Is there really a performance difference when two cards are used and the slots become x8 VS x16 or is this just hype?
If you are not using the 2 video cards as SLI does the performance copy the answer above?
I know the number of lanes is increasing in the newer chipsets I think the RD600 chipset has 48 lanes available which would lend itself to 3 PCI-Express slots running full bore(x16). I am looking to get a new setup when the CPU dust clears probably early in augustbut I want the best bang for the buck now and I am 'trying' to future proof it as much as possible
The difference between 2 cards at x8, and 2 at x16 is minimal right now. video cards don't come close to saturating the PCI-E bus yet at x16 speeds, because games don't need that much bandwidth yet. The boards with 32 PCI-E lanes are pointless right now.
I think the answer to the question that you may be asking 8O is that there is a bottleneck somewhere else, cpu, ram, etc.
To answer this thread: there is not much performance difference now, but in the future we will see more and more use of the bandwidth available and the more extra you have, the better off you will be.
Its kinda like having a T1 line to your house. You don't really need it, and it will be WAY overkill, but in 5-10 years, it will be bottom of the line and you will be happy that it lasted you that long before becoming totally obsolete.
Not so much yet. Games are still unfortunately not being able to utilize all the bandwidth properly, not to mention inefficiencies in signaling and such causing increased overhead.
If you are looking to buy a videocard setup now, and you are at best a medium gamer, go for a single X16 card in a single X16 slot. The SLI/Crossfire systems are aimed at the hardest of the hardcore gamers, and those who only care about framerates at any cost ($1200 for graphics?!?!?). For the price conscious consumer, a single card should suffice, and in the higher parts of the product lines will produce a gaming experience that is pretty great, especially compared to the higher cost systems.