back to article Buy, buy this American PCIe, drove my PC on the Wi-Fi so the Wi-Fi would fly

PCI-SIG, the industry consortium that oversees the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express specification, rolled out PCIe 5.0 on Wednesday, promising speedier data transfers between connected computer components. PCIe is a serial bus that connects peripherals like graphics cards, network cards and storage hardware to core …

  1. Scott Broukell
    Coat

    I am of the opinion that there should be a levy put on the use of such headlines.

    1. John 110

      There is a levy, but it's dry...

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      This is the day that the joke died

      1. John Savard Silver badge

        American Pie

        I can see that I was not the only one - without even help from the picture that accompanied the article - to recognize how the headline referenced the Don McLean song.

        But everyone knows one speaks of something being "as American as Apple pie", not blueberry pie.

        1. Jim Mitchell
          WTF?

          Re: American Pie

          And that picture is not even a pie! Pie by my definition is ROUND. This might be a cobbler, or a compote.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have to admit - only read it because of the headlines.

      Didn't finish it though!

  2. Alan Sharkey
    FAIL

    Bus?

    " "Bus" comes from "omnibus," meaning it accepts all manner of devices."

    No, a bus is a device (4 wheeled or backplane) for carrying things from one location to another. Your description makes no sense at all.

    Pendantic Al.

    1. thosrtanner
      FAIL

      Re: Bus?

      From the OED online:

      bus: Origin - Early 19th century: shortening of omnibus. (meaning to, for, by, with or from everyone or everything according to Flanders and Swan - see also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPU5pRQpTYU )

      Even more pedantic TT

      1. thosrtanner

        Re: Bus?

        Sorry, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yHrpPRYgYM is a better link

      2. hmv

        Re: Bus?

        Even more pedantically, 'bus' meaning the ones found inside PCs (and elsewhere) may not be originating from omnibus. There is an electrical 'bus' (also 'buss') which is a shortened form of 'busbar'; the first computing 'bus' reference listed on the OED page was written 'buss' indicating that a computer bus originates from 'busbar' not 'omnibus'.

        1. steelpillow Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Bus?

          Ah, but the electrical bus bar is the omnibus bar to which anything may be connected.

          1. Suricou Raven

            Re: Bus?

            Sometimes mis-spelled 'buzz bar' in an understated reference to what touching them feels like.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Bus?

              "Sometimes mis-spelled 'buzz bar' in an understated reference to what touching them feels like."

              Or the noise made, briefly, by someone touching a 48V DC bus bar....

              1. Tom 7 Silver badge

                Re: Bus?

                More like the noise made by your ears for about three weeks after dropping a spanner across said bus bar. There was probably some crackling of your head hair too but you couldn't hear that while looking at the back of your own eyeballs.

        2. thosrtanner

          Re: Bus?

          Nah, sorry. From wikipedia

          The term busbar is derived from the Latin word omnibus, which translates into English as "for all", indicating that a busbar carries all of the currents in a particular system.

          similar definition from dictionary.com

          The omnibus rules all!

          1. FlossyThePig

            Re: Bus?

            From wikipedia

            Ah wikipedia the source of all that is true and correct!

          2. John Savard Silver badge

            Re: Bus?

            B-but it was only the pdp-8 that had OMNIBUS; the pdp-11 used UNIBUS!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bus?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busbar, because Wikipedia is true.

          "

          The term busbar is derived from the Latin word omnibus, which translates into English as "for all", indicating that a busbar carries all of the currents in a particular system.

          "

          It borrowed the use of (omni)bus for the same reason it was used in busbar.

          Contrast with the use of the -gate ending, borrowed from Watergate.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Bus?

            Contrast with the use of the -gate ending, borrowed from Watergate.

            Don't you mean Watergate-gate ?

      3. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Bus?

        I am reminded of that little ditty to remember declensions: Motor Bus

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bus?

          Latin is a dead language.

          As dead as it can be.

          First it killed the Romans,

          And now it's killing me.

          1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

            Romanes eunt domus...

            “What's this then? People called the Romanes they go the house?"

            1. Glen 1

              Re: Romanes eunt domus...

              Conjugate!

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. CrazyOldCatMan

                Re: Romanes eunt domus...

                Conjugate!

                How very dare you! What I do in the privacy of my own house is nothing to do with you!

