Please suggest what I should plug into my PCI slots - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-19-2014, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Please suggest what I should plug into my PCI slots

Can I plug this PCI USB3 into anyone of my PCI slots
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816322009&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL051614&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL051614-_-EMC-051614-Index-_-ControllersRAIDCards-_-16322009-L021A

Currently I’m only using one of my PCI slots w/ a TV tuner
I would like to use the remaining slots 1. for USB 3. and another 2nd. slot for adding a couple SATA ports (either internal or maybe external E SATA).

I attach image of the MOBO intel H57.

I see one long black PCI slot which is unused

Two small white PCI slots one is being used w/ a TV tuner.

And one long white PCI slot which is unused.note my MOBO is USB 2 so will a USB3 external HDD actualley transfer ten times faster?

Edit: I’m leaning toward E SATA card and external HDD to be a wiser choice for both transfer speed and also power compaired to USB3?

also will I be able to plug either a PCI card for additional SATA ports or E SATA into either the long white or long black unused PCI slots?

Thanks STB

 

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post #2 of 20 Old 05-19-2014, 05:29 AM
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For minute there, you got me confused until I saw H57 Mobo mentioned. PCI refers to an old slot existing only on PCs > 10yrs old. What you have are called PCIe (or PCI Express) slots. Not the same thing. As for speed of transfer on external HDD, there is a recent thread discuss about it already. Search for a thread titled "Is eSATA dead"
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post #3 of 20 Old 05-20-2014, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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what appealed to me was I thought e sata external HDD did'nt require an AC powersupply.

sounds like USB3 might be a better option using a card like this which I beleive plugs into the short white PCI?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA32C1FD1635

or can this type of USB3 card plug into either the long black or white slote?

 

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post #4 of 20 Old 05-20-2014, 08:14 AM
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Do you have an SSD in that system??? (I don't see one or it might be under something) If your looking to spend a few bucks and gain some big performance improvement; the SSD is the place to put your money.

I am not really crazy about the USB3 stuff...SATA is plenty for HTPC use. biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-20-2014, 08:16 AM
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From top to bottom:

PCI Express 2.0 x16 (connected to CPU)
PCI Express 2.0 x1 (connected to H57 chipset)
PCI Express 2.0 x1 (connected to H57 chipset)
PCI

You can insert the USB 3.0 PCI Express x1 card in any of the top three slots. The second and third slots may be a little bit slower because H57 and CPU are connected a slower bus, called DMI 1.0 (= PCI Express 1.0 x4).

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-15-2014, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
From top to bottom:

PCI Express 2.0 x16 (connected to CPU)
PCI Express 2.0 x1 (connected to H57 chipset)
PCI Express 2.0 x1 (connected to H57 chipset)
PCI

You can insert the USB 3.0 PCI Express x1 card in any of the top three slots. The second and third slots may be a little bit slower because H57 and CPU are connected a slower bus, called DMI 1.0 (= PCI Express 1.0 x4).
I think I'll try one of these SATA controller cards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815124006

?1.will it plug into either the long black plug
PCI Express 2.0 x16 (connected to CPU)
or the long white plug PCI
?2. which plug is recommended?

I currently have a 120GB SSD for the OS
and two 2TB internal storage HDD's which are set in the BIOS as Raid 0 I would like to keep these two drives setup as Raid 0.

?3.w/ this controller card can I setup two additionale HDDs in Raid 1 so if I copy to HDD1 it will also copy the HDD2
and have redunancy, like is it possiable to have both Raid 0 and Raid 1 on the same PC?

?4.how to setup the next two HDDs as Raid 1 just plug them into this SATA controller card?

I'm also thinking I still have a PCIe slot for the USB 3
card.

Thanks Guy's for advice STB

 

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post #7 of 20 Old 06-15-2014, 07:48 AM
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the long black slot is usually used for graphic cards. You sure you don't want to place a graphic card in there?
The cards usually have hardware decoders (and some have also encoders) for media files, that take away the load from the processor.
I don't know how good is the current graphics you have (Intel HD graphics inside the processor), but that's a possible upgrade.

