Even though PCIe riser cables have been around for quite a time now, these cables have gained immense importance recently. A few years back, the hardware was not much demanding or space consuming. As a result, no one really cared about cable management or the aesthetics of a PC build.
Nowadays, the trend of spatial orientation is growing, and PCIe riser cables provide a perfect means to address this trend. The PCIe riser cable allows you to extend the PCIe port of your motherboard, so you can place your GPU at a preferred location inside your case. This makes it easier to build compact cases or even use a multi-GPU system.
In this article, we will review some of the best PCIe riser cables available in the market so you can make the most acceptable choice possible.
Best PCI-E Risers and Extension Cables
The following are some of the top tested PCI-E Risers and extension cables you can lay your hands on.
1. Thermaltake TT Premium Extender Riser Cable
One of the simplest ways to find the best PCIe Riser is to go for a manufacturing company you trust. Thermaltake is a well-known company and is highly known for its high-end cooling systems and other hardware. You probably didn’t know they also make the best riser cables.
The Thermaltake TT Premium Extender Riser Cable is the best riser cable on our list. This riser cable will indeed allow full bandwidth to your PCIe 3.0 GPUs. The Thermaltake TT Premium Extender Riser Cable is manufactured in five ribbons which have an advantage over a single ribbon in better shielding. In addition, this riser is 30 cm long, making your long runs easier.
The male and female connection on the Thermaltake TT Premium Extender Riser Cable is gold plated, providing the ultimate conductivity. The PCBs are also built sturdy and robust. The female end has a high-quality clip which ensures a stable and secure connection.
The Thermaltake TT Premium Extender Riser Cable is well insulated and flexible. Thanks to the ribbons being apart, they can endure bends and twists. This quality makes cable management much more accessible. Moreover, the ribbons are enclosed in TPE plastic shielding layers along with additional PE insulation around the copper wires. This provides perfect insulation with no interference.
Even though this riser cable is a tad expensive, it’s the best one you can get. Thermaltake is a well-known brand, and they ensure quality products. You also get a one-year manufacturer’s warranty to make things better.
2. Phanteks PH Premium Shielded Riser Cable
|Memory Storage Capacity
Phanteks is another well-known brand when you consider PC hardware and equipment. They are highly known for their gaming PC cases and never disappoint when it comes to any product. The same goes for the Phanteks PH Premium Shielded Riser Cable, which is one of the best riser cables available.
The Phanteks PH Premium Shielded Riser Cable features a 5-lane system which is present on the majority of the risers. This riser cable proves to be one of the most robust and durable products on our list and has excellent flexibility. The flexibility makes cable management super easier.
This Phanteks riser cable provides users with a super high transfer rate amongst some of the top riser cables and is super easy to install. In addition, this riser cable is very well insulated, almost completely blocking out interference and has set a high standard for competitors. The riser cable also comes loaded with a 90-degree GPU catcher.
Another great feature of the Phanteks PH Premium Shielded Riser Cable is the hand-soldered gold-plates contact, providing ultimate connection and signal integrity. Adding to signal integrity is the shielded twin-axial wired. Moreover, it is 60 cm long and serves perfectly suitable for long runs. This product has compatibility with Evolve X and Eclipse P600S with dual system GPU. It gets the job done in the best way possible.
The Phanteks PH Premium Shielded Riser Cable is a high-end riser cable and will ideally get you going.
3. ASUS ROG Strix Riser Cable
|RS200 ROG STRIX RISER CABLE
|RS200 ROG Strix
|Graphics RAM Type
|Graphics Card Interface
Who hasn’t heard about ASUS? ASUS is one of the words top PC manufacturing companies and provides some of the most top-notch and high-end products you can lay your hands on. The ASUS ROG Strix Riser Cable is an intelligent addition by ASUS to their own line of PC cases. Despite that, it can still operate with all sorts of builds and provides super excellent performance.
The ASUS ROG Strix Riser Cable is very stealthy with its looks and has a solid, durable build quality. It is 20 cm long and isn’t a good option for very long runs compared to Phanteks riser cable. However, this riser cable is super slim, flat, and flexible. With these features, you can attain superb stability, simple cable management, and excellent transmission efficiency.
The ROG riser cable uses EMI shielding, which provides perfect insulation, blocking out any interference or degradation. In addition, the superb Strengthen protection maximizes the durability of the product and reduces signal losses to the bare minimum. This product also comes with robust PCIe slots.
A great feature of the ASUS ROG Strix Riser Cable is the ASUS Patent SafeSlot PCIe. This features a unique manufacturing process that combines fortifying metal along with extra solder points providing great connections. In addition, the SafeSlot also ensured and stable connection with your graphic card.
