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How much life is there left for PCI?

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How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Sam Handwich » Sat Sep 24, 2005 12:24 pm

Just asking because I'm not sure whether to commit to taking advantage of the rather attractive Powercore Mk II upgrade. I don't want to be in a position a year or two hence where I can't upgrade my mobo without sacrificing 2 PoCos

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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Peter C » Sat Sep 24, 2005 1:30 pm

I'm expecting to see PCIe soundcards appear stating early next year.

I'm also expecting to see new mobos without any PCI connectors on them next year; so in two year's time you'd still bea ble to find PCI mobos, but it would not be the latest stuff, and might not support the latest sockets/CPUs.

In your place I'd want to justify my decision based on the working life of a machine to be built using up-to-date components in about a year's time. If (say) you went for a dual core system then, you could reasonably expect it to last 2-3 years, so the PowerCore would have a life of 3-4 years from now.




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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Sam Handwich » Sat Sep 24, 2005 1:48 pm

Blue Lizard

The Magma solution looks interesting, but doesn't it rely on having a PCI slot on the mobo? Is there something similar, but connected in a different way, eg Firewire?

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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Mixedup » Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:59 pm

You can certainly get a Magma that will connect to PCMCIA but havent seen one that will connect to firewire (not sure if it is possible?)

I have a spare Magma chassis - if interested, PM me.
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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:04 pm

Personally I think PCI slots will be with us for some years to come. Let's face it - most of we old-timers were very keen to ditch our ISA slot devices a few years back, as they were such a pain to install (mostly pre Plug and Play), while the vast majority of ISA audio interfaces simply didn't sound as good as the PCI ones that superceded them.

The situation with PCI is rather different - there are some superb-sounding PCI audio interfaces available (including those from Lynx for example), and many musicians have already invested a great deal in them. There are also absolutely loads of other PCI expansion cards already installed in PCs around the world, and most people aren't going to throw these away until they have to, unless the replacement device is significantly better in some way.

True, the only PCI devices in my PC are audio ones, and motherboard manufacturers aren't going to be specifically catering for musicians in their future plans. Nevertheless, while I agree that PCI slots are inevitably going to be phased out in the end, I suspect the transition will be far slower than that of ISA.

USB and FireWire are certainly good for musicians, but PCI still offers lower MIDI latency and a greater bandwidth if you want (for instance) to run multi-channel I/O at 24-bit/192kHz.

Like Peter I expect to see PCIe interfaces start to appear next year, when suitable interface chips are more available. There will certainly be some PCIe-only motherboards appearing then as well, but I expect most motherboards to continue PCI support for a couple of years, and even then there should be quite a few mobos available with PCI on board.


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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:29 am

You can still buy motherboards with ISA slots if you want them - there are still plenty of industrial users of ISA cards around. The same will almost certainly be true of PCI for a good few years to come.

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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Michael Harrison » Sun Oct 02, 2005 5:14 am

Martin Walker wrote:The situation with PCI is rather different - there are some superb-sounding PCI audio interfaces available (including those from Lynx for example), and many musicians have already invested a great deal in them.

The example that immediately springs to mind is Digidesign Pro Tools. Probably the biggest integrated hardware & software solution marketed to date, and both TDM & HD systems use PCI based hardware.

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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Peter C » Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:40 am

Hi,

OK... I accept thatyou will (probably) be able to get mobos with PCI slots for a geed few years, but:

1. They may not be the cutting edge stuff with all the other features you might need/want on your new DAW.

I didn't know you could still get mobos with ISA slots, but the acid question is: "does anybody make a socket 939 mobo with ISA bus slots?


2. I do think that the transition from PCI to PCIe will be much faster than the transition from ISA to PCI was. Here's why:

At the time of the ISA -> PCI transition, IBM was promoting a different alternative bus

At that time most PCs had several expasion cards in them - modem, sound card, NIC... These days that stuff is all integrated, and most PCs have a graphics card and that's it. So there is a lot less legacy stuff around to impede the transition.


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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:09 pm

Peter C wrote:

I didn't know you could still get mobos with ISA slots, but the acid question is: "does anybody make a socket 939 mobo with ISA bus slots?


Only a socket 478 P4 motherboard as far as I can see. The industrial PC people tend to go for Intel rather than AMD.

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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Rowboffin » Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:00 pm

Peter C wrote:
At that time most PCs had several expasion cards in them - modem, sound card, NIC... These days that stuff is all integrated, and most PCs have a graphics card and that's it. So there is a lot less legacy stuff around to impede the transition.

Peter

I was thinking the same. If you consider the bulk of home users (non-musicians), what will they currently be using PCI expansion cards for (wireless networking, perhaps)? Even in a workplace where the PCs being used are fairly new I'd guess that PCI cards aren't that common. We have a bunch of Dell Optiplexes, none of which have any PCI cards installed. The thing that seems to be driving PCI-e at the moment are graphics cards for the gaming market. Maybe these early adopters are using a Creative card for their surround-systems but as soon as PCI-e soundcards are available i'm guessing that they drop them sharpish since this sector seems to include those who upgrade most frequently.
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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Sam Handwich » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:14 pm

Interesting comments. I'm just not convinced that PCI will be much of an option a couple of years down the line when I might be looking for whatever is cutting-edge at the time. Already single-core 32-bit processors are beginning to look old hat, AGP is being swept aside, and other solutions seem to be Firewire/USB. I am by no means a Luddite, but making decisions based on what is "just around the corner" is not good sense to me, and I have still not made up my mind. I suppose it's only 400 quid or whatever for the Powercore deal, and in the grand scheme of things that's not a great deal, but who wants to be investing in soon-to-be redundant kit? Ho-hum.

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Re: How much life is there left for PCI?

Postby Gav » Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:12 pm

And then it's not going to be that soon before things like a PCI-E powercore would come out (if at all), due to the development time once it was given the go ahead.

Talking about empty PCI slots in the majority of PCs... I'm surprised that so few MATX motherboards are on the market, since there aren't many people who still require 5/6 slots. Sure, some OEMs use them, but it's a chicken and egg situation between manufacturers and users.
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