Graphics Card will not fit

  Bobby 20:44 12 May 08

I have just bought a new graphics card - a Sapphire Radeon 3870 Ultimate.
This card has a HUGE passive heat sink on the back, and there is NO WAY it is going to fit in PCI-E slot 1 on my MSI otherboard - it fouls the Northbridge heatsink and the RAM.
The Mobo has 2 PCI-E X 16 slots (for crossfire) so I E-mailed MSI tech support to see if the card would work O.K. in PCI-E slot 2 (where there is plenty of room) although the Mobo manual states that if only one card is used, it must be fitted in slot 1.
They have replied (eventually) to say that it will work, but at reduced speed.
The question is: how reduced is "reduced"?
Should I try it to see, or should I send it back to the firm who sold it to me, and ask for a different card to replace it, bearing in mind that I particularly wanted a completely silent card !!!!

  ICF 20:55 12 May 08

Can you send it back? Did you state you wanted it to fit on to that particular MSI motherboard at the time of purchase.You could use the distance selling laws to return it.

  Bobby 21:00 12 May 08

I'm sure I could send it back - it's just that I want this particular card, and if it will work in slot 2, then GREAT !!!

  ICF 20:05 14 May 08

The use it and see method.Unfortunately would mean you can then not send it back if your were not happy with your speeds.

  Bobby 10:52 15 May 08

Sorry, guys, I've been without the internet for a couple of days - well, I've tried the "use it & see" method and it certainly works (it doesn't half get hot, though !)but I don't really know if it's working at full speed. Without a professional benchmarking test programme how can I tell? I suppose as long as it doesn't jump or stutter I will have to assume that it's as good as it gets.

  Ditch999 12:51 15 May 08

It probably runs at x8 instead of x16. You could try running CPUZ click here which will tell you Graphic Interface under the Motherboard tab.

  Bobby 12:44 17 May 08

Thanks for that, Ditch - I've just run CPU-Z and it says: "Graphic Interface - Link Width X16 - Max Supported X16" so I just might be O.K.
The board is supposed to support two full 16 speed PCI-E 2 cards, so it ought to work OK in either slot despite what the manual says!!

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