When's PCI Express gonna arrive?

So I’m in need of a new system (my current home desktop is an Abit BH6, Celeron 1.2Ghz (Powerleap upgrade), GeForce 3… ya, pretty aged, huh?). But I’m waiting until the PCI Express stuff ships. If I’m gonna buy a whole new box, I might as well get a motherboard that will be upgradeable for three or four years to come.

My budget is gonna be pretty large – $2000 for the system itself (I already have monitor, printer, external DVD burner, etc., etc., so that budget is pretty much just for case, CPU, graphics, hard disks, and memory).

The big question is, what motherboard will it be?

Here are my data points. First, Intel isn’t releasing a desktop 64-bit processor until Longhorn (or so they say):

Second, AMD’s 64-bit chips kick ass for gaming (see any recent processor comparison).

Third, NVidia’s nForce motherboards for AMD seem to work exceptionally well together with their GPUs:


Fourth, NVidia will apparently be shipping a PCI Express version of nForce sometime in Q3 (or Q4 – please let it be Q3 – my wife is pregnant and our due date is Nov. 25!!!):


Fifth, of course, the NV40 r0x0r$ (as every preview I’ve seen unanimously says).

So I’m thinking the dream system of Q3 2004 (assuming it all ships) will be an AMD-64, nForce PCI Express, GeForce 6800 (or whatever the PCI Express version of the latest GeForce is).


  1. Will the R420 (or the R423, the PCI Express version) clean NVidia’s clock?

  2. How much faster will PCI Express be? (It doesn’t really matter – I’m going to hold out for it anyway since I want to hold onto this system for a few years to come, and AGP will be dead after this year – but I’m still curious.)

  3. Will NVidia ship their PCI Express nForce on time?

  4. Anything else I haven’t thought of?

  5. If you’re planning upgrading to a PCI Express system yourself, what are you thinking your timing and system will look like?


As a Xmas/Feb. birthday present, my wife told me I could get a new system (with a “use your judgement” budget :D ), and like you, after doing a little research, I decided to wait for PCI Express. My guess is that there won’t be a readily available supply of BTX motherboards with PCI Express until August or so at the earliest, so I’m not really worrying about configuring a system until then.

Where oh where is Mr Case?


Early systems in May/June. Volume in August, like Brian said.

You won’t see much performance benefit on the purely graphics side early on. However, if systems ship with DDR533, that will speed things up a bit. And a few huge-texture games may benefit a bit (Far Cry). When games and apps (Longhorn) that write from graphics out to main memory become available, then things will get really interesting.

End of the year would be a good time to wait for everything to proliferate a bit.

— Alan

I can’t wait until the end of the year. See, my wife and I are expecting a baby :shock: :lol: (our first!) Due date is November 25th. So I’d better damn well have the system bought and built at least two or three months before that if I want to actually PLAY it at all!

Plus, my birthday is in August :-) So looks like August will be the right timeframe. The question for Loyd et al. is, what are the odds there’ll be a PCI Express nForce by August? And, if not an nForce, will there be other AMD-64 PCI Express mobos that will r0x0r… in August?


I don’t have firm dates, although I expect Via to be a bit ahead of Nvidia. But that’s not necessarily a good thing. However, by August, we should see quite a few entries.

Case, did you go to the last Shader Day thing ATI had on the 14th? Is all that stuff still under NDA? When does it lift?

I didn’t, but we sent Dave Salvator up. I can’t recall the exact day of the NDA lift, but it’s early next month sometime.


Was anyone else impressed that it took Loyd just 9 minutes to get to the forum, compose his post, and post it?

God I love the Qt3 forums!


Was anyone else impressed that it took Loyd just 9 minutes to get to the forum, compose his post, and post it?

God I love the Qt3 forums![/quote]

Gee, and I have a life and everything!