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Newbie Question - Motherboard & PCI Express x16

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2011 6:58:39 PM

Hi guys!

I have the ASUS P5NSLI motherboard that support SLI feature. It has 2 PCI express x16 slots. Right now I have a single Nvidia GeForce FX 7600 GT on one slot. I'm thinking about upgrading to two video cards and take advantage of the SLI feature. It will also help because I may soon be buying two 27-inch monitor running 1920x1200 on both screen.

Here is my question. I looked up newegg and found many cards that support PCI express 2.0 x16 and 2.1 x16:

1) will my motherboard support these new types of PCI?
2) how much faster are these 2.0 over the standard x16?
3) I have low budget, should I get 2.0/2.1 or stick with standard x16 PCI card?
4) I see x16 card that offer 32, 64, 128 and up to 256-bit. Will my board take advantage of the higher bit count?
5) I'm looking at this one, will need 2 of them (GeForce 9500). Is it a good choice?

Thanks in advance!
a c 1382 U Graphics card
a c 1119 V Motherboard
January 14, 2011 7:44:11 PM

It will support the 2.0 cards, 2.1 cards have had issues in older version 1.x boards.
It is only the top end cards that feel the difference between being installed in slot version 1.x or 2.0.
9500GT is a bad choice but what CPU do you have?
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January 14, 2011 7:50:38 PM

rolli59 said:
It will support the 2.0 cards, 2.1 cards have had issues in older version 1.x boards.
It is only the top end cards that feel the difference between being installed in slot version 1.x or 2.0.
9500GT is a bad choice but what CPU do you have?


Thanks for responding! I have the Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Dual-Core
Processor Model BX80557E6420.
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a c 1382 U Graphics card
a c 1119 V Motherboard
January 14, 2011 8:04:05 PM

You will be better of with a single more powerful card. My suggestions would be GTS250 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... last generation but powerful.
GTS450 newer and supports DX11 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or HD5770 DX11 support http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
All cards are more powerful than 9500GT in SLI and should run on a 450watt PSU
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January 14, 2011 8:09:49 PM

rolli59 said:
You will be better of with a single more powerful card. My suggestions would be GTS250 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... last generation but powerful.
GTS450 newer and supports DX11 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or HD5770 DX11 support http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
All cards are more powerful than 9500GT in SLI and should run on a 450watt PSU


I see, may I ask why single's better than SLI? I could get two 1GB card take the 2GB advantage. Is this because they'll be running at 8x each slot? Thanks again!!
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a c 1382 U Graphics card
a c 1119 V Motherboard
January 14, 2011 8:21:23 PM

The GPU power is more important than ram size. In SLI you do not add up the ram in first place that is 2 x 1GB cards will still be 1GB. Here is a benchmark http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_GTS_45... The 9500GT would have a performance just above the HD4550.
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January 14, 2011 8:31:47 PM

rolli59 said:
The GPU power is more important than ram size. In SLI you do not add up the ram in first place that is 2 x 1GB cards will still be 1GB. Here is a benchmark http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_GTS_45... The 9500GT would have a performance just above the HD4550.


I see! So in another word, if my budget is $120, there is no way I can find 2 of the $60 cards on the market and take advantage of SLI, right?

Just curious to know, SLI-wise - what types of card (regardless of cost) would make sense to get, while being compatible to my motherboard? Thanks again!
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 14, 2011 9:16:50 PM

Alot of people go SLI with GTX 460s because 2 of them outperforms more expensive single card solutions. SLI only really makes sense on cards of that level and above, or if you already have a good single card and want to upgrade.

At $120 a pair of used 9800s might be a good choice, but most would be put off by the power consuption and heat of 2 of those verses a single card at the same price like the 5770.
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January 14, 2011 9:35:08 PM

Thanks a lot, rolli59 & benski!
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a c 1382 U Graphics card
a c 1119 V Motherboard
January 14, 2011 9:38:35 PM

Your CPU will not be a match with a strong SLI setup, but it will be well matched with any of the cards I linked to and those would be the minimum cards I would recommend for your proposed resolution.
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January 14, 2011 9:40:51 PM

rolli59 said:
Your CPU will not be a match with a strong SLI setup, but it will be well matched with any of the cards I linked to and those would be the minimum cards I would recommend for your proposed resolution.


Gotcha! Thanks x16!
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January 15, 2011 1:18:29 AM

You processor is a tad bit weak. If you really needed to, i suggest you to make a new LGA 1155 interfae
with about $700 you can do this upgrade
Intel I5-2500K (229$)
AsRock Extreme4 Motherboard, LGA 1155 (150$)
Either two ATI(Now AMD) Radeon 6850s or two nVIdia GTX 460 (read advantages below)
8 GB (2x4GB) G.Skill RIPJAWS X DDR3 Ram (Get it as cheap as 90 bucks)
SilverStone DA700 700Watt Power Supply. (100 bucks)

AMD Advantages:
Runs pretty cool comparred
Can run up three displays from a SINGLE card (Eyefinity)
At the lowest end it will run about about forty dollars cheaper than the nVidia
The 6000 series scales much better than its predecessors
Only 1 PCI-E power needed, compared to nVidia, who needs 2 for about the same card

nVidia Advantages:
Can run three monitors in 3D with two cards
Can run in a 3D Display mode (this though, requires a 3D monitor that is 120Hz and nVidia glasses)
Scaling is a bit better

Now, that nice thing with the newer intel processors and motherboards is that it can run BOTH SLI and CrossFireX

So, if you are looking for new components, make sure you do the following:
Research the product
Read reviews
ask a community about it
Make sure it is the RIGHT product for you.

I hope i helped!
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January 15, 2011 2:02:53 AM

Hi Sphex, thanks so much for the detail!! Currently i dont have that budget to upgrade but i keep that as reference. I think just the new video card will be ok. All i want is to have 2 LCD monitors running 1920x1200. I have 4GB ram, windows x64, about 600W PSU. I hate this P5NSLI motherboard though, it's been giving me so much trouble over years with x64 but i got it working for now. don't want to mess with it again.

I'm not a gamer, the max i'm just playing DiabloII LOL. other than that, i'm running 3d studio max and photoshop intensively. I suppose to be using Quadro but that's what i have to live with for now, until i get the Christmas bonus. this forum helps me a lot. thanks all again!!!
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January 24, 2011 10:58:54 PM

Best answer selected by $167.
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