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I have a MSI P965 Platinum motherboard and my graphics card (Radeon X1650) died yesterday.

I'm planning on buying an XFX HD5450 which seems to be the cheapest graphics card I can buy around here, since I don't need any graphics power, I just need something that lets me boot the pc.

I'm not really sure whether these two are compatible. The motherboard specification says that the PCI Express x16 slot is 'v1.0a compliant'. The video card specification only mentions 'PCI Express® 2.1 support' as a feature (?) but doesn't mention anything about the requirements.

These are the motherboard specs:

Slots

• One PCI Express x16 slot. (supports PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant)
• One PCI Express x4 slot. (The yellow one, support PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant)
• The two slots above support ATI® CrossFire technology.

• Two PCI Express x1 slots. (support PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant)
• Two 32-bit v2.3 master PCI bus slots. (supports 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface)

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Those should be compatible. As far as I know, the PCI-E specification is both backwards and forwards compatible; everything just operates at the fastest speed/level supported by both the host and the device; The card will simply operate at PCI-E v1.0 speeds, but I doubt you'll notice that at all given the usage scenario you described.

Further research shows that some 1.0 motherboards may not be able to provide the increased power that PCI-E 2.1 cards expect; the PCI-E Wikipedia suggests that PCI-E v1.1 can work around this with a BIOS update:

PCI Express 2.1 supports a large proportion of the management, support, and troubleshooting systems planned for full implementation in PCI Express 3.0. However, the speed is the same as PCI Express 2.0. Unfortunately, the increase in power from the slot breaks backwards-compatibility between PCI Express 2.1 cards and some older motherboards with 1.0/1.0a, but most motherboards with PCI Express 1.1 connectors are provided with a BIOS update by their manufacturers through utilities to support backward compatibility of cards with PCIe 2.1.

(emphasis mine)

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I'm seeing several comments that PCI-E 2.1 seems to be incompatible in practice with most PCI-E 1.0/1.0a motherboards. Perhaps a safer option is to go with PCI-E 2.0 and grab a G210. –  aromero Aug 8 '12 at 12:23
    
@aromero See my edits to the answer. That does sound like a safer option. –  Darth Android Aug 10 '12 at 16:20

I have tried ASUS HD 5450 on a MSI 945P Neo3 (MSI Says PCIEx. Gen1 (1x16)) and it does not work.

  • I have changed the graphics card (same model): Does not work.
  • I have updated the BIOS to the latest version: Same result.

So, don't buy it!

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