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Thread: ASUS Z9PE- d8 R290x quad crossfire support?

  1. #1
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    ASUS Z9PE- d8 R290x quad crossfire support?

    Hi all, it's been a long while since I posted around here, but in dire need of help with an issue that after an absolutely monstrous amount of trouble shooting, can only be down to a motherboard bios issue, and yes it's got the latest one installed and still behaves the same way as with past releases (tried 2 previous releases).



    So, I have 4 XFX R290x with 8 GB on each, water cooled and the most I've ever been truly stable with is with 2 cards in crossfire, with the third being detected properly and runs for a couple of weeks, but every now and then I get the odd crash to desktop, or even a blue screen that actually corrupts the drivers, and have to reinstall them from scratch.....The 4th card is never detected at all, regardless of Bios version used, or on a fresh install of either Windows 7 pro or windows 8 pro......The problems are exactly the same under either O/S, so that rules out the O/S itself.



    Power wise I have a pair of 1200 watt Corsair PSU's where the load is split between both of them, so power problems when there's 200 amps at the 12 line is more than enough to power everything with a fair amount to spare....



    The cards themselves work fine, as I tried each one separately and it's properly detected in either O/S, no matter which slot it's plugged into and I did the same for all the cards.....The maximum that will ever be detected will be 3 cards no matter which one's they are, or what slots they use, or which O/S is installed......The 4th one, even though fully working when tested on it's own, will never be detected by windows no matter what I do, so it's not a hardware defect on the motherboard or any of the 4 cards....



    Contacted Asus support and explained the problem and the tech seemed to agree that after all that process of elimination, the issue seems to be the bios.....Problem is that was 4 months ago and there's still no new update on the bios front.....



    It's a long shot, but anyone know if there's a way around this that doesn't involve changing cards to something else? ( heck I'd even try a modded Bios if it works).


    Thanks.
    Last edited by Shadow0001; 06-23-2015 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Xtreme Member Sidebinder's Avatar
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    I'd imagine you're going to have quite a bit of difficulty finding any Tech Support and don't expect them to release a BIOS to fix it. It could be a seemingly infinite amount of things, simple as card positioning or crossfire bridge positioning. It goes on and on.

    The board is even advertised with: "Enhanced parallel GPU computing power with seven PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots" and touted as having Quad SLI and Quad Crossfire Support.

    It could just be YOUR Board, in particular. In your process of elimination, did you try another Z9PE-D8? The whole thing sounds very elegant but you gotta admit you were defeated from the get go going with the Dual Socket, Lol. You are probably at the point where you should be considering dusting off the Warranty Card or w/e and seeking RMA.
    Last edited by Sidebinder; 06-23-2015 at 05:15 PM.
    SB2 System:
    Tower: CoolerMaster Elite 371 | PSU: Master: ThermalTake Smart M 850W Slave: CX750
    CPU: AMD (CrapDriver; ) FX-8350 @ 4.6GHz on 1.45V's | GFX: Gigabyte 7970:HiS R9 280X:Gigabyte 280X @ 1150MHz/1500MHz on 1.2VDDC's 96CU's:384TMU's:96ROP's or .110 TPixels/.442 TTexels
    MOBO: M5A99FX PRO R2.0 @ 240MHz NB'd on 1.2V's | Mem: 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (9-9-9-24-1T) @ Stock -.2V's
    HDD: Primary'd: Seagate 600 Pro 240GB SSD-Slave'd: Hitachi 1TB | Media Drive: ASUS DVD-Burner
    Cooling: Tower - 1990's Old School Lasko Box Fan|CPU - Corsair H110 with (2x) Silverstone FHP-141Push and Pull|GFX - Stock|NB - Stock|SB - Stock|Mem - Stock

  3. #3
    Assistant Administrator Buckeye's Avatar
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    Sorry for a dumb question...
    Do you have 2x CPU's installed ?

    I used to run this board and after a while I found it had its issues, at the time I did not have any AMD cards to test.

    Of so if you install 2x GPU's they will work in crossfire just fine.
    Using 3x GPU's it works but you have issues.
    Using 4x GPU's.. the 4th will never show up.

