Graphics cards compatible with my motherboard: What Graphics Cards Are Compatible With My PC?

What Graphics Cards Are Compatible With My PC?

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Upgrading an old PC with new hardware might sound like a recipe for disaster. Didn’t some wise person once make a comment about putting new wine in old bottles? But you might be pleasantly surprised by just how far back you can go with desktop PCs and still manage to install a state-of-the-art graphics card. Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT GPUs, for example, can work in pretty much any PC built in the past decade—and likely even before that. But there are some caveats, particularly if your computer is getting a bit old and cantankerous. 

To make sure a new graphics card will work with PC, you’ll need:

  • PCIe x16 slot on your motherboard
  • Adequate clearance space in your case
  • Power supply with both 8- and 6-pin PCIe Graphics (PEG) connectors
  • CPU and RAM that are fast enough not to be a huge bottleneck

State-of-the-art PCIe 4. 0 slots on an X570 motherboard. (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Do You Have PCIe x16? 

The tremendous backward compatibility of PCI Express ensures that even the newest, highest-end graphics cards can plug into a motherboard from the George W. Bush administration. From the original PCIe 1.0a/1.1 up through the latest PCIe 4.0, and even looking forward to future PCIe 5.0 and 6.0 standards, in theory, any card that can fit in a slot will work. You can put PCIe x1 cards in x16 slots, or have x16 slots with only x4 link widths, and everything in between. (There are potential exceptions, but mostly they’re caused by bad implementations of PCIe or bad firmware.) That’s pretty awesome when you think about it, especially in light of previous standards that were often deprecated. We won’t shed even a single tear for the old ISA, VLB and AGP standards.

Upgrading your PC with a new graphics card is easy, then, assuming your PC actually has a PCIe x16 slot. If it doesn’t, we recommend forgetting about upgrading just your graphics card. Theoretically you might be able to finagle an x1 to x16 PCIe adapter solution, but it’s messy and just asking for trouble. If your motherboard lacks an x16 PCIe slot (see above), you should plan on upgrading your motherboard and likely your CPU, RAM and possibly power supply.

No matter how hard you shove, this graphics card isn’t going to fit into this PC.  (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

How Much Space in Your Case? 

That doesn’t mean every old PC with a PCIe x16 slot can handle the latest graphics cards, but that’s usually due to other hardware requirements. Size, for example: You’re not going to fit a 320mm long graphics card into a case that only has room for a 270mm card. Many compact PCs will be restricted in what they can fit, and pre-built systems often fall into the compact category.

To find out how big your GPU can be, you could try looking at your case manual, assuming you have that. For pre-built PCs, you probably won’t have it or be able to find the information online. We recommend going old-school and using a ruler or measuring tape — it will likely take less time and give you more accurate information.

To determine how long your graphics card can be, measure from the expansion slots on your case to whatever part is most likely to obstruct the graphics card on the other end. It doesn’t matter if it’s drive bays, fans, or the front of the case — just measure near your primary PCIe x16 slot (the one closest to the CPU cooler), as that’s where your graphics card should go. Also pay attention to where the PEG connectors are located on whatever GPU you purchase. Most cards have them on the top, but some (eg, Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Founders Edition) have them on the back. A tight fit at the back of your GPU could make it impossible to connect the power cables.

We recommend giving yourself some wiggle room as well. Even if you measure 300mm of clearance and a graphics card says it’s 300mm long, it may be too snug a fit. Subtracting 20mm from your measurement and buying a card that’s shorter than the resulting length should do the trick.

PSU Wattage Estimates 

These are approximate values, with recommendations based on having power to spare.

GPU PEG Connectors Minimum PSU Recommended PSU Example Graphics Cards
Dual 8-pin PEG 550W 750W or larger RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 Super
8-pin plus 6-pin PEG 500W 650W RTX 2070 Super, RTX 2070, RX 5700 XT, RX 5700
Single 8-pin PEG 450W 550W RTX 2060 Super, RTX 2060, RX 5600 XT, RX 5500 XT, GTX 1660 Super
Dual 6-pin PEG 450W 550W Deprecated — GTX 980 and GTX 970
Single 6-pin PEG 350W 400W GTX 1660, GTX 1650 Super, GTX 1650
None 150W 250W GTX 1050

Do You Have The Right PSU? 

Power requirements are another major sticking point. If you have a PC that was built before 2015, there’s a good chance your power supply won’t have any 8-pin PCI Express Graphics (PEG) power connectors available, which are used on many of the faster cards today. 6-pin PEG connectors have been around much longer, but some budget power supplies still omit them. If you have a PC from a large OEM (eg, something from Dell, HP, or Lenovo), you might not even be able to swap out the power supply for a newer model with the required 6- or 8-pin connectors.

It’s also important to note here that while 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PEG power adapters exist, as do 6-pin to 8-pin adapters, you really shouldn’t use these! Melted wires, short circuits and even fires have been started with such shenanigans. Just buy a new PSU if you don’t have the appropriate power connectors available.

If you need a new PSU, you can refer to the above table on recommended sizes based on how many PEG connectors a GPU needs. An 8-pin (or 6+2-pin) PEG connector can deliver up to 150W, and a 6-pin connector is for up to 75W. Not all PSUs are created equal, however, and we recommend getting an 80 Plus Gold or 80 Plus Platinum PSU — those are more efficient, which means less heat and noise from your PC, and usually cleaner power as well.

As for capacity,, you don’t want to be at the limit of your PSU. For example, this EVGA 500W PSU has two 8-pin (6+2-pin) connectors available, and in theory could power even an RTX 2080 Ti. Your CPU, motherboard, RAM, and other components also draw power, however, and even if your PC is only using 400W, you probably don’t want to be that close to the power supply’s limit. In fact, optimal efficiency is often at 40-60% of a PSU’s rated output.

 PCIe 2.0 slots in an X58 motherboard from late 2008. So much lovely blue! (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Are Your Other Components Good Enough? 

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, of course. I have an old Intel Core i7-965 PC still kicking around that was an absolute beast back in early 2009 when I built it. More than a decade later, it can still do most of what you might want to do on a PC, and it has been upgraded many times over the years. It can even take a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU, and it will run any game out there. What it won’t do is run every game at high framerates.

The bottleneck in most cases isn’t the PCIe 2.0 standard. Instead, it’s the very-long-in-the-tooth CPU, coupled with the extreme GPU. But it does work—I’ve tried it and can confirm my 11-year-old PC fully recognizes and supports Nvidia and AMD’s latest and greatest GPUs. How fast is an RTX 2080 Ti going to be on an older PC when compared to a new PC with a Core i9-9900K? We haven’t run detailed benchmarks, but depending on the game, a Core i9-9900K can easily be over twice as fast as an old Core i7-965, and over three times as fast as an AMD A10-7890K. If you have an even older PC, or anything that only supports the PCIe 1.x standard, it’s probably better to look at a full PC replacement rather than just upgrading your graphics card. 

Ultimately, like any upgrade in PC hardware, you want to consider your whole system. The good news is that if you have an old GPU fail, you can easily find a modern replacement that will still work—and it will probably be faster and support new features. Just verify that your PC has the required space and power connectors available, and a modern PCIe graphics card will work in any older PCIe slot. And if your PC pre-dates the PCIe era and has an AGP slot, it’s time to put it out to pasture. Sorry. 

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: GPU Benchmarks

MORE: All Graphics Content

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom’s Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge ‘3D decelerators’ to today’s GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

Graphics Card Compatibility – Here’s How To Check [Easy Guide]

Getting a new GPU and simply plugging it in might work but, if you don’t make sure that your system is compatible, you could seriously endanger it. Why take an unnecessary risk when checking the graphics card compatibility is so simple?

The good news is that most modern GPUs are compatible with almost any motherboard from the last decade. Even so, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

You will only need to check for graphics card compatibility if you’re getting a dedicated GPU. If you’re planning to game using your integrated graphics card (which is possible and sometimes even decent with newer technology), you can be sure that it’s already compatible.

Let’s get started!

Table of ContentsShow

    PCIe x16 Slot Is The Key

    Most graphics cards use the PCIe x16 slot to connect to your motherboard

    This brilliant technology is the reason that modern graphics cards can fit into most motherboards.

    PCIe x16 slots have several different numbered suffixes and you might be wondering what these signify. The truth is, as far as compatibility goes, there isn’t much difference between them.

    For example, a PCIe 3.0 can run PCIe 1.0 cards and vice versa, although if you run a modern GPU on an older slot you will experience bandwidth limitations. The general trend has been that every new version doubles the previous version’s performance. So, if PCIe 2.0 has 4 GT/s (Giga transfers per second), PCIe 3.0 has 8, and so on.

    Currently, in 2022, 3.0 is probably the most widely used slot, but 4.0 is gaining momentum. The recently released RTX 3080 can be used with both PCI Express 3.0 and 4.0, with only marginal differences in favor of 4.0. There’s even a PCIe 5.0 version in production, and supposedly 6.0 is in the testing stage.

    Overall, it’s best to have a motherboard with a free slot that matches the GPU you’re planning to get. You could potentially get by with a different version, but you will likely be either bandwidth limited or unable to fully access the potential of the slot.

    Another important point is that you need a free slot, especially if you’re planning to set up multiple GPUs via either NVIDIA’s SLI or NVLink, or AMD’s Crossfire. You won’t be able to do this if you only have one PCIe x16 slot, but there are solutions out there for those who are willing to do some engineering.

    If you are planning to use your rig primarily for gaming, multiple GPU setups are not recommended. Driver and game support for this technology is steadily dying and the possible performance gains are minimal.

    Make Sure You Have Enough Physical Room For Your New GPU

    GPUs are large so you need to make sure that there’s even room for one inside your case

    This is an aspect that is easily forgotten, but one that can really mess with graphics card compatibility. Make sure you know the specifications of your case as you can easily check the dimensions of the graphics card, which are usually readily available on the manufacturer’s website.

