my problem comes out of the following: I'm owning a 'MSI P45 Neo 3' Mainboard. The 100% type I haven't checked yet, I'm about to do it as soon as possible. For sure is that it's already about four years old and as I plan to upgrade - if possible - only the graphic board.

So here's my problem: from http://us.msi.com/product/mb/#/?sk=Archive&kw=neo3 I got to know all Neo3 support PCI Express Generation2.0 or earlier. A new graphic board I'd choose requires PCIe 3.0. I looked up the internet for technical differences and found that there are problems existing with older mainbords. But nothing to be sure like: "there can be problems with that".

I'd like to get a HD 7770 running on my old mainboard. Anybody tried something equal or has experience/knowledge to help me with that? I saw in an entry a member of a technical forum that his configuration runs a sapphire HD 7870 on an P45 Neo 3 (see here: http://www.computerbase.de/forum/member.php?u=389051 )

Thank you for any help and good advices

3 Answers 3


They're usually fully backwards compatible, given your PSU is powerful enough. Just yesterday I installed a new PCI-E 3.0 card on my old PCI-E 2.0 board and had absolutely no issues. Sure, it won't run at it's maximum performance, but it works till I'll replace the mainboard.

However, some of the earlier specs (I think 1.0 and/or 1.1) might have issues running a PCI-E 3.0 so card. I might be wrong here, but I wouldn't recommend doing that. But using the card on a 2.0 board is perfectly fine.

  • If your board has PCIe 2.0 then everything is fine and pretty much any PCIe 3.0 card should work without issues (although a bit slower). The only exception would be very old boards with the very first revision(s) of PCIe, which might have issues. Anything purchased within the last 4, 5 years should have PCIe 2 or higher anyway. (In my case the combo has been a Asus Striker Extreme II and a Gigabyte Geforce GTX 680)
    – Mario
    Sep 17, 2014 at 21:23

It works just fine, i have a ATI 7970 on a X58 chipset, and it works fine at PCI-e 2.0. One note tho: sometimes the power management will put the PCI-e bus into 1.1 mode for energy saving, so don't let it freak you out when you see your new and shiny 3.0 at 1.1 ;)


A PCI Express 2.0 motherboard will support a PCI Express 3.0 graphical card, but it will work on the 2.0 bandwidth.

A PCI Express 3.0 motherboard will support a PCI Express 2.0 graphical card, but it will also work on the 2.0 bandwidth.

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