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PCI Express 3.0 and Ivy Bridge Questions

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April 25, 2012 6:13:19 PM

Hello,

I'm slightly confused on the whole Ivy Bridge PCI-E 3.0 support and the 16 lane maximum, so I had a few questions.

If I run two graphics card with PCI-Express 3.0 at x16 each, will the processor only accept x8 from each card? If this is true, there would be no point in getting a motherboard such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which supports x16 each lane in PCI-Express 3.0, when running SLI or CrossfireX. It would make more sense to get something like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which supports x8 each lane in PCI-Express 3.0 (for a total of 16 lanes for the processor, which is the cap for the processor).

In addition, what if I added a sound card to a PCI-E x1 slot? Does that take up a lane to the processor and thus only only allowing 15 lanes for the GPU's?

Any help would be appreciated.
April 26, 2012 3:48:44 AM

Quote:
I'm not the most knowledgeable person about this, but I do know that often high end motherboards (e.g., $250+ models) will have extra chips on the board itself that increases the amount of PCI-e bandwidth.


^ This is true, with Sandy-Bridge you could get a motherboard with a NF200 chip on it and get dual x16 performance. Also on newegg if you click the 'Details' tab and scroll down to expansion slots it tell you the layout of your PCI-e lanes in different configurations e.g. the ASUS P8Z77 WS LGA 1155 Intel Z77 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard you linked has the following options x16/x16/0/0 or x16/x8/x8/0 or x8/x8/x8/x8 which means it will run PCI-e 3.0 at full bandwidth using 2 Cards in SLI or Crossfie, whether or not you need the bandwidth is a different matter entirely.
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April 26, 2012 4:07:53 AM

benikens said:
Quote:
I'm not the most knowledgeable person about this, but I do know that often high end motherboards (e.g., $250+ models) will have extra chips on the board itself that increases the amount of PCI-e bandwidth.


^ This is true, with Sandy-Bridge you could get a motherboard with a NF200 chip on it and get dual x16 performance. Also on newegg if you click the 'Details' tab and scroll down to expansion slots it tell you the layout of your PCI-e lanes in different configurations e.g. the ASUS P8Z77 WS LGA 1155 Intel Z77 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard you linked has the following options x16/x16/0/0 or x16/x8/x8/0 or x8/x8/x8/x8 which means it will run PCI-e 3.0 at full bandwidth using 2 Cards in SLI or Crossfie, whether or not you need the bandwidth is a different matter entirely.


Thanks for your reply. I did see this but I was not entirely sure if it was accurate. When it said x16/x16/0/0 for PCI Express 3.0 I thought it would still be capped by the Ivy Bridge processor. Apparently this motherboard implements the PLX chip to allow more lanes of PCI Express. Is this true?
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