PCI Express Compatibility

pcpro178

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Sep 14, 2011
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Last year I built a computer using this motherboard as my base:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157176R

Now, with my tax refund I'd like to upgrade the graphics card. The system right now is very stable, and I'd like to keep it that way. My question is, since this motherboard is equipped with only PCI Express 2.0 x16, am I stuck with using a PCI Express 2.0 or 2.1 graphics card, or can I plug in a PCI Express 3.0 card? Will doing so introduce instability, or other problems, to my system? Will there be additional power requirements that I should consider? Thanks.
 

87ninefiveone

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Oct 16, 2011
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PCIe slots are forwards and backwards compatible by design. Running a PCIe 3.0 card in a 2.0 or 1.0 slot is perfectly acceptable, the only limitation introduced is a the bandwidth limit of the slot itself. There is currently no GPU on the market, including the AMD 7000 series and nVidias new 600 series, which is capable of saturating the bandwidth of a PCI0e 2.0 slot.

No additional power requirements or anything else will be required, the install should just be plug and play with a quick driver installation.
 

jitpublisher

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The only real PCI express incompatibility issues that ever came about were several years ago when the PCIe interface first came about, and then it was only with a couple of PCIe version 1.0 cards that would not work in the very short lived PCI 1.0a slot. (or it may have been vica-versa, its been a while back)
Unless you have either of these old versions of motherboard or GPU, you have no worries.
 

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