Does It Matter Which Pcie X16 Slot I Use?
Where You Shouldn’t Install Your Graphics Card – So, if you’re supposed to prioritize using the first available PCI Express x16 slot, what happens if you install it somewhere else? Well, it depends on the slot. If you install your graphics card in a PCI Express x8 slot instead of an x16 slot, you should experience only minimal performance loss when compared to using an x16 slot. However, graphics cards become particularly crippled by the use of weaker slots than that, especially x4 slots. You may still be able to get away with using a PCI Express x4 slot with new motherboards and lower-end graphics cards, but this still isn’t recommended.
Some PCIe Slots are hooked up to the Motherboard’s chipset instead of to the CPU. This can severely impact your Graphic Card’s performance as well. The GPU performs best if it can exchange data through PCIe-Lanes directly with the CPU, without the need of routing through your Chipset. Routing through the Chipset involves the DMA (Direct Memory Acces which is the connector between Chipset and CPU), which will become a bottleneck and also throttle any other components (such as storage) that are hooked up to the chipset.
Stick with your fastest x8 and x16 slots that have direct CPU PCIe-Lanes for the best results! Your Motherboard Manual will tell you which slot this is.
- 1 Does it matter which graphics card slot I use?
- 2 Does it matter which PCIe connector I use?
- 3 Which PCIe slot is fastest?
- 4 Does PCIe slot affect performance?
- 5 What PCIe slot should I use for SSD?
- 6 What is the most common PCIe slot size used for video cards?
- 7 Should I use PCIe 3 or 4?
Does it matter which graphics card slot I use?
Primary and Secondary Slots –
Some motherboards treat one of the slots as primary and the other as secondary. It is possible that the secondary slot is actually an x8 version and will not have the same performance capabilities as the primary slot. You can avoid most of the potential problems by using the primary slot, which is usually the top one closest to the CPU. If the motherboard has four slots, any of the primary slots will work without any configuration adjustments. You may want to use another slot because the graphics card may be large and obstruct another component when installed in the first slot. The motherboard’s manual will specify recommended slots as well.
Does it matter which PCIe connector I use?
Yes, that particular cable matters. Most cables are not designed to be reversed. One exception is the USB-C connector.
Which PCIe slot is fastest?
How fast is PCIe 4.0 vs. PCIe 3.0? – PCIe 4.0 is twice as fast as PCIe 3.0. PCIe 4.0 has a 16 GT/s data rate, compared to its predecessor’s 8 GT/s. In addition, each PCIe 4.0 lane configuration supports double the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, maxing out at 32 GB/s in a 16-lane slot, or 64 GB/s with bidirectional travel considered.
|Unidirectional Bandwidth: PCIe 3.0 vs. PCIe 4.0|
|PCIe 3.0||1 GB/s||4 GB/s||8 GB/s||16 GB/s|
|PCIe 4.0||2 GB/s||8 GB/s||16 GB/s||32 GB/s|
Table: The speed differences between PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0 in each lane configuration. Let’s use the 16-lane slot configuration to put the speed differences between PCIe 4.0 and 3.0 into perspective and make all this computer lingo a little more relatable. For the purposes of this analogy, we’ll employ unidirectional bandwidth for both generations. Photo: Aerial drone photograph of traffic in a metropolitan area, used to illustrate PCIe lanes. Imagine 16 lanes of cars (data) traveling in 16 adjacent lanes (configuration) on the major PCIe 3.0 Highway (generation). The cars are traveling at the posted PCIe 3.0 speed limit of 15 miles per hour (bandwidth).
Several miles in the opposite direction, however, the state (PCI-SIG) has just opened the PCIe 4.0 Highway and doubled the speed limit. The cars on this highway are traveling faster at the newly posted PCIe 4.0 speed limit of 30 miles per hour. And a couple of years from now, cars will be cruising on the PCIe 5.0 Highway, where they’ll be allowed to travel at a posted speed limit of 60 miles per hour.
And so on with each new PCI Express generation that PCI-SIG introduces.
Does a graphics card have to go in the first PCIe slot?
Numerous gamers tested the difference between PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 and found no difference. You will want to put it in the first PCIe slot, it can often still work in the second, though not to the best of its ability (depending on the motherboard).
Is there a difference between PCIe slots?
PCIe slot (Image credit: MMXeon/Shutterstock) PCIe (peripheral component interconnect express) is an interface standard for connecting high-speed components. Every desktop PC motherboard (opens in new tab) has a number of PCIe slots you can use to add GPUs (opens in new tab) (aka video cards aka graphics cards), RAID cards (opens in new tab), Wi-Fi cards or SSD (opens in new tab) (solid-state drive) add-on cards.
