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PCIe x16 running at x1

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  • PCIe x16 running at x1

    I have a biostar N4SLI-A9 Socket 939 with a AMD Athlox X2 64 and an 8800 GTS vid card running Vista.

    I get horrible framerates, between 10 - 50 fps in CS:S with not many bells and whistlers. I have searched high and low for a solution when I noticed my card is runnng a link width of x1 - so a 16th of what it could be doing.

    I can't find any settings in bios that let me adjust this - anyone have any ides for me?

    This is an SLI motherboard so I have 2 x16 PCie slots - I am using the second slot becuase the N Bridge fan blocks my card from being installed in slot 1 - I know this can be a problem but I think it would not work at all rather than dro to x1.

    Do I need a new motherboard - if so do I need to do a fresh install?

  • #2
    Re: PCIe x16 running at x1

    Did you check all your advanced driver options? They like to hide stuff like that so noobs don't screw it up. If you're sure you've checked out your BIOS and it just isn't there, check the mobo company's messagebaords (and general Google searches) to see if others have the same problem... it might be a mobo driver update or BIOS version issue.

    I recall my AGP card demanded a driver for the motherboard to use AGP bandwidth. You shouldn't need another motherboard unless it's a bizzare hardware failure.

    And yeah, take off the northbridge fan and try it in the primary slot for testing. I wouldn't be suprised if the secondary slot only activates x16 when an SLI pair is detected. If someone's using it as a normal secondary slot, it wouldn't need the x16 horsepower. You may need to mount it to the first slot and cut a hole in the side of your case to get a supplumentary fan blowing on the northbridge sink. I have a couple fans mounted on my side-panel.


    • #3
      Re: PCIe x16 running at x1

      I've searched Google and found a few people with different boards having the same problem - but they seemed to find bios fixes - my bios are updated and I looked through them about 15 different times with no PCI info to be found.

      Biostar has a crap site with no support forums.

      I'll try removing the N Bridge fan - how long can the board run without it? Just don;t want to fry the board while I am testing it out.


      • #4
        Re: PCIe x16 running at x1

        From the manual:

        «5.3 THINGS TO NOTICE
        λ Normal Mode:
        - Only PEX16-1 slot supports PCI-Express x16 interface graphics
        card function.
        - PEX16-2, PEX1-1 and PEX1-2 slots provide PCI-Express x1
        interface expansion card function.
        λ SLI Mode:
        - Use BRI-SLI connector to link two SLI-ready PCI-E x16 interface
        graphics cards.
        - PEX16-1 and PEX16-2 slots provide PCI-E x8 data transfer rate.
        - PEX1-1 and PEX1-2 slots provide PCI-Express x1 interface
        expansion card function.
        - Coordinate with graphics card driver to set Dual Video function.»

        So I think replacing, or moving the fan is the only solution. Unless you try this «5.2 PLACING THE SLI-NF4 SELECTOR CARD» to the SLI mode? Maybe that links both PCIx16 slots.


        «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

        | |


        • #5
          Re: PCIe x16 running at x1

          I removed the fan and it's now in x16 - sweet!!! 3DMark 06 score doubled!!!

          Now I just worry about not having a north bridge fan - there is almost no space between the card and the motherboard.

          I'll have to look for a low profile fan somewhere like newegg.

          How long do you think I can go without N Bridge fan? I leave my case open as it is.


          • #6
            Re: PCIe x16 running at x1

            Indefinatley. Here's the deal:

            If your northbridge overheats, you'll get errors. You probably aren't at risk of blowing anything up if it has a heatsink on it, but you would want to shut down and let it chill down.

            I'm assuming this is what your board looks like:

            If so, and that yellow beast is your Northbridge, you should be able to cut a hole in the side of your case and mount an 80mm intake fan right over it. Assuming you don't collide with anything else silly and in the way. I've open-cased in a few cases, but it's far from optimal. The air moves freely, but you need something to encourage it to move at're depending on thermal density variation which isn't a whole lot of help.

            If the red thing's your Northbridge, you've a tigher fit, but a sidepanel fan would be workable.


            • #7
              Re: PCIe x16 running at x1

              Thanks Magna, I guess someone didn't miss their thermal dynamics class!

              Yellow beast is (was) it! I found a 7mm thick fan online, plus the fan I had on their had an additional metal biostar plaque on top that was at least another 1mm so I *might* be able to squezze the smaller fan in there.

              If I close my case up the whole thing starts to gt crazy hot that's why I took it off originally so I guess i might need to slap anothdr case fan on the side anyways.

              Thanks for the help! CS:S rocked tonight casue of the 100+ framerates smooth as butter play!

              played for about 2 hours with no noticable degradation of performance due to heat.


              • #8
                Re: PCIe x16 running at x1

                I got this instead - works perfectly




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