phoenix

Need a MB with at least 3 PCIe 8x slots?

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I'm too inexperienced with PCIe!

Dream board would be something with a x16 slot for a good video card and a pair of x8 slots for HD SDI card and an Areca 1220 controller, plus a couple of PCI or PCIe 1x slots on the side for other stuff.

Do such boards exist? What are the categories?

From a little snooping, I see a bunch of boards with dual x16 or dual x8 slots plus a bunch of x1 slots for seasoning.

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There are a few new chipsets out that support 2 full 16-lane PCI-E slots, mainly designed for SLI but obviously can be used for anything else PCI-E-ish. There are also others with 8x or 4x slots as opposed to 2x16.

I'm not sure how soon these will be available though.

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There are a few new chipsets out that support 2 full 16-lane PCI-E slots, mainly designed for SLI but obviously can be used for anything else PCI-E-ish. There are also others with 8x or 4x slots as opposed to 2x16.

I'm not sure how soon these will be available though.

there are motherboards with 3 or 4 pci-X slots that would give you the performance you need

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there are motherboards with 3 or 4 pci-X slots that would give you the performance you need

Yeah, I've seen and used a few. Unfortunately I want to keep all device purchases PCIe from this point onward, especially reasonably big ticket ones... I've seen a lot of press about dual full x16 boards but have been surprised by the lack of, say, x16+x8+x8 boards. I'm guessing the market need for this is filled by PCI-X.

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there are motherboards with 3 or 4 pci-X slots that would give you the performance you need

You should keep in mind that he's stated that he's looking for motherboard with PCI-E, not just the "performance factor". He may either currently have PCI-E cards or want to migrate to them if he believes that PCI-E will become more prevalent for add-in cards.

Also, please note that PCI-E is not compatible with PCI-X or PCI.

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there are motherboards with 3 or 4 pci-X slots that would give you the performance you need

Yeah, I've seen and used a few. Unfortunately I want to keep all device purchases PCIe from this point onward, especially reasonably big ticket ones... I've seen a lot of press about dual full x16 boards but have been surprised by the lack of, say, x16+x8+x8 boards. I'm guessing the market need for this is filled by PCI-X.

Actually, the problem is more with the lack of available bandwidth for supplying multiple PCI-E slots. Most chipsets currently are only able to supply up to approximately 32 or 36 PCI-E lanes, and the way that most boards are allocating this is with two FULL SPEED PCI-E x16 slots, 1 or 2 PCI-E x1 slots, and the other two get allocated for communication between the North Bridge and South Bridge and all the devices attached to them.

It would be much nicer if, IMHO, the motherboard had physical PCI-E x16 connectors and you could allocate bandwidth dynamically via BIOS settings. That way, people who wanted to use PCI-E for SLI with two slots using up 32 lanes (PCI-E x16 * 2), while people who would be happier with, say, 3 or 4 PCI-E slots with x8 bandwith to each could be happy too. B)

Edited by Trinary

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It would be much nicer if, IMHO, the motherboard had physical PCI-E x16 connectors and you could allocate bandwidth dynamically via BIOS settings. That way, people who wanted to use PCI-E for SLI with two slots using up 32 lanes (PCI-E x16 * 2), while people who would be happier with, say, 3 or 4 PCI-E slots with x8 bandwith to each could be happy too. B)

You nailed it. I'd love to have a board with four 16x PCI-E slots and the choice to do 16+16+2+1, 16+8+8+2, 8+8+8+8 or some similar combination.

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How about workstation boards using the nForce 4 Pro chipset? IIRC, the Pro allows board makers to add chips to support extra PCIe lanes as desired. Maybe Tyan, Supermicro or someone has done such a thing, or is about to?

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The Supermicro H8DCE has two x16 PCI-E and 2 x4 PCI-E slots. Both x4 PCI-E use x8 PCI-E physical slots. I don't think you'll find much better than that regarding multiple high-bandwidth PCI-E slots on a single motherboard.

There's also the Tyan Thunder K8QE that offers the same configuration, except that both x4 PCI-E slots use x16 physical slots.