    If you either forget the type of case you have or you can’t identify it, you can always manually measure the inside of the case with a tape measure. Just make sure the PC is turned off and unplugged when you do this. This isn’t the most convenient method, but it serves its purpose as a last resort.

    In most cases, you will want to focus on the length of the graphics card as it is usually the main issue. It’s also good to know the width, as it’s possible that this could interfere with other components in your PC. Another thing to consider is the backplate slots as they can give a false impression due to sometimes being wider than the GPU.

    Does your case have enough room for your new GPU? Compare the sizes and check for reviews if necessary

    While graphics card compatibility is important, it’s equally important to make sure that all the extra cables for the GPU and other nearby components have sufficient room and won’t be bent.

    Measuring the space in your PC is crucial when determining if your rig will have enough room to breathe. Proper airflow is key to keeping your PC at the optimal temperature. The GPU is probably the most significant heat generator inside the case, so you should be extra careful to ensure that air can flow around it freely and provide proper cooling.

    Otherwise, you will likely begin noticing problems when playing some games, with stuttering issues or even crashes.

    Power Supply Unit (PSU)

    Your PSU may not even be able to power your new graphics card

    This is probably the most important thing to check. A PCIe x16 slot will likely exist on your motherboard and, even if there’s not enough room in your case, you can get an upgrade for a reasonable price. A PSU isn’t a great deal more expensive, but it needs enough power and proper connectors for the GPU you intend to purchase.

    Depending on the GPU you want, you will need to know if it needs a 6-pin, 8-pin, or if it doesn’t require a power connector at all. In the majority of cases, the more power a GPU needs, the bigger the connector will need to be.

    For example, a powerhouse like the RTX 3080 will sometimes require three 8-pin connectors, while a last-gen budget option like the GTX 1050 Ti will require none whatsoever.

    The powerful RTX 2080 Ti will require two 8-pin connector cables

    This means that if you’re looking to get the latest GPU, you will need to have a modern PSU as well. A lot of older PSUs (pre-2015) won’t even have a single 8-pin connector, let alone three. Power connector adapters can fix this, but they don’t have a great reputation.

    As far as required PSU capacity is concerned, a good rule of thumb is that the amount of power your GPU uses should be at most half of your PSU’s maximum power. Ideally, you want your graphics card to be at around 40% of your PSU’s capacity.

    This is important because a GPU will draw more power when under heavy loads, such as playing an intensive AAA title or rendering a high-resolution video. As consumption can increase in these situations, it’s important to have the necessary amount of extra headroom for your PSU.

    A PSA on PSUs: There are manufacturers who advertise their units at insane numbers like 2000W, but don’t fall for this marketing trick. That number is often a theoretical burst. Our advice is to consider your options from reputable PSU makers and take the power rating into consideration.

    Don’t Create Bottlenecks

    If your new graphics card will be bottlenecked by other components, you will be unable to realize its full potential

    If you get a brand new, top-of-the-line graphics card while the rest of your PC components are older, some bottlenecking issues are bound to occur. Usually, this bottleneck will come from the CPU, but it can also be caused by RAM or the hard drive.

    That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to install the GPU and run the latest games, but you will probably run into some stuttering issues. In most instances, the worst-case scenario is that you won’t be able to achieve the potential FPS that your new GPU can produce.

    Display Ports

    The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 is equipped with three DisplayPort connectors, an HDMI connector, and a USB 3.0 connector

    Although this is a smaller issue, it’s still important not to forget about your monitor’s port. Some GPUs offer the ability to use an HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI, but some cards don’t provide that luxury.

    You can get around this issue by purchasing an adapter. This will likely work perfectly, but some PC users online have reported issues such as input lag and reduced frame rate.

    How to Check Graphics Card Compatibility with your PC?

    How do you know if a graphics card is compatible with your PC or PC build?

    For that matter, how do you know if your PC will bottleneck said graphics card, or if you have a laptop capable of graphics card upgrades?

    This is my guide to GPU compatibility, where I’ll be walking you through the answers to all of those questions and more. Let’s dive into it.

    The Basics of Graphics Card Compatibility

    First, let’s talk about the basics of graphics card compatibility.

    There are three main things to check for in this category: clearance, power, and bandwidth.

    Let’s dive into each.

    How to check if your Graphics Card will fit inside your PC

    The first and most important thing you need to verify is clearance, or if your graphics card will actually fit inside of your PC.

    Fortunately, any prebuilt PC or case will have readily-available compatibility information like this online- all you need to do is identify the model of your prebuilt or case and head to the manufacturer’s website.

    On that site, you’ll want to look for something along the lines of “GPU Length” or “VGA Length”. This specification, usually given in millimeters, will tell you the exact amount of space available inside of your PC for a graphics card to be mounted.

    Comparing Case Size and GPU Length – Example: Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle (left) fits into the Corsair 275r Airflow Case (right)

    In the case of SFF (Small Form Factor) PCs, especially HTPCs and Mini ITX PCs, there may also be an option to remove fans or drive bays to make more room for your graphics card of choice.

    Check the GPU clearance specification for your PC against the length of your graphics card, and as long as your graphics card is less than that, it should fit inside your build perfectly fine.

    With SFF builds, however, you may want to also consider the thickness of your graphics card.

    For instance, I have a dual-slot GTX 1070 inside a Mini ITX NZXT h310.

    Due to the thickness of my card’s cooler, I am pushing the limits of my clearance by thickness, since SFF cases are often built with very little room for cards thicker than two expansion slots.

    And since many graphics cards are being manufactured with 2.5 or even 3-slot cooler designs, GPU thickness is a genuine concern for many Mini ITX and HTPC PC builds.

    How to check if your Power Supply is enough for your Graphics Card

    Meanwhile, how do you check if your power supply is enough for your graphics card?

    This part is pretty simple, fortunately. Your graphics card’s own specs sheet should give you a recommended range of Power Supply Wattage for safe operation.

    Recommended PSU Wattage and required power connectors for Graphics Cards can generally be found on the specs sheet

    In fact, it’ll usually even be a little bit more than what the card actually needs, since they’re also calculating for other components in your system.

    If you want a more accurate reading, the specs sheet should also give you your graphics card’s exact wattage, which you can put into a wattage calculator with the rest of your PC parts to get an idea of just how much power supply is needed to make it all work.

    If you’re planning on doing something like overclocking, it’s generally better to have more PSU wattage headroom than less.

    In general, having more headroom will allow for a high-efficiency PSU to run while consuming less power and exhausting less heat, so don’t skimp on a power supply!

    You’ll also want to make sure the PSU has a sufficient amount of power connectors for your Graphics Card. The Gigabyte 3080 Eagle in the example above, requires 2x 8-Pin Power Connectors from your PSU.

    Although most PSUs have a certain minimum of Power Connectors for powering at least one GPU, checking this can become crucial if you’re adding multiple GPUs or modern GPUs that require exotic power connectors (e.g. 12-Pin).

    How to check if you have enough PCI Express bandwidth for your Graphics Card

    Finally, how do you make sure your actual motherboard won’t bottleneck your graphics card?

    Well, there’s good news and bad news.

    The good news is, even the last-gen PCI Express 3.0 standard is enough for the overwhelming majority of modern graphics cards.

    Source: wccftech

    PCI Express 4.0 and 5.0 will do the job even better with more cutting-edge cards, but generally, PCI Express 3.0 motherboards will serve you perfectly fine.

    However, a few problematic graphics cards have been released onto the market that are an issue in this regard.

    Specifically, the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT inexplicably uses a PCI Express x4 connector instead of a PCI Express x16 connector, like the overwhelming majority of graphics cards.

    As a result, the RX 6500 XT sees major performance losses when used on PCI Express 3.0 rather than 4.0 motherboards, and since it’s already a low-end card at an arguably too-high price, that’s a serious problem.

    Advanced Graphics Card Compatibility

    Beyond the basic concerns of whether it will fit and function properly, what other things should you be thinking about before installing a new graphics card into your PC?

    There are two main concerns in this more advanced area, and they are if your GPU will be bottlenecked by the rest of your PC and if your PC may be capable of a multi-GPU setup.

    How to know if your Graphics Card will be bottlenecked by your PC

    The main thing to pay attention to in this regard is your CPU.

    Especially in the gaming community, people are inclined to believe that the graphics card is the ultimate determiner of what performance can be expected in real-time 3D rendering.

    However, before your GPU can do much of anything, your CPU has to do all of the actual processing of things like game engine logic, physics calculations, and more.

    The GPU’s only job is to make it look pretty- you could have the most powerful graphics card in the world and still be unable to push a stable 60 FPS in your favorite game if your CPU is too weak for the job.

    So if you’re buying a big, expensive graphics card in hopes of achieving high framerates like 144 FPS or even 200-300+ FPS, you’d better remember to keep your CPU in mind.

    Regardless of graphics settings or resolution being lowered, your CPU will be the ultimate determiner of the maximum possible framerate you can achieve in a game.

    For professional rendering tasks, even those that support GPU acceleration, your CPU will also be a primary concern.

    In fact, your CPU will likely be even more of a concern, since most productivity software is optimized to utilize nearly all of the CPU resources you’re willing to give to it, whereas game engines typically have trouble utilizing more than four cores at a time.

    Generally speaking, modern-day AMD Ryzen 7 and Intel Core i7 processors and above should be more than enough to prevent GPU bottlenecking from occurring with high-end graphics cards.

    Intel processors are particularly good in this regard since they usually maintain a healthy lead in single-core performance, which is fairly important for pushing performance in games or applications not well-optimized for using multiple cores.

    If you’re using lower-end CPUs, you may or may not be bottlenecking your graphics card: it depends on how powerful your graphics card is, and what you’re trying to use it for.

    If you don’t care about framerates above 60 FPS but still want great visuals, for instance, a high-end graphics card for handling ultra-high settings and resolution can still be useful, even if your CPU won’t allow you to push it very much past 60 FPS.

