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PXI Chassis + Desktop PC


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We are looking for best way to get rid of PXI controller, due to high cost, low performance and issues with IT policies within company.

From what I see the best way is to use thunderbolt PXIe-8301. I ve seen many notebooks with TB3 but no desktop PCs. Are there other ways what will be cheaper than PXI controller?


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Yeah I'd suggest looking into MXI.  In particular I've used the PXI chassis that has MXI integrated into it.  I'm pretty sure it was the PXIe-1073.  This is a 5 slot PXI chassis, that can come with a cable and PCI card included. (Be sure and get the right part number if this is what you want).  With this you can plug the PCI card into a compatible desktop PC, and then it will see the PXI chassis and all the devices in it in MAX.  Great for when you need to expand a PC to have a bunch more channels, or cards that are only in the PXI form factor.  Oh and if you have the chassis already, NI sells a PXI card that goes into the first slot, and then connects to the host PC through the PCI card I mentioned earlier.

Another benefit of this is obviously the PC can be upgraded, and the chassis can be reused.  As apposed to having the controller using the first slot.  These more embedded systems have their place, but obviously have a cost premium associated with it.  If space isn't as big of an issue, you just get any normal desktop and use the chassis.  Then upgrade RAM, CPU, motherboard, etc. without having to buy a whole new controller.

I've seen some discussions about trying to use the thunderbolt standard between PXI chassis, but last I knew there were limitations in the bios or kernel that caused issues.  That was on the host side so running it from a laptop might be possible but I have no experience with this and haven't seen anyone do it.  You might want to contact NI.

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14 minutes ago, Gribo said:

Take into account that MXI has its own set of limitations. .... It is a single source (NI only, AFAIK).

I've heard conflicting information on this one.  Here is a quote from another champion:


The MXI standard isn't something NI invented per-se, it sits on top of high-speed server connection standards that have been around for years.  I've had NI provide MXI cables that were made by a different vendor, and have wanted cable lengths that NI don't sell and have found them online.  My guess is that if you can find out what that standard is (start by googling the part number of the connector on one end of a cable you already have), you'll open up a range of cables and bulkheads.

I know I was able to find stuff a few years ago, although not for all the MXI standards.  Your card looks like it's "MXI-Express x1 Copper" which is a renamed "TDP PCI Express x1" - more info that might help here:


Also mentioned in this private conversation was a thunderbolt to PXI chassis from a 3rd party that I don't have experience with


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