3ware 9650SE-4LPML and PCI Express x16

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I'm so confused.  Can I put this 3ware card in the PCI Express x16
slot?  The motherboard is the Intel DG35EC.  The last time I did
hardware was back in the ISA & PCI days.

3ware card link: http://www.3ware.com/products/serial_ata2-9650.asp
Intel link:

Thanks again for everyones help!

Re: 3ware 9650SE-4LPML and PCI Express x16

Nondisclosure007 wrote:
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That is a family of six different cards. They have x1, x4, or x8
connectors on the cards. The motherboard has an x16 slot, which
is fully wired (no tricks like some other products). The x1, x4,
or x8 card, will install and work in the x16 connector.


Nobody in the Newegg reviews for the motherboard, tested an add-in card
on the DG35EC, so there are no comments about BIOS compatibility.
Apparently, a number of people hate the Jmicron controller for
IDE, so if adding a CDROM to the machine, make it SATA for best
performance. Then it can plug into a Southbridge interface.

There is no indication in the BIOS release notes, of any problems
with regard to the PCI Express x16 slot. Some brands of retail
motherboards in the past, wouldn't take an add-in (non-video) card
in the PCI Express x16 slot. It took one company about five BIOS
releases, before they fixed that kind of issue. I think the
industry has matured enough now, that they've finally clued
in that the slots are used for more than video.



Re: 3ware 9650SE-4LPML and PCI Express x16


Thanks for the quick reply.  I'll use this card.

The whole issue came up is that the I need the RAID for the server I'm
running on this (I hate software raid).  I didn't want to plut into
the x16 slot becuase in the near future I wanted to convert this into
a workstation w/ a 30 inch monitor and I think the only video cards
that could handle the full resolution of a 30 inch monitor would be a
x16 card.  I'm not a gamer, I just want to get full resolution out of
it.  But maybe I'll find then an x1 video card that can do that.

If you've got any thoughts, just feel free to share them!  I really
appreciate your expertise.

Thanks again.

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Re: 3ware 9650SE-4LPML and PCI Express x16

Nondisclosure007 wrote:
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Please do not top-post.  Your top-posting has lost all readable
connection with the actual problem.  Your answer belongs after (or
intermixed with) the quoted material to which you reply, after
snipping all irrelevant material.  See the following links:

  <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/ (taming google)
  <http://members.fortunecity.com/nnqweb/ (newusers)

 [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
 [page]: <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net
            Try the download section.

Re: 3ware 9650SE-4LPML and PCI Express x16

Nondisclosure007 wrote:
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You could purchase a better equipped motherboard. One with more
than one x16 slot. Boards with X38 or X48 chipsets would be examples
of possible candidates. Looking at the developer.intel.com site
and looking through the motherboards, I don't see anything in
microATX that offers lots of expansion possibilities, so it might
take a full sized motherboard for that. Since a video card
can occupy two slots with the cooler being used, you need some
room for it all.

X38 or X48 boards could cost a bit more, so we can look at a P45
chipset to start. The P45 datasheet is here, and the reason for
looking at this, is to detect "disinformation" in the user
manual of the motherboard.

Figure 2 page 25 - P45 block diagram. Notice the diagram says
"2x8" for the PCI Express configuration. What this means is,
in terms of the motherboard, each of the big slots have only
x8 wiring. To compensate, the revision of the interface is
2.0, which is a double rate specification. If you insert
a video card which is also Revision 2.0 capable, the total
bandwidth is 4GB/sec, just like 16 lanes of the PCI Express
Revision 1.0 would be. Your RAID card, on the other hand,
is more likely to be PCI Express Revision 1.0 so the x8
lanes carry only 2GB/sec in that case. Which is more than
enough for a RAID array (the IOP on the RAID card is the
bottleneck in that case, and the PCI Express won't be the
limiting factor).


This is an example of a P45 based board.

DP45SG - two physical x16 sized slots. If you "count chip capacitors"
next to the big PCI Express slots, you can see each slot only has 8 pairs
of caps, meaning x8 wiring is being used. The connector is big, but
the wiring is only half there. This technique is quite common in the
industry. (To give another example, my current cheesy Asrock board,
has a PCI Express x16 slot, but with only x4 wiring.)


That one is $150.


DP45SG manual - section 1.6.1 on page 18 makes some statements, but I
don't agree with them, because I counted the capacitors next to the
video slot. Visually, it appears to have 2x8 wiring, consistent with
the P45 chipset datasheet and its stated capabilities.


If we look at a $250 motherboard, it has two full x16 slots.


To see the capacitors, I have to use an image editing tool and zoom into
400%. I had to adjust the brightness and contrast, and even then, the
16 cap pairs on the secondary slot are visible, but I cannot make them
out on the primary. Anyway, both slots have x16 wiring, and are PCI
Revision 2.0 capable (either 2.0 or 1.0, backward compatible). So
you could run two 8GB/sec cards, which is overkill based on your



Getting back to your original question, yes, you can drive a 30 inch
monitor, with a PCI Express x1 card. The 30 inch monitor would likely
need a "dual link" capable video card (sometimes hard to verify in
the available documentation). The PCI Express x1 interface provided
with the vintage of cards available, gives 250MB/sec. My experience with
low bandwidth video interfaces, is most of the time they're fine. Certain
"dumb" applications, like Apple Quicktime, may attempt to repaint
rectangular regions of the screen, over and over again, when a window
is moved. When the bus bandwidth is limited, this can result in jerky
movement of the window. That is about the only consequence I could see
in my usage.

For that experiment, I was comparing a FX5200 AGP8X video card (2100MB/sec)
to a FX5200 PCI video card (133MB/sec). When I ran 3DMark2001SE benchmark,
I was shocked to find the performance was almost the same. So in limited
circumstances, the reduction in bandwidth seemed to not be a problem.
Having lots of texture memory on the video card, may make that kind of thing
less of an issue in games.

But on the other hand, the Quicktime behavior didn't make me quite
as happy about the PCI card. It really depends on whether applications
do a good job of using off-screen pixmaps, as to whether window movement
is smooth or not.

(The PCI card was purchased, so I could see what I was doing, when
flashing the BIOS chip on an AGP card :-) )

So you could look for a motherboard, with a bit better PCI Express slots.
The RAID card, even the one with the x8 interface connector on it,
may have actually been happy with x4, because of internal limitations.
The last time I looked, is was hard to find a RAID card that could
exceed 800MB/sec, due to the disk reads all going through the IOP,
even when they didn't need to be processed (RAID0). So even if
you had a P35 motherboard, that happened to have x16 and x4 wiring,
that would still give you excellent video and raid (respectively)

Again, in each case, download the chipset datasheet, product manual,
CPU compatibility tables, before you purchase.

I just checked Newegg, and there is a distinct lack of choice
in PCI Express x1 video cards. This X1550 is a 512MB card, but
is Hypermemory (256MB memory is onboard, and 256MB would be
borrowed from system memory, in gaming situations or on demand).


The term "dual-link DVI" appears in the ad copy here, even though
this part number is not exactly the same as the one on the Newegg product
page. (That part number, makes the Newegg product Newegg specific.)


Dual-link DVI is necessary, so you can drive a 30 inch monitor
digitally. The table in this article gives examples, and
2560x1600 uses the flavor of DVI where two interfaces on the
same connector work in parallel. That is what the dual-link
means. Some video cards have one connector which is
dual-link capable, while the other connector is single
link only, and they are not visually distinguishable. And
finding honest specifications is a chore.


The thing is, for those HIS cards, you'd be paying
$99 or $129, when for a lower price, you can find other cards
(which need x16) but would blow the doors off the
HIS cards. And as a result, be more prepared for anything
with your 30" monitor. For example, if you decided to
run Vista Aero at the last minute, a card like this
could handle it without blinking.

$80 and two dual-link DVI connectors. MSI N9600GT 512M. x16 interface.

Have fun,

Re: 3ware 9650SE-4LPML and PCI Express x16

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Wow!  thanks for the incredible reply.  I had no idea about the x16
and what the "2.0" spec was.  Maybe I'll just look for a pair of raid
cards that can work together (2 of the same) that are pci express x1.

the 3ware card caught my eye due to the onboard risc processor on it
doing hardware raid.  Since that's what I'm looking for in a raid
card.  I'll look for a card that can satisfy pci express x1 AND have
an onboard processor to do RAID (2 port is fine, as long as I can have
2 of them.  :)    ).

Thanks again!  You are extremely knowledgable and helpful!

Re: 3ware 9650SE-4LPML and PCI Express x16

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oops.  correction.  just any kind of processing on the raid card
itelf.  doesn't have to be risc.

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