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P9X79 Deluxe: Graphics card in x16_2 with soundcard in x1_1?

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April 5, 2012 8:03:55 AM

Hi everyone, a question about P9x79 Deluxe that I need to get answered before purchasing:

I will need the PCIe 2.0 x1_1 slot for my RME HDSPe AIO soundcard as it's the only slot not sharing IRQ assignments with the other PCIe slots. According to the manual, that x1 slot is shared with the Marvell controller though but I'm going to disable that . That would ensure the soundcard has a dedicated IRQ assignment.

The question is, will I be able to install my graphics card (GeForce ENGT520) in the PCIe 3.0 x16_2 slot (or even better in the x16_3 slot)? The passive heatsink will block the x1_1 slot if the graphics card is placed in the x16_1 slot.

The manual says the x16_1 slot is "recommended" for single graphics card operation. So I assume using the first slot is not mandatory? Furthermore, according to the manual, the PCIe 3.0 x16_2 can be run "single at x16".

Has anyone tried this? I know some large CPU heatsinks necessitate skipping the first x16 slot so I'm hoping someone has some info regarding the X79 boards.

Besides these two cards, no other PCIe devices will be installed.


April 5, 2012 12:42:42 PM

Or to put it more shortly:

Can a single VGA be run in any other PCIe x16 slot than the first on the P9X79 series boards?

In other words, will it be recognized or will there be an error message along the lines of "single graphics card detected, please move it to slot 1" etc. (as is the case with certain boards)?

April 5, 2012 12:43:57 PM

I do not own these products but will give my input.

Unless there is some specific caveat about that motherboard unknown to me, your plan should work fine. The x16_1 slot is recommended for configuration purposes but using the x16_2 slot should work. Im unsure how that motherboard splits pipelines on the PCIe slots, so there is potential that it will only run the graphics card at 3.0 x8 (equivelant to 2.0 x16 which is more than enough for that graphics card.)

Hopefully somebody with experience with this specific motherboard can give you better input, but as far as I am aware, that should work just fine for you.
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April 5, 2012 12:49:37 PM

MightEMatt said:
Im unsure how that motherboard splits pipelines on the PCIe slots, so there is potential that it will only run the graphics card at 3.0 x8 (equivelant to 2.0 x16 which is more than enough for that graphics card.)


I believe there is an option in the BIOS to choose 2.0 or 3.0 gen for the ports, if that makes any difference (?).

Edit: Seems I was wrong, didn't find such an option in the manual. Don't know where I got the idea.


April 5, 2012 2:22:17 PM

OK, I managed to find out that the x16 slots 1 and 4 are "fully x16 electrical" on P9X79 Deluxe.

I'm guessing this means there is no difference whatsoever in their functionality?
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 5, 2012 3:21:29 PM

First, what you are saying makes no sense 'to me.' I cannot think of a good reason other than testing to use any other PCIe slot than PCIe 3.0x16_1 for your GPU. You 'can' use the PCIe 3.0x16_2 slot for a secondary PCIe slot for a 'primary' GPU, but the BIOS has to play hide and seek to find the correct PCIe slot for the GPU.

Further, the sound card can be installed in ANY PCIe x1, x4, x8 or x16 slot. Again, if it were 'me':
GPU = PCIe 3.0x16_1
Sound = PCIe 2.0x16_2 or even the PCIe 3.0x16_4 though it wouldn't be my choice (as an example) ; either 'can' work.

This statement of yours is incorrect and very untrue - "CPU heatsinks necessitate skipping the first x16 slot".

April 5, 2012 4:30:19 PM

jaquith: The x1_1 slot is the only PCIe slot on P9X79 Deluxe with a dedicated IRQ assignment (after disabling Marvell, that is). I work with audio at very low latencies and would naturally like to eliminate all potential IRQ conflicts.

I don't care about the VGA performance as such (not a gamer at all). The reason for this thread is that on my current (ancient) AMD board, you get an error message when trying to run a single VGA in the secondary PCIe port (which is normally used for SLI). But I'm assuming it's because the speed is reduced to x8 and the board doesn't like that.

