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Any benefits to 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 motherboards if not using SLI

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January 29, 2011 3:10:45 PM

I am looking to build new system around Intel 2600K CPU. I am not a gamer and will never need to use more than one graphics card. However, I am mildly interested in 3D software development and 3D graphics so will use low- or mid- level graphics card.

I looked at P67 motherboards and noticed that selection of motherboards with 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slot is rather small (6) as opposed to selection with 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots (13)

At this time I am inclined to go with Intel BOXDP67BA board (1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slot). I am not really into crazy tweaking/overclocking and prefer stability and support over everything else.

Do any boards with 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots have any additional features comparing to BOXDP67BA (except possibility of SLI of course)? I do not see any, at least nothing obvious that would seem important to me.
a c 1097 V Motherboard
a c 1362 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 5:59:00 PM

You have selected a solid stable product for your build. There is no benefit to the second slot unless you are planning to use it, it is not only limited to GPU's, revo drives as an example.
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January 29, 2011 8:15:29 PM

To clarify: boards with 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots are more expensive. This could mean they are positioned as "higher end" boards and may have additional features not related to SLI (I think)
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 8:31:32 PM

For the most part there is not really a difference but one nice thing about having the second PCI-e slot is if something happens you at least have the second slot to see if it is a problem with the PCI-e slot itself or not for troubleshooting and also if one slot does go bad you can still use the second instead of having to replace the board if there is only the 1 and it goes bad.
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a c 207 V Motherboard
a c 225 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 8:35:40 PM

Double issue here:

1. Do you need the second slot to run at X16 ? - Most 1155 MoBos that have two PCI-E x 16 slots don't run at x16 when you fill them both...they run at x8 x8. This has a little effect on twin GFX cards but as you getto the highest end boards, the difference increases. There's an article here on THG for example that shows 4% in X-Fire with iirc, the 5850's or 6850's.

Now if ya splurging on twin 580's then ya might wanna think about spending an extra $30 for a MoBo w/ an NF200 chipset which will allow both PCI-E slots to run at x16 x16.

2. Are you ever gonna use a 2nd GFX card - If ya absolutely sure, then no don't invest the extra $20-30 on a board w/ twin slots. However, adding that 2nd GFX card can often give a new lease on life to a tired ole gaming system. Building with an adequate PSU and twin slot board gives you the option to do this later....but prolly adds an extra $40 to system cost. Come XMas 2012, though, adding a 2nd card may keep ya playing on that box for another 18 months.

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January 29, 2011 8:43:56 PM

I am 100% positive I will never use 2-nd graphic card. I am not a gamer.
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a c 1097 V Motherboard
a c 1362 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 8:46:45 PM

Then the board you specified is an excellent choice for you.
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