Pci e - nvme + graphics card + network adapter

Dimsweden

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Nov 17, 2013
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Hi!
I am thinking of adding an nvme ssd to my system, using a pci e adapter, to work as a secondary drive. I intend to install heavy applications and games on it.
I have an Asus Z87-pro motherboard and i am fully aware of the fact that i cannot use nvme to boot from. My boot ssd is a Samsung 840 Pro.
My question is, will this affect my graphics card performance (nvidia titan x pascal) based on the fact that both use pci e lanes? I should notice that i also have an Asus ac-68 wireless pci adapter.
My system has an i7-4771 cpu and 32gb DDR-3 @ 2133Mhz.
I have searched a lot and have tried to read about pci lanes and the communication to the cpu etc, but all of this is really overwhelming for me. I really hope you can find some minutes to help me.
Thanks in advance!
 

bailojustin

Admirable
Yes it will [strike]drastically[/strike]*marginally impact performance, it will drop your PCI for your card to x8 from x16 if you did a PCI m.2 along with your GPU and your Network.

I would suggest getting a m.2 adapter for usb 3.0 if you really want the m.2, or using your current ssd as a USB SSD and put the m.2 to sata using an adapter.
 

Dimsweden

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Nov 17, 2013
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Thank you for your answers!
As i gave away 12999 SEK (1411 USD) for my Titan X Pascal i would naturally want to get 100% of its potential, so even the slightest performance drop is not acceptable.
Do you think that even my network adapter can drop pci for my gpu?
 
Which slot is your network adapter in? If it's in the x1 slot it wont come into it as they use your chipset PCIE 2.0 lanes whereas the x16 slots use your CPU PCIE 3.0 lanes (although depending on CPU it may already be in PCIE 2.0). That's why the x1 slot is a different version in the board spec (PCIE 2.0 not 3.0). The chipset is only 2.0 but depending on the gen of CPU you have it'll provide either 2.0 or 3.0 (Still following me lol).

Your GPU is about the only card on the market that may be impacted by not running at PCIE 3.0 x16 though. It's application dependent, but if you don't want to lose absolutely any performance then it's probably not a good idea as this article shows https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Titan-X-Performance-PCI-E-3-0-x8-vs-x16-851/
 

Dimsweden

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Nov 17, 2013
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Very interesting article! Your response helped me drop the nvme-idea. I'll just add another SATA ssd to my system, its performance should be sufficient.
As for the network card, it is installed in pci e bus 4, that is marked as "PCI e 2.0 x1_4 slot". I understand that it would not be a problem then (?). I would happily receive a confirmation so that i can relieve the anxiety! (OCD is terrible! LOL).
Thanks again!
 
Yeah I would agree. And yes its still using chipset lanes. Only the first two x16 lanes use CPU lanes. The i7 4770 provides 16 PCIE 3.0 lanes. The z87 chipset provides 8 PCIE 2.0 lanes divided between the extra five slots.

OCD is a blessing not a flaw ;) lol
 

Rikorage

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Jun 2, 2017
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From what I've read about the board from the specs looking at an online seller, your mobo can support two dedicated PCIe 3.0 x16 ports, meaning your cards have one or two dedicated x16 lanes (which is split into two x8 lanes with two graphics cards for one port if specified that way), and/or there is another x16 lane that's split up between whatever runs on that one, not to mention the other PCIe 2.0 x16 lane elsewhere. HOWEVER (this is an edit), your core i7 4771 only has one set of PCIe 3.0 x16 lanes in total, and they configure like so (from the Intel product page): Up to 1x16, 2x8, 1x8+2x4.

So, to answer your question, I'm pretty sure that NVMe, if it's running on a PCIe expansion card, will not affect your graphics card (if you just have one), as it should be running on one of the other lanes your mobo has (if the specs are to be read correctly). If you only have one video card, even THAT is more than likely not utilizing the full bandwidth of even the 8x lanes for PCIe 3.0, unless you have two Titan XP's in your rig, which I'm sure is not likely without a massive upgrade to even get the most from a card like that.

If you're still interested (another edit to this), I would recommend updating your CPU/mobo to a 7th-gen/Z270 setup, as that has native support for M.2 NVMe drives, usually up to 3 drives in the 2280 format, with their own dedicated lanes at x4 each (at least my board does).

4K gaming is where you'll start seeing an issue with reduced lanes, not to mention your system may be older than what's required for that, so I'm gonna assume you're going for 1080p or 1440p gaming, in which case, you should be totally fine running x8 lanes, even for a Titan XP.

Edit: and I wrote this before seeing someone already said what I said, just 6 months earlier. If it helps, though, I'll leave it for anyone one else who didn't read that other page that was posted :p
 

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