    In most cases, you’re going to want to find a good balance between your CPU power and your GPU power.

    For professional workloads and competitive gamers, I recommend focusing a little more on CPU power to minimize render times and maximize framerate.

    For casual gamers, those who don’t have a high refresh-rate display, and professionals with relatively CPU-light but GPU-accelerated workloads, I recommend focusing a little more on GPU power.

    How to know if your PC can handle more than one Graphics Card

    Finally, what if you want to install more than one graphics card inside your PC?

    Well, you’ll have to remember that you’ll basically be multiplying the amount of power and expansion slots that need to be used to do so.

    This makes dual or multi-GPU builds particularly unlikely to work well in Micro ATX cases, and actually impossible to make work in Mini ITX or HTPC cases.

    Plus, the additional GPUs may have their bandwidth restricted if your other slots are only slated for x8 rather than x16 speeds, though many high-end motherboards have x16-only slots for exactly this reason.

    If you aren’t already using a workload that you’re confident can benefit from multiple GPUs (like GPU rendering), it most likely isn’t worth the trouble.

    I especially don’t recommend it to gamers for any reason, since the majority of games simply don’t support multi-GPU setups particularly well, if at all.

    What To Do If Your GPU Isn’t Compatible With Your PC

    If your graphics card doesn’t fit, you should still be able to return it for a refund within 30 days of receipt.

    The same applies to graphics cards that are on the way but haven’t arrived yet- simply return them as soon as you have the chance.

    If your Power Supply isn’t enough to drive your graphics card, you’ll need to either undervolt and underclock your graphics card to stay within your power limits or just upgrade your Power Supply.

    I’d recommend looking at Jerry’s Guide to Buying a Power Supply if this sounds like your situation.

    If you don’t have enough PCI Express bandwidth / Lanes, there’s unfortunately nothing you can really do about that.

    Since your motherboard is the backbone of your entire PC and will determine whether or not this is the case, you may just find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the bandwidth to push the newest cards at their full performance without replacing your Motherboard (and potentially the CPU).

    As long as you have an x16 slot and the other requirements are met, you should still be able to use the graphics card, but you will most likely notice a dip in performance, especially with higher-end cards that actually make use of all that bandwidth.

    FAQ

    Can I upgrade my laptop Graphics Card?

    Does your laptop support Thunderbolt 3 or a newer Thunderbolt standard?

    If so, yes! There are a wide variety of External GPU Enclosures available on the market that can be used with laptops, and you can install desktop graphics cards into these enclosures to enjoy a higher level of performance, at the cost of some bandwidth limitations.

    Gigabyte Aorus External GPU Box – Gigabyte

    You may not necessarily get the full desktop-class performance you’re looking for, but desktop GPUs at large are still a lot more powerful than their laptop counterparts.

    How do I lower my Graphics Card temperature?

    Well, there are quite a few ways to go about that, and I’ve actually already written a pretty extensive guide on it.

    But if you’re looking for a few quick pointers, I would recommend turning on a Balanced or Power Saver power plan in your operating system to effectively reduce the load going to your graphics card.

    If you feel like you’re dealing with a case of your graphics card simply being too powerful for what you’re using it with, you should also look into capping your framerate with in-game tools or RivaTuner Statistics Server.

    How do I prevent or fix Graphics Card sag?

    Worried about GPU sag?

    One of the best things you can do is simply make sure that your graphics card is mounted properly.

    Specifically, make sure that the back of your graphics card is secured firmly against the expansion slots at the back of your case.

    Another popular option, though one that costs money, is getting a GPU support bracket to add into your PC build.

    Whether you go for a no-frills GPU support bracket or something flashy with RGB, these are pretty easy to use and not very expensive at all.

    For a more detailed rundown of GPU sag prevention methods, including DIY methods, head over to Alex’s How to Fix GPU Sag Guide.

    Over to You

    And, here we are!

    I hope that this article helped teach you what you needed to know about GPU compatibility with your PC.

    It’s no secret that graphics cards are in pretty high demand these days, and as long as the PC space continues to grow, that’s very unlikely to change.

    Comment below or in the forums if you have any pressing graphics card-related questions, whether that’s what GPU is best for your needs or helping troubleshoot graphics problems.

    Until next time!

    CGDirector is Reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    How to Check if a Graphics Card Is Compatible With Your PC

    Are you in the market for a new graphics card? Upgrading your graphics card (GPU) allows you to play the latest games, have a smoother image, and improve your overall computing experience. However, in addition to checking the specifications, you need to ensure the card is compatible with your PC by taking various parameters into account.

    If you want to know how to check if a graphics card is compatible with your PC, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll tell you what to consider when purchasing one and how to establish whether it’s the right match.

    How to Check if a Graphics Card Is Compatible With a Motherboard

    Motherboards have slots meant for adding additional equipment. Nowadays, every modern computer has PCI Express 3.0 slots, and the card could go into any that are available. If your computer has PCI Express 2.0 slots or another version of PCI Express, don’t worry. Newer graphic cards are backwards compatible, which means that a PCI Express 3.0 graphics card works with a PCI Express 2.0 slot. If you’re using a computer with AGP slots, you should know that most modern graphics cards won’t be compatible.

    In most cases, you need a PCI Express x16 slot for your graphics card. Fortunately, almost every modern computer has one. If you’re planning on connecting multiple graphics cards, ensure you have two slots available.

    To confirm whether a graphics card is compatible with your motherboard, check for the PCI Express slots.

    How to Check if a Graphics Card Is Compatible With a CPU

    Typically, any CPU is compatible with any graphics card. The question here shouldn’t be whether it’s compatible, but what CPU is sufficient for a particular graphics card. If you want to connect a powerful graphics card to an older CPU, the CPU will actually slow down (bottleneck) the card itself.

    The same rule applies vice versa. If you have a powerful CPU, buy a graphics card that matches it. Otherwise, you won’t take full advantage of the computer’s power as the graphics card will bottleneck it.

    A helpful website that can help you establish compatibility is User Benchmark. Here, you can check your specs and see what options are the best for your CPU.

    How to Check if a Graphics Card Is Compatible With a Monitor

    In addition to checking whether a graphic card matches your system’s specifications, it’s essential to establish if you can plug it into your monitor. That’s why you need to check your monitor’s output ports and ensure at least one can connect to the graphics card.

    Fortunately, this isn’t a big issue today since most GPUs can connect with an HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI. If your monitor doesn’t have any of them, fear not. You can purchase an adapter that will allow you to connect the two components.

    How to Check if a Graphics Card Is Compatible With a Power Supply

    Once you’ve determined that you have the right slot, a matching CPU, and a way to connect the GPU to your monitor, you still have to check the power supply unit (PSU).

    Graphics cards require extra power. When purchasing one, you need to determine whether it requires a 6-pin or 8-pin power connector, or if it requires one at all. A general rule is that powerful GPUs require a bigger connector. If your PSU dates from 2015 or earlier, it most likely doesn’t have an 8-pin power connector.

    Even if your PSU doesn’t have the necessary connector, you can purchase an adapter to fix the issue. However, keep in mind that it’s much better not to use an adapter. Many users reported problems such as melted wires and short circuits when using a power supply adapter. It’s much better to invest in a new PSU instead.

    Your graphics card should be at 40-50% of your PSU’s capacity. The GPU consumes more power depending on the tasks it undertakes. Due to these power consumption changes, it’s best to leave some room and not overwhelm the PSU.

    Standard graphics cards usually take between 100-300W, while the high-powered cards can take around 600W. If your PSU doesn’t have enough power, you’ll experience unexpected shut-downs, or you won’t be able to turn your computer on at all.

    If you’re not sure how much power your other components draw, we recommend using this online calculator. Add the components’ power draws, and check whether you have enough for the graphics card you want.

    Another useful website that helps you determine whether a GPU is compatible with your computer is the PC PartPicker. It allows you to compare parts and establish which ones match your computer, estimate the power you’ll need to run a specific GPU, and get an idea of the money you’ll need to spend.

    If you’re still not sure whether a graphics card is compatible with your computer, ask for help from a computer technician or anyone that is familiar with computers. They can help you establish what you’re looking for and even recommend the best choices.

    Check the Specs Before Purchasing

    Although installing a graphics card is fairly easy, ensuring you’re buying the right one can be tricky as various factors need to be considered. We hope this article has helped you to determine if a graphics card is compatible with your PC and that you found the right one without problems. If you’re still unsure, use some of the helpful websites mentioned above or ask a technician for assistance.

    Did you have trouble determining if a graphics card is compatible with your computer? What was the hardest part? Tell us in the comments section below.

    How to Know if Graphics Card is Compatible With Your Motherboard?

    If you are new to PC building or if you are planning on upgrading your GPU, then you can get confused on how to know if graphics card is compatible with your motherboard and PC or not.

    Basically, there is no hard and fast rule to check whether a graphics card is compatible with your PC or not. Instead, you have to check a couple of factors, some of which are important while others are recommended in order to see if the GPU will work with your PC optimally or not.

    For instance you have to check whether you have a free PCIe x16 slot, sufficient power and sufficient space in the chassis for the graphics card.

    In order for the GPU to run optimally, you also have to check the PCIe version of the GPU and that of the motherboard. You have to also ideally ensure that your CPU does not bottleneck your graphics card’s performance.

    The good news, however, is that due to the flexibility of PC interfaces, you should be able to run the latest graphics card on a PC that is even a decade old (given that enough power is supplied). 

    Whether you can run the new graphics card optimally is another question which we will explore below.

    Also Read: How to Check What Motherboard You Have?

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    How to Know if Graphics Card is Compatible With Your Motherboard?

    In order to check if graphics card is compatible with your motherboard or PC, you have to check for 3 important and 2 optional (but ideal) characteristics and specifications:

    1. Important: A Free PCIe x16 Slot
    2. Important: Sufficient Power and PSU Cables
    3. Important: Enough Space in the Case/Chassis
    4. Ideal: The PCIe Version of Motherboard and GPU Must Match
    5. Ideal: A CPU That Does Not Bottleneck Your GPU

    Let us explore each of these points below.

