left and only 2 PCI-E lanes from the chipset left to supply them.
== Might as well stick in some PCI slots rather than leaving empty slot areas. :)
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:52 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:
Sound cards, TV tuners, disk controllers, USB expansion cards, etc. all switched to PCIe in mid-2008. There has been no reason for a new gaming PC to need a PCI slot since then.
f0d wrote:
the xonar dg which tech report reviewed and gave an editors choice rating in november 2010 is still being sold
If you bought a PCI sound card when a PCIe version was available, you made a mistake. If you bought a Xonar DG when the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium was available (starting in mid-2008), you made a mistake.

can you explain why it was a mistake?
the dg was much much cheaper and is an excellent sound card (TR editors choice) and pci bus is still in motherboards so im wondering where the mistake is
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:11 am

Modern Intel chipsets don't even support PCI and haven't for a few years. If an OEM wants PCI slots on their motherboards they've got to use a bridge chip that presumably taps one PCIe lane.

I think the last PCI card I used on my home PC was a 3Com 3C905C, which I might still be using if it had a 64-bit Windows driver. I could buy an Intel NIC (and probably should) but eh, I'm cheap.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:14 am

I think this is a very good/fair question. It's a lot like the PS/2 debate. I'll pose a couple more questions:
- How many folks have so many PCI-e expansion cards that they would be better served with more PCI-e slots?
- What is the cost of adding a PCI slot or two?

I think we've seen that there are still some folks who benefit from a PCI slot being available, especially those with older audio cards that still work fine and give analog quality noticeably better than current onboard audio solutions. Unless the answer to either of ^those two questions is enough to outweigh the benefit for those folks, then it's not a big deal to have a PCI slot, especially on a full-size ATX board.

just brew it! wrote:
I still have a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and an M-Audio Revolution. I use them when I need high-quality A/D (e.g. ripping vinyl). They're still supported under Linux, though I imagine Windows users may be SOL at this point...


I also have an M-Audio Revo (5.1) working very well in Linux (which I use 99% of the time). You're correct that it's not officially supported in Windows 7 (i.e. no drivers from M-Audio). I've seen some folks claim that generic Envy24 drivers will work, but I only get a BSOD (Machine Check Exception) when I try that route. For the rare times I use Windows, I just switch to onboard audio.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:46 am

The Egg wrote:
MaxTheLimit wrote:
An interesting question would be if anyone still used AGP around here. PCI still has use for some decent peripherals. AGP....well...not so much.

AGP was graphics only. Any AGP card is going to be inferior to modern integrated GPUs. The interface is wholly defunct.

The most modern AGP graphics card is the ATi HD 3450. Intel 4000 Graphics completely destroys the HD 3450 in any benchmark/game. You have to consider that my P4's integrated graphics (or integrated graphics on a computer that has an AGP slot) are far worse than even that GPU.

I use PCI slots for an 100 Mb/s Ethernet card from Intel. The computer that it was attached to (until that computer died) had 10 Mb/s ethernet integrated on the mobo.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:46 am

I've been moving the same old PCI sound cards (an Audigy 2 and an X-Fi) form upgrade to upgrade over the years for both my son's and my desktops. I'm amazed that neither has died yet.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:04 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I still have a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz

My TBSC is static-baggied and just waiting for the day when I finally drop Windows for Linux.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:26 pm

I would guess anyone with a PCI soundcard. Like myself and many others.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:55 pm

I went PCI free probably during the late Core 2 era , when I replaced my X-Fi Extreme Music with an X-Fi Titanium PCIe. Probably did so somewhere around the time I upgraded from Core 2 Quad Kentsfield (Q6600) to Core 2 Quad Yorkfield (Q9450, then Q9650). IIRC, it took them a little while to get the timing right to do PCIe on sound cards, so PCI was standard for them a bit longer than a number of other peripherals.

Remind me, but isn't PCI being emulated or translated on some chipsets these days? I'm not even sure Intel's current chipsets have native PCI support.

http://techreport.com/news/19155/could- ... ci-support
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:02 pm

LoneWolf15 wrote:
IIRC, it took them a little while to get the timing right to do PCIe on sound cards, so PCI was standard for them a bit longer than a number of other peripherals.

I always assumed it was just laziness, given that the discrete sound card market had stagnated with little real innovation going on. I can certainly imagine the sound card makers thinking "All motherboards still have PCI slots, so why bother?" until legacy-free motherboards started to appear.

LoneWolf15 wrote:
Remind me, but isn't PCI being emulated or translated on some chipsets these days? I'm not even sure Intel's current chipsets have native PCI support.

I believe that is correct.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:25 pm

My reason is called E-mu 1212m PCI. It works with Windows 10 64-bit preview, so I don't have any real proof that it's obsolete, and I fully intend to carry it over to my next build.

We in EU may be a few years behind, though ... look what is being sold here:
Sound cards - PCI wins
Various i/o cards - PCIe wins but not by a very wide margin; you can choose between several PCI-to-USB3 cards too!

Still, the fact that most Z97 boards have two PCI slots is laughable. If only DisplayPort were as common.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:31 pm

Another observation - if anyone needs a 2011-3 socket and PCI on the same board, there seems to be one lone choice: the Gigabyte MW50-SV0 workstation board.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:42 pm

M-Audio has been bought and sold TWICE since the Revolution came out. Once by Avid in 2004 and then spun off and sold to InMusic in 2013. So yeah, I'm sure Windows users are SOL. :lol:
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:52 pm

M-Audio has been bought and sold TWICE since the Revolution came out. Once by Avid in 2004 and then spun off and sold to InMusic in 2013. So yeah, I'm sure Windows users are SOL. :lol:


But not Linux users? I'm not supprise.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:56 pm

I hold a lot more grief for VGA ports than PCI slots anyday.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:17 pm

whm1974 wrote:
M-Audio has been bought and sold TWICE since the Revolution came out. Once by Avid in 2004 and then spun off and sold to InMusic in 2013. So yeah, I'm sure Windows users are SOL. :lol:

But not Linux users? I'm not supprise.

