Before we get started, a little info about this post

At a high level, I need to install five (5) PCIe NVMe SSDs into a homelab server. In this post I cover how CPU & motherboard all play a role in how & where these PCIe cards can and should be connected. I learned that simply having slots on the motherboard doesn’t mean they’re all capable of the same things. My research was eye-opening and really helped me understand the underlying architecture of the CPU, chipset, and manufacturer-specific motherboard connectivity. It’s a lot to digest at first, but I hope this provides some insight for others to learn from. Before I forget, the info below applies to server motherboards, too, and plays a key role in dual socket boards when only a single CPU is used.

Sometimes the hardest part of any daunting task is simply starting. I got some help from Intel here, though.

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