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Old 15th Aug 2011, 22:14   #1
AndyS_UK
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PCI Express 2.1 compatibility?

I have an Asus P5K motherboard in my system, and recently the graphics card has decided it's had enough and won't work anymore. I've had a look at the current line up of cards on offer and noticed they all seem to be for PCI Express 2.0 or 2.1. Since this is not mentioned in the mobo spec I'm assuming it is 1.0 or maybe 1.1?

The card I was thinking of getting was the XFX ATI Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition. Would this be compatible with my motherboard? And would the lack of 2.1 support bottleneck the graphics so much that there is no point spending more than 35 on a new graphics card?
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Old 15th Aug 2011, 22:26   #2
cmndr_andi
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Yes, with a P35 board like yours the PCIE ports are 1.1. However, modern PCI v 2.0 and 2.1 graphics cards are fully backwards compatible with 1.1 ports. The only "issue" is that 1.1 ports have half the bandwidth of 2.0/2.1 ports. So if you install a PCIE v2.1 x16 card in a P35 motherboard then it will effectively run at PCIE v2.1 x8 speed.

However, if you look at a review like this, the performance drop jumping down from x16 to x8 is tiny, even with high-end graphics cards.

i7 5820K @ 4.4GHz//32GB DDR4//ASUS X99-A//MSI GTX 980Ti//Xonar D1//Acer XB270HU//Samsung 850//HX 850W
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Old 15th Aug 2011, 22:41   #3
AndyS_UK
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Awesome, thanks for the quick reply. That's great news, seems I should be safe to go for the 6870 then!
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