Regarding heatsinks blocking the uppermost PCIe x16 slot: I read someone had some issues on a Gigabyte X79 board with a large Noctua heatsink. I'm using a Phanteks which is huge. But now checking from the Phanteks site, there should be no compatibility issues.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 5, 2012 5:03:35 PM

You're confusing 'Sharing' with IRQ, every device has it's own IRQ with additional addressing (ID) (see below). Therefore, there's not a chance of an IRQ conflict with later versions of Windows. The last time I ran across an IRQ issue was in Windows 98SE and early XP were it was poorly managed by both the BIOS and the OS.

Regrading your AMD, go into the BIOS and choose the correct 'PCIE Initialize' slot.

Untrue with ASUS and Noctua compatibility, even the Noctua NH-D14 fits with no problems. The only other issue is RAM height which is universal. Further, the only Gigabyte LGA 2011 with 'that' issue is the GA-X79-UD3, but since your question IS about the ASUS you'll have no problems. ALL aka 100% of the ASUS LGA 2011 line is fully compatible with the P.O.S. Noctua NH-D14.

IRQ...no conflicting overlapping assignments...there's more to the assignment than the 'IRQ':
April 5, 2012 5:24:27 PM

OK, it's just that Asus talks about "sharing" of "IRQ assigments" in the manual but I'm not sure what is really meant by it, then.

Looking at the diagram in the manual, all PCIe ports apart from the x1_1 share the same IRQ assignment - while the x1_1 shares with the Marvell controller. I know graphics cards can sometimes interfere with soundcards in some setups (unwanted noise, DPC latency spikes etc.) so I thought maybe the configuration I suggested would minimize those issues.

X79 seems to have (had) quite a bit of compatibility issues. From what I've read, even Asus-branded PCIe wifi adapters won't necessarily play well with Asus' boards. It's a lot of money so I'm just trying to do my homework. :??: 

Just knowing if the graphics card will work in the other PCIe x16 ports or not would be sufficient at this point. Otherwise I'm not ready to take the jump.



a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 5, 2012 6:05:00 PM

You're driving yourself nuts over nothing.

The X79's to steer away from are all BUT ASUS, and I don't care to rewrite the book, 'How Bad The Others Are'. I still clearly remember all of the overheating and stability issues with MSI and Gigabyte, not to mention Gigabyte's recall of their X79 lines including the UD5 and UD7. Use whatever MOBO manufacturer your heart desires. ;) 

Further, the X79 has PCIe bandwidth to BURN, sharing won't make any difference with Marvell or not Enabled; Disable it and move on. The best I can read into this is you read somewhere some oddball issue that 99/100 had to do with: a driver issue over anything else (User error), and/or someone improperly installing Windows itself (99% of Windows 7 installations on X79's were done improperly by not using the F6 Intel RSTE drivers), and/or bad drivers or old drivers. The list can be endless.

IF you think ASUS is troublesome then simply don't get one and instead get some other brand.

You should see some of the places I had to squeeze in a sound card -- in-between GPUs on a PCIe x16 and without issues. I find the vast majority of Sound Card issues are with their drivers. RME typically produces decent cards and drivers; use the latest -> http://www.rme-audio.de/en_downloads.php
April 5, 2012 6:34:37 PM

I didn't mean to say it's Asus particularly I don't trust - on the contrary, based on my experiences with Asus, Gigabyte & Asrock boards, Asus is the obvious choice to me. Especially when comparing the X79 offerings (features, user experiences, reviews). I'm aware most of the X79 issues can be handled with BIOS updates and with a little bit of research.

I know I'm obsessing, but that's the way I am. ;) 










April 5, 2012 7:50:16 PM

jaquith said:
Then get the ASUS P9X79 WS - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/P9X7... it's their most tested X79 other than their C602 Xeon server/(real) workstation MOBOs.


Hmmm, that's on option too! Better components, more testing - something else? I would miss the integrated Wi-Fi of the Deluxe though.

