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Configuring the PCIe x4 slot to act as 4 individual x1 ports
#1
Hello,

I'm interested in connecting more than a single PCIe device to the RockPro64.

I know that it woud be possible to use a card which includes a PCIe switch chip to connect multiple PCI Express devices to the RockPro64, but that would be expensive (as well as adding latency and power usage), so I wondered if there was a simpler solution, using a simple breakout card (or custom add-in card), along with a suitable firmware config e.g. device tree overlay, to reconfigure the PCIe x4 slot as four logical PCIe x1 ports?

A custom PCIe card (or breakout card) could then be used to connect multiple PCIe x1 devices to the slot.  The application I had in mind was connecting four Asmedia ASM1061 SATA AHCI host adaptors to give 8 SATA ports for a NAS setup.

I know that various Intel chipsets support this sort of flexible PCIe configuration, but didn't know if the RK3399 did?  Any ideas?

Thanks,

Tim.
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#2
The RK3399 root complex does not support splitting up the port into individual links, so you need a riser card with a PCIe switch...
Come have a chat in the Pine A64 IRC channel >>
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#3
But with such a switch card, the RockPro64 could become an amazingly cheap crypto mining host, as long as drivers are available.
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#4
(04-02-2018, 09:32 AM)fonix232 Wrote: But with such a switch card, the RockPro64 could become an amazingly cheap crypto mining host, as long as drivers are available.

But the GPU card for mining is very expensive !!!
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#5
(04-02-2018, 10:17 PM)tllim Wrote:
(04-02-2018, 09:32 AM)fonix232 Wrote: But with such a switch card, the RockPro64 could become an amazingly cheap crypto mining host, as long as drivers are available.

But the GPU card for mining is very expensive !!!

Yes it is. But before the RockPro64, people would spend 250-300$ on a motherboard that can host 4-8 cards even with splitters or switches. With the RockPro64, they can cut the prices down a bit.
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#6
You can take any ITX m/b with 25W x64 CPU and PCI-e slot (@x4)
SoC are for embedded purposes (gpio and some storage/network), not for mining rig-s Smile
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#7
(03-07-2018, 08:39 AM)TimSmall Wrote: The application I had in mind was connecting four Asmedia ASM1061 SATA AHCI host adaptors to give 8 SATA ports for a NAS setup.

Why not just connect one dual-port SAS card? That will support 8 SATA drives, no problem (a single SAS port can be broken-out into 4 SATA ports with a simple adapter cable)
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#8
(04-03-2018, 02:23 AM)fonix232 Wrote:
(04-02-2018, 10:17 PM)tllim Wrote:
(04-02-2018, 09:32 AM)fonix232 Wrote: But with such a switch card, the RockPro64 could become an amazingly cheap crypto mining host, as long as drivers are available.

But the GPU card for mining is very expensive !!!

Yes it is. But before the RockPro64, people would spend 250-300$ on a motherboard that can host 4-8 cards even with splitters or switches. With the RockPro64, they can cut the prices down a bit.

You are outdated. Wink

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OR
8 x RX 570 + 1800 Watt PSU ready to rock and roll : https://pt.aliexpress.com/store/product/...Title=true
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#9
(04-02-2018, 09:32 AM)fonix232 Wrote: But with such a switch card, the RockPro64 could become an amazingly cheap crypto mining host, as long as drivers are available.

When I search on AliExpress for "pci-e x1 pci-e x16 mining", I think that I see what you want.
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#10
You just need a controller with PMP support and an enclosure like the Mediasonic 8x USB3/eSATA. I am using two successfully with ZFS for many years with 16 drives over two eSATA cables or even a single USB3 with a hub in a pinch.
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