I agree that gen 3 is overkill, but most users don't want to face a blue screen and have go into the bios and set gen 2. It's a bad first impression.
Im thinking of offering the choice of an expensive gen3 or a mildly priced gen2, and let the buyer decide.
But some of those cheap blue stripe risers are only rated for gen 1, and I've seen some poor soldering under the tape, and no strain relief. So there would still a need to define a quality gen2 riser source.
I received a Samtec pcie riser cable as a sample to try in my Mi-6 computer. Cable assy is sturdy and twin axial, but not that flexible. I did an install test and run test. Seemed to work fine, performance wise.
Tested a new PCIE riser cable, the Samtec 300mm x16 model.
Looks like it has twin axial construction like the 3M with shield over every pair, but about 2mm thick for both cables, and not very flexible. It has clear epoxy over the soldered ends and seems pretty solid as a strain relief:
A bit of a challenge to fit it in the case. The top looks good, plenty of cable length:
But the lower end pcb is a tight fit:
It worked fine and ran at gen 3.0, and no glitches or hangs when I moved the cable around.
Second test: the Noctua NH-L9x65 cpu cooler!
Here is the back of the MB. Getting ready to swap out the Big Shuriken 2 for the x65:
Here is the Noctua 115x backplate installed:
Here it is installed. It has that wee little 92mm fan so lots of room around it:
It fit in the the case with about 2mm to spare to the outer wall, so that was about as expected.
I repeated the prime 95 and furmark test I had run on the other coolers. A bit warmer than the Shiriken. Results below with the Noctua in blue and the baseline Shiriken in green:
EDIT -- Forgot to mention, CPU is unchanged (still i7-6700K), GPU is unchanged (still Gigabyte GTX 1070itx).
It's thinner than the generic ones, because the traces all go towards one side of the PCB, meaning the ribbon itself consists of 1 ribbon cable instead 2 like the generic ones.
Ideally I need something A LOT shorter than the ones in this list. [...] Any recommendations?
Why can't they just
Good to hear it was helpful! Well, you're still saving a lot of money when going with stiff risers, so there are good arguments to go for those rather than flexible ones.
That means you can plug a Gen3 card into a Gen4 slot. But not necessarily a Gen4 card into a Gen3 slot.
Following your success, I changed the speed to Gen2 as well in the BIOS for my Hutzy XS prototype. It is now running flawlessly on the same generic riser that kept failing before.
I'm coming to a hypothesis here, which will suggest that the generic risers are still useful:
1) A lot of people have tried and failed to use generic risers. I think it's safe to say that the issue was their system was trying to run the connection in PCIE 3.0 x16, and the riser cannot provide that speed.
2) I don't know exactly the reason for why it can't do PCIE 3.0 (cable impedance?), but I am quite certain it is not EMI, as in all scenarios where I have failed in using the riser, adding some sort of Faraday cage to the ribbon has not changed the result.
3) When running in Gen2, I have still not had my risers fail on me.
a) In my older test system, I was using a Haswell chip that can do Gen3 (i5-4440S), but my mobo -- Gigabyte H81N -- was only providing PCIE 2.0 (all H81 boards only did PCIE 2.0)
b) When I switched to my Skylake system (i5-6400 + MSI H110I PRO AC), it started failing continuously, until today when I set it to run Gen2 in BIOS
c) All the while, my i5-4440S and Gigabyte H81N have been running in my current workstation build -- Hutzy HS (Hassium) -- with my GTX 980 Ti, and I have not had a problem. This is the system that I do all my gaming / design / rendering / browsing on.
So my hypothesis is this: for any build where it is instructed specifically to run at PCIE 2.0 x16, the generic riser (up to 300mm that I tried) will perform correctly and successfully.
Any failure of performance from using these risers should result in a first-step diagnosis of checking whether the system is running at PCIE 2.0, or is it automatically trying to achieve PCIE 3.0, latter of which will make the riser fail.
Now a follow-up for discussion:
PCIE 2.0 x16 has the same bandwidth as PCIE 3.0 x8. So we have to ask ourselves: Is that enough? Or do we have something to gain from being able to achieve PCIE 3.0 x16?
The current trend on the other side of the playing field is using external GPU enclosures that connect with Thunderbolt 3.
Alienware Amp, Razer Core.. the TB3 connection they use carry a PCIE 3.0 x4 (PCIE 2.0 x8) connection on them, which in itself is another topic of discussion.
But that's half the bandwidth the generic riser provides, and as far as I know, a GTX 1070 can't even saturate the PCIE 3.0 x4 (PCIE 2.0 x8) connection on there. GTX1080 gets close I believe.
It might take a while for a consumer card to saturate PCIE 2.0 x16.
So to sum it up: as far as the state of current technologies is concerned, PCIE 2.0 x16 is way more than enough, especially in the context of SFF builds.
Achieving PCIE 3.0 x16 feels great of course, but it is essentially gaining you zero real life performance.
So if it really is true that the generic riser can handle PCIE 2.0 x16 without fault, to me personally it is quite tempting to settle at that than paying $80 for a cable that adds headroom nothing uses and no performance gain.
I appreciate the suggestion. I actually went ahead and ordered one of the 5CM (~2") Sintech ones. Hopefully this will work well, without a floppy ribbon cable all over the place inside my small case.
Unfortunately, now I have to wait for stuff to arrive from China. That's the worst part with all this accessory stuff. Why can't they just warehouse the stuff here for crying out loud. I don't like waiting for the stuff to take the slow boat from China!
Did the sintech one work with gen3?
I am in the exact same boat with a streacom case but there is no option to change pci-e speed in the bios (gigabyte).
Would there be a huge loss if I was to use two of those hdplex together for extra length?
The statement:"GXT1050ti need to welding standby power, please note" Did you see the space for 4 pin connector on the riser?Any thoughts on this riser?
There's not much info there, but if you translate this page it helps.
My biggest concern is this statement -
"Adaptation graphics: GTX1080ti high-end graphics card, firepro w7100,radeon pro wx5100, quadroK1200 professional graphics card, GXT1050ti need to welding standby power, please note."
Any idea what that means?
The statement:"GXT1050ti need to welding standby power, please note" Did you see the space for 4 pin connector on the riser?
GTX1050ti is powered by PCI-E slot only, the ribbon can not provide enough current, so you need to solder 12v wires to power the gtx1050ti.