As for the rest of the things, the main thing you want to look at is bandwith. How fast you can move data through that slot. Because the slot will bottleneck the card you place on it if it is slower than what the card needs.

Now, PCI slots (the big white and squared one) can move around 132 MB/s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_PCI
PCI-e slots version 1 (the small white ones) can move 250 MB/s per lane both up and down at the same time. SInce they are x1, that's one lane so 250MB/s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periph...onnect_Express

PCI-e slots version 2 (the long black one) can move 500 MB/s per lane both up and down.
That is a x16 slot (long, has 16 lanes) so if you put in a x16 card it can get up to 8 GB/s of bandwith (if the card is a x4 you multiply the 500 by 4 to see the speed it can provide).

A Sata II port needs 300 MB/s of bandwith or you are bottlenecking it, a Sata III port needs 600 MB/s.

USB 3 port needs 600-ish MB/s of bandwith (in theory, usually less).


It's easy to see that PCI slot is total crap for both Sata and USB3.
Your small and white PCI-e slots will bottleneck Sata II a little, but as long as you are not placing a SSD there and make a RAID with the drives attached to that card, it should be fine.
The same slots will bottleneck USB3 too, and it will have a bigger impact than on Sata.

If you don't need another graphic card, then the black slot is the best, and try to find a Sata card with a bigger PCIe interface, x4 or even x8 so you get much more speed.

My recommendation for PCI slot (white squared last one) is a wifi card. Wifi speeds are given in megabits/s so they show big numbers, but the speeds I'm talking here are megaBYTES/s. One byte = 8 bits, so divide numbers in bits by 8 to convert the number to bytes.
A wifi stating 300 mbit/s performance is actually using 37 MB/s, well within the 132 MB/s of PCI port.
Another good thing for PCI is a sound card.

Please make sure you can tell the difference between PCI and PCIe cards and the differences between a x1 or x4 or x16 PCIe cards/slots, just google images to see the differences in the gold pin interface.
Quote:
I think I'll try one of these SATA controller cards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815124006
This is a PCI card, you have faster slots, so it's a big no-no.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-15-2014, 08:23 AM
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?1. & ?2. You can insert the card only in the PCI slot (white).
?3. Yes, Yes.
?4. At system startup, you should be able to set up a RAID array (either RAID 0 or RAID 1) on this card. Then boot into OS and you can use the two HDDs as if a single drive. (Necessary driver for Sil3512 chip should be installed automatically.)

H57 chipset supports six SATA ports and you can also set up two RAID arrays on H57 (one in RAID 0, another in RAID 1, and SSD non-RAID). These non-OS RAID arrays can be created with "Intel Rapid Storage Technology software" in Windows.

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Last edited by renethx; 06-15-2014 at 08:27 AM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-15-2014, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
the long black slot is usually used for graphic cards. You sure you don't want to place a graphic card in there?
The cards usually have hardware decoders (and some have also encoders) for media files, that take away the load from the processor.
I don't know how good is the current graphics you have (Intel HD graphics inside the processor), but that's a possible upgrade.

As for the rest of the things, the main thing you want to look at is bandwith. How fast you can move data through that slot. Because the slot will bottleneck the card you place on it if it is slower than what the card needs.

Now, PCI slots (the big white and squared one) can move around 132 MB/s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_PCI
PCI-e slots version 1 (the small white ones) can move 250 MB/s per lane both up and down at the same time. SInce they are x1, that's one lane so 250MB/s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periph...onnect_Express

PCI-e slots version 2 (the long black one) can move 500 MB/s per lane both up and down.
That is a x16 slot (long, has 16 lanes) so if you put in a x16 card it can get up to 8 GB/s of bandwith (if the card is a x4 you multiply the 500 by 4 to see the speed it can provide).

