So, I have a GA-M57SLI-S4 (rev. 2.0) mobo and I recently purchased a really expensive PCI-E x1 card. Currently, I have a PCI-E x1 card in the PCI_1 slot and a large PCI-E x16 card in the PCI_16_1 slot. This card has a large fan that covers up the PCIE_2 slot.
So, in my opinion, the best position for the new card would be the PCI_16_2 slot. I know x1 cards can fit and work in x16 slots, but I am just curious if it will work with my motherboard. This motherboard is SLI, but I am not using it for that. A different post mentioned they had to move jumpers on their mobo to get the sli slots to work independently.
I guess I can test my less expensive PCI-E x1 card in the x16 slot and see if it works, but I do not want to ruin the card. Does anyone know if putting a x1 card into the second x16 slot on my Gigabyte SLI mobo will work? Or will it mess things up? Thanks.
First off - all PCIe cards are interchangeable, so long as the slot is physically and electrically big enough to fit it... There are two angles to PCIe slots: physical (how many lanes of space it provides in the connector), and electrical (how many lanes of that physical space are actually suplied with connecting fingers). Physical lanes do not always correspond to electrical lanes - example: many boards are set up with two 16 lane physical slots (to accomodate graphics cards), but often one of them is only an x8, or x4 electrical slot. Obviously, a slot must always be at least as big physically as it is electrically (i.e., an x8 electrical slot has to have enough contact fingers to handle the whole eight lanes), but the converse is not true.
When you toss a card into a x16 slot, it will definitely fit physically, and when the BIOS starts up the system, the PCIe provider (the northbridge, hub, or CPU itself) negotiates with the card - the card says "I need/want this many lanes", and the provider says "well, I can give you this many!" With any x1 card, that negotiation is simple - doesn't matter how many lanes the slot/provider has - the card only wants one - so an x1 card will work successfully, with no risk, in any available slot!