Any PC experts out there?

Illustration for article titled Any PC experts out there?

My main system, an overclocked i7 3770K, is running a nice GTX 1080. When I was looking at some apps (Speccy and GPU-Z) it said that the card was running at x4 even though it’s in a PCIe x16 slot. Even under load that figure doesn’t change. It seems to run OK, but I’m wondering if I’m missing some performance. There’s nothing in the BIOS to change the speed/width that the PCIe slots run at except for one for the x4 slot, but this card isn’t in that slot. I’ve removed all other PCI and PCIe cards, and that doesn’t have any effect on the speed/bus width of the graphics card. I suppose that this card really doesn’t have the throughput to need the full width of the bus, but I want to make sure I’m not missing any performance.

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Contrast this to the cheap Dell Optiplex 7020 I threw together from spare parts scrounged out of the basement. The basic little Pentium CPU arrived today, although they sent me a G3220 instead of the G3250 I paid for. The same utility(GPU-z) I used on the i7 shows that its POS Radeon HD 5450 is running at x8 in an x16 slot...

I have pulled the card out and it looks fine; no connection is blocked or damaged. I also blew out the x16 slot with compressed air. What should my next step(s) be? The only things I can think of at the moment are trying it in another system (that would be my Hackintosh, but I’d have to find the Windows drive for it - maybe I could boot from Hiren’s) or doing a full reset of the BIOS. Any other suggestions?

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UPDATE: I moved the card to the x8 slot and it ran at x8. I guess something is wrong with the x16 slot, and I’ll have to take a closer look at it to see if there are some bent pins or something. I don’t really want to leave the card in the x8 slot since that blocks the one standard PCI slot, and I was using that one for my M-Audio card.

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