Moving Video Card

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by Sparky, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Sparky

    Sparky Guest

    Mboard - GA-P55m-UD2

    My board has 2 PIC 16 slots and 2 PCI

    My 4670 is currently in the top slot and blocks the first PCI slot.

    I installed my TV Tuner card in the second PCI slot but there isn't a lot of
    room between it and the video card above ( the fan from the video card blows
    down onto the tuner card).

    I'd like to move the video card to the lower slot , so that the tuner card
    would be above it.

    Is there any reason I can't move it , and if I DO , do I have to make any
    adjustments to settings ( BIOS etc ).

    Many Thanks
    Sparky, Dec 12, 2009
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  2. Generally, you can move cards around, but there are some exceptions,
    based on the interrupt system for PCI slots. The best advice is to try
    it, and if it doesn't work (which is VERY unlikely) put things back the
    way they were. The stuff that could be an issue is stuff that you have
    little control over and probably can't do anything about.
    Barry Watzman, Dec 12, 2009
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  3. Sparky

    Sparky Guest

    Many thanks for the speedy reply...much appreciated.

    When you say ' it doesn't work ' , what's likely to happen ? Just no

    I like to know what to expect BEFORE I try these things...

    There IS space between them , just not a lot. I'm not a gamer so I don't
    'max out ' the video card ( internal temps are between 25 - 30 C )
    and there's plenty of ventilation ( Coolmaster Scout with 3 fans )'s
    just that it LOOKS to be a little close , that's all...
    Sparky, Dec 12, 2009
  4. Generally, different slots of the same type are interchangeable, but the
    interrupt system for PCI slots isn't quite the same as it used to be for
    ISA slots; some slots have hardware dedicated interrupts, other slots
    have hardware shared with other slots (but different other slots). And
    the priorities of the slots are not the same. But these differences are
    really esoteric and they rarely matter in typical systems. Most video
    cards don't use interrupts anyway (there are some that do, however).
    Really, almost anything could happen, but it's very unlikely that
    anything actually will. There is only one way to find out.

    [BTW, a motherboard's user manual will sometimes have this information
    in it, but they never tell you how to use it (because, really, they can't)].
    Barry Watzman, Dec 12, 2009
  5. Sparky

    Paul Guest

    I checked your manual, and the lower PCI Express slot has PCI Express x4
    wiring on an x16 connector. That isn't particularly an issue, except
    if you were expecting just as much transfer rate performance to the
    video card. For gaming, using the x4 slot may chop 10-15% performance
    off 3D gaming. For any other application, this likely doesn't matter.

    If your video card is dual slot width, check for space below the bottom slot
    for the cooler (or for airflow).

    Whether the BIOS will be happy, and start properly, is a BIOS design
    issue. It will most likely work (considering this is 2009), but if
    it doesn't, you'll know soon enough.

    The following diagram, is just to show you how the two video card slots
    are wired up. The X16 is the one nearest the processor. The X4 is the
    one further away from the processor. To give some perspective,
    the X4 would be similar to AGP 4X. This is because, no matter what PCI
    Express standard is used, the stated DMI bus limit of 1GB/sec
    defines the max performance. The DMI is the bottleneck. The DMI
    supplies the lower x4 wired slot, but also provides bandwidth for
    disk drives, PCI bus and the like. It is still a lot of bandwidth,
    so there is no reason to panic. I'm only pointing this out, so you
    understand the architecture of your computer a bit better.

    PCI_Express_X16 ---- Core_i5_CPU --- Dual_channel_memory
    | DMI_bus x4 (1GB/sec)
    PCI_Express_X4 ---- Southbridge (P55)

    The BIOS has "Init Display First" PCI, PEG, PEG2, but that only
    affects which video card is used as the primary at POST. It helps
    resolve a situation where more than one video card is present.
    Since you have only one video card, that setting doesn't need
    to be changed. If the BIOS is capable of handling a video card
    anywhere, it is going to find that single card anyway. I don't see
    anything else in the BIOS screens in the manual, that look important
    with respect to this task. (17.7MB)


    In terms of other issues, as far as I know, Windows won't do the right thing
    when you move the card. My procedure would be as follows.

    1) Make sure you have a copy of the ATI video card driver. For that matter,
    you should assemble and maintain a folder with all the drivers needed for
    a reinstall of the OS. The ATI driver would be just one of those. The
    full package (driver + CCC) should do the job nicely. CCC has all the
    stuff needed for video card adjustments.

    2) In Add/Remove control panel, remove the ATI driver (may be one or two
    entries, depending on the person who installed it). Reboot if you like.
    Video resolution at this point could be 640x480. Don't panic.
    3) Shut down the computer, switch off the power supply at the back (no +5VSB).
    4) Move the video card to the new slot.
    5) Boot the computer (shouldn't need any BIOS change).
    6) Windows desktop may be 640x480, or in some cases, Windows
    may already have installed a driver. (For example, WinXP SP3
    had a driver for my 9800 card, when I installed from the WinXP CD.)
    7) Install the ATI video driver, the one from step (1), It
    might be the same revision as the one removed in (2) for
    example. The driver installer may ask for another reboot.
    If necessary, on the next boot, re-adjust the video card
    resolution setting.

    It is always possible the procedure could be simpler than that,
    but that procedure is intended to work all the way back to
    Win98. I understand Win7 is a bit better about having drivers.

    Paul, Dec 13, 2009
  6. Sparky

    Sparky Guest

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I assumed the 2 slots were the same ? My
    card is a Radeon 4670 ( 1 slot ).

    I put the tuner card back in and all seems OK. I generally don't use it for
    extended periods so we'll see how it goes...?

    Obviously they'd expect SOMETHING in the PCI slot at some point..I'm not
    looking at adding anything else anyway..

    Much appreciated !
    Sparky, Dec 13, 2009
  7. Sparky

    Paul Guest

    My points are

    1) PCI Express slots are different from PCI, in terms of bandwidth and
    interface type. They share some characteristics when the buses
    are being checked for the presence of hardware. PCI Express has
    interrupts like PCI, but the interrupts are transported a different
    way to the Northbridge.

    2) Your two PCI Express slots are *not* the same. That is what I was
    explaining. Fortunately, for you, the difference likely is not
    important. The bottom slot has lower maximum bandwidth rating.
    And it should still be working. The BIOS has the final say, on
    what works or doesn't work. A BIOS bug can bite any system.

    My installation procedure is a conservative one, intended to give the
    best results. It is possible some steps can be skipped, and maybe
    someone else has a different opinion. I tend to find I have
    to reinstall drivers, when I move cards around on my systems.

    And by all means, make your changes! I'm not saying there is a drop-dead
    issue here. The issues will mainly be hygiene ones, and you shouldn't
    be prevented from moving the cards around. Nothing stops me from
    moving cards around here. I just do it... I can't remember the last
    time I had something "blow up" by doing that. Maybe a sound card
    in an ISA slot ten years ago :)

    If you're meeting with "resistance" from your system, simply
    put the cards back where they were. And report your symptoms...

    Paul, Dec 13, 2009
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