Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots?

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wkearney99
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2010/07/28 10:04:17 (permalink)
Is it possible to use cards other than ones for graphics in the PCI Express x16 slots?

I'd like to add a hardware RAID card and most need a PCI Express x4 slot.  I was wondering if the 780i would support using a card like that in one of the PCIE-x16 slots?  Is it a definite "won't work" situation?
post edited by wkearney99 - 2010/07/28 10:11:14
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    Hanni
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/07/28 10:07:02 (permalink)
    Of course it works. PCI-E is not made for graphic cards. It's for any card that supports PCI-E. 




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    wkearney99
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/07/28 10:14:56 (permalink)
    I ask this because the manual states the slots are for graphics cards, on page 26: 

    PCI Express x16 Slots
    These three PCI Express x16 slots are reserved for graphics or video cards. The  design of this motherboard supports three PCI-Express graphics cards using  NVIDIA’s SLI technology

    I ask for a specific answer because the 780i equires that slot 1 MUST be used for the first video card.  The motherboard WILL NOT allow you to use a video card in any other slots without using slot 1 first.  So I'm asking to be sure there's not some additional restrictions on how the other x16 slots can or can't be used.  No point in my spending several hundred dollars on a RAID card that requires at least an x4 slot only to have it NOT WORK, follow me?

    So have you actually USED something other than a video card in one of the 780i x16 slots?  Or are you just going on theory?
    post edited by wkearney99 - 2010/07/28 10:17:16
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    Hanni
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/07/28 10:18:11 (permalink)
    Really? I use slot 2 only for graphic card on my 750i FTW without any problems.

    You know what you should do? Give EVGA a call. They'll know the answer.

    888.880.EVGA (3842)





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    bob16314
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/07/28 12:17:43 (permalink)
    Yes, you should be able to use a PCIe X16 slot for your RAID card..The slots are backward compatible, read here and/or here..I believe your graphics card must be used in slot 1 on your 780i, if you use any other slot you will probably get a message similar to what I would get on my 790i: "A single graphics card has been detected in PCIE X16_2 (or 3) slot..Please move the graphics card to PCIE X16_1 slot for non SLI operation"..Good luck.
    post edited by bob16314 - 2010/07/28 12:34:07

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    wkearney99
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/08/04 07:55:15 (permalink)
    I put a card into the slot and it appears usable, sort of.   It's an Areca ARC-1210 RAID card, and it uses a PCIe x8 connector.

    When I boot the machine the BIOS doesn't bring up the card's boot ROM.  If I boot from a drive attached to the other ports the card is accessible and works in either of the other PCIe x16 slots.  But it doesn't seem to be bootable in either one of the slots. 

    I've got the motherboard BIOS "Boot other device" set to Enabled.  I've got "Hard Disk Boot Priority" set with "Bootable Add-in Cards" at the #1 position.  I've tried all variations in the First, Second and Third boot device settings.  None seem to get the card ROM to boot.  Not Removable, Hard Disk, CDROM, Network nor Disabled.  No variations seem to bring up the card's boot ROM.

    In the past I had a bootable card in the PCIe x1 slot and it's boot ROM would come up.  It's not present in the machine now (so it's not something conflicting here).   Right now the only two cards in the machine are an EVGA video card in the first slot and the RAID card (an Areca 1210) in one of the others (I tried both).   I've got the latest (P10) BIOS loaded on the motherboard.

    I've tried the card on two other kinds of motherboards (one Asus and the other an Intel ) and they bring up the boot ROM just fine.  So the card itself is OK.

    So, can the 780i BIOS boot from a card in the PCIe x16 slots? 

    If not, could a BIOS patch be issued to allow this?  It's been an awful lot of work to get things setup on this board and I'm just sooooo close to completion.
    #6
    VistaHead
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/08/04 13:46:24 (permalink)
    I have the 790i Ultra and I use to run that exact card in slot #2 (the PCI-E slot farthest from the CPU) with no problems.  I had my graphics card in slot #1 (closest slot to the CPU).  I now run an OCZ PCI-E SSD card in slot #2.  The slot order (from closest to the CPU to the farthest away) is 1,3,2. 
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    wkearney99
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/08/04 14:30:13 (permalink)
    Turned out the RAID card needed it's firmware updated.  Now it boots just fine.

    One other question, on the 780i which of the x16 slots is faster than the others?  I realize the video card has to be in the slot closest to the CPU (often the left slot when laid flat, or topmost when vertical).  I have my video card in that slot.  But into which slot should I put the RAID card?  Does it matter?  It's a x8 card, if that matters.

    I'll also point out to others that an x1 card works just fine in the x16 slots.  Bootable too.  I have a x1 jmicron esata card and it works perfectly in any of the PCIe slots.  Just an FYI.
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    VistaHead
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    Re:Cards other than video in PCI-x16 slots? 2010/08/04 14:33:46 (permalink)
    It does not matter which is faster....the card you are using is x8.  Like I previously stated, I ran mine in slot #2 to allow space between it and my graphics card.  Glad you got it worked out.
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