A recently acquired motherboard has an on-board Intel i219-V NIC. Within a fresh Win7 Pro SP1 x64 install with latest Intel drivers (driver v184.108.40.206, PROSet v21.0.504.0), I am experiencing stability issues with this NIC when a specific combination of factors are met:
1. NIC is set to any Link Speed above 10Mbps Full Duplex (100M-Full, 1G-Full, & Auto Negotiate)
2. Steam (the application from Valve) is downloading application and/or game updates
Basically once Steam starts its updates and reaches about 1MB/s transfer rate, the link drops and the whole computer loses its network connection (LAN and WAN) - all LAN ARP entries are flushed, cannot ping local gateway router, Windows shows the little yellow triangle over the network icon (link but no L2/L3, self-assigned 169 address)
Once this issue occurs, it is resolvable in only two ways:
- Reboot the computer
- Change the Link Speed settings under the NIC's Device Properties page in Device Manager. It doesn't matter what I set it to, just the action of re-setting this parameter is enough to re-negotiate the link again, it seems.
The only workaround that I've found so far is to manually set the NIC Link speed to 10Mbps Full - the NIC is stable (albeit much slower) in this configuration.
Other Troubleshooting & Notes:
- No other application or traffic type seems to result in this behavior. For example, speed tests, iperf tests, torrent, etc all max out my WAN (not LAN) with ease, without the NIC dropping the link
- Replaced relevant CAT6 patch cables (all test good as well)
- Tested different port on LAN switch (NIC is connected directly to an enterprise HP ProCurve switch)
- Tested with switchport speed/duplex settings always matching NIC Link Speed settings (100M-Full, 10M-Full, etc)
Edit: I tested with a USB3.0 Ethernet adapter, and Steam has no issues maxing out the ISP without the link dropping. All other equipment is the same and configured the same.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As this is an onboard NIC, have you tried
installing the driver provided by your board vendor. The reason we refer you to contact them is they might have driver customized by the board vendor which is more suitable for the onboard NIC. You may refer to URL below for support on onboard NIC
As this happened on you Steam application, have you also try check with them if there is certain requirement for the network connection?
Hi, yes I originally started out with the latest available drivers as provided by the manufacturer (ASUS), and updated to the Intel generic drivers as part of troubleshooting. I'll be opening a ticket with Valve as well.
Thanks, but the issue still persists. I'm not sure that a resolution really exists at this point, so I will continue to use a USB 3.0 adapter. It may even just be isolated to my motherboard, but I have no way to prove that without getting a second board and NIC to test with.
If anyone has this NIC: download Steam and try to launch the installer and see what happens, then post here pretty please
As you can imagine, telling a software vendor like Valve that their application is causing my hardware NIC to crash went over like a lead balloon - because this is so clearly a hardware issue, there's really nothing for them to do. I have to agree with them too - it's not Valve's fault this Intel NIC can't handle the traffic (pretty sure it's just HTTP/HTTPS) that otherwise works on every other onboard, USB or PCIE NIC that I've tested; this is clearly a fault in Intel's code/hardware and nothing else.
I find it frustrating that Intel is not taking a more active troubleshooting approach here - I have done most of the troubleshooting that would be required for someone else to test this scenario in a lab; considering Steam is free software there's no reason someone at Intel can't take a few minutes to simply try and re-create the reported issue. I guess "end users" don't count.
I believe I have a solution to your problem. The symptoms you experienced are a subset of the ones I experienced.
For completeness, I have described my setup below:
My NIC is an onboard dual interface card on the ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ motherboard, which consists of one Intel I211, and one Intel I219-V. I am using the "Intel_LAN(v21.1_v1)" drivers from the ASRock website, running fully updated Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64.
The NIC interfaces are connected via fully tested and rated cat5e to a Ubiquiti US-24-250W Managed Switch, which is connected to a Ubiquiti USG‑PRO‑4 Gateway/Router.
Whenever the link speed is set higher than 10Mbps Full Duplex on either of the interfaces, I have experienced the following:
I have tested and verified the above behavior with both interfaces individually connected to the switch, simultaneously connected to the switch, and teamed using 802.3ad LACP Dynamic Link Aggregation.
I tested the buffer values you listed, and so far so good - I was able to download an entire Steam game at my ISP max, and the link remained up and stable. I'll keep an eye on it and update if I experience any issues.
I'm running Driver 220.127.116.11,PROSet v18.104.22.168