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I'm trying to update an old Dell from 2007 and the motherboard says my current slot where I have an NVidia 9800GT is PCIE 2.0 x16. Most of the new cards on the market are PCIE 2, but I wasn't really sure what that x16 means and whether the newer cards would fit. Do I have to look for a graphics card that's specific to PCI 2.0 x16?

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migrated from Aug 16 '11 at 20:30

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Please accept an answer. – Nicholas Head Aug 29 '11 at 17:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

X16 is the width of the slot and the corresponding amount of bandwidth available to and from devices connected to that slot.

In your case you should be able to install any PCI Express 2 card in that slot. X16 is the largest of the slot options and will handle all cards of smaller size as well (X1, X8).

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x16 refers to the slot size/bandwidth:

A smaller card can fit in a larger one (so PCI-E x8 card can fit in an x16 slot) but not the other way around.

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Is there a reason my answer was not accepted? – Nicholas Head Nov 14 '11 at 15:57

x16 means how many lanes or pathways connected with the slot, "x16" means 16 lanes in each direction, so there is a total of 32 pathways for transmission of data.

1.0 and 2.0 refers the versions of PCI Express slot, with 2.0 the bandwidth and speed is twice the speed of 1.0, so far the x16 PCI Express slot is the largest slot in PCI Express family.

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