- The types of PCIe slots available in your PC will depend on the motherboard you buy (opens in new tab),
- PCIe slots come in different physical configurations: x1, x4, x8, x16, x32.
- The number after the x tells you how many lanes (how data travels to and from the PCIe card) that PCIe slot has.
- A PCIe x1 slot has one lane and can move data at one bit per cycle.
A PCIe x2 slot has two lanes and can move data at two bits per cycle (and so on). (Image credit: Erwin Mulialim/Wikimedia Commons) You can insert a PCIe x1 card into a PCIe x16 slot, but that card will receive less bandwidth. Similarly, you can insert a PCIe x8 card into a PCIe x4 slot, but it’ll only work with half the bandwidth compared to if it was in a PCIe x8 slot. Most GPUs (opens in new tab) require a PCIe x16 slot to operate at their full potential.
Which bus slot provides the highest video performance?
Which bus slot provides the highest video performance? Why? PCI Express (PCIe) offers the highest video performance. A PCIe x16 version 3 card can transfer a maximum of 16 GB/s.
Are all PCIe slots compatible?
All PCI Express versions are compatible with one another. For example, a PCI Express 4.0 graphics card works even if you connect it to a motherboard that only supports PCI Express 3.0 or even 2.0. However, the bandwidth of the PCI Express interface is limited by the smallest factor.
Does PCIe Version matter for GPU?
Yes, the PCIe x16 slot you use DOES matter because on most motherboards, the second PCIe slot only offers either 8 or even just 4 PCIe lanes. Which PCI slot is best for graphics card? In general, the first PCI Express slot on your motherboard will be the best one to install your graphics card into.
- The first slot will usually be a fully-decked PCIe x16 slot that will allow your graphics card to run at its full performance, and it may be one of the only x16 slots available on the motherboard.
- Does it matter where you plug in GPU? Well, actually it does matter,
- You can insert the GPU in a PCIe x16 @ x8, or even more dramatic scenario: PCIe x16 @ x4! It will work, but at a lower speed.
PCIe x16 @ x16 is the optimal slot.
Can you mix and match PCIe cables?
What Happens If You Mix Cables? – Above is a pin-out chart that we made, depicting two actual pin-outs for cables which are seemingly compatible. The top pin-out is the PSU-side (where the modular cable connects), looking at it straight on. The bottom left is its anticipated and specified connector, and the bottom right is a connector from an EVGA PSU which is physically compatible, but not electrically compatible.
Connecting these two ends, PSU “A” to Cable “B,” we could end up with a catastrophic result – or be perfectly fine. It depends on what device is hooked to the peripheral connector (MOLEX or SATA). With this particular pin-out, connecting a 5V device (like an SSD or 2.5″ laptop HDD) would result in nothing we want.
The PSU wants to push 5V through its bottom-right pin, from this perspective, and the specified cable wants to pull its 5V supply from the paired bottom-right and top-left red & black cables. Were we to connect cable “B,” the EVGA MOLEX cable, we actually end up with reverse polarity.
- This leaves the PSU to protect itself with whatever mechanisms it has available (generally, PSUs will use OCP or OVP for such an event).
- Above: Bad luck.
- Mixed cables result in crossed wires.
- Below: Lucky.
- Mixed cables just happen to align a paired 12V with the PSU.) A half-decent power supply will leverage its protections to try and prevent any sort of short-circuit or over-voltage/current scenario, but those protections only work so well.
If a system fails to boot, we would recommend immediately flipping the PSU’s switch to off, then double-check everything in the system. It’s often something forgotten – like the EPS12V cable – but could be a bad cable, too. A bad power supply will fail in a spectacular manner, often with a spark and internal damage.
- A really bad power supply, i.e.
- A $15 unit that operates at half its rated wattage, could flame-out more visibly.
- And just for clarity, EVGA isn’t the only company that makes these cables that will physically (but not electrically) work with competition.
- Mixing a SilverStone PSU cable, as shown in our above video, with an EVGA PSU would also be incompatible.
In some events, like our above image, you may end up fine. A 12V device like a fan would only draw on the 12V yellow+black cables, which just so happen to align with the pin-out. In others, you end up with reverse polarity, over-voltage to a device, or under-voltage.
- As for why the cables from these disparate PSUs are compatible, it’s because (again) the PSU-side is not a standardized set of pins.
- Both vendors opted to use the abundantly available 6-pin header for their cable-ends.
- These are made by the millions, and cost next to nothing.
