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UPDATE: My new Asus Prime X299-A build



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 26th 18, 07:07 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
Bill Anderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 243
Default UPDATE: My new Asus Prime X299-A build

I see from the date of my first newsgroup post on this subject that I've
been working on motherboard problems for about two months now. So
here's an update for anybody who's interested.

My old Asus P9X79: I finally had to concede it has gone bad. Nothing I
tried would fix things. A new PS didn't help and my suspicions about my
Colossus video capture card were misplaced too. Nope, the solution was
to replace the whole mainboard (and processor and memory) and now things
are working again. Anybody want a used P9X79? It works great as long
as you don't turn it off and try to start it again; for that you'll need
time and patience. But it's real pretty.

My new Asus Prime X299-A: As of yesterday afternoon it's working just
great, blazing fast at most things, stable, kinda amazing, actually. I
mean, you click on something like Word or Firefox and, boom, it appears
and you just gotta go wow! But even though I think I'm going to love it
in the long run, I didn't get to where I am now without a few potholes
along the road.

Here's what's installed on the new board:

**Processor: OctalCore Intel Core i7-7820X
**Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61 liquid cooling
**Memory: 16GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance
**Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
**Storage, Boot Drive: Samsung NVMe SSD 960 500GB M.2 slot
**Storage, Secondary Boot Drive: Samsung SSD 840 250GB SATA III
**Storage, Four more SATA III HHDs, 3TB (2), 5TB (2)
**Video Captu Hauppauge Colossus II
**Optical Drive: Pioneer BD-RW

Observations, Problems and Solutions:

When I got it all installed it wouldn't boot. It would power up, shut
down, power up, shut down, etc. So I started pulling things out and
discovered the problem was the Hauppauge Colossus video capture card.
When it was installed, no boot. Pull it out, system boots fine. Well,
I figured that stupid card had been my problem all along ... but no, it
turned out buying a replacement, which I did, was a waste of my money.
Seems the X299-A is fussy about which PCIe slots are used when an SSD is
plugged into an M.2 slot. Or something like that. Whatever, my new
Colossus card is working great now that I have it plugged into a working
slot. And the old Colossus card? Well, it's working great too, in a
different computer I've built with leftover parts and an el cheapo MBO.
(More on that in another post.)

The BIOS on this board is flaky, I don't care what anybody says. And
yes, I've flashed to the very latest version (1401) from the Asus
website. Sometimes when in BIOS the mouse will freeze, requiring
power-down and making me long for the days when I navigated BIOS with
arrow keys. But worse, and this was a problem that kept me occupied for
days and days, sometimes BIOS would arbitrarily scramble HDD boot order
and I'd find myself in an OS installation I didn't want to be in. Yeah,
I've loaded three different OS installations on the computer -- all
Win10 but each different. One is my main OS, another is an Insider
program installation (the latest beta Windows), and the third is
installed in a small partition on the back end of one of my SATA HDDs.
I use it as a testbed for things I want to try out before installing
them alongside my important stuff. And for a long time when booting my
new system I kept finding myself in the testbed instead of my primary
OS. It was easy to press F8 during boot and choose the OS I wanted (all
three of them would load fine when chosen this way), but as far as
depending upon my primary OS to be the default OS, I was out of luck. I
thought maybe the problem was the M.2 NVMe slot I was using, which was
buried under a metal plate beneath the graphics card. This slot lets
the NVMe card lie flat on the MBO. So I tried removing it and using the
M.2 slot that makes the NVMe card stand vertically (and vulnerably) on
the MBO, but that didn't help. Through lots of trial and error
involving removing the NVMe card and booting from an SSD, I discovered
the problem lay in my testbed installation. Once I tore those three
Win10 partitions down to unallocated space and re-installed Win10, my
problem with scrambled OS order went away. At least it hasn't recurred
since I discovered what I'm pretty sure is the fix I needed. It's been
almost 24 hours since I re-installed Win10 testbed, and all three OS
installations seem to be working as expected now. I really like seeing
what I expect to see when I turn on the computer.

