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HD7950 @ PCI-E x1 1.1 instead of x16 2.0, please help

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 10, 2012 8:48:57 PM

Dear community,

I've been having a problem with my 2 months old Sapphire 7950 OC, and i can't seem to find a solution.

First,my computer specs

MSI z77a-gd65
Intel Core i5 2500k
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Sapphire 7950 OC
Corsair Vengeance 8GB CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
Asus Xonar D2X
Samsung Spinpoint 1TB x2
Crucial M4 128 GB
Cooler Master HAF932 Advanced
Corsair Gold AX650

Windows 7 64 bit

The problem:
Cpu-z reads the motherboards link width as x1, instead of the max supported x16.
Gpu-z reads the gpu's bus speed as pci-e x1 1.1...

Whenever the gpu is in the top pci-e x16 slot it's constantly switching between pci-e x1 1.1 and x1 2.0
Games are unplayable because it won't speed up to pci-e 2.0 x16, and this causes a huge performance drop.
However, if i put it in the middle pci-e slot it switches back to x8, which is the maximum for that slot.

At first i thought it was my previous motherboard (MSI p67a-g65) giving up on me, so i've replaced it with a brand new MSI z77a-gd65.
Unfortunately that didn't solve anything :sweat: 

Next, i put back my old HD 4850 in the top slot, cause you know..maybe the 7950 is faulty.
Checked gpu/cpu-z after installing everything but unfortunately, no dice and i get the same results as my 7950.

Other things I've tried are:
Changed windows power settings to high performance, no change.
Overclocked the 7950 a little., results were stable but pci-e didn't change to x16 2.0
Switched RAM memory around but that didn't help at all since i can't get dual channel to work , it only boots in dimm slot 3 & 4.
Checked every single bios setting and loaded optimized defaults...still nothing.
Overclocked cpu by 10 MHZ, failed to boot 2 times in a row after that.
Disabled onboard video and USB 3.0
Disabled ULPS, only works for crossfire configurations.
Carefully cleaned gpu connectors with contact-spray,a lint free cloth.
Cleaned pci-e slot, using a can of compressed air.
Reseated gpu multiple times.
Checked gpu-z render test, still running at pci-e x1 1.1
Tried every AMD Catalyst driver from 11.12 to 12.4.

Heck, i even changed windows power settings to high performance, and this too gave me the same results.

See, the only components in my computer which are not brand new are the 2500K, one of the HDD's and the corsair memory sticks,, could it be that my old psu (which was dying, and now completely dead. R.I.P :kaola:  ) somehow damaged the cpu's pci-e controller?
What else could it be?

Any help is appreciated, i just can't seem to solve it on my own and it is driving me completely nuts.

More about : hd7950 pci x16

a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2012 8:53:46 PM

Have you updated the BIOS? I know a lot of early Z77's had issues with PCIe which was fixed with BIOS Updates,

Best solution

a c 535 U Graphics card
May 10, 2012 8:53:56 PM
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You are stressing over nothing. On GPU-Z click on the little "?" (question mark symbol) next to the Bus Interface box, where it says you are running at 1.1 PCIe. Start the render test.
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May 10, 2012 9:02:30 PM

GPU-z falsely reports my GTX 560 Ti 448 as PCIe 1.1 as well, but no problem with performance, and that's a known bug. But if you really have performance issue, it maybe related to something else entirely, like card itself is defective, or BIOS issue.
May 10, 2012 11:05:51 PM

The HD7950 can't be defective, since my old 4850 also shows up as pci-e x1 1.1
Performance in game is pretty awful, by the way.
Read my first post, i already ran gpu-z render test to no avail.

As it turns out,Live Update 5 couldn't find any new bios for the z77a yet MSI did post a couple of new versions on their website.
I downloaded the latest version V10.5 and copied it to USB stick, and successfully flashed the bios.
Going to test it tommorow when i get home from work :)  I really hope that solves it.

The HD7950 can't be defective, since my old 4850 also shows up as pci-e x1 1.1
Performance in game is pretty awful, by the way.
Read my first post, i already ran gpu-z render test to no avail.

As it turns out,Live Update 5 couldn't find any new bios for the z77a yet MSI did post a couple of new versions on their website.
I downloaded the latest version V10.5 and copied it to USB stick, and successfully flashed the bios.
Going to test it tommorow when i get home from work :)  I really hope that solves it.

UPDATE
I put my 7950 back into the top slot after installing new bios, but cpu/gpu-z still reads it as pci-e x1 1.1. :( 
Any other suggestions?
June 1, 2012 3:23:51 PM

Hey there
I have the exact same issue.
My hardware
Asus Sabertooth 990FX
AMD 975
8gb DDR1600
Sapphire 7950 OC edition
Fully updated drivers&Bios

I run windows in high performance mode, nothing sleeps or powers down.
After about 10 hours of idle time, like over night. GPUz shows my card stuck at x1 1.1
Render test and game play only bumps it to x1 2.0 ...very frustrating.
The one thing I have found that corrects it, aside from a reboot, is running 3dmark11.
For whatever reason, after running the benchmark GPU reports a correct Pci setting.
Also CPUz shows my motherboard as running at x1 during the bug or whatever. So that's
two different reports of the same issue =(
I do notice some game issues during the x1 bug. Mainly FarCry 2 performance is horrible, running around at 30-35fps.
However when the bug fixes itself and reports a correct x16 2.0 I'm back at a lovely 60fps max settings.

Hopefully this is just a driver bug, maybe the fancy new performance drivers coming out will fix it? *crosses fingers*

June 1, 2012 3:35:05 PM

Uber, thanks for replying i'm glad i'm not the only one with this problem.
I still haven't been able to fix it either.
The problem could be that my 2500k's pci-e controller has been damaged by my old PSU, or it really is a driver issue.
I'm going to wait for the official 12.5 drivers, and if that doesn't fix the problem then maybe send an email to Ati/AMD. I just hope i won't have to replace my cpu.
Anyway i got my 7950 OC in the middle pci-e slot now, which sadly runs at 8x max.
Games are pretty playable, not just the way it should be.
June 1, 2012 6:21:01 PM

I haven't switched pci-e slots, dont plan to. A reboot and or a 3dmark run fixes the problem, at least for me. Still annoying as hell. It's like the card idles for long then just slows down to some weird power saving feature that I can't seem to find to disable.
I've disabled pci-e power savings in windows. Poked around my bios for anything that sounds power saving-ish and no dice. It still falls down to x1 over night and stays there :( 
June 4, 2012 10:50:30 AM

Just installed the 12.6 beta drivers, didn't fix it.
So i guess it's not a driver related issue since i've tried every driver from 11.12 to 12.6
June 11, 2012 9:04:06 AM

Best answer selected by stickfinger.
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