Running video card in PCIe 2.0 x16 slot

I just built a box based on the i7-4770S in an Asus H87M-Plus mATX board. The box uses the NOFAN CR-95C cpu cooler, which I found out during the build blocks the PCIe3 x16 slot.

I'm planning to run the Haswell graphics. I'm currently running a HD 5450 in an E6600 box and, other than Google Earth being doggie, I really don't notice GPU issues. (I'm not a gamer...)

But if HD 8400 lets me down and I want to go with a fanless GPU, I'm stuck with the PCIe 2.0 x16 slot. (Which Asus says runs 4x - compatible with PCIe x1 and x4 devices.) (???)

So what does this all mean? Can I install a decent video card (2560x1600) in my available slot and improve the graphics without starting from scratch? Will a x16 card work (only slower) in the x4 slot? Does a fast GPU require x16 bandwidth to twiddle bits in its on-board ram? Is PCI bandsidth the bottleneck, or is it GPU horsepower?

Thanks in advance.

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More about running video card pcie x16 slot
  1. Best answer
    PCIE X16 2.0 is still more than enough to give you all the juice of the most powerful gaming cards available today.

    If you looking for a passively cooled graphics card, a HD 7750 should not be hard to find. The highest you can get with passive cooling is probably this HD 7850
  2. I think you are good.

    Any discrete graphics card will run much faster than integrated graphics. Even at X4 speed. Today's strongest cards are not significantly slowed down by X8.

    What matters is gpu horsepower, namely the number of cores the card has.

    Somewhere in your pc, there should be a fan, or fanless coolers will not work. If you can keep a fan under 600 rpm, it will be inaudible.
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