Planning my first build using a EVGA 8800GT video card which I believe is a PCI Express 16x "2.0" type. I'm only going to use 1 card so don't need SLI. I know they say these 2.0 cards are backward compatible with PCI 1.0 and 1.1 but I would like to get the full performance out of it by using it in a 2.0 PCI slot. All the Mobo's I have researched using 2.0 have 2 slots ready for SLI or Crossfire. I figured I'd end up buying one of these and just leave one slot unused but many mobo reviews say if you're not going SLI or Crossfire, you're just wasting money and space going with the 2 slot 2.0's.. Anyone know of single slot PCI-E 16x 2.0 Mobo's? If not, does anyone know if I would lose much performance using it in a PCI-E 16x 1.0 or 1.1?
With a P35 motherboard you will get the full performance out of any video card out there including 8800GT and even 8800Ultra. Go for a GA-P35-DS3R or aBit IP35 Pro for example.
To clarify: the only chipsets with PCI-E 2.0 are 780i (nice for two or three nVidia cards in SLI) and X38 (nice for two ATI cards in Crossfire). There are no motherboards with PCI-E 2.0 and a single slot.
Actually, there are, the AMD 770 chipset supports a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot. However, no cards use the bandwidth of PCI-E 2.0, so it isn't really something you should go out of your way to get. Considering Intel offers better CPU performance, get a P35 board rather and don't worry about PCI-E 2.0, it's backwards compatible.
Ok, good to know. Thanks a lot. I just figured that since they advertise the card as 2.0 compliant and the 1.0 & 2.0 pci slots are physically the same, that there must be a performance gain when used in a 2.0 slot.
The short answer is 50%, give or take some, but it's just a guess. Here's how I came up with it:
I read a few articles showing that a x8 PCI-E 1.1 slot doesn't limit the 8800GTX by more than a few percentage points. That is, it was getting almost the same fps in x8 as in x16. That means the 8800GTX uses a bit more than half the bandwidth of a x16 slot. I expect the 8800GT to use a bit less than the GTX.