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Thread: GA-H55-USB Distribution of PCIe lanes with regards to NEC USB 3.0




  1. #1
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    Default GA-H55-USB Distribution of PCIe lanes with regards to NEC USB 3.0

    Just checking if my interpretation of the block diagram is correct on GA-H55-USB3 with regards to how Gigabyte have allocated the H55 PCIe lanes and the interesting NEC USB 3 controller.

    (r1.0, diagram is literally the same for r2.0, though they used a different RTL PCIe controller)

    Attachment 2861

    First up, i believe the H55 has six PCIe 1.1 lanes. From the above I see:

    3 lanes dedicated as PCIe x1 slots,
    1 lane dedicated as Gigabyte/Jmicron SATA2 chip
    1 lane dedicated for Gigabit lan
    1 lane dedicated to the switch which in turn goes to the NEC D720200F1 USB 3.0 controller

    I noticed the Gen 2 link from the switch which ties in to the PCIe x16 from the CPU.

    From what I looked up, Gen 1 (PCIe 1.x) is about 250MB/sec data rate per lane (& per direction), less once you take into account protocol overheads. Gen 2 (PCIe 2.x) is about 500MB/sec with the same caveat.

    At a guess, if there is a discrete graphics card installed, does the switch use the (Gen1/PCIe 1.x) x1 lane?

    If onboard video is used, does it use the (Gen2/PCIe 2.x) x1 lane?

    So basically, for onboard video setups, you have plenty of bandwidth for the USB 3 controller. Whack in a video card, and it will fall back to the PCIe 1.1 x1 lane which is still damn fast at this stage, but technically somewhat bandwidth-limited?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GA-H55-USB Distribution of PCIe lanes with regards to NEC USB 3.0

    i dont think it limits the pci bandwidth if your using one graphics card and have onboard graphics disabled,only if your using two graphic cards in sli/xfire it will restrict pci-e bandwidth??
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: GA-H55-USB Distribution of PCIe lanes with regards to NEC USB 3.0

    Check out my review of Gigabyte's methods of connection here:
    USB 3.0 Testing on the Gigabyte UD3R and UD6 | Overclockers
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: GA-H55-USB Distribution of PCIe lanes with regards to NEC USB 3.0

    Thanks for that miahallen. I see it is very much like that. The only thing is, when it borrows the PCIe Gen 2 lane "turbo", does it just borrow x1 from the x16? what does the graphics card scale down to? x15.. x8?

    edit: well, just thought i might update after testing with a video card. when one is installed, CPU-z reports it having the full PCIe x16 lanes, and when windows picks up the video card, it also picks up the USB controller again, this time through the Intel 5 series chipset (if the installing device drivers screen is any indication). Still, a singlePCIe (v1.1) x1 lane should be plenty of bandwidth in this configuration with a video card until we see on-chip USB3 support. but this just confirms the switch literally switches to one or the other.
    Last edited by ozeh; 09-10-2010 at 05:58 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GA-H55-USB Distribution of PCIe lanes with regards to NEC USB 3.0

    x8 :(
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