PCI-Express Riser/Extender Test

Published: 7th Jul 2017, 08:48 GMT   Comments

The following chart shows the average scores of both GTX 1080 Ti and GTX 1080 tests. The variance is adjusted by PCIe variance, then the final score is subtracted by this value.

PCI-Express Risers: Total Score
ExtenderAverage PerformanceAdjusted VarianceTotal Score
PCIe Slot
 
100.00%
 
0.00%
 
100.00%
Bitcoin USB
 
87.54%
 
0.02%
 
87.51%
Cheap #1
 
77.18%
 
25.76%
 
51.42%
Cheap #2 (1x)
 
94.20%
 
0.11%
 
94.09%
Cheap #3
 
78.16%
 
23.21%
 
54.95%
Cheap #4
 
87.54%
 
5.47%
 
90.24%
TT Premium
 
98.97%
 
0.02%
 
98.95%
Lian-Li 30cm
 
99.10%
 
0.06%
 
99.04%
Lian-Li 38cm
 
98.98%
 
0.07%
 
98.91%
TT Daisy
 
99.04%
 
0.03%
 
99.01%
LL Daisy
 
99.01%
 
0.04%
 
98.97%
TT+LI Daisy
 
96.01%
 
4.63%
 
91.39%

 

CONCLUSION
Premium risers

 Both Thermaltake and Lian-Li cables are very high quality. During hours of testing and countless reinstallations, performance was not affected in any way. Premium risers are durable and should serve you for many years. These cables are very flexible and should be the perfect choice for DIY wall-mounted PCs or systems from Thermaltake or Lian-LI designed specifically for those cables.

At most, we are looking at 1% lower performance compared to PCIe slot.

I recommend both Thermaltake Premium and Lian-Li Premium risers for gaming. 

 

Shielded Risers

Cheaper (~30 USD) shielded risers are a good alternative to premium risers. The only difference is their durability. Those cables are very fragile and they are not recommended for systems that are often modified. In other words, if you are planning to change your PC parts more often, it’s probably better to look for a more durable solution.

 

Cheap Unshielded Risers

Cheap risers are not for gamers. The highest score from all ‘cheap’ risers of 94% was achieved by the x1 riser. No matter if the lanes are separated or not, the performance is simply not there.

Unshielded PCIe extenders are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and crosstalk.

They are great price wise, but they are only recommended if you have no problem losing 5-10% of total performance.

Daisy-chaining

 We tested three combinations of daisy-chaining. As long as you stick to the same brand, you are unlikely to see the difference between one or two cables.

Only when we chained Thermaltake with Lian-Li the performance dropped. Bear in mind though that cable was 128 cm long.

 

Graphics cards with external power connectors versus powered by PCIe slot

 There’s a huge difference between PCIe powered graphics card and cards with external power connectors in regard to risers. Sure, you can only test 1080 Ti and see a minimal difference and call it a day, but it does not tell you the full story.

When we tested GTX1050 it became obvious that the quality of the power lanes is just as important as the quality of data lanes.

Chances are you won’t need a riser for your mid-range build, so this scenario is unlikely to occur in your case, but this is definitely something to keep in mind.

USB Riser

This engineering marvel is a great solution for miners, and probably only for miners. The USB cable gives you much better flexibility and options for GPU installation. It does affect performance, but that’s not the issue as long as you are looking at mining.

The external power connector is attached directly to power supply. This eliminates the problem of insufficient power for PCIe slot on your motherboard.

 

Review Contents
Page 1Introduction to PCI Express risers
Page 2PCI Extender Extenders in this test
Page 3PCI Extender Synthetic Performance Test
Page 4PCI Extender Thermal Test
Page 5PCI Extender Conclusion




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