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Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear
ponzi's Avatar

I have a workstation class mobo that was maybe new 5 years ago, I was just looking and it has at least 2 pci slots on it--thankfully I have no pci devices anymore. I recently put an m2 ssd into a pci-e card, and it benchmarked 5-10 times faster than the ssd thru sata. Per the specs, the samsung ssd I bought for the C drive specs (and benchmarks) at the top limit of sata 3 theoretical speed--no use paying for something faster than its sata host. Sadly, my mobo cannot boot from pci-e, so ssd is required for the boot drive.

I will note that its important to look at how the mobo shares and allocates the pci-e lanes. My m3 adapter is pci-e 3 and 4 lanes, so I made sure it got a mobo slot that supported that. Since I am using on-chip video, lots of lanes freed up due to no outboard video card.

PCI is a shared bus technology and the devices to some degree have to cooperate with each other and not hog the bus. Used to be the pci video card would hog the bus and squeeze out the pci sound card--leading to the usual gapping (buffer underflows). PCI-E is more of a switched protocol so the sharing issues are managed centrally, and of course much faster than pci.

Presumably the new mac pro can utilize pcie-hosted ssd to enable really fast ssd without worrying about what is soldered onto the mobo or how much it would cost to get a TB at time of purchase. But since its all vaporware today, details like this take a long time to get reliably determined.