As we mentioned in our introduction, we've covered most of the motherboard in great detail when we did our original preview. For that reason we won't rehash the information we've already written. Originally we didn't include the PCIe specifications, though, so we'll quickly go into detail of that here.
A few images up you can see we've got a total of five PCIe x16 slots and a single PCIe x1 slot. Obviously the layout indicates that the board will of course support four way SLI thanks to the dual slot spacing between our four main red PCIe x16 slots.
All five PCIe x16 slots are PCIe 3.0. Unfortunately Sandy Bridge-E processors don't offer us PCIe 3.0 yet. Instead we'll have to wait for support later, or wait for Ivy Bridge-E to hit. Either way, though, the Rampage IV Extreme is PCIe 3.0 ready.
The single grey slot runs at x8, the other four run at x16 or x8 depending on the configuration of cards installed. If you're using a single PCIe x16 video card, that will run at x16. If you install two cards, they will run also at x16 - this compares to the non NF200 based Z68 boards which run at x8 / x8 when two cards are thrown into the mix.
If you're going for Tri-SLI or three card CrossFireX, you're looking at a x16 / x8 / x16 setup. If you're going all out and you'll be making use of all four red PCIe x16 slots on the board for a massive Quad-SLI or four card CrossFireX setup, then you're looking at the cards running at x16 / x8 / x8 / x8.
Of course, in an ideal world a four card setup would be x16 / x16 / x16 / x16, but numerous testing on x16 and x8 performance has shown very little difference in performance. This is the absolute best setup we can hope for when it comes to having PCIe lanes running natively through the Intel chipset.
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