PCI Express Card

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The graphics card in a friends computer has died.   It is a PCI Express x1
card.   Looking at the available cards there seem to be only a few of this
type and they are fairly expensive whereas for his needs something much
cheaper would be adequate.  Looking at other PCI Express cards, there are
indeed cheaper options available, but I do not know if we can use a
different PCI Express spec.    I have noticed PCI Express, PCI Express 2,
PCI Express 2x16 and others.   What type(s) can I use in this PCI Express x1

Re: PCI Express Card - More Info

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Thanks for the responses.   I have picked up several questions from them and
have gathered more info to help.

The reason that we think it is a PCI Express x1 is that the code PCI E x1 is
embossed below the slot on the motherboard.

I am unable to identify the make/model of card because it has nothing on it.
The reason it failed was that the fan spindle had sheared and totalled the
little round electronic board underneath it.

The card has a socket into which is plugged a connector that supports SCART
and S-Video.   However these are not used by the owner so the facility is
not required.

The PC is a "Medion Multimedia Home Entertainment Design Center" (yes, it
really is called that) but I do not know what motherboard is installed.   It
has a TV card in it for digital TV but this is never used.

I have got the machine going again by using an old (out of my bits box) PCI
card - ATI 3D Rage Pro - which is performing reasonably well other than a
slight herring bone effect and, if he is happy with it, I shall leave it
like that.  However, I wish to find a cheap replacement for the original if
it is needed.

I have found a few cards and these links go to them.   The first is a PCI
Express x1 and is more expensive at 70 than is really justified for what
the PC does so I am loth to suggest that one to him

This one is described simply as PCI Express and on the face of it will be
more than sufficient, at a much better price of 25, if it will work in the
slot http://tinyurl.com/ycypdly

This last one is PCI Express 2 and has virtually all the facilities of the
old one and is only 31

Obviously I don't want to suggest he orders one of the cheaper ones if it
won't work.

Re: PCI Express Card - More Info

Tinkerer wrote:
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"Medion" = Hopeless documentation situation...

Even when you have an exact model number, it might not help.

This one on Ebay, has an AGP 8X slot. "Titanium MD 8000" model number ?


There is a MD 8806 mentioned here.

http://www.test.de/themen/computer-telefon/schnelltest/-Aldi-PC/1346250/1346250/1346253 /

Another example here. It would appear the model number is partially
printed on the plate on the back.


At least some of the time, a system with PCI Express x1 slots, would also
have at least one video card slot, with x8 or x16 PCI Express wiring.

A chipset where that isn't an option, would be the VIA chipset I have
on my current motherboard. It has a grand total of 4 PCI Express x1 lanes.
They can be slapped together to make an x4 slot, or can be run separately.
So there is no "fat" slot for a video card in that case.

I looked at your three possible purchases, and the first one is the only
candidate for the x1 slot. Like I said, if you're handy with a Dremel
grinder, you could always remove the support from the end of the x1 slot,
so a x16 card can be jammed in. But that would void the warranty :-)

HP Quadro NVS 290 256MB PCI-Express DVI (passive cooling)  x1  <--- looks OK

POV GeForce 8400GS 459Mhz 256MB PCI-Express DVI            x16 (needs big slot)

Vertex3D/ATI Radeon HD 4350 1024MB PCI Express 2.0         x16 (needs big slot)

You can try CPUZ and see if you can get a motherboard make and model,
chipset details or the like from that. Or look inside the PC, at
the slots provided.

http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php (32 bit, no install)

Other ways to track down the motherboard maker, are things like the
BIOS string that appears on the computer screen at startup. (Press the
"Pause" key, so you have enough time to write it down. If the PC uses
a "full screen logo", you'll have to enter the BIOS and disable that
first, to be able to see the POST screen at startup.)

You can search for that BIOS ID string, and get a motherboard model.
Alternately, if you're really desperate, the FCC ID might lead to an
identification. There are some motherboards which have no markings on
the motherboard at all (for which was coined the term "PC Chips Lottery").
So some motherboards are very hard to identify. A company like
Medion probably contracts out the motherboards. There is
no profit to making them yourself. Plenty of OEMs or ODMs
to make the motherboard or the whole computer for you. Medion
just slaps on the nameplate.


Re: PCI Express Card - More Info - MoBo Detail

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Many thanks Pen and Paul.   Having the manual is a great help; I had tried
to get one but failed to find it.   Now, armed with your information we can
make some decisions about how to proceed.   I can only assume that there was
either dirt covering the 6 (in PCIE x16) or the paint has come away.
Thanks again.