A Sata II port needs 300 MB/s of bandwith or you are bottlenecking it, a Sata III port needs 600 MB/s.

USB 3 port needs 600-ish MB/s of bandwith (in theory, usually less).


It's easy to see that PCI slot is total crap for both Sata and USB3.
Your small and white PCI-e slots will bottleneck Sata II a little, but as long as you are not placing a SSD there and make a RAID with the drives attached to that card, it should be fine.
The same slots will bottleneck USB3 too, and it will have a bigger impact than on Sata.

If you don't need another graphic card, then the black slot is the best, and try to find a Sata card with a bigger PCIe interface, x4 or even x8 so you get much more speed.

My recommendation for PCI slot (white squared last one) is a wifi card. Wifi speeds are given in megabits/s so they show big numbers, but the speeds I'm talking here are megaBYTES/s. One byte = 8 bits, so divide numbers in bits by 8 to convert the number to bytes.
A wifi stating 300 mbit/s performance is actually using 37 MB/s, well within the 132 MB/s of PCI port.
Another good thing for PCI is a sound card.

Please make sure you can tell the difference between PCI and PCIe cards and the differences between a x1 or x4 or x16 PCIe cards/slots, just google images to see the differences in the gold pin interface.
Quote:
I think I'll try one of these SATA controller cards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815124006
This is a PCI card, you have faster slots, so it's a big no-no.
Thanks Bob for the excellent advice
I don't think I need a graphics or a sound card w/ a I3 CPU correct? or will a graphics card improve the TV picture? I thought graphics cards where designed for folks that play video games?

the PC actualley came w/ a WiFi network adaptor however this PC is located behind the TV inside a big wooden cabinet so I had to get a USB type network adaptor and have it located on top and outside the cabinet.

OK thanks for the heads up and explaintiion on PCI and PCIe
I'll diffenity pick a better card then report back w/ choice.
maybe this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-008-_-Product

what about my plan to have two addition drives setup as Raid1 so I can have redunacy for achiving good stuff
this my main reason to have a card like this?
like is it possiable to have both Raid0 and Raid1 on the same PC?

Lastly for right now my Hauppage 1800 TV tuner is plugged into the short white PCIe slot can card w/ the short connecter like my tuner and the first controller card I link to be plugged into either the long black or long white PCIe slot? or if the card has a short connecter must it be plugged into the short PCIe plugs?
Thanks STB

 

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post #10 of 20 Old 06-15-2014, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain View Post
I don't think I need a graphics or a sound card w/ a I3 CPU correct? or will a graphics card improve the TV picture? I thought graphics cards where designed for folks that play video games?
All graphics cards have chips that help the CPU play high definition videos and blurays (and 3D and 4k). For an HTPC you don't need strong 3D power, so you can get a good card for around 50$. There are also fanless cards (no fan = no noise).

Sound cards make a better sound than integrated sound chips (of course). Processor has nothing to do with sound quality. Depends from your sound system though. You need quality sound system (and must play a file with quality audio) to notice the difference between a sound card and integrated audio chips.

Do you need that? No idea. This is your PC and it should entertain you, not me, so it's your call.
Grab some high quality videos or blurays with 5.1 audio and do some tests. If your PC struggles or there are issues that's an upgrade you can do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain View Post
what about my plan to have two addition drives setup as Raid1 so I can have redunacy for achiving good stuff this my main reason to have a card like this?
Depends from how easy is to setup and rebuild the RAID when one drive fails.
Usually it needs to re-mirror the surviving drive to the new one, and it takes a while. Also setup may or may not need you to enter the BIOS setup or the card's setup when the PC boots up to make it work the first time and when you troubleshoot issues. Check the manual of the card you want to buy.