The ASUS ROG Strix Riser Cable is compatible with high-end GPUs. It will provide some of the best performances amongst the best Riser cables.
4. LINKUP Ultra PCIe 4.0 Riser Cable
|Video Output Interface
|Graphics Processor Manufacturer
|Graphics Card Interface
LINKUP is a top name when it comes to the cable department. This company never fails to impress its users with some of the most high-end power and durable cables. Although Linkup has a range of PCIe riser cables for different uses, the LINKUP Ultra PCIe 4.0 Riser Cable is the best one yet and will provide you with the best experience.
The LINKUP Ultra PCIe 4.0 Riser Cable provides over 64 GB/s PCIe 4.0 performance thanks to the super high-speed wires, which are shielded with premium material to eliminate any possible signal loss or loss of integration. Moreover, the hand-soldered gold-plated contacts provide the ultimate signal integrity and high-speed connection.
The LINKUP Ultra PCIe 4.0 Riser Cable houses unique laneway shielding that blocks out any external EMI/RFI or any interference among the channels. It also has a sectional design that allows lower working temperatures thanks to better air ventilation and dramatically enhances a PC’s performance.
This riser cable is super well-built and comes in two colours which are black or white. This product also comes with a one-year warranty along with online support to make things easier for you. In addition, it is compatible with most GPUs, including the high-end ones. Sadly, overclocking is not recommended with the LINKUP Ultra PCIe 4.0 Riser Cable, as system instabilities might occur.
Overall, the LINKUP Ultra PCIe 4.0 Riser Cable is an excellent choice for a top riser cable that will serve you well in any aspect.
5. Icepc PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable
|Graphics Processor Manufacturer
|Graphics Card Interface
|PCI-Express x16, PCI-E
The Icepc PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable is also a very good option to consider when looking for the best riser cable. This riser cable has an EMI shielded design which blacks out any interference and provides outstanding transmission stability.
The core of the riser cable is manufactured from a pure copper tinning process, and the wires are also premium grade. Moreover, it also has a dust proof cap and very high-quality solder points along with gold plated contacts. This dramatically enhances connectivity and durability.
All you have to do with this riser cable is plug and play. You do not need any drivers, and this makes things easy. Moreover, the full speed PCIe 3.0 x16 Bandwidth provides the best PCIe performance to your GPU, which is the reason it is considered amongst the best.
With the updated riser cable, you can now get a new view on your GPU, which makes vertical mounting super easy in compatible cases. Moreover, it has a flexible sectional design that enhances airflow and also makes cable management much more manageable. This adds to all the goodness this product brings.
The Icepc PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable easily supports most of the graphic cards that have been manufactured after 2015, including some of the most high-end and professional ones. So, if you are looking for the best riser cable out there, the Icepc PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable is a great option to consider.
6. QINGSEA Q PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable
|Graphics Card Interface
|PCI-Express x16, PCI-E
The final product on our list is the QINGSEA Q PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable. Even though it isn’t as great as some of the high-end riser cables like the Thermaltake or ASUS ROG riser cables, it still gets the job done perfectly well and provides excellent competition to its competitors.
The super high-speed cables on the QINGSEA Q PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable enable the PCIe video card in any suitable position. The PCIe 3.0 x16 provides all the best full speed performance of the PCIe 3.0 to your graphics card. Moreover, this QINGSEA riser cable can support a vast variety of GPUs, including the high-end ones.
The QINGSEA Q PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable has a great black design, and the build quality is also superb. This riser cable has individual laneway shielding that blocks out any EMI or EFI and prevents any interference between the channels. Moreover, the contacts are hand soldered gold plates and provide excellent signal integrity. The flat, slim, and flexible design provides excellent stability and transmission efficiency while enhancing airflow. Moreover, it also makes cable management must easier.
Another great thing about the QINGSEA Q PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable is the 90-degree PCIe connector. This diminishes cable strains and due to this, fitting a vertically mounted GPU is a simple task in compatible PC cases. Sadly, it lacks PCIe 4.0.
Overall, the QINGSEA Q PCIe 3.0 Riser Cable is a great option to consider, and that is why it is present on this list.
Why Use a Riser Cable?
A riser cable has many advantages, with the following two being the major ones:
- Aesthetic reasons: The riser cable can allow you to flaunt your GPU in various orientations
- Space Constraints: The riser cables permit much better placement of Single or Multi CPU configurations. This also provides better wire management and better air ventilation to keep things cool.
Manufacturing companies are focusing more on bringing out GPUs, which keep growing more powerful. Still, size also increases with power and better features. Although there are smaller GPUs available, they aren’t as powerful as the ones which are larger. GPUs are very bulky and occupy a lot of space.
