Taichi Z370 PCIE x16 behavior? Hero vs Gaming 7?

WetMacula

Gawd
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Feb 18, 2011
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533
Bought a Taichi and 8700K since the last BIOS update on Sabertooth X99 murdered my 5920K and possibly the main board as well. Getting tired of ASUS and thought I'd try something new. On the Taichi the PCIE x1 slots are above and below the top x16 slot. The lower is blocked by video card and upper is blocked by the D15 heatsink. Damn shame. The Taichi looks like a no-nonsense board with quality components for a decent price.

I have a single STRIX 1080TI and a ZXR sound card. It's my understanding that in order to operate at x16, video card must go in the top slot and none of the remaining x16 slots can be used. Is this correct? Was hoping to use the sound card for it's amp, 1/4-in jacks, and volume/mic pod...without dropping to x8. Should I not worry about running a 1080ti (1440p at 144 Hz) at x8?

Now I'm eyeing the Hero or Gaming 7 but don't care about Christmas lights or on-board sound. Which would you pick?

Fan control with selectable temp sensors is important to me (preferably in the BIOS since I refuse to run any garbage software from ASUS). No experience with Gigabyte BIOS. Never had a problem with ASUS BIOS until X99 but their typical vague update descriptions "system improvements" on every changelog pisses me off.

Edit: Apparently there are some Vdroop / LLC issues with ASUS Z370. Does Gigabyte have the same problem?
 

sinisterDei

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 1, 2004
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1,229
The way I read the Taichi Z370 specs, if you use more than one of the X16 PCIe slots then yes it starts dividing bandwidth. That issue is exclusive to the X16 slots though; use the X1 slots to your heart's desire. You said the top X1 slot will be blocked by the D15 (holy shit that's a huge heatsink) but the bottom one should be available.

Or, ditch the D15 and get an AIO cooler that doesn't block access to your shit on your mobo.

Lastly, no, you probably won't feel the drop to X8.
 

NukeDukem

2[H]4U
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Feb 15, 2011
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2,317
Interesting. I have the same board and a X-Fi card in my last PCI-e slot, indeed my 1080Ti is running at x8 on the top slot. I might take out the sound card and do some benches to see if there's any difference.
 

Nebulous

[H]ard|Gawd
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Nov 16, 2005
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Hmm, this must be for the Taichi Z370 only? I've got the Z270 Ex4 and with a single 1070 on the top x16 and an SBZ on the last x16, my 1070 is running a full x16. Unsure why my SBZ will not work in any X1 slot is beyond me tho.
 

sinisterDei

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 1, 2004
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Interesting Nebulous; yours has the same language as the Z370 board - "3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (PCIE2/PCIE4/PCIE6: single at x16 (PCIE2); dual at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4); triple at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4) / x4 (PCIE6))*"

I would expect it to operate the same as the Z370, but who knows.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
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Feb 9, 2002
Messages
56,454
I have a single STRIX 1080TI and a ZXR sound card. It's my understanding that in order to operate at x16, video card must go in the top slot and none of the remaining x16 slots can be used. Is this correct? Was hoping to use the sound card for it's amp, 1/4-in jacks, and volume/mic pod...without dropping to x8. Should I not worry about running a 1080ti (1440p at 144 Hz) at x8?
Hmm, this must be for the Taichi Z370 only? I've got the Z270 Ex4 and with a single 1070 on the top x16 and an SBZ on the last x16, my 1070 is running a full x16. Unsure why my SBZ will not work in any X1 slot is beyond me tho.
Guys, all Z370 Express based motherboards will drop the primary PCI-Express x16 slot to x8 when using the second or middle x16 slot. This is due to the PCIe controller on the CPU only having 16 PCIe lanes and only being able to operate in a x16/0 or x8/x8 configuration. If you look on the back of the motherboard, you will see that the second and third PCIe x16 lanes have less physical solder joints on them due to having fewer lanes and thus less contacts in the PCIe slots. The last x16 slot on a typical Z370 motherboard that's in the x16 form factor doesn't cause this because it's an x4 slot (electrical) that gets it's lanes from the chipset which has 24 PCIe lanes available.
 

WetMacula

Gawd
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
533
Thanks everybody. Solder points on the back were what me ask this question. So I should be able to use a sound card in the bottom x16 slot and still have the video card operating at x16? NukeDukem did the video card go to x16 when you pulled the sound card?

I also read the bottom x16 slot is only PCI-E 2.0 and shares bandwidth with the nearest M.2. Picking up a Hero from Microcenter in case it doesn't work out or I don't like the ASROCK BIOS / fan control. Really want the dual BIOS and switch though.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
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Feb 9, 2002
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56,454
Thanks everybody. Solder points on the back were what me ask this question. So I should be able to use a sound card in the bottom x16 slot and still have the video card operating at x16? NukeDukem did the video card go to x16 when you pulled the sound card?

I also read the bottom x16 slot is only PCI-E 2.0 and shares bandwidth with the nearest M.2. Picking up a Hero from Microcenter in case it doesn't work out or I don't like the ASROCK BIOS / fan control. Really want the dual BIOS and switch though.
Yes, you should be able to use the sound card in the bottom PCIe x16 slot and run the graphics card with all 16 lanes. That said, there is no practical difference between running at x8 and x16. If this concerns you, why not test this yourself? You will probably come to the same conclusion everyone else does in that it doesn't really matter. Lastly, all PCI-Express slots on Z370 based motherboards are PCIe 3.0 compliant. As for sharing bandwidth with other resources, that's possible. You would have to check the manual for that motherboard specifically to know if this is the case or not.

From the ASRock Tachi Z370 product page, the last slot shares bandwidth with SATA ports, not M.2 slots.
 
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