PCI-e 16x card no fit in PCI-e 1x

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chookman

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After my experiences with this i though i would create a bit of a topic explaining the issue and how i went about it. Some people might get a laugh out of it other might find it useful.

I upgraded my system over the last few days can be seen in this thread http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/249841-28-lian-case-review-pics-included and ran into an issue i didnt really account for. I wanted 2 GPU's in my machine to run 3 monitors easily, this was to be done with my old 7900gt and my new 8800gt. Now i bought the Thermalright HR-03GT to put on the 8800gt which happily installed ok in the first blue 16x slot in my motherboard an ASUS P5B-Deluxe:


Here is where i can into the problem, the HR-03GT completely covered the 2nd black 16x slot, leaving me with a 1x and a PCI slot left (PCI was for my X-fi). No matter i thought the 7900gt will go into the 1x slot and work, just at less bandwidth (which didnt matter as it was only going to be running 2x19" LCD for desktop anyways).

Well, no im stuffed the PCI-e 1x white slot is closed (stupidest idea EVER) so the rest of the length of the connector will not be able to hang out the back of the port as it should...

Heres where i went a little crazy, "Well i recon a stanely knife will make short work of that". Well i was wrong, the plastic is extremely hard and even my best stanely wouldnt make much of a mark in it.

Now after a days thinking i had a ... well what some would call a bright idea and some would call ridiculous.

Soldering Iron, I thought this is easy ill just burn and melt the pastic away and ill end up being able to put the card in. So here are the results...






Pictures tell the story... 3 monitor goodness, with a soldering iron to the motherboard

I would just like to say, if you value your motherboard at all i wouldnt recommend it. I knew i had a spare one and knew if it didnt work at worst i had wrecked a board. But it worked and im all happy now :)
 

antas

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Good lord, obviously I wouldn't dare to try this at my lovely board ... Lolz :)

So this actually works :) Could you share the picture where your 7900 GT fit on it? Pretty congested down there I guess, with all of those cards altogether :)
 

antas

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:) no worries, I won't do it if I were you ... hehe. I thought that you took a picture of that one already :D

Congrats btw, nicely done ...
 

chookman

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OK i know this was a while ago, but i found a couple that might help first here is just the back showing ports. Second is a side view, which is a much larger photo, but you should notice the HR-03 and then fan underneath that youll see the copper HSF of the 7900GT then my X-fi crammed in.


http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn39/chookman40/IMG_4277.jpg


Just an update, just recently i have noticed that im getting some low level crackling over the x-fi output, im hoping this is due to driver issues and can be resolved with a format but i fear a hardware conflict or interference from either the PSU or the 7900GT being so close to it.
 

chookman

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Lian-Li A70B, i did a short review here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/249841-28-lian-case-review-pics-included

How would i go about sheilding the soundcard? I have already tested the front IO compared to the backplate and both are effected, i will try a re-install this afternoon and see how i go. I thought initially that the home rounding job i did on the cable from the card to the IO was the issue but ruled it out.
 

nukemaster

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Normally metal or a metal mesh is used to shield from interference. There is also some rf/emi shielding that is almost like foil on cardboard(seems a little safer to me). Thats the same reason Asus is trying to shield there cards and why tv cards have those metal boxes over the analog tuners.

I have found lots of it in old VCR's and other electronic devices.

I do not know of any guides. but in general it should be possible to make such a thing.

Was the sound card always in the bottom slot?
 

cmmcnamara

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Forgive me but what exactly did you do now? I was searching around for info on PCI flexible risers (so I can have SLI and X-Fi Soundcard) and came across this thread. I see your goal and your monitors on the end result but what did you do? And what is a closed PCI-e x1?
 

nukemaster

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A PCI-E X1 slot is closed at the end so a larger card will not fit. He simply(well complexly) removed the end so a card can fit(in this case nothing else on the board interferes with the cards connector). It still hangs over and only gets x1 bandwidth. Many boards with x4 are open(from the factory) for just this reason



This works well for 2 extra screens, but IS NOT gonna cut it for sli.

This can be done because PCI-E works in lanes so even if you only have 1 lane the device will work. Each lane adds extra bandwidth(needed for high end graphics cards).

Some kind or riser with a flexible cable to allow the sound card or other video card to be moved is the only option you have.
 

Andrius

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^In this case (ATX board with 7 PCI type expansion slots) a riser with a flexible cable wouldn't work as he would not have any place to mount the card elsewhere. A side mount for that cooler would be a simpler solution (the Zalman FB123 comes to mind). It would free up the adjacent PCI-Ex4 slot but would likely be less efficient at cooling.
 

nukemaster

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I was talking about cmmcnamara's post. i am not sure what kind of board, but honestly, with a little creativity one could run the card sideways next to the other cards with such a riser(and good cooling).
 

chookman

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Id have to agree with nukemaster, a flexible cable riser would be the only option as i assume the second SLI card would cover all other slots too much to fit a card in

Nuke: Installed Vista last night and i still get the crackling (could be vista driver problem but XP was doing it too) I will look into IRQ's this arvo see if i can move some around... but my dreaded though is still interference from something so i might have to look at some kind of home job cause its **** me to tears.

BTW, its in a different PCI slot to before so that could be an issue also i suspect, might also try removing second GPU to see if that changes anything.
 

nukemaster

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I would have to say moving the video card is a good idea(if it's that you may have to try to find a way to shield the back of the sound card). its close.

I moved up my sound card to keep in away from the psu in my system(minor clicking/pop), but my psu has the fan facing up.
 

cmmcnamara

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Nah that was the topic I had been searching for but this isn't the solution I need. I just became interested when he mentioned cutting and melting his motherboard but I couldn't see what he had done. The PCIe x1 will not harbor my X-Fi Elite, its a PCI card.
 

chookman

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Hey guys, Just though id post an update on the X-fi issue.

I moved the 7900GT out, still got crackling over outputs...

This morning i have put the PSU outside the case, and so far so good. Seems the PSU was what was causing the interference. Luckly in my Lian Li A70 im able to mount the PSU at the top of the case as well, so looks like it will be getting moved.

Seems weird that a decent PSU like a Antec Trio 650W isnt sheilded very well, although the X-fi was VERY close to the outer casing.
 

Andrius

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I doubt you would find better shielding in other PSUs.
The fan opening on most PSUs is quite large an hardly covered by (probably poorly grounded) mesh so EMI can spread around unchecked.
The X-Fi was probably right above the intake fan so that's that.
 

chookman

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Hmmm seems my initial thoughts were incorrect. I installed the PSU in the upper position and i still have the issue. To the point now where i cant even install the drivers for the x-fi. I have tested the X-fi in another machine and it works flawlessly, im thinking it must be a PCI slot issue or hardware resource allocation issues.
 
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