Good-bye PCI, hello PCI Express

One of the most comprehensive refreshes of Intel architecture will start rolling out in the coming months. The PCI Express bus will replace current I/O interfaces, such as PCI for device interconnects and AGP8X for graphics, on all servers, workstations, desktops, notebooks, and communications devices.

According to Jim Pappas, director of technology initiatives at Intel, one of the main reasons for the switch is to enhance network performance.

"As servers move to 10GbE, PCI runs out of steam and PCI Express picks up," Pappas said.

Initially, most desktops and servers are expected to include both PCI and PCI Express bus slots, phasing out the PCI slots during the next year or two.

Another major foreseen benefit is the possibility of increasing to full-duplex GbE and 10GbE, which has not been possible with PCI-enabled boxes.

The bus architecture is also designed for high-performance RAID on the motherboard, with SCSI, SATA (Serial ATA), and Fibre Channel for servers expected when the Lindenhurst chip set is unveiled this fall.

On the notebook side, PCI Express is already creating possibilities.

Nvidia, a designer of graphics chips, said that it has support from major notebook manufacturers for its MXM graphics standard for add-on modules that will use the PCI Express bus.

PCI Express-based notebooks should also start appearing this fall, according to Bill Henry, director of mobile product management at Nvidia.

Until now, upgrading graphics on a notebook was not an option. With graphics upgradeability, there is now one less reason to buy a desktop PC, according to Rob Enderle, analyst at Enderle Group.

A single standard for graphics modules will also allow manufacturers to offer more choices in graphics performance without having to redesign the motherboard, which can be used as a competitive differentiator.

According to Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight64, PCI Express will also give IT managers more flexibility when ordering notebooks and desktops. Whereas the PCI bus requires users to open the box and insert a card, PCI Express will allow manufacturers to put connectors on the motherboard that enable users to simply plug in cables at the back of the box.

On the downside, old expansion cards will not work, and on notebooks, it appears most of the manufacturers will offer a PCI Express Card slot in place of a PC Card slot, requiring entirely new cards.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ephraim Schwartz

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?