BTW (and a little OT): according to Intel, the X79 chipset is supposed to get a C-1 stepping very soon. Would it be worth it to wait for revisions in the Asus line (if there will be any) or just buy now?

And last but not least: is the upcoming Ivy Bridge launch likely to affect the prices at all (I'm also thinking of i7-3820 which may suffer a little from the launch of 3770k)?
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 5, 2012 11:06:08 PM

If you're thinking of the X79 then don't bother with a 4-core CPU unless you really need the lanes, clearly you don't. As far as WiFi, I can't tell you how silly it is to 'WiFi' a Desktop PC, borders on IMO stupidity. Look at a wired solution CAT-6 or PowerLine. WiFi has: huge latency issues, unstable bandwidth, dropouts, s-l-o-w, etc...

Nice videos - http://www.youtube.com/user/NCIXcom/videos?query=PowerL... ; since the 2009 "Powerline vs Wireless vs Ethernet Networking (NCIX Tech Tips #52)" the speeds are up to 500Mps.

Examples - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Prices, I seriously doubt the prices of SB-E CPUs will be affected (few bucks maybe) with the introduction of the IB.
April 6, 2012 5:28:08 PM

jaquith said:
If you're thinking of the X79 then don't bother with a 4-core CPU unless you really need the lanes, clearly you don't.


The appeal is in X79's higher memory bandwidth: in DAWbench, i7-3820 scores ~20-30% higher compared to 2600k/3770k. Compared to the 6-cores on the other hand, 3820 performs pretty much similarly. All being at stock. So the extra cores would help very little (if at all) in my intended DAW use.

As far as WiFi, I can't tell you how silly it is to 'WiFi' a Desktop PC, borders on IMO stupidity. Look at a wired solution CAT-6 or PowerLine. WiFi has: huge latency issues, unstable bandwidth, dropouts, s-l-o-w, etc... said:
As far as WiFi, I can't tell you how silly it is to 'WiFi' a Desktop PC, borders on IMO stupidity. Look at a wired solution CAT-6 or PowerLine. WiFi has: huge latency issues, unstable bandwidth, dropouts, s-l-o-w, etc...


I may set up the wiring some day but it's not very easy to do due to the location of the desktop. The wireless signal is not the strongest either but it's been working OK without any noticeable dropouts in my light use.

Prices, I seriously doubt the prices of SB-E CPUs will be affected (few bucks maybe) with the introduction of the IB. said:
Prices, I seriously doubt the prices of SB-E CPUs will be affected (few bucks maybe) with the introduction of the IB.


Maybe I'll wait and see what the revised X79 chipset brings. Improvements to power efficiency would be nice. Just wondering when the new stepping will be available on Asus' boards - next month? :) 
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 6, 2012 8:26:16 PM

Listen if you have applications that can take advantage of 6+ core and or Hyper-Threaded applications I'd be the last to argue against the 6-core SB-E's. The additional memory bandwidth in most all real world tasks is fractional to having adequate RAM available.

I defiantly would PowerLine if there's any reception issues. I use all of the above and know all too well how it all works.

X79 revisions, I am not aware of any 'consumer' chipset upgrade paths to the X79. I expect the IB-E to be running on the same X79 chipset. I've seen the "there should be" but no leaked Intel slides. About the only thing I'd like to see is either more or all SATA3 ports or SATA Express and native USB 3.0 on the Intel chipset; otherwise nothing more comes to mind I I cannot foresee an issue. In gaming the PCIe is a direct path to the CPU.
April 6, 2012 10:46:36 PM

jaquith said:
X79 revisions, I am not aware of any 'consumer' chipset upgrade paths to the X79.


Intel issued a Product Update Notification in January according to which the X79 would receive a C-0 -> C-1 stepping "available to customers" (mobo manufacturers?) by the end of April. Said something about updates to the input-ouput hub. Which I'm hoping would mean better power efficiency.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 6, 2012 11:26:40 PM

Uoppi said:
Intel issued a Product Update Notification in January according to which the X79 would receive a C-0 -> C-1 stepping "available to customers" (mobo manufacturers?) by the end of April. Said something about updates to the input-ouput hub. Which I'm hoping would mean better power efficiency.

