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Installing Video Cards on PCI-E 3.0?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 6, 2012 4:23:34 PM

I dont have a new computer yet but just in case I build a new computer in the next few months.

Can a video card like the GTX 580 which is PCIE 2.0 be installed on a PCIE 3.0 socket?
Can a Video Card like the HD7970 which is PCIE 3.0 be installed on a PCIE 2.0 socket?
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2012 4:31:13 PM

Yes to both questions.
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July 6, 2012 4:33:31 PM

PCI-E is backwards compatible so yes to both. but you will not be able to get full performance if you install a 2.0 card into a 3.0 slot and vice versa
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 222 U Graphics card
July 6, 2012 4:37:05 PM

Think of it this way. Since the PCIe standard is backward compatible, the different components will use the least common denominator to operate together. So, stick a 3.0 device into a 2.0 slot and the device will operate at 2.0 speeds.

Insert a 2.0 device into 3.0 slot and the device will operate at 2.0 speeds.

Good luck!
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a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2012 4:38:21 PM

captaincharisma said:
but you will not be able to get full performance if you install a 2.0 card into a 3.0 slot and vice versa


^ completely wrong, it would only bottleneck if he was running them in 4x 3.0 or 8x 2.0, even then the bottleneck wouldn't make "much" of a difference.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Ivy_Bridge_PCI...
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 222 U Graphics card
July 6, 2012 4:47:27 PM

Comparing the PCIe standards and their ability to work across versions (backward compatibility) may indeed not cause a bottleneck, but it is true that the devices will not operate to their full potential. In this example, something will have to operate at a level less than its fullest capability.

As mouse24 points out, it would not be a significant (if even noticed) degradation in performance for the VAST majority of users.
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a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2012 4:50:23 PM

You will absolutely get full performance installing a 2.0 card in a 3.0 slot. In practice currently you will probably get full performance or close to it installing a 2.0 card into a 3.0 slot.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 222 U Graphics card
July 6, 2012 4:55:32 PM

You will get full 2.0 performance when a 2.0 device is plugged into a 3.0 slot, not 3.0 performance. That is backward compatibility.

To get 3.0 performance, in this example, would be forward compatibility and that simply does not exist in this context.

Still, for the OP, this is not an issue and performance with the GPUs and systems in question should not be a problem.
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