    1. A Free PCIe x16 Slot

    For starters, you need to make sure that your motherboard has a free PCIe x16 slot with 16 PCIe lanes ideally.

    A PCIe x16 slot with 16 lanes

    PCIe lanes are basically information highways for connecting PCIe devices to the CPU. The more lanes a slot has the more demanding card you can install.

    GPUs generate a lot of data and thus ideally demand an x16 slot with 16 lanes – but can also work on a PCIe  x16 (x8) slot. If you are confused about this, read on.

    Also Read: What are PCIe Slots?

    A PCIe x16 Slot Can Have Different Lane Counts.

    Not all PCIe x16 slots are created equally. Some feature a full 16 lanes, others may feature 8 or even 4 lanes.

    Have a look at the motherboard below. You can see that the bottom x16 slot, despite having the full size, features only 4 lanes – which is far less than the ideal requirement of 16 lanes by a GPU.

    PCIe Slots for adding expansion cards. Note that the bottom x16 slot actually only has 4 lanes. You can figure this out by reading the specsheet of the motherboard. You would use the top x16 slot for your GPU in the case of this motherboard

    Hence installing a GPU on this slot is not recommended at all. In fact, NVIDIA graphics card have a minimum requirement of an x16(x8) slot or 8 lanes. AMD graphics card can work on x16(x4) slot but its performance will be heavily bottlenecked when working on 4 lanes.

    Also Read: Can a Motherboard Bottleneck a GPU?

    There are two studies that I would like to point to for you to understand the impact different lane count can have on GPU performance.

    The first is by Gamer Nexus. According to their study for gaming, if you have a SINGLE graphics cards then using it on either x16 or x8 would have minimal impact.

    GPU Performance on Gaming on x16 and x8. Source: Gamer Nexus

    The second study is by Pudget Systems which is a bit more comprehensive. They tested not just a single but single AND dual graphics card setup on x16/x16, x16/x8 and x8/x8 configuration.

    According to their study, depending upon the applications you use, their can be a great impact. For gaming, the impact is nominal (within 3-5%), but for professional software and benchmark engines, the performance drop can be as high as 30%. 

    TL;DR: Always use the top PCIe x16 slot for your graphics card as it almost always features the full 16 lanes.

    Also Read: Does it Matter Which PCIe Slot I Use?

    2. Sufficient Power and PSU Cables

    The second important aspect to look is the power requirement of the graphics card and making sure your Power Supply Unit can deliver it.

    Newer and beefier graphics card have a very heavy power requirement. To figure this, you simply have to check out the specsheet for your GPU. 

    NVIDIA RTX 3080 Power Requirement and Connectors Required. Source: ASUS

    Almost all graphics card have a recommended PSU given. The ASUS TURBO V2 RTX 3080 recommend having a PSU with a rating of 850 Watts.

    Recommended PSU is NOT Equal to Consumed Power

    The recommend PSU rating does not relate to the power consumed by graphics card. It relates to the Power Supply Unit that is ideal for the entire build and the rest of the components such motherboard, CPU, RAM, drives, cooling solutions.

    To figure out the power requirement of the GPU, you have to look at the Power Connectors it requires. The GPU shown above has a requirement of 2 x 8 pin connectors. 

    Each 8 pin connector provides 150 Watts of power and the PCIe slot itself provides 75 Watts of power. Therefore the graphics card above requires 375 Watts of power (2x150W + 75W)

    The following chart summarizes power requirement based on power connectors specified.

    PCIe x16
    (75W)
    6 Pin Cable
    (75W)
    8 Pin Cable
    (150W)
    12 Pin Cable
    (600W)
    Max Power
    Consumed
    75W 0 0 0 75W
    75W 1 x 75W 0 0 150W
    75W 0 1 x 150W 0 225W
    75W 2 x 75W 0 0 225W
    75W 1 x 75W 1 x 150W 0 300W
    75W 0 2 x 150W 0 375W
    75W 1 x 75 2 x 150W 0 450W
    75W 0 3 x 150W 0 525W
    75W 0 0 1 x 600W 675W

    You Must Have Sufficient and All the Required Cables

    PSU must have all the required power supply cables.

    Your Power Supply Unit must have all the required cables in order to power up the GPU.

    For instance, if your GPU requires 2 x 8 pin connectors, you have to have both 8 pin connectors connectors. You cannot have only 1 plugged or have 1 connected with 8 pin plug and the other with a 6 pin plug.

    This GPU requires 2 x 6 pin. Both of them are connected.

    If in case your PSU does not have required plug, then you will need to get adapters or splitters.

    Understanding the power requirement and cable requirement is an essential consideration for knowing if graphics card is compatible with your motherboard and PC.

    Also Read: What are PCIe Cables Used For?

    3. Enough Space in the Case

    It goes without saying that the PC case should have sufficient space in order to accommodate your graphics card.

    In addition to that, you must also note that sometimes installing a graphics card can render another PCIe slot inaccessible.

    Therefore, you may have to move your connected devices around.  

    The following image shows a connected graphics card blocking TWO x1 slots underneath.

    PCIe slot configurationThe graphics card is blocking two x1 slots underneath it.

    As such, if you have additional card installed such as a WiFi card, on the x1 slot, they will need to be moved to different slots and if no slots are available, then you may have to sacrifice an expansion card by removing it.

    Sizes of Graphics Card

    There various sizes of graphics card identified by how many PCIe slots worth of space they occupy. So a graphics card with 1 profile occupies 1 PCIe slot worth of space. This would not block any other slot. Similar a 2 profile GPU would occupy 2 PCIe slot worth of space.

    Here is a break down of different sizes you can find for GPUs.

    • Low Profile: 1 and 1.5 slot
    • Average: 2 and 2.5 slot
    • Large: 2.7 and 3.0 slot

    You can figure out the size of the GPU before purchasing by looking at its specsheet.

    ASUS Turbo Geforce RTX 3080 V2 occupies 2 slots

    Some smart motherboard designs often have PCIe slots intended for GPUs at a distance from other PCIe slots so that nothing is blocked.

    Also Read: How to Check Which Graphics Card is Being Used?

    4. Ideal: The PCIe Version of Motherboard and GPU Must Match

    This is also a very important consideration particularly nowadays as PCIe 4.0 is becoming widespread and PCIe 5.0 is around the corner.

    With every PCIe version, the transfer speed of the slot doubles. Meaning a PCIe x16 v4.0 slot can transfer a lot more data as compared to PCIe x16 V3.0 slot.

    Hence, the devices built for the v4.0 PCIe protocol can be much more powerful compared to 3.0 devices. 

    Which is exactly what you should take note of. Since majority of the older systems still conform to version 3.0, installing newer PCIe 4.0 GPU on a PCIe 3.0 slot can present performance bottlenecks.

     You can generally figure out the PCIe version of your GPU by checking out its specsheet. Essentially, the NVIDIA RTX 3000 series and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series and newer support PCIe 4.0.

    PCIe is Backwards Compatible – PCIe Version and Performance Bottlenecks.

    Again, while the PCIe interface is backwards compatible – meaning newer PCIe 4.0 cards CAN work on older 3.0 slots, it is ideal that you must match version of the graphics card and the slot.

    PudgetSystems.com actually conducted a study on this whereby they tested an RTX 3090 (V4.0 device) and a Titan RTX (v3.0 device) on PCIe 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 x16 slots.

    The following graphics shows the results:

    Image: PudgetSystems.com. Comparison of how RTX 3090 and Titan RTX perform on different PCIe generations. A significant impact can be seen on performance in DaVinci Resolve (video editing software) when using the cards in older PCIe slots.

    It is clear that a PCIe 4.0 GPU (RTX 3090) gains performance if installed in a PCIe 4.0 slot but looses performance when installed in older slots.

    At the same time you can see that a PCIe v3.0 GPU (Titan RTX) does not gain performance if installed in a newer v4.0 slot.

    Also Read: Can You Use AMD GPU with Intel CPU?

    5. Ideal: A CPU That Does Not Bottleneck Your GPU

    Finally, you must make sure that there is parity between the graphics card and the CPU. 

    Meaning if you have a high end NVIDIA RTX 3080, it would be unwise to pair it with a mere Intel Pentium CPU. Should at least get a Core i5 or Ryzen equivalent.

    The following video shows how the performance of a graphics card gets impacted when using weaker CPUs. 

    Watch this video on YouTube

    A CPU may not have a direct link for knowing if graphics card is compatible with your motherboard, but pairing the right CPU matters. 

    Also Read:

    • Is Intel Pentium Good for Gaming?
    • Does Your PC Needs a Graphics Card If Its Not For Gaming?

    Final Words

    So how to know if graphics card is compatible with your motherboard and PC.

    Well, given the flexibility and modular design of motherboards, it is a highly probable that your graphics card would be compatible with your motherboard even if its a decade old.

    But the better questions to ask are how to know if your GPU will work OPTIMALLY on your motherboard or how to make the right PC build with a graphics card. Because here, you have to take note of bottlenecks caused by PCIe version, PCIe lanes, CPU and also consider the size and power requirement.

    Also Read: How to Check SSD Compatibility With Laptop or Desktop?

    How To Know If A Graphics Card Is Compatible

    If you want more performance so you can play the latest games at high resolutions and maximum quality, you need a decent graphics card. Here we explain how to know if a
    graphics card will fit in your
    PC and if it will be compatible.

    It’s crucial to get this stage right, as without it you’ll be left with a powerful graphics card that doesn’t work properly with your PC. In this article, we’ll show you how to make sure a graphics card is both compatible with your device and will physically fit inside your case. 

    Once that’s sorted, the process of actually installing it is relatively simple by comparison. 

