PCIe Lanes vs CPU Power for Gaming

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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?
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