1x slots... not much goes in those, although you can get some network cards that fit em. Look around on the net for PCI-E 1x cards (Google is your friend). The slots are about as important as any other PCI slot. Its your only form of card expansion.
As for 4x slots... personally, Ihave yet to see any 4x hardware, but I dont doubt its out there somewhere. I wouldnt worry about these slots, you're unlikely to ever use them.
I've heard the only thing out on the PCIe 4X slot are some SCSI adaptors. Gigabit NICs, either on the motherboard or on a card, use PCIe 1x slots. I believe stranger said it best, the manufacturers just don't believe (probably correctly so) that there are enough PCIe slots out there. Sure, new computers have them, but most people still use PCI slots. (I know people who still use 158pin SDRAM in their MAIN rig.) Give it time, several more years (3-5?) and you'll start to see more stuff for 1x/4x.
PCI-e 1x devices will work in a 1x slot, 4x slot, 8x slot, and a 16x slot, there will just be empty spaces between the card and the end of the slot. A 4x device can use any slot 4x or above. Also right now the only thing that I’ve seen that uses them is NIC cards and RAID controllers. I'm sure in the future other devices will use this interface (ex. sound cards, TV tuners) as PCI-e is suppose to be replacing PCI.
3ware makes some excellent SATA II RAID controllers that are compatible with 4x PCI-E up to sixteen drives, and even a 1x PCI-E two drive controller. You could be striping your OS off of a pair of 37 gig raptors in a 1x slot for around $400, including the drives, with no CPU overhead. Those four way onboard RAID connectors are mighty convenient, but they do use the CPU for their processing, typically, and therefore cost performance.
Several manufacturers are now making 1x PCI-E video cards.
Creative's Audigy 3 sound card is rumored to be available PCI-E 1x.
This is the sort of hardware that's not easily found, even on awesome parts meta-search engines like pricewatch.com
I tend to run into it most when surfing mini-itx form factor speciality shop online retailers, they have a lot of obscure hardware due to very minimal expansion options on those mainboards. Be prepared to pay a hefty premium as compared to somewhere like NewEgg, or even as compared to a PCI device that accomplishes the same task. Strangely enough, I only seem to be able to find certain things in certain places, there are parts on websites in Europe especially that seem to adhere to this phenomenon.
Happy hunting. They really arent as useless as everyone claims, these slots...
If you need high quality audio effects for a recording studio, Universal Audio & TC electronics make DSP cards using PCIe x1 slots. Motu & RME make high quality sound cards & other audio interfaces, using the PCIe x1 slot. These cards are of higher quality than Creative's, rather they are used in home & professional recording studios.
Highpoint & Adaptec make RAID controllers using PCIe x1 - PCIe x8.
But, video cards seem to dominate the x16 slot. But, since the x16 slots can support all the various forms of PCIe, makes it a very flexible component, unlike PCI-X and PCI.
I have some PCI 1x slots.... I think thats what they are called they are kina like 1/4 longth PCI slots. I also have a PCI x 4 slot....
(My MB is P5N32 SLI deluxe)
What components go into theses slots are they important?
What kinda component goes into a PCIx4 slot????
I have already used all my normal PCI slots for SB audigy and Wireless.
PCIe x1 is currently in the process of replacing PCI as the standard for non-bandwidth-intensive add-in cards. There are many PCIe x1 cards out there on the market, including wired NICs, USB and FireWire cards, CF/PCMCIA cards, a couple of TV capture cards, serial/parallel port cards, SATA and PATA interface cards, and although I would not recommend it due to the low bandwidth, a few SATA RAID cards and graphics cards.
From what I've seen, PCIe x4 is pretty much exclusively used for RAID cards, as is PCIe x8, although the x8 cards go in x16 slots.
The Intel Pro1000/PT Dual Port Server NIC is PCIe x4. I have 4 of these cards in 4 dual Xeon servers running Windows Server 2003 x64 and they rock. I'm using them for dual gigabit ethernet connections to an iSCSI RAID array, and I can get 235 MB/sec sustained reads from the array. That's nearly 95% utilization of the Ethernet bandwidth.
My RAID needs are actually pretty low bandwidth. I'm not striping a bunch of high-end SSDs or anything. You average 7200 rpm HDD seems to get about 50-60MB/s bandwidth and PCIe 1x is about 250MB/s. I think WD VelociRaptors get about 100MB/s. So if you only want a small raid, say four disks in a 1+0 configuration then a PCIe 1x RAID controller should be sufficient for your needs.
To give some extra life to one of my older computer I bought a standard PCI raid controller and a standard PCI Gigabit ethernet controller. I benched at Level-0 RAID at about 120MB/s but over the network I was only getting about 60MB/s ... I suspect this is because standard PCI slots share their total bandwidth.
PCIe slots don't share their bandwidth and each have almost twice as much bandwidth. I'd like to test a rig running a PCIe 1x RAID controller and a PCIe 1x gigabit ethernet controller and see how it benches over the network. Obviously I was pretty disappointed to see that my PCI cards were only running 33mhz even though they and my motherboard both supposedly support 66mhz operation.