PCIe riser cables are not some of the newest things in the tech world, as a matter of fact, cables such as these have been around since the start. Basically, anything you can plug into the motherboard has a way of extending the cable port. PCIe Riser cables enable you to extend the PCIe port. This can be very helpful in managing a small space in a case. It’s also a must-have if you need to use a vertical mount for the GPU.
As stated earlier, ports such as these have been around for a long time. So, why the sudden interest now? As times have changed so have most of the demands. In older days PC cases and the hardware within was not as demanding or as space-consuming and was definitely not space-oriented. Aesthetics and cable management were afterthoughts. Nowadays with those fancy tampered glass cases along with RGB equipment, there is a very real reason to show off your hardware properly.
Thermaltake has been in the tech world for a while now. They have made a massive name for themselves in manufacturing some of the world’s most coveted cooling solutions as well as RGB solutions for PCs. Their gamer-oriented products have always caught the eye of the market. So, it was easy for them to top this list.
The Thermaltake 200mm PCIe riser cable has been one of the most popular riser cables in the world. This is a pretty standard product with not much out of the ordinary or special apart from the fact that it has the most solid performance we have ever seen.
The cable is 200mm in length; this makes it the ideal size for almost every use. It is not too long to take space and it is not too short to not make enough space. It has a solid data transfer rate at about the 8 Gbps mark and it is also EMI shielded which makes it very good. This makes it so it does not have other hardware interfering with its signal. To top it off the cable is very easy to use and extremely easy to install. This is not the most flexible cable but it gets the job done.
Overall, what makes this the best is not the sheer specs it offers but rather its time tested durability. This was one of the first famous models of PCIe riser cables and it is still widely used to this very day. The product does not have any apparent weakness and will get the job done for most of its users.
Phanteks is another massive name in the world of PC gaming equipment. They are perhaps best known for manufacturing PC gaming cases as well as having ingenious products designed at solving case issues. Phanteks is a company that hails from the Netherlands and has made a massive consumer base in the USA. Phanteks might not be a direct competitor to some of the big boys like Cooler Master or Corsair but it has good products that have a knack for over performing.
The Phanteks cable riser features the very popular 5 lane system that most of the PCIe cable risers occupy. This cable riser also has a very high transfer rate and some of the most insulated and shielded cables of any PCIe cable risers. This is one of the most durable and strong products on our list. It is also more flexible than some of our products. The flexibility can be attributed to its 5 lane design. It is very easy to install in your PC case, most users found no issue in its installation. Some cases have found issues in implementing this product. This might be a bummer as people who had Evolve shift could not get it to go with it. The product also comes with a 90 degree GPU catcher. This would have been better if they also gave it in a standard form as well.
Overall this is a very good alternative to the Thermaltake 200mm cable riser. This product is arguably better in quality and offers better shielding as well as a higher transfer rate. This has all of the positives which the Thermaltake product has but not a very significant difference in their prices. This is an ideal product for people who have standard setups and just want a PCIe riser that will not disappoint them.
3. Linkup Shielded Cables
PCIe Gen 4
- Variety of lengths
- 3.0 and 4.0 Gen PCIe
- Come in different angle styles
- Good builds
- Mixed results
Length: 10cm to 200cm | Transfer rate: ranging till the 65 Gbps mark | Shielded: Different kinds of shielding according to variant | PCIe: 3.0 Gen and 4.0 Gen
LinkUp is a company that does not primarily deal with PC equipment or hardware. Instead, Linkup is one of the biggest names in the cable department. These guys literally make all kinds of high quality and durable cables. They make Cables ranging from Ethernet cables to Type-C cables all the way down to PCIe cables and its solutions. This is one of the most diverse cable makers in the entire world at the moment. Linkup has made a wide array of PCIe riser cable solutions, each suited to a particular user.
Linkup’s cables offer unrivaled variety in their PCIe Riser Cables. The products that Linkup offers range from standard variants to variants that are different based on length or even the kind of angle they have on their card clip. Linkup makes 90-degree angle PCIe riser cables, they also make them in various sizes ranging from 10 cm small to a whopping 200cm long.
There are also variants that have different kinds of data transfer speeds ranging from 8 Gbps to a pretty substantial 65 Gbps. Perhaps all that is still manageable by other manufacturers, one of the main difference makers in terms of features is the fact that Linkup is one of the very first companies to make a 4.0 Gen riser cable. This is excellent news for people with newer setups as they can use this properly with M.2 SSDs. Otherwise, you would have to make a choice between the SSD and a cool angle for your GPU.
However, there have been instances of users complaining about the quality of some products as well as the packaging being subpar. Some even complain about isolated problems in the new 4.0 PCIe cables not working properly. Linkup has a good product lineup, probably an unrivaled lineup but it has to address this quality issue in some cases.
At number 4 on our list, we have another product from Thermaltake. We have already touché don the fact that how big Thermaltake as a company is and how readily available their products are all over the world. This particular riser cable solution is designed for people with bigger cases or the need for some of the finer equipment. Thermaltake has always been known to have made some of the most different and unique products. It continues to amaze us how diverse Thermaltake is in their products, it’s even more surprising as they don’t slack off on quality either.
The Thermaltake product we have here is built for the most extreme PCs in mind. This is due to the fact that this riser cable/card is longer, which makes it suitable for bigger cases. It also uses a 5 lane system which enables it to have some of the best shieldings from outside interference. This also enables it to deliver data better in a more efficient way. The product is shielded from its other lanes internally and is further EMI shielded from outside hardware.
The best feature of this cable is that this is one of the most versatile and flexible riser cables. The cable has the ability to twist and twirl in any way without breaking. This means that this cable is great for cable management. It also does a good job if you want to showcase your GPU.
Although Thermaltake usually has the reputation of making some of the most affordable products, in this case, they have the more expensive ones. This may be due to the fact that they are perhaps the biggest name in the riser card game right now. These products are top quality as well. The 300mm Thermaltake cable is almost two times the price of the 200mm one. This is a big jump.
We cap the list off with the Phanteks Premium Shield 600mm riser cable for PCIe. This is one of the largest and most sought after cables in the world. This is definitely a product that is aimed at people with the biggest and “baddest” setups. A cable this size can only properly be utilized in the most humongous of cases or in setups with custom build case setups. The Phanteks 600mm is similar to the other product from the company on our list. This is just a way longer cable with slightly more thought given into its build.
The last product on our list is the Phanteks 600mm cable riser. Cable risers end to lose quality and the performance of the cable gets too long. This is a very unique case in which we have seen consistently high results in such a long cable. This is a massive cable length. This would probably be best suited to setups that involve custom made casings. Casing such as on the wall setups or setups which we see cool tables built as cases. This is a proper enthusiast-level item.
The cable features very high transfer rates at over 64 Gbps. The product also has an excellent emphasis on shielding. This is proven by how they have doubled down on their shielding department with the isolation between the 5 lanes as well as proper premium shielding from the outside hardware. Gold plated contacts make this a further high performing product.
As you would expect it is hard to fault a product such as this. The only real issue with this product is perhaps that it comes in only a 90-degree angle contact for its GPU port. This could also be seen as positive in many cases. In our opinion, there should have been a choice for buyers to choose between a 90 degree or a standard flat contact catcher. The product is also super costly; it is one of the most expensive PCIe riser cables in the world right now. All in all, this product is a high-quality one which promises to deliver excellent results and you also get a very long cable to go with it.