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Old April 20th, 2013, 04:25 AM   #1
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Adding RAID card to X7DWA-N - PCI-E 16x or UI/O port?

Hi all,

Hopefully someone smarter than me can tell me whether my PCI-Express 2.0 RAID card should go in my spare PCI-E 16x port or if I should put it in the Universal In/Out port.

My concerns are:

1. If I put it in the 16x port am I diminishing its capacity by sharing bandwidth with the giant video card (a GTX 480)?

2. If I put it in the UI/O port am I getting its full potential (i.e.: full PCI-E 2.0 capability and speed?)

I bought the card to enable SATA 6Gb/s drives so I would want to make sure I'm enabling that throughput.

The reason it's an issue is I also bought a USB3 card which fits in the 16x PCI-E port but not in the UI/O port because the backplane at the UI/O does not open up to cable connections. That's not an issue for the RAID card as all the connections are internal.

Thanks for your help,

-- John
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Old April 24th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #2
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Re: Adding RAID card to X7DWA-N - PCI-E 16x or UI/O port?

Hi, John................

Sorry, can't answer your question(s) directly as I quite simply don't know, but I can hopefully point you in the right direction.

The only real way to know where that card is going to work best is to test it with some bench marking software that can hammer your drive system(s) and tell you which position works best.

Going to mean a bit of buggering about, but you won't know till you know.

A little bit surprised at your comments about the UIO slot not allowing external connections:

Quote:
because the backplane at the UI/O does not open up to cable connections.
Not sure what "backplane" you are referring to, and every single UIO card I've looked at allows for external connections (if external connections was what you were referring to) so I'm, er, puzzled. I cannot see how a UIO slot wouldn't give access to external connections, doesn't compute.

Perhaps a bit of clarification might be in order.

However, do some research on half decent bench marking software and go for it.


CS
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: Adding RAID card to X7DWA-N - PCI-E 16x or UI/O port?

In terms of the UIO port not allowing for rear access, the port doesn't care whether the device has a rear facing port, but the case's access slots don't allow for it. It's as if the UIO port is upside down if that makes sense. The rear facing USB3 ports on that card face one of the barriers between slots. If it was the other way, the ports would aim straight for the gap to allow USB cables to plug in.

I ended up going with the option of plugging the SATA3 RAID card in the PCI-E 16 port and the USB3 card in the UIO port and I just hacked away the barrier on the back of the case so that I can access the ports.

But strangely the computer won't boot when there are USB devices plugged in at startup. Even when they're not listed in the boot devices, it still hangs at the Windows loading screen. When I remove the USB devices and reboot, it goes in to Windows just fine.

I'm so sick of computers and needing to be a technician just so I can be an editor.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: Adding RAID card to X7DWA-N - PCI-E 16x or UI/O port?

Check you OS level, whilst researching USB 3 some while ago, it transpired that there were all sorts of problems with driver and OS support in releases of Windows Vista (still don't think that's been fixed) and earlier versions of Windows 7.

There may well be USB driver updates for your OS, but if the necessary changes to the OS to support some USB 3 functions aren't there in your version, you'll need to check if there's an OS update available from MS.


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Old September 3rd, 2016, 01:44 PM   #5
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Re: Adding RAID card to X7DWA-N - PCI-E 16x or UI/O port?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
Hi all,

Hopefully someone smarter than me can tell me whether my PCI-Express 2.0 RAID card should go in my spare PCI-E 16x port or if I should put it in the Universal In/Out port.

My concerns are:

1. If I put it in the 16x port am I diminishing its capacity by sharing bandwidth with the giant video card (a GTX 480)?

2. If I put it in the UI/O port am I getting its full potential (i.e.: full PCI-E 2.0 capability and speed?)

I bought the card to enable SATA 6Gb/s drives so I would want to make sure I'm enabling that throughput.

The reason it's an issue is I also bought a USB3 card which fits in the 16x PCI-E port but not in the UI/O port because the backplane at the UI/O does not open up to cable connections. That's not an issue for the RAID card as all the connections are internal.

Thanks for your help,

-- John
The UIO slot needs a UIO card. The orientation and the backside of the UIO card is similar to the old ISA cards, like

http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/...0/biostar2.jpg

(see the black and white slots on the left side - they have the same orientation as the UIO slot and the PCI-X slot on the X7DWA-N).

UIO card: http://img0070.psstatic.com/10805742...1068e-sas-.jpg
ISA card: http://www.3sfmedia.net/images/compu...6-ISA_0118.jpg
PCI card: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...e-PCI-Card.jpg

Actually in the sample image as well as on the X7DWA-N the mentioned slot is a shared slot between the ISA/PCI and the UIO/PCI-X slots. This means that you can install either one or the other type of card to the mentioned position.

Since the two PCIe x16 slots are independent from each other (and are incapable of nVidia SLI), you can freely plug the PCIe RAID card in either of the PCIe slots, and that should not hurt the performance of the other PCIe slot.

Best wishes,
Dani

Last edited by Dani Egyebek; September 3rd, 2016 at 02:41 PM.
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