AGP (8X) vs PCI Express

BW
Posted By
Bob Williams
Oct 21, 2005
Views
237
Replies
4
Status
Closed
I notice that many new top of the line computers use PCI Express Video cards, rather than AGP cards.
I understand that PCI Express is the new video standard to replace the older AGP standard. I am usually wary of NEW, IMPROVED versions of almost anything. They tend to be buggy.
Much of the new hardware seems to be aimed at the gaming crowd who demand speed, and 3-D capability. We Photoshoppers are typically more concerned with superb color rendition at the expense of speed or 3-D capability
Has anyone tried Photoshop with a PCI Express Video Card? Any problems?
What are its advantages? Disadvantages? Compared to a Matrox P650 or a G550 for instance.
Bob Williams

Must-have mockup pack for every graphic designer 🔥🔥🔥

Easy-to-use drag-n-drop Photoshop scene creator with more than 2800 items.

W
Waldo
Oct 21, 2005
Bob Williams wrote:
I notice that many new top of the line computers use PCI Express Video cards, rather than AGP cards.
I understand that PCI Express is the new video standard to replace the older AGP standard. I am usually wary of NEW, IMPROVED versions of almost anything. They tend to be buggy.
Much of the new hardware seems to be aimed at the gaming crowd who demand speed, and 3-D capability. We Photoshoppers are typically more concerned with superb color rendition at the expense of speed or 3-D capability
Has anyone tried Photoshop with a PCI Express Video Card? Any problems?
What are its advantages? Disadvantages? Compared to a Matrox P650 or a G550 for instance.
Bob Williams

I don’t have experience with the cards itself, but PCI Express (don’t confuse it with PCI-X!!!) is the successor of the old PCI bus. It is not only intended for video purposes. The main advantages:

1. For all kind of devices, not only video cards
2. More bandwidth
3. Also more bandwidth in both ways (both in- and output).

The last point is crucial for letting the video card doing a lot of hard work. Via AGP you can transfer data very fast TO the card, but slowly FROM the card back into the normal memory/hard drive. For displaying, this is not a problem, but I suspect that graphic applications like Photoshop will use the power of the current GPUs more in the near future.

Compared to the Matrox G550, every card is much better 🙁 I’ve had one for nearly two years and I am happy I could sell it.

But as long as Photoshop doesn’t support the GPUs yet for computing purposes (only for display purposes), I wouldn’t spent a lot of money yet on buying such a card. Like all new technologies: just wait until it is adapted.

Waldo
BW
Bob Williams
Oct 21, 2005
Waldo wrote:
Bob Williams wrote:

I notice that many new top of the line computers use PCI Express Video cards, rather than AGP cards.
I understand that PCI Express is the new video standard to replace the older AGP standard. I am usually wary of NEW, IMPROVED versions of almost anything. They tend to be buggy.
Much of the new hardware seems to be aimed at the gaming crowd who demand speed, and 3-D capability. We Photoshoppers are typically more concerned with superb color rendition at the expense of speed or 3-D capability
Has anyone tried Photoshop with a PCI Express Video Card? Any problems?
What are its advantages? Disadvantages? Compared to a Matrox P650 or a G550 for instance.
Bob Williams

I don’t have experience with the cards itself, but PCI Express (don’t confuse it with PCI-X!!!) is the successor of the old PCI bus. It is not only intended for video purposes. The main advantages:

1. For all kind of devices, not only video cards
2. More bandwidth
3. Also more bandwidth in both ways (both in- and output).
The last point is crucial for letting the video card doing a lot of hard work. Via AGP you can transfer data very fast TO the card, but slowly FROM the card back into the normal memory/hard drive. For displaying, this is not a problem, but I suspect that graphic applications like Photoshop will use the power of the current GPUs more in the near future.
Compared to the Matrox G550, every card is much better 🙁 I’ve had one for nearly two years and I am happy I could sell it.

But as long as Photoshop doesn’t support the GPUs yet for computing purposes (only for display purposes), I wouldn’t spent a lot of money yet on buying such a card. Like all new technologies: just wait until it is adapted.

Thanks for that useful heads up.
Another question for you. ……
About 4 years ago I built a rig and installed a Matrox G450, in order to get good dual monitor support. It has done a fine job as far as I can tell but aside from dual monitor support, I don’t see any noticeable improvement over my wife’s "off the shelf" entry level H-P Pavillion. I am considering building, or having built, a custom rig and I am looking for suggestions on the best performance/price graphics card. Any Suggestions?
Also, will the printed image look any different regardless of which card I use. Won’t they all have the same 0s and 1s in the same place? 😉 Bob Williams
AM
Andrew Morton
Oct 24, 2005
Bob Williams wrote:
I am considering building, or having built, a custom rig and I am looking for suggestions on the best performance/price graphics card. Any Suggestions?

Do you have a monitor which is up to the job? It’s all very well spending money on the graphics card, but you will need a monitor good enough to take full advantage of it. The connection between the card and the motherboard won’t affect the quality of the card’s video output.

Will you be wanting to play games on it too?

Also, will the printed image look any different regardless of which card I use. Won’t they all have the same 0s and 1s in the same place?

You could consider getting a hardware monitor calibrator for a start. If you want to be able to calibrate more than one monitor on the same computer, you may find the available choices of card somewhat more limited.

Andrew
W
Waldo
Oct 25, 2005
Thanks for that useful heads up.
Another question for you. ……
About 4 years ago I built a rig and installed a Matrox G450, in order to get good dual monitor support. It has done a fine job as far as I can tell but aside from dual monitor support, I don’t see any noticeable improvement over my wife’s "off the shelf" entry level H-P Pavillion. I am considering building, or having built, a custom rig and I am looking for suggestions on the best performance/price graphics card. Any Suggestions?
Also, will the printed image look any different regardless of which card I use. Won’t they all have the same 0s and 1s in the same place? 😉 Bob Williams

Depending on the kind of screen you are using. A good DAC was in the past only delivered by Matrox, but in the past years a lot of manufacturers make video cards with decent nVidia and ATI chipsets that are equally good or sometimes even better (depending on the analogue building capabilities of such a manufacturer).

For TFT screens with a DVI connection, the analogue part is not an issue anymore. With large (>20") CRT screens, it can make a huge difference which card you are using (sharpness).

Beware of "light editions", were the GPU runs at a lower speed than the normal or advanced editions. They are called "LE" for nVidia chipsets. Dunno about the ATI, but you will see a price difference in similar models that only different in "LE" or "not LE".

An example of a nice card can be the Asus with a nVidia GeForce 6600 for PCI Express with DVI and 128 MB memory for about 100 euros.

Waldo

Must-have mockup pack for every graphic designer 🔥🔥🔥

Easy-to-use drag-n-drop Photoshop scene creator with more than 2800 items.

Related Discussion Topics

Nice and short text about related topics in discussion sections