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Thread: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 PCI-e x16 slot issue




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    Default ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 PCI-e x16 slot issue

    (X-post from [H]ardForum.)

    Maybe you guys can help solve this for me: PCI-e x16 slot issue



    I have an ASRock Z68 Xtreme 3 Gen 3 board, which I'm hoping to upgrade soon to a Z77-based board. (Hence, my previous thread on HardForum from a few weeks ago.)

    I have two PCI-e x1 cards-- an Intel Gigabit CT and a SATA expansion card.

    Here's the issue:

    • Plugging in the Gigabit CT card in the only available x1 slot (the other one is blocked by the video card), Intel's official drivers recognize it. perfectly.

      Plugging it into the second available x16 slot, Intel's drivers do not recognize it as a valid Intel NIC but Windows 8.1 drivers does see it as a bog-standard Intel gigabit NIC.

      However, while in the other x16 slot, the connection drops continuously which doesn't show this issue in the x1 slot.
    • The Marvell-based SATA expansion card plugged in the x1 slot is recognized perfectly, but in the second x16 slot it is recognized but the card has a habit of "disappearing" in the Device Manager.

    The issue further complicates itself when I compare it between my experience in Windows 7 and 8.1 Pro:

    • Under Windows 7, the Gigabit CT card is recognized perfectly by both the Intel and Windows drivers as an an Intel NIC regardless if it's plugged in the x16 or x1 slot.
    • Under Windows 7, an older SATA (Silicon Imaging-based) expansion card would prevent Windows from booting up at all if it's in the x16 slot, but will boot normally if in the x1 slot. The newer Marvell-based card allows Windows to boot in either the x16 or x1 slot, but still exhibits a disappearing act if it remains in the x16 slot.

    So, is this a bad secondary x16 slot on this board?

    Or, is Windows 7/8.1 doing something funny at trying to recognize what is what in either slot?

    This is one other reason I was asking earlier on HardForum what's a good Z77 board with enough PCI-e x1 slots or the x16 slots support x1 cards without issue. (And, stable enough to last 3 to 5 years.)

    Thank you for replying.

    (Note: I've already tried updating to the latest available Intel chipset drivers by Intel but it has not fixed the issue.)

    Funnily enough, with an older MSI 790X-based AMD board, I did not have these issues under Windows 7 with either the Gigabit CT or SI-based SATA expansion card. The x16 slot allowed both booting to Windows and having both cards recognized and working perfectly by the drivers.

    Other details about the board:
    • L2.31A BIOS
    • Core i7 3770 (non-K)
    • 16GB DDR3-1600MHz G.Skill RAM
    • Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

  2. #2
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 PCI-e x16 slot issue

    My main question is, why would you put an Intel Gigabit CT PCIe adapter card in a PCI-E x 16 slot? This card only runs at PCIe 1.1 speeds. Yes it is said by Intel to work in up to a x16 lane, so are you out of PCI-E x 1 slots or can't fit it in one of those lanes?

    I have two of these cards, and the last several Intel NIC drivers will not recognize it as a valid card by the driver installation program, with Windows 8.1 on an ASRock Z77 board. The driver/OS support for these cards is a bit confusing, you can check it here:

    Network Connectivity — Support for Intel® PROSet and Advanced Network Services* (ANS)

    It seems only Windows 8 has full driver support for this card, Windows 8.1 does not. This card is categorized as "In-box support" only with Windows 8.1, but has "Full Support" with Windows 8. I suggest reading the definitions of those two terms.

    I don't know if that PCI-E x 16 slot on the board is bad or not. The dropout and disappearing issues you have may be caused by the PCI-E Link State Power management setting in your Windows Power Plan.

    Asking what board will work "PCI-E x 1 cards" in either slot is impossible to answer accurately, every PCI-E x 1 card will have differences depending on what the card does. The question is just to general.

    One reason your MSI board did not have the issues you mentioned might be because that board only supported external graphics cards, not external and onboard like your Z68 board. Not sure what graphics you are using, seems to be the Intel IGP.

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    Default Re: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 PCI-e x16 slot issue

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    My main question is, why would you put an Intel Gigabit CT PCIe adapter card in a PCI-E x 16 slot? This card only runs at PCIe 1.1 speeds. Yes it is said by Intel to work in up to a x16 lane, so are you out of PCI-E x 1 slots or can't fit it in one of those lanes?

    I have two of these cards, and the last several Intel NIC drivers will not recognize it as a valid card by the driver installation program, with Windows 8.1 on an ASRock Z77 board. The driver/OS support for these cards is a bit confusing, you can check it here:

    Network Connectivity — Support for Intel® PROSet and Advanced Network Services* (ANS)

    It seems only Windows 8 has full driver support for this card, Windows 8.1 does not. This card is categorized as "In-box support" only with Windows 8.1, but has "Full Support" with Windows 8. I suggest reading the definitions of those two terms.

    I don't know if that PCI-E x 16 slot on the board is bad or not. The dropout and disappearing issues you have may be caused by the PCI-E Link State Power management setting in your Windows Power Plan.

    Asking what board will work "PCI-E x 1 cards" in either slot is impossible to answer accurately, every PCI-E x 1 card will have differences depending on what the card does. The question is just to general.

    One reason your MSI board did not have the issues you mentioned might be because that board only supported external graphics cards, not external and onboard like your Z68 board. Not sure what graphics you are using, seems to be the Intel IGP.
    I did not know that about the Intel Gigabit CT card. I just assumed that "Windows 8 compatible" meant it'd work regardless of the slot it was in. It's only in the x16 slot because the SATA expansion card, like I said, has this tendency to disappear when in the x16 slot.

    I've already checked the PCI-E Link State Power management a few nights ago. It's been set to "Off" for as long as I've had this board and since I've used Windows 7 for it.

    There are two spare x1 slots, the second x1 slot is covered by the video card-- a Radeon HD 6950 1GB in the primary x16 slot. The Intel HD graphics is disabled and not installed.

    I'll try switching the SATA expansion card to the x16 slot and the Intel Gigabit CT to the x1 slot, but if the SATA card disappears again, I may have to just get a new board.
    Last edited by octoberasian; 01-23-2014 at 06:09 PM.

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