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PCI compatibility question

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  • Homebuilt
  • SSD
  • PCI
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
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March 4, 2013 2:56:49 AM

I built myself a machine a little under two years ago, and I'm planning on upgrading my SSD to a PCI SSD. I've done some research, and I think I'll be ok, but I just want to ask people here to be absolutely sure. Here are the relevant specs of my computer:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Wireless card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (x2 in SLI)
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The SSD that I'm planning on buying is this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The current setup of my PCI cards is as follows, from top to bottom on the motherboard:

Wireless card
PCIe (wireless card)
PCIe 2.0 x16 (GPU #1)
PCIe (empty)
PCI (empty)
PCIe 2.0 x16 (GPU #2)
PCI (empty)
PCIe 2.0 x16 (empty)

My question is: can I use the SSD I want in the bottom PCIe 2.0 x16 slot? And would there be any performance issues? The main reason I'm asking is because the SSD says PCIe x4, and because the motherboard specs say the following about the x16 slots on it:

"2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16* [Black] (max. at x4 mode, compatible with PCIe x1 and x4 devices)
*The PCIe x16_3 slot shares bandwidth with PCIe x1_1 slot, PCIe x1_2 slot, USB3_34 and ESATA12. The PCIe x16_3 runs at x1 mode by default for system resource optimization.(PCIe x1_2 will be disabled.)"

If anyone has any answers, please let me know! Thank you!

More about : pci compatibility question

a c 137 B Homebuilt system
March 4, 2013 8:00:35 AM

looks to me like anything in that third pci-e x16 slot cuts in to your graphics card bandwidth
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Best solution

March 4, 2013 8:16:52 AM

IIRC, that third PCIe slot on your motherboard uses PCIe lanes from the PCH (P67 chipset itself). The key sentence is this: The PCIe x16_3 slot shares bandwidth with PCIe x1_1 slot, PCIe x1_2 slot, USB3_34 and ESATA12

Essentially, you could put your SSD into the bottom PCIe slot, however, by default it would only be using one lane of PCIe bandwidth (x1) which would effectively destroy any point of having a PCIe SSD. If you want to pursue putting the PCIe SSD in this bottom slot at best you would get a four lane (x4) PCIe setup by disabling the two PCIe x1 slots, USB3_34 and ESATA12.

Otherwise you could put it in your second PCIe x16 slot and do that, however, by doing that you'd be running in 8x/8x mode effectively halving your PCIe bandwidth for your graphics card. (EDIT: Just realized you said you're running in SLI so this isn't even an option)

In any case, do you actually need a PCIe SSD for any reason? Why not go with a 128GB or 256GB Samsung SSD 840 Pro? Only reason I can think of telling you to get a PCIe SSD is if your motherboard is affected by the P67 SATA bug, which is pretty unlikely.
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March 4, 2013 9:09:34 AM

s3anister said:
IIRC, that third PCIe slot on your motherboard uses PCIe lanes from the PCH (P67 chipset itself). The key sentence is this: The PCIe x16_3 slot shares bandwidth with PCIe x1_1 slot, PCIe x1_2 slot, USB3_34 and ESATA12

Essentially, you could put your SSD into the bottom PCIe slot, however, by default it would only be using one lane of PCIe bandwidth (x1) which would effectively destroy any point of having a PCIe SSD. If you want to pursue putting the PCIe SSD in this bottom slot at best you would get a four lane (x4) PCIe setup by disabling the two PCIe x1 slots, USB3_34 and ESATA12.

Otherwise you could put it in your second PCIe x16 slot and do that, however, by doing that you'd be running in 8x/8x mode effectively halving your PCIe bandwidth for your graphics card. (EDIT: Just realized you said you're running in SLI so this isn't even an option)

In any case, do you actually need a PCIe SSD for any reason? Why not go with a 128GB or 256GB Samsung SSD 840 Pro? Only reason I can think of telling you to get a PCIe SSD is if your motherboard is affected by the P67 SATA bug, which is pretty unlikely.


Thanks for the answer! I actually already have an SSD (this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-... ), I just wanted to get a PCI SSD if possible, for the increased read/write speed. Maybe I'll wait until my next build for that.
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March 4, 2013 9:39:27 AM

ws1173 said:
Thanks for the answer! I actually already have an SSD (this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-... ), I just wanted to get a PCI SSD if possible, for the increased read/write speed. Maybe I'll wait until my next build for that.

No problem. That's not a bad SSD and in terms of SSD performance random R/W is more important for a snappy interface; after a certain point with SSDs sustained transfer speed is less important, it'd only matter if you were using an SSD as a scratch disk for photoshop or something similar.
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March 4, 2013 9:41:21 AM

Best answer selected by ws1173.
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