No, you're confusing the SB-E CPU (i7-3930K and i7-3960X) with the chipset, the chipset is unchanged.

Example:

BX80619I73930K
SR0H9
918750
C-1

BX80619i73930K
SR0KY
919887
C-2
April 7, 2012 12:05:55 AM

jaquith said:
No, you're confusing the SB-E CPU (i7-3930K and i7-3960X) with the chipset, the chipset is unchanged.


I know there was a C1 -> C2 stepping for the CPU's but this one concerns the chipset. Google: "Product Change Notification 111286-00". The first result is the link to the pdf. The C-0 -> C-1 stepping is supposed to be ready by the end of April according to the document.

Would like to hear your educated opinion about it! To me it implies motherboards with the revised chipset would be coming out soon - in which case it would be unwise to buy just yet. The timing also makes some sense marketing-wise: helps keep up interest in the E platform amidst all the Ivy Bridge hype :) .
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 7, 2012 12:56:43 AM

Hmm...I need to ask my Intel guru guy, similar to the C1/C2 issue I would assume this will be addressed as a 'driver' update in the form ROM Flash to the X79 and/or with a BIOS update. I would assume in this case to be part of the virtualization acceleration.

My guy is out until Monday.
April 7, 2012 7:58:07 AM

jaquith said:
Hmm...I need to ask my Intel guru guy,


Great! Let me know what he thinks.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 7, 2012 1:57:01 PM

You'll need to PM on Tuesday, there's no way I'll find this Thread after 3 days.

The C1/C2 on the SB-E didn't bother me and I'm pretty confident neither will the X79 won't apply to anything that will affect me either. I don't nor will I ever recommend any consumer CPU or platform for 'real' virtualization.

If you want virtualization then use the E5 CPUs and C602 chipset with ECC.
April 7, 2012 2:47:06 PM

jaquith said:
The C1/C2 on the SB-E didn't bother me and I'm pretty confident neither will the X79 won't apply to anything that will affect me either.


Yeah, feature-wise the X79 chip is adequate for me as it is (no need for extra SATA ports, for example) but as I said, any efficiency optimizations would be nice, especially in a silent rig.

Funny thing, just today I was visiting my local computer store and there was a guy RMA'ing his P9X79 for a P9X79 Pro (or vice versa, can't remember) because the board wouldn't post and BIOS flashing didn't help/work. Said there were compatibility issues with his i7-3820. A BIOS update has added the support ages ago and he may well have been doing something wrong but still, hearing these stories can make you a bit wary. :??: 
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 7, 2012 3:01:30 PM

The initial BIOS on ANY MOBO didn't support the i7-3820 (MOBO's supporting it on initial BIOS are newer revisions) and the ASUS X79's offer USB BIOS Flashback - http://event.asus.com/2012/mb/USB_BIOS_Flashback_GUIDE/ is so simple to do but where folks still screw-up is with not using or wanting to format their Flash Drives properly and/or improperly naming the ROM file.

The 'guy' is the problem not the MOBO.

MOBO's have a 2%~3% failure rate and most 'failures' are either from unsupported (other) hardware or simple User Error. I see it constantly.
April 10, 2012 12:36:21 PM

Hi guys,

I'm glad I found this thread discussing about PCIe configuration with the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe.
I guess I'll learn a lot here :) 

I recently bought that MOBO because I'm planning to use it with the following:
- 1 graphic card (a GeForce GTX) in the PCIex16_1 slot
- 3 PCIe2.0x1 cards (for IEEE ports, sorry no sound card :p )

However it seems I don't understand how things work! I cannot use the 3 PCIe2.0 cards at the same time :/ 

Actually so far I could only use 2:
- one in the PCIex16_3 slot
- one in the PCIex1_2 slot
(- Graphics card is in PCIe x16_1 slot)

When I use the other PCIe x16 slots, I can see that the cards are powered, but not detected by the device manager of Win7.

