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Limit of PCIe v1.0 & future-proofing

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 9, 2010 7:04:55 AM

Hi

I've asked elsewhere about diminished returns of newer graphics cards in Motherboards equipped only with Version 1 PCIe slots. Timop kindly informed me that Cards in the GTX260 or HD5770 range will produce roughly a 10% drop off in performance on v1 PCIe. That was better than I'd expected, but it got me to thinking what the drop off in performance would be for even higher spec cards on v1 PCIe. Is there a point at which getting a better card on a Version 1 PCIe makes absolutely no sense without updating to a Mobo with Version 2 PCIe?

I'm on a EP31-DS3L Motherboard with a single PCIe x16 (v1.0) slot, 4Gb RAM, 550W psu. Was wondering whether it is viable to invest in a HD5770 (or even higher spec) now, and then in another 12 months or so buy a new motherboard with multiple V2.0 PCIe, and then buy an additional HD5770 (or higher) and combine the two GPUs in Crossfire configuration. In that way I could maximise the life of any GPU i buy now.

If that were the case, what are the highest spec card/s that would make sense with my current configuration, but still be good candidates for crossfire (SLI) on a superior Mobo in another 12 months?

Any thoughts, suggestions or corrections greatly appreciated.

Cheers
June 9, 2010 9:13:25 AM

Great article, thanks for that. Yeah it looks more like a 1% drop in performance! Do you have an opinion as to what GPU I should be looking at then with my setup above? Bearing in mind It is only 2.33 Ghz Core 2 Quad. I'd rather not step up my existing 550w PSU at this stage, as if I'm gonna replace the Mobo in a year I'd rather replace the PSU then.

Thanks
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 9, 2010 1:30:10 PM

What resolution are you playing at and do you think Overclocking teh CPU is something you would want to do ?
Also what make is teh PSU please

Mactronix
June 9, 2010 2:01:01 PM

It's a Widetech 655 Platinum 550w. Sorry I should of spelt out. My main issue isn't really gaming, I'm only casual & I play mostly on PS3, but more HD rendering, transcoding etc. Existing card has real problems displaying captured HD, and is taking an absolute age to transcode (like 4 hrs for a 1:45 vid).

It'd still be nice to be able to play some good PC titles - I'm guessing it'd be mostly strategy - Total War, Starcraft, Command & Conquer, Dawn of Discovery etc.., as that genre really sucks on consoles.
June 9, 2010 2:07:03 PM

Ohh sorry...forgot to mention driving sims. Prefer on PC too.
a c 130 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 9, 2010 3:59:18 PM

Well as far as what you were saying earlier about getting a 5770 now and maybe getting a second card down the road. What i have found is that by the time you need/want the extra 5770 it work out better to get a newer card, probably the 6 series by then and sell on the 5770.
This is why i mentioned Resolution. If you are using a 1920x1080 screen then i would say get a 5850 now and have done with it. For !680 x1050 the 5770 will be plenty anyway and then later you can take a view on the best way forward, crossfire or new card.

Mactronix
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 9, 2010 4:31:05 PM

mactronix said:
Take a look at this. http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Expr...
The Drop is nothing like 10% at all.
Any questions dont hesitate :) 

Mactronix


Just to make things clear. This test was done on a 1336 motherboard. Tomshardware did a similar test, comparing the 1156 and the 1336 motherboards in SLI using x4, x8, and x16 lanes. The 1336 motherboard performed a lot better on the x4 and x8 settings than the 1156 motherboards.

The test may be incomplete as a result, as it was tested on a motherboard known to be exceptional at using lower end PCIe slots.

edit: wrong artical, I need to head to work, so I'll find it later today.
a c 130 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 9, 2010 7:05:48 PM

@ bystander,

I understand what you are saying and the Toms article (If im thinking of the same one) shows a 4% differance between X16 and X8. (X8 on a 2.0 board =X16 on a 1.1) and thats with a 5870.
We are talking about 5770's here and so the loss will be less anyway.

Mactronix
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 9, 2010 7:27:55 PM

I was also refering to x4 was much bigger as well.
a c 130 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 9, 2010 7:59:15 PM

Yes, but then X4 isnt relevant as the OP was asking about a 2.0 slot vs a 1.0 slot. (X8 on a 2.0 slot=1.0 x16) Crossfire was to be done on a newer 2 x 2.0 x16 as well so that isnt a concern as it would be if the older board was used and droped down to what would be x 8 or 2.0 X 4.

I know you are just doing right by teh OP but as i said its 5770 area performance we are dealing with and as such it will make next to nothing differance anyway.

Mactronix :) 
June 10, 2010 2:52:25 PM

Thanks guys. I appreciate comments from both of you. I was already assuming that there would be a difference (to the downside) between performance of my board/CPU against those in the benchmark. But like Mactronix, I'd assumed that would be mitigated by the lower spec 5770 I was thinking of anyway. Besides, I was happy to live with a 10% drop & it doesn't look like it would be anything like that much. Not enough to make me immediately rush out & buy a new board, but I'm certainly considering a new GPU.

As far as the 5850 goes, well there really is a massive leap in price fom the 5770 to the 5850 here in Oz (like double - $330 Au$). I can try to get one from OS but shipping to here is a killer. By the way I am on 1680 x 1050 res so 5850 might be overkill right now. So I'm definitely leaning to the 5770. I was considering a GTX 260 as another option but the difference here between that & the 5770 is ridiculous as well. They want $220 min for it & more overclocked. Nvidia really seems to be overpriced here. Makes me wonder whether they are not dominant in the local market & hence ask whatever they want.

Anyway. Thanks for all your help, it is mauch appreciated.

Cheers
!