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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default pcie x.16 vs pcie x.16 2.0

    Hi,

    I'm Aaron and I'm getting back into the pc gaming world after a couple years absence. I have to say things have got even more confused since then and I'm having a little trouble getting all the new technology compatibilities straight. The nvidia 8800 and newer cards are all pcie x.16 2.0, so does that mean they are not compatible with a pcie x.16 mobo? If so, I am planning on going dual sli 8600gt 512mb on a board that supports 2 pcie x16 slots. Does that sound like a good idea? If no, what would you suggest?

    Thanks,
    Aaron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: pcie x.16 vs pcie x.16 2.0

    i had a single 8800gt on my old mobo and that didn't have the 2.0 thing and it worked great

    so i'm guessing 2 8800gt on a mobo with out the 2.0 would work

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: pcie x.16 vs pcie x.16 2.0

    OK, so to try to explain the technology in a way that's understandable is difficult, but I think someone ought to do it. It might as well be me.

    AGP and standard PCI technology used "buses" to move info back and forth--and those buses were shared with all devices, not just with video. Therefore, as you can imagine, video capability with those cards is a little more limited.

    PCI-E 1.1, which is what most video cards prior to the recent release are, uses pairs of uni-directional lanes instead of buses that are specific to the graphics usage and not shared. So, a 1.1 card can move 250 million bytes in each direction per second per lane. A PCI-E X 16 slot can move 250MBx16, or 4GB of data, per second. It's express lane usage...no one on that road but your video.

    Now, PCI-E 2.0 doubles the rate in each direction. What that means for you is that with a PCI 2.0 motherboard, your PCI-E 1.1 card will do just fine and perform as you'd expect. With a PCI-E 1.1 board, a PCI-E 2.0 card will only move data at half the speed that it's capable of.

    Summary: PCI-E will navigate the largest amount of MUTUALLY supported lanes. PCI-E 2.0 is both backwards and forwards compatible with PCI-E 1.1. PCI-E 1.0 slots are a different story, and you might have problems running a PCI-E 2.0 card in one of those slots.

    I hope this made some kind of convoluted sense...knowing the answer is one thing, trying to describe it to someone else is another thing entirely.
    Last edited by PCC-Heather; 04-30-2008 at 10:33 AM. Reason: I kant speeel.

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