[SOLVED] Advice regarding PCIe network cards and my motherboard setup?

Aug 20, 2021
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Hello,


I have some questions and concerns regarding the use of PCIe slots on my old motherboard. I'm looking to buy a PCIe WiFi/Bluetooth network card (as seen here). My concerns relate to bandwidth and PCIe configuration in the BIOS. I don't understand the information that Gigabyte has put out on their specifications page for my motherboard (or PCIe technology in general). I'm unsure if adding a network card will require me to reconfigure my BIOS settings or if it would negatively impact the performance of my graphics card by reducing available bandwidth.


Here is my current hardware.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H (rev. 1.1)
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GV-N980G1

If I have the above graphics card inserted into the PCIe x16 slot, will installing the aforementioned network card (PCIe x1) require me to reconfigure my bios?

Would installing a network and/or sound card have a negative impact on my graphics card performance, with regards to PCIe bandwidth?

Finally, if there are compatibility issues here, are there viable USB WiFi/Bluetooth options that would offer similar performance to a PCIe device? Is USB the way of the future here?




I hope these questions make sense; I am not tech-savvy with regards to computer hardware. I can't imagine something as simple as a network card affecting graphics performance, though the information on Gigabytes website is concerning to me. Thanks for your time.
 
If I have the above graphics card inserted into the PCIe x16 slot, will installing the aforementioned network card (PCIe x1) require me to reconfigure my bios?

Would installing a network and/or sound card have a negative impact on my graphics card performance, with regards to PCIe bandwidth?

Finally, if there are compatibility issues here, are there viable USB WiFi/Bluetooth options that would offer similar performance to a PCIe device? Is USB the way of the future here?
In order of questions asked:

No. No changes to the BIOS are needed.

No impact to the GPU as the PCI-E 16 slot is not connected to the x1 slot. In a fully loaded system where all PCI-E slots are populated you would run into bandwidth issues but in your case with a single GPU there won't be any impact. This is typically CPU dependent as the CPU in use is what determines the number of PCI-E lanes a motherboard can provide. Some motherboards do use the same PCI-E lanes for multiple purposes. Typically it's done to feed some SATA hard drive ports so just make sure the PCI-E 1x slot you pick wont disable any SATA ports you're using.

USB options are available and in general work as advertised. My own personal experience is that USB devices tend to be bandwidth limited compared to their PCI-E cousins. I also run an Archer T-Link PCI-E card in my system and have had good luck with it being able to max out my cable modem and provide decent latency for gaming.
 
If I have the above graphics card inserted into the PCIe x16 slot, will installing the aforementioned network card (PCIe x1) require me to reconfigure my bios?

Would installing a network and/or sound card have a negative impact on my graphics card performance, with regards to PCIe bandwidth?

Finally, if there are compatibility issues here, are there viable USB WiFi/Bluetooth options that would offer similar performance to a PCIe device? Is USB the way of the future here?
In order of questions asked:

No. No changes to the BIOS are needed.

No impact to the GPU as the PCI-E 16 slot is not connected to the x1 slot. In a fully loaded system where all PCI-E slots are populated you would run into bandwidth issues but in your case with a single GPU there won't be any impact. This is typically CPU dependent as the CPU in use is what determines the number of PCI-E lanes a motherboard can provide. Some motherboards do use the same PCI-E lanes for multiple purposes. Typically it's done to feed some SATA hard drive ports so just make sure the PCI-E 1x slot you pick wont disable any SATA ports you're using.

USB options are available and in general work as advertised. My own personal experience is that USB devices tend to be bandwidth limited compared to their PCI-E cousins. I also run an Archer T-Link PCI-E card in my system and have had good luck with it being able to max out my cable modem and provide decent latency for gaming.
 

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