Does changing it's location change the GPU?

  1. AriKona's Avatar
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 19041.508
       #1

    Does changing it's location change the GPU?


    Before I ask the question, here is what I am dealing with:

    Windows 10 Pro
    CPU: AMD RYZEN 9 3950X
    COOLING: Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4
    MB: GigaByte AMD X570 AORUS MASTER
    GPU: GigaByte AORUS Radeon RX 5700 XT 8Gb PCIe 4.0

    I attempted to place the GPU into the PCIe 4.0 x 16 slot, but when I put the heat sink on the CPU, there was no clearance and they were touching all the way along the CPU. For fear that something might happen, I removed the GPU and placed it in the 8 x 4.0 slot and there was ample space. I also have a SoundBlaster AE-7 card that was in the tiny PCI express slot, but that is now covered by the GPU (that thing is fat) and so I moved it to the PCIe 4.0 x 16 slot.

    My question is: Will making this change do anything to the way in which the cards function? Do I need to do anything to make sure they all work at top performance? I just don't fully understand what the x16, x8 and x4 mean for the expansion slots. I know that the 16 and 8 are 4.0 so I figured it should not matter which one the GPU was in, but wanted to make sure. Thank you in advance for your help.

    Don
      My Computer

  2. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,920
    Win 10 X64 Pro 21H1 19043.1052
       #2

    You've put the graphics card in a slot that is physically PCI-E-X16, but which is wired as X8. That means that it only supports 8 PCI-E lanes rather than 16. In principle, that halves the available bandwidth. However, I'd be surprised if the 5700 XT could use more bandwidth than is provided by an X8 PCI-E 4.0 slot. You ought to be fine.

    In the past, I used large air coolers like your Noctua. I have switched to all-in-one water coolers, mainly to get more space around the CPU socket. (Haven't had a leak or a pump failure yet. Touch wood.) I'm using a Corsair H115i Pro with a Ryzen 9 3900X. The cooler has a 280 mm radiator.

    If your case is a Be Quiet Dark Base 900, you could easily fit a larger radiator than that.
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  3. AriKona's Avatar
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 19041.508
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thank you for the information Bobkn. Actually, I switched from an Aorus AIO 280 to the Noctua. While I am aware that most do not have problems with liquid cooling, if recent times have taught me anything it is "What can go wrong will go wrong and at the worst possible moment." Or as my grandfather would have said, "Just one more thing to have a problem with later on."

    I am not overclocking this computer at all, nor do I intend to. I just needed more speed for a couple of programs (which do not support OCing) I have. Now that I have a better handle on what the difference is between 16 and 8 in reference to PCIe slots, I am fairly certain it will be fine. My other concern of having to put the Audio Card in the 16 is unwarranted.

    I originally thought of putting a piece of cloth or paper between the heat sink and the GPU and, while it might have worked, simply would have looked like crap and who knows how long it would have lasted.

    Thanks for the information and suggestion. While I don't see myself going back to the liquid cooling, one never knows.

    Don

    Something to note: With the Dark Base 900 (not Pro) case, mounting the radiator might require lengthening the tubing as the walls of the case are so far away from the CPU, but since I didn't go that route, I am not certain. It will work out in the end.
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  4. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,920
    Win 10 X64 Pro 21H1 19043.1052
       #4

    If you wish to trade the risk of a leak with an AIO cooler for the awkwardness of a really large air cooler, that's a fair choice.

