Extreme difficulty slotting RTX 3090 into Z690 motherboard

shadow2761

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I am unsure if I did this wrong or what, but I have had extreme difficulty putting my EVGA RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra, into the top PCIe slot of a Z690 Asus STRIX-e motherboard.

I was literally applying almost my whole body weight to push the card into the slot, but it was not going fully seated in. I could feel the MB bending as I was applying pressure trying to the damm GPU fully into the slot.

Please see pic below:
20220107-050859.jpg


I have never in my life had so much difficulty trying to slot a GPU into the PCIe slot. I finally managed to get it slightly more in by wiggiling it in, but this is as far as I got:
20220107-050943.jpg


Any more pressure, and I think I will snap the MB. Anyone else have an issue like this before? Am I doing something wrong?
 

Vashypooh

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Things I would check

  • Check to ensure you have standoffs on every portion of the motherboard, especially around the gpu area.
  • Check for motherboard heatsinks clipping the card, as the 3090's heatsink is a beefy boi. Looking at pics of the motherboard nothings jumping out at me.
  • Check the case to ensure the rear slots aren't out of alignment or anything odd. Is the rear bracket all the way seated in this picture
 

Dan_D

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Also make sure the GPU retention tab isn't positioned incorrectly. The ASUS boards have that button to release the tab and its possible there is something going on with that mechanism.
 

jmilcher

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Echoing the other poster. If it doesn’t slide in like butter, you are damaging something. Hope that hardware ends up working long term. I’m guessing some damage may have occurred if you were pushing that hard.
 

Azrak

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Loosen (but don't remove all the way) all 9 MB screws so the MB can move slightly left/right/up/down, then install the GPU (gently). If it still fights with you, keep looking.
I always keep the MB screws loose until the GPU is installed because it helps align the PCIe slot of the MB with the case and GPU card itself. Once the GPU is installed, I tighten a couple screws, remove the GPU, tighten the rest of them, then re-install GPU.
I've learned to do this because of the exact problem the OP describes. The slight misalignment of the PCIe slot of the MB with the case can cause all kinds of problems installing the GPU.
Also make sure the rear I/O bracket is not binding up between the MB and case. No sure if this MB has the integrated I/O bracket or if it is separate, but those things can cause binding issues too.

Edited to add:
Also check the GPU mounting bracket tab that goes all the way down into the case. Some cases have a crappy design were there is a lip that the tab can catch and prevent you from pushing the card down fully.
 

shadow2761

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Ok thanks guys, I will check all these things mentioned here tonight.

I hope I haven't damaged anything. I could hear something crack faintly at one stage. I just prayed I was hearing things and it wasn't anything to worry about, but I don't know for sure ;(

Also, I installed the GPU back into my old 9900K Z390 Strix-e system, it slots in very smoothly into that. But when I was playing pubg with it last night after re-installing to this old system, I noticed that randomly throughout a game the screen will go blank for a second then come back on. It did this several times over 2 hrs.

Is this a sign I may have damaged my GPU?

I was just hoping it was something random, or something that I did not setup rite or maybe it was just something temporarily occuring. Or is this a clear sign damage has occured to the GPU?

Any other way to check?
FML!!!
 

RazorWind

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Is this that motherboard that's supposed to have the remote PCI-E slot latch release? Maybe that mechanism is binding up for some reason?

Can you take a photo of the slot without the card?
 

shadow2761

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I swear I tried holding that release button down as I was installing the GPU, and didn't feel any different.

Maybe I'll try again tonight.

FML, new tech is suppose to make it easier for dummies like me, not harder....
 

shadow2761

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Round #2
This GPU will not go into the top slot!

I have checked all around the slot, the gpu, there is no obstruction, i have taken off all the pcie back plates and screws, I have held the q-releass button down, i have tried to wiggle it in, i made sure all mb stand offs in place, i even removed the mb, nothing is letting this gpu slide into the slot on this mb! This is total BS!

I have tried the other pcie slots on this mb, and it was smooth as silk, even removing it was smooth as silk. But the top slot, absolutely will not let the GPU in.

Wtf do i do now?
It can't be the GPU, because like I said the other PCIe slots work fine and my old mb it also installs into fine.

I do not have a 2nd gpu to try.
 

pendragon1

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Round #2
This GPU will not go into the top slot!

I have checked all around the slot, the gpu, there is no obstruction, i have taken off all the pcie back plates and screws, I have held the q-releass button down, i have tried to wiggle it in, i made sure all mb stand offs in place, i even removed the mb, nothing is letting this gpu slide into the slot on this mb! This is total BS!

I have tried the other pcie slots on this mb, and it was smooth as silk, even removing it was smooth as silk. But the top slot, absolutely will not let the GPU in.

Wtf do i do now?
It can't be the GPU, because like I said the other PCIe slots work fine and my old mb it also installs into fine.

I do not have a 2nd gpu to try.
you dont have any other pcie card/gpu you can try?
 

Dan_D

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Looking at the images, your card is not aligned correctly. It's too far back. It's not engaging the front locking tab and its sticking out because it's alignment is off by at least one pin. I can see that from the back image. I don't know how you are managing this.
 

shadow2761

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Looking at the images, your card is not aligned correctly. It's too far back. It's not engaging the front locking tab and its sticking out because it's alignment is off by at least one pin. I can see that from the back image. I don't know how you are managing this.
Which image, are you able to draw a pointer on it to show me what you mean please?
 

M76

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How do you know this and how can I tell?
Based on the fact that the card does not go in it.
You could check if the retention mechanism moves properly when you press the button. Don't insert the card just look at the mechanism if it does what it is supposed to or not.
As for the slot check for bent or misaligned pins.
 

shadow2761

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Ok so i didnt realise i had another pcie card, the hyper m.2 card that comes with this MB. Tried this one, and what do you know, same issue, very tough to place into the pcie slot.

