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QOTW: Do you use any PCIe slot other than primary x16?

by Parm Mann on 7 May 2021, 16:31

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Gigabyte (TPE:2376), MSI, AsRock

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeqkd

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It is always fascinating to hear about people's computing habits. Turns out you like to hang on to your chassis for as long as possible, you probably have more fans than you realise, and these days hardly anybody seems bothered about overclocking.

Makes you think about other areas of the desktop that have changed over the years. Thinking about PCI expansion slots, it used to be a case of the more the merrier, and there was always a good chance more than one would be utilised. It could have been for multiple graphics cards, a network adapter or even a dedicated sound card - remember those? Heck, in my enthusiast heyday, I even had a TV tuner card installed in the bottom slot of my HTPC. Worked rather well, as I recall.

These days, it's a complete turnaround for me. My main desktop doesn't actually have anything in any of the half-a-dozen expansion slots as integrated graphics are proving sufficient for my current needs. How about you? Anything interesting going on in those extra slots? Let us know using the comments facility below.

HEXUS Forums :: 59 Comments

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mini-ITX here so, no :)
mini-ITX here so, no :)

I got a mini-ITX and use a PCI-Express x1 SATA controller with 2 extra SATA connectors.

On my main PC, I use PCIe for M.2 NVMe, and same on my laptop. NVMe SSDs are designed for a PCIe 3.0/4.0 x4 PCIe.
I'm currently using two PCI Express slots. GPU of course, and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 card, providing one Type A and one Type C at 10 Gbps. They're more reliable than the build-in Etron USB 3.0 slots on my Sandy Bridge motherboard for things like VR and multiple-hundreds-of-gigabytes file backups.

I've considered adding a PCIe to NVME adapter as well, and for awhile I had a secondary PCI (Non-Express) gigabit Ethernet card. But I didn't really need two Ethernet cards.

My conclusion is that in the first few years of a build, there usually isn't much need for more than just a GPU slot as what you're likely to need is probably built in, but if you're going to keep a system in use the better part of a decade, it'll become increasingly useful to have some expansion slots to help keep it relevant.
Yep. 3-slot x16 GPU + x1 WiFi/BT + x4 10GbE. Plus one blanking plate for 2x USB3 and another for 1xRS232.
Since I stopped using an internal sound card, no.