Question Is my Maximus Apex XII Motherboard broken or am I just too stupid?

Jan 8, 2021
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Hi all,

I have installed my 970 Evo Plus nvme and its working in windows.

My problem is that no mather what i try mt NvME wont run at x4 speed. In bios its set to Gen3 and to M.2_1 x4 which is the only onbord slot for nvme.
It runs half speed as if it was set to x2. Its not!
There are no SATA devices connected. Just this one NvME at slot M.2_1.
Manual says when M.2_1(PCH) slot is used with a x4 device then Slot PCIe 3.0 x4 will be disabled. That fine, have my GPU at PCIe 3.0 x16_1 slot.

Bios, Chipset, drivers and firmware are all latest. Also have the Samsung NvME driver.

I have reinstalled Windows six times the last 7 days of troubleshooting and im out of ideas.

Is this Motherboard not supposed to be able to handle this setup? Or maybe there are some advanced power settings that i dont know of.

When I run CrystalDiskMark its gives ~1700 MB/s Read and Write. It should be about 3000 MB/s.

I have given up myself and just dont know what to fix it.

You guys are my last hope! Please help :)


CrystalDiskMark, CrystalDiskInfo and SiSoftware screenshots are below specs.

Specs:

Intel Core I9-10850K
Rog Maximus Apex XII z490 (Bios1003_latest)
Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB Nvme
Crucial Ballistix Max DDR4-4000Mhz CL18 2x16GB
Asus strix RTX 3090 oc

Benchmarks and SiSoftware
 
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Jan 8, 2021
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are you running the Samsung NVME drivers? I don't know if it would make any difference but maybe - its here under driver - https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/download/tools/

it could be a drive problem - https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?115965-M-2_1-slow-speed
Thanks you for replying

Samsung NVME drivers are installed. I have read that post you link to. Like all the other post in that forum regarding NVME.

I have used SiSoftware Sandra to see if i could see something but its way over my head. Dont know what to look for and whats normal.

Here are two pics of my Bios settings :

View: https://imgur.com/a/95UMbSy


Here are two pics from SiSoft Saandra :

View: https://imgur.com/a/nLQjIis


These two txt files shows Sisoft benchmark of drive and Bus, There are so many Warnings and it just dont look right to me.
No OC done, maybe that results in many warnings i dont know.
https://www.mediafire.com/file/kxdw9c8u6anldfj/SiSoftwareSandra.txt/file


Are you able to look at it and see whats wrong?

Im really out of ideas.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Processor
It seems your Vcore on every core is higher than it should be, might want to check that in bios.
every 4th note says - Mainboard supports faster CPUs, so the CPU can be upgraded when needed. which isn't really a problem
Since you have 10 cores with hyperthreading, its the same notes 20 times.

try using samsung magician to update firmware on nvme, i don't know if it will help

I am not sure what difference between m.2_1 x4 and PCIEX4 x4 is. I tried to figure it out.

1700 MB/s Read and Write. It should be about 3000 MB/s.
higher than that. should be double. mine below
 
Jan 8, 2021
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Processor
It seems your Vcore on every core is higher than it should be, might want to check that in bios.
every 4th note says - Mainboard supports faster CPUs, so the CPU can be upgraded when needed. which isn't really a problem
Since you have 10 cores with hyperthreading, its the same notes 20 times.

try using samsung magician to update firmware on nvme, i don't know if it will help

I am not sure what difference between m.2_1 x4 and PCIEX4 x4 is. I tried to figure it out.


higher than that. should be double. mine below
Thanks again

In my original post in picture number 2 you can see Samsung Magician fully opdated.

Regarding shared bandwidth :
When M.2_1 slot is populated with a x4 device then pciex4 slot will be disabled and the other way around. Vcore is set to auto. Have tried manual up to 1.40 with same result. Have tried to overclock the entire system with no luck.
 
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Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
looking at motherboard layout I understand why now. I was thinking its something other than what it is...
PCIEx4 slot is in line with the m.2_1 socket, so you can't have anything in both at same time... slaps self :)

doesn't get me any closer to answering question. BIOS looks fine, there isn't anything in windows that changes speed of NVME. I feel its the drive that is slow here, not the BIOS.

the guy on 2nd page of this post had similar problem, nvme just running slow. Might want to rma it - https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/samsung-970-evo-plus-half-speed.3516960/
 
Jan 8, 2021
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According to the manual :

M.2_1 shares bandwidth with PCIe x4 slot, when M.2_1 is populated with x2 device, PCIe x4 slot will run at x1 mode, when M.2_1 is populated with a x4 device, PCIe x4 slot wil be disabled.

