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One of my server has 2 PCI slots which has already plugged with 1GB Ethernet cards. I want to add two more 1GB NIC to this server. I've found on ebay this pci extender.

I want to ask, because I didn't use PCI Extender before. Does PCI extender cause performance lack on GB Ethernets? Will I able to get GB speed on these ethernets if I use PCI extender? Is one PCI slot able to run 3 ethernet cards at full performance?

Or is there any PCI extender on PCI-ex for performance? Or do I have to change motherboard to add more NICs?


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The essence of the product's description:

  • Expands PCI slots from 1 to 3.
  • Installs PCI device at 90° angle to the riser card.
  • Compliant with PCI 32bit 33Hz.
  • One end is three PCI female and another end is one PCI male.
  • CN1, CN2, CN3 & CN4 ports available for PCI slot 1 & 3. (CN1, CN2, CN3 & CN4 cables included)
  • PCI slot 2 does not need to be configured. PCI slot 1 & 3 need to be connected to CN1, CN2 & CN3, CN4.
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  • Are you looking for more NICs, or more 1GbE ports? There's a difference. Also, why do you want more ports? What level of utilization do you expect?
    – Chris S
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 14:05
  • We have a iSCSI SAN system with 2 nodes. The nodes have 3 nic, one for Heartbeat, one for iSCSI connection and one for LAN connection. I want to double iSCSI and LAN connections by adding more NICS. We need to increase bandwidth of the SAN. I plan to use LAGG or NLB on LAN connection, and MPIO on iSCSI.
    – oruchreis
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 14:12
  • Time for a new MB then. Sorry. The board you've got will never do better than about 2Gbps.
    – Chris S
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 14:14

1 Answer 1

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That item connects to a PCI (note not PCI-e/PCIe) 33Mhz, 32 bit bus.

That bus is only capable of handling 1,067 megabit per second - so even if all the right stars aligned you'd only ever be able to support a single GigE interface on that port at 100% utilisation. In reality it would slow down just this one card - let alone three of them.

I don't know about PCIe extenders, not much experience in that really but this PCI one is bit of a mistake in my opinion. Might it not be better to buy a new systemboard?

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  • Thanks. It means, there is no solution except buying a new mobo.
    – oruchreis
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 13:41
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    Note: that board does NOT connect to ONE PCI Slot; It connects to THREE PCI slots on the MB and "extends" them upward for a rackmount case configuration. It will not add more PCI slots to a MB.
    – Chris S
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 14:04
  • Thanks Chris, I've found PCI-E to PCI adapter but it is too expensive. It has its own case. As I plan to extend two of node PCs, it doubles the price.
    – oruchreis
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 14:16
  • Holy F***K Chris - you're right, wow what a weird/crappy product, just wow
    – Chopper3
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 14:51

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