Most helpful critical review
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
May work for you, depends on your situation.
on May 14, 2011
I do not write reviews very often. I felt compelled to write one for the PEX1PCI1 in hopes it will help others.
I purchased the PEX1PCI1 to overcome my motherboard's limited PCI slot issue. Most motherboard manufacturers are slowly phasing out PCI slots and adding PCIe slots. My ASROck H67M motherboard only has one PCI slot. The PCI slot is populated with my Promise SATA controller card to control 4 of the 5 hard drives in my software Raid-5. I also wanted to use my Audigy 2 ZS sound card. In comes PEX1PCI1 from stage right to possibly fix my problem. The computer I am using the PEX1PCI1 in runs Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit.
Based upon another review mentioning the PEX1PCI1 working in Linux, I decide to buy this and give it a go. I did realized the PEX1PCI1 is low profile and did not have a problem with that for what I was doing. I used this in my Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit computer. My problem came about when trying to use the PEX1PCI1 card with the Audigy 2 ZS in it AND the Promise SATA controller card in the PCI slot on the ASROCK H67M. I am not sure what was conflicting, but the sound card was not being recognized. The PEX1PCI1 was being recognized, but not the Audigy 2 ZS that was in it.
Here is the kicker: if I unplugged the 5th hard drive of the Raid-5 array (which was plugged into the H67M's SATA connector) the sound card would be recognized and work perfectly. Of course this meant I could no longer access my files which I wanted to use. I powered down my pc and reconnected the 5th raid hard drive to the H67M's SATA connector. I powered the pc on once again, what do you know the raid is seen and the sound card is no longer functioning. For kicks and giggles, I switched the Promise SATA controller card into the PEX1PCI1 and the Audigy 2 ZS into the motherboard's PCI slot. I powered on my pc and it had no video coming from the video card. My dream of using both the Promise SATA controller card and my sound card came crashing down. Obviously something "wonky" was happening. Yes, "wonky" is a very technical term :D
Other Thoughts & Findings:
I contacted StarTech's technical support and told them my situation. StarTech was quick to give me a response of:
"Thank you for your inquiry! We are sorry to hear about your technical difficulty.
It sounds like there may be a conflict between the PEX1PCI1 and something with your PC.
First, if possible attempt to install the PEX1PCI1 into a different Windows based PC to test if the PEX1PCI1 is functional.
If the card functions in the different PC the drivers for devices on the original PC such as video card, bios etc. may need to be updated.
If the card does not function with the original PC please navigate to the link below to begin the exchange process."
Per their request, I did test the PEX1PCI1 in a Windows pc (Windows 7 64-bit) and it worked as it should of. The Audigy 2 ZS sound card was recognized. Super awesome fun time! Heck it does me no good if it works, but not 100% in the pc I needed it to. Another thing to note is I didn't have space to put my Promise SATA controller card in the Windows pc. I am not sure if that would of effected the results. The StarTech response was not what I was looking for, but did help me come to a conclusion.
I will go out on a limb and say if your using the PEX1PCI1 for a Windows pc you "should" have no issues. The PEX1PCI1 in a Linux pc "could" or "may" work for you, but depends if the motherboard chipset will play nice. For example, if the motherboard's chipset controlling the PCI/PCIe slots will play nice with the PEX1PCI1 and whatever you have populating the PCI/PCIe slots. The cheapest non-creative labs sound card with SPDIF output which is fully supported in Linux is anywhere from $90+ to $180+. I am in the process of RMAing this back to Amazon for a refund. I hope this review is helpful in some way. I wish the StarTech PEX1PCI1 would of worked for me. $35 for the PEX1PCI1 is a paltry sum compared to replacing a $200 sound card. Hopefully it can work for you for your situation.