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Installing a pcie 16x card in an 8x card slot.

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#1 Shadow Wizard

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 10:02 PM

It is likely wishful thinking to be able to do what I want to do, but I thought I would post here for some suggestions.

In the next little while I will be receiving a dell Poweredge T610 that I am going to start using as my main PC.  The issue is, this system only has PCIe 8X slots.

I have done some research, and it seems as though the performance difference between placing a card in an 8X slot instead of a 16x slot is less then 7%, perfectly acceptable for me.  I am not a hard core gamer by any stretch of the imagination, so even a performance drop of 25% would be acceptable to me.

That being said, I am trying to find the least invasive (that the right word?) way to place this card in the computer.  I really don't want to cut the slot, because one slip and I ruin the motherboard of a system that still sells for $5000 used.  Riser cards "Raise" the height of the slot, so I assume this means they won't fit into the place it needs to go on the back of the case.  I have looked at the ones that have the cable even, but then how and where do I place the card in the case?  I would like it to be as neat and tidy as possible, not a frankencomputer.  I have even thought about modifying the card, but haven't seen anything on doing that, so don't know if I can, and that would make it so the card will never act like a 16x card again.

Please keep in mind, this computer is not in my possession yet, so all I have seen are pictures.  I would just ideally like to get some suggestions on what other people have done, or things I could do, so if I need to buy any additional parts, etc I can order then right away instead of waiting.

Please, don't be shy.  If I hear from enough people that have modded the 8x slots without issue, who knows, that may be all I need (Or the best option out there) So please, let me know your experiences/suggestions.


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#2 jonuk76


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Posted 05 September 2015 - 09:46 AM

Obviously it's a server computer and not made with being used as a desktop or workstation in mind.  Most of the time these don't even need a display connected. They do have an integrated Matrox chipset for basic graphics output.  The expansion slots are intended for controller cards, high speed network cards etc.


Yes you may be able to fit a 16x card by modifying the slot or using a riser cable.  The former is permanent.  There's other issues to consider as in the official PCIe spec, an 8x slot only supplies 25w power, while a 16x slot can provide 75w.  Therefore if it sticks strictly to the spec, then it will be an issue for all but the most basic video cards.


Riser cables can get around this by connecting separately to the power supply.  Physically using the card in the case expansion slots with a riser cable will be an issue too, as the motherboard will be in the way...  I think most of the systems where riser cables are used (bitcoin miners etc.) don't use a conventional case at all.  There are photo examples of the cables in use on the linked page - all have the cards mounted some way above the motherboard in a non standard way.


Honestly if:

a system that still sells for $5000 used

is anything close to reality then that would seem a good option if what you really want is a desktop system!

Edited by jonuk76, 05 September 2015 - 09:52 AM.


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