That's the upside of not relying on the manufacturer for drivers -- legacy hardware tends to stay supported long after the manufacturer loses interest or goes out of business. The downside, of course, is that driver support for new hardware can be pretty dicey sometimes.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:18 pm

I hold a lot more grief for VGA ports than PCI slots anyday.


Well since they put VGA ports on cheap LCD monitoners I can see why.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:24 pm

The answer to the OP's direct question is probably pretty simple: it's cheaper and easier to implement PCI slots.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:00 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:
The answer to the OP's direct question is probably pretty simple: it's cheaper and easier to implement PCI slots.

I doubt it. More PCB traces and larger connectors versus PCIe x1-x4, and with PCI support being phased out on chipsets you may even need an extra bridge chip.
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:37 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I hold a lot more grief for VGA ports than PCI slots anyday.


Well since they put VGA ports on cheap LCD monitoners I can see why.

Plus, in the business world, VGA is still the gold standard especially in presentation spaces. All of the conference room projectors at work are wired for VGA only, and all but one of them are 1024x768. VGA will outlast everything, even HDMI.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:39 pm

VGA will outlast everything, even HDMI.


Yeah even my TV has a VGA port...
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:40 pm

Because people have PCI cards.

Myself I have a TV-tuner card. It works fine.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:48 pm

Mentawl wrote:
Also worth pointing out that there are a limited number of PCI-E lanes on any given Intel chipset. Z87/Z97 support 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the CPU, generally always split between one or two (sometimes three) GPU slots. Then there are only 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes from the chipset:

-If you want a third GPU slot, that might take 4 of those lanes.
-Additional controllers on the board (SATA,NIC) will take at least one or two of those remaining. (That leaves 2 lanes, and you've laid out 3-4 slots.)
-Assuming an ATX board with 7 slots, you've got 3-4 slots left and only 2 PCI-E lanes from the chipset left to supply them.
== Might as well stick in some PCI slots rather than leaving empty slot areas. :)


I think this is probably one of the major reasons that they are still there. If you've allocated most of your PCI-e lanes to 1 - 2 GPU slots, you're out of lanes to fill out the rest of the board for a full ATX mobo. (mATX would be less affected of course.)

crabjokeman wrote:
I think this is a very good/fair question. It's a lot like the PS/2 debate. I'll pose a couple more questions:
- How many folks have so many PCI-e expansion cards that they would be better served with more PCI-e slots?
- What is the cost of adding a PCI slot or two?


That is the other question as well. For most people, you're going to use 1 slot for the GPU and that's it. There is of course the subset who like to use multi-GPU and add-in sound cards, but even so that's going to be a max of 4 cards (3 GPUs at most plus sound card). For a 7 slot ATX, the other 3 - 6 slots are basically redundant.

Heck, as someone else mentioned already, most of us don't really need more than a mITX board (although I'd prefer to have 4 RAM slots instead of 2, just for flexibility sake if nothing else).
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:02 pm

Heck, as someone else mentioned already, most of us don't really need more than a mITX board (although I'd prefer to have 4 RAM slots instead of 2, just for flexibility sake if nothing else)


That's why I would prefer a MicroATX board ove MiniITX. not only do I want 4 RAM slots, I also want a few extra PCIe slots in case I need them.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:17 pm

NovusBogus wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
I hold a lot more grief for VGA ports than PCI slots anyday.


Well since they put VGA ports on cheap LCD monitoners I can see why.

Plus, in the business world, VGA is still the gold standard especially in presentation spaces. All of the conference room projectors at work are wired for VGA only, and all but one of them are 1024x768. VGA will outlast everything, even HDMI.

I think Intel is finally killing it in Skylake.
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:15 am

DancinJack wrote:
kvndoom wrote:
Eh, such as replacing a sound card I paid over $200 for, with another sound card I'll have to pay over $200 for? Yup, sounds ridiculous to me. Just let me know when you're mailing me the check. :roll:


Meh, my USB DAC/headphone amp doesn't care about PCI slots. Maybe you should have got one instead of an obsolete PCI card?


Maybe you should define 'obsolete.' Or, better yet, maybe you should take your smug attitude to another forum. :-?
 
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Re: Who is still using PCI slots these days?

Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:25 am

NovusBogus wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
I hold a lot more grief for VGA ports than PCI slots anyday.


Well since they put VGA ports on cheap LCD monitoners I can see why.

Plus, in the business world, VGA is still the gold standard especially in presentation spaces. All of the conference room projectors at work are wired for VGA only, and all but one of them are 1024x768. VGA will outlast everything, even HDMI.

At my summer work, most of our projectors are Hitach CP-DW10N's (or CP-X3011N's or some other longer throw variant), and the associated Extron systems are wired for HDMI/VGA/composite video. Had me a bit confused as to why, at one of the campuses, they wanted to switch the PCs over to HDMI - we already had Apple TVs (only HDMI out), I don't want teachers dealing with more complexity (switches), and the projectors are 1280x800 anyway. (Even if they were 1080, could people tell much of a difference from a typical projector viewing distance?) Then I found out that the newer Extron panels we have in a few buildings are mainly HDMI - but VGA does remain on one port.

For my personal stuff though, aside from laptops and video cards/IGPs where I need to use the built in VGA port to get the most monitors possible, I've almost completely abandoned VGA. I have older Core 2 machines that only have VGA out (unless I buy the dock with DVI), but that's it.

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