Crossfire Meets PCI Express 2.0

Going From PCI Express 1.0a To 2.0

To get right to the point, upgrading from PCI Express 1.x to 2.0 is not worthwhile right now. The current crop of graphics cards just doesn't tax the PCI Express bus enough for a difference to be visible. All test cards, across the board, showed a minor performance boost of 1 to 2 percent, with the HD2900 XT reaching better results despite the fact that it doesn't have a 2.0 interface. This improvement may be caused by the newer chipset or the higher memory speed. Also, a difference of 1 to 3 percent is also slim enough to be considered within the margin of error for testing.

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Single-Card Performance - HD3850 OC(256 MB)PCIe 1.0a x16 vs 2.0 x16fpsPercent
HD3850 (256 MB) OC PCIe 1.0a x161576.5100.0
HD3850 (256 MB) OC PCIe 2.0 x161612.4102.3
Single-Card Performance - HD3870 OC(512 MB)PCIe 1.0a x16 vs 2.0 x16fpsPercent
HD3870 (512 MB) OC PCIe 1.0a x161795.3100.0
HD3870 (512 MB) OC PCIe 2.0 x161828.6101.9
Single-Card Performance - HD2900 XT(512 MB)PCIe 1.0a x16 vs 2.0 x16fpsPercent
HD2900 XT (512 MB) PCIe 1.0a x161796.8100.0
HD2900 XT (512 MB) PCIe 2.0 x161832.8102.0
Single-Card Performance - 8800 GT(512 MB)PCIe 1.0a x16 vs 2.0 x16fpsPercent
8800 GT (512 MB) OC PCIe 1.0a x162137.9100.0
8800 GT (512 MB) OC PCIe 2.0 x162185.1102.2
Single-Card Performance - 8800 GTS(512 MB)PCIe 1.0a x16 vs 2.0 x16fpsPercent
8800 GTS (512 MB) OC PCIe 1.0a x162235.3100.0
8800 GTS (512 MB) OC PCIe 2.0 x162260.6101.1

It remains to be seen what the situation will be when newer graphics cards such as the Geforce 9 or the Radeon 4xx0 begin transferring larger amounts of data over the bus. At any rate, the P35 and 975 chipsets are easily sufficient for the current generation of cards.

  • ART-T
    I read an article that was comparing PCIe cards into slots that were only 8x and 4x.

    I was wondering if that means you can buy PCIe 2.0 cards and put them in a x16 slot (and still work; but with degraded performance).