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PCI EXPRESS X1

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January 8, 2007 12:48:06 PM

Just curious, why would one need multiple x1 slots? I have seen some mobos with 2 or even 3 PCIe x1 slots.

Has anyone here needed more than one PCIe x1 slot?

More about : pci express

January 8, 2007 1:44:01 PM

More? What do you do with a single PCIe x1 slot? 8O
January 8, 2007 2:26:12 PM

there are plenty 1x cards out there... though most are not for the average user.
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January 8, 2007 2:51:19 PM

they should just bugger em off already. im sick of seeing perfectly fine motherboards with like 2 or 3 of em, its just silly. i want PCI SLOTS :) 
January 8, 2007 3:09:37 PM

I like them both. I want them to finally KILL SERIAL ports. NOBODY NEEDS printer / serial ports any more... USB is the way to go.
January 8, 2007 3:23:53 PM

You can get 9pin serial to USB adapters..
likes I said... NOBODY needs Serial ports... period.
January 8, 2007 4:20:14 PM

waste of Motherboard space... thats why.
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2007 4:23:54 PM

But the serial port is nearly free because it's supported by a multifunction chip. USB to Serial adapters cost money.

I agree, they should kill serial and parallel ports and include separate USB adapters for both in every box.

Sure, you'd end up paying $10 more for your motherboard and have these useless adapters to deal with, but at least your desires wouldn't be costing me money.

While we're at it, the Federal government should raise taxes in Florida and Texas, to help cover the cost of boarder patrol. As long as they don't raise my taxes it doesn't matter, now does it?
January 8, 2007 4:28:50 PM

Who cares. Pay the 10$ and get the adapter if you really need it.
Or upgrade to new technology.

The only computers that should have serial are small laptops (for router access).
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2007 4:32:43 PM

No, YOU pay $10 for me to get the adapter. They should include them in the box and make YOU pay for the adapter you don't need. Since I get my motherboards free, that's the best method.

Why should I be forced to pay for your desires? No, you're the one who wants to make the change, so you should be the one to pay for it.
January 8, 2007 4:33:16 PM

Then Most manufacturers should offer an option to buy a mobo w/o serial, and more USB.

I would buy a no IDE/Serial mobo if I could... Though I agree we need IDE... we do not need serial.... oh and NO MORE STUPID PS/2 connections.

Legacy technology needs to say in its own era and leave new tech alone.
January 8, 2007 4:36:32 PM

I am not talking about the budget market, I.e. 200$ dell machines.


I am talking about spending $200 for a motherboard. I want options, and dont want to be forced down by old legacy ports that are as useless as the "scroll lock" key on my keyboard.
January 8, 2007 5:02:10 PM

Quote:
Just curious, why would one need multiple x1 slots? I have seen some mobos with 2 or even 3 PCIe x1 slots.

Has anyone here needed more than one PCIe x1 slot?


You can expect this topic to get deleted. I wrote a rant on this very subject about two months ago and the topic was deleted.

Anyway:


You can get SATA cards, you can get hardwired network cards, Abit started making a wireless network card about one month ago (still not available anywhere), and you can get IEEE 1394 and USB cards for that slot.

I purchased a FW/1394 for $30 from techgeeks about a month ago. Would also like to try Abits wireless card... if it is under $50.
January 8, 2007 5:10:15 PM

Quote:
I am not talking about the budget market, I.e. 200$ dell machines.


I am talking about spending $200 for a motherboard. I want options, and dont want to be forced down by old legacy ports that are as useless as the "scroll lock" key on my keyboard.


The both of you have very good points, however for the main portion of the consumer market, if you buy a high end card it is most likely that all your equipment is fairly up-to-date and you shouldn't have a need for it in the home enviroment. Now serial and parallel ports in the business enviroment is a completely different thing as many businesses still utilize one if not both of them in some cases.

What it basically comes down to is the mobo you choose, there are ones with (for those of you who want serial and parallel) and there are ones without (for those of you who don't want it or rather just buy a USB adaptor).


