Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > Mac Pro

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:28 AM   #1
All Taken
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
PCI-e Bandwidth question

I have a 2012 3.33Ghz 6 core Mac Pro.

I know that the PCI-e slots on my machine are in order of appearance:

4x
4x
16x
16x

Do the top two slots share bandwidth? i.e 8x card in top 4x slot - will it run at 8x bandwidth if the second 4x slot is free?

If I have two Apple 5770's installed in the 16x slots this will cover up the third slot from the bottom as the height is restricting access. If I wanted to use an 8x third party RAID card could I theoretically utilise the combined bandwidth of the top two PCI-e slots? I could only plug the card into the top slot as that would be the only one free but would the Mac Pro allocate 8x bandwidth to that slot with the third from the bottom being empty?

I've tried to explain it in three different ways above so hopefully someone has the answer.

Thanks
All Taken is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:47 AM   #2
MacVidCards
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hollywood, CA
 
see vendor information in user profile
you already know the answer

it is what it looks like
MacVidCards is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 06:13 AM   #3
All Taken
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Bandwidth is shared between the top two slots?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVidCards View Post
you already know the answer

it is what it looks like
All Taken is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 07:55 AM   #4
wonderspark
macrumors 68030
 
wonderspark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Bandwidth is shared between the top two slots?

----------

No, you get x4 only, max in slots 3&4.
wonderspark is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 09:57 AM   #5
Concorde Rules
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderspark View Post
No, you get x4 only, max in slots 3&4.
This, they are 4x electrically and therefore that is all your going to get.

It is still 2GB/sec...
Concorde Rules is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:05 PM   #6
All Taken
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concorde Rules View Post
This, they are 4x electrically and therefore that is all your going to get.

It is still 2GB/sec...
I'm sure I saw a post about the top two slots sharing bandwidth
All Taken is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:09 PM   #7
DanielCoffey
macrumors 65816
 
DanielCoffey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Edinburgh, UK
You might be thinking of HDDs 3 and 4 sharing?
DanielCoffey is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:23 PM   #8
All Taken
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielCoffey View Post
You might be thinking of HDDs 3 and 4 sharing?
Like a RAID? Nope I'm sure it was someone like Nanofrog who said about the shared bandwidth.
All Taken is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:10 PM   #9
Concorde Rules
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
I'm sure I saw a post about the top two slots sharing bandwidth
Immaterial anyway as X58 (5520) is limited to 36 lanes anyway.

So two x16 lanes = 32, with the final two slots fighting over the last 4... (http://ark.intel.com/products/36783/Intel-5520-IO-Hub).

Easy way to test the slot however, put one of the GPUs in slot 3 and see what happens...
Concorde Rules is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:18 PM   #10
All Taken
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concorde Rules View Post
Immaterial anyway as X58 (5520) is limited to 36 lanes anyway.

So two x16 lanes = 32, with the final two slots fighting over the last 4... (http://ark.intel.com/products/36783/Intel-5520-IO-Hub).

Easy way to test the slot however, put one of the GPUs in slot 3 and see what happens...
Ah I see. They do share bandwidth just not in the way I had hoped. If you have 1 16x card in slot one (bottom), and an 8x card in the top I wonder if bandwidth is allocated at 8x that way?

If the bottom two 16x slots are used and a 4x card used in slot three, also another 4x card used in the final slot, where does the magical 'extra' (40 in total) bandwidth come from?
All Taken is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:06 PM   #11
VirtualRain
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Ah I see. They do share bandwidth just not in the way I had hoped. If you have 1 16x card in slot one (bottom), and an 8x card in the top I wonder if bandwidth is allocated at 8x that way?

If the bottom two 16x slots are used and a 4x card used in slot three, also another 4x card used in the final slot, where does the magical 'extra' (40 in total) bandwidth come from?
As far as I know, the top two slots go through a PCIe switch as those lanes run through the ICH which only has 4 PCIe lanes. So there's really only 2GB/s of bandwidth available to the top two slots... total. So although a pair of cards in those slots will each negotiate a 4 lane connection, the switch/ICH is bottlenecking everything.

