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

Jimmy2x

Posts: 147   +12
Staff
Why it matters: A suspected design flaw in Intel's I226-V Ethernet controller is causing connectivity interruptions on some Intel z700-series motherboards. The break, which has been reported on multiple forums since late last year, typically lasts several seconds and occurs without warning. The issue is specific to Intel's 2.5GbE controller on the impacted boards and does not affect Realtek, Marvell, or other types of onboard controllers.

According to research conducted by the team at TechPowerUp, the issue is attributed to the I226-V controller when running in its default 2.5 GbE state. The short duration connectivity drops occur at random and may not be noticeable by some users depending on their specific activity level. It does, however, create a noticeable impact to any users engaged in tasks or activities requiring a steady, reliable connection such as gaming, streaming, or using any PC-based communication tools.

There is currently no known fix for the issue, and the embedded controller is far from replaceable or serviceable for the common user. The team did report several workarounds, which include using the board's onboard wireless capability or buying and installing a PCIe network adapter. Higher-tier boards may also be able to avoid the issue by using any additional onboard connectivity options that do not tap into the same Intel-based solution. Driver and firmware updates have proven ineffective in resolving the issue thus far.

Users who suspect they may be affected can easily verify any related warnings using Windows Event Viewer. The events are labeled as e2fexpress in the viewer's source column with an Event ID of 27. Clicking on the warning will provide additional information, which specifically names the Intel(R) Ethernet Controller I226-V.

The faulty controller creates yet another stumbling block in Intel's line of cost effective but problematic onboard network controllers. The controller's predecessor, the I225-V, was already known to have its fair share of issues over the last several years. Users reported similar connectivity problems to those described above, right down to the loss of connectivity and the reported Event Viewer entry ID 27. The I225-V's connectivity issues could be worked around by forcing the adapter to run at 1 GbE.

Unfortunately for 700-series users, the 1 GbE workaround doesn't hold true for the I226-V's issues. This leaves low- to mid-tier board owners requiring a wired connection in a very unfortunate position where they'll likely have to spend additional money to retain core functionality. Hopefully Intel finds a way to address the current situation, as requiring users to buy another piece of hardware to augment an already-known faulty component is hardly acceptable.

Image credit: Steve's Hardware

Permalink to story.

 

Julnor

Posts: 74   +83
What a horrendous issue. Realtek and Dragon are definitely your best bets for ethernet. This really needs to be a recall situation, it's pretty much unusable this way.

I was looking at some motherboards for a potential new build, amusingly enough the Intel ethernet adds cost on top of being useless.

AMD gets rightfully shat on when it screws up, but there are always apologists that don't want them to be. Intel needs to get hammered and nobody should defend them (as nobody should for AMD either, these are megacorps with massive marketing departments and highly paid executives in charge, they don't need internet commentators defending them, save that energy for the voiceless and vulnerable of society).
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,700   +3,079
I've used Marvell and Realtek controllers, and I will continue to do so moving forward.
I was looking at some motherboards for a potential new build, amusingly enough the Intel ethernet adds cost on top of being useless.
I'm not apologizing for intel at all here, just wanted to give some context that the Realtek and Marvell controllers are just bog standard gigabit ethernet.

This intel controller is 2.5GB which is why it adds a bit more cost. No excuse for the failures at all but explains why motherboards with it cost more.
 

Julnor

Posts: 74   +83
I'm not apologizing for intel at all here, just wanted to give some context that the Realtek and Marvell controllers are just bog standard gigabit ethernet.

This intel controller is 2.5GB which is why it adds a bit more cost. No excuse for the failures at all but explains why motherboards with it cost more.

Nah the Realtek Dragon is 2.5GB. Intel doesn't have the monopoly on 2.5, which honestly is kind of useless right now and likely will be unnecessary going forward, but I've considered getting for future possibilities too. 2.5 is definitely becoming the standard, and Intel is just one option for it.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,984   +6,471
Nah the Realtek Dragon is 2.5GB. Intel doesn't have the monopoly on 2.5, which honestly is kind of useless right now and likely will be unnecessary going forward, but I've considered getting for future possibilities too. 2.5 is definitely becoming the standard, and Intel is just one option for it.
Useless? My modem from Verizon comes with 2Gbe and I can certainly take advantage of it when using my NAS. 2.5Gbe switches are also getting pretty cheap. I've even been offered a 2giga it upgraded from Verizon. We are probably less than a year away from 2gigabit networking being standard with 1gig being a bottleneck
 

