DELL R710 mod: Installing a x16 GPU on a x8 slot

So, I have a Dell R710 that I used to use as a 24/7 home server with Proxmox (BTW, Proxmox is amazing!). But after a few electricity bills I retired the server, until one day I had the idea to use it as a desktop. The biggest issue with that concept was the integrated matrox GPU, it was only designed to output low resolutions and struggles to even play a YouTube video.

Even though the R710 has free PCIE slots, they are only x8. Now, Dell did sell x16 risers, but they are hard to find and expensive. So we will be doing a simple mod that will allow us to install x16 cards in x8 slots. Of course, it will only run at x8 speeds, but for most cases that will be enough.

Tools you will need

All you will need is a rotary tool and the smallest rasp bit you can find.

The mod

Modded R710 riser

All you will have to do is carefully remove one side of the PCIE slot, just like in the pics. I highly recommend to mod the lower slot just in case you put a taller GPU. Be very careful not to damage the pins. The plastic they used is hard and that makes it easy to cut with a rotary tool. As for the GPU choice, I initially had a GT210. Until it decided to die, then I replaced it with a GT710. For the work that I do it is more than enough, and it drives 2 displays without a problem.

Next step is adding a USB expansion PCIE card, because 2 ports in the back and 2 in the front are far from enough.

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