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MacBytes
Jan 17, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: PCI Express 2.0 Specifications Validated (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070117113643)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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shamino
Jan 17, 2007, 03:09 PM
I wonder how many lanes the new Intel chipsets will support and how it will be possible to configure them. Today's Mac Pro can't support more than one x16 slot. It would be nice for the new chipset to support enough lanes to allow for two, to support those (admittedly few) users that may need more than two displays.

Today's Mac Pro has 27 lanes (http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Hardware/Conceptual/HWtech_PCI/Articles/pci_implementation.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40003937-DontLinkElementID_3). One is dedicated for the AirPort card. The other 26 can be distributed across the 4 slots as 16/1/4/4, 8/8/1/8, 8/8/4/4 or 16/1/1/8.

If future chipsets can support 36 lanes (plus the one for AirPort), then you can get some other useful configurations like 16/16/2/2, 16/8/8/4 and 8/8/8/8. For a server (which may have multi-port GigE interfaces or multiple FibreChannel interfaces in each slot), this would allow a much greater port density. I could also see this as a possibility for a non-proprietary way of ganging together multiple video cards, for increasing GPU bandwidth (like ATI's Crossfire and NVidia's SLI.)