    I'm a little surprised there's a problem. I used an NH-D14 on an Asus X99 board without issues, but never on an AMD AM4 board. I'm not familiar with the NH-D15. There's no orientation of the cooler that would avoid interference with the PCI-E slot? (That assumes that the AM4 adapter allows the cooler to be rotated 90, which may not be the case.)
      My Computers

  5. AriKona's Avatar
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 19041.508
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Considering that I am not planning to OC the CPU, I could get by with far less cooling (based on the reviews I have seen) and could, if there would be an advantage, get a smaller unit such as the Be Quiet! Dark Rock or another brand. The key is that the orientation is such that the fins need to be shorter end to end so that the GPU has the room. Even the cables were almost being crushed just to get the cooler on it. You can see here that if I reverse the GPU and the audio card, it would fill the current very tiny gap between the heat sink and audio card.
    Does changing it's location change the GPU?-02-sound-card-works-but-zero-clearance.jpg

    Anyway, unless I can come up with another way of doing it, I will live with having the GPU in the 8 slot. And, maybe in the future I will get enough courage to go with liquid cooling. You just never know.
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  6. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,920
    Win 10 X64 Pro 21H1 19043.1052
       #6

    Would you like an old NH-D14? Its width is 10 mm less than the NH-D15.

    It'd require an NM-AM4 adapter, though. Robot Check

    I'm not joking. PM me if you're interested.
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  7. AriKona's Avatar
    Posts : 17
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 19041.508
    Thread Starter
       #7

    bobkn said:
    Would you like an old NH-D14? Its width is 10 mm less than the NH-D15.

    It'd require an NM-AM4 adapter, though. Robot Check

    I'm not joking. PM me if you're interested.
    When you say "width", does that mean from side to side of heat sink?

    As you can see from the picture, the orientation of the fans is such that if I reoriented it 90 degrees, it would fit perfectly, but I can't do that or the fan would be exhausting into the top of the case.

    Confirmation: the fins are exactly 150mm across.

    At 90 degrees to the graphics card I also have memory sticking up which might cause some problems.

    I think that liquid cooling may be the only way to go with this unfortunately. I have found also that I need to move the graphics card back into the 16x PCIe slot (sometimes it helps when I read the system requirements on the box, like "one 16 channel PCIe expansion slot". Ah, the days of simplicity are over. LOL

    - - - Updated - - -

    OK, I took the GPU out of the 8 channel and put it back in the 16. Removed the heat sink and fans (and coated my hands with grizzly kryonaut - which came off after scrubbing). As you will see it is 150mm in width and that just will not work with the GPU in the 16 slot.
    Does changing it's location change the GPU?-01.jpgDoes changing it's location change the GPU?-02.jpgDoes changing it's location change the GPU?-03.jpg

    So, if the NH-D14 will adequately cool the Ryzen 9 3950X, I will consider it, otherwise it is back to the drawing board and will find either an alternative air cooler or...God forbid...make the jump to liquid cooling.

    If I go with liquid, I am tempted to try it with polyethylene glycol flowing through it. We used PG in our radiators for motorcycle racing because, unlike ethylene glycol (automobile coolant), it doesn't get slippery when someone high-sides in the corner. So, when it leaks in the case, it shouldn't make too much of a mess.....jk

    We'll see what happens. This has been rather a learning experience for someone who is in a love/hate relationship with technology anyway. My cell phone is an electronic leash, but it is a lifeline to the Internet. My computer has done some amazing things in the last 10 years, but I have spent way too much time watching videos on YouTube. What can I say?

    Thanks to all who have contributed and I will give you a break while I order and then install the next in cooling which won't be long as I have a Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4 coming to my front door by 10pm tonight (thank you Amazon) so that I can find out asap what is next to happen....like the monitor is blank...hang in there. I'll be back.

    My apologies on not taking you up on your offer (which really was quite nice), but between travel time and the fact that fans do eventually get noisy or break down, I just wanted to get this over with. But, I do thank you for the offer Bob.
    Last edited by AriKona; 23 Aug 2020 at 18:14.
      My Computer

  8. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,920
    Win 10 X64 Pro 21H1 19043.1052
       #8

    The NH-D14 width of 140 mm is in the same dimension as the 150 mm width of the NH-D15.

    The Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4 is supposed to be 136 mm wide, so if you're already receiving one of those, it ought to be an excellent choice.

    I see that you can mount a second fan on it, in the (unlikely?) event that it doesn't meet your expectations with one. Or, you could replace the extremely quiet fan with a noisier one that gives more airflow.
      My Computers


 

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