I seems like the NVME is recognized as a x2 device or i might be wrong.

I have purchased 2 x Samsung Evo plus 1tb NVME and both shows same readings. They are both brand new. So i really doubt thats the issue.

https://rog.asus.com/motherboards/rog-maximus/rog-maximus-xii-apex-model/helpdesk_manual/

Thanks for the link. His CrystalDiskInfo shows x2 mode. Mine shows x4 mode.

Sorry about its in danish but i think you will get it.

View: https://imgur.com/a/M80Cfut
 
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Jan 8, 2021
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Try BIOS update to latest version.

Did your board come with DIMM.2 module. Try installing M.2 drive in that.
Hi SkyNetRisiing :)

The Bios is updated to latest(1003). That was the first thing i did.

Have tried installing on DIMM_2_1 same speeds. Also tried installing both on M.2_1 and on DIMM.2_1. Both drives works in windows as they should except for the speed.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Is Win 10 on latest version? It might not make any difference, just looking for options.

your crystaldiskinfo matches mine.
Transfer mode is its actual transfer speed. Drive is running at X4. if it was running slower it would show there.
Above link just to show the values in Transfer mode section aren't just what the Drive can run at, they are what its actually running at.
Scratches head, maybe it is the motherboard?
 
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Jan 8, 2021
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Yes Win 10 latest.

Yesterday Asus came with a new bios update (2002) So today i made a new win 10 installation (7th time) after secure erase of the drive. It installed windows without problems. So once again I updated all drivers, bios, firmware an so on.

So now i was ready to make a new CrystalDiskMark benchmark and was so exited i really had a hope. But noooooooooo!!! Same results. An now sometimes i can even get into bios.
When i restart the pc Bios wont boot up my screen and keyboard turns off. The only way to get out of that is to hold down power button and then it restarts to bios.
The motherboards lights up a yellow led with Q-Code 10 which means PEI Core is startet.
When i finally get the pc startet it comes up with this:

The system has posted in safe mode.
This way be due to the previos POST attempt failing because of system instability,
or if the power button was held in to force the system off.
If the system failed to POST after you made changes to UEFI settings.
Press F1 to run setup

If i didnt hold down the power button it would just hang there. Couldnt do anything.

Before today i was sure i somehow had messed up chipset driver og maybe some the the other ones. But now im not so sure anymore. Its like its fallen apart now.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
The system has posted in safe mode.
This way be due to the previos POST attempt failing because of system instability,
or if the power button was held in to force the system off.
If the system failed to POST after you made changes to UEFI settings.
Press F1 to run setup
this is the bios, not windows. You should go in and set optimised defaults. and save/exit you should do that after a bios update anyway.

if you keep getting that error at startup, you may need to flash the bios again but honestly, I would contact Asus as there is no reason why you are getting half speed when both Drive and BIOS both show you going at full speed. There isn't a cable inbetween the 2 we can blame, its all circuits.

Lets see if it is windows. Boot off a Ubuntu live usb and see if you can test it on Linux. If drive slow on both OS its not windows - not that I think it is now. - https://itsfoss.com/create-live-usb-of-ubuntu-in-windows/
https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-benchmark-disk-performance-on-linux
 
Jan 8, 2021
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this is the bios, not windows. You should go in and set optimised defaults. and save/exit you should do that after a bios update anyway.

if you keep getting that error at startup, you may need to flash the bios again but honestly, I would contact Asus as there is no reason why you are getting half speed when both Drive and BIOS both show you going at full speed. There isn't a cable inbetween the 2 we can blame, its all circuits.

Lets see if it is windows. Boot off a Ubuntu live usb and see if you can test it on Linux. If drive slow on both OS its not windows - not that I think it is now. - https://itsfoss.com/create-live-usb-of-ubuntu-in-windows/
https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-benchmark-disk-performance-on-linux
I think i will contact Asus. Im just afraid it will take ages to get any response from them. I have absolutely no idea what Ubuntu is but will look into it. Will check your links, thanks.
Just want to let you know its not every time i cant boot to windows, but still too often.
 
Jan 8, 2021
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I would ask on here first, they might have a solution without asking support - https://rog.asus.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?303
Thats the site i have been trying to get access to for the last 7 days. I have read so many post in there. When i first made my rog.forum account back in 2018 i got an email from them with activation links but i never activated it. So now i have limited access meaning i cant write any post in there. Have sent emails to the moderator with their contact us option. Also sent emails directly to rog.forum. No one replies at all! so im stuck.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
oh, well, support best place then. you a paying customer, open a support ticket.
the bios problems you have now could be related to the slow speed you get from drives

Ubuntu is linux, I figure if you get same thing in 2 operating systems its not software. I think its the board. Something is wrong with it.

Asus are only ones who can fix this I think. Probably with a new board.
 
Jan 8, 2021
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So I should contact Asus and open a ticket or should I contact the shop from where I bought it? Have never returned anything before.

And sorry about the mess I have made on this thread. My first time here.

I want to thank you all for all your inputs. I seems like we have tried it all. For my level at least. Will this thread be deleted afterwards? BecauseI would like to show this thread to Asus.
 
This might be an issue with M.2 drive itself.

I mean - connection is being reported as PCIE 3.0 x4. You tried it in M.2 slot, tried in DIMM.2 slot. Performance stays the same.
You could try it in another pc also.

If performance still doesn't change, then that's problem with the drive (not motherboard).

BTW - did you try running benchmark in Samsung Magician also?
 
Jan 8, 2021
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This might be an issue with M.2 drive itself.

I mean - connection is being reported as PCIE 3.0 x4. You tried it in M.2 slot, tried in DIMM.2 slot. Performance stays the same.
You could try it in another pc also.

If performance still doesn't change, then that's problem with the drive (not motherboard).

BTW - did you try running benchmark in Samsung Magician also?
Yeah i dont have my old pc anymore. I sold it because I got this one. Stupid idea :)

I have run benchmarks on like 4-5 different apps, also Samsung Magician. They all show the same.
 
Jan 8, 2021
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Can it have anything to do with my RAM? When it boot up and hangs it shows a yellow LED that means something is wrong with DRAM.

Its not on their list of supportet RAM. I dont know if thats a big problem?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I am not sure about that question. Ram is actually still faster than NVME so I don't know if it would slow the Transfer rate at all. Is anything else in your PC acting strange apart from the Samsung's?

the only thing that appears to slow NVME down is filling them with data or being used a lot/old age.

Intel cpu are much better at coping with ram that isn't on the list. Compared to Ryzen anyway.
 
Jan 8, 2021
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I build this PC maybe 10 days ago. After waiting 3 months for the parts. Installed windows and drivers and all that. Everything looked like just another new build. I even startet overclocking and making it ready for MSFS. I did benchmarks with Cinebench r23 and got great scores. Its all looked really good. But then I came across a review where hes got the same MB and Nvme as I. He did a test on the NVME and got the scores around 3500 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark. Before this I had never even heard about doing benchmark on NVME´s . So i did that same test and only got ~1750 MB/s. So every day, 8-10 hours im been trying to solve this.
I regret so much that I did that test. I could have been enjoying myself playing games and would not have noticed anything.
But now I want it to operate as it should.

Just to be sure..... Is there any chance that I might have messed up updating the Chipset, MEI and those drivers? Maybe in a degree that something has become corrupt?
But I have tried so many different setups now. Also with the Default Bios and Optimized Default. Also tried with XMP 1 and 2 at startup because someone suggested that.

No doubt I will contact Asus today. Do you have any experienced with Asus support? I just cant wait for weeks. My paitience is gone.

Thanks again for help Colif
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I regret so much that I did that test. I could have been enjoying myself playing games and would not have noticed anything.
But now I want it to operate as it should.
the real world difference between half and full isn't that great, but I don't see why you should be happy getting half of what you paid for. You shouldn't regret it but I wouldn't let it ruin your fun. While we wait for Asus to reply, go play some games as it doesn't change how you play really, speed of drives hasn't got a big impact there.

Just to be sure..... Is there any chance that I might have messed up updating the Chipset, MEI and those drivers? Maybe in a degree that something has become corrupt?
no, you get same speed in linux. it doesn't use the same drivers. Essentially getting same result on 2 OS means its hardware.

My last 4 motherboards were all Asus, I never had any reason to contact them as they worked fine, so no, no direct experience with them.

you could just rma motherboard and get a replacement one and assume it was just bad.

if there is a local repair shop, you could go test it there, all you need is a known working motherboard to test the nvme out on. If they full speed on another board, its MB. Another test is try a known working nvme on the board . Both would tell you which is problem.
 
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