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Understanding The Speed Of New PCI Express Data Bus

The personal computer is constantly changing with such component upgrades for memory, CPU speed and hard drive capacity. And the video display is no exception.

The video display consist of a Graphics Card, Monitor, and the Bus. If you're wondering what the heck is a Bus in any video display, its the data path along which data moves into, out of, and inside the computer.

This data is sent from the motherboard and central processing unit, to the graphics card, travels along the data path or Bus, to the Monitor where our eyes can see it. The data Bus is partly responsible for our clear and fast the graphics of our favorite games are displayed.

It does not matter how fast the CPU chip or graphics card can send data if the Bus becomes too small and prevents the data from traveling fast. This causes a bottleneck of data when the graphics card sends data faster then the Bus can allow it to travel.

The first Bus was introduced by IBM or International Business Machines and was called the ISA. The Industry Standard Architecture Bus was slow and weak since it sent data at just 4MHz. But it was matched with the CPU chip of that day. The average CPU speed during this time was around 4.77MHz. This bus came in 1981 and IBM created a faster bus soon after with a 16 bit bus with a CPU speed of 8 to 10 MHz three years later.

By this time many other computer makers were building Computers using the IBM design and IBM quickly responded to the competition by making a proprietary bus called the MCA or Micro Channel Architecture. When IBM built proprietary Buses they mean they built hardware or software, in this case Buses, owned and controlled by a single individual or organization.

The Bus technology came about in the following order.

1983 IBM introduced the ISA Bus and in 1984 the faster 16 bit ISA Bus arrived. Then in 1987 the 32 bit MCA Bus showed up. And in 1988 Compaq and other PC makers released the 32 bit EISA or Extended Industry Standard Architecture bus.

1993 brought us the Video Electronics Standards Association or the VESA Bus. This year also allowed the release of the PCI or Personal Computer Interconnect Bus. And in 1996 came the AGP or the Advanced Graphics Port while 1998 brought us the AGP 2.0 and in 2002 came the ,you got it, the AGP 3.0 data bus.

Finally in 2005 Intel and AMD introduced computers running at speeds of 4Gigabytes or more. At these speeds the AGP port presented at slowdown for the data. So the folks at Intel put their heads together and came up with the PCIe. The Personal Computer Interconnect Express. The bus is like the PCI but uses a serial port whereas the PCI use parallel ports.

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