    I have found AMD cards to be some what strange on later SM boards I have tested. I now have 4x W9000's and had issues on a X10DRG-Q.
    The problem with SM boards is first you have to boot with one card, enter the BIOS and set "Above 4G Decoding" to "Enable", save then install the rest of the cards.

    I look at your board in the manual and did not see this setting, but I bet there is something like this, just called something different.

  4. #4
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    I reseated the cards so many times I lost count, and as I mentioned earlier, I tried all 4 cards when they still had the stock coolers, in each X16 slot ( all 4 cards), and fired up windows and it sees all 4 of them no problems as separate cards.


    Then I added 1 by one gradually filling each slot, and firing up windows in between each install......Sees up to the 3rd card, and then get nothing when the 4th and last one is plugged in.....Windows (both of them, with all patches installed), simply doesn't see it.


    R290x's no longer need the crossfire bridge ribbon cable.....They crossfire using the PCI bus itself, and I use the system for work too.....Gaming is just an extra perk that the board does quite well, even if not the fastest because most of the CPU cores are going ....ZZZzzzZZZzzzZZZzz....:P
    Last edited by Shadow0001; 06-23-2015 at 06:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    I have a pair of E5 2650 v2's, and indeed each CPU controls a pair of cards......I'd never see beyond a pair if I had just one CPU onboard.....

    Any idea on what " set above 4g decoding" does?.......I seem I have seen this setting in the Bios, at least in the latest one but have to check to be sure...

  6. #6
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    ASUS just jumps on the next big thing.

    Couldn't access BIOS with my Logitech gaming keyboard but the update did nothing.
    With the release of Win 10 (10130) a clean install doesn't work, got errors about missing unspecified devices.
    I use ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS and GeForce Titan Z so you have a similar setup I supose.

  7. #7
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    Tested my card on different slots as it is controlled by either CPU 1 or 2 according with link status in the manual.
    Set above 4G decoding has something to do about 64-bit PCI, tested it and windows didn't complain.

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    I have it and enabled it, but the catalyst control panel is taking forever to load, so I think i'll remove and install the drivers with the setting enabled......Something changed that's for sure....:P

  9. #9
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    Doesn't seen to like the above 4G setting enabled in the bios......Windows detects 3 cards( not the 4th......), but the catalyst control panel doesn't have the crossfire option at all, so it only sees 1 card basically.


    Guess we turn that back off me thinks...:P

  10. #10
    Assistant Administrator Buckeye's Avatar
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    Your booting UEFI ?

    I know on the SM boards if 4G decoding is disabled and I install a 690gtx it will not even post, so I had to switch back to a single GPU card, enable it in the BIOS and away it goes.

    Its funny that my main rig right now is ASUS Z10PE-D16 WS and it has 4G decoding disabled in the BIOS by default and the board will boot just fine with 2x Titan Blacks, on the SM board it would not.

    So clearly manufactures are doing different things with BIOS's and PCIe busses.

  11. #11
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    So back to disabled it went, and I got 3 way crossfire back, but windows still doesn't see the 4th one....


    Would be nice if there was more documentation on what each settings does exactly, as it's a little light on the details in both the bios and the manual....:P

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
    Your booting UEFI ?

    I know on the SM boards if 4G decoding is disabled and I install a 690gtx it will not even post, so I had to switch back to a single GPU card, enable it in the BIOS and away it goes.

    Its funny that my main rig right now is ASUS Z10PE-D16 WS and it has 4G decoding disabled in the BIOS by default and the board will boot just fine with 2x Titan Blacks, on the SM board it would not.

    So clearly manufactures are doing different things with BIOS's and PCIe busses.

    I guess that with the last 2 Bios releases, it can handle 3 cards while still having "Decoding above 4G" disabled.....At least with R290x's.


    So hard to know why different hardware behaves so differently, when it should all be standardized anyhow.

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    I'll check if UEFI is enabled.....BRB

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    Looking thru the bios settings that specifically relate to how the PCI-e lanes are managed, the only things that stuck out are 2 options, and the first is PCI-e bifurcation control which has these options repeated at least 3~4 times, which I'm guessing is for each X16 PCI-e slot:

    4x4x4x4.
    4x4xx8.
    x8x8.
    x16 <---- All of them are set in this one, Any ideas on what might this be for?