What's worse, I just put an eight lane (x8) Highpoint 2720 in my MP (based on your recommendation - Thanks!) and there's something besides the 4 lane (2GB/s) limit bottlenecking performance on the top slots. With a few SSD's in RAID0, the max sequential reads I get in the top slots is around 1GB/s whereas if I move it to one of the x16 slots, I can get about 1.4GB/s which is about the limit of the drives on the card.
__________________
tools: nMP for photography, rMBP for working, iPad for surfing, iPhone for communicating, Mac Mini for entertaining
Canon tools: 5D Mark III 24-105L/70-300L/35L/50L/85L for capturing
VirtualRain is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:09 PM   #12
All Taken
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post
As far as I know, the top two slots go through a PCIe switch as those lanes run through the ICH which only has 4 PCIe lanes. So there's really only 2GB/s of bandwidth available to the top two slots... total. So although a pair of cards in those slots will each negotiate a 4 lane connection, the switch/ICH is bottlenecking everything.

What's worse, I just put an eight lane (x8) Highpoint 2720 in my MP (based on your recommendation - Thanks!) and there's something besides the 4 lane (2GB/s) limit bottlenecking performance on the top slots. With a few SSD's in RAID0, the max sequential reads I get in the top slots is around 1GB/s whereas if I move it to one of the x16 slots, I can get about 1.4GB/s which is about the limit of the drives on the card.
Tough call, I'm actually asking this question as I was going to run two graphics card and my 2720 in the top slot hopefully with 8x performance. I'm now limited to one 16x card and the 2720, do you like the card overall barring the 4x issue?
All Taken is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2012, 05:19 PM   #13
VirtualRain
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Tough call, I'm actually asking this question as I was going to run two graphics card and my 2720 in the top slot hopefully with 8x performance. I'm now limited to one 16x card and the 2720, do you like the card overall barring the 4x issue?
Yeah, the card is great. I have a similar dilemma... I have two recent Apple Cinema Displays with mini-display port connectors each driven by a GT120 in the bottom two slots. So if I want to get full performance from the 2720, I need to update these 2 graphics cards with a single card with dual mini display ports. This is not a big deal as the 5770 can be had for cheap, it's just an unfortunate added cost to getting this setup optimized.
__________________
tools: nMP for photography, rMBP for working, iPad for surfing, iPhone for communicating, Mac Mini for entertaining
Canon tools: 5D Mark III 24-105L/70-300L/35L/50L/85L for capturing
VirtualRain is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 04:37 AM   #14
Concorde Rules
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post
Yeah, the card is great. I have a similar dilemma... I have two recent Apple Cinema Displays with mini-display port connectors each driven by a GT120 in the bottom two slots. So if I want to get full performance from the 2720, I need to update these 2 graphics cards with a single card with dual mini display ports. This is not a big deal as the 5770 can be had for cheap, it's just an unfortunate added cost to getting this setup optimized.
Get a PC 6870 and flash it? They have two mDP with DVI and HDMI.

Unfortunately that is the way it is with X58.
Concorde Rules is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 AM   #15
VirtualRain
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concorde Rules View Post
Get a PC 6870 and flash it? They have two mDP with DVI and HDMI.

Unfortunately that is the way it is with X58.
Thanks, yeah... and it seems that 10.8.3 might have drivers for 7xxx series cards so I might just wait a bit. I'd really prefer an Nvidia card, but they don't appear to make any with dual MDP ports.
__________________
tools: nMP for photography, rMBP for working, iPad for surfing, iPhone for communicating, Mac Mini for entertaining
Canon tools: 5D Mark III 24-105L/70-300L/35L/50L/85L for capturing
VirtualRain is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > Mac Pro

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:03 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC