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Question Regarding PCI Express x16 & PCI Express x16 (4x Mode)

Last response: in Motherboards
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August 7, 2012 12:30:07 PM

Computer Specs:

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Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2 Premium
Processor: Intel Pentium D 945
Video Card: Manli (Nvidia) GT430 Video Card (2 GB, DDR3)
Sound Card: Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty PCI Card
Power Supply: 550W
Storage Drive: WD 500 GB SATA3 Drive (Green)
Other Internal Drives (Optical, 2nd Hard Drive): None

Other Info: Latest Drivers Are Already Installed

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I have an ASUS P5WD2 Premium motherboard, It has Two (2) PCI Express x16 Slots, According to the manual, the first one (primary slot) is for PCI Express Video card while the second one is a Universal PCI Express x16 slot and can be set at 2x and 4x mode.

Description according to the ASUS P5WD2 Premium motherboard manual:

1. PCI Express x16 slot for discrete graphics card
2. Universal PCI Express x 16 slot (max. 4x mode)

First Question: If I place my Video card on the Second PCI Express Slot (Universal PCI Express x16 at 2x/4x Mode), Will it degrade the performance of the Manli (Nvidia) GT430 Video Card?

I am asking this question since I am experiencing Cracking, Popping Sound when playing movies out of the Creative X-Fi Sound Card when the GT430 is inserted on the Primary PCI Express x16 Slot (Blue), but when I insert it on the 2nd PCI Express x16 (Universal PCI Express x16 Slot at 2x/4x Mode) Then the Crackling, Popping Sound Disappears.

I also tested different video cards on the primary PCI Express x16 and do not experience the cracking / popping sound , these video cards are: (I tested them alternately NOT both at the same time)

1. PowerColor HD3650 1GB DDR2
2. NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT

& it seems that the cracking and popping sound only occur when I place the Nvidia GT430 card on the primary PCI Express x16 slot. When I placed the card on the Universal PCI-Express x16 slot, the cracking popping disappears.

Is there a decrease in Performance when I place the video card on the 2nd PCI Express x156 (Max. 4x mode) slot?
What are the possible causes for the cracking and popping sound that only occurs on the GT430 card?
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 218 U Graphics card
a c 212 V Motherboard
August 7, 2012 1:59:29 PM

Yes, you will see a decrease in overall video performance when running the GPU at x4 speeds. In most cases, you would likely not see the difference, but if gaming or rendering high end video, you would be able to tell the difference.

Have you disabled the on-board audio adapter?
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August 7, 2012 4:10:12 PM

COLGeek said:
Yes, you will see a decrease in overall video performance when running the GPU at x4 speeds. In most cases, you would likely not see the difference, but if gaming or rendering high end video, you would be able to tell the difference.

Have you disabled the on-board audio adapter?


Thank You For The Reply.

Yes. I forgot to mention that. I also disabled the onboard audio (Realtek ALC882D)

I also tried putting the sound card on a different PCI slot but I still get the same results. I don't experience this problem with my older cards (which I mentioned earlier on my first post

The only time the crackling disappears is when I put the GT430 on the 2nd PCI Express Slot (Universal PCI Express x 16 slot (max. 4x mode) & based on your reply, I was able to observe that gaming performance and high definition playback is slow, seems much slower than the 9800GT and HD3650 installed on the primary PCI Express x16 Graphics Slot.

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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 218 U Graphics card
a c 212 V Motherboard
August 7, 2012 4:22:11 PM

If you remove the Creative card and use the on-board audio adapter, does it make the same noises?
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August 7, 2012 5:17:29 PM

The crackling sound is not present when i'm using the Realtek Audio Adapter.

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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 218 U Graphics card
a c 212 V Motherboard
August 7, 2012 5:27:54 PM

That seems to indicate an issue with the Creative card (I have one of those in my parts pile). Could be a grounding or EMI or RFI (electronic interference terms) specific to the sound card and your other hardware.

I wouldn't run the GPU at x4. Rather, I would use the on-board audio or get a PCIe SoundBlaster (my next purchase in fact).

Good luck!
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