    See also:
    How to add a graphics card to your laptop

    A background to PC graphics

    Many PCs rely on so-called ‘integrated’ graphics which is either a chip on the motherboard or one built into the CPU itself. Other PCs have a ‘dedicated’ graphics card, which plugs into an expansion slot on the motherboard.

    You can usually tell which type your PC uses by the location of the port you use to connect your monitor. If it’s in among the other ports, such as USB and Ethernet, then it’s integrated graphics. If the port is separate to the others, and there’s more than one port, such as a pair of DVI outputs, HDMI or DisplayPort, it’s probably a dedicated graphics card.

    Whichever type it is, you’ll need both an expansion slot – called PCI Express – and a corresponding slot in the case – with a removable backplate where the connections will sit in order to fit a dedicated graphics card.

    How to know if a graphics card is compatible: Find the PCI Express slot

    On many PCs, there will be a few expansion slots on the motherboard. Typically they will all be PCI Express, but for a graphics card you need a PCI Express x16 slot. There are three versions of this slot, but they’re backwards compatible, so a modern PCI Express 3.0 graphics card will work in a motherboard with a PCI Express x16 2.0 slot.

    This motherboard has two PCI Express x16 slots. It’s most common to use the upper-most one for a graphics card, but if you’re fitting two cards in an nVidia SLI or AMD Crossfire setup, you’ll need both. Check which standard your motherboard supports before investing in a pair of cards, though.

    How to know if a graphics card is compatible: length and height

    More powerful graphics cards tend to have large fans to keep them cool, and this makes them twice as thick as a ‘single-height’ card. The way most PCs are built means that the fan assembly will be underneath the card rather than on top of it, so you’ll need an unused slot – and backplate – directly underneath the PCI Express x16 slot.

    Plus, you need to measure the distance from the backplate to any components which would block a long graphics card at the front of your case. Don’t forget that some cards have their power sockets on their back edge rather than the side, so you’ll need to add about 30-40mm to the length of your chosen card to guarantee it will fit.

    If you’re unsure how long a card is, ask the manufacturer, seller or try our own forums to find someone who owns that card already and can confirm how big it is.

    How to know if a graphics card is compatible: power requirements

    Even if you have PCI Express x16 slot and plenty of room, you’ll need extra power for most graphics cards. Your power supply is likely to have PCI-E power connectors, but they may be bundled up and tied out of the way if no graphics card is currently fitted.

    These connectors are usually black, marked as PCI-E and have six pins in a 3×2 arrangement.

    If your PSU doesn’t have these, you can buy adaptors which connect to the standard four-pin power or SATA connectors. Be careful with graphics cards that require two PCI Express power connectors as each of these should be connected to a different 12v rail of the power supply. On most PSUs this means connecting each of the two adaptors to a different ‘daisy chain’ of power connectors, and not to the same chain.

    Finally, make sure your power supply has enough headroom above what the existing components are drawing to power your new graphics card.

    It can be tricky to work out if yours does, but a good rule of thumb is that high-end graphics cards will require at least a 600W PSU, if not more. It’s wrong to assume that a PSU can output its maximum power rating continuously, and you’re sure to run into problems if your components are drawing more than around 80 percent of the PSU’s top rating.

    Again, it’s fairly easy to check how much power a graphics card draws from its specifications by searching online.

    Considering a purchase? Check out our round-up of the
    best graphics cards.  

    To ensure you get the best price, it’s also worth checking out the
    best graphics card deals. 

    Author: Jim Martin, Executive Editor

    Jim has been testing and reviewing products for over 20 years. His main beats include VPN services and antivirus. He also covers smart home tech, mesh Wi-Fi and electric bikes.

    How to check the compatibility of video card and motherboard

    Top

    12/10/2019

    Author: CHIP

    1 star2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars

    How to check the compatibility of the video card and motherboard0003

    We continue the topic of component compatibility and tell you the main nuances about the PCI-Express slot that every user should know.

    Will the 8th generation of Intel processors be compatible with my platform built in 2012? And if I buy another motherboard, will the old RAM sticks run on it? Will the new tower cooler fit my socket? We are sure that users who have ever encountered an upgrade of computer components have asked themselves similar questions.

    Component compatibility is a key factor that underpins any upgrade. It is always necessary to consider whether the pieces of iron can work with each other without dancing with a tambourine and conflicts. And if everything is more or less clear with the processor, RAM and motherboard, then what about the video card? Does she really care who she does business with? Well, let’s figure it out.

    Video card and motherboard compatibility

    In this case, as in situations with other components, the main thing to pay attention to is the expansion slot. All modern video cards are fully compatible with the PCI Express system bus (previously a channel called AGP was used, which can only be found on older motherboards). Keep in mind that there are several major versions of PCI Express. Starting from the very first and ending with version 6.0, which is currently still under development and will be ready only by 2021. At the present time, the implementation of only the fourth revision PCI Express is in full swing. For example, all the latest graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia support 4.0.

    You can draw an analogy with USB ports, which also have several versions. Each next type differs from the previous one mainly in bandwidth, which in theory can greatly increase productivity, but this is only in theory. No, the difference between the first and third generation will be significant, but between the neighboring ones it will be barely perceptible. It is worth noting that data transfer speed is not the only difference. The outcome is quite likely when the improved version gets more functionality and features. As, for example, is the case with the HDMI interface, which is designed to transmit digital video data.

    How different versions of PCI-Express are compatible with each other

    As you already understood, over time, video cards are equipped with a new improved version of PCI-Express, which has better bandwidth. But what happens if, say, a graphics chip with PCI-Express v. 4.0. shove it into an old motherboard that only has a version 2.0 slot under the hood.

    Let’s immediately please the owners of old hardware: everything will work fine, but with some nuances. The fourth version of «express» on the video card implies that a certain amount of data can pass through the connector. The second version of the «express» on the motherboard will not be able to pass through itself the same large amount of information, since it is designed for a smaller amount. Hence, it turns out that the video card will work more slowly. But don’t think the difference will be huge. Often, we will talk about a few percent if we are talking about the production of iron in computer games. In synthetics traditionally, the difference will be greater.

    So what’s the bottom line? Is it compatible? As mentioned above, yes. But there will be a limiting factor in the face of the younger version of PCI-Express. And it works both ways. That is, it does not matter where exactly the outdated connector format is located, and where the newer one is located. 2.0 on the motherboard limits the potential of 4.0 on the video card in the same way that 2.0 on the video card slows down 4.0 on the board.

    For greater clarity, let’s draw an analogy. This is very similar to the work of a duet of a video card and a processor. If you put a premium graphics card paired with a budget CPU, you will encounter incredibly beautiful textures that will not have time to load due to the fact that the stone will be hammered to capacity. The situation will not look better if the components are swapped. A high-performance processor will easily handle all the mathematical and physical calculations in the game, but the frame rate will remain unsatisfactory due to the weak capabilities of the graphics adapter. In general, everything should be balanced, as the Buddha bequeathed to us.

    What are PCI-Express lanes

    In addition to the version, PCI-Express slots can differ in the number of lanes. The more lines a connector supports, the higher the throughput. There are 4 main types: x1, x4, x8 and x16 (x32 ports exist, but are extremely rare on motherboards in conventional computers). The slots are physically different, and you can’t plug an x16 video card into an x8 connector without physical intervention. The larger the number in the designation, the greater the number of supported connections, and, accordingly, the larger the port size. However, you can plug a device into the x16 port with a connection, at least x1, at least x8.

    How to find out what mode the video card is in

    Let’s use the services of GPU-Z, which specializes in collecting data about graphics chips. For the distribution go to the official site. Download, install and run the utility. In the window that opens, you will find the Bus Interface item. The screenshot below shows that the video card has a PCI-express x16 slot, version -3.0. But at the moment it works only on 4 lines, according to version 1.1.

    The reduced number of lines is due to the fact that the video card is inserted into the second slot on the motherboard, which is almost always cut by the manufacturer along the lines, despite the size corresponding to the x16 format. And version 1.1 means that the graphics adapter is in idle mode and artificially lowers the bandwidth to save power. As part of the load, the value will return to its maximum capabilities and will equal 4.0.

    See also :

    • 5 ready-made PC builds for different needs: work, watch, play…
    • How to choose RAM: understanding the nuances

    Author

    Denis Mikhailov

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    Compatibility of video cards with motherboards table — Assembly-Revision

    Throughout the development of computer technology, connectors for connecting various components to motherboards have changed several times, they have improved, increased throughput and speed. The only drawback of the innovations is the inability to connect old parts due to the difference in the structure of the connectors. Once this also affected video cards.

    How to check the compatibility of the video card and the motherboard

    The video card connection connector and the structure of the video card itself changed only once, after which there was only an improvement and the release of new generations with a higher bandwidth, which did not affect the shape of the sockets. Let’s look into this in more detail.

    AGP and PCI Express

    In 2004, the last video card with the AGP connection type was released, in fact, the production of motherboards with this connector stopped then. The latest model from NVIDIA is the GeForce 7800GS, while AMD has the Radeon HD 4670. All the following models of video cards were produced on PCI Express, only their generation changed. The screenshot below shows these two connectors. The difference is noticeable to the naked eye.

    To check compatibility, you just need to go to the official websites of the manufacturers of the motherboard and graphics adapter, where the necessary information will be indicated in the characteristics. In addition, if you have a video card and a motherboard, then just compare these two connectors.

    Generations of PCI Express and how to identify it

    Three generations have been released throughout the existence of PCI Express, and a fourth is planned for release this year. Any of them is compatible with the previous one, since the form factor has not been changed, and they differ only in operating modes and throughput. That is, do not worry, any video card with PCI-e is suitable for a motherboard with the same connector. The only thing I would like to pay attention to is the modes of operation. The throughput and, accordingly, the speed of the card depends on this. Pay attention to the table:

    Each generation of PCI Express has five operating modes: x1, x2, x4, x8, and x16. Each next generation is twice as fast as the previous one. You can see this pattern in the table above. Video cards of the middle and low price segment are fully revealed if they are connected to the 2.0 x4 or x16 connector. However, top cards are recommended 3.0 x8 and x16 connection. Don’t worry about this — when you buy a powerful video card, you pick up a good processor and motherboard for it. And on all motherboards that support the latest generation of CPUs, PCI Express 3.0 has long been installed.

