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09-16-2021

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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P330 PCI3 slots: Gen2 graphics card use blocks the x1 slot?

2021-09-16, 8:04 AM

Hi,

 

I noticed two different PDFs from Lenovo appear to give the opposite order depending on which version it is.

 

One PDF published July 2019 presumably for Gen1 describes them TOWARDS the CPU, as:

 

Slot 1: PCIe 3.0 x16, full height, half length, links to CPU
Slot 2: PCIe 3.0 x1, full height, full length, links to PCH
Slot 3: PCIe 3.0 x16 (negotiable link width x4), full height, half length, links to PCH

 

That way round, a double width graphics card can be used without blocking the x1 slot.

 

By contrast...

 

Page 34 of the P330 Gen2 hardware manual shows the "PCIe card (available on some models)" in the slot closest to the CPU.

Page 39 of the same document confirms this by showing

 

#27 - "PCIe x16 card slot" is the slot closest to the CPU

#25 - "PCIe x16 (negotiable link width x4)" is the one by the interface connectors.

 

I have a U.2 drive array to fit and that uses a PCIe x4 card - it appears to work fine in either slot.

I also have a PCIe graphics card to fit.

I also have a PCIe x1 card.

 

So am I right in thinking that the Gen1 would let you use all three slots even with a double width graphics card, but the Gen2 doesn't?

 

This is a Gen 2 and the motherboard says I3X0RMS if that helps.

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5258 Posts

02-22-2010

United States of America

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Re:P330 PCI3 slots: Gen2 graphics card use blocks the x1 slot?

2021-09-16, 11:56 AM

The slot arrangement for P330 didn't change between gen1 and gen2.

 

Working from the CPU down to the bottom edge of the motherboard, the slots are:

- Slot 1 = PCIe gen3 x16

- Slot 2 = PCIe gen3 x1

- Slot 3 = PCIe gen3 x4 electrical (x16 mechanical slot)

 

 

If you're using a double wide GPU in P330, you would likely install that GPU to slot 1 in order to get full bandwidth.  That would result in slot 2 (x1) being blocked by the GPU.

 

You mention these are the cards you're potentially trying to support:

I have a U.2 drive array to fit and that uses a PCIe x4 card - it appears to work fine in either slot.

I also have a PCIe graphics card to fit.

I also have a PCIe x1 card.

 

The only way that would work in P330 is if the GPU is a single width card.  Note that moving the GPU to slot 3 would theoretically free up physical space/slots to allow everything to install, but the GPU would be bandwidth limited (PCIe gen3 x4), and likely you would have physical interference issues within the system, especially if this card is dual slot width (in that case, I highly doubt the card will actually fit in slot 3).




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2 Posts

09-16-2021

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

4 Signins

25 Page Views

  • Posts: 2
  • Registered: ‎09-16-2021
  • Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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  • Message 3 of 3

Re:P330 PCI3 slots: Gen2 graphics card use blocks the x1 slot?

2021-09-17, 8:26 AM

Hi,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

The graphics card is a Radeon RX 5500 OEM, same as this:

 

AMD Radeon RX 5500 OEM Specs | TechPowerUp GPU Database

 

It's shorter than the graphics cards I've had before, and fits into either slot 1 or slot 3 without any fouling of cables and without touching any other components.

I have the U.2 drive in Slot 1 and the Radeon in Slot 3 for testing purposes, and so far it's run for 18 hours without a hitch. Granted the GPU could run quicker if I swapped them over, but then I'd lose the x1 card - one of these. PCIe Card 2 Pt USB 3.1 (10Gbps) + eSATA - USB 3.0 Cards (startech.com)

 

The case is exactly the same as the ones in the pics here - Lenovo ThinkStation P330 Workstation Review | StorageReview.com  - it has a blanking plate where MAYBE a rear e-SATA connector could be fitted. I did look at the Flex Module (e.g. Overview for ThinkStation 5.25” Flex Module (4XF0G94538) PDF) and to be honest it looks very outdated and is quite limited. There's already a DVD that I don't use in the system so why would I want one of those when they're about £50 second hand?!

 

If the U.1 has to go, I may resort to something like the Akasa or EZDIY-FAB 5.25 bays, or an Icy Box IB-863A-B.

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