Troubleshooting X99 build

I am helping a colleague of mine to troubleshoot a workstation build. And I would appreciate any inputs from you folks. As I am quite puzzled.

The system in question has the following parts.

  1. Intel i7 5960x
  2. Asus X99-E WS Motherboard ( bios version 3004)
  3. 128gb (32x4) Memory (Crucial)
  4. Nvidia GTX 1080

Currently, the system posts and everything shows up on the BIOS. We also use the hardware detection tool that came with the arch-linux iso to double check.

Here's the problem though, once we tried to boot into an os ( Ubuntu and Arch) it just freezes. This is with the kernel flag "nomodeset" added.

Apart form that I have not been able to decipher whats causing this?

I did find some incompatibility using the asus website. Which says that the CPU version needs the bios 0413.

If the bios is not compatible? Shouldn't it be not posting?

Any ideas?

Max supported mem 64 gb.

that's true, but wasn't there bios updates that allow for the support of more than 128 gb of ram for Haswell-e?

Someone posted on techpowerup of being able to hit 128 gb.

Then again the poster was using a x99 sabertooth, so not sure if asus had a general bios update for haswell-e

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@anon85933304 asus now says it supports 128Gb
so like @SocksNSandals it may need a bios update which is easy peasy on asus stuff
you should update your friends bios @feverDream it seems like the only outliar here

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That's strange. I just looked at the specs and its seems to support it.

Thanks for responding guys. It looks like my friend decided to mix parts from two different builds (one based on xeon and the other an i7). Not good.

Unless I am wrong, the memory he is using is ECC. While the motherboard supports ECC memory, the 5960x doesn't. What a pickle!

If the bios upgrade doesn't fix the issue, I think it would be better to rule out the memory issue by using a regular dimm.

For sure. I have same mobo and CPU. Just 64gb but it does support 128gb. Ubuntu will boot ok for me but I have video issues so I ditched Linux on that box.

The bios listed on the website is just the minimum for that CPU to work- that was the first version that would allow a 5960x. Use the newest. Definitely use a single ram stick to test and run it with NO OC. this board doesn't OC well.

Sorry man , my bad. Must have looked at an older version

Finally got it work! He was using ECC memory for the build. After throwing in some non-ecc memory, we were able to get everything to run.

Also flashed the bios as it was not compatible with the i7 5960x.

Good stuff!

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A follow up on the same build.

My friend was able to get everything working with Ubuntu 16.04 installed with two GPU's. Currently, the system is running with 16GB of memory.

The only problem now is that board is not detecting the two more GPU's when they are installed. It boots up fine but nvidia-smi only shows two GPU's.

Any ideas?

So far, we have checked the cards individually and they all work fine.
Swapped the power connectors too.

Did you check the switch on the board to see what the lanes are set up to? I know on my Deluxe you need to set how the lanes are set up via a switch on the bottom of the board. (might not be enough lanes on default setting for 3rd gpu)

Maybe double check the slots they're in? IIRC nvidia doesn't like it if you plug their cards into anything acting as <x8

Edit: -.- aww, you got me

Hmm, a switch?

There are too many of them on this board. I didn't find anything relevant in the manual too.
Here is a link to it

Btw the board layout is on page 20.

Hmm, good idea. I will ask him to send a picture of it.