PCIe question

Hello, I think I ran into a potential problem with my new build.It has been about 9 years since my last upgrade/new build so I'm really out of the loop. I purchased a Biostar TZ77XE3 motherboard and i5-3570K that I saw in Tom's 2012 buyers guide. I also purchased and installed a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. My graphics card has not arrived from Newegg yet (ugh... long story) but it is a HD7950.

My problem is that:

The Cooler Master heatsink/fan is rather large and the way the manual directed me to install it leaves very little room above the PCI express slot 1. I don't have the video card in my possession yet, but if it does fit, it will be really close to touching the heatsink fins. First of all, Do you think I will have enough room for my video card (see link to picture below.)

Since I don't plan on doing SLI/Crossfire, can I install my video card in PCI Express slot 2 and have the same results as if it were installed in slot 1? From reading the manual, I believe both slots are 3.0. Also, since slot 2 is labeled PEX16_2, does that mean that it will run a single card at x16 speed, like slot 1? The manual says the speed of slot 1 is x16, or x8 when SLI/Crossfire is enabled and that the speed of slot 2 is x8. But is that strictly in SLI/Crossfire mode?

Below is a link to some photos of my mobo manual page and heatsink problem.


Any suggestions or thoughts would be much appreciated.

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  1. That is a poor design choice on biostar's part and is usually only seen on micro-atx mobos. But it is within the standards that any heatsink will not contact. Yes you can put the card in the second slot which is x16 also.
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