First post, by feipoa
Were there any multi-lane PCIe cards for USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 which utilised more than one lane per available port? When I see photos of PCIe x4 or x8 card, I am noticing that the lanes tend to be dedicated to particular USB 3.0 port or SATA port. Do any PCIe upgrade cards allow for multi-lane traffic on a single port to increase throughput?
The best examples I can find today are of a USB 3.0 card with 4 ports. The slot is x4, but each port only uses one lane. I can find SATA 3.0 cards (Adaptec ASR-6805T) in x8, but I suspect each port gets a dedicated lane. There are also some no-name SATA 3.0 cards which have an x4 connector, but if you inspect the traces more closely, you'll discover that only 2 lanes are connected. Upon reading the specifications, it seems that they are only allowing one lane per port as well. Is it not possible to use multi-lane traffic for USB/SATA like with graphic cards?
It appears to me as if most of these USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 upgrades are targeting PCIe 2.0 installations, which is unfortunate because PCIe 1.0a was around for 4 years before PCIe 2.0 and many motherboards with PCIe 1.0a already had SATA 2.0/USB 2.0 and could benefit from SATA 3.0/USB3.0. My ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 is one example, and my MacPro 1,1 desktop with dual Xeon X5365, 3 GHz CPUs is another. As SSD prices drop like mosquitos on a scorching hot day in northern Ontario, I see 4 TB SSDs in the forecast for these systems. Proper allocation of lanes could allows these systems to better utilise the SATA 3 and USB 3 protocols.
My MacPro 1,1 has two x4 slots, one x1 slot, and one x16 slot. Currently dual boots Mac OS 10.11 and Ubuntu 16.04, but spends 99% of its time in Ubuntu. I'd like to keep OS X 10.11 driver support though. It currently has 16 GB of RAM, but can be upgraded to 32 GB. I was hoping for a 4-port SATA 3.0 card with each port utilising at least 2 lanes. I was also hoping for a 3- or 4-port USB 3.0 card with each port utilising at leats 2 lanes.
My ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 has three PCI, one x1, one x16 slot, and one AGP 8x slot. It currently dual boots XP and Ubuntu 16.04LTS, but spends 99% of its time in Ubuntu. I'd like to keep XP driver support, so most of those newer Adaptec cards are out of consideration even if they had multi-lane port allocation. Currently the system has 4 GB of RAM and is using an HD4650 AGP graphics card. I was thinking that to optimise the buses, PCI = 1 gigabit ethernet; PCIe-x1 = USB 3.0; PCIex16 = SATA 3.0, but again, with each port utilising at least 2 lanes. Better yet would be a USB 3.0/SATA 3.0 combination card which was keyed for x4 or x8, and has each USB and each SATA port utilising 2 lanes. There is such a combo card, but when inspecting it further, only 2 lanes are connected, and one is for USB 3.0, the other for SATA 3.0. Again, it is targeting PCIe 2.0 upgrades, not really PCIe 1.0a upgrades.
Was PCIe 1.0a thrown under the bus? USB 3.0 came around in 2008, so I'd have figured there would have been plenty of interested parties making multi-lane upgrades for PCIe 1.0a, assuming it is possible. Same for SATA 3.0, which was released in 2009. Didn't users with PCIe 1.0a want to upgrade? Or is there some technical limitation which I do not understand that prevents multi-lane, single-port traffic for SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0?
So that people reading this don't have to look up speed specs:
x1 = 250 MB/s = 2 Gbit/s
x2 = 500 MB/s = 4 Gbit/s
x4 = 1000 MB/s = 8 Gbit/s
x8 = 2 GB/s = 16 Gbit/s
x16 = 4 GB/s = 32 Gbit/s
x1 = 500 MB/s = 4 Gbit/s
x2 = 1000 MB/s = 8 Gbit/s
x4 = 2 GB/s = 16 Gbit/s
x8 = 4 GB/s = 32 Gbit/s
x16 = 8 GB/s = 64 Gbit/s
PCI (32-bit, 33 MHz) = 133 MB/s = 1.06 Gbit/s
PCI-X (64-bit, 66 MHz) = 533 MB/s = 4.3 Gbit/s
AGP (runs at 66 MHz)
AGP 1X = 266 MB/s = 2.1 Gbit/s
AGP 2X = 533 MB/s = 4.3 Gbit/s
AGP 4X = 1066 MB/s = 8.5 Gbit/s
AGP 8X = 2133 MB/s = 17 Gbit/s
SATA uncoded rates
SATA 1.0 (1.5 Gbit) = 150 MB/s = 1.2 Gbit/s
SATA 2.0 (3.0 Gbit) = 300 MB/s = 2.4 Gbit/s
SATA 3.0 (6.0 Gbit) = 600 MB/s = 4.8 Gbit/s
USB 1.0 = 1.5 MB/s = 12 Mbit/s
USB 2.0 = 60 MB/s = 480 Mbit/s
USB 3.0 = 625 MB/s = 400 MB/s (uncoded) = 3.2 Gbit/s
USB 3.1 1x1 = 625 MB/s = 605 MB/s (uncoded) = 4.8 Gbit/s (1-lane)
USB 3.1 2x1 = 1250 MB/s = 1210 MB/s (uncoded) = 9.7 Gbit/s (1-lane)
USB 3.2 1x1 = 625 MB/s = 605 MB/s (uncoded) = 4.8 Gbit/s (1-lane)
USB 3.2 1x2 = 1250 MB/s = 1210 MB/s (uncoded) = 9.7 Gbit/s (2-lane)
USB 3.2 2x1 = 1250 MB/s = 1210 MB/s (uncoded) = 9.7 Gbit/s (1-lane)
USB 3.2 2x2 = 2500 MB/s = 2420 MB/s (uncoded) = 19.4 Gbit/s (2-lane)
Ethernet 100 mbit = 12.5 MB/s = 0.1 Gbit/s
Gigabit ethernet = 125 MB/s = 1 Gbit/s