    If you want to know what operating mode the motherboard supports, then just look at it, because next to the connector, in most cases, both the PCI-e version and the operating mode are indicated.

    When this information is not available or you cannot access the motherboard, it is best to download a special program to determine the characteristics of the components installed in the computer. Choose one of the most suitable representatives described in our article at the link below and go to section «Motherboard» or «Motherboard» for PCI Express version and mode.

    Installing a video card with PCI Express x16, for example, in the x8 slot on the motherboard, then the operating mode will be x8.

    SLI and Crossfire

    More recently, technology has been introduced that allows you to use two graphics adapters in one PC. Checking compatibility is quite simple — if a special bridge for connection is included with the motherboard, and there are also two PCI Express slots, then there is almost a 100% chance that it is compatible with SLI and Crossfire technology. For more information about the nuances, compatibility and connection of two video cards to one computer, read our article.

    Today we took a detailed look at the topic of checking the compatibility of the graphics adapter and the motherboard. There is nothing complicated in this process, you just need to know the type of connector, and everything else is not so important. Only speed and throughput depend on generations and operating modes. This does not affect compatibility in any way.

    Thank the author, share the article on social networks.

    Hello everyone! If you are building a computer or decide to upgrade your video card, then you need to know if the video card fits your motherboard or not.

    Graphics Card and Motherboard Compatibility

    There are a few things to know if a graphics card is compatible with a motherboard or not.

    1. AGP or PCI-E 16 connector

    Now all modern video cards come with a PCI-E 16 connector, but if you are upgrading an old video card, then look at which video card connector is installed in the motherboard.

    AGP

    PCI-E 16

    2. PCI-E 16 interface version 2.0 and 3.0

    Modern video card connectors have two versions of the PCI-E slot, these are 2.0 and 3.0. It’s kind of like usb 2.0 and 3.0. Accordingly, if your motherboard supports 3. 0, then in order to get maximum performance, you need to take it with 3.0 support. And if you take a video card with a 3.0 slot, and the motherboard will have a 2.0 connector, then you will simply overpay the money, and the video card will work at a speed of 2.0.

    You can see this on the motherboard or in the motherboard specifications on the manufacturer’s website. For example, here is the page with my motherboard.

    • 2 PCI-e slots supporting 3.0 and 2.0 (can work either way)
    • 1 PCI-e slot with 2.0 support
    • 2 PCI-e 2.0 slots (not video slot)
    • 2 PCI slots

    The most important thing is to have PCI Express 3.0, you can also see the inscription on the motherboard.

    3. SLI or CrossFire

    If you’re a gamer and like to get the most out of your graphics cards, then SLI or CrossFire support is a must. This support will give you the opportunity to combine 2 video cards and play the heaviest games not only on ultra settings, but also on multiple monitors!

    CrossFire in ATI video cards, and SLI in nVidia video cards

    4.

    Processor power

    the processor will not have time to process the information. In order to find out exactly the correspondence of the processor to the video card, go to this site or look in Yandex for a table of correspondence of video cards to processors. Now you can’t keep up with them, so it’s better to always look for tables in a newer way.

    Here are the main points when checking the compatibility of the video card and processor. Also, do not forget that having bought a powerful video card, you need to check whether the power supply can withstand the load of the new video card.

    How to find out what mode the video card is in

    If this article has revealed something new and you are wondering if my video card works in 3.0 mode, then there is a small test. We download the program.

    Installing or just launching. There is a Bus Interface section, in my example the program shows that the slot on the PCIe 16 video card is set to version 3. 0, but now it works in version 1.1. This is necessary for energy saving. But to find out in which version it can work, you need to click on the test. First, next to this window, click on the question and a new window will appear. If you have one video card, then just click start render test, if several are combined, then check the box below.

    And in the initial window, you can see that let’s say my video card started working in version 3.0.

    Therefore, this means that my motherboard and graphics card are compatible. The video card supports version 3.0 and the motherboard allows it to work in this mode.

    Which video cards are suitable for the processor? In this article, in one click, you can pick up modern video cards for any processors 2010-2019years. It is recommended to use this data both when buying a new computer and when upgrading an old one.

    Note: a previous article was created to select processors for a video card.

    Since there is currently no reference algorithm for selecting a combination of processor and video cards, the selection is carried out according to an experimentally obtained rule, according to which it makes no sense to buy video cards whose performance index according to videocardbenchmark.net is higher than 120% of the processor performance index according to cpubenchmark. net, as it is almost guaranteed to be wasted money and FPS in many games will be limited by processor performance, and graphics card resources will not be used to their full potential. It is worth recalling that according to the results of many tests (for example, here and here), AMD processors of the sample before 2016 are not very suitable for mid-range and higher gaming computers, so their real performance values ​​​​above 5000 are cut off.

    The table of video card chips contains only those models that are currently available for sale. To simplify the search for the necessary processors, they are sorted alphabetically and divided into 2 lists — current processors (selection of a video card for a new computer) and archive processors (selection of a video card for upgrading an old computer). Since laptop developers, when designing, necessarily take into account the performance indexes of processors and video cards, data about them is not included in the table. The performance index of processors is indicated in the list in brackets, the performance index of video card chips is indicated in the table in the «Test» column.

    It is recommended to later review the article on choosing a computer, where the optimal configurations for different price categories are selected, as well as articles on choosing video cards and processors, which identify specific models that have the highest combination of performance, price and expected reliability.

    How to choose a graphics card for your motherboard

    Over the decades of its existence, computers have gone through an impressive path of development, today combining compact size and high performance. In an effort to enjoy the achievements of science, we continue to modernize the system, update it to work with the latest, most modern games and media products. But before the upgrade, you have to make sure that the entire system is compatible — including the question of how to choose a video card for the motherboard.

    A question of choice — do we need these expenses? The system will not support them — in practice, they turn out to be unnecessary overpayments.

    Therefore, with confidence, you can limit yourself to video cards within the limits of up to $ 80, which fully correspond to the system.

    But this is just a lyrical digression on our part, let’s move on to the main question — how to determine the compatibility of the motherboard and video card.

    How to choose a video card for the motherboard — the main selection criteria

    Let’s make a reservation right away — today the choice of a video card for compatibility with the motherboard does not present any particular problems, since since the mid-2000s, all video cards and motherboards have been provided with a PCI Express slot. There are 3 different versions of this connector, but they are fully compatible with each other.

    Therefore, if you choose to upgrade a not very old computer, there should be no problems with the search. But when working, sorry for the word, with already «age» models, you need to check a specific motherboard connector. Since the AGP connector was widely used until 2005, and during the transition period, motherboards with both connectors were common. To identify a specific species, we recommend:

    • View photos of connectors on the Internet and compare with your motherboard.
    • Read the specification and characteristics of the motherboard on the manufacturer’s website.

    If you can find PCI Express on the motherboard, you can install any modern models. When completing the AGP motherboard, you have to work hard. After all, only video cards with such a connector are suitable, which over the past years have become a real rarity. As a result, you have to spend a lot of time searching and money for the purchase. Therefore, it is often better to just buy a new motherboard — much easier and cheaper.

    Compatibility of the motherboard and video card by power

    It should be understood that PCI Express has several types that are compatible with each other, but differ in power.

    The connector can be PCIex16 2.0 or PCIex16 3.0. The first variant represents version 2.0, the second generation. The last one is the third generation. Externally, they are the same, but 3.0 is characterized by double bandwidth, and fully supports video cards with a 2.0 slot.

    If the video card has a PCI Express version 3.0 slot, and the motherboard has a 2.0 connector, this can reduce the performance of the video card by about one and a half times. To achieve the maximum use of all its resources, you need to make sure that this parameter matches.

    About video chips for cards

    These devices are mini-processors built into the design of video cards. The power that the graphics adapter is capable of, as well as compatibility with certain computer components, will depend on them. For example, video cards from manufacturers such as Intel or AMD have connectors designed to connect to processors of the same brands. In other cases, the user will lose a lot of performance.

    This criterion for video chips is measured in the number of computing units, and not in frequency or cores. Their number can reach several hundred or even several thousand. The conditions under which the video chip was produced are also important. The smaller the value of nanometers, the more economical the video card itself will be — it will overheat and consume less electricity.

    Effect of memory on video card performance

    The cards have their own video memory, but it differs from the main memory by a higher operating frequency and some other operating standards. However, it must be compatible not only with the motherboard and processor, but also with RAM in a number of ways.

    Most often commercially available graphics cards are clocked at GDDR3 or GDDR5 or GDDR5X. But, for example, the AMD standard is used only by this manufacturer, so it should not be combined with components from other brands. GDDR3 is the least in demand — they are suitable for budget cards. But for them, you should not buy a graphics adapter with a frequency of less than 1600 MHz, which is simply not enough even for weak gaming applications. Most often you can find the GDDR5 type, for which the operating frequency ranges from 2000 to 3600 MHz.

    In addition to the classification of memory, it is necessary to consider how many GB it is designed for. Budget boards usually provide only 1 GB, and mid-price segments can already give out 2 GB of video memory. This is enough for most existing games, but it is unlikely to be enough in 2-3 years after purchase.

    Graphics Adapters — Energy Efficiency

    Not all power supplies and motherboards support the required power for graphics cards. Also, they may not have connectors for connecting any type of cards. This should be kept in mind before purchasing. Also, the graphics adapter may not comply due to high power consumption, which will immediately affect the performance of the video card as a whole.

    In terms of consumption, they are classified as follows:

    • up to 70 W is usually called the initial class. They pair well with any power supplies and motherboards;
    • no more than 150 W are referred to the middle class. They are not compatible with all components;
    • 150 to 300 watts are considered high performance. They will require special components adapted to such energy consumption.

