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PCI-E Link Width Degrading

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 7, 2011 9:30:24 PM

Hello world.
I got a problem with a BFG 8600 GTS OC. I have thought that it was fixed for a while, but to no avail.
I have noticed some pretty big, and inconsistent (from reboot to reboot) performance issues on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. when I would crank up the resolution to 1920x1080.
Long story short, my PCI-E link width jumps seemingly randomly from reboot to reboot. It has jumped so far:
From x4 to x8 to x16. I am checking the width from GPU-Z and CPU-Z. I cannot connect anything to the changing link width. I have cleaned everything inside with compressed air, used a clean brush to clean out the PCI-E slot contacts, used alcohol and microfiber cloth to clean the card's contacts. It has not reacted to any of those things, and it still jumps with no reason at all from x4 to x8 to x16, each reboot can make it different. Sometimes it stays at one (again, x4 x8 or x16) for a couple of days/reboots, then changes at some point.
There is another weird thing, Rivatuner reports link width to be 16x supported, and 63x selected.

I know for a fact that:
It is something with the graphics card, other cards show up as x16.
My motherboard supports 16 physical lanes.
No program, driver update reinstall or anything like that affected the frequency or the prevalence of the random jumps.
BIOS flash made no difference.
CMOS reset made no difference.
There is no option in my BIOS to force the link width.
It is not a powersaving feature, I have ran furmark and it still shows as whatever it decided it wanted to be at startup (x4 x8 x16).
The performance difference is pretty drastic, at x16 my game runs very smoothly at what seems like 60fps most of the time, while when its a x4 it becomes nearly unplayable most of the time.
I cannot RMA my card with the lifetime warranty, because BFG ceased to support their lifetime warranties.
The 12V line is plugged in.
The card is seated in correctly and fully.
It seems not to be a PSU problem.
I have not installed any new hardware for the past year, and this problem first started about 3 months ago.

Is there anything at all that might mess up the link width other than a pure "bad" card?
Any help is appreciated!
May 8, 2011 4:44:49 PM

Anyone at all? Any ideas?
I don't really want to end up just buying a replacement card...
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a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2011 11:34:10 AM

I am having the same problem.
Biostar TA790GXB A2+
ATI 4650 512mb.

Width is now 4x , changing settings is bios does nothing. 4x is max.

Bump to bring it back to top.
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Best solution

May 15, 2011 1:07:23 PM

From what I've heard, there is sometimes trouble with windows power management settings. Basically, the computer lowers the PCI frequency when it doesn't think that it's having to do much work, so that it can save power; however, there have been problems with this. I don't know why that would randomly start acting up, but it's worth a shot. Go to Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\Create a Power Plan. From there, change your profile to high performance, because that will stop windows from automatically enabling power save options (such as decreasing the link speed to your video card). The problem may be your motherboard or video card, but it is definitely worth checking out the windows power options first. I have no idea if this will work, since I've never experienced the issue that you posted, but it can't hurt to try my idea. The worst that could happen would be that you would waste 5 minutes of your time.
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May 15, 2011 1:10:24 PM

If that doesn't work, PM me and I'll try to come up with some other ideas...
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a c 273 U Graphics card
May 15, 2011 1:22:07 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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May 15, 2011 6:25:34 PM

Best answer selected by simple359.
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