2 Replies Latest reply on May 26, 2011 8:33 AM by PeterBell

    DH55TC support for non-graphics PCIe controller in x16 slot?


      I'm running a DH55TC/i3-530 combination as a fileserver (Linux).  I have all six on-board SATA ports in use and need to add further disk capacity.


      The video requirements for this system are very limited - it normally runs headless, but I do connect a display to the internal graphics ports for maintenance/diagnostic purposes.  I have no need for high performance graphics.


      So, my question is:

      Is the PCIe x16 port dedicated to graphics card support, or should it be possible to use any PCIe card in that slot?  In particular, I'm looking at something like the Adaptec RAID 3805 card (although I would be using it in JBOD mode), which has a 4-lane PCIe interface.


      Is there any reason why such a card should not work in the DH55TC x16 PCIe slot?


      If it wouldn't work, would that be a restriction imposed by the H55 chipset, the motherboard hardware, or the BIOS?


      If such a card would work, will it impose any restrictions on other functionality? (For instance, I've found discussion about another manufacturer's board where waking from S3 sleep fails when the x16 slot has a non-graphics card installed.  Also, it has been suggested that internal graphics support is disabled whenever any card, graphics or otherwise, is installed in the x16 slot.)


      I've searched for an answer to this (these?) question(s) but, while there have been other discussions on the topic, none seem to arrive at a definitive answer.

        • 1. Re: DH55TC support for non-graphics PCIe controller in x16 slot?

          Okay ... after a week this has been viewed over 1400 times with no reply.  I guess that no one else is sure.


          Maybe the following will help someone else:


          I've scanned through the BIOS release notes, and in version 0035 I see the following:


          o Fixed issue where no video is displayed if both PCI and PCI-e VGA cards are attached and primary video output is set to integrated graphics.


          - I deduce that this means that any card can be installed in the PCI or PCI-e x16 slot, and the internal video should still work.




          o Fixed an issue where some PCI-e x1 cards would not work when plugged into the PCI-e x16 slot.


          - From this I deduce that any card can be installed in the x16 slot (I don't know of any x1 graphics cards!).



          So, I assume that I can install a SATA/RAID HBA into the PCIe x16 socket, that it should work okay and that it should not disrupt the function of the integrated graphics controller.  I guess that my next step is to purchase such a card and try it!

          • 2. Re: DH55TC support for non-graphics PCIe controller in x16 slot?

            I purchased a SAS/SATA HBA - well, a Supermicro AOC-USAS2-L8i RAID card using their proprietary 'UIO' layout (actually, just a PCIe x8 card built back-to-front), and it is working perfectly well in the x16 slot with no obvious untoward interactions with anything else.


            So, this answers my original questions.