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The Supermicro H8DCE has two x16 PCI-E and 2 x4 PCI-E slots. Both x4 PCI-E use x8 PCI-E physical slots. I don't think you'll find much better than that regarding multiple high-bandwidth PCI-E slots on a single motherboard.

There's also the Tyan Thunder K8QE that offers the same configuration, except that both x4 PCI-E slots use x16 physical slots.

Too bad that the H8DCE doesn't list support for Windows 2003 Standard or Enterprise whether 32-bit or 64-bit... :blink::huh::(

And why Tyan doesn't have a larger image of the K8QE just boggles the mind... :rolleyes:

Edited by Trinary

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Well, I give up.

The previously linked boards are OEM only, not for sale as far as I can tell.

I did find a couple of options, however these tend to be the quad-Opteron variety and I'm just not paying that kind of premium when a singla dual-core Athlon or Opteron is going to be sufficient for me. My dream of a single super-duper-uber PC (HDSDI editing, fast disk, and one of those nice solid 7800GT-esque video cards to play the fancy games) have been dashed!

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Well, I give up.

The previously linked boards are OEM only, not for sale as far as I can tell.

I did find a couple of options, however these tend to be the quad-Opteron variety and I'm just not paying that kind of premium when a singla dual-core Athlon or Opteron is going to be sufficient for me. My dream of a single super-duper-uber PC (HDSDI editing, fast disk, and one of those nice solid 7800GT-esque video cards to play the fancy games) have been dashed!

Should it be of any help I have an Asus A8N32 sli working with 2 Promise EX8350 together with an ATI x1900xtx. One of the 2 promise is in the 4x slot, the other in the 16x slot.

I had to use two controllers (one with 4xraptor 74 R0, one with 8xmaxtor 200GB R5) because I cannot succeed in getting the on board Nforce raid controller working together with the Promise, using WinXP pro. It doesn't boot, even with my previsious MB, a DFI Lanparty SLI DR.

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Well, I give up.

The previously linked boards are OEM only, not for sale as far as I can tell.

I did find a couple of options, however these tend to be the quad-Opteron variety and I'm just not paying that kind of premium when a singla dual-core Athlon or Opteron is going to be sufficient for me. My dream of a single super-duper-uber PC (HDSDI editing, fast disk, and one of those nice solid 7800GT-esque video cards to play the fancy games) have been dashed!

Try www.gamepc.com. They have a very good selection of real high end ethusiast motherboards.

But ya, most chipsets/CPU only supports up to about 40 PCI-Express lanes. So if you want two true x16 lanes, you will only have 8 lanes left, with 4 lanes used for NB-SB connection and 4 other lanes used for legacy PCI and USB/GE/SATA etc (for ATI's implimentation). Or you could cheat a little (Nvidia's nForce4 Ultra) and split 16 lanes to 8 + 8 for SLi, and use the rest of the 24 lanes for other stuff.

In general,

PCI-X 133Mhz Bus uses 4x PCI Express lanes

Gigabit Ethernet uses 0.5x PCI Express lanes

AGP 8x uses 1x PCI Express lanes

4x USB 2.0 uses 1x PCI Express lanes

etc.

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Well, I give up.

The previously linked boards are OEM only, not for sale as far as I can tell.

I did find a couple of options, however these tend to be the quad-Opteron variety and I'm just not paying that kind of premium when a singla dual-core Athlon or Opteron is going to be sufficient for me. My dream of a single super-duper-uber PC (HDSDI editing, fast disk, and one of those nice solid 7800GT-esque video cards to play the fancy games) have been dashed!

While the supermicro is OEM it is also avialable from certian retailers.

I am currently running one that I purschased from www.monarchcomputer.com

With the recent drop in the price of Opteron 265's it is relatively affordable to put together a quad core system. The bad part is that registered ecc ram is still much more expensive then regular ddr.

If you are really planning to 3 or more devices that using that much bandwidth then you are going to want a professional based system ethusiast level products just won't handle that kind of load.

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Awesome!!

I think you just found my motherboard for me.... thank you! Looks like it has exactly what I need - gobs of expansion slots, eight DIMM sockets, but without the cost of having to jump into Opteron 8xx processors.

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