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I see a motherboard like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131646

what's the difference in x16 and x4 for PCI express? The only thing I'm looking for is a spot to put a good video card... any thoughts?

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Obviously the higher the number, the faster the throughput to the board, but any PCI-E video card will work as long as it's 2x or better. –  user3463 Nov 21 '10 at 5:55
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3 Answers

First I'd like to add, good choice of motherboard, I have used this motherboard for many builds and had great luck.

The PCI Express x16 are for your video cards (the 2 longer slots), this motherboard is capable of Crossfire (2 ATI cards working togehter as one).

The other PCI Express slot is used for aditional devices such as wireless / Sata 6GB/s Expansion cards.

I would reccomend using an ATI card, depending on your budget ATI has a nice selection of cards. In most cases with video cards, the more expensive the card is, the better performance you will get. Sapphire & Asus are brands that I have had good luck with. This motherboard also uses DDR3 RAM, so take that into consideration when buying the rest of the machine.

Good Luck

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PCIe, aka PCI Express:

x16 slots are for high performance video boards. One or two of these are enough for most folks.

x4 slots are for IO devices (SATA controllers, additional network cards, etc)

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Since you only want to know where to put the video card, use the PCIx16 slot nearest the middle of the entire board - which is the blue one.

I could be wrong, but I don't even think it's possible to get a single PCI Express video card that only works at PCIx4 speed. You pretty much have to stick a PCIx16 card in a PCIx4 slot to get it to perform at a quarter of it's potential speed. (Sort of like racing a Ferrari on a dirt dog track.)

Even so, the standard says "PCI Express." So if the card is a "PCI Express" - and it fits - then you should be safe sticking it in either slot marked for "PCI Express." I'd just choose the x16 slot over the x4 slot is all.

... And don't worry. Your PCI Express video card will NOT fit in the PCIx1 slot (that's usually there for sound cards, TV tuners, and other less speed-intense add-on cards).

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