Now back to the PCI 1x, I think that they could have some purpose somewhere down the line perhaps, but for now I think one is enough on a motherboard to at least have some insurance for the future. The only purpose I see in them now is for multi-monitor displays.
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2007 5:33:02 PM

Quote:
Then Most manufacturers should offer an option to buy a mobo w/o serial, and more USB.

I would buy a no IDE/Serial mobo if I could... Though I agree we need IDE... we do not need serial.... oh and NO MORE STUPID PS/2 connections.

Legacy technology needs to say in its own era and leave new tech alone.


Why do we need "IDE"? I say we should keep the serial and parallel ports and dump IDE connectors. You can buy an Ultra ATA to Serial ATA adapter for $15.
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2007 5:35:52 PM

Look at where most boards put the x1 slots, it's likely that your graphics card will make at least one x1 slot useless. So you need two, if you take into account the useless one.
January 8, 2007 6:01:35 PM

Personally, I currently will only buy a motherboard if it has Serial on-board (cheaper than buying a card). The hardware applications I use it for require high speed UART ports - usb to serial converters, and yes I do have one and tried others, are not realiable enough and generate I/O errors. I can do without PS/2 ports but do have requirements for parallel every now and then...
January 8, 2007 6:13:39 PM

Quote:
Look at where most boards put the x1 slots, it's likely that your graphics card will make at least one x1 slot useless. So you need two, if you take into account the useless one.


I'm talking about more than 2 or 4 monitors, something that businesses use. The engineering place that I used to work at used them on their systems for AutoCAD designers.
January 8, 2007 6:25:00 PM

You'd be surprised how many pieces of scientific equipment still connect through the serial or parallel ports. Even some of the stuff we have that's less than a year old still uses them.
January 8, 2007 6:29:15 PM

I'm not talking about the business sect. Here at work, we use plenty of serial printers and what not... but for the home builder, aka, the enthusiast, I don't want any legacy equipment on my new PC. If I want to use an old Serial Printer... I will plug it into my 486 running windows 95.
January 8, 2007 6:48:43 PM

Quote:
You'd be surprised how many pieces of scientific equipment still connect through the serial or parallel ports. Even some of the stuff we have that's less than a year old still uses them.


See that is a different ballpark, the mainstream user doesn't use them anymore, yes I realize that there may be a few clingy people out there but the majority have switched to USB.
January 8, 2007 7:09:36 PM

You know just because something new comes out that does a job better it does not mean that the old way of doing it gets any worse or stops working.

Personally I'm quite happy that my new machine will let me carry on running old 'legacy' equipment. Lots of enthusiasts are IT pros who 'acquire' kit such as old parallel port laser printers or VT220 terminals they put in the bathroom.

If their presence affected performance in any meaningful way I could see your point. But when you can disable the device and never even know it is there I don't see the harm in them hanging around until after all my old kit has died.
January 8, 2007 7:50:31 PM

Well yes there are some people who cling to it, but they are few. Take a look back about 10-15 years and pick any random computer, half of the stuff you see on them then doesn't appear on current computers. You might look back and be like WTF is a turbo button? But serial and parallel have been along for a long time now and they are pretty much phased out of the mainstream. Printers haven't come with parallel cables for a long time and to get them you have to buy them separatly. Personally I would rather have new technology in place of those old ports like eSATA or maybe more room for Dual Ethernet or something along those lines.
January 8, 2007 8:08:22 PM

Quote:
Then Most manufacturers should offer an option to buy a mobo w/o serial, and more USB.

I would buy a no IDE/Serial mobo if I could... Though I agree we need IDE... we do not need serial.... oh and NO MORE STUPID PS/2 connections.

Legacy technology needs to say in its own era and leave new tech alone.


Hey I need those PS2 ports for my KVMs. No, not those silly 2 or 4 ports ones you can buy at compusa... For the massive, networked 16 and 32 ports ones at my datacenter.

Come to think of it, don't get rid of serial ports either, where would I plug my console cables?

