In the beginning was the bus. And the bus evolved to host the PCI slot. And cards were developed for that slot. Good cards. And it was good.
Then came machines that forgot the PCI slot or forgot the slot altogether. Or tacked-on a forlorn solitary PCI slot that may or may not have tight communication with the CPU through a tacked-on PCI support chip. The current PCIe slot is actually, "slots," and has/have good cards available. Good expensive cards.
Meanwhile, lots of affordable PCI cards offer pretty much the same performance as their younger PCIe siblings, provided the Motherboard has PCI slots that perform at least as well as the PCI slots on a typical Pentium-III system.
Finding such Motherboards is helped by having an idea what you're looking for. Modern performance and three PCI slots? A full-sized ATX Motherboard then. Native chipset PCI support as well? One of the Intel Q-series chipset mobo's from an industrial computer supplier. Expensive-initially but maybe cheap-in-the-long haul because the kind of machines that use Q-series chipsets are designed to run a long time. If NOS (New Old Stock) and used is OK, then a best-of-both-worlds PC can be built on the cheap.
This thread is dedicated to finding machines with solid PCI performance and strong PCIe slots, stable RAM and a strong CPU.
If you have or know of or can imagine such a PC, please post about it.
There are lots of complete computers on ebay that might be ideal for somebody's (modern) PCI slot paradise. Somebody that knows a line of PC's, say Dell or HP, could point out favorite models. The perfect post would always say how many PCI slots there are. Imperfect speculation is welcome too, however. It's a good place to start. A comprehensive database of models and their chipsets and form factors would be a worthwhile goal.
Opinions are welcome. Stories of deploying favorite PCI cards on motherboards with chipsets you like? Please! Sharing IRQs? Sure, why not. That time you were snakebit by a piece of hardware or a driver? Only if it's slot related I suppose. But 'slot related' is a generously defined term. And discussion of other slots is not verboten.
Love letters to a favorite PCI card or its software have a place here. Tell us why it's worth seeking out a relatively modern two or three native-PCI slot motherboard to run them on.
Single-task dedicated computing such as for audio multitrack or video editing is the default assumption. Multipurpose considerations such as internet connectivity (except for initial verification/upgrade) are welcome for discussion too, provided they're conceivably slot related.
PS, This same posting appears on an orange site and a blue site. Though hardly related, both, for different reasons may not be safe for viewing at work.