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PCIE card for additional nvme SSD?

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by vladtepes, Apr 1, 2024.

  1. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    I have a Gigabyte x570 aorus master motherboard.

    I currently am utilising all 3 nvme slots and would like (in due course) to add a fourth so just researching whether that's a realistic option.

    I don't claim to know much about pcie 'lanes' etc so just need to know
    1. Is my board capable of running additional nvme drives.
    2. If so 1 or 2?
    3. What card should I be looking for?

    Ta
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2024
  2. Elmf

    Elmf Member

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    All info is typically in the manual, which you basically linked to, check it here:
    https://download.gigabyte.com/FileL...1002_e.pdf?v=30c7ecc8f9bc0e464b65a4062dd58841

    The areas relevant to your question seem to be under the Expansion Slot section, Page 10:
    Expansion Slots Integrated in the CPU (PCIEX16/PCIEX8): Š 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen™ processors: - 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0 and running at x16 (PCIEX16) - 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0 and running at x8 (PCIEX8) Š 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen™ processors: - 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x16 (PCIEX16) - 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x8 (PCIEX8) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot. * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When using the 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen™ processors/2nd Generation AMD Ryzen™ processors, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode. Š 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics processors/AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics processors: - 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x8 (PCIEX16)

    TLDR:

    If you have a third gen or above Ryzen, you effectively have a 16x and a 8x PCIE slot, but stupidly it seems to indicate that the PCIE x16 slot will drop down to x8 if you utilise the other slot, meaning you'll end up with 2 x PCIE x8 slots. It would be good for someone to confirm this who's actually done it, as I find the manual wording a bit ...unclear?

    What GPU do you have in the x16 slot? This will determine if it dropping back to pcie 4.0 x8 will ruin your performance?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Strix 3090
     
  4. wwwww

    wwwww Member

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    Yes, you can put in a PCIe SSD into either (or both) 16x slot.

    If you put it in the CPU slot, your graphics card will slow down to 8x. If you have a PCIe 4.0 CPU that shouldn't be any issue.
    If you put it in the PCH slot, your SSD won't perform as well though it would take an exceptionally fast SSD to be bottlenecked by this.
     
    Elmf likes this.
  5. Elmf

    Elmf Member

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    Agree, a 3090 on pcie 4 8x is fine based off an earlier discussion today where a 4090 barely suffered on pcie3 16x

    A quick google specific on that topic would be easier to check 100%, rather then my speculation haha
     
  6. ipv6ready

    ipv6ready Member

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    Depending on what series your cpu is, the PCIE lanes are divided up differently.

    Your board has
    Three PCIEx16 slots
    One PCIEx1 slot

    Assumption you have one GPU

    If you have AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series*/ 3rd Gen Ryzen™ Processors: you can add three nvme cards without affecting your gpu lanes

    Slot 1 PCIEx16: GPU
    Slot 2 PCIEx16: You can install one NVME PCIEx16, X8, X4, X1 card supporting PCIe 4.0
    Slot 3 PCIEx1: You can install one NVME PCIEx1 card supporting PCIe 3.0
    Slot 4 PCIEx16: You can install one NVME PCIE card supporting PCIe 3.0

    If you have AMD Ryzen™ 5000 G-Series/ Ryzen™ 4000 G-Series/ 2nd Gen Ryzen™ Processors: you can add "two" without affecting your gpu lanes or three running your gpu at x8

    Slot 1 PCIEx16: GPU
    Slot 2 PCIEx16: This slot should be left vacant but if used will reduce the main slot to x8
    Slot 3 PCIEx1: You can install one NVME PCIEx1 card supporting PCIe 3.0
    Slot 4 PCIEx16: You can install one NVME PCIEx16, X8, X4, X1 card supporting PCIe 3.0


    If you have a 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics processors: you can add two nvme cards without affecting your gpu lanes

    Slot 1 PCIEx16: GPU
    Slot 2 PCIEx16: this slot is not functional
    Slot 3 PCIEx1: You can install one NVME PCIEx1 card supporting PCIe 3.0
    Slot 4 PCIEx16: You can install one NVME PCIEx16, X8, X4, X1 card supporting PCIe 3.0

    edit: for matter of clarity, you should avoid using X1 physical nvme cards in slot 2 or slot 4, as you will limit the nvme card to one lane.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2024
  7. Elmf