Hmmm, maybe that's why they don't get rid of them- servers need them, and since the big boys like Dell, HP, and Compaq make their money selling servers, and not selling computers to you and me, they need to keep them. So Intel and all chipset makers keep their functionality in the motherboards they build for servers. And so since it would be more expensive to design a chipset that didn't include this functionality separately, consumer class boards keep the functionality. and addling the physical port to consumer class motherboards is almost free, like someone said. That's why they're probably still there.

Legacy tech has it's place. The trusty console cable and the null modem adapter are indispensible pieces of equipment for a datacenter sysadmin.
January 8, 2007 8:16:04 PM

My beef with 1x PCIe connectors is... they are only 1x. WTF? That's less bandwidth than PCI (unless you try to use multiple PCI devices at once). Let's get some 4x Connectors in there.

One or Two PCI slots is nice for the transition as they did with keeping 1 or 2 ISA slots on many mobos for the longest time. But does anyone miss their ISA slots *now*? No. How long will it be before no one misses their PCI slots either? And you're complaining about PCIe slots taking space away from your PCI slots... exactly how many PCI devices do you have in there.... and why?

As for the whole Serial/Parallel/PS2 port debate: they really REALLY need to take them off the IO backplane. Especially the parallel port that no one uses and is huge. They aren't going to take them out of the chipset though. Why? Because there is no reason to. They are an established and simple protocol and actually have some distinct performance advanatages over USB (namely latency, low overhead, and dedicated bandwidth). But you don't need to by expensive adapters, just a little break-out board with the ports on it that connects to the mobo Via pins that take up very little space on the mobo and leaves the IO backplane open for other things.
Things like:
-Antennas for wireless
-More USB ports
-Firewire Ports
-eSATA ports
-analogue, digital, and optical audio ports
-vents
-BIOS reset button
-LED error indicators

They don't need to take the logic out of the chip and they aren't going to, it's tiny and very reliable. But most people don't need it. Retail packaged mobos could come with the breakout board(s) necessary, take up 1 or 2 expansion slots (just like they used to before they were all moved to the mobo IO backplane) and attach to the mobo with ribbon cables. A few little voltage regulators and such to maintain signal integrity. We're talking ~$5 for the whole thing. And you could also get creative about where you put it if you wanted to. In the meanwhile you get far more useful stuff on your IO backplane.

Getting unused ports off the mobo would be one step towards bringing the size of teh personal PC down a bit, which hasn't happened in quite awhile. Very frustrating when I'm trying to build a cube PC and half my backplane is taken up by crap I don't even want after already being serverly limited in mobo choice because people appearantly want 8 PCI/PCIe slots for gaming machines... A ducted voltage regulator HSF would be so much cooler (literally).

You can, of course, desauder unwwanted connectors off the board and replace them. Just epoxy the ports you do want to a custom IO backplane cover and route the cables from the pins on the mobo.
January 8, 2007 8:16:11 PM

I SAID: For the consumer.... not for large business (or medium / small)

And you can get USB kvm switches.
January 8, 2007 8:53:19 PM

YES! It's ugly, useless, and meaningless.

ITS LEGACY (Needs to die)


Edit;


on the need to die list:

10/100 ports
PS2 ports
Serial ports (all)
usb 1.1 only ports
---------------------------


On the replacement list
10/100/1000
More USB 2.0 (1.1 compatible) ports
Firewire 2
eSata
Mini USB ports
Wireless
Status indicator lights (i.e. the 4 on dell)
----------------------------

Create headers for all the legacy ports I dont care.
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2007 8:59:12 PM

Quote:
But serial and parallel have been along for a long time now and they are pretty much phased out of the mainstream.


My wife just got a Palm VX that's only a few years old at most, it STILL uses a serial port. Of course that pisses me off, since her laptop doesn't have any serial ports.

Quote:
Personally I would rather have new technology in place of those old ports like eSATA or maybe more room for Dual Ethernet or something along those lines.


More room? There's plenty of room, look at all the boards that come with empty space on the port panel right now.
January 8, 2007 9:01:41 PM

Crashman.... There are $5.99 adapters for serial ports. Though I dont agree that you should be forced to buy them....