Any advice my dear Sirs? :) 
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 10, 2012 1:14:58 PM

What are the specific cards?
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 10, 2012 2:17:59 PM

Conversions, PCIe2.0x1 = 500MB/s max ; PCIe v2.x: 500 MB/s (5 GT/s) per lane ; Supports 100, 200, 400 and 800Mb/s transfer rates; 1Mb/s = 0.125 MB/s ; 800 * 0.125 MB/s = 100MB/s * 2 = 200MB/s

Non-GPU PCIe slots:
- one in the PCIex16_3 slot
- one in the PCIex1_2 slot

BIOS:
PCI Express x1_1 Slot Configuration -> Auto
PCI Express x1_2 Slot Configuration -> Auto

Q - In the post code are you seeing 'D4'?

My assumption is this is either a driver limitation of the 'Point Grey' contact them - http://www.ptgrey.com/support/contact/contact.asp or an IRQ which might need to be tweaked (if) the 3rd device is in any way showing-up in the IRQ (see image above). Further, I assume that you are running Windows 7 and not i.e. XP or an earlier or different OS.

IF this is a limitation of the 'Point Grey' with 2x FireWire ports, then another solution is to get a (2) 3x Port Cards (examples) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

/Bottom-line, the need has never arose where I've need or even seen anyone running 6 FireWire ports simultaneously with 3 of the same add-on cards./
April 10, 2012 2:41:25 PM

Yes, exactly, I wish to use two IEEE1394b (2*100MB/s) per slot.
In the BIOS, configurations are on Auto, or 3rdGen.

I believe there is no limitation with the Point Grey cards, because I could use the three of them in a previous configuration (MOBO ASUS P7...). At that time, I didn't have an additional graphics card. I used the on-board one. But afterwards, I needed a GPU.
I could never setup 1 graphic card+ 3 PCie2.0 cards, because of MOBO limitation(!).

So I bought that new MOBO, because I thought I could use the PCIex16 slots with the configuration (x16, x8, x8), plus the PCIex16_4 and the PCIex1_2

Yes, I'm running Win7 32bit :p 

I'll try to figure out how to manage the IRQ.

But it seems like I can only use the non-GPU PCIe slots(?)
I mean, using the PCIe16_1 for a single GPU shouldn't kill the other PCie16_ slots(!) :/ 

And I'm sorry, what are you referring to by 'D4' ?

Again, thank you very much for your help!
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a b U Graphics card
a c 717 V Motherboard
April 10, 2012 3:09:35 PM

D4 - refer to your manual pages 2-22~2-25.

You can 'try' as oddball as it is; no guarantees.
* GPU in the PCIex16_2 slot

- one in the PCIex1_1 slot
- one in the PCIex16_4 slot
- one in the PCIex1_2 slot

April 11, 2012 12:48:09 AM

Hey Jaquith,
Thanks very much for your answers. It's very helpful.

I will def contact all the card maker supports (thanks for the suggestion!).
And I will check the D4 code. Hopefully I will see clearer.

Then I will try the "plan B". However as the previous poster, I wonder about the performance when using a single GPU in the PCIex16_2 slot ('instead' of using the recommended one). Especially because I wanna use a GeForce GTX680 later on. This is still a hardware secret for me :/ 

If I'm stuck, yeah def I will check 3x port cards. But it's annoying, because I though I could use the x16,x8,x8 configuration with that MOBO...

Well, thank you again! :) 
April 11, 2012 12:48:16 AM

Hey Jaquith,
Thanks very much for your answers. It's very helpful.

I will def contact all the card maker supports (thanks for the suggestion!).
And I will check the D4 code. Hopefully I will see clearer.

Then I will try the "plan B". However as the previous poster, I wonder about the performance when using a single GPU in the PCIex16_2 slot ('instead' of using the recommended one). Especially because I wanna use a GeForce GTX680 later on. This is still a hardware secret for me :/ 

If I'm stuck, yeah def I will check 3x port cards. But it's annoying, because I though I could use the x16,x8,x8 configuration with that MOBO...

