Fitting Optane AIC SSD and 10 GbE NIC with only a single PCI-E x4 slot and a M.2 x2 slot?

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Mar 16, 2012

I'm building out a new FreeNAS machine built around the SuperMicro A2SDi-8C+-HLN4F motherboard.

I'd like to get an Intel Optane (either 900p, or wait for the 905p) to use as a ZIL/SLOG (yes, I know, using both on one device is not fully-supported - but the Optane's appear to have power-loss protection, and I would like to see if it can cope with both).

However, I'd also like to get a 10GbE NIC into the machine.

The only problem is - it only has a single PCI-E 3.0 x4 port, and a single M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x2 port.

I can get a M.2 to PCI-E adapter - but it still only be x2.

So I was thinking of putting the Optane in the PCI-E 3.0 x4 port (to run at full speed), and then using a M.2 to PCI-E adapter to put a 10GbE NIC in the x2 M.2 slot.

NIC wise I was thinking of the Intel X520-DA2, for flexibility (as it's SPF+) - but I see the Chelsio cards are also recommended here (but not sure which specific model to get).

Is the above workable, or is there a better way to achieve a Optane + NIC with this motherboard?

Chris Moore

Hall of Famer
May 2, 2015
Try using a full ATX board. That will give you expansion slots.

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