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CPU, Motherboard, GPU PCIe version help

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November 30, 2012 11:16:57 PM

I've started to look around and research components for building myself a Tower PC (I've already purchased the motherboard and Tower case) and have come across something I'm not sure about regarding PCIe version compatibility across the CPU, GPU, and Motherboard. Hopefully someone can help me with this :) 

The motherboard I have purchased is an MSI Z77A-G43 (PCIe 3.0)
http://uk.msi.com/product/mb/Z77A-G43.html

The Graphics card I'm looking to purchase is a MSI Nvidia Geforce GT640 (PCIe 3.0)
http://www.msi.com/product/vga/N640GT-MD2GD3-OC.html#?d...

The CPU I'm looking to purchase is an Intel Core i3 3220 (PCIe 2.0)
http://ark.intel.com/products/65693/Intel-Core-i3-3220-...(3M-Cache-3_30-GHz)

I am on a low budget so I cannot afford a CPU that's PCIe 3.0 compatible

What I'm wondering is, will these components work fine together? Will the Graphics card just run at PCIe 2.0 instead of 3.0 as the CPU does not support 3.0, or will I NEED a CPU that is PCIe 3.0 for the system to work at all?

If these components will work fine together as they are then I know that I can just upgrade the CPU at a later date to take advantage of PCIe 3.0.

Any advice on this will be greatly appreciated :) 
November 30, 2012 11:21:02 PM

Oh no, dude stop worrying. PCI-E 3.0 hardware (including GPUs) are also backwards compatible to PCI-E 2.0
You won't notice a performance difference between the two, so you're not bottlenecking anything. You don't even need a CPU with PCI-E 3.0 support, as I said earlier, PCI 3.0 GPUs are backwards compatible to PCI 2.0
So I'd conclude that yes, you're components WILL work fine together.
If this helped, then don't forget to rate this as best answer.
P.S. I see you're a newcomer. WELCOME TO TOM'S HARDWARE! :D 
a b à CPUs
a c 81 V Motherboard
November 30, 2012 11:21:04 PM

Yes it is compatible, any gfx card 3.0 pcie will be compatible with the pcie @2.0 instead of the 3.0
Some boards though i have to go to the bios and select pcie 2.0, but there is no problem whatsoever.
And the performance loss is 0%.
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November 30, 2012 11:33:53 PM

Yes the performance loss is nothing because the current CPUs out there don't support PCI-E 3.0 (yet), believe it or not, but not even the i7 3930k or the FX 8350 doesn't even have support for it. So don't worry and just go with your config :D 
Anyways, if you can throw in an extra $100, then you can get an i5 3570k, which is much, MUCH better than an i3, you can check out expert benchmarks as well: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/701?vs=677
November 30, 2012 11:40:18 PM

Solid_Snake3 said:
Oh no, dude stop worrying. PCI-E 3.0 hardware (including GPUs) are also backwards compatible to PCI-E 2.0
You won't notice a performance difference between the two, so you're not bottlenecking anything. You don't even need a CPU with PCI-E 3.0 support, as I said earlier, PCI 3.0 GPUs are backwards compatible to PCI 2.0
So I'd conclude that yes, you're components WILL work fine together.
If this helped, then don't forget to rate this as best answer.
P.S. I see you're a newcomer. WELCOME TO TOM'S HARDWARE! :D 


Thankyou so much for your reply and advice, it has really helped me out :) 

It means I can now go ahead and purchase the rest of the components and start building :D 
November 30, 2012 11:42:39 PM

djangoringo said:
Yes it is compatible, any gfx card 3.0 pcie will be compatible with the pcie @2.0 instead of the 3.0
Some boards though i have to go to the bios and select pcie 2.0, but there is no problem whatsoever.
And the performance loss is 0%.


Thanks for your reply and help :) 

Everything is clearer now.

I can finally spend my money and start building :) 
November 30, 2012 11:43:07 PM

phatinum said:
Thankyou so much for your reply and advice, it has really helped me out :) 

It means I can now go ahead and purchase the rest of the components and start building :D 

No problem man. I love helping. It feels good to help people. Yes, go ahead and build your computer, and tell me how things go. Tell me how it performs too. I'm just curious. Again, WELCOME TO TOM'S HARDWARE!
P.S. Please rate my answer as best answer, it helps
November 30, 2012 11:49:47 PM

Solid_Snake3 said:
Yes the performance loss is nothing because the current CPUs out there don't support PCI-E 3.0 (yet), believe it or not, but not even the i7 3930k or the FX 8350 doesn't even have support for it. So don't worry and just go with your config :D 
Anyways, if you can throw in an extra $100, then you can get an i5 3570k, which is much, MUCH better than an i3, you can check out expert benchmarks as well: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/701?vs=677


Thanks for the extra info :) 

That is the best CPU I can get with the budget I have. If I could spend more, I would definitely purchase better.

I previously had an Intel core 2 quad Q6600 and have no real idea of how they will compare.
November 30, 2012 11:57:41 PM

Solid_Snake3 said:
No problem man. I love helping. It feels good to help people. Yes, go ahead and build your computer, and tell me how things go. Tell me how it performs too. I'm just curious. Again, WELCOME TO TOM'S HARDWARE!
P.S. Please rate my answer as best answer, it helps


How can I rate your answer as the best? I can't see anything that let's me do that :( 
December 1, 2012 12:14:55 AM

phatinum said:
How can I rate your answer as the best? I can't see anything that let's me do that :( 

On my comment, look at the bottom right corner of the box that my comment is in. You should see a "rate this as best answer" button, click that
December 1, 2012 9:09:33 AM

Solid_Snake3 said:
On my comment, look at the bottom right corner of the box that my comment is in. You should see a "rate this as best answer" button, click that


I can't see the button anywhere :(  Could it be anything to do with my post being set as a discussion instead of a question? I've tried editing the post and changing it to question but it says I am not allowed to edit this thread.
December 1, 2012 3:26:13 PM

phatinum said:
I can't see the button anywhere :(  Could it be anything to do with my post being set as a discussion instead of a question? I've tried editing the post and changing it to question but it says I am not allowed to edit this thread.

Oh I see you've set this as a discussion. Only questions have the rate this answer as best button. Oh well, who cares?
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