- Other times, even between the same vendor, connectors might be swapped for something shinier (read: LEDs), bulkier, universal.er, or otherwise marketable as a selling point.
That is why the connectors are not standardized: The PSU manufacturers want another way to differentiate themselves. In their minds, you’re buying a device that’s meant to be used with the cables it includes. Regardless, check the video for more discussion on this, but this article has covered the basics.
The point is: Don’t mix and match, If you’ve got too many, throw them in a bag and label the bag for each PSU. If you’re unsure of if a cable belongs to a PSU, set it aside until you (A) figure it out, or (B) buy a replacement that is known-good. Technically, you could also probe the cable to perform a simple continuity check, but you’d have to know the source (PSU-side) pin-out to match things up.
It’s not hard to figure out through deductive reasoning, as long as you’ve got a known-good cable, but it’s also not necessarily worth it.
Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke Add’l Research: Patrick “MoCalcium” Stone Video: Andrew “ColossalCake” Coleman
: PSA: Mixing Modular PSU Cables Can Kill Components
Does PCIe slot affect performance?
Yes, but on most motherboards doing so will result in a loss of GPU performance. This is because on most motherboards, only the top PCIe x16 slot is connected directly to the CPU.
What PCIe slot should I use for SSD?
X16 is recommended for these cards, which can take up to 4 x4 SSDs.) Failing to do so can result in drives not being detected. PCIe SSDs increase performance by getting rid of the SATA interface (Which so far has a maximum of 10 channels.)
How fast is a PCIe x16 slot?
PCI Express Theoretical Max Bandwidth – The theoretical maximum bandwidth of PCI-e 3.0 is 8GT/s, or nearly 1GB/s per lane:
|PCI-e 1.0||PCI-e 2.x||PCI-e 3.0||PCI-e 4.x|
For our test, we’re looking at PCI-e Gen3 x8 vs. PCI-e Gen3 x16 performance. That means there’s a 66.7% difference in bandwidth available between the two, or a 100% increase from x8 to x16. But there’s a lot more to it than interface bandwidth: The device itself must exceed the saturation point of x8 (7880MB/s, before overhead is removed) in order to show any meaningful advantage in x16 (15760MB/s, before overhead is removed).
Can I move my graphics card to a different slot?
You can put the graphics card in a different slot, but you will lose some performance, especially when loading textures (so expect a lot of texture popin in games). Also depending on your bios, you might have compatibility issues like the bios screen not appearing on your screen until the os boots.
Can I use PCIe for GPU? As a rule of thumb, you should put the graphics card in the first PCIe x16 slot of your motherboard, The first PCIe x16 slot has 16 PCIe lanes and thus can offer the highest throughput compared to the rest of the PCIe slots found on your PC. Can I put a PCIe card in a PCI slot? Can PCI cards work in PCIe slots? The answer is no.
PCIe and PCI are not compatible with each other due to their different configurations, In most cases, there are both PCI and PCIe slots on the motherboard, so please fit the card into its matching slot and do not misuse the two types.
Can I put my graphics card in the second PCIe slot?
26 minutes ago, InfernalClaw said: b550 tomahawk rtx 3080 msi gaming x trio 32gb ram corsair rgb pro 3200mhz xmp on gx850psu from seasonic r7 5800x stock settings cooled by msi magcoreliquid360r On that board, no, you can’t. The second PCIe x16 slot only operates at PCIe 3.0 x4 speeds and if you have an M.2 drive in M.2_2 slot it’s disabled.
What is the most common PCIe slot size used for video cards?
Most common PCIe slot is the 16 lane (x16) version most commonly used for video cards. PCI is designed to work with other expansion slots.
Are all PCIe cables the same?
In some cases no. Look at both the cables for the PCIe and the 8 PIN MB connector. If there is a twist in ether ones of them they can not be interchanged. Also, if it is a multi rail system it may have less power in AMPS on that 8 Pin MB connector.
Can you use different brand PCIe cables?
These cables are typically designed to work specifically with the model which they came with. You could end up destroying your equipment if you use it on a unit of a different brand and/or model.
Should I use PCIe 3 or 4?
What is the difference between PCIe Gen 3 and PCIe Gen 4? – PCIe Gen 4 doubles the data rate of PCIe Gen 3, allowing PCIe Gen 4 devices to transfer data at much faster speeds. PCIe Gen 3 operates at 8 GT/s (gigatransfers per second) which roughly translates to 1 GB/s per PCIe lane. By comparison, PCIe Gen 4 operates at 16 GT/s, or around 2 GB/s (gigabytes per second) per PCIe lane.