Problem fitting a gfx card

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I've just bought a used 9800GTX+ card for my son through a forum,
but it's so long and, being of double-width, so thick that it
wouldn't fit in either of my two computers.

The first problem is that it protrudes into the space occupied by
the hard disk rack, but I can deal with that. The second, more
serious one, is that the card sits over the SATA and front USB
headers on my motherboards. I've looked at pictures of several
other motherboards and it seems that many (most?) of them
wouldn't accept the card without blocking something vital.

This problem must have been faced by many others wanting to use
similarly-built cards, but I've never come across any mention of
the problem. Is there a solution other than looking for a
suitable new motherboard? Thanks in advance for any help.

Re: Problem fitting a gfx card

On Monday, August 16th, 2010 at 18:34:19h +0530, Pawihte explained:

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You say that you bought it for your son but then state that it will not
fit in either of your computers.

Will it fit in any of your son's computers?

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For what sort of a solution exactly are you looking?

Perhaps selling the card on a forum and buying a card suited to
the dimensions of your computer cases would be a solution.

Perhaps another option which may not have occurred to you is that
instead of putting the card in the PCI express slot, one perhaps
could use a cable from the PCI exrepss slot to the card mounted
in a well ventilated box, as well as an extender for the required
power cable of course.


Re: Problem fitting a gfx card

pawihte wrote:
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Before committing to big changes to your system, I'd want to verify
this used card, is fully functional.

A minimal change, would be to use a different computer case. For
example, I have a 10 year old computer case, that has the one appealing
feature, that there is no lower disk drive rack to get in the way. I could
put a 10.6" card in the computer case, and it would fit.

You may be able to adapt your hard drive setup enough, to
at least be able to boot up with the new card in place, install
a driver, run 3DMark or Furmark or some other test of that
nature, and see whether there are graphic artifacts on the screen
or not. That might give you some idea whether you'll be returning the
card or keeping it. (Note: Furmark is brutal, and recent drivers for
video cards, contain code that specifically checks for Furmark, and
prevents the card from running flat out. You can damage the voltage
regulator circuits on a video card, or overheat the GPU, if using
Furmark without an altered driver in place. By comparison, using some
version of 3DMark is a walk in the park.) I use this version of 3DMark,
because it is a small download. It's not a very good workout.

As an example of a tool I use, I have a SATA to IDE adapter, which
allows me to plug my SATA boot drive, into an IDE cable. This is on
the assumption you can rig up an IDE cable, but not a SATA. You need
clearance around the hard drive to fit one of these. And while the
adapter is easy to unplug from the SATA drive, it is hard to remove
from the IDE cable. So this is how you'd work around an "I don't have
a SATA connector" problem, temporarily.

You can use GPUZ to monitor the running temperature. Do a bit of
Googling, to see what the normal operating range is for the card.

On the motherboard I have here, the solution to the SATA connector
problem, is the motherboard uses side-mounted connectors. You can't
really work easily with them, so I leave SATA cables dangling from the
connectors as required. It is much easier to install a SATA cable in
a vertical SATA connector, but then, the video card can cover that

SATA cables come in right-angle and left-angle versions, but the profile
of such a connector, when plugged into a vertical SATA, is likely too
high to fit underneath the video card.

You can get power numbers here, for the video card. This will tell you
how many amps from the 12V rail, you need in terms of supply capacity.

I'm surprised there aren't more computer cases, designed with the long
cards in mind.


Re: Problem fitting a gfx card

Paul wrote:
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Thanks, Paul. It won't come as a surprise if it turns out I have
to upgrade the PSU.

Re the SATA cable, I don't have an angled connector with me right
now, but I've taken some measurements to estimate if one will
solve the problem. There's about 8.9mm of clearance between the
top of the SATA socket and the bottom of the card. I live in a
remote place and will have to hunt around for an angled SATA
cable tomorrow (it's nighttime here now). Do you think the
clearance will be enough?

Re: Problem fitting a gfx card

pawihte wrote:

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I have a right-angle cable here, that came in an Asus motherboard box.

Total height, when plugged in, is 0.58" above the motherboard.

The body of the right-angle, adds about 0.24" to the height of
the part on the motherboard. Which means in my case, the motherboard
part of it, must be 0.34" high. (I did a test fitting, on my
retired A7N8X-E Deluxe and the SATA connector it has onboard.)

The dual SATA, right angle stack on my current motherboard,
looks to be about the same kind of height. So perhaps using a right
angle will work. It's possible some of the older right-angle cable
ends, are taller than that. I don't have enough samples here, to go on.

So we need to compare your 8.9mm to my 0.24". Looks like at least
a tenth of an inch to spare.

The style of mine looks like this. The 0.24" is the height of
the "hat" portion.

Now, if I look at this one, this looks to be a bit taller than the other one.

I suspect the newer the cable is, the more likely it's going to fit...
Someone may have figured out by now, why people need right-angle
(or left-angle) connectors :-)


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