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PCI-E 2.0 vs PCI-E 3.0

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September 19, 2012 8:26:00 PM

Okay, I'm building a gaming rig. I'm wondering, does the 2.0 lane's bandwidth get filled up by lets say a GTX 690? What if you had an SLI setup of two 690's on a 2.0 based lane?

The reason why I'm asking this is because I want to buy an i7-2700K. I refuse to buy an Ivy Bridge based CPU due to the fact that Intel used thermal paste between the IHS and the CPUdie. I'm fine with an i7-2700K, but that means PCI-E 2.0. Will 2.0 become a bottleneck in the future up until, lets say the GTX 8XX or 9XX series?

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September 19, 2012 8:30:45 PM

hyrule571 said:
Okay, I'm building a gaming rig. I'm wondering, does the 2.0 lane's bandwidth get filled up by lets say a GTX 690? What if you had an SLI setup of two 690's on a 2.0 based lane?

The reason why I'm asking this is because I want to buy an i7-2700K. I refuse to buy an Ivy Bridge based CPU due to the fact that Intel used thermal paste between the IHS and the CPU die. I'm fine with an i7-2700K, but that means PCI-E 2.0. Will 2.0 become a bottleneck in the future up until, lets say the GTX 8XX or 9XX series?

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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 19, 2012 8:31:48 PM

Depends on your resolution, and if you're looking at 3xHD (5760x1080; bezel corrected) then yep you'll want to use PCIe 3.0.

/edit - it's hard to find info and I found this in my links - http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1537816
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September 19, 2012 11:47:07 PM

No, I don't like 2+ monitor setups. They're annoying and too tacky for my taste. I like the bigger 23"-27" monitors that have a resolution of 1920x1080 and run greater than or equal to 120Hz.

So according to that information, would a PCI-E 2.0 lane become a bottleneck if I bought a high end GTX 8XX or 9XX card? Is it even a bottleneck with a GTX 690? The reason why I'm still asking is because I can't find an exact conclusion based off of the two websites I've been referred to. The first one shows single cards suffering basically nothing from 3.0 back to 2.0. The second one shows 2.0 face-planting concrete while 3.0 is soaring high.
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September 20, 2012 12:27:20 AM

no there isn't really a big difference from 2.0 to 3.0 a GTX 690 will be fine in a 2.0 x16 slot so will CFX/SLi
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September 20, 2012 1:36:46 AM

Ah, okay thank you guys!
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September 20, 2012 1:37:28 AM

Best answer selected by hyrule571.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 20, 2012 12:58:47 PM

Are you kidding!? Did you look at the link, (1) GTX 690 = (~2) GTX 680 and (2) GTX 690 = (~4) GTX 680.

Now if your gaming, 2-WAY GTX 690's on any single monitor is a waste.

PCIe 2.0 vs PCIe 3.0 - (2) GTX 690 = (~4) GTX 680:
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September 21, 2012 7:18:32 PM

jaquith said:
Are you kidding!? Did you look at the link, (1) GTX 690 = (~2) GTX 680 and (2) GTX 690 = (~4) GTX 680.

Now if your gaming, 2-WAY GTX 690's on any single monitor is a waste.

PCIe 2.0 vs PCIe 3.0 - (2) GTX 690 = (~4) GTX 680:
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o139/callsign_vega/PCI-ETests.jpg


I think I get what you are saying, I shouldn't have jumped to conclusion so quickly. However, I cannot grasp such a performance hit on a PCI-E 2.0 lane. I have a feeling something in this benchmark was off. Maybe?
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September 21, 2012 7:41:58 PM

that bench is BS as 2.0 x16 is the same as 3.0 x8 which 2% slower than x16 ?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 21, 2012 8:29:14 PM

The Bench is on 32 lanes of PCI 3.0 LGA 2011, but most LGA 1155's are 16 lanes of PCIe 2.0 or 3.0. You can get PLX chipset LGA 1155's e.g. Ivy Bridge + ASUS Maximus V Extreme (x16/x16 to x8/x8/x8/x8). The results on LGA 1155 will be slightly less, but close when the PLX is employed.

So BS, no those results are correct. The amount of data is tripled with 3xHD and as you increase the Details (e.g. MSAA, FXAA, etc) then you're saturating the x8 PCIe 3.0. Most tests are run with either HD (1920x1080; 2.07MP) or 2560x1600; 4.10MP vs 6.22MP on 5760x1080.

The 'problem' you'll run into is a vRAM bottleneck with 2GB+2GB (2GB) GTX 690 vs SLI 4GB GTX 680's, and yes the usable vRAM on the GTX 690 is 2GB. The GTX 690 is essentially 2-WAY SLI of 2x 2GB GTX 680's. Examples:
GTX 680's: 4GB + 2GB + 4GB + 2GB = 2GB
or
GTX 690 (2GB + 2GB) + GTX 690 (2GB + 2GB) = 2GB
vs
GTX 680's: 4GB + 4GB + 4GB + 4GB = 4GB.
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