Remember how USB keyboards come with an adapter USB to PS2....
Serial technology that INSISTS on sticking around, should come with it boxed.


Please support the death of legacy and cough up $5.99, or start the website: www.smashmylegacyPDA.com and get a new one with a USB cradle.
January 8, 2007 9:05:04 PM

Asked because read article where PCIe would be replacing PCI (including x1). Guess lot of smoke. (But perhaps x4 x8 way in the future?)
January 8, 2007 9:11:40 PM

oh I am harding b1tching about it.. just making fun of old legacy technology.


Though I would like to see a change towards new tech as old tech is dropped out, while providing adapters, header.... for people who need to use them.. such as: Router/swtich managers.


Long live progress.
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2007 9:18:51 PM

Quote:
My beef with 1x PCIe connectors is... they are only 1x. WTF? That's less bandwidth than PCI (unless you try to use multiple PCI devices at once).


That's wrong, x1 is 250MB/s, PCI is 133MB/s, and PCI-E has full bandwidth in both directions simultaniously.


Quote:

Getting unused ports off the mobo would be one step towards bringing the size of teh personal PC down a bit, which hasn't happened in quite awhile. Very frustrating when I'm trying to build a cube PC and half my backplane is taken up by crap I don't even want after already being serverly limited in mobo choice because people appearantly want 8 PCI/PCIe slots for gaming machines... A ducted voltage regulator HSF would be so much cooler (literally).


Nah, the CPU portion of the board remains the same size, so reducing the port panel size does nothing to help. Micro ATX is a good option but still not embraced by gamers. As for cubes, just build them with Cyrix III processors since cubes don't matter. Really, from a performance standpoint their a dead end, and they're fairly horrible for HTPC as well. In the first case, a small tower works better and in the second, a horizontal Micro ATX dektop is superior.
January 8, 2007 9:32:59 PM

you forget the mighty mini-itx HTPC


Someone did a borg cube mod from one of those mobo's... awesome case... and NO SERIAL.
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2007 9:42:07 PM

I agree with the other guy about making the serial and parallel ports available on a breakout plate, the headers can be tucked out of the way nearly anywhere.
January 9, 2007 12:34:52 AM

Why are you guys arguing about costs? Some stupid tiny cheap adapter isn't $10 anyway. It's more like a buck. But who really cares. THINK. If they're including an adapter on a motherboard, someone is paying for it already. That someone is YOU. Why pay for something you don't need and won't use? Therefore, if you are one of those uber-rare people who still use legacy devices...run out and get a freakin' adapter. As for the MAJORITY of us...we prefer not to buy crap we don't need. Serial ports PS/2 ports, IDE ports...feel free to drop them ALL. They can all be hooked up with a tiny freakin' adapter. And if you whine about the lack of PS/2 support...I'll send you a USB to PS/2 adapter. I have one in my closet.
a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2007 7:35:31 AM

Because YOU want the ports removed, so YOU should pay for OUR adapters. And that means including them in every box!
January 9, 2007 12:56:50 PM

LOL.. that statement could be read both ways.

Either way, there is a cost of progression... someone will be paying it sooner or later.
January 9, 2007 1:19:55 PM

Quote:
I like them both. I want them to finally KILL SERIAL ports. NOBODY NEEDS printer / serial ports any more... USB is the way to go.


I work in IT, every switch and router I have seen has a serial port for Command-Line configuration (which you have to do before you can use a web interface (assuming there is a web interface)). The adapter you are talking about? in my experience they don't really like switches and routers. So while I agree with you in principle (I would love to never see a serial parallel or floppy port again, they are still neccesary.
January 9, 2007 1:22:02 PM

NO SH*T.

read the posts before you reply.
I clearly acknowledged the IT and business field. I work in IT and very aware of everything still in use that requires serial.
January 9, 2007 1:35:11 PM

my 2c as a home user/enthusiast:
parallel port can go

PS/2 to stay - 1 because there are times when it's easier too troubleshoot with PS/2 than USB (albeit I'm sure that some BIOS work could reverse this)
I've got a professional grade PS/2 KVM & why should I have to replace a perfectly functional item - have you seen the price of professional grade USB KVMs? They're more than a mobo ...

serial - well I recently had to include serial on a new replacement/upgrade board because I use it to programme a scanner. Yes, I have a serial to USB adapter - does it work, no.

