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Question Help: PCI-E Slot Blocked. Should I run GPU in 2nd PCI-E 8x slot (do I need to clear CMOS?), or just purchase Noctua NH-D15s?

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
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I am assembling my old spare parts into an HTPC gaming PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme with 3930k (socket LGA 2011), evga GTX 1080 TI, Corsair 4000D Airflow. I junked my old Corsair H80i AIO and replaced it with a Noctua NH-D15, but like a dummy I assumed it would work being LGA2011 compatible but didn't check the motherboard compatibility list. For my board, this cooler overhangs the first PCI-E slot. (The Rampage IV is a quad SLI board).

Sooo, I have a few options and I need some help:

1. Should I just run the GTX 1080 TI in the 2nd PCI-E slot and call it good? I checked articles and it appears for most things I would only see a 3% performance loss, and that's fine, this rig will mostly play older games like Mass Effect & Portal 2, or indie games like Hades, Ori, Firewatch, etc. on the HTPC setup. So I can handle a couple FPS loss... If this route is recommended, I tried to boot with the card in the 2nd PCI-e 3.0 8x slot, but my motherboard gets "Code 34" which means it is sitting in the BIOS and I have no display (I transplanted my old rig and boot HDD, same hardware and everything - just into a new case with a new cooler - so old settings are all retained). Do I need to clear the CMOS to get it to see the card in slot 2, or will that just do nothing? The mobo might still be expecting the GPU in slot 1, or, this model just might not even allow me to run off of slot 2 at 8x? I just do NOT want to clear the CMOS if it won't work and then end up putting the card back in PCI-e slot 1, because I had all BIOS settings dialed in how I wanted, hence why I hesitate to just hit the clear button.

2. Rather, should I just bite the bullet and drop another $100 on the NH-D15s (the high compatibility asymmetrical offset model) which *will* work with my mobo? I am out of return for the NH-D15 because I waited months to do this build (oops), and I already confidently tossed all the packaging like a boss. So I guess I could save this cooler for another build and swallow the extra $$ to "do it right". Besides the cash though, it also means remounting the new Noctua cooler and re-applying thermal paste... which is fine... just a minor PIA. But if it's worth it for the inconvenience and $$ I'll go this route.

Thanks for the help!
 
Feb 4, 2009
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Second lower speed slot is probably the easiest. There is something like a 2 or 3% performance loss which in my opinion will be irrelevant & unnoticeable.
Double check my numbers because I am not sure of current gen stuff but traditionally since the agp days the one speed slower slot is a tiny bit slower.
 

deustroop

Golden Member
Dec 12, 2010
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Buy the correct cooler and stay the course/ Nobody puts a modern GPU in the second slot. Think of the extra $$ as the cost of being you, lol.
 
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dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
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I'm open to buying another cooler, but it is my backup HTPC rig and a 4 year old GPU - I wouldn't consider it modern anymore, my main gaming will be on ryzen 5000 and rtx 3000... this old HTPC 3930k will likely be CPU bottlenecked a bit won't it? And it's gaming duty list is much lighter weight. But I'm open.
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
320
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I suppose one of the main things I'm hoping to know is if clearing the CMOS would get the card to display (I don't want to do it if not)
 

deustroop

Golden Member
Dec 12, 2010
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I'd note down your bios settings, clear cmos and last but not least, upgrade the bios ; perhaps this plan will start the GPU in the second slot;
Failing that, however you have no option to use the second slot and you'll be forced to do the correct thing.
Just as well, IMHO , as you won"t have to spend time developing a cover story for when friends are over, for whatever, and at some point some six year old looks at the new install and asks "what's that in the second slot ?"
 
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NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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In the UK, that GPU is going for >£650 on eBay. (As in, there are multiple sold cards at that price.) Just sell it to cryptominer, and spend the money on a PS5 when you can get hold of one.
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
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I can't get into the BIOS to write settings because I can't access the first PCI slot, screen is blank, and i don't have a spare cooler. I already have a PS5.

I understand without having the same board no one can confirm this for sure; is there any more general evidence to suggest that if I were to clear the CMOS that the board would display in the 2nd slot?
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
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I moved it to the 4th PCI-E Slot and for whatever reason that allowed it to boot up fine.
 

Furious_Styles

Senior member
Jan 17, 2019
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I moved it to the 4th PCI-E Slot and for whatever reason that allowed it to boot up fine.
It is likely that board will allow you to save your OC/settings. Typically have several slots to do so. I'd make sure to do that and then mess around with loading defaults to see if that fixes it.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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I moved it to the 4th PCI-E Slot and for whatever reason that allowed it to boot up fine.
- I thought the second PCI-e slot was bad but what manner of debauchery is this?

Better throw a blanket over that PC anytime you have company over to avoid uncomfortable questions...
 

MrTeal

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
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Alternately, your case supports a vertical GPU mount. Could you mount the GPU vertically and still have clearance with the NH-D15?
 

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