trparky

Posts: 1,160   +1,320
I remember the days you paid more for Intel NIC's because they were good, now you pay more for garbage.. This is the rehash of the I225-V which was plagued with troubles and needed 3 revisions and I226 is basically 4th revision.
My God how far Intel has fallen.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,959   +7,014
I remember the days you paid more for Intel NIC's because they were good, now you pay more for garbage.. This is the rehash of the I225-V which was plagued with troubles and needed 3 revisions and I226 is basically 4th revision.
Intel was once the gold standard. Especially in the linux world where the realtek and marvel options dont always play nice.

The higher they are the greater they fall.
Useless? My modem from Verizon comes with 2Gbe and I can certainly take advantage of it when using my NAS. 2.5Gbe switches are also getting pretty cheap. I've even been offered a 2giga it upgraded from Verizon. We are probably less than a year away from 2gigabit networking being standard with 1gig being a bottleneck
I love my 2.5g NAS, it is so much faster when doing major backups or moving 1+TB of data. Plus, because it is a signalling change, ti works properly on old cat5e cables. Unlike finicky 10g, 2.5g is dummy proof and works great.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,984   +6,471
Intel was once the gold standard. Especially in the linux world where the realtek and marvel options dont always play nice.

The higher they are the greater they fall.
I love my 2.5g NAS, it is so much faster when doing major backups or moving 1+TB of data. Plus, because it is a signalling change, ti works properly on old cat5e cables. Unlike finicky 10g, 2.5g is dummy proof and works great.
I have several hundred feet of Cat6 left over from a job where the electricians were literally going to throw out. The boss said "if it's on the floor it's out the door" so I threw it in my truck and took it home. I've been looking at this switch because it has 2 10 gig ports. I'd love to have a 10 gig connection between my main computer and my NAS. it'd also be great for when other systems on my network are accessing my NAS. 1gig is a pretty serious bottleneck when you have 9 computers on a home network. But if I could have everything on 1gig or 2.5gig then I'd have a very difficult time saturating my NAS. Might actually be worth while to put in a cache drive at that point as it's all HDD's. I have 5, 16TB drives in RAID5
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,400   +1,040
Intel was once the gold standard. Especially in the linux world where the realtek and marvel options dont always play nice.

The higher they are the greater they fall.
I love my 2.5g NAS, it is so much faster when doing major backups or moving 1+TB of data. Plus, because it is a signalling change, ti works properly on old cat5e cables. Unlike finicky 10g, 2.5g is dummy proof and works great.

I remember searching M/Bs when I got my 3700x - remember reading Intel gigabit one was meant to be one of the good ones - also read that for most people it didn't matter whose you had - as most of them were ok - also brings back memories reading about onboard sound etc- probably if buying a mid-range from big brands most stuff on should be ok - SATa controllers were another
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,984   +6,471
I remember searching M/Bs when I got my 3700x - remember reading Intel gigabit one was meant to be one of the good ones - also read that for most people it didn't matter whose you had - as most of them were ok - also brings back memories reading about onboard sound etc- probably if buying a mid-range from big brands most stuff on should be ok - SATa controllers were another
I feel like all major problems with things like sound, networking, drives and just peripherals in general between 2008 and 2010. I remember networking on XP was a nightmare with windows 7 being the first OS that "just worked"
 

NikoBB

Posts: 105   +66
I feel like all major problems with things like sound, networking, drives and just peripherals in general between 2008 and 2010. I remember networking on XP was a nightmare with windows 7 being the first OS that "just worked"
M$ deliberately didn't add a new SMB 2.0+ networking stack to SP3 for XP. To force everyone to upgrade to Vista and then to W7.

In reality, XP has 3 key problems:
1. There is no GPT support, which means disks are larger than 2TB. But it is in Windows Server 2003.
2. Disgusting driver support in x64 mode, where there are no memory limits.
3. Brake SMB 1.0, which behaves worst on Wi-Fi - there it cuts any speed up to 100Mbps (the code was obviously made by *****s). On a cable, it is rarely possible to get more than 50% of 1Gb / s.

