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What are PCIe Risers and are they useful for your custom computer?

Hardware, Industry, True Custom

What is a PCIe Riser? Should I include one in my custom computer configuration?

PCIe risers are little ribbons that can extend or reposition where your PCIe slot is. Being the slot that your graphics card (the most vital component for gaming PCs) plugs into. This can provide unique opportunities, to either mount a card vertically for better aesthetics, or for more space and workability with water cooling in a custom computer.

PCIE Risers and building a mini PC

Along the same lines, PCIe risers can also enable small form factor cases to be even smaller mini pcs than they already are. It’s common practice for these kinds of cases to not only include a riser in their purchase, but to require one in the installation. Typically, these kinds of cases have the graphics card on the opposite side of the motherboard, using the riser to connect it through to the other side. This has several knock-on benefits, like letting the card access fresh air through grills on the side of the chassis, meaning it can keep cooler even in a tiny space.

PCIe 3.0 vs 4.0

Currently, you may find PCIe 3.0 risers on the market in place of the newer 4.0 ones that are gradually replacing them. It is natural to ask if this will have any impact on the performance of our PCIe 4.0 cards these days. After extensive experience on this matter, we have seen almost no practical impact on gaming performance using 3.0 risers. There is undeniably an impact, though, it is just this simply does not prop up in gaming applications. It shows up most noticeably in rendering applications, where lots of big files are moving back and forth into VRAM.

Do I need a PCIe Riser for my custom computer?

Overall, for most people, this is not something to be too concerned about. It would make more sense to get one that matches the length you need, and one of reasonable quality. The consideration of supported speeds will only be relevant to those with workstation desktops and their loads.

If you need help figuring out if a PCIe riser would complement your custom PC configuration, talk to a member of our sales team. They will be able to give you component advice and recommendations based on availability and budget.

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