[rescue] A somewhat modern rescue -- some PCI questions

Doug McIntyre merlyn at geeks.org
Sat Oct 26 23:22:37 CDT 2019

On Sat, Oct 26, 2019 at 09:22:34PM -0400, Stephen Conley wrote:
> 2. The more relevant question.  If I wanted to put a graphics card in this
> thing, would I be better served putting it in the PCI-X slot or a PCie x8
> slot?  To be honest I'm not really sure what the difference are in terms of
> performance and availability of cards; seems like PCIe is going to probably
> be easier to find?  Any thoughts on what the smart choice here would be,
> would be appreciated.

Ah yes, my T300 is built like a tank, and looks like one too.

As the other posted said, PCI-X is for your Network or Fiber Channel boards.

As as you state, you have PCIe x8 slots, while all PC video cards are
PCIe x16 cards... Furthermore, they seemed to have gone out of their
way to choose a AMD onboard video chip that was super low-end, like
you would only stick this machine away in the datacenter and never
look at its console. 

You may even notice there is a spot on the motherboard to solder in a
PCIe x16 slot connector (if you could get all the solder out of the holes).
(if I'm remembering my board correctly). 

I suspect Dell made the same motherboards for their servers (ie. T300)
as for their big workstation class desktops, and configured them
differently.  Ie. the servers were priced a lot less than the niche
workstation class desktops.

Some people I've heard, have taken some PCIe x8 to PCIe x16 extenders
so that a video card could be slotted in. I'm not sure how well this
worked, theoritically, the card/chip would just use the available
channels to it, albiet at half the capacity of normal.

Or others have modified the x8 slot to let the x16 card stick out the
end of it, but again I'm not sure how well that may have worked

I ended up using my T300 last as my FreeNAS server.

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