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Best PCI-E 16x video card to run in 8x slot

Last response: in Components
August 18, 2008 8:32:51 AM

My server only has PCI-E 8x slots. I bought a extender card to run a 16x in my 8x slot. Strangely enough my system only boots up with particular video cards. So far 8800GTS DOES not work, but a 7800GTX did work. What is the most powerful PCI-E x16 should I get. Ovbiousley I will be limited by the 8x slot. Any suggestions would be great.
August 18, 2008 1:17:01 PM

Do you prefer Nvidia to ATI or otherwise or do you have no preference? Which 8800 GTS do you mean? 640, 512, 320MB?
August 18, 2008 1:45:17 PM

in theory, any pci-e card will work in that slot. obviously you will be performance limited a bit, but tom's did some tests on this a few months back and found that it wasn't such a huge difference. strange that the 8800GTS didn't work. but that could be a psu issue rather than a motherboard issue. im pretty sure that an 8800GTS uses more power than a 7800GTX.
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August 18, 2008 2:42:46 PM

The 8800 GTS 640 and 320 are PCIe 1.0 16x cards so they might work. Otherwise the 7900 GTX looks a good card to me.
August 18, 2008 6:05:03 PM

The reason it doesn't work is because DELL put in BIOS limitations on the motherboard/ video cards. They didn't want people buying cheap server and converting them to powerful gaming rigs.

So the "EVEA 8800GT superclocked" just forced the comp to continuously reboot. I stuck in the EVEA 7800GTX in and it worked. As far as the power supply is concerned it's not a issue. This is a server with Duel Redundant 930W power supply.

As far as the video card preference, I don't really care. I have always used Nvidia but wouldn't care if a ATI was in system. I just really don't want to spend money on a video card that I would only be able to use half the power.

As far as I know the only other person on the web that has done this got a "8800gts fatal1ty" working. I am not sure if it is the chipset on the video cards or just the make that is causing the system to reboot. Do note that I do see the initial BIOS and system bootup, it's when it attempts to go into the BIOS or to the next step in the process that it tweaks out.

I will look into thoese cards Nils and see what I come up with.

Also what article are you referring to Nik_I. I heard the same info, but havent seen any benchmarking on the issue.

Thanks all


August 18, 2008 6:08:06 PM

Do note since I had to use a riser card that video card sits in the the power plug in the video card has to be in the back and I will need access to both monitors, so it looks like the ATI cards wont work since the S-Video is inbetween the two monitor plugs.

What are your guys suggestions about the, "EVGA 9800 GT Superclocked 512MB" A card that supports Physx and CUDA is a bonus for me...

Thanks for any suggestions.

August 18, 2008 8:13:01 PM

Does Dell make their own mobo's? If not you can just try upgrading the bios.

It could be that this is just a compatiblity problem. The 8800 GT is a PCIe 2.0 card and I've seen some people having problems when inserting a PCIe 2.0 card in a PCIe 1.0 16x slot. So the compatibility might be even worse when putting a card like that in a PCIe 8x slot. I'm not sure, it's only a suggestion.

If a 8800 GT doesn't work, I don't see a reason why a 9800 GT would.

If it is a problem due to your bios or chipset, it's just a game we're playing. Every card you try is just a gamble. Some may work, others might not.
And if I'm allowed to gamble on this forum, I would say the card I suggested might work. It's from the same series as the one that did work, only this one is faster. Another gamble: an 'older' card from the 8800 series might work too (I mean the ones based on the G80 GPU like the Ultra and the GTX)