I usually just setup scheduled tasks (or scripts) to copy data every few days/hours from main data drives to whatever other backup location (another drive, a NAS, whatever) instead of setting and maintaining a RAID just for two drives.
This thread explains how to setup such thing in Windows http://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...r-network.html

In either case, that card will be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain View Post
like is it possiable to have both Raid0 and Raid1 on the same PC?
It depends from the card and/or motherboard you are using. Look at the manual of the board and of the card you are buying (it's usually easy to find a pdf manual you can read before buying the card).

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain View Post
Lastly for right now my Hauppage 1800 TV tuner is plugged into the short white PCIe slot can card w/ the short connecter like my tuner and the first controller card I link to be plugged into either the long black or long white PCIe slot?
The white long slot is PCI. Only PCI cards can go there. I know it's confusing but PCI is not PCI express even if the name is similar. Be sure of what you buy.

As I said, placing a USB3 card in the white ones is going to bottleneck it and will run like crap, only the black slot can run USB3 cards at a decent speed.

Still, since the long black slot is the faster PCIe slot you have (it is version 2 so it's double the speed), and it is a waste to use it for a single x1 card.
I suggest to buy a combo PCI express + USB3 card with a PCI express 2.0 x4 interface like this http://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-U3S6-US...o+sata+raid+x4
Due to the size of the PCI express interface of this card (it is a x4, it is physically longer than a x1), it will only fit in the black slot. But this way you have enough speed for both USB3 and even Sata SSDs.
This card does not seem to support RAID though, but imho it is overkill to set up a RAID 1 for just 2 drives when you can set a scheduled task that backups stuff automatically to the drive you designate as backup.

On newegg there is a similar combo card but the reviews are a bit bad (bad quality card).
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post #11 of 20 Old 06-15-2014, 02:58 PM
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You have upgraded everything else in that old computer. Why not upgrade to new cpu/motherboard and case?

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post #12 of 20 Old 06-15-2014, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post
You have upgraded everything else in that old computer. Why not upgrade to new cpu/motherboard and case?
The i3 550 in his rig is still more or less at the same power level of a fourth gen i3 he could buy now to "replace" it (and still MUCH better than modern pentiums and celerons).

Paying 200$ to get a similar i3 with a slightly better Intel GPU and a mobo with USB 3 ports does not make a whole lot of sense when he can do the same buying an expansion card for for 60$ and saving the annoyance of rebuilding everything.

Besides, why throwing away good hardware?
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post #13 of 20 Old 06-16-2014, 06:15 AM
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My head hurts!

Anyway, some of the cards linked are PCI and some are PCIe. They are not interchangeable.

There are 2 formats of PCIe, 8x and 16x. Short PCIe card will work in long and short slots, but long one will only work in the long one.

Figure out what the need is, and then act upon it. Seems like "I have a few empty slots, what can I fill them up with?" is just asking for trouble, possibly without any added benefit.

Adding more hard drives to an HTPC will add more heat, and noise.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #14 of 20 Old 06-16-2014, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain View Post
I don't think I need a graphics or a sound card w/ a I3 CPU correct? or will a graphics card improve the TV picture? I thought graphics cards where designed for folks that play video games?
All graphics cards have chips that help the CPU play high definition videos and blurays (and 3D and 4k). For an HTPC you don't need strong 3D power, so you can get a good card for around 50$. There are also fanless cards (no fan = no noise).
The i3-550 already has an integrated graphics processor that support hardware acceleration. Unless there's some issue with video playback the OP is seeing (for instance watching cablecard and getting the HBO 29/59 bug, etc.) there's no need to get a discrete graphics card.

 

 

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post #15 of 20 Old 06-16-2014, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Bob This combination expansion card is interesting I thought I had to choose between a USB3 and a SATA controller card I wonder if they are still available new the Amazon you link to appears to be a forign country.

This graphics card is it also referred to as avideo card?

I’m reconsidering the Raid1 and considering a drive copy software like Acronis for redundancy.

