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PCI vs PCIe network adapters when it comes to bandwidth

post #1 of 19
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I have been told that PCIe network cards provide better bandwidth than PCI for network cards. Why is this the case?
(In other words, PCIe network adapters are faster than PCI network adapters? Require less power? Or all of the above?) Because PCIe is certainly quite smaller than PCI.

And this just occurred to me, but why don't the high end GPUs use PCIe if it's "better bandwidth" than PCI? Just curious, and chances are I don't quite understand the terminology of "bandwidth" here. ;P

Thanks,
    
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post #2 of 19
High end GPU's are on PCIe...

pci is an old standard, it had its few upadtes but theres just not much you can get out of the standard. Fast for its day in comparison to ISA...

PCIe 1x is 400MB/s

pci 266MB/s max

one of my cards is 4x, so thats 1.6GB/s bandwidth with 2 Gigabit ports. Think you could sqeeze that into a pci card without issues?

edit:

Also the latencies involved are MUCHMUCHMUCH more consistent and lower on pcie cards, especially those with dot1q capabilities and/or multiple NIC ports.
Edited by Xinoxide - 9/16/12 at 12:13pm
post #3 of 19
Doesn't a 32 bit 33 MHz PCI bus carry 133 MB/sec ?
PCI is a shared bus and half duplex, all of the cards on the bus don't have dedicated bandwidth.

PCIe at the bus level itself is full duplex, each lane is isolated from other lanes and has a dedicated amount of bandwidth.
PCIe 2.0 cards have 500 MB/sec per lane as available bandwidth.

At least those are the major points from what I recall.
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post #4 of 19
I've never heard of a network adapter getting bottlenecked by the PCI bus. Maybe a dual-port server adapter, but they use 64-bit PCI slot.
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post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinoxide View Post

High end GPU's are on PCIe...
pci is an old standard, it had its few upadtes but theres just not much you can get out of the standard. Fast for its day in comparison to ISA...
PCIe 1x is 400MB/s
pci 266MB/s max
one of my cards is 4x, so thats 1.6GB/s bandwidth with 2 Gigabit ports. Think you could sqeeze that into a pci card without issues?
edit:
Also the latencies involved are MUCHMUCHMUCH more consistent and lower on pcie cards, especially those with dot1q capabilities and/or multiple NIC ports.

PCIe 1.0 is 250MB/sec per lane. PCIe 2.0 is 500MB/sec per lane. PCIe is not a shared bus, or even a bus at all. It's a packet-switched fabric (a bit like the Internet), unlike PCI which is a circuit switched shared bus (a bit like the phone system). On a PCI bus, each device has to wait for the bus to be clear before they can send data. PCIe does not have this issue.

NIC will perform more consistently on PCIe because they don't have to share a channel with other devices. On PCI, a NIC would have to be the only device on the bus in order to perform the same way.
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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thAche View Post

I've never heard of a network adapter getting bottlenecked by the PCI bus. Maybe a dual-port server adapter, but they use 64-bit PCI slot.

A good 1GbE NIC can achieve around 100-120MB/s. PCI (32-bit 33MHz is the desktop standard) is capable of only 133MB/s shared among all PCI devices. This does not leave much room for other devices.

Besides, PCI is no longer native on any Intel desktop chipsets so it has to be done through a 3rd party controller.


As previously stated, PCI is a bus..... a shared connection. PCI-E is a scalable interconnect.... dedicated connection.
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post #7 of 19
For one port, there should be no difference, use what will work best for you (price, open slots, etc).

For more than one PCIe or PCI-X is a requirement if you don't want to be bottlenecked by the slot.
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post #8 of 19
Just don't get a Realtek-based PCI NIC. They are universally despised for their poor implementation (unnecessary CPU usage and poor throughput).
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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

Just don't get a Realtek-based PCI NIC. They are universally despised for their poor implementation (unnecessary CPU usage and poor throughput).

Agreed.

Intel has always been good to me, lifetime warranty on all NICs and they are fairly cheap on eBay.
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post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootsfox View Post

Agreed.
Intel has always been good to me, lifetime warranty on all NICs and they are fairly cheap on eBay.

Intel NIC drivers are generally well-supported and integrated. They also have self-diagnostic and line-check tools built in.... very useful. thumb.gif
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