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Using a 6850 in a pci-e 1.0 slot & older system

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 9, 2012 11:27:22 AM

Hi there, thanks for taking the time to look at my post and hopefully give me the answers I need ;) 

The title pretty much sums it up; and I've read similar threads on these forums that explain
"Yes you can use the said GFX card in a 1.0 slot however..."

My question is basically how it would run with my current system that I built back in 2008 given it only has a dual-core processor etc?

My system is as follows:

- ASUS 'Crosshair' nForce 590SLI ATX Audio Dual VGA Lan
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ AM2 3.2GHz (Black Edition)
- ASUS 'Silent Knight II' CPU Cooler
- Seagate 500GB Hard Drive SATA II 7200rpm
- Coolermaster Modular PSU Real Power M620 620W
- Crucial 2GB kit (1GBx2) Ballistix Tracer DDR2 PC2-6400

My current GFX Card I plan to replace is a Nvidia 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 Dual DVI DX10. This card has been trouble free but It's struggling with the new Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO hence why I've decided to upgrade without having to spend silly money.

My choice of card has simply come from this site's advice: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD...


Thanks in advance for any helpful advice or comments :) 

Rich F





a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 11:54:43 AM

hmm, 6850 is new tech and requires originally PCI-E 2.1 to enjoy a real performance now according to your question yes 1.0 can run the hd 6850 but with loss of performance which is also known as "backward compatibility"
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a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:00:40 PM

which version of pci-e matters but not as much as some want you to believe. the difference between v1.1 and v2.0 in benchmarks is less than 5%. so just ignore that.
that processor will with out a doubt, will greatly limit the 6850. to make it worst the best few processors for your motherboard cost more than decent NEW processors.
making it best to upgrade your mobo, ram and processor.
im not really sure which would be faster (with out doing some serious research), your current system with a 6850, or a new cpu/mobo/ram with your current video card.

your current system meets the minimum system requirements so if you turn your settings down to the minimum you can play it. though i couldnt tolerate those settings.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:01:56 PM

xtreme5 said:
hmm, 6850 is new tech and requires originally PCI-E 2.1 to enjoy a real performance now according to your question yes 1.0 can run the hd 6850 but with loss of performance which is also known as "backward compatibility"


Not entirely true.

A PCI-E 1.0 (or 1.1) slot will run @ 2.5GT/s which is the same as a x8 PCI-E 2.1 Slot. The only graphics cards known to saturate this are the 7970, 6990 and the 590.

In Short, there will be no performance decrease wether you use PCI-E 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1 or 3.0 - the 6850 will not use the full bandwidth.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:08:42 PM

really! such a bad knowledge you have> remember using a decent card with an older pci e 1.0 will bottleneck the card do you know that??????//
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:34:35 PM

From what I remember toms did an article on this 1-2 years ago and a card like a 6850 will lose around 1-3% performance (next to nothing) a 7970 may lose alot more. In most games it will be bottlenecked more by your CPU.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:36:47 PM

I have no idea what you are talking about -

Let me explain it simply - PCI-E 1.0 = half of PCI-E 2.0

PCI-E 2.0 x8 = Half of PCI-E 2.0 x16

So PCI-E 1.0 x16 = PCI-E 2.0 x8

PCI-E 2.0 x8 DOES NOT Bottleneck a 6850. Anyone on this forum agree with this.
January 9, 2012 12:44:18 PM

Cheers for the replies guys ;) 

Knowing it will work, maybe I'm best just to try seeing what kind of performance I get. However are there any BIOS issues etc I should be aware of or will this be a simple plug and play job without any alterations to my current set-up?

I suppose if my processor limits the card's performance 'too much' then I could just upgrade it (plus the mobo) to get the full benefit.

I don't suppose anyone knows just exactly (or roughly ;)  ) how much the card will decrease in optimimum performance with my current system?

Seeing as I'm only playing SW:TOR on my PC these days, I'd be happy if it just increased the frame rate to something more bareable than my current 25-30 FPS (in built up busy areas).

a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:46:40 PM

deadjon said:
I have no idea what you are talking about -

Let me explain it simply - PCI-E 1.0 = half of PCI-E 2.0

PCI-E 2.0 x8 = Half of PCI-E 2.0 x16

So PCI-E 1.0 x16 = PCI-E 2.0 x8

PCI-E 2.0 x8 DOES NOT Bottleneck a 6850. Anyone on this forum agree with this.


