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Old 01-11-2010, 06:56 AM   #1
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Default Noob question on PCIe

I know this is a noob question, but I'm trying to find a graphics card, and its been awhile since I've been looking for parts to build anything.

Is there any difference in PCIe and PCIe x? (?= 1, or 16)
Or can I just use a normal PCIe graphics card in one of those 2 slots?

Thanks in advance for answering my noob question

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Old 01-11-2010, 08:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Noob question on PCIe

PCI express (which is COMPLETELY different from PCI-X by the way, the latter having been around for much longer and was simply two PCI slots one behind the other run in parallel!) is the same technology used to drive both the x1 and x16 slots. The x16 slots have simply got 16 lanes bundled together for a theoretical 16 fold increase in transfer speed, and as such the slots are longer to accomodate for the extra lanes.

You can, IIRC run PCI express x1 cards in x16 slots - it'll fit and just use 1 lane out of the 16. I've never tried that though. For obvious reasons though you can't do it the other way round, if it requires 16 lanes to work properly and you only give it 1, it ain't gonna be happy.

PCI express, AGP, PCI (and ISA for that matter, not that anyone has seen one of those in a while!) are all completely incompatible though - they're all in the same family and loosely speaking successors from one another, but you're not going to run a PCI express card in a PCI socket or vice versa. If nothing else it won't physically fit!
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