But i managed to place it in, by lots of wiggling and not heaps of direct force, just kept wiggling it in. I repeated this with the GPU, and got it in with the same method. But it is very difficult wiggle it in with the massive gpu, because it clips some of the heatsink armory stuff on the MB, right here, see arrow in pic:
20220108-001839.jpg


The much smaller hyper m.2 pcie card was easier to wiggle in because its alot smaller. The GPU just had to be wiggeled in much more, but it was harder to do because of the limited space around it.
 

vegeta535

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You proabably screwed up the retention mech that the button is attached to. It is stuck/broken and causing a obstruction now. I would take the MB out and have a closer look at the slot. I hope this doesn't turn out to be a pricey lession to you but NEVER force anything. Everything should slot in/plugging with very little force
 

Dan_D

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If the board is inside the case, it's very likely that it was installed in such a way as to create the misalignment with the expansion slot area and the back plane of the case. Nearly every case I've ever seen has some wiggle room with the standoffs. You can bias the motherboard towards different directions. This is why I leave the screws loose, then align the motherboard so that its perfectly straight inside the case. Some cheap cases may not ever allow the board to align properly but most do. It doesn't take much to offset the slots enough to cause issues with graphics cards. GPU's tend to be rather large these days and occupy multiple slots, which only make the problem worse.

I agree with the above comment concerning the retention mechanism. Remove the card, and inspect it. The tab should be in the unlocked position. You can press the button in front of it on the ASUS boards to move it to this position. Assuming its still working. You could easily have damaged this mechanism.
 
Last edited:

Rvenger

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I had the same issue with my Z690-A the other day. The slot is just really stiff. You have to just wiggle it from front to back until it finally goes in. Then it will go in easily anytime after that.
 

vegeta535

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Honestly I wouldn't even use that port at this point throughout checking it out. I can see a short happening and taking out the GPU.
 

shadow2761

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Like i said I finally got it in, it was very painful process.

But now I am concerned about this intermittent brief blanking of the screen that has occured randomly.

It happens on my new Z690, twice in about 3 hrs. It happend on my old Z390 system, about 3 times in about 2 hrs. This all occured after my first attempt to install the GPU into the slot of my Z690 system. I think I may have damaged the GPU.

I think I can still RMA it. Looks like I might have to rma this card and while I wait, buy the 3090 Ti when it comes out even though I was planning not to until the 4090 arrives. :(
 

shadow2761

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OK I think all is good.

I just ran CINEBENCH (multicore) and Superposition 4K optimized @ 5120x1440p and they both ran well, no issues observed. So I am guessing no damage has been caused to my components?
 

shadow2761

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If it's broken it's probably from you judging by what you've said here, not a defect. RMAing that would be very sketchy and morally wrong. I hope the card works for you, but please don't RMA it.

I don't think it is morally wrong at all! If we pay $4K AU for a GPU, I expect it to be easy to slot in.

I tried 2 different PCIe cards, one is a massive GPU, the other was a relatively tiny Hyper M.2 card. Both was a nightmare to get into this board, and this is the first MB I have ever come across to give me this kind of severe struggle to get a PCIe card in, and I have installed every generation of flagship Nvidia cards for the past 15 yrs into many generations of MBs. So it definitely cannot be my fault. So yes I would 100% RMA if it was damaged.

But anyways, I have played about 6hrs of PUBG now with this rig, and it has been performing well, I did not come across any concerning issues with this new board or the GPU.

Infact the board is actually working better than my previous Z390 STRIX-E board. That board I could not even get my XMP enabled 3600Mhz DDR4 RAM TridentZ to run @ its rated speed of 3600MHz. It would always crash in games, but 3500MHz would run it if I also manualy set 1.4v to the DRAM, otherwise it would crash.

This new Z690 STRIX-E board, runs the DDR5 @ the rated 4800MHz flawlessly by just enabling XMP in BIOS. No crash at all.
 

cpufrost

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Did you remove the silicone shipping sleeve that covers the PCI-E part of the card? ;-)
 

mnewxcv

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Lot of opinions in here. Everything is probably fine. Op consider trying a different hdmi or display port cable to fix your occasional black screen issues. If it isn't causing a software or driver crash, that could be the problem.
 

shadow2761

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Lot of opinions in here. Everything is probably fine. Op consider trying a different hdmi or display port cable to fix your occasional black screen issues. If it isn't causing a software or driver crash, that could be the problem.

I think the intermittent crashing was just a random off thing that happend a few times. Because like I said above, I have put about 6hrs into PUBG and it did not give me that brief blank screen again. So I am sure it is all good.

Anyways thanks everyone for their support here.
 

rhkcommander959

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one thing I didn't see mentioned, but may have missed while skimming, is your motherboard tray could be out of alignment/bent.

I've had a few cases now where either the tray is too weak and distorts, or the manufacturer skimped and the whole case flexes on uneven surfaces, etc. I can't tell from your pics/sig but maybe the frame is getting twisted/bent on your work surface.

Did you try to assemble outside of the case at all?
 

pendragon1

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one thing I didn't see mentioned, but may have missed while skimming, is your motherboard tray could be out of alignment/bent.

I've had a few cases now where either the tray is too weak and distorts, or the manufacturer skimped and the whole case flexes on uneven surfaces, etc. I can't tell from your pics/sig but maybe the frame is getting twisted/bent on your work surface.

Did you try to assemble outside of the case at all?
dan_d brought it up i post 26 and very well could have been the problem, have had it happen myself.
 
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