I want to install an ATI Radeon HD 6970 graphics card which has pci-e v2.1 x16 topology into an Asus Rampage III Extreme motherboard which is pci-e v2.0 x16. I have a 1200 watt power supply. I am currently using an ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card which recently started giving me troubles when I try to watch high bit rate HD videos. The colors in the video become blotchy and the desktops on all three monitors fill up with random video noise consisting of multi-colored tiny squares. I don't know if the graphics card is causing it or something on the motherboard. I'm pretty sure it's not drivers because I installed a clean copy of Windows 7 ultimate and ATI Catalist v12.3 on a separate hard drive and the problem still occurs. Eventually, I get a blue screen crash and the computer does a memory dump and reboots.
What's strange about the problem is that low bit rate videos display without any problems as does every other computing aspect that I normally use. I don't play video games, so I don't know how it whould handle hi-def grapics in that environment. I'm thinking that there could be a problem with the pci-e architecture that only show up when my graphics card enables higher level data busses.
First off, will the 2.1 graphics card work in the 2.0 mobo and if so, am I wasting money on features that the mother board does not support?
Secondly, what are your thought on the video problems that I am having?
For your information, 5970 to a 6970 is a downgrade
There should be no problem at all, and for your information there is no 2.1 slot at all. There is only 2.0 and 3.0 slot. A 2.1 card will be fine in both 2.0 and 3.0 slot and 3.0 cards is also fine with 2.0 slot. And I don't think there will be any performance drops. 2.1 is just a small revision from 2.0, so motherboard manufacturers (and nvidia too!) don't bother with the 2.1 version. Therefore there is no such a 2.1 slot.
If you want to make an upgrade instead of a downgrade, get a 680 or 7970: