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eVGA Z97 Classified and slot selection

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Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Sep 20, 2001
Bakersfield, CA
For my Win7 gaming rig, my eVGZ Z97 Classified currently has a 1080Ti in the top PCIEx16 slot and an Audigy RX sound card in the 1x slot. The manual states to use PE1 and 4 for 2-card SLI, which with any 2-slot GPU will block the PCIEx1 slot which is connected to the chipset. All of the full length PCIE slots connect via the PLX chip before going to the CPU. I do want to toy with SLI on the setup either with my GTX 960s or Titan Blacks, or maybe even another 1080Ti Kingpin if I'm feeling insane enough. I'm not sure it matters all that much, but I'm trying to figure out where to put the sound card with an SLI setup. Looks like the best bet will be PE6 to split the lanes with the bottom GPU, with PE3 as an alternative. I was digging around and it looks like those people that had a PCIE SSD used the bottom slot when they ran SLI.

copy pastad from the install manual:
PCI-E Slot Breakdown PCI-E Lane Distribution
PE1 – x16 (x8 if PE2 is used)
PE2 – x16 (x8 if PE3 is used)
PE3 – x8
PE4 – x16 (x8 if PE6 is used)
PE5 – x1
PE6 – x8
it looks like the best setup is GPUs in 1 and 4, and slot 3 for the soundcard. for full x16 for both GPUs... but to be honest it's still a little unclear. honestly, though, the difference in bandwidth for cards using x8 vs x16 is practically nil in gaming. and if i remember correctly, it barely gave maybe a hundred points in benchmarks like the then current 3dMark.. whichever one was current back then. Vantage? 11?

i doubt it'll help knowing my setup for Nevermore, because it wasn't the same motherboard, but i used slots 1 + 4 for SLI, and slot 3 for my Sound Card, and got x16 for both GPUs
Do you really have a need for SLI? A lot of people used to use SLI to increase performance for games but only older games even support that now.
Do you really have a need for SLI? A lot of people used to use SLI to increase performance for games but only older games even support that now.
I'll assume this isn't a troll post and that you didn't realize the age of the PC and tech.

It's at least a 10 year old PC using 10* year old parts except for the GPU. Even using a 10* year old operating system. It's perfect for an SLI setup for 10 year old games. OP obviously doesn't care about DX12 on this machine, using Win7... so probably won't be playing very many recent titles on it. It also wouldn't surprise me if Voodoo has a current gen gaming rig for current titles, OR that he's just not interested in them. (i think I may have 5 or 6 games that use ray-tracing, which is only 5-6 years old. There's plenty of good games for his system.)

Since the GPU is pre-RTX, it also probably uses different drivers that still support SLI in general. (DX12 supports multi GPU setups naturally from what I've read... no need for matching cards nor bridges... but that's irrelevant for a Win7 machine that doesn't even support DX12) and if the GPU uses pre RTX drivers, they won't support current games anyway. (EDIT: i checked, and the card on Win7 uses 474.30 drivers... current drivers for the new cards on Win11 is 530+, so newer games aren't even supported anyway)

If I remember correctly, for games supported by the drivers , SLI could be forced on at least some of the non SLI games at the driver level.

tl;dr it's like telling him that he can't play PS5 games on his PS3... i'm pretty sure he knows.
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Do you really have a need for SLI? A lot of people used to use SLI to increase performance for games but only older games even support that now.

Yep, I need it to satisfy my tinkering itch! :D Benchmarking DX11 3DMark stuff and the two games I'm running on this PC: Dirt 2 and Crysis 1.

And yes, my mom does have a more modern chipset since I got her an Asus PL63 11th gen mini-PC for Christmas. Effectively the same speed as this 4790K machine, but on 20% of the power.

For the 16x/16x, the cards "see" that because of the PLX chip. But it's really 8x/8x at the end of the day. I think slots 3 or 6 will do the same thing effectively, with one GPU getting cut down to 8x before going to the PLX. I'll report back when I mess with it and try both ways.