All this was already decided in Vista. W7 without SP1 was much faster (it was a lure to drag everyone with fast XP). But after SP1 W7 became as slow as Vista.

And the worst problem of W7+ is the monster latency of the system compared to XP (especially without the swap file). That's why XP was and is the best environment for working with real-time and sound.

Today, for a local network, it’s already everywhere, even cheap boards should have a 10Gb / s port, but alas, even 2.5 Gb / s is often absent in most business models, which is complete nonsense, but they are most often found in gaming ...
 

fadingfool

Posts: 281   +353
Useless? My modem from Verizon comes with 2Gbe and I can certainly take advantage of it when using my NAS. 2.5Gbe switches are also getting pretty cheap. I've even been offered a 2giga it upgraded from Verizon. We are probably less than a year away from 2gigabit networking being standard with 1gig being a bottleneck
And yet here in blighty the median average internet speed was 50.4 Mbps in 2022 - and given the growth since 2017 it will be another 14 years before the median hits 100 Mbps. Going to be awhile before we'll need 2.5 Gbps for internet in the UK.....
 

d5aqoep

Posts: 19   +49
I am extremely happy with Marvell AQC113c and AQC107s cards. One in my PC and other in TrueNAS Scale server. They work flawlessly at 10Gigabit speeds. They also support WOL with fastboot enabled in Windows which i225 and i226 needs disabled. The AQC107s is getting 24x7 use since 2018 so that’s that.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,330   +856
I remember the days you paid more for Intel NIC's because they were good, now you pay more for garbage.. This is the rehash of the I225-V which was plagued with troubles and needed 3 revisions and I226 is basically 4th revision.
I don't understand how their QC can be so bad for ethernet?!?
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,984   +6,471
And yet here in blighty the median average internet speed was 50.4 Mbps in 2022 - and given the growth since 2017 it will be another 14 years before the median hits 100 Mbps. Going to be awhile before we'll need 2.5 Gbps for internet in the UK.....
I'd argue that a 2.5GbE home network is MORE important on a home network when you have slow internet because you have such limited bandwidth. Data hoarding on a local network seems pretty important in that use case.
 

Prrredictable

Posts: 76   +31
SoB. I recently picked up an MSI Z790 board and have experienced an issue just like this a couple of times. It hasn't been a major issue and a restart seemed to clear it up. I moved on and sort of forgot. But it did seem strange to me. I wonder if this is what's causing that, and I'll be interested in checking error logs later today.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,430   +7,877
I have several hundred feet of Cat6 left over from a job where the electricians were literally going to throw out. The boss said "if it's on the floor it's out the door" so I threw it in my truck and took it home. I've been looking at this switch because it has 2 10 gig ports. I'd love to have a 10 gig connection between my main computer and my NAS. it'd also be great for when other systems on my network are accessing my NAS. 1gig is a pretty serious bottleneck when you have 9 computers on a home network. But if I could have everything on 1gig or 2.5gig then I'd have a very difficult time saturating my NAS. Might actually be worth while to put in a cache drive at that point as it's all HDD's. I have 5, 16TB drives in RAID5
I can't speak to this particular switch, but I use nothing but Netgear Pro switches in my network. I've tried other brands, and they fail rather quickly. I've never had a Netgear Pro switch fail. If 10G switches were not still so expensive, I would be inclined to upgrade to 10G from 1G even though my speed needs are not the same as yours.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,984   +6,471
I can't speak to this particular switch, but I use nothing but Netgear Pro switches in my network. I've tried other brands, and they fail rather quickly. I've never had a Netgear Pro switch fail. If 10G switches were not still so expensive, I would be inclined to upgrade to 10G from 1G even though my speed needs are not the same as yours.
I don't really need everything to be 2.5gb or 10gig right now and I've had my current switch for over a decade at this point, I honestly don't remember when I bought it. But for $200 it would be more than I need for MANY years to come and also give me something to "grow into" as prices continue to drop on 2.5gig and 10gig hardware. I don't think we're really going to see anything beyond 10gig for A LONG TIME. 10gig is about the limit you can get over copper wire and going past that people will have to upgrade to fiber. Basically all new houses are wired for ethernet, Many people aren't going to go from cat5 to cat6 and if everyone is already wired for copper I don't feel many people will see a performance advantage of going from 10gig to say 25gig fiber to justify the cost. I mean, I probably would but I'm a wack job