[svlug] motherboard recommendations

Scott Hess scott at doubleu.com
Thu Mar 23 19:58:50 PST 2006

On 3/22/06, Jeff Frost <jeff at frostconsultingllc.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 22 Mar 2006, Nick Austin wrote:
> > Are there any motherboards with more then two PCIe 16x slots? Can you put a
> > 1x card in a 16x slot?
> The most I've seen thus far are 2, but that doesn't mean there aren't boards
> with more.  I would guess they'll start having less PCI slots and more PCI-e
> slots after manufacturers start putting out more PCIe devices.
> Also, looking at that photo, the x1 slots appear differently sized and
> oriented than the x16 slots.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI-Express .  Also, some of the
enthusiest sites (Tom's Hardware or AnandTech) will have a pci-express
backgrounder article somewhere in there.  x1 boards can fit in x4 and
x16 slots, x4 boards in x16 slots, etc.  There _are_ boards with
multiple x16 slots, but the most common chipsets tend to have only 20
lanes available, so they'll split them 16/4, or 8/8, or something like
that, maybe allowing for a couple x1 slots.  Sometimes the split is
configurable, sometimes not.

There are boards with x4 slots, but those tend to be geared more
towards server usage (or perhaps enthusiasts), as they generally add
extra chips to support additional lanes.

I haven't seen boards which dispense with pci slots entirely, though
I'm sure they exist.  I expect pci slots to dissappear faster than isa
did - I have tons of pci cards, but motherboards are so integrated
these days that my machines mostly don't have any of them installed,
unless I need something funky like 4 ethernet ports.

There are even a very few consumer boards with both an AGP slot and an
x16 slot.  Very very few of them, though.  Maybe 5 :-).  Haven't seen
anything with pcie plus isa.  That would be a trick!


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