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This may be a dumb question...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Why do motherboard manufacturers, when designing a product that would even approach being considered an enthusiast board (buget, extreme or otherwise), put a PCI-e 1x slot (or any slot for that matter) right under the primary PCI-e 16x slot?

In trying to decide which Z68 board I'm going to buy, I've got 16x and 1x expansion cards in mind. I would think it a no-brainer to lay out a board to maximize access to these slots. However, after throwing in even one dual-slot GPU (which is a safe assumption), we are typically left with, at most, a single 1x slot available, but multiple PCI slots.

I understand that if a 4x slot is available, I can use that for a 1x card, but the bottom line is that one of the 1x slots will almost always be blocked by the first video card. Why not swap the position of that 1x slot with one of the PCI slots? Is there some reason that the slot in that position always has to be a PCI-e slot?

/rant off
post #2 of 3
most of the z68 boards (if not all) can only utilize 1 pcie x1 slot at a time. and usually if you use the 2.0 x4 slot you lose the ability to use the pcie x1 slot one or two of your sata III ports(marvell ports) and your pci slots. look at the manual for the board on the manufacturers website. also, enthusiasts boards are just that. my cards take up a good deal of space, but when i strip it down and slap a WB on it it cuts the overall width in half.

ive got a z68 board, and i have a card in every slot except for the 2.0 x4 and the pcie x1 slot that is unusable due to me utilizing the first one. everything fits, and everything fit before i watercooled.

edit: the typical rules/limitations of the z68 chipset that ive listed above applys to every z68 board 'ive' looked at. the manuals are readily available at the respected manufacturer's websites.
Edited by microfister - 10/13/11 at 8:48am
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 2500K 4.7ghz 1.36v MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) MSI GTX 680 TFIII 4GB SLI 1248mhz core 6.5ghz mem 16GB Patriot Viper X Div 2 
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2xM4 64 GB Raid 0 4x5900rpm Baracuda Raid 0 Pioneer BDR Windows 7 Home Premium Triple Asus 27" monitors 
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Tt Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX-1200 NZXT Switch 810 Mionix Naos 5000 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 2500K 4.7ghz 1.36v MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) MSI GTX 680 TFIII 4GB SLI 1248mhz core 6.5ghz mem 16GB Patriot Viper X Div 2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2xM4 64 GB Raid 0 4x5900rpm Baracuda Raid 0 Pioneer BDR Windows 7 Home Premium Triple Asus 27" monitors 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Tt Challenger Ultimate Corsair AX-1200 NZXT Switch 810 Mionix Naos 5000 
Mouse Pad
Mionix Propus 380 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
After a bit more research, I realize the the Core iX processors provide 16-PCIe lanes on the processor. That would be enough for the primary GPU, but what about the other PCIe slots? Does the chipset provide those lanes? If so, how many? Does the P965 chipset on my Asus P5B Deluxe provide all the PCIe lanes?
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