    Video card cooling

    Another important factor to consider before buying. If the adapter overheats, not only the processor can fail, but the motherboard can also be damaged. That is why video cards began to be equipped with an independent cooling system, which can be as follows:

    • passive, when only a radiator takes part in cooling. This will only be enough for graphics adapters with low performance;
    • active, which is considered full cooling. In this case, there are already a fan, a radiator, and even heat-removing tubes. Such cooling is considered highly efficient;
    • turbine. This option is similar to the previous one. A special turbine on the body draws air at high speed and drives it through the radiator and heat pipes. However, this option is only suitable for very powerful and large video cards.

    As for cooling, it is necessary to look at what materials the radiator and lines are made of. In cases where the card will be actively and intensively used, it is better not to take a plastic heatsink, but pay more for an aluminum one. Better yet, an option made of copper or steel. The same goes for fan blades.

    Video card dimensions

    Small graphics cards suitable for compact or inexpensive motherboards. Too bulky can bend the board or even not fit on top. Usually, the smaller the size, the less powerful the video card is, which often does not have cooling provided.

    The manufacturer’s representative or sales consultant will tell you the exact dimensions. The width of the card will be the larger, the more connectors on it. On budget varieties, only one row is usually installed.

    Connectors on the video card

    A variety of connectors are provided for correct operation and the ability to connect additional equipment. They can be as follows:

    • HDMI is designed to connect a computer to a modern TV. It is not installed on cheap video cards.
    • DVI, with which the card is connected to a computer monitor, so it is mandatory. It can be only for digital or for analog signal.
    • VGA is an indispensable assistant when connecting to various monitors.
    • Display Port is used with a limited type of video cards, and therefore is only in demand with certain monitor models.

    If a powerful video card is purchased, then you need to check if it has a special connector for additional power. They can provide 6 or 8 contacts. It is necessary to consult whether the power supply and motherboard can support them in a way that ensures correct operation and functionality.

    Support for multiple video cards

    Most motherboards have several connectors that are needed to connect video cards. Often there are 4 of them, and this is usually enough, but on some professional PCs there may be more. You also need to make sure that the cards are compatible with each other. That’s why you need to consider the following recommendations:

    • The «motherboard» should be such that it can support several cards at once. To do this, you need not only to have a connector, but also that it is supported by the operation of the motherboard, and does not serve as a spare;
    • video cards must be of the same standard, otherwise a conflict will arise between them, and normal operation will not be achieved;
    • to increase the performance of the entire set, the graphics cards must also have connectors — they can be used to connect additional equipment;
    • The presence of the option to support a bundle of video cards will serve as a pleasant bonus for the user. On most budget options, there is support for only one of the technologies: AMD or NVIDIA. Without this option, if you need to buy and install an additional video card, you will have to do it only in the same format as the card that is already installed on the PC.

    A bit about useful utilities for checking compatibility

    It is worth reminding once again that you can check the compatibility of the motherboard and video card using software tools. For example, you can find out about the parameters of the current GPU using the TechPowerUp GPU-Z utility, which is available to the user completely free of charge.

    In our article, we have fully considered how to choose a video card for the motherboard. We also recall two other important criteria — compatibility with the processor, compliance with the user’s tasks. These issues also deserve special attention, so they will be considered by us in the near future. Enjoy your favorite games and programs — we will always try to prepare up-to-date information for comfortable and productive work.

    How to choose a graphics card for the motherboard and processor? — Evgeny Kryzhanovsky’s blog

    Contents

    • 1 What happens when there is not enough processor power?
    • 2 What happens when a weak video card?
    • 3 How to choose the right video card for the processor
    • 4 Processor and video card compatibility table
    • 5 Pinouts
    • 6 Video card and motherboard compatibility
    • 7 How to find out what mode the video card is in

    Which video cards are compatible with the processor? In this article, in one click, you can pick up modern video cards for any processors of 2010-2019. It is recommended to use this data both when buying a new computer and when upgrading an old one. Note: a previous article was created to select processors for a video card. Since there is currently no reference algorithm for selecting a combination of processor and video cards, the selection is carried out according to the rule obtained experimentally, according to which it makes no sense to buy video cards whose performance index, according to videocardbenchmark.net, is higher than 120% of the processor performance index, according to cpubenchmark.net, since it is almost guaranteed to be wasted money and FPS in many games will be limited by processor performance, and the resources of the video card will not be fully utilized. It is worth recalling that according to the results of many tests (for example, here and here), AMD processors before 2016 are not very suitable for mid-range and higher gaming computers, so their real performance values ​​​​above 5000 are cut off. The table of video card chips contains only those models that are currently available for sale. To simplify the search for the necessary processors, they are sorted alphabetically and divided into 2 lists — current processors (selection of a video card for a new computer) and archive processors (selection of a video card for upgrading an old computer). Since laptop developers, when designing, necessarily take into account the performance indexes of processors and video cards, data about them is not included in the table. The performance index of processors is indicated in the list in brackets, the performance index of video card chips is indicated in the table in the “Test” column. It is recommended to later review the article on choosing a computer, where the optimal configurations for different price categories are selected, as well as articles on choosing video cards and processors, which identify specific models that have the highest combination of performance, price and expected reliability.

    Processor/Video Cards Compatibility Table

    (updated 06/08/2019) Current Processors: All processors since 2010: After selecting a processor, the table below will display only those graphics cards that the selected processor can open. It is recommended to buy models as high as possible in the list, since FPS in games directly depends on this. The most profitable graphics cards in terms of performance / price are highlighted by a link (based on Asus)

    Video card chip Test
    GeForce RTX 2080Ti 16928
    GeForce RTX 2080 15669
    GeForce RTX 2070 14283
    GeForce GTX 1080Ti 14264
    GeForce RTX 2060 13099
    GeForce GTX 1080 12449
    GeForce GTX 1070Ti 12348
    Radeon RX Vega 56 11950
    Radeon RX Vega 64 11841
    GeForce GTX 1660Ti 11581
    GeForce GTX 1070 11351
    GeForce GTX 1660 10869
    Radeon RX 590 9307
    GeForce GTX 1060 9095
    Radeon RX 580 8461
    GeForce GTX 1650 7398
    Radeon RX 570 6862
    GeForce GTX 1050Ti 6020
    GeForce GTX 1050 4704
    Radeon RX 560 4360
    Radeon RX 550 3444
    GeForce GT 1030 2232
    Radeon R7 240 977
    GeForce GT 730 920
    GeForce GT 710 688
    Radeon R5 230 247

    This question is often asked by users who want to build their own computer. I want the processor to maximize the capabilities of the video card, and the video card was not too weak for your processor. Only in this case you will get the smoothest picture in games and the highest frame rate.

    There is already a lot of information on the Internet on how to choose a video card for a processor, but nowhere is there a universal way that would help a novice user understand which video card he needs. In this article I will try to solve this problem and tell you exactly what parameters you need to pay attention to.

    What happens when there is not enough processor power?

    The processor in games is responsible for physics and geometry. Before a frame is sent to the graphics card for rendering, it must be processed by the processor. If the processor produces less frames per second than your video card can handle, then it will not be fully loaded. This can be tracked very easily using MSI Afterburner or other monitoring programs. It is enough just to start the game and see how much the graphics card is loaded and how this load changes over time.

    In this case, the number of frames per second will be limited by your processor and there is no point in buying a more expensive video card. You can test what your processor is capable of by setting all the settings that the processor is responsible for to a minimum. If the FPS went up, then the processor was the cause. The processor is responsible for the actions in the game, the user interface, geometry, audio, and other similar tasks.

    A good example of such a bottleneck is the combination of the GTX 1080 Ti and the fifth generation AMD A6 processor. Despite the fact that the video card can handle heavy games, the processor will not be able to give it enough frames per second.

    What happens when a weak video card?

    A similar situation will occur if everything is the other way around. If you have a very strong processor and a weak video card, then you will not be able to get the maximum FPS. As an example, we can take a pair of Intel Core i7-8700K and a GT 1030 video card. The processor can produce enough frames, but the video card will simply not have time to draw them all.

    You can make sure that you have a weak video card by simply setting all the game settings that relate to the video card to the minimum, if the FPS grows, then the reason was in the video card. The video card is responsible for everything related to graphics — this is resolution, texture quality, light, shadows and other similar components.

    How to choose the right video card for the processor

    Everything that we have considered above helps to determine how your video card fits the processor, but only if you already have it. And what to do if you are only going to purchase a video card is not yet clear. On the Internet, it is advised to select a video card by price. Multiply the price of the processor by 1.6 and then you will get the price of the video card you need.

    I think this method is not entirely correct, since prices are constantly changing, and I want to focus on more constant parameters. It’s also impossible to focus on the processor frequency and the number of cores, since the generation of AMD processors that was before Ryzen could produce up to 4 GHz, but at the same time, those processors of modern video cards will not be revealed. You need to focus on the test results of various video cards with different processors. Here are some ways that might help you.

    1. PassMark rating

    PassMark software allows you to test the performance of processors and video cards. What is important for us, on the official website of the program there is a rating of all tested components and each component has its own rating. We will be guided by the following rule: a video card score from the videocardbenchmark.net rating should not be much higher than a processor score from cpubenchmark.net. The numbers should be approximately the same, with a deviation of no more than 20%.

    For example, I have an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 and Ryzen 5 2600x graphics card. Let’s compare their performance indexes. For the GTX 780, the performance index is 7958:

    And for the Ryzen 5 2600x it is 14362.

    You can use the search to find the component you are interested in. As you can see, the performance index differs almost twice, which means that the video card for this processor is weak. For it, you can take, for example, GeForce GTX 1080 (12428), GTX 1070 (11332) or RX Vega 56 (11737). These video cards will reveal themselves well.

