Need advise to overcome 2 slot GPU covering my PCIe x8 slot

jang430

Active Member
Mar 16, 2017
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Hi. I'm using Supermicro X10XRM-TF motherboard. I also have a GPU connected to it, a 2 slot GTX1080 video card. Apart from it, I also have a SAS card that I will soon connect, cause I bought SAS drives that are cheap.

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I love this board, it almost have everything I need, several SATA as NAS, has PCIe x16, for my gaming, and 2 PCIe x8 for HBA controller, and possibly another more. It also has dual 10GBe NIC, BMC, also supports up to Xeon E5 v4. When others are playing games using the GPU, I oftentimes have to watch video via Emby. And if it requires transcoding, I will require a hardware to transcode it. My processor doesn't support Intel Quicksync. So my intention is to add another video card, passive for Emby to transcode via that GPU. But with my 2 slot GPU covering the other PCIe slot, and the final PCIe slot used for HBA controller for SAS, there seems to be no other way. I thought about ribbon risers, but I don't think there is enough clearance for my GPU to be plugged in on top of the ribbon cable, as the ribbon cable cannot be angled 90 degrees. Any suggestions? While writing this, I remember I do have a hard riser, something like below:

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not sure if I use a combination of this, and the flat ribbon riser together, if result will be positive. The above riser will prop up the GPU higher, and allow the ribbon riser to go under it.

I'm also open to other ideas. Are there other risers that I don't know about?

I'm always amazed at how people are so creative in pushing their hardware to the limit. Adding more drives to places where there was no provision. Doing lots of stuff with limited hardware. I'm inspired by them :D. Currently, I'm not feeling very insipred. Hope someone can help. Not yet ready to let go of this combination of hardware :D
 

msg7086

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May 2, 2017
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Are you thinking about connecting your other PCIe devices using a ribbon? Have you thought about the opposite, putting your graphics on the ribbon extender? If you have some spare slots on your chassis, you can move the graphics to the left most, using a ribbon cable passing over your other cards.
 

jang430

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Mar 16, 2017
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Open up the end of the bottom X8 slot and put your 1080 there. According to this article at Techpowerup there's no performance penalty to running that card at x8 on PCI-E 3.0
I've read somewhere that there's 3-5% penalty. But I do think that is acceptable. Though I don't want to open up the slot itself. I'd use a riser. But how? to which side?
 

jang430

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Mar 16, 2017
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Are you thinking about connecting your other PCIe devices using a ribbon? Have you thought about the opposite, putting your graphics on the ribbon extender? If you have some spare slots on your chassis, you can move the graphics to the left most, using a ribbon cable passing over your other cards.
To the leftmost, none, as the leftmost PCIe x8 slot, with card connected, is so near my HDD near the base of my NAS case, Fractal Node 804. But, to the right of PCIe x16 is an open slot, wherein I can screw to case. It has NVME below, but that lays flat. I'm wondering if the ribbon riser, 16 to 16 is flexible enough to allow me to plug to the PCIe x16 slot, and screw it to the right, on top of NVME.NAS node 804 Fractal (1).jpg
 
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Netwerkz101

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Dec 27, 2015
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Fractal Node 804
Well now .... there is an important piece of info.
The size of this case and what you already have in it may hamper your goal.
You will need a custom mount in addition to the flexible riser cable I presented as an example.
(Notice there were other options for left/right angles + lengths).

If you can't relocate the GPU .. what about one of the other PCIe add on cards?

Search for vertical GPU mounts ... CoolerMaster and LianLi have them and there are others out there.
You just need the space to mount.
 

jang430

Active Member
Mar 16, 2017
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Well now .... there is an important piece of info.
The size of this case and what you already have in it may hamper your goal.
You will need a custom mount in addition to the flexible riser cable I presented as an example.
(Notice there were other options for left/right angles + lengths).

If you can't relocate the GPU .. what about one of the other PCIe add on cards?

Search for vertical GPU mounts ... CoolerMaster and LianLi have them and there are others out there.
You just need the space to mount.

I do have something like you've shown. It's the riboon type. It seems more flexible than your pic. It's straight cable, no angle changes in the angle. As you can see, the box is pretty tight. I'm supposed to put an HBA to the slot nearest to the 2 HDD, not yet done. And currently, GPU occupies slot 1 and 2. The only logical solution is to move it 1 slot to the right, to put it on top of the NVME ssd. I don't think there's any riser with any angle that will do this. I'm hoping the ribbon type riser, although a bit long, maybe 8 inches, will allow me to slot it on the original slot, then let me somwhat fold it and be flexible enough to bend until I mount it on the desired position on the right. That's worth a try. Any kind of tape I should be using fo make sure they are electrically insulated and don't cause shorting?

This is the type of GPU I have. I think the folded cable will be on it's side, if you can imagine.

I think it won't affect airflow.

1597541058809.png

I don't know what's a vertical GPU mount. I'll check it out.
 

jang430

Active Member
Mar 16, 2017
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Watercooling? That could open a slot.. Mill down the existing heatsink? :)
Hi. Currently, the fan/ heatsink doesn't get in the way even when placed on the slot to the right. I love the components so much, that I don't even want to make an extra unnecessary hole in my Fractal Node 804 case, and Noctua fans :D. Let's hope it doesn't need to get to that.
 

Falloutboy

Member
Oct 23, 2011
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Phanteks Enthoo Pro for the win I have two X8DTH-IF's in two of those cases and an X9DR3-LN4F ( after drilling to extra mounting holes ) in another. I use a Xigmatek Elysium for my X10-DRX but you can't get those cases anymore unfortunately. The Phanteks ones cost me $242 NZD including delivery and that includes the fact that the only ones I could get had smoked glass sides.
 

Markess

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2018
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How are you with fabrication? I don't think there's a plug-and-play solution here. At least not with this case, GPU, and SAS drive combination.

I think you'll find that you don't have the clearance under the existing GPU to get a riser (hard or ribbon) underneath in the next slot over (the one covered by the GPU fan shroud). Soo.....

Adding the vertical extension riser (you mention in the OP) to the GPU in it's current slot may add enough clearance underneath to put an extension cable in the next slot over, but you'll need to fabricate something to allow you to secure the GPU's PCIE bracket to the case, since it will no longer seat down onto the case's mounting point for the bracket. Additionally, from a mechanical standpoint, you'd want to check that extending both the PCIe slot and the case's mounting point for the card's bracket doesn't allow the card to droop, which could cause issues down to road. If it does droop, you'd probably need to fabricate something to brace the end of the GPU.

You can probably move the GPU over so that the GPU's PCIe connector is over the NVMe drive, but for clearance, the GPU's bracket won't be able to slide all the way down into the case, so you'll need to fabricate an extension as in the scenario above. Plus, in this configuration, the card is hanging off the PCIe bracket alone. So more fabrication to brace the opposite end.

Adding a "vertical" GPU bracket, as mentioned by @Netwerkz101, may give you the clearance you need, but it also requires fabrication to install.

That said, how many transcodes do you need to do at once? If its just for your own viewing, have you tried having the CPU do the transcoding to see how it handles it? Even if its not Quick Sync enabled, a CPU will still transcode, just not as efficiently. A GPU and/or Quick Sync make it more efficient, especially if you need to do multiple streams at once, but they aren't required,

And the "nice" thing about a lot of modern games is they are GPU intensive. So, while someone else is gaming you may actually have enough CPU overhead available to your Xeon CPU to transcode a stream without issue.
 
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