• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

PCIe Lanes vs CPU Power for Gaming

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


New Member
Sep 20, 2020
So here's the thing (this is about gaming and basically nothing else). I currently have an i7-6700k. I have an rtx 3080 on the way. Yes yes, I need to upgrade. I realise that. The problem is I have a PCIe soundcard and usb card that take up 2 PCIe lanes, meaning that, on Intel's consumer architecture, I can only give ANY GPU 8x PCIe gen 3 lanes and no more. So the question is...do I upgrade to an intel consumer CPU (thinking 10700k) and still run the 3080 at 8x pcie3, or do I upgrade to an AMD Ryzen (thinking 3800xt), which comes with 24 pcie4 lanes, thus giving the 3080 a full 16 pcie4 lanes?

The Intel option is obviously faster for gaming, but I don't know how much 8x pcie3 lanes is going to matter vs the performance difference of the Intel option and the AMD option.


Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Dec 15, 2008
Why would those affect the x16 cpu lanes??

You can run a pcie sound card and USB card off the chipset and the gpu @ x16 from the cpu lanes).

Also, try onboard sound if you can. The Realtek alc1220 is solid for most users. USB.... how many ports do you need? Get a new mobo with more ports on the back. Typical mid-range Z490 has 8.

What sound card do you have? Usb card? I assume these are x1 size?
Last edited: