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I have just bought the intel X540T2 shown below and when I opened my machine I am not sure if I can plug it in any of the available PCIe slots shown below? If anyone could please advise

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    What did you expect to gain from fitting a high speed 10 Gbit nic to this host ? It appears to be a desktop. – Criggie Jun 19 at 2:37
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    @pipe depends if the server can create and sustain 10 Gbit of traffic, and the client can receive and use it. There's not really that much need, specially when OP's data sink is an older desktop (implied by the PCI slots) I'm curious about OP's use-case mostly. Pipe: you'd have to upsize your NFS server NIC, switch, maybe cabling, and have enough fast disks to push 1000 Mbytes/sec for sustained periods to make it worth doing. – Criggie Jun 19 at 4:50
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    If you are really determined to make it work, you can try one of those "Vertical GPU Bracket " to relocate the x4 under the GPU elsewhere or relocate the GPU elsewhere... – user3528438 Jun 19 at 5:43
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    If your x4 slot is open ended like your x1 then yes you can use a x16 cable. But since the slot is under your GPU cooler, you should pay attention to the clearance issues. – user3528438 Jun 19 at 15:57
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    I'm guessing by the way that this motherboard has plain pci slots you should try for 1000mb/s before 10gb/s. I can't quote a theoretical max bitrate, but i will say I've been supprised how often the hardware driver is included (on Linux) and hardware can work outside of what might be an expected configuration (ex, pcie slot mismatches). I've run all my desktops with ten gb nics, and would certainly recommend it for how cheap they are. – ThorSummoner Jun 20 at 15:07
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Technically yes, but you will not be able to reach 10 Gbps speed with them. The only slot that's fast enough is already occupied by your GPU.

You have these slots, from top to bottom:

  1. I'm guessing a PCI-Express x16 slot – can't see it through the GPU, but most motherboards usually put an x16 slot there. It would accept your network card if you removed the GPU.

  2. A PCI-Express x4 slot that's also occupied by the GPU, if squircle's findings are correct. It could accept your network card, probably.

  3. A PCI-Express x1 slot (blue) with a cutout to accept any-size PCIe card. It will accept your network card, but will only provide 1 data lane. If your motherboard provides PCIe version 2.0, then 1 lane will only be enough for 5 Gbps (probably slightly below that).

    (Actually, I don't know whether your card will work at all in a x1 slot – as far as I know, generally they're supposed to, but it's possible that it might deliberately refuse to.)

  4. Another PCI-Express x1 slot (blue). Same as #2 above.

  5. A Conventional PCI slot (white). It is not a PCI-Express slot and does not accept any PCIe cards. (And even if it did, Conventional PCI only barely provides enough speed for 1 Gbps, let alone 10 Gbps, so don't go looking for adapters.)

  6. Another Conventional PCI slot (white). Same as #4 above – not PCIe.

  7. Third Conventional PCI slot (white). Same as #4 above.

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    It is an x16, and there's an x4 behind the GPU too (motherboard page). – squircle Jun 18 at 17:25
  • Ah, I didn't notice that the GPU was a fat one. But it doesn't look like the same model actually? The one you found has black slots with no cut-out for larger cards, unless it's a different revision. – user1686 Jun 18 at 17:27
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    @Tak Your motherboard uses the Intel Q77 chipset which has PCIe 2.0. A PCIe x1 slot with PCIe 2.0 will not handle the traffic from a 10Gbit card. – pipe Jun 19 at 3:56
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    And the card will work in a PCIe x1 slot according to the datasheet of the on-board Intel X540 controller. – pipe Jun 19 at 4:04
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    @Tak It should work according to all the documentation, but it can only do absolute max 4 Gbit/s, on one port at a time, likely a little bit less than that. – pipe Jun 19 at 7:16

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