Speaking of OS installations, that M.2 slot under the metal plate that's
under the graphics card is not the slot to use if you want to be able to
turn your NVMe card off easily. Apparently you can't disable an M.2
slot in bios; if a card is plugged into one it's going to be active
unless you remove it. And since I don't want to be stuck with Windows
Boot Manager, the only way to avoid triggering it when installing a
second (or third) version of Windows is to unplug any drive that has
Win10 already installed. So while that NVMe card makes me nervous
sticking up like that, it's nice to have it in an M.2 slot that's easily
accessible. Cuz you don't want to remove your graphics adapter and
unscrew a metal plate every time you want to unplug an SSD.

The Asus Prime X299-A has only one USB 2 connector on the motherboard.
There are two USB 3 connectors, and that's nice -- I'm using them both
-- but I needed two USB 2 connectors: one for my case's front panel and
the other for my NZXT Kraken CPU cooler. So I found a nice little
converter on Amazon and now I have all the USB 2 connectors I could ever
want, stuck to the inside of the case with double sided tape. And I have
two working USB2 ports I'll probably never use on the front panel of my
case. Why did I want them to work? Because I wanted them to work,
that's why.

I've had so much fun installing this new MBO and figuring out solutions
to problems I'm almost glad my old P9X79 failed. Almost.

--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog
  #2  
Old June 26th 18, 08:25 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
Paul[_26_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 766
Default UPDATE: My new Asus Prime X299-A build

Bill Anderson wrote:
I see from the date of my first newsgroup post on this subject that I've
been working on motherboard problems for about two months now. So
here's an update for anybody who's interested.

My old Asus P9X79: I finally had to concede it has gone bad. Nothing I
tried would fix things. A new PS didn't help and my suspicions about my
Colossus video capture card were misplaced too. Nope, the solution was
to replace the whole mainboard (and processor and memory) and now things
are working again. Anybody want a used P9X79? It works great as long
as you don't turn it off and try to start it again; for that you'll need
time and patience. But it's real pretty.

My new Asus Prime X299-A: As of yesterday afternoon it's working just
great, blazing fast at most things, stable, kinda amazing, actually. I
mean, you click on something like Word or Firefox and, boom, it appears
and you just gotta go wow! But even though I think I'm going to love it
in the long run, I didn't get to where I am now without a few potholes
along the road.

Here's what's installed on the new board:

**Processor: OctalCore Intel Core i7-7820X
**Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61 liquid cooling
**Memory: 16GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance
**Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
**Storage, Boot Drive: Samsung NVMe SSD 960 500GB M.2 slot
**Storage, Secondary Boot Drive: Samsung SSD 840 250GB SATA III
**Storage, Four more SATA III HHDs, 3TB (2), 5TB (2)
**Video Captu Hauppauge Colossus II
**Optical Drive: Pioneer BD-RW

Observations, Problems and Solutions:

When I got it all installed it wouldn't boot. It would power up, shut
down, power up, shut down, etc. So I started pulling things out and
discovered the problem was the Hauppauge Colossus video capture card.
When it was installed, no boot. Pull it out, system boots fine. Well,
I figured that stupid card had been my problem all along ... but no, it
turned out buying a replacement, which I did, was a waste of my money.
Seems the X299-A is fussy about which PCIe slots are used when an SSD is
plugged into an M.2 slot. Or something like that. Whatever, my new
Colossus card is working great now that I have it plugged into a working
slot. And the old Colossus card? Well, it's working great too, in a
different computer I've built with leftover parts and an el cheapo MBO.
(More on that in another post.)

The BIOS on this board is flaky, I don't care what anybody says. And
yes, I've flashed to the very latest version (1401) from the Asus
website. Sometimes when in BIOS the mouse will freeze, requiring
power-down and making me long for the days when I navigated BIOS with
arrow keys. But worse, and this was a problem that kept me occupied for
days and days, sometimes BIOS would arbitrarily scramble HDD boot order
and I'd find myself in an OS installation I didn't want to be in. Yeah,
I've loaded three different OS installations on the computer -- all
Win10 but each different. One is my main OS, another is an Insider
program installation (the latest beta Windows), and the third is
installed in a small partition on the back end of one of my SATA HDDs. I
use it as a testbed for things I want to try out before installing them
alongside my important stuff. And for a long time when booting my new
system I kept finding myself in the testbed instead of my primary OS. It
was easy to press F8 during boot and choose the OS I wanted (all three
of them would load fine when chosen this way), but as far as depending
upon my primary OS to be the default OS, I was out of luck. I thought
maybe the problem was the M.2 NVMe slot I was using, which was buried
under a metal plate beneath the graphics card. This slot lets the NVMe
card lie flat on the MBO. So I tried removing it and using the M.2 slot
that makes the NVMe card stand vertically (and vulnerably) on the MBO,
but that didn't help. Through lots of trial and error involving
removing the NVMe card and booting from an SSD, I discovered the problem
lay in my testbed installation. Once I tore those three Win10
partitions down to unallocated space and re-installed Win10, my problem
with scrambled OS order went away. At least it hasn't recurred since I
discovered what I'm pretty sure is the fix I needed. It's been almost
24 hours since I re-installed Win10 testbed, and all three OS
installations seem to be working as expected now. I really like seeing
what I expect to see when I turn on the computer.

Speaking of OS installations, that M.2 slot under the metal plate that's
under the graphics card is not the slot to use if you want to be able to
turn your NVMe card off easily. Apparently you can't disable an M.2
slot in bios; if a card is plugged into one it's going to be active
unless you remove it. And since I don't want to be stuck with Windows
Boot Manager, the only way to avoid triggering it when installing a
second (or third) version of Windows is to unplug any drive that has
Win10 already installed. So while that NVMe card makes me nervous
sticking up like that, it's nice to have it in an M.2 slot that's easily
accessible. Cuz you don't want to remove your graphics adapter and
unscrew a metal plate every time you want to unplug an SSD.

The Asus Prime X299-A has only one USB 2 connector on the motherboard.
There are two USB 3 connectors, and that's nice -- I'm using them both
-- but I needed two USB 2 connectors: one for my case's front panel and
the other for my NZXT Kraken CPU cooler. So I found a nice little
converter on Amazon and now I have all the USB 2 connectors I could ever
want, stuck to the inside of the case with double sided tape. And I have
two working USB2 ports I'll probably never use on the front panel of my
case. Why did I want them to work? Because I wanted them to work,
that's why.

I've had so much fun installing this new MBO and figuring out solutions
to problems I'm almost glad my old P9X79 failed. Almost.


7820X

2066 Core i7 i7-7820X(U0) Skylake-X 3.6GHz 11MB 140W lanes=28

Slot x16_3 doesn't work with a 28-Lane CPU (page 1-8)

Only a 44-Lane CPU has all (big) slots working.

The manual isn't clear as to how the smaller
slots are provisioned. Some can come off the PCH (X299).

The PCH I/O is provisionable. Which means they can use
some wires from X299 as SATA or PCIe, when designing the thing.
That suggests the small slots might work all the
time, that's if they did a good job. The PCH has as
many as 24 lanes. Three M.2 slots would be 12 lanes.
x4,x4,x1 PCIe slots would use 9 lanes. That leaves
3 lanes left. The LAN port might take a lane.
The USB3 Gen2 might take two lanes (if done with
an external chip).

If you download the X299 datasheet, there's probably
a table of how the wiring can be juggled to do all that.

USB3 connectors have 9 pins. Four of the pins are
USB2 pins, if it matters. You can still plug
USB2 devices into a USB3 connector.

And it's a good question, what kind of controls
exist for PCIe disablement. I don't have any
NVMe capable systems here to play with, to see.

Section 3.6.7 in the manual, shows complicated
interactions between slots.

