Intel S3210SHLC , pcie x16 for video card


Board Intel S3210SHLC.

PCIE x16 slot limited only for video cards to x1. Please help me fix this limitation. It is known that this is possible and there are boards with a similar fix, but I did not find instructions.

Latest BIOS in attach.
Link to board info…-s3210shlc.html

Thx. (1.18 MB)

This board has the following (none are PCIE x1 slots), per your linked info
PCIe x4 Gen 1.x >> 1 Slot
PCIe x8 Gen 1.x >> 2 Slots

Remove your card, clean the gold contacts with alcohol and then blow out the slot, reinsert card and enter BIOS, load optimal or restore defaults etc, then save and check again.
Also, be sure you are on latest BISO, in case you are on some old BIOS with bug.

You may have damaged slot, or some tiny blown resistors for the slot.

Additionally, I checked BIOS, no settings for this kind of thing anyway (that’s rarely something in a BIOS anyway, always controlled by electrical traces only, it’s either wired for xx lanes or not etc)

The problem is not in contacts, for this reason I would not write here.

I know that this modification exists, modified boards come across for sale, but no detailed information was found.

Linked manual, page 14 quote in attach.


Intereseting topic, but unfortunately I can´t help at this point. Is the chipset similar to p35?

edit: maybe you can figure something out reading the ich9r datasheet. my english is not good enaugh to understand everything, but I read that in case of gigabit lane connection some pcie lanes disabled. and if you search the last 200 pages for “vga” you can find some information how the pci bridge can be configured. maybe you can find something there.…-datasheet.html

Datasheet in attach.

Even if there is x8, it is not x1.

3200-3210-chipset-memory-controller-hub-datasheet-257512.pdf (1.92 MB)

The image above is your answer, LC SKU >> this is physical limitation of the chipset, they’ve routed the available lanes to the other slots
For VGA adapter you can only use second 16x slot running at x8. There is no x16 slot possible on this SKU
Put card in other slot, it will run at x8, this is your max possible lane width on this board for VGA card. This applies to every SKU listed

If I insert a controller in this slot, it works on x8, no lines are redirected there, and this is written in the documentation. The restriction only works on video controllers. I have no other controllers to check for a larger number of lines. It is believed that 6 slot works on x8 (count from bottom to top), if any board is installed in slot 5. If the 5th slot is free, then all 16 lines can be used by the 6th slot. I myself have not yet verified this, there are no necessary boards with a sufficient number of lines.



I have the Intel ServerBoard S3210SH, I can confirm that plugging an x16 video card in the only x16 slot in the motherboard will drop to x1 and this is mentioned in the manual. I think once the board recognizes an x16 device in the x16 slot it automatically drops it to x1 so that the other pcie lanes would still work.

I sugggest the following before modding the bios, the said bios is actually hard to modify, what you can do in its original bios state is at least run the video card in pcie x8 instead of x16. You can force this by taping / isolating pins in your video card.

If I have the time this week I might try this myself using a GT 630 x8 card.

Other info
S3200 chipset is the server chipset version of X38

Yes, as explained at the PDF you linked, this limitation is for VGA only, controller would not have this limitation as it’s not VGA

Different sources mention that the restriction only works on a video card. 16 lines work on other cards, unfortunately I can’t check it myself, there are no such boards.

ATI FireGL 3100 (XVR300 pcie x8) working in 16x slot - x1, in x8 slot - x1. Different slots, explicitly software restriction at the initialization stage.

Most likely the check is by device type, 0x300, 0x380 - video adapters type.

At what stage of initialization is the distribution of channels in the BIOS usually going?