                (Unless you are Facebook, Google, Apple et. al)

        2. John Savard Silver badge

          Re: Bus?

          Speaking of Wikipedia, it has a nice little article about that poem, including a crib to tell those of us who haven't taken Latin just what is going on in it.

      4. CrazyOldCatMan

        Re: Bus?

        Early 19th century: shortening of omnibus

        Especially in Clapham.

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Bottlenecks

    It's all well and good having 128GB/s bandwidth to your NIC or graphics card, but can the rest of your system (e.g. CPU & Memory) actually keep up with data flowing that quickly?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Bottlenecks

      Memory bus bandwidths on big modern CPUs are topping 100GByte/s, so yes the rest of the system is already exceeding what PCIe4 can do. PCIe5 helps even things out again.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Bottlenecks

      > but can the rest of your system (e.g. CPU & Memory) actually keep up with data flowing that quickly?

      Well change the numbers and this was the situation back in the 70's & 80's, there was a reason why the PC had DMA, and why PC's with NIC's that had on-board CPUs and DMA were notably 'faster' than those with more basic NIC's that did all the protocol processing in the PC's CPU.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to look a prize clown here . . .

    . . .hence anonymity.

    But 32GT/s sounds to me (naively) on a single data line as equivalent to 32 Gb/s.

    x16 sounds to me like 2 Bytes per transfer.

    So I get to 64 GB/s. That measn the author is wrong (but none of the first 11 commentards have noticed) or I'm missing a crucial component of understanding.

    I'm going to go with the odds and ask someone to enlighten me.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: I'm going to look a prize clown here . . .

      I'm going to publicly display my ignorance by replying while logged in.

      32GT/s means giga-transfers per second in each direction, so a smidgen under 32Gbps in each direction, lets round it up to 64Gbps.

      I think the x16 is the number of lanes, so total throughput would be 16 times 64Gbps. Which is 128GB/s (bits to bytes conversion subtly hidden in there).

      What really matters is whether it's supported by your CPU, motherboard, storage and graphics card, and whether it deliver real world performance benefits as a result. Unless you're working in hardware design it's really all just a distraction; look at the real-world benchmarks and base purchasing decisions on those.

    2. chris 143

      Re: I'm going to look a prize clown here . . .

      It's gigatransfers per second, a transfer is a word which doesn't have to be the same as a bit or a byte

      https://www.edn.com/electronics-news/4380071/What-does-GT-s-mean-anyway-

      No idea if the 10 bit word is still true or not

      1. nerdbert

        How to leak information...unintentionally

        No idea if the 10 bit word is still true or not

        That was dropped in PCIe v3. Neither v4 nor v5 have that 10 bit run length.

    3. thosrtanner

      Re: I'm going to look a prize clown here . . .

      The first 11 commentards were worried about more important things - like the etymology of bus.

      1. ArrZarr
        Joke

        Semantics are important

        Or, as my colleagues phrase it "Nobody cares, oh my god, just go away with your linguistics facts"

        1. CrazyOldCatMan

          Re: Semantics are important

          just go away with your linguistics facts

          Are all your colleagues idiots? Or, as I sometimes refer to them, non-pedants?

  5. Alistair
    Windows

    Title vs photo.

    I'm known to break out into the song on occasion whilst driving about with the stereo cranked up and the windows down on a nice day. But wrong photo. Should be apple in this case. Though I do love me a nice blueberry pie, that looks more like a blueberry crumble.

    Many bytes! Moar Bandwidth!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next Big Thing

    Since v4 is only just shipping; this means the rule about tech being obsolete as soon as it is shipped is holding true.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Next Big Thing

      "Since v4 is only just shipping; this means the rule about tech being obsolete as soon as it is shipped is holding true."

      v4 was approved in 2017 and is only just beginning to ship in PC's and the reality is that outside of storage and very high speed interconnects/network adaptors, the requirements aren't there. Realistically, v5 is a similar length of time away from commercially available products such as motherboards and 400Gbps NIC's.

      Look outside of the PC market to things like blade servers, network switches and other devices that provide high speed access to shared resources and you will find the real drivers for these speed increases.