PCIEX4_1 and PCIEX16_3 (on a 28-lane CPU, maybe
neither work???)

PCIEX1 and U31G2_E3 (lane sharing, either/OR)

SATA78 and PCIEX4_2 (lane sharing, either/OR)

Looks like a plate-ful of HEDT manual reading.

Paul
  #3  
Old June 28th 18, 06:28 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
Bill Anderson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 243
Default UPDATE: My new Asus Prime X299-A build

On 6/26/2018 2:25 PM, Paul wrote:
Bill Anderson wrote:
I see from the date of my first newsgroup post on this subject that
I've been working on motherboard problems for about two months now.
So here's an update for anybody who's interested.

My old Asus P9X79: I finally had to concede it has gone bad.* Nothing
I tried would fix things. A new PS didn't help and my suspicions about
my Colossus video capture card were misplaced too.* Nope, the solution
was to replace the whole mainboard (and processor and memory) and now
things are working again.* Anybody want a used P9X79?* It works great
as long as you don't turn it off and try to start it again; for that
you'll need time and patience.* But it's real pretty.

My new Asus Prime X299-A: As of yesterday afternoon it's working just
great, blazing fast at most things, stable, kinda amazing, actually.
I mean, you click on something like Word or Firefox and, boom, it
appears and you just gotta go wow!* But even though I think I'm going
to love it in the long run, I didn't get to where I am now without a
few potholes along the road.

Here's what's installed on the new board:

**Processor: OctalCore Intel Core i7-7820X
**Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61 liquid cooling
**Memory: 16GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance
**Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
**Storage, Boot Drive: Samsung NVMe SSD 960 500GB M.2 slot
**Storage, Secondary Boot Drive: Samsung SSD 840 250GB SATA III
**Storage, Four more SATA III HHDs, 3TB (2), 5TB (2)
**Video Captu Hauppauge Colossus II
**Optical Drive: Pioneer BD-RW

Observations, Problems and Solutions:

When I got it all installed it wouldn't boot.* It would power up, shut
down, power up, shut down, etc.* So I started pulling things out and
discovered the problem was the Hauppauge Colossus video capture card.
When it was installed, no boot.* Pull it out, system boots fine.
Well, I figured that stupid card had been my problem all along ... but
no, it turned out buying a replacement, which I did, was a waste of my
money. Seems the X299-A is fussy about which PCIe slots are used when
an SSD is plugged into an M.2 slot. Or something like that.* Whatever,
my new Colossus card is working great now that I have it plugged into
a working slot.* And the old Colossus card?* Well, it's working great
too, in a different computer I've built with leftover parts and an el
cheapo MBO. (More on that in another post.)

The BIOS on this board is flaky, I don't care what anybody says.* And
yes, I've flashed to the very latest version (1401) from the Asus
website. Sometimes when in BIOS the mouse will freeze, requiring
power-down and making me long for the days when I navigated BIOS with
arrow keys. But worse, and this was a problem that kept me occupied
for days and days, sometimes BIOS would arbitrarily scramble HDD boot
order and I'd find myself in an OS installation I didn't want to be
in.* Yeah, I've loaded three different OS installations on the
computer -- all Win10 but each different.* One is my main OS, another
is an Insider program installation (the latest beta Windows), and the
third is installed in a small partition on the back end of one of my
SATA HDDs. I use it as a testbed for things I want to try out before
installing them alongside my important stuff.* And for a long time
when booting my new system I kept finding myself in the testbed
instead of my primary OS. It was easy to press F8 during boot and
choose the OS I wanted (all three of them would load fine when chosen
this way), but as far as depending upon my primary OS to be the
default OS, I was out of luck.* I thought maybe the problem was the
M.2 NVMe slot I was using, which was buried under a metal plate
beneath the graphics card.* This slot lets the NVMe card lie flat on
the MBO.* So I tried removing it and using the M.2 slot that makes the
NVMe card stand vertically (and vulnerably) on the MBO, but that
didn't help.* Through lots of trial and error involving removing the
NVMe card and booting from an SSD, I discovered the problem lay in my
testbed installation.* Once I tore those three Win10 partitions down
to unallocated space and re-installed Win10, my problem with scrambled
OS order went away.* At least it hasn't recurred since I discovered
what I'm pretty sure is the fix I needed.* It's been almost 24 hours
since I re-installed Win10 testbed, and all three OS installations
seem to be working as expected now.* I really like seeing what I
expect to see when I turn on the computer.