Suppose you consider professional gamers or content creators. In that case, they will always choose the powerful yet more extensive GPU over a compact one with fewer features. Moreover, if upgrading an older system might also be a pain in the back.
The PCIe riser cables provide you with the ultimate ability to relocate your GPU to different locations within your case. This way, you can make room for other components which can be placed at specific preferable positions in your case.
The Riser Cable can come in handy, primarily if you use a multi-GPU system. This way, you can enhance your performance to the maximum.
What Is the Difference Between Different PCIe Standards?
PCIe slots come in varieties differing in types, sizes, electric bandwidths, and other features. The GPUs require the longest PCIe slots, which are the x16 PCIe slots due to the GPUs high bandwidth. The different PCIe bandwidths are the PCIe 1.0, PCIe 2.0, PCIe 3.0, and PCIe 4.0.
A PCIe 2.0 x16 will only be half as fast as a PCIe 3.0 x16. Moreover, a PCIe 4.0 will be much faster (almost double) for both of them.
So, if you’re shopping for a PCIe Riser cable, it is important you know a couple of things. First of all, you must be aware of the required electrical bandwidth of your GPU. For example, some GPUs run on x16 PCIe 3.0. Secondly, you must also know the required mechanical slot type of your GPU.
What Are PCIe Extension Cables?
A PCIe Extension cable is just another variety of PCIe riser cables. In place of a bracket, these cables are just plain male to female PCIe cables. These are so designed to provide you flexibility in where you place your GPUs. They are ideal, especially for gamers and content creators, as the extension cables maximize the cooling performance of your system.
The advantages are more clearly seen in a multi-GPU setup for GPU rendering. If you space the GPUs further apart, you’ll be able to achieve higher clocks on your GPUs along with longer boosts while keeping the temperatures low. This will result in a shorter render time.
When hunting for an extension cable, you must remember that length does not specify how good an extension cable is. Even though it provides you with better options to place your GPU, it can make cable management a hectic job. Other than that, longer cables are prone to decrease the signal quality being transferred. Therefore, it is recommended to get a cable as short as possible.
Will a PCIe Riser Cable Affect My Performance?
As long as you are using high-quality riser cables and you know how to handle them perfectly well, you won’t face any negative impacts on your performance.
Some users daisy-chain their cables and might face power supply issues. But this depends on how well your cables are built. Although this might not be a big issue for gaming and other tasks such as content creating, it’s still essential to check the daisy-chaining ratings by the manufacturer. This is especially important for crypto miners.
Some users also come across issues due to the locking mechanism. You must make sure the lock keeps the plug secured in its place.
If you further want to make the performance of the Riser cable better, make sure a decent magnetic shield is present. This will help eliminate any interference and provide you with the best performance.
What Should I Look for in a PCIe Riser?
There are a few points you should keep in mind before you shop for a Riser cable. This will help you choose the perfect product to gain maximum performance.
Cable risers are supposed to extent how far PCIe slots of your motherboard reach. That way, PCIe components can be placed and oriented in different ways. While looking for the best PCIe riser cable, you should lay most focus on optimal performance in bandwidth along with compatibility. You must be aware of your PC case dimensions, the bandwidth compatibility, and whether you’ll require holding brackets.
You should know that there are two types of riser cables: The powered and the unpowered.
Powered Riser Cables
These riser cables use a secondary power supply, which is an internal USB connection most of the time. There are usually used for crypto mining and connect to an x1 or x4 PCIe port while housing an adapter for your GPU.
You should know that even though the GPU-facing slot on the powered riser cable has an x16 interface, the motherboard’s connector has only x4, meaning it cannot transfer speeds higher than x4 bandwidths. Of course, this will only suit you if you do not require bandwidths higher than x4, which is why it suits mining.
While buying a powered riser, it is beneficial to buy one having a USB 3.0 port. This makes it easier to connect to the motherboard.
Buying a powered riser with more capacitors is also beneficial as you’ll get a more stable power supply. Your riser cable should have at least three capacitors for optimum performance.
Unpowered Riser Cables
The unpowered riser cable does not extract power from an external source but rather draw power from the motherboard. These directly use the motherboard’s x16 PCIe port for their power supply and allow faster bandwidths.
Wrapping It Up
Well, this is the end of our in-depth review of some of the best PCIe risers and extension cables. Regardless of your bandwidth and needs for interfaces, the products on our list will suit you perfectly.
The best product on our list is definitely the Thermaltake TT Premium Extender Riser Cable which is absolutely flawless. You should know manufacturers provide varying sizes of the products, so it’s better you go through that first.
We discussed the best Riser cables available in the market for you to choose from. But, of course, the choice you make depends on your requirements, and obviously your budget. Hopefully, after going through this article, you’ll easily make the right choice and buy the Riser cable which suits you best.