PCI-E configuration for new setup - advice?


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Hi all,


Already have all parts for a new Unraid build, but i'm not sure what would be the best setup in terms of slots to use for graphics cards and nvme drives.




CPU / Motherboard: i9-11900F / Gigabyte Z590 Vision D


The motherboard has the following connections:


3x PCI-Express slot:


- 1x x16 running at x16

- 1x x16 running at x8

- 1x x16 running at x2



1x PCIe 4.0 x4 (CPU)

1x PCIe 3.0 x4 (South Bridge)

1x PCIe 3.0 x2 (South Bridge)


Hardware I'd like to use in these slots:


1x GTX 1050TI (for Plex/Emby transcoding)

1x GTX 1050 (passthrough to Windows VM)

1x Dell Perc H200

1x Samsung 980 Pro

1x Samsung 980 (passthrough to Windows VM)

1x Samsung 970 Evo


For the Windows VM, i'm not looking for the fastest performance possible (as long as it feels "snappy" when doing basic things). Can i get away with putting both the SSD and graphics card in the x2 slots without much noticable performance loss, or would i be better of having the HBA in the x2 slot?


Also, I assume using the M2 slot controlled by the CPU would produce the least overhead (and less interference with the onboard SATA ports). One drive will be specifically for Emby/Plex where i would like GUI performance as good as it can get, while the other drive would be cache for everything else (PiHole, Home Assistant, write cache etc.). Which of these two would make more sense to have on the CPU M2 slot in my user case?


Any insights would be much appreciated!









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Thank you JorgeB, do you think it would make more sense to have the H200 there? As far as i can see, the H200 is PCIe 2.0 so theorical bandwidth would be 1GB/s at x2. I don't expect much I/O on this card (no parity drive, mostly static data and a maximum of 3 users accessing the server simultaneously).

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