Btw Comptia_Rep, have you looked at something like an abit MAX board?
Apart from the PS/2 ports they've pretty much done away with what you wanted.
January 9, 2007 1:46:23 PM

Ya I have.
Actually, I failed to mention in my biased opinion, that the adapters suck! LOL.
And some programs require ps/2 connected keyboard/mouse (non windows) and the bios doesn't always work faking the system.


Anyway, each manufacturer should offer legacy, or non legacy versions... is that so hard to ask :) 
January 9, 2007 2:47:46 PM

Noooooooo! Leave the PS/2 ports! USB mice and keyboards suck hardcore.

On every motherboard and every usb keyboard and mouse I've ever had to deal with has given me grief. At least 5 different combinations of motherboard and mouse and keyboard manufacturers have failed for no reason. The only way I was able to fix them were with PS/2 keyboards and mice taking the place of the USB, even if only temporarily.

Keep PS/2 until USB connectivity is perfected. And right now...even after all these years of USB...it still isn't perfect enough for me.
January 9, 2007 2:57:01 PM

Adapters are crap, we need real serial ports, at least 2 per machine.
January 9, 2007 3:20:09 PM

One question, with my ps/2 keyboard I can hit the spacebar and turn on my computer. Is this possible with a usb keyboard? Also, this is a pci express thread, why are we talking about the vast superiority of the rs/232 interface over the lowly usb?
a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2007 3:20:37 PM

PS/2 keyboards and mice won't die anytime soon. PS/2 is so much easier to work with than USB. I could never get a USB mouse or keyboard to work when doing a fresh install of XP. Besides, why take away something THAT WORKS! PS/2 is truly plug and play!

Serial and Parallel ports are actually taken off most retail systems these days anyway.

Anyway, back to the MAIN topic of this post, PCI-E 1x will eventually be used more often soon. I keep hearing rumors of sound cards and NIC cards for 1x slots from some IT guys I know.
January 9, 2007 7:50:29 PM

Quote:
My beef with 1x PCIe connectors is... they are only 1x. WTF? That's less bandwidth than PCI (unless you try to use multiple PCI devices at once).


That's wrong, x1 is 250MB/s, PCI is 133MB/s, and PCI-E has full bandwidth in both directions simultaniously.


You are correct. It has 250mbps half-duplex bandwidth which is faster than PCI. That is 250up and down for 500mbps total for PCIe1x (8000mbps full-duplex for a 16x connector which is where you get the "8gbps" you hear most often). For some reason I was thinking it was 250mbps full-duplex and thusly slower than PCIe1x for half-duplex :/ 
http://www.d-silence.com/feature.php?id=252


Quote:


Nah, the CPU portion of the board remains the same size, so reducing the port panel size does nothing to help. Micro ATX is a good option but still not embraced by gamers. As for cubes, just build them with Cyrix III processors since cubes don't matter. Really, from a performance standpoint their a dead end, and they're fairly horrible for HTPC as well. In the first case, a small tower works better and in the second, a horizontal Micro ATX dektop is superior.


The IO backplane could be half as tall or half as long easily. Although that wouldn't help to reduce the footprint of the board to less than existing designs it could help free up some valuable space for ventalation. The SFF Dell I'm typing on right now exhausts all of it's heat right past the IO backplane (the entire PC is only ~4" wide). It has no PS/2 connectors on it (unfortunately they still put a parallel and serial port on it though).

Gamers don't embrace micro ATX because micro ATX boards aren't marketed to gamers and ussually lack OC features. If shuttle can make an SLI board that is half the size of a micro ATX board there is no technical reason they couldn't make "enthusiast" micro ATX board.

