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GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 Using both Intel SATA6.0 reduces PCIeX16 to X4?

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July 29, 2011 6:14:16 PM

I came across this user review on Newegg but I haven't found any other mention of this online. Judging by the reviews comments, it was likely just a troll but they were still a verified owner of the board...

Quote:
Pros: None.

Cons: Gigabyte never mentioned while both sata 3 port under the Z68 chipset is used, the 1st pci-e slot decreases speed from x16 to x4 when using 1 video card. I had to use the marvel sata 3 port for my WD Sata 3 1 TB hard drive, 1 sata 2 port (Z68 Chipset) for my dvd burner, and 1 sata 2 port (Z68 Chipset) for my front eSata connector in order to have my video card run at x16.

Other Thoughts: Intel chipsets in general suck a lot compared to AMD chipsets. AMD motherboard actually can run a video card at x16, use 2 sata 3 ports, and run tons of usb 3 ports at full speed. Can Intel do this? I don't think so. Gigabyte should disclose about this Z68 chipset limitation. Intel and Gigabyte don't tell the truth about the Z68 chipset so we computer builder have to find out the hard way. AMD chipsets provide more native Sata 3 ports, and USB 3 ports. I thought my video card wasn't working until I read similar problems with other users. I expect everything to run full speed if I use all my sata and usb ports along my 1 video card.


Has anyone actually witnessed this? My board should be arriving soon with 2 Vertex3 drives that I planned to use on the Intel SATA controller. I'm not a big fan of Marvell controllers so I am hopping to avoid putting one of my SSDs on it.

Thanks!

Best solution

a c 717 V Motherboard
July 29, 2011 6:34:35 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forums! :) 

Glad you're asking!

Couple things that can cause as listed above: 1. USB 3.0 'Turbo' takes/shares PCIe lanes with the GPU PCIe lanes; therefore turn it OFF {Disable}, 2. In most cases, BIOS tweaks aside, the PCIe throttles down when there's no/low load on the GPU; GPU-z should show a 'warning' about this. The simplest is to run some GPU benchmark and look at GPU-z.

IMO - someone's putting together 1 + 1 = 3.

The number #1 PCIe problem is USB 3.0 'Turbo', but the fix is in 1 second.

As far as placing any mechanical HDD on any SATA3 port is a waste of a SATA3 port, the Marvell 91XX uses x1 lanes and is considerably slower than the Intel SATA3 ports by a factor of +160 MB/s; most Marvell 91XX cap-out around 360 MB/s~380 MB/s whereas the Intel is 580~590 MB/s on its SATA3 ports. The Intel SATA2 are good for 285~295 MB/s; similarly placing a HDD 120~140 MB/s {SATA1 speeds} is plenty good on SATA2 regardless of the HDD Interface. In fact the Writes are better on the Intel ports.

Most reviews are from 'unknowledgeable' folks in Newegg and other similar sites. IF someone doesn't know how to build then they need to go to Tom's Forum and post or research their issues or concerns. Further, often you'll see someone 'parrot' an issue and it cascades into lowering the 'Review Stars.'
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July 29, 2011 7:04:57 PM

Thanks for your quick and knowledgeable reply. I have been building PCs since 386 processors were on the shelf but my last build was several years ago (pre-SATAIII,PCIe2.0,USB3.0). I typically take reviews like that with a grain of salt but this one sparked my interest.

I will take your advice and disable USB 3.0 Turbo and put this to the test when the rest of my parts have arrived. I'll be sure to post an update on here with my results if anyone else may be concerned about this.

Thanks again!

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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 29, 2011 7:16:33 PM

Also, IF you're not using the Marvell, IEEE 1394 {Firewire}, etc then IMO Disable them in the BIOS. IF you asked me this question right after the 'USB 3.0 Turbo' release I won't have known myself -- few do.

Personally, I thought you posed a very good question, and I hope I helped. Another 'oddball' issue is in some cases IF there's 'some other' PCIe Card installed and isn't working -- duh -- that fix is to USB 3.0 'Turbo' -> Enable. Go figure.

Good Luck! :) 
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July 29, 2011 8:09:55 PM

+1 for the info, as I would have ran into that problem if I go get that board! :) 
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July 30, 2011 2:08:57 PM

I stayed up until midnight finishing my build but had a 5am train to catch so no time for benchmarking until Sunday. I did notice that USB Turbo mode was already disabled by default on this board. Perhaps the reviewer manually enabled it though.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
July 30, 2011 2:17:15 PM

People see 'Turbo' or 'Extreme' or etc and Enable it not knowing the consequences - remember what I said about 'folks. ;) 

To verify your GPU use GPU-z -> http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/ remember the load/PCIe throttling as above.
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August 1, 2011 2:09:28 PM

So it looks like there was no truth to the Newegg review's comment. I have two Vertex3 drives on both SATA III ports and my GPU is still operating at 16x. I haven't tried enabling 'turbo' to see if it reduces it yet.