I agree completely except I do think it may lose 1-3% performance. I mainly remember because I was building a system with 2 x 4870s in crossfire and while researching whether it would run better in a board that ran them at 16/16X compared to 8x/8x there would be a 1-2% performance difference, i think the 6850 being a bit better than a 4870 will suffer maybe 1% more but like I said nothing noticeable.
BTW I went with the 8/8X board
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:47:50 PM

you would be good with 6850.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:51:07 PM

Rich F said:
Cheers for the replies guys ;) 

Knowing it will work, maybe I'm best just to try seeing what kind of performance I get. However are there any BIOS issues etc I should be aware of or will this be a simple plug and play job without any alterations to my current set-up?

I suppose if my processor limits the card's performance 'too much' then I could just upgrade it (plus the mobo) to get the full benefit.

I don't suppose anyone knows just exactly (or roughly ;)  ) how much the card will decrease in optimimum performance with my current system?

Seeing as I'm only playing SW:TOR on my PC these days, I'd be happy if it just increased the frame rate to something more bareable than my current 25-30 FPS (in built up busy areas).


SWTOR eats RAM for breakfast - 2GB will keep you stuck on those frames :( 

I just upgraded from a Q6600 @ 3.4Ghz and 4GB of RAM to a 2500k @ 4.5Ghz and 8GB of RAM - same GFX Cards. I expected (SWTOR being GPU limited rather than CPU) that there would be no performance increase (or very little). I went from a Min of 20FPS and max of 70FPS - to a min of 60FPS and a max of 120FPS.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:51:53 PM

deadjon said:
I have no idea what you are talking about -

Let me explain it simply - PCI-E 1.0 = half of PCI-E 2.0

PCI-E 2.0 x8 = Half of PCI-E 2.0 x16

So PCI-E 1.0 x16 = PCI-E 2.0 x8

PCI-E 2.0 x8 DOES NOT Bottleneck a 6850. Anyone on this forum agree with this.

ahhhhhh! you make me crazy, who told you 2.0 x8 bottleneck the 6850 even every card is running on 2.0 fine. i said 1.0 bottleneck the GFX gpu.
a c 289 U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:56:34 PM

You're wrong. Even though it has bandwidth of 2.1, it would never use it up because the card isn't powerful enough. And 2.0 x8 is same speed as 1.0x16
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 1:08:49 PM

xtreme5 said:
ahhhhhh! you make me crazy, who told you 2.0 x8 bottleneck the 6850 even every card is running on 2.0 fine. i said 1.0 bottleneck the GFX gpu.


Sweet mother of god.

PCI-E 1.0 x16 IS THE SAME AS PCI-E 2.0 x8

I put it in these terms so you could understand - Clearly I over-estimated your IQ.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 1:33:01 PM

I forgot to mention b4 my brother is running a 6870 in a PCIE 1.0 slot and its fine and runs as it should with a Phenom x3 at 3.6GHz.
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 1:44:04 PM

simon12 said:
I forgot to mention b4 my brother is running a 6870 in a PCIE 1.0 slot and its fine and runs as it should with a Phenom x3 at 3.6GHz.


My GTX 460s were in old PCI-E 1.1 slots on a 680i mobo before this weekend - they worked fine in SLI :D 
January 10, 2012 11:12:30 AM

Thanks for all the helpful comments ;) 

I think what I'll do is try boosting my RAM up to 4 or 6gb then just see how a 6850 (or 6870) performs with my set-up.

Needless to say I expect 'some' improvement but if it doesn't give me what I need then plan B will be a mobo and processor replacement :) 

Either way I suppose the new GFX card will work with either outcome.
January 29, 2013 2:59:08 PM

I have the same question. I am using this motherboard:
http://www.asrock.com/mb/NVIDIA/N68C-S%20UCC/

and it has pci express 1.0 slot and I want to buy Radeon HD 7870. I know it will work, but how much perfomance could I lose using HD 7870 on pci express 1.0 slot?
right now i am using GTX 460 on this motherboard and it runs just fine, but HD has better perfomance.

Thanks in advance...
a c 178 U Graphics card
January 29, 2013 3:10:46 PM

^ do not worry it will not bottleneck much

there will be no measurable FPS difference @ x16: See even high end gpu loses 3-5 % performance and pci1.1 and 1.0 have same speed

January 29, 2013 8:42:10 PM

ok, thanks :) 
July 12, 2013 7:59:29 PM

so a PCIE slot 1.0 x16 would NOT bottleneck a 7870?
!