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Why do most mobo mfgs restrict PCI-e x16 slots to graphics cards only?

Last response: in Motherboards
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June 16, 2012 8:35:13 PM

It seems that most motherboard manufacturers restrict the PCI-e x16 slots to graphics cards only on most consumer-level motherboards. Why is this? This is a violation of the PCI-e standard, since PCI-e was designed to be a general-purpose bus (unlike AGP which was designed strictly for graphics cards). For example, if someone wanted to use a PCI-e x4 or x8 RAID card, they are forced to buy a more expensive workstation motherboard, since most consumer-level motherboards restrict the x16 slots to graphics cards only. This is even the case with boards that have multiple x16 slots.
a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2012 8:59:40 PM

The average person doesnt have any hardware that needs that much bandwidth, except for a graphics card.
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June 16, 2012 9:15:16 PM

GI_JONES said:
The average person doesnt have any hardware that needs that much bandwidth, except for a graphics card.

But does it cost any more to manufacturers to be fully compliant with the PCI-e standard?
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 3:12:07 PM

Confusion, are you saying that if I stuck a PCIe x1 card in the PCIe x16 slot that it wouldn't work somehow ??? Didn't know this.
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June 17, 2012 4:49:54 PM

tsnor said:
Confusion, are you saying that if I stuck a PCIe x1 card in the PCIe x16 slot that it wouldn't work somehow ??? Didn't know this.


Yes, many consumer-level motherboards restrict the x16 slots to video cards only.
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 11:33:13 PM

Can you point me to one, I'd like to read the manual. Was just planning to put a Sata controller in the only PCIe slot in an older amd pc, so am very interested in learning if it might fail before i buy.
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June 17, 2012 11:35:21 PM

tsnor said:
Can you point me to one, I'd like to read the manual. Was just planning to put a Sata controller in the only PCIe slot in an older amd pc, so am very interested in learning if it might fail before i buy.


Your best bet would be to ask the manufacturer. Various models of motherboard (even of the same brand) may or may not support anything other than a graphics card in the x16 slot.
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