Faulty Intel Ethernet controllers are dropping connections on some Raptor Lake motherboards

Why it issues: A suspected design flaw in Intel’s I226-V Ethernet controller is inflicting connectivity interruptions on some Intel z700-series motherboards. The break, which has been reported on a number of boards since late final yr, usually lasts a number of seconds and happens with out warning. The problem is particular to Intel’s 2.5GbE controller on the impacted boards and doesn’t have an effect on Realtek, Marvell, or different varieties of onboard controllers.

In keeping with analysis carried out by the crew at TechPowerUp, the difficulty is attributed to the I226-V controller when working in its default 2.5 GbE state. The brief period connectivity drops happen at random and will not be noticeable by some customers relying on their particular exercise stage. It does, nonetheless, create a noticeable impression to any customers engaged in duties or actions requiring a gradual, dependable connection comparable to gaming, streaming, or utilizing any PC-based communication instruments.

There’s at the moment no identified repair for the difficulty, and the embedded controller is way from replaceable or serviceable for the widespread person. The crew did report a number of workarounds, which embrace utilizing the board’s onboard wi-fi functionality or shopping for and putting in a PCIe community adapter. Greater-tier boards can also have the ability to keep away from the difficulty by utilizing any further onboard connectivity choices that don’t faucet into the identical Intel-based resolution. Driver and firmware updates have confirmed ineffective in resolving the difficulty to this point.

Customers who suspect they might be affected can simply confirm any associated warnings utilizing Home windows Occasion Viewer. The occasions are labeled as e2fexpress within the viewer’s supply column with an Occasion ID of 27. Clicking on the warning will present further info, which particularly names the Intel(R) Ethernet Controller I226-V.

The defective controller creates yet one more stumbling block in Intel’s line of value efficient however problematic onboard community controllers. The controller’s predecessor, the I225-V, was already identified to have its fair proportion of points over the past a number of years. Customers reported comparable connectivity issues to these described above, proper all the way down to the lack of connectivity and the reported Event Viewer entry ID 27. The I225-V’s connectivity points may very well be labored round by forcing the adapter to run at 1 GbE.

Sadly for 700-series customers, the 1 GbE workaround would not maintain true for the I226-V’s points. This leaves low- to mid-tier board homeowners requiring a wired connection in a really unlucky place the place they’re going to doubtless should spend further cash to retain core performance. Hopefully Intel finds a strategy to tackle the present scenario, as requiring customers to purchase one other piece of {hardware} to enhance an already-known defective part is hardly acceptable.

Picture credit score: Steve’s Hardware


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