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Thread: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

  1. #1
    SaracenUK is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    Hi all,

    First time posting here, please be gentle.

    I've recently upgraded to 2 x Geforce 670 GTX cards for SLI, which have been placed into slots 1 and 4 in accordance with the ASRock site/manual to run at PCIE 2.0 x 16 speed for both cards. I've also attached a molex connector to the SLI socket in the motherboard to regulate the power better as suggested by ASRock.

    The problem comes when running the latest version of GPU-z; it states that card 2 is listed as running at only x8 speed as shown below This is the case even after running them at load with Unigine Valley benchmark for several passes in windowed mode.

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    I'm running the latest 320.49 drivers with a clean install, several clean installs infact. and the SLI seems to be running fine according to Nvidia control panel.

    I installed a new Creative ZxR sound card in the bottom most PCI-E slot which is also working okay.

    The mobo is running on BIOS version P1.30 and the integrated graphics device is turned off/disabled. I didn't update the BIOS due to it being as 2 part flash, and also reading about issues people using Sandybridge chips are having.

    I'm using an Intel i5-2500K myself with 16GB Corsair Vengeance RAM.


    If anyone could provide some help it'd be appreciated! :)

  2. #2
    Wasky is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    Good morning,

    Not quite sure about this, also because I wasn't able to check the PCI-e layout for your motherboard, but I think you can't run both cards on x16 - the slots are probably not both electrically wired for x16 (only the first slot should be) and that's because the SB chips don't have such PCI-e bandwidth (if you want to run both cards with x16, you should move to X79 chipset and get a SB-E or IB-E). But from what I read, there should be no pratical difference in running x16 or x8.

    Best regards,

  3. #3
    andicole0's Avatar
    andicole0 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    Firstly, the latest BIOS is 2.30 and you really need to upgrade to this.

    Are you sure you are using slots 1 and 4? Mine is OK using 680's.

    Andi.

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    Intel Core i7 2600K, Asrock Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3, 8GB Corsair Vengence, 250GB OCZ Agility 3 360GB SSD, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, 2 x GTX680 SLI. 2 x DVDRW.
    Win 7 SP1. Logitech Z5450, Corsair H60, Zalman Level 10 GT Case.

  4. #4
    SaracenUK is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    Hi Andi,

    The cards are definitely in slots 1 & 4. The SLI bridge that i got with the Extreme 7 Gen 3 is a solid PCB so there can only be one spacing, e.g. if one card in top slot then other must be in slot 4.

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    Can you tell me the process you went through to flash to BIOS 2.30? I've been reading conflicting reviews of folk flashing to 2.10 first as its a transitional flash towards 2.30?

    Also did you have SLI running on 1.30 before you flashed?


    Thanks for all replies.
    Last edited by SaracenUK; 09-03-2013 at 02:59 AM.

  5. #5
    andicole0's Avatar
    andicole0 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    I've had my board for a while now and in the early days there were problems with UI in the BIOS and mouse control so I was given a number of early BIOS updates, I think I had a number of versions before I actually really got the motherboard going.

    I think the preferred process is to download the latest BIOs then put it on a USB flash drive, reboot and go into the Flash BIOS option on startup, the actual F key to press should be noted on the startup logo screen. Follow the BIOS Flash instructions.

    BTW do you get get the same results with the cards switched around?

    Andi.
    Intel Core i7 2600K, Asrock Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3, 8GB Corsair Vengence, 250GB OCZ Agility 3 360GB SSD, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, 2 x GTX680 SLI. 2 x DVDRW.
    Win 7 SP1. Logitech Z5450, Corsair H60, Zalman Level 10 GT Case.

  6. #6
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    jaggerwild is offline Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    He has no issue with the bios, he has a SLI issue. In the bios you can adjust PEI-E gen 1, gen 2, or Gen 3. You do set it to Gen 3 right? If it changes it then something is not right, I would lean towards a video driver's issue. also in windows you can click the icon in GPU-Z i think it will switch it to what its using. I think it will only show true when the GPU is stressed as Nvidia clocks there cards down when not being used, IE cruzing emails. Keep GPU-Z open the run valley in the back ground, I'm pretty sure it will show it switch to 16X16. You may also try switching the SLI to the second slot on the card..............

    You need to post your FULL system specs, if you expect to be helped!!!!!!

