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TA790gx Graphics Card Placement in PCI-E Slots

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June 17, 2009 12:08:03 AM

Hey, so I have a Biostar TA790GX mobo with AMD Phenom II x3.
I have a single Sapphire ATI 4850 graphics card, as well as an additional PCI audiocard.

The issue i'm having is that by putting the graphics card on the "lower" master pci-e slot, one of the pci slots gets completely blocked by the GPU fan. When i put the audio card in the remaining pci slot, it pretty much covers (although not touching, is close) the GPU fan. I found this to raise both my idle and load temperatures for my GPU. Although well under any dangerous temperature levels, I'd rather prefer to avoid such a trivial problem that causes noticable temperature differences.

The manual says I need to put single cards into the lower pci-e slot for x16 speed while putting a DCCFX-P2 card(some tiny card that comes with the mobo) into the other pci-e slot to enable x16 for the master slot. However it seems the slave slot only runs at x8 speed. I'm partially confused since in the stats of the mobo, it says both pci-e slots are x16(does x16 not necessarily mean x16 speed?)

At any rate, I was wondering if putting my graphics card into the slave x8 pci-e slot would make a big difference in performance. I know it will probably be unnoticable under normal loads, but what about gaming? I could potentially free up the pci slots and keep everything cooler by moving the graphics card, but I also wouldnt want a significant decrease in performance.

Please, what should i do? Thanks everyone!

The mobo, click on the pictures to see the pci slots
June 17, 2009 12:16:56 AM

Why don't you do some testing and let us know what your results are...

Game with the card in one slot, benchmark, move the card and do it over again ;) 
June 17, 2009 4:15:39 AM

lol fine, i did wat you said.
i ran both PCMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage on both settings and this is what i came up with...

GPU in master slot with blocked fan by audio card:

PCMark Vantage Total: 5215
Highest Temp during benchmark: ~52 C (I wasnt really watching out for it this run)

3DMark Vantage Total: P6622
GPU Score: 6484
CPU Score 7077
Highest Tmp: 62 C

With the blocked fan, the idle temp seemed around 31 C.

Moving to the x8 speed slave pci-e slot. (also moved the audio card to next pci slot to give more room for the PSU fan.

PCMark Vantage Total: 5048
Highest Temp: 40 C

3DMark Vantage Total: P6461
GPU Score: 6249
CPU Score 7193
Highest Temp: 49 C

Idling at around 27-28C


So all in all, GPU scores rose around 3.7% and 3DMark Vantage total scores rose around 2.5%
All at the cost of about a 13 or so degree increase during full load.
That said, i know i'm still waay clear temperature wise, and even 62 C is still great,
but the difference between x8 and x16 pci-e slot with my Sapphire ATI 4850 is minimal.
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