    Elmf Member

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    ipv6ready likes this.
  8. ipv6ready

    ipv6ready Member

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    Spec sheet states how many slot it has, maybe you are confusing the spec sheet dividing the pcie slots between CPU and Chipset. Also all the photos clearly shows three physical x16 and a single x1 slot

    Integrated in the CPU (PCIEX16/PCIEX8):
    1. AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series*/ 3rd Gen Ryzen™ Processors:
      1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0 and running at x16 (PCIEX16)
      1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0 and running at x8 (PCIEX8)
    2. AMD Ryzen™ 5000 G-Series/ Ryzen™ 4000 G-Series/ 2nd Gen Ryzen™ Processors:
      1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x16 (PCIEX16)
      1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x8 (PCIEX8)
      * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
      * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When using the 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen™ processors/2nd Generation AMD Ryzen™ processors and PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode.
    3. 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics processors/AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics processors:
      1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 3.0 and running at x8 (PCIEX16)
    Integrated in the Chipset (PCIEX4/PCIEX1):
    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0/3.0 and running at x4 (PCIEX4)
    2. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot, supporting PCIe 4.0/3.0
     
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  9. Elmf

    Elmf Member

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    Ah yep I see that sneaky 1.0 slot next to the bottom M2. Can tell i'm blind as a bat.

    And yep you're spot on.

    Jees I need to stop trying to help people with half baked info. OCAU break time I think :D

    Does that still however mean my original advice is correct that the best speeds he can get is off the CPU PCIE slots, with the GPU in the 16x slot and the SSD addon card in the second CPU PCIE slot for a x8 PCIE 4.0 result?

    Because if he tries to use the chipset one it says it's running at x4?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2024
  10. ipv6ready

    ipv6ready Member

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    As for what card to use

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005924920287.html

    I have half a dozen of these with x4 and x1 all work to perfection. If you are at planning stage buy a few now, at $5 each and just keep it in your draw.

    At the same time you might want to get some heatsinks for your hotter cards, if in restrictive case
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005716753956.html

    One caveat is double check if your nvme are double sided, these cards wont fit doublesided nvme plus heatsink that add thickness to the bottom (not enough clearance).
     
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  11. HobartTas

    HobartTas Member

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    What sizes are the current 3 NVME drives? I think the easiest solution is just to replace them with the largest size you can get, there are 8TB drives available but these are very expensive and a more realistic option would be say 4TB drives but these vary in price from a Team MP34 for $319 to a Crucial T700 for $949 so how much performance do you actually need to have? If not so much then why not consider a few 2.5" SATA drives instead?

    Consumer CPU's from both manufacturers are not known to have a lot of PCI-e lanes available and sometimes these are shared, so for example if you use one of the last M.2 slots you have available and all of a sudden you find out SATA3 and SATA4 are now dead.

    On the cheaper motherboards again from both manufacturers the two x16 PCI-e slots are usually physically/electrically x16/x16 and x16/x4, on the slightly more expensive boards these can provide an x16/x8 and x16/x8 instead. Primarily this was to easily have two video cards operate together in SLI/Crossfire mode as x4 electrically would have really tanked performance on the second card.

    These days the x8 on the second slot is mostly useful for things like 10+ Gbe network cards or anything else like SAS or FC cards that at a minimum require x8 because they don't work in x4 mode, although having said that, there is a lot of this stuff like this that works quite happily in x4 mode.

    I have (and use) x8/x8 on my motherboard because I have an Intel Optane DC-P4800x PCI-e card in one slot and an RTX3080 in the other.

    PCI-e slots and M.2 slots are exactly the same thing, just different sockets. Slots such as x2 physical / x2 electrical are part of the PCI-e specification but these aren't used on motherboards.

    Plugging in cards that are not video cards into PCI-e slots on consumer boards as opposed to server boards can sometimes be problematical like for SAS cards where you may get problems with the Option ROM issue, having said that in most cases like 99% of the time there are no issues but there are no guarantees that anything you plug in there will work. A lot of the higher end boards also do have something in the BIOS like "enable Option ROM" or "enable Option ROM emulation" so if whatever you've bought doesn't work then see if you have something like this in there, cheaper or mid-range boards might not have this facility.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2024
    vladtepes likes this.
  12. OP
    OP
    vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Thanks all. That is very useful in contributing to my understanding.

    My existing drives are 2TB. Primary need is for storage so maybe SATA 2.5" drives are the way to go.
     

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