    The other is the ASPM Level, which forces all links to LOs state ( no idea what's this for to be honest).

  15. #15
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    The UEFI option doesn't exist in the latest BIOS....

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    I can also disable the PCI-e slots that I'm currently not using to see if that makes a difference....Could I be hitting motherboard Rom limits with 4 X6 cards plugged in?...

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    Made no difference disabling or enabling them, so it's not that either.......Leaves that PCI-e bifurcation control setting and the ASPM setting, and if those don't do anything then it's ASUS simply not bothering testing more than 2 card configurations, at least when it comes to AMD hardware.


    That's the frustrating part....I know the board works and the cards do as well, and it isn't a software or a power issue either.....



    I'll keep in mind to stay with 2 cards next time I get new cards......4 cards is just to far on the wild side for motherboard makers to bother with.

  18. #18
    Assistant Administrator Buckeye's Avatar
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    UEFI is a boot option.
    Usually this is used for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
    UEFI is a boot option.
    Usually this is used for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10


    It isn't there in this BIOS.....I looked, and there's nothing below the boot device seeking option you see in the picture.

    I'm using Windows 7 64 bit Pro anyhow

  20. #20
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    Crazy idea time......There shouldn't be any differences between the BIOS for windows 7 or windows 8 right?


    The options should be the same since not everyone is going to use the same O/S all the time right?

  21. #21
    Assistant Administrator Buckeye's Avatar
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    There is no difference between BIOS's and different OS's.

    What BIOS version do you have ?

    This is what mine was.


  22. #22
    Xtreme Member Sidebinder's Avatar
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    It's going to be 1 hell of a rig if you ever do get it working, low core clocks or not...I read the manual on this board before shopping for a Multi-Socket System. It read like the Valhalla of Non-OC'able 3D.

    It'd be nice to see at least one of the BIG-BIG's like ASUS, MSi or even MEGABYTE and Arsrock make and support boards with full Quadro Fire/SLi functionality and Dual Socket OC'ing Options comparable to their Client/Consumer level Single Socket boards.
    SB2 System:
    Tower: CoolerMaster Elite 371 | PSU: Master: ThermalTake Smart M 850W Slave: CX750
    CPU: AMD (CrapDriver; ) FX-8350 @ 4.6GHz on 1.45V's | GFX: Gigabyte 7970:HiS R9 280X:Gigabyte 280X @ 1150MHz/1500MHz on 1.2VDDC's 96CU's:384TMU's:96ROP's or .110 TPixels/.442 TTexels
    MOBO: M5A99FX PRO R2.0 @ 240MHz NB'd on 1.2V's | Mem: 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (9-9-9-24-1T) @ Stock -.2V's
    HDD: Primary'd: Seagate 600 Pro 240GB SSD-Slave'd: Hitachi 1TB | Media Drive: ASUS DVD-Burner
    Cooling: Tower - 1990's Old School Lasko Box Fan|CPU - Corsair H110 with (2x) Silverstone FHP-141Push and Pull|GFX - Stock|NB - Stock|SB - Stock|Mem - Stock

  23. #23
    Assistant Administrator Buckeye's Avatar
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    If your talking about Multiplier OCing it will never happen on a dual CPU platform, only BCLCK can be done and on X10 you are looking at maybe 104-105 and that's it.

    The ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS and ASUS Z10PE-D16 WS are very good boards and Supermicro's X10DAX close behind, its more of a workstation board tho.
    But so far those 3 boards are it.

  24. #24
    Assistant Administrator Buckeye's Avatar
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    This is what I am currently using... ASUS TS700-E8-RS8
    http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/709...iew/index.html

    2x E5-2698 V3's
    128GB Crucial DDR4
    2x Titan Blacks
    2x SandDisk X210 SSD's in the back for Raid 0 OS drive.

    I mostly do work on it but it games in 4K just fine.

  25. #25
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    I'm using the latest Bios (5701 release)......Needed it to make the Corsair K70 keyboard behave actually, but it is 4+ months old now and I did report my issue with an Asus tech support guy on the phone, shortly after this bios was released, but still nothing happened


    As for performance, and just on 3 cards: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/5143515
    Last edited by Shadow0001; 06-24-2015 at 10:57 AM.

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