Use x16 PCI-e slots for something other than graphics?

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Inflatable Soulmate
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2010/01/29 21:08:52 (permalink)
I have the EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 motherboard, which uses the nVidia 780i chipset.  Currently, the two PCI-e x16 2.0 slots are being used by 8800GT (display) and 8500GT (PhysX) GPUs.  I have found a fibre channel disk array on ebay that I'm looking into purchasing, and I will need a PCI-e x4 slot for the fibre channel HBA card.  Now, I know you can physically plug an x4 card into an x16 slot, and that it's supposed to be compatible, but there is a lot of talk about some SLi boards reserving the x16 slots solely for graphics usage.

I haven't been able to find anything online about anyone trying to use the x16 slots on this board for anything but graphics.  The online 'Spec Sheet' has a line featuring the 3 slots that is worded "3 16x PCIE GPU Slots".  Does this mean that the BIOS will not recognize a card plugged into the slot if it isn't a GPU?

So, has anyone tried plugging a PCI-e x1 sound card or NIC or something into one of the x16 slots?  I know some of the GPUs can block the PCI-e x1 slot on the board and thought maybe someone had just decided to use the x16 slot in the middle for a NIC or sound card.  Any help or experience is greatly appreciated.

post edited by Inflatable Soulmate - 2010/01/29 21:11:41

Q6600 (stock 2.4GHz)
4GB DDR-2 800MHz ram (2x 2GB)
nVidia 8800GT OC
nVidia 8500GT (dedicated PhysX)
EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 Motherboard (nVidia 780i)
42" Panasonic Viera Plasma HDTV (1920x1080x32bpp@60Hz) [primary]
23" Samsung SyncMaster 2333 (1920x1080x32bpp@60Hz) [secondary]


Inflatable Soulmate
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    VistaHead
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    Re:Use x16 PCI-e slots for something other than graphics? 2010/01/30 05:06:25 (permalink)
    You can use the slots for other than GPU's.  I had a PCIE x8 RAID card inserted and it ran just fine...I currently have a PCIE x8 SSD inserted, and it runs fine (it is my OS SSD).  Plenty of folks run sound cards that are x4, and other devices that are x1 in the middle slot...the x16 lanes are backwards compatible. 
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    Inflatable Soulmate
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    Re:Use x16 PCI-e slots for something other than graphics? 2010/01/30 13:30:53 (permalink)
    Thanks for the info.  I'm glad that eVGA's BIOS doesn't nerf the usage of the slots.  I've been wanting to play with a fibre channel RAID array for a while now, and this used one I have found online is definitely cheap enough to go for.

    Thanks for the help

    Q6600 (stock 2.4GHz)
    4GB DDR-2 800MHz ram (2x 2GB)
    nVidia 8800GT OC
    nVidia 8500GT (dedicated PhysX)
    EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 Motherboard (nVidia 780i)
    42" Panasonic Viera Plasma HDTV (1920x1080x32bpp@60Hz) [primary]
    23" Samsung SyncMaster 2333 (1920x1080x32bpp@60Hz) [secondary]


    Inflatable Soulmate
    Server Operations Manager
    Brothers of Chaos Online Gaming Community
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    VistaHead
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    Re:Use x16 PCI-e slots for something other than graphics? 2010/01/30 13:40:59 (permalink)
    You are welcome.  Let us know how the fibre channel RAID works out for you.
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    quadlatte
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    Re:Use x16 PCI-e slots for something other than graphics? 2010/01/30 21:27:53 (permalink)
    Inflatable Soulmate

    Thanks for the info.  I'm glad that eVGA's BIOS doesn't nerf the usage of the slots.  I've been wanting to play with a fibre channel RAID array for a while now, and this used one I have found online is definitely cheap enough to go for.

    Thanks for the help


    sweet, I am sure you love the speed they can offer

                                          
                System Specs: Scan Code                                   Heatware: http://heatware.com/eval.php?id=72498
     
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