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Is there a sacrifice in running a PCI Express 2.0 GPU in a 1.0 mobo?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 23, 2008 4:51:08 AM

Okay, I'm considering possibly (but not probably, as I'm a poor college student) upgrading my gaming PC from an 8800GTX to a GTX 280, as well as upgrading the processor from an E6600 to something better to keep from bottlenecking the GPU. I've started reading that these newest GPU's are PCI Express 2.0, and I'm pretty sure my motherboard supports only 1.0. I know the 2.0's are backwards-compatible, so that's not an issue, but what I do want to know is...would there be a big difference in my motherboard only supporting 1.0? I've read that it shouldn't be too much of a difference in a couple of places, but I generally trust the higher-calibre of knowledge here at Tom's more than I do anywhere else, so I'm asking if anyone has tried this out personally or knows a sure answer.

Any responses are greatly appreciated!
October 23, 2008 5:11:31 AM

I'm pretty certain that there's no sacrifice in performance, besides the marginal bandwidth increase in PCIE 2.0.
IMO you shouldn't worry.

P.S. Check that the GTX 280 fits in your case! You don't want to buy it only to find that you need a hacksaw to fit it.
P.P.S. Make sure your PSU can handle it. I think (though I'm not certain that a 500w psu can hold it (500w if your really lucky)
P.P.P.S. Make sure your parts wont serve as a bottleneck (A C2D and at lease 2GB DDR2 memory should do)

Good luck!
October 23, 2008 5:38:37 AM

I am pretty sure most games are not even making full use of the bandwidth offered by X16, maybe a year from now we will be utilizing PCIE 2.0 to its fullest potential but then you just upgrade your motherboard.
I am not sure about the 500w PSU, I would go higher but depends on what else you are running.
What are your specs going to be?
October 23, 2008 11:42:10 AM

Thanks for the responses guys. Remember, I said I'm upgrading from an 8800GTX, so my specs cover that very well. I have 4 GB RAM, a 650W power supply (minimum spec for a GTX 280 is 550W), and assuming that this extremely large 8800GTX fits in my current case, which is huge, the GTX 280 should fit as well. I know my current processor, the C2D E6600, would bottleneck it, but I'd upgrade to one of the top-of-the-line C2D's that tend to actually perform better in games right now than the quad-cores. I guess I'll wait until a future upgrade and then switch to PCIe 2.0, as well as a new PSU and quad-core when all the games are optimizing it. Thanks again!
!