One thing I noticed in GPU-z, I keep bouncing between PCIe 2.0 and just PCIe. I wasn't running much of a graphics load so I assume it just switches to 2.0 when necessary? The GPU first score a 6.0 on WEI (useless scoring system but still bugged me because that was barely higher than my 9800GTX). When I ran the test again, it was 7.6. Perhaps it wasn't running in PCIe 2.0 during the first test?

Next step is to troubleshoot my "Loading Operating System" delay. This seems to be a common issue on the Gigabyte boards so I am going to try a few of the suggestions I have found on the forums to see if I can get that resolved. The wait time seems to have increased from 3 seconds to 30 seconds after some Windows updates.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
August 1, 2011 3:06:33 PM

Yes, the PCIe does throttle down when there no load on the GPU. As far as the inconsistent WEI GPU scoring, it's generally 'best' to wait a few minutes after booting especially if Windows is still in the process 'updating' the OS. Since you have a new install there are 'a lot' of updates to get through and I assume that you're running SP1. Next new GPU drivers can either increase, decrease or keep the WEI the same.

Regarding "Loading Operating System" the first thing that pops in my mind are wrong Start values for AHCI and the wrong drivers are being loaded.

Please review this link and verify that the Start values in the registry are indeed set to zero (0) -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

Note that both start values are set to = 0 ; this assumes the AHCI is set in the BIOS, P67/Z68 by default 'should be' AHCI:


edit: another important tip, **DO NOT UPDATE THE BIOS TO F8**
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August 1, 2011 3:15:51 PM

jaquith said:
Yes, the PCIe does throttle down when there no load on the GPU. As far as the inconsistent WEI GPU scoring, it's generally 'best' to wait a few minutes after booting especially if Windows is still in the process 'updating' the OS. Since you have a new install there are 'a lot' of updates to get through and I assume that you're running SP1. Next new GPU drivers can either increase, decrease or keep the WEI the same.

Regarding "Loading Operating System" the first thing that pops in my mind are wrong Start values for AHCI and the wrong drivers are being loaded.

Please review this link and verify that the Start values in the registry are indeed set to zero (0) -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

Note that both start values are set to = 0 ; this assumes the AHCI is set in the BIOS, P67/Z68 by default 'should be' AHCI:
http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/AHCI_Start_0.jpg

edit: another important tip, **DO NOT UPDATE THE BIOS TO F8**



Thanks, I will look into this when I get a chance. As far as the BIOS update, I already upgraded to F8 :heink:  . Good thing for dual BIOS. I will load the secondary BIOS when I get home.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
August 1, 2011 4:01:48 PM

There are several confirmed posts with F8, but a simple downgrade 'seems' to correct the problems in 'most cases' - the only unusual post so far was a probable bad SSD which was recalled. :( 

I am very curious if your Start values aren't set to 0 and if so then either F8 is somehow causing this or something else. Your feedback is very important!

Thanks, Good Luck, and let me know! :) 

see -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/294888-30-corsair-sys... ; IMO this is a combo of bad SSD and F8; I cross linked you both and hope that's okay.
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August 1, 2011 5:28:14 PM

I went home for lunch today and went with my original plan of removing CDROM from boot options and added a 1sec delay on my SSD. This resolved the issue I was seeing with the 30 second Loading Operating System screen. For the time being, I have zero issues with this new build so I am going to continue running F8 until an issue arises that is likely linked to mobo's FW.

I will be doing some performance testing this week to know for sure but everything is looking good so far.

Thanks for all your help Jaquith.
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August 1, 2011 5:28:34 PM

Best answer selected by nobylspoon.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
August 1, 2011 6:07:52 PM

1 second delay is the 'typical' DVD/CDROM read delay, but 30 seconds 'typical' SATA Time-Out period. IF you have a 'bootable' or what may appear to be a bootable media in the DVD/CDROM drive then that could expalin the delay. Otherwise IF there's 'NO Media' in the DVD/CDROM it often indicates improper signalling to the BIOS; this can happen on older DVD/CDROM drives and/or with outdated/malfunctioning firmware.

Boot Device 1 - 30 seconds -> next device
Boot Device 2 - 30 seconds -> next device
Etc

Nope, nothing's easy...
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