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SATAIII (6 Gbps) RAID Controller on PCI-e x1 or x8?

Hi.
I just recently purchased a SATAIII RAID Controller along with 2 SATAIII hard drives.
The plan is to do a RAID0 config.

The card is located here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115075

The problem is I don't know if it should go in the PCI-Express x1 or x8.
I know it states x1 in the description but one of the user reviews mention putting in the x8 slot.
"Plug it into the X8 slot NOT the X1 slot."

I don't have a x8 slot available on the computer I want to install this on.

I do have another computer that looks like it has one but I am selling that computer on eBay and would prefer to install this on my current PC.

Is this controller going to work at 100% on PCI-e x1?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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homerslmpson
Asked:
homerslmpson
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3 Solutions
 
StinkyPeteCommented:
Its the x1 slot you want
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StinkyPeteCommented:
Sorry ..

A closer look, the device is a x2 NOT a x1 as you say. It should go into a x2 slot
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DavidPresidentCommented:
x2 will be fine.  No way could you saturate the PCIe bus, whether it is x1 x2 x8 with only 2 drives, even if they were top-of-the-line SSDs.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
I'm getting confused.
 
The name of the item is "HighPoint RocketRAID 620 PCI-Express 2.0 x1 SATA 6.0Gb/s  Controller  Card".
The specifications show:  Interface       PCI-Express 2.0 x1.
 
- These description and specifications match so any ideas as to why one of the  user reviews mention x8?  

- The "x1" mentioned in the description is referring to the number of slots it uses?

- PCI-Express 2.0 is equivalent to x2?  Or is there a PCI-Express 2.0 x2?
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
Attached is an image of the motherboard on my XPS 435MT.

I have a dual-width video card taking up numbers 24 & 25.

Is this card compatible with my motherboard based on the image attached?

14aaloj.jpg.gif
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DavidPresidentCommented:
If the card can fit into the slot, then it will work.  It is that simple. The PCIe architecture prevents you from plugging a card into an incompatible socket.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
dlethe:   If the card can fit into the slot, then it will work.  It is that  simple. The PCIe architecture prevents you from plugging a card into an  incompatible socket.

Thank you for that.  I guess my question now is if it fits, will the performance be affected if it is designed for slot ABC and I put it in slot DEF?

I have another PC which is newer (XPS 8100) that has an assortment of different PCI slots but that is the one on eBay and I'd prefer to keep the system I have.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
No, performance will not be affected with only 2 disk drives, or even 4 disk drives ... even if you had the 4 fastest disk drives on the planet.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
Hmmm, your words are putting my mind at ease but I am still a teeny-weeny skeptical.

Any other info to ease my crazy mind?

Thanks so far!

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DavidPresidentCommented:
you can try reading the specifications .. if you have a few hours ;)
But the wiki summarizes it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
Did you look at the image I attached a few comments up?

I don't have a x2 slot on the motherboard.

I only have PCI-Express x1...
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
There's no such thing as x2.  The card meets PCI-e version 2.0 specifications, but it is only an x1 card.  Again, v2.0 is backwards compatible.  The card will work in any PCI-e slot it will fit into.  If the story was someone put their x1 card into an x8 slot, that is perfectly fine, but there is no performance advantage in doing that.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
It doesn't matter.  PCIe 2.0 is backwards compatible with PCIe 1.0  PCIe 2.0 is forwards compatible.  Any PCIe 1.x card will work in a 2.x slot and vice-versa.  (It will just clock down to the slower motherbus speed, but this won't hurt your performance, because you don't have enough HDs attached to make that happen).

 But I admit, there are a few ancient incompatible cards & motherboards, but that is due to screw ups.   If you want, you can contact the motherboard maker, but really this is a rare thing that it won't work.

The only real gotcha is that a PCIe2 card could draw more power than what can be supplied by your system.  Some video cards would be of concern, but certainly not your disk controller.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info guys!

Much appreciated!
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ocanada_techguyCommented:
Another very REAL issue -- which some answers have touched on -- is that no physical hard disk is going to sustain 6Gbit transfer, the information cannot come off and on the hard disk that fast.  Frankly hard disks rarely saturate 3Gbit, unless you are talking Solid State Drives (SSD).   I expect that the SATAIII 6Gbps disks you're purchasing are designed to communicate on a 6Gbps channel yes, but, there's always a but.  So why have that?  Why have these speeds?  Well, the drives will have some DRAM cache on them, so bursts of information to and fro, as is the usual operation of drives, will be very fast.  Also, if one is using a true array of drives (striping, parity, etc) like raid 5, 6, then drives will be doing physical access simultaneously and thanks to their ram cache buffering the additional channel speed can provide some incremental benefit.  The MOST significant is if there is need for port multiplier(s) (think of multiple LUNs on SCSI) because then several drives share a channel, so faster channel speed will definitely be noticed
Quoting wikipedia: "While even the fastest conventional hard disk drives can barely saturate the original SATA 1.5 Gbit/s bandwidth, Solid State Drives have already saturated the SATA 3 Gbit/s limit at 250 MB/s net read speed. Ten channels of fast flash can reach well over 500 MB/s with new ONFI drives, so a move from SATA 3 Gbit/s to SATA 6 Gbit/s would benefit the flash read speeds. As for the standard hard disks, the reads from their built-in DRAM cache will end up faster across the new interface."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESATA#SATA_Revision_3.0_.28SATA_6_Gb.2Fs.29
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
Well I recently found out after installing this that the drives were performing sub-par.

I found out that my PCI-e slot is 1.0.  This controller is supposed to be installed on a PCI-e 2.0 slot.

I have another computer at home (newer) that after talking with Dell, I am under the impression is 2.0.

I am going to try and put this card in the other PC when I get home and see if the RAID 0 configuration shows any improvement.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
You wont see any performance difference between PCIe 1 and PCIe2.  You do not have enough disks for this to be a factor.  
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