Speaking of OS installations, that M.2 slot under the metal plate
that's under the graphics card is not the slot to use if you want to
be able to turn your NVMe card off easily.* Apparently you can't
disable an M.2 slot in bios; if a card is plugged into one it's going
to be active unless you remove it.* And since I don't want to be stuck
with Windows Boot Manager, the only way to avoid triggering it when
installing a second (or third) version of Windows is to unplug any
drive that has Win10 already installed.* So while that NVMe card makes
me nervous sticking up like that, it's nice to have it in an M.2 slot
that's easily accessible. Cuz you don't want to remove your graphics
adapter and unscrew a metal plate every time you want to unplug an SSD.

The Asus Prime X299-A has only one USB 2 connector on the motherboard.
There* are two USB 3 connectors, and that's nice -- I'm using them
both -- but I needed two USB 2 connectors: one for my case's front
panel and the other for my NZXT Kraken CPU cooler.* So I found a nice
little converter on Amazon and now I have all the USB 2 connectors I
could ever want, stuck to the inside of the case with double sided
tape. And I have two working USB2 ports I'll probably never use on the
front panel of my case.* Why did I want them to work?* Because I
wanted them to work, that's why.

I've had so much fun installing this new MBO and figuring out
solutions to problems I'm almost glad my old P9X79 failed.* Almost.


7820X

2066 Core i7 i7-7820X(U0)* Skylake-X** 3.6GHz 11MB*** 140W** lanes=28

Slot x16_3 doesn't work with a 28-Lane CPU (page 1-8)

Only a 44-Lane CPU has all (big) slots working.

The manual isn't clear as to how the smaller
slots are provisioned. Some can come off the PCH (X299).

The PCH I/O is provisionable. Which means they can use
some wires from X299 as SATA or PCIe, when designing the thing.
That suggests the small slots might work all the
time, that's if they did a good job. The PCH has as
many as 24 lanes. Three M.2 slots would be 12 lanes.
x4,x4,x1 PCIe slots would use 9 lanes. That leaves
3 lanes left. The LAN port might take a lane.
The USB3 Gen2 might take two lanes (if done with
an external chip).

If you download the X299 datasheet, there's probably
a table of how the wiring can be juggled to do all that.

USB3 connectors have 9 pins. Four of the pins are
USB2 pins, if it matters. You can still plug
USB2 devices into a USB3 connector.

And it's a good question, what kind of controls
exist for PCIe disablement. I don't have any
NVMe capable systems here to play with, to see.

Section 3.6.7 in the manual, shows complicated
interactions between slots.

** PCIEX4_1 and PCIEX16_3* (on a 28-lane CPU, maybe
************************* ** neither work???)

** PCIEX1 and U31G2_E3**** (lane sharing, either/OR)

** SATA78 and PCIEX4_2**** (lane sharing, either/OR)

Looks like a plate-ful of HEDT manual reading.

** Paul



Well, maybe I should have sprung for the i9 after all. In reading up on
it I thought I learned the extra cores would be useful only for extreme
gamers. But if the i9 would give me more slots (or maybe I wonder make
the bottom two SATA sockets functional?) then I would like to have one.
Maybe someday if the i9 price drops.

I won't be juggling the wiring, but thanks just the same. I am
thoroughly happy with my new board and every day that goes by without
problems I get even happier. It is so fast, and (finally) stable. I
like. And thanks again for your advice and support.

--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog
 




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