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Thread Starter 
Okay so I've been trying to understand this.. I'm reading tech articles online, I'm googling.. I'm not understanding, and this is entirely confusing.

What I'm trying to figure out is the "Maximum possible configuration" with an x99 motherboard and 40-lane CPU.

Part of this consideration is I'm trying to understand exactly what the intel PCH Southbridge uses. I know it uses "DMI 2.0 x4" but what's confusing is how that relates to PCI Express...... how Many PCI-E lanes the southbridge (and everything on it.. all onboard sata ports) consumes out of the CPU's available 40 PCIE lanes? This is what I can't seem to understand..

That is.. Say a hypothetical scenario here..

Let's say someone has an x99 motherboard. (A basic one, not one with those fancy PLX bridges).
Let's say they decide to plug in a sata hard drive or SSD to every single possible onboard sata port.. completely using up the onboard sata controller.
And.. let's just say for example, they also had two PCI-Expresss 3.0 video cards, using up two 16x slots (32x from the CPU).

How many lanes would be left over?

And more importantly, under this configuration... would they still be able to use the onboard M.2 / NVRAM slot with a full speed PCIE-3.0-4x SSD without losing any functionality? That is use the m.2 slot at full speed, all onboard sata ports at full speed, and two video cards at full speed.

Can X99 with 40-lane CPU do this?

And if it can, is this the "maximum configuration" the system can do? Would a user that created such a system not be able to say, add a 3rd video card, would the system be "maxed out" at this point?

I'm trying to understand just how far we can go with x99 + 40-lane-cpu without PLX bridges.

Any Input would be helpful.. I'm trying to educate myself on this matter, as well as a friend of mine to help him decide what to buy.

My friend has Z97 motherboard with that situation, sort of. They have two GTX 970's @ 8x-8x, and using all 6 onboard sata ports. The system "Works" but then they tried adding a PCIE-1x card with additional Sata ports and USB 3.0 ports.. and the entire system went "Sideways", video cards started showing errors in device manager, stopped working.. one of the ssd's wound randomly disappear on every other boot up.. onboard USB stopped working.. it was just a nightmare. I had them remove that extra card and *BING* everything went back to working flawlessly. So they've maxed out Z97 and 4790k. Logically I'm thinking they ran out PCIE Lanes from the system and CPU. So x99 is the next logical step for them since they need/want more. So I'm trying to understand if we went x99 for him, exactly what he can expect.
Edited by kithylin - 5/30/16 at 6:47pm