      Looking at AMD's X570 motherboards which support PCIe 4.x, they provide PCIe4 8x connectors versus the previous generations PCIe3 16x connectors as they don't believe that cards requiring more bandwidth are likely and that the PCIe lanes are better spent elsewhere.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan

        Re: Next Big Thing

        400Gbps NIC

        Which are only going to be of any great use in a datacentre.

        Which won't (of course) stop the marketdriods screaming from the rooftops that their latest Shiny Shiny has the capability. Even if the device is only ever going to be used on wifi or mobile data..

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Next Big Thing

          The upside for us mortals is that 10GigE will become cheap and 100GigE will be affordable.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well this is stupid

    Intel isn't even going to have PCIe 4.0 until next year, they might as well skip it entirely and go straight to 5.0. Seriously, if they already prepared things for 5.0 with the 4.0 spec why didn't they just call 4.0 a 4x gain instead of 2x and skip what we now call 4.0 entirely?

    1. whitepines

      Re: Well this is stupid

      Probably because there's PCIe 4.0 stuff in the wild now? Just because your average gamer doesn't know about it or want it doesn't mean it's not used in industry.

      E.g.

      Motherboard with three 16 lane PCIe 4.0 slots, it's been shipping for well over a year now: https://www.raptorcs.com/content/TL2MB1/intro.html

      And the kind of card you plug into it: http://www.mellanox.com/page/products_dyn?product_family=266&mtag=connectx_6_en_card , also shipping for quite some time already.

      Or this: https://www.tech-critter.com/gigabyte-unveils-aorus-gen-4-nvme-aic-8tb-ssd/

      Not exactly something you'd have in your bedroom as a teenager, but quite cool anyway.

      One last comment: AMD wasn't first to this party. They’re quite late despite what they want to say for marketing reasons, it's complete BS but AMD learned quite well from Intel. Copy the Management Engine and call it the "Platform Security Processor", disclaim any responsibility for bugs in it. Lie like a rug if your product lags in any way. Make empty noises about doing things people want (like making the PSP optional) then quietly back away from those statements once enough chips are sold on that marketing-fuelled rumour and the resultant furor dies down. Work with OEMs to restrict supply of any technology that makes yours look old (like PCIe 4.0 SSDs when your chip is stuck on PCIe 3.0).

      Old tricks from Intel's playbook.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well this is stupid

      Why PCIe 4? Because intel lack PCIe 3 lanes if you are using a lot of devices, particularly fast storage.

      The mobile platforms had 12 lanes which was bumped to 16 last year - take out 4 for Optane, 4 for thunderbolt/USB4 and 4 for a GPU and your non-Optane storage sucks. Remove the GPU and add multi-gig WiFi or Ethernet and you have similar issues. Even on desktops with 24 lanes, you struggle if you add a fast GPU.

      While I accept PCIe 3 has the bandwidth to meet the needs of everything but NVMe, existing solutions don't provide the number of lanes required. Doubling the bandwidth halves your traces/repeaters while offering similar performance. IO might be AMDs killer advantage in 2019...

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Well this is stupid

        IO might be AMDs killer advantage in 2019...

        Security could well be very important too.

        1. whitepines
          Happy

          Re: Well this is stupid

          Security could well be very important too.

          And with the Orwellian double-speak branded "Platform Security Processor", completely out of AMD's reach...

          I for one don't need a digital nanny in my computers that I can't control, replace, or remove*. It's the Intel Management Engine all over again, it just hasn't been targeted as much for CVE hunting and zero day disclosure technical analysis yet. I'd take anything else other than Intel and AMD at this point, they're two sides of the same privacy-invading, DRM-shoving coin.

          * From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Platform_Security_Processor):

          "its functions include managing the boot process ... and monitoring the system for any suspicious activity or events and implementing an appropriate response". Given that this is firmware, not hardware, and could be regionalized by fiat, try the following substitutions:

          "Managing the boot process" -- "Only allowing (regionally backdoored?) Windows 10 or (regionally backdoored?) specially approved, prebuilt Linux kernels to boot"

          "Monitoring the system for any suspicious activity or events" -- "Detecting unauthorized open-source encryption routines and sending the keys to a central server, temporarily storing said keys in the BIOS Flash chip if needed."

          Scared yet? No wonder China was so keen on using AMD's technology at one point, though at some time they also seem to have realized what a bad idea this is for state computers and are now pushing for wholly domestic chips not using any Intel or AMD technology...

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