PCIe x4 card in a x1 slot

joostmnl

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Dec 30, 2011
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Howdy,

I have a board with an x1 slot empty. Il have the need to add a dual port NIC which come on a x4 card.
I also need to use a riser for my low profile home system, like these http://www.ameri-rack.com/ARC1-PEX16_m.html.

These risers accept x4 cards and fit in an x1 slot.

Is that supposed to work? I thought that you could insert a x1 card in a x4 slot, but not a x4 card in a x1 slot.
Am I correct in this?

Many thanks for your PCIe insights!

Kind regards, Joost
 
G

Guest

Guest
Well, you are correct. Physically you can insert a 1x card into a 4x slot and it will work fine, but the 4x connector won't fit in a 1x slot (for a reason) and likely will not work even with the adapter. The link you provided comes up to a 404 Not Found HTML error for me but, I've heard about those risers before. Think about it this way. Your trying to plug in a 220 volt appliance into a 110 socket.
 
G

Guest

Guest
PCI-Express is split into lanes to provide bandwidth. If you shove a device into a one lane slot that is designed to be in a 4 lane slot, something is bound to not work right. It's like shoe-horning a size 9 shoe onto a size 12 foot.
 

joostmnl

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Dec 30, 2011
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OK. Thanks for your insight.

I'm fine with the idea of getting only 10Mb/s performance per port. My question is really wether it will work? Does a x4 card have an idea of the slot it's plugged in or is anything beyond x1 just "lanes"?
 

mathew7

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Jun 3, 2011
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It should work if the specifications are implemented correctly. Lanes are negotiated by both parties.
A PCIe 1.0 x1 link is roughly equivalent to a PCI link. So maybe 150-200MB/s is still achievable (250MB/s on paper), considering that the x1 link is never shared. And if PCIe 2.0 can be used, then the paper limit goes to 500MB/s.
 

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