Question Asrock z97k Killer/Evga 980ti Hybrid/M2 NVME drive

Feb 14, 2019
Hello all ... I'm hoping someone can help me so I can stop beating my head on the wall :D

I have an Asrock z97k killer motherboard, i7-4790k cpu (not OC'ed, thought it is watercooled), and an Evga gtx980ti Hybrid card.

According to the Asrock Manual, the graphics card needs to be installed in the PCIE2 slot, closest to the CPU so it will operate at x16 lanes.

However, when I have the card in that slot, but PC runs likes garbage. It takes longer to boot up, it takes longer to load a game, and if I am lucky, I'll get MAYBE 7fps. If I get the game to load, it takes FOREVER to exit out it's so laggy.

If I put the card in the PCIE4 slot, it will work fine, however the card will only operate at x8 lanes. So I'm not getting the full benefit of the card =(.

I do have a Samsung MZVPV256HDGL-000H1 nvme M2 drive in the M2 slot. That slot is directly under the x16 pcie slot. It's stamped on the Motherboard next to the m2 slot (pcie/m2). I don't know if it's shared with the x16 slot or not, and I can not find ANY manuals explaining that it is.

I've reset the bios. I pulled the battery and the moved the pin to reset the bios. I'm updated to the latest bios (2.60).

I'm at my wits end trying to figure this out. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've sent a message to Asrock tech support, but I don't know if I will hear back from them or not.

Take a look at this block diagram. You will see that PCI Express lanes for the video cards connect directly to the CPU, while the other lanes connect to the chipset (even the x1 slots). There is no sharing of the lanes.

I suspect the motherboard is damaged in such a way that a video card in PCIE2 (the main video card slot) is causing problems. I'm kinda surprised it just doesn't crash. No worries, stick your card in PCIE4 until you decide to upgrade. The difference between the slots is bandwidth ... The x4 slot (sorry boss, not an x8) can still move 4GB/sec ... that's a lot of data. From benchmarks it looks like you will lose about 10% of the potential frame rate (with an x16). While it sucks, it will keep you going. With some luck ASRock will replace the board.