All of my cubes are gaming machines :p  My current main rig is a cube and is SLI capable. It has just as much performance as any other mobo equipped with the same CPU and GFX. Outside of exotic OCing cube PCs are just as powerful as full sized towers. If I wanted to slap raid-0 raptors, SLIed 8800s, and an x6800 into my current case it would work fine (I'd need rear-exhausing GFX cards and to cut a few more intake vents, but rear-exhausting GFX is normal for 8800s and holes in the side panels a very simple mod). My OC would be somewhat limited by mobo and HSF choice, that is all.

Cube PCs are a bit too big and the wrong shape for most HTPC applications. Hardly damning of the case form factor. Size is far from being the biggest problem with the HTPC anyway.

The only thing you really get for a full ATX board is extra expansion slots. But I figure you need 1-2 for GFX , 0-1 for sound, 0-1 for network, 0-1 for raid. So you need 1-5 slots. You can fit 4 in a cube case with ease, most "gaming rigs" use only 1 or 2 slots. The biggest problem is huge GFX card HSFs..., they eat up a lot of space in a cube PC. meaning if you do dual GFX you have, at most, 1 more usuable expansion slot left.

More back on topic: no, your sound card and 10/100 NIC don't each *need* the extra bandwidth of PCIe (at least not at this time, your raid controller and 1000mbit NIC do though) and getting PCIe ones instead of PCI ones won't make your network noticibly faster or sound better. But PCIe has many other features that make it better such as dedicated bandwidth, reduced latencies, and smaller connectors (for 1x) making it cheaper and easier to deploy and if you try to use more than 1 device on the PCI bus at once (this includes many integrated ports) at once there will be a noticable performance degridation. I think it also generates less EMI has higher EMI resistance, can provide more power, has better power saving options, and uses significantly less power/performance.

This isn't like Dual GFX or Dual Core, this is a real technological advancement that improves performance, effeciency, and lowers cost. Your sound card didn't get any better when it went to PCI from ISA either, but imagine the impact it would have on your system to include an ISA bridge and a huge ISA connector on your new mobo... GFX cards didn't get any faster when they first went to PCIe16x from AGP either (they maybe pushed that one through a little sooner than they needed to, but we needed to switch over sometime to get the new interface available and cheap). The sooner we get switched over the sooner we can all reap the full benefits. PCIe is good, don't fight it ;) 

We are kind of waiting on increased availability of PCIe devices though :/  I need a new WiFi card sometime in the near future but I really hate to buy a PCI one...
January 9, 2007 8:02:12 PM

Quote:
PS/2 keyboards and mice won't die anytime soon. PS/2 is so much easier to work with than USB. I could never get a USB mouse or keyboard to work when doing a fresh install of XP. Besides, why take away something THAT WORKS! PS/2 is truly plug and play!


They aren't meant to be hot-swappable though. Some mobo manufacturers and IO chipsets/drivers make accomidation for hot-swapping PS/2 devices (I've had some systems it worked on, some didn't). In theory you could fry your mobo by hot swapping PS/2 devices. USB has stagged pins, and shielding designed to disperse charges and equalize grounds as it is being plugged in. I believe some sort of surge compensation is also part of the spec. It is designed to be hot swapped and as we all know it works pretty well.

I haven't had any problems with USB keyboard/mouse in a year or two, but I have experienced problems with BIOS, DOS, and fresh installs as you mentioned. These problems have been ironed out and if you use a newer mobo and keyboard you shouldn't have any problems.
January 9, 2007 8:06:19 PM

I have seen sparks fly from a ps2 keyboard. At work, I have replaced 2 motherboards from that.
January 9, 2007 9:39:20 PM

I disagree, I am an enthusiast and a Computer tech were I work, Every system I have built for my self over the last 14 years is built to be as flexible as possible. The new system I,m build will include a Motherboard with PCIe Slots, PCI slots, when picking it I made sure it had 1 serial port, 1 parallel port and I even fitted a floppy. Never know when relitaves or friend drop in with old computers or printers they want me to test.
If I had kept every old computer I,ve owned for testing, there wouldn't be any room for the family. :? :? :? :? :?
!