    2. Bottleneck Calculator

    The second way is even easier. We can use the Bottleneck Calculator service, in which you need to specify only the processor and video card that you want, and the program will calculate how compatible they are. First you need to select your processor. Specify the manufacturer, generation and model:

    Then select the video card, the algorithm is the same. For example, let’s select the same processor and GTX 780 graphics card:

    Next, press the 9 button0059 Calculate . As a result, the utility will calculate how much your processor is not compatible with this card.

    The lower the percentage, the higher the compatibility and the better the video card will open up. In our case, the percentage is 48%. This means that the video card is too weak for this processor. A little lower, the site suggests video cards that will fit better. Here are the same GTX 1080 and GTX 1070:

    For example, for the GTX 1080, the incompatibility value is 1%.

    This means that this card will work very well with this processor. Of course, you should not use only these services to make a decision, you should also analyze the results of benchmarks for the selected build on the Internet in exactly the games you want to play. But, I think, this will be enough to begin to understand what’s what.

    Processor and video card compatibility table

    And now let’s select some optimal video cards for the most popular processors at the moment according to Amazon. com. For all other processors, you can choose a video card yourself.

    Number Processor Passmark score Nvidia graphics card
    1 AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 16987 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

    2 AMD Ryzen 5 2600 13545 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

    3 Intel Core i9-9900K 20174 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080

    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

    4 Intel Core i7-9700K 17254 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

    5 Intel Core i5-8400 11636 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060

    6 Intel Core i7-8700K 15966 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

    7 AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 14362 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

    8 AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 7315 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770

    9 Intel Core i3-8100 8074 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770

    10 AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 9307 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770

    Conclusions

    In this article, we have analyzed in detail how to determine the correspondence of processors and video cards, as well as how to choose the right video card for your processor. As you can see, if you approach the matter thoroughly, you can find enough services that will help you cope with this task. How do you choose a video card? Write in the comments!

    Hello everyone! If you are building a computer or decide to upgrade your video card, then you need to know if the video card fits your motherboard or not.

    Graphics Card and Motherboard Compatibility

    There are a few things to know if a graphics card is compatible with a motherboard or not.

    1. AGP or PCI-E 16 slot

    Now all modern video cards come with a PCI-E 16 slot, but if you are upgrading an old video card, then look at which video card slot is installed in the motherboard.

    AGP

    PCI 16

    2. PCI-E 16 version 2.0 and 3.0

    In modern connectors for the video card, there are two versions of the PCI-E slot, this is 2.0 2.0 and 3.0. It’s kind of like usb 2. 0 and 3.0. Accordingly, if your motherboard supports 3.0, then in order to get maximum performance, you need to take it with 3.0 support. And if you take a video card with a 3.0 slot, and the motherboard has a 2.0 slot, then you will simply overpay the money, and the video card will work at 2.0 speed.

    You can see this on the motherboard or in the motherboard specifications on the manufacturer’s website. For example, here is the page with my motherboard.

    i.e.:

    • 2 PCI-e slots with 3.0 and 2.0 support (can work either way)
    • 1 PCI-e slot with 2.0 support
    • 2 PCI-e 2.0 slots (not video slot)
    • 2 PCI slots

    The most important thing is to have PCI Express 3.0, you can also see the inscription on the motherboard.

    3. SLI or CrossFire

    If you’re a gamer and like to get the most out of your graphics cards, then SLI or CrossFire support is a must. This support will give you the opportunity to combine 2 video cards and play the heaviest games not only on ultra settings, but also on multiple monitors!

    CrossFire in ATI video cards, and SLI in nVidia video cards

    4.

    Processor power

    the processor will not have time to process the information. In order to find out exactly the correspondence of the processor to the video card, go to this site or look in Yandex for the table of correspondence of video cards to processors. Now you can’t keep up with them, so it’s better to always look for tables in a newer way.

    Here are the main points when checking the compatibility of the video card and processor. Also, do not forget that having bought a powerful video card, you need to check whether the power supply can withstand the load of the new video card.

    How to find out what mode the video card is in

    If this article has revealed something new and you are wondering if my video card works in 3.0 mode, then there is a small test. We download the program.

    Installing or just launching. There is a Bus Interface section, in my example the program shows that the slot on the PCIe 16 video card is set to version 3. 0, but now it works in version 1.1. This is necessary for energy saving. But to find out in which version it can work, you need to click on the test. First, next to this window, click on the question and a new window will appear. If you have one video card, then just click start render test, if several are combined, then check the box below.

    Test appears.

    And in the initial window, you can see that let’s say my video card started working in version 3.0.

    Therefore, this means that my motherboard and graphics card are compatible. The video card supports version 3.0 and the motherboard allows it to work in this mode.

    Sources used:

    • https://www.dxdigitals.info/2017/04/podbor-videokarti-pod-processor.html
    • https://te4h.ru/kak-podobrat-videokartu-k-protsessoru
    • https://alexzsoft.ru/kak-uznat-sovmestimost-videokarty-i-materinskoj-platy.html

    How to check the compatibility of the video card and motherboard

    08/25/2020
    Computer

    1,604 Views

    When choosing new components for an existing computer, the question of compatibility arises. Before buying, you need to make sure that the new device will work on the existing configuration.

    Fortunately, in the case of video cards, this is quite easy to do. In this article, we will tell you how to check the compatibility of the video card and motherboard when upgrading your computer.

    Contents

    • Compatibility of connectors on video card and motherboard
    • Compatibility of video cards and motherboards with AGP
    • Compatibility of graphics cards and motherboards with PCI Express

    Video card and motherboard connector compatibility

    If you want to check the compatibility of your graphics card and motherboard, the main thing you need to do is find out which connectors are used on both of these devices.

    In more or less modern computers, there are only two connectors for connecting video cards, these are AGP and PCI Express:

    • AGP or Accelerated Graphics Port is a 32-bit computer bus specially designed for connecting video cards. AGP was introduced by Intel in 1996 and has been actively used in personal computers since 1998th to 2005th year. After 2005, the AGP bus is practically not found in computers, as it was completely replaced by the new interface.
    • PCI Express or Peripheral Component Interconnect Express is an improved version of the PCI bus that provides high data transfer rates and can be used to connect video cards, as well as any other computer components.
      PCI Express was introduced in 2002 and since 2005 has been the main way to connect graphics cards to a computer.

    Thus, if your computer was purchased after 2005, then it is almost guaranteed to be equipped with a PCI Express slot, which means that its motherboard is fully compatible with all modern video cards. If the computer was purchased earlier, then before buying a graphics accelerator, you need to check which connector is used on your PC, AGP or PCI Express. If the computer is working, then this can be done using the GPU-Z utility.

    Photo of motherboard with PCI Express and AGP slots.

    To do this, install and run the GPU-Z program on your computer. After launching GPU-Z, a window will appear in front of you with information about your current video card. The model name, manufacturer, graphics chip name, video memory type, and other technical specifications will be indicated here. Here you need to find the line «Bus Interface», which will indicate the connection method, AGP or PCI Express.

    If the PCI Express interface is specified in the GPU-Z program, then you are in luck. This means that your motherboard has a PCI Express slot and is compatible with all modern graphics cards. You can go to the PCI Express section for more details. If the AGP connector is specified in GPU-Z, then everything is much more complicated, since AGP has several different versions, which are not so easy to figure out.

    Compatibility of video cards and motherboards with AGP

    If your computer uses the AGP bus, then in order to make sure that the video card and motherboard are compatible, you need to find out which connector is used on your board. This information can be obtained from the technical specifications on the manufacturer’s website, or you can independently study the board for the presence of the necessary connectors.

    In the case of AGP, one of six connector options can be soldered on the motherboard:

    • AGP 3.3V
    • AGP 1.5V
    • AGP Universal
    • AGP Pro 3.3V
    • AGP Pro 1.5V
    • AGP Pro Universal

    AGP 3.3 V and AGP 1.5 V are incompatible connectors that differ in the voltage used. Due to the different arrangement of the keys, you will not physically be able to install a video card with AGP 1.5 V into an AGP 3.3 V slot. At the same time, AGP Universal allows you to install both AGP 3.3 V and AGP 1.5 V.

    AGP Pro 3.3 V and AGP Pro 1.5 V are backward compatible connectors equipped with additional power lines to connect the most powerful graphics cards. AGP Pro 3.3 V and AGP Pro 1.5 V are not dongle compatible, but AGP Pro Universal supports accelerators with both AGP Pro variants.

    For more information about the compatibility of AGP video cards and motherboards, we recommend that you read the article on the IXBT.com website.

    Compatible graphics cards and motherboards with PCI Express

    If your computer uses PCI Express, then everything is much simpler here. There are no problems with the compatibility of video cards and motherboards. Any graphics card can work with any motherboard.

    During the existence of this interface, 5 versions were released, which are designated as:

    • PCI Express
    • PCI Express 2.0
    • PCI Express 3.0
    • PCI Express 4.0
    • PCI Express 5.0

    But, all these versions of the PCI Express interface use the same connector and remain fully compatible. In other words, you can install a new PCI Express 3.0 graphics card into an old PCI Express 1.0 motherboard and it will work. Moreover, the reverse situation is also possible, you can install a device with PCI Express 1. 0 in a board with PCI Express 3.0 and it will also work.

    Naturally, if a video card or motherboard is designed to work with PCI Express 1.0, then it will not be able to work in PCI Express 2.0 mode or later. When connecting such devices, they will work on a slower version that is supported on both sides. This leads to the fact that when you connect new video cards to motherboards with an older version of the PCI Express interface, their performance decreases. Due to the lack of bandwidth, the video card cannot show everything that it is capable of.

    It should be noted that PCI Express slots may vary in size, but this does not actually affect the connection of video cards, since only the largest slot, designated as x16, is always used for them.

    It should also be noted that in some cases, a BIOS update may be required to run new video cards on older motherboards. Although such situations are rare.

    How to check the compatibility of the video card and motherboard