Soundcard in x16/x8 slot? SB X-fi Titanium HD, 2 580s, and Maximus IV Extreme-Z

Tol

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
249
I've already tried and the setup I want doesn't seem to work. I'm just wondering if someone has an explanation about why it doesn't. Windows does not recognize my soundcard.

System:
Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z
2 x MSI GTX 580 Lightning XE
Sound Blaster X-fi Titanium HD

What I'd like for cooling purposes:
slot 1 videocard #1
slot 2 covered by videocard
slot 3 empty
slot 4 soundcard
slot 5 videocard #2
slot 6 covered by videocard


Placing the videocards as suggested in the manual (1 & 4) and the soundcard in the last slot (6) works just fine but airflow to the videocards is horribly restricted this way. I actually have to place a shim between the videocard and soundcard because without it one of the fans can't spin.
 

sok0

Gawd
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
689
It should work as long as the video cards are both in x16 slots. I know on that board you can turn the actual lanes on and off to test so maybe you have them switched off? Might also be a bios option somewhere you overlooked but you might also try disabling all the lanes but the ones you are using, so there's no conflicts that way.
 

Tol

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
249
I really didn't give it too much of a chance, yet. The first night was spent swapping motherboards, cleaning up cabling, and installing Windows. Last night, I was playing around with overclocking while messing with the sound card.

There are definitely alot of options to play with, with this board.
 

plugwash

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2010
Messages
1,547
My understanding (based on reading between the lines of ASUS's specs since they don't provide a block diagram that would unambiguously indicate this stuff) is that board has a rather screwy PCIe configuration. It has a NF200 but rather than doing the sensible thing and connecting all the CPU PCIe lanes to the NF200 it seems they did the following

* connect 8 lanes from the CPU to slot 1 permanently
* connect the remaining 8 lanes from the CPU to either slot 1, the NF200 or slot 4
* connect the NF200 to slots 3 and 5

(slots 2 and 6 are presumablly taken off the PCH)

This setup means slot 4 cannot be used at the same time as slots 3 or 5. It also means that in most configurations the NF200 (which you paid a fair chunk of cash for) is completely out of circuit and wasted and that in a 3 card SLI configuration the NF200 is used but connected up stupidly.

I suspect they did this because they wanted to win single GPU benchmarks but also wanted to support 3-way SLI. In doing so they created a board that is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Bottom line is I think you are going to have to either get a board with a more sensible configuration or live with poor airflow.
 

Tol

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
249
Thank you for typing all that out. After trying a few more slot combinations, I'm seeing exactly what you describe.

With summer coming up and my unwillingness to watercool until my next big upgrade, I think I'm going to have to look elsewhere for a motherboard. At least I'll get some money back after I sell this one because I'm sure the next one won't cost as much. :p



My understanding (based on reading between the lines of ASUS's specs since they don't provide a block diagram that would unambiguously indicate this stuff) is that board has a rather screwy PCIe configuration. It has a NF200 but rather than doing the sensible thing and connecting all the CPU PCIe lanes to the NF200 it seems they did the following

* connect 8 lanes from the CPU to slot 1 permanently
* connect the remaining 8 lanes from the CPU to either slot 1, the NF200 or slot 4
* connect the NF200 to slots 3 and 5

(slots 2 and 6 are presumablly taken off the PCH)

This setup means slot 4 cannot be used at the same time as slots 3 or 5. It also means that in most configurations the NF200 (which you paid a fair chunk of cash for) is completely out of circuit and wasted and that in a 3 card SLI configuration the NF200 is used but connected up stupidly.

I suspect they did this because they wanted to win single GPU benchmarks but also wanted to support 3-way SLI. In doing so they created a board that is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Bottom line is I think you are going to have to either get a board with a more sensible configuration or live with poor airflow.
 

plugwash

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2010
Messages
1,547
So on to reccomending a new board I guess? What features do you need? obviously you wannt the ability to do 2-way SLI and a soundcard with good ventilation. Do you want the option of 3-way SLI in the future? do you want z68 or is P67 fine? What other features if any do you need out of a board?
 

sok0

Gawd
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
689
Really dont see how its possible that you cant run 2 580's and a sound card in slots 1/4/6..... I see people sandwich 3 video cards all of the time where there is no space in between them and they run just fine. Think you need to just put them into the recommend slots, close the case up, and check temps before you come to conclusions. And worst case, you add another fan inside the case to direct more airflow at the actual video cards... I mean, you basically have the best motherboard for the 1155 chipset out atm, along with the big bang and the ud7......
 

Tol

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
249
The difference between having the soundcard on the pcb side of the video card is night and day in terms of heat and more importantly, sound. I do actually have three standard 580s sitting here...I'm moving away from them because I needed the 3GB of memory. The Lightning cards aren't nearly as loud as those guys were but they're near silent when given a full slot of breathing room.

I have no plans to go for more than two cards again until the next generation and at that point I'd probably switch to water, as well. P67 should be fine. Other than what I've already said, I'm running:

Coolermaster HAF-X
Corsair AX-1200
2600k and a Noctua cooler
a pair of vertex 2 ssds
EDIT: 16 GB of GSkill 1866
 
Last edited:

Tol

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
249
Went to Fry's today and they have the P8Z68-V Pro for 190-20 rebate. I've made the swap and things are good, so far. I do miss the fan headers on the Maximus but if this thing stays cool and quiet now, I'll deal with it. :)
 
Top