    What power supply are you using?
    Last edited by jaggerwild; 09-03-2013 at 03:52 AM.
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  7. #7
    andicole0's Avatar
    andicole0 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    Quote Originally Posted by jaggerwild View Post
    He has no issue with the bios, he has a SLI issue. In the bios you can adjust PEI-E gen 1, gen 2, or Gen 3. You do set it to Gen 3 right? If it changes it then something is not right, I would lean towards a video driver's issue. also in windows you can click the icon in GPU-Z i think it will switch it to what its using. I think it will only show true when the GPU is stressed as Nvidia clocks there cards down when not being used, IE cruzing emails. Keep GPU-Z open the run valley in the back ground, I'm pretty sure it will show it switch to 16X16. You may also try switching the SLI to the second slot on the card..............

    You need to post your FULL system specs, if you expect to be helped!!!!!!

    What power supply are you using?
    With respect, his BIOS is a major version out of date, it would make sense to at least get that up to date.

    Andi.
    Intel Core i7 2600K, Asrock Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3, 8GB Corsair Vengence, 250GB OCZ Agility 3 360GB SSD, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, 2 x GTX680 SLI. 2 x DVDRW.
    Win 7 SP1. Logitech Z5450, Corsair H60, Zalman Level 10 GT Case.

  8. #8
    SaracenUK is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    Hi jaggerwild,


    First of all thanks for replying.

    In regards to the PCI-E Gen 3 option in BIOS, where would this be as the only options my BIOS gives me for PCI-E is for Primary graphics slot to be "PCI-E" in the menu. Bearing in mind i cannot utilise PCIE-3 due to me having a SB i5-2500K.

    I've ran several runs of Unigine and the second card doesn't budge from x8 speed.

    When setting up my account for the forums I had entered my PC Specs but for some reason wouldnt let me finalise the registration..my specs are below:

    Cosmos II case
    ASrock Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 running on P.130 BIOS
    Hiper Type R Mk II 880W


    i5-2500K with Antec Kuhler 920
    2 x Geforce 670 4GB in SLI running on clean install of 320.49 (tried both drive sweeper and then again with Nvidia installer)
    Creative SB ZxR in bottom PCI-E slot
    Crucial M4 256GB
    Several Samsung HDD of varying sizes

  9. #9
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    SaracenUK, some people are not checking your board's specs closely, or your PC's.

    The Z68 Ex 7 G3 board has the NF200 chip, and a PLX PEX8608 chip, that together are supposed to provide two simultaneous PCI-E x16 slots, on slots 1 and 4. That is what SaracenUK is using with the two video cards. Andicole0 uses the same board and CPU with two 680 video cards, and he has two PCI-E x16 lanes working fine.

    SaracenUK has an i5-2500K CPU, so no PCI-E 3.0 available, that is only with IVB processors.

    It seems the extra chips are at least partially working, since without them all Intel 6, 7, and 8 series chipset boards, when used with two video cards, run the two PCI-E lanes at x8 each.

    andicole0, are you using either the 2.10 or 2.30 BIOS versions now? I ask because the 2.10 version is the IVB compatible update BIOS, and at least some users of 6 series chipset boards like yours that use SB CPUs, have issues when they update to the 2.10 BIOS.

    I'm not saying you must have issues if you use 2.10, but if you do and are issue free, that is important information for me and others. Or did you skip 2.10 and use 2.30?

    I'm concerned that SaracenUK could have problems in he updates to 2.10, given he uses a SB processor, and the trend of problems seen in this forum with the combination of IVB compatible BIOS on a 6 series chipset board with a SB processor. I have yet to find someone with that combination that does not have issues. It is possible that this combination can work, when the update to 2.10 is done correctly, which includes an IME firmware and software update. If you do use 2.10 and are issue free, I'd love to hear about that.

    On topic, it seems there are no specific drivers or software that is needed for the NF200 and PLX PEX8608 chips, is that correct? Do they need to be enabled in the BIOS?

  10. #10
    andicole0's Avatar
    andicole0 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 SLI speed issue

    Parsec, yes I'm using the 2.30 BIOS. My route to that is a bit hazy as I was one of the early adopters of his board and received a number of 'trial' BIOS versions. It is though, very likely that I followed the update instructions after lots of research.

    I'll have a look back at my BIOS downloads and see if I can tell which route I went to 2.30.

    Andi.

    Sorry, can't find the sequence that I updated my BIOS.
    Last edited by andicole0; 09-04-2013 at 12:58 AM.
    Intel Core i7 2600K, Asrock Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3, 8GB Corsair Vengence, 250GB OCZ Agility 3 360GB SSD, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, 2 x GTX680 SLI. 2 x DVDRW.
    Win 7 SP1. Logitech Z5450, Corsair H60, Zalman Level 10 GT Case.

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