Re: PCI Express Card

Tinkerer wrote:
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PCI Express comes in two speeds. PCI Express Rev 1 is 250MB/sec per lane.
PCi Express Rev 2 is 500MB/sec per lane. Rev 2 is compatible with Rev 1.
If a Rev 2 device is plugged into a Rev 1 slot, it is supposed to run
at Rev 1 speeds.

There are very few PCI Express x1 slots running at Rev 2 speeds. The
majority today are Rev 1.

You should take a careful look at your friend's computer, and see
what spare slots are available. PCI Express x1 is better than PCI,
250MB/sec versus 133MB/sec. Buying a PCI video card might be
an option, but not the best option.

The computer may also have an AGP slot, and there are still AGP
video cards. The newer cards use a bridge chip, Rialto for ATI
cards, HSI for Nvidia cards. The bridge chip converts a PCI
Express GPU, to work with an AGP slot. The best support might
be for AGP 4x or 8x slots, as the bridge chip may only run at
1.5V. If you have a really old motherboard (like my 440BX motherboard),
it has a 3.3V AGP slot, and the newer AGP bridged cards probably
wouldn't fit into the slot (the 3.3V key would prevent it).

Info on fitting AGP cards is here.



1) PCI Express x16 slot - 4GB/sec or 8GB/sec bandwidth. Would work with
    modern PCI Express video cards of either revision. Only a couple
    cards had issues, when Rev 2 first came out. They should all work now.

2) PCI Express x1 - harder to find replacement cards. 250MB/sec

3) PCI slot - the most common slot type, in terms of it being
    available in most computers. Some cards are available.
    Severely restricted bandwidth, 133MB/sec.

4) AGP slot. 8x = 2133MB/sec 4x=1066MB/sec. 1.5V VIO on those.
    (Bridged) AGP video cards may run at 1.5V. Fewer options
    for a 3.3V keyed AGP slot, with much older GPUs supporting
    that. See Playtool.com for details.

Newegg shows two video cards with PCI Express x1. This one is
low profile, and even includes low profile faceplates for fitting
in a "Dell slim". Fan is noisy. Card is expensive at $105.
Card may accept an after-market heatsink and fan, if a better
cooler is desired.


Post the make and model of computer, if you need more assistance.
Also indicate what slots are occupied or are empty.


A PCI Express x16 card could fit into an x1 slot... if the end
of the slot was cut off :-) Surgery would be risky, and involve
a Dremel.

The orange slot here, is an "open ended" x4 slot. It will accept
an x16 card. This is a picture of a motherboard, where the slot
installed on the computer, is open on the end on purpose.


The x4 slot (top one) here has the more normal "closed end" and only
a x1 or x4 card will fit. Dremeling out the bir on the end, could
make it "open ended" - assuming the connector doesn't spring apart
too much.


In theory, a PCI Express x16 card can operate at x16, x8, x4, x2, x1.
But experience varies as to how a card will respond if plugged into
some of the lower end options. For example, my motherboard has
x4 wiring of a x16 slot, and not all video cards will work in
it. So while grinding the center section out of the end of the
PCI Express x1 connector would make more card options available
to you, I can't promise all the cards will work without issue.

The "x16, x8, x4, x2, x1" thing was tested here.



Re: PCI Express Card

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As for the course Paul gives a very comprehensive explanation to the
question. Additionally, if you locate a PCI  V 2. card that would fall back
to V. 1 also look at the specs required for the card to operate in the
computer. Quite often a minimum wattage for the power supply is indicated.
In my own experience, if the card is still on the lower end one can get away
with a 300 watt ps.

Jan Alter

Re: PCI Express Card

On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 16:10:18 -0000, "Tinkerer"

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Are you shure?  Those are kind of rare, perhaps it is a PCIe
1.0 card rather than x1?

What motherboard does  your friend have and what slots are
available for the card, if it is a PCIe x1 card and other
slots might be useful instead?  Generally if some other slot
is available there is little reason to get a PCIe x1 card,
certainly not for performance since no "performance"
oriented card comes in PCIe x1 format.

Best to make a list of the requirements for the card, like
the monitor output port type, # of outputs needed, whether
it needs any particular level of gaming ability, the budget,
whether case can use and a passive (fanless) card would be
desired, one with a fan, one that is easier to clean dust
out of or instead one that exhausts out the rear of the case
to make cooling a bit easier (but often double-height
blocking the next adjacent motherboard slot).

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Are you sure it is a PCIe 1x slot?  If it is 4x, 8x or 16x,
no need to get another 1x card if that is what it is.  What
make and model of card is it that died?

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