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Third Long PCIe Slot On High-End Z77 Boards Wired to CPU, Works Only with Ivy Bridge

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    It turns out that the "third" long (physical x16, electrical x4) PCI-Express slot on most higher-end Z77 chipset-based motherboards, across vendors, are wired to the CPU, and not the Z77 PCH, as the media assumed. Early buyers of these motherboards were greeted by an informative sticker stuck to the third slot, which tells them that to use the third slot, a 3rd Generation Core "Ivy Bridge" processor must be installed, although the motherboard very much supports 2nd Generation Core "Sandy Bridge" processors.

    This can be explained by taking a close look at the block diagram of Intel Z77 Express system. Z77, in combination with "Ivy Bridge" processors, allows the CPU root complex to drive three devices. Its single PCI-Express x16 link can be arranged in three ways: x16/NC/NC; x8/x8/NC; and x8/x4/x4. As you can see, the third long slot is taken into the configuration. Intel figured out that since PCI-Express 3.0 x4 offers bandwidth comparable to PCI-Express 1.0 x16 to gen 3-compliant graphics cards, it's wise if the third electrical x4 slot is also wired to the CPU's PCIe root complex. This renders most high-end LGA1155 motherboards with such CPU-driven third x16 (x4) slots 3-way SLI/CrossFireX-capable. Sweet.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Source: PC Watch Akiba
     
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  2. 1c3d0g

    1c3d0g

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    That's a fair trade-off. If you can do triple-SLI, you can afford an Ivy Bridge CPU.
     
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  3. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    lol fair point.
     
  4. Chaitanya

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    anyways most people buying these CPU's in first place wont be using more than 2 video cards.
     
  5. DonInKansas

    DonInKansas

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    Why?
     
  6. Vulpesveritas

    Vulpesveritas

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    LGA1155= Mainstream.
     
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  7. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

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    An extra PCIe 2.0 x4 was present in the 1155 Sandy Bridge processors as well (connected to the processor, not the PCH); it just wasn't enabled except when paired with a server chipset. See the Asus P8B WS for example and a review of the server chipsets.
     
  8. EpicShweetness

    EpicShweetness

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    :nutkick::p:p:p
     
  9. Grings

    Grings New Member

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    I wonder if any motherboard manufacturers will make the 3rd slot switchable between the chipsets pci-e2 lanes and the cpu's?

    It would suck if putting a sound card or raid controller etc in that slot makes one of you're graphics cards drop to 4 lanes.
     
  10. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    ya and soon to be EOL with 1150 coming up shortly
     
  11. Dj-ElectriC

    Dj-ElectriC

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    Everything that intel makes is soon to be EOL :D
     
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  12. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    aint that right heh:laugh:
     
  13. Steven B

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    [​IMG]

    however it isn't true on all board, for the UD3H its wired to PCh, for UD5H its CPU.
     
  14. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    What a rubbish crap. Most higher end boards in the long past had 2x full x16 PCIe. Like long forgotten X58
     
  15. Jurassic1024

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  16. Jurassic1024

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    Except all those slots are wired for PCIe 2.0, and we're talking about using the 3rd slot for another PCIe 3.0 GPU in a slot wired for PCIe 3.0 x4. Am I wrong?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  17. Jurassic1024

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    I found it odd, if i put my x1 sound card in my second x16 slot (wired for x8), my GPU in the first x16 slot downgrades to x8.
     
  18. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    It is wired for PCI-E 2.0 x4 on the 3rd PCI-E x16 slot. :mad:

    Asus' Site and NewEgg both says this for Z77 Sabertooth:
    Source

    Same is true of the P8Z77-V DELUXE.

    That is because that first 1x lane is actually the 9th lane on your first slot. They're switched.
     
  19. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    in all honesty if you want to do Multi Card Configs go with skt 2011 and skip 1155 altogether
     
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  20. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    It has more PCI-E lanes for a reason. What is there not to like about x8/x8/x8/x8 @ PCI-E 3.0?
     
  21. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    i got 4 full 16x slots... anda bunch of 8x slots
     
  22. Dos101

    Dos101

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    ^^ This. Although there are some 2011 motherboards that are only x8/x8.
     
  23. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Actually, I'd say most people buying these probably won't be using more than 1 video card.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU 50 Million points folded for TPU
  24. Steven B

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    why is everyone hating on Z77 lol
     
  25. Jurassic1024

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    Scaling sucks when you go past 2 cards and it has nothing to do with what PCIe version or number of PCIe lanes your CPU has, assuming you're matching the PCIe version your motherboard and/or CPU supports to the version supported by your GPU(s).

    It offers very little. Quicksync and PCIe 3.0 benefit only a small few, and 3770K performance is minimal over the 2600K.

    So is the third x16 slot on my P8P67 EVO. It has to do with the limited lanes on the 2nd generation Core CPU's if those 4 lanes are coming from the PCH.

    If you want poor scaling, go ahead.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2012

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