Well, thank you again! :) 
April 11, 2012 12:48:22 AM

Hey Jaquith,
Thanks very much for your answers. It's very helpful.

I will def contact all the card maker supports (thanks for the suggestion!).
And I will check the D4 code. Hopefully I will see clearer.

Then I will try the "plan B". However as the previous poster, I wonder about the performance when using a single GPU in the PCIex16_2 slot ('instead' of using the recommended one). Especially because I wanna use a GeForce GTX680 later on. This is still a hardware secret for me :/ 

If I'm stuck, yeah def I will check 3x port cards. But it's annoying, because I though I could use the x16,x8,x8 configuration with that MOBO...

Well, thank you again! :) 
April 11, 2012 6:57:13 AM

teriyaki2109 said:
However as the previous poster, I wonder about the performance when using a single GPU in the PCIex16_2 slot ('instead' of using the recommended one).


From what I've read there really shouldn't be much difference as long as both slots are electrical X16. Don't know about demanding gaming scenarios but I'm running a low-end GPU (GeForce GT 520) which should run happily even at X8. It seems the first PCIe slot (for single GPU's) is given higher priority over the other slots (?) so perhaps that's why they recommend using the first one.

I'm taking potential IRQ issues seriously because IRQ conflicts with soundcards do sometimes happen. This may not be noticeable in normal use but when you have tons of tracks & effects in your DAW and need to use small buffer sizes it could be a different story.

So far I've ruled out the P9X79 PRO and WS because all of the PCIe slots on them are shared. However, like the P9X79 Deluxe, the regular P9X79 would be a "safer" choice for me: it leaves you the option to disable USB 3.0 #2 (two out of the four USB 3.0 ports) via Device Manager should IRQ conflicts with the X1_1 slot arise.


May 13, 2012 3:20:52 AM

I Own a p9x79 pro and cant get my geforce 460 to work in the pci-e 16x 2 slot ( slot 5) only in the recommended first slot. So either somethings disabled I cant figure out or you in fact cant do it.
February 5, 2014 8:18:25 AM

Uoppi said:
Hi everyone, a question about P9x79 Deluxe that I need to get answered before purchasing:

I will need the PCIe 2.0 x1_1 slot for my RME HDSPe AIO soundcard as it's the only slot not sharing IRQ assignments with the other PCIe slots. According to the manual, that x1 slot is shared with the Marvell controller though but I'm going to disable that . That would ensure the soundcard has a dedicated IRQ assignment.

The question is, will I be able to install my graphics card (GeForce ENGT520) in the PCIe 3.0 x16_2 slot (or even better in the x16_3 slot)? The passive heatsink will block the x1_1 slot if the graphics card is placed in the x16_1 slot.

The manual says the x16_1 slot is "recommended" for single graphics card operation. So I assume using the first slot is not mandatory? Furthermore, according to the manual, the PCIe 3.0 x16_2 can be run "single at x16".

Has anyone tried this? I know some large CPU heatsinks necessitate skipping the first x16 slot so I'm hoping someone has some info regarding the X79 boards.

Besides these two cards, no other PCIe devices will be installed.




February 5, 2014 8:25:18 AM

You must use slots 1 and 4 for dual sli. I tried various other slots with EVGA GTX780s and no sli except as in instructions. This leaves space issues and I truely wish that there sophosticated (HA HA) solution to old fashioned bios would allow more combos to work. It's not just a matter of having the second card in 16x it just wont do sli without slot 1 and 4. I jammed a SB sound card in 3 and the GTX in 4 is tight but the dual fans keep it cool. Don't expect any external USB ports with a dual slot cards in slot 4 as they are covered. A poor design choice and having to do it again I would have picked the original Titan style cooler as the fan blades are week in the dual and I had to RMA a card as a usb cable got bipped. EVGA was kind enough to no charge me but I hate the refurbs they send as they are often overclocked by youngsters who have no clue. I would say the FTW with the 4930 is fine without OCing with dual gtx780s. Only a Asus bios fix would fix the slot issue and dont count on that.
!