I read a little about this U3S2 card besides the non Raid the only drawback I see is if both the USB3 and the SATA3 port are used together would slow the transfers down, if I choose this U3S2 card I would like to take advantage of SATA 3port and connect my OS SSD so I will get full benefit of the SSD (my H57 MOBO is only SATA 2) would this be considered using both USB3 w/ a external drive and the OS SSD or would this be considered using both type ports together and slow the process?

Note I’m not planning on constant transfers basicalley a easy way to add storage.

Now as far as adding heat these extra storage drives will be located outside the case in a cage like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product

Or maybe this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-035-_-Product
However the drive mite get dusty w/ this cage.

sitting on a shelve I plan to route the SATA data and power cables though the side of the case.

edit: is there a rule of thumb when adding big capisty HDDs for increasing boot up time even w/ a SSD, like add X seconds for each HDD?

Andy the only part I have “upgraded” is the 300 Watt no brand name PSU everything else
USB TV tuner
PCIe TV tuner
Network dual TV tuner
Two audio video type 2TB HDDs
One 1TB external HDD
USB network adaptor
Case fan and extra fan
has been added.
Thanks STB

 

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post #16 of 20 Old 06-16-2014, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post
There are 2 formats of PCIe, 8x and 16x.
If you wanted to nitpick, there are x1, x2, x4, x8 and x16 PCIe interfaces. 5 different physical sizes. Theoretically you can have x6 as well, but I never saw cards with that.
On top of that there are 3 different PCIe versions, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, each version has double the bandwith of the previous version.
So, there are actually 15 possible kinds of PCIe interfaces, and the actual bandwith is decided by the weakest of the two (card or slot).

Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion
The i3-550 already has an integrated graphics processor that support hardware acceleration.
I don't know how good that is when going beyond 1080p or high bitrate, it's a first gen Intel HD graphics after all.
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post #17 of 20 Old 06-16-2014, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion
The i3-550 already has an integrated graphics processor that support hardware acceleration.
I don't know how good that is when going beyond 1080p or high bitrate, it's a first gen Intel HD graphics after all.
HDMI only supports up to 1080p along with most televisions so no it's probably not and issue. High bitrate video will be fine. I tested the first gen Intel HD with a bunch of different high bitrate clips way back when and it was fine and never used more than 20% CPU. Where it might be an issue is de-interlacing which isn't all that great. The prudent thing would be to try the integrated GPU and if it's an issue then get a discrete GPU.

 

 

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post #18 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
If you wanted to nitpick, there are x1, x2, x4, x8 and x16 PCIe interfaces. 5 different physical sizes. Theoretically you can have x6 as well, but I never saw cards with that.
On top of that there are 3 different PCIe versions, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, each version has double the bandwith of the previous version.
So, there are actually 15 possible kinds of PCIe interfaces, and the actual bandwith is decided by the weakest of the two (card or slot).

I don't know how good that is when going beyond 1080p or high bitrate, it's a first gen Intel HD graphics after all.
looks like the U3S2 card is unavailable.

how doe's this look plugged into the black PCIe
http://www.sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=1304
I'd like to have my SSD connected to the SATA3. add a internal SATA 3 HDD

then use the eSATA port mulitplyer w/ a 4 bay external enclosure and still have a extra either eSATA or SATA for future use.
Thanks STB

 

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post #19 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 10:06 AM
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From specs
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Originally Posted by specs
2-lane PCI-Express 2.0 Interface Supports Communication Bandwidth up to 10.0Gbps
2 lanes of pci-e 2.0 give a speed of around 1 GB/s. That's enough for two SSDs or one SSD + two hard drives transferring data at the same time (data drives won't be used at the same time, you can connect more than 2 storage drives to it) without performance losses. Roughly of course.

Note that "port multiplier" feature moves the data at the same speed as a single Sata cable (600 MB/s max), so it is good for storage drives.

It is ok for what you want. Fits only in black PCIe so you can't go wrong.

I can't comment on the card's quality though.
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post #20 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Bob I'm going read a little more on additionale port cards however think I don't want to wait to long and how all the decent cards be unavailable.
Thanks STB

 

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