SOLVED [more or less . . ] : What has caused this boot-time quirk in my Intel iGPU graphics?

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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THIS IS SORT OF STUPID.

I updated the BIOS to the version 3802 of 2015.

The problem with the video post screen and initial BIOS screen was resolved this way: Under "Option ROM Messages," in the "Boot" menu of the BIOS, changing to "Force BIOS" corrected the initial screen resolution. I don't know how I missed this. I'm familiar enough with the P8Z68-V Pro BIOS menus -- I have three systems with these boards.

There was just one other thing I noticed about the "Ai Tweaker" menu that gave me some uneasiness.

Whenever the BIOS was reset, "iGPU Max. Frequency" would be set to "1250" instead of "Auto," and the "iGPU Offset Voltage" would show "1.5V" -- in red. I had never spent much time overclocking or tweaking the onboard Intel Graphics, but I'd never seen this behavior before, even so.

Resetting the BIOS would change "Ai Overclock Tuner" to "Manual" instead of "X.M.P." -- which would reveal the other settings with the disturbingly high Offset Voltage.

I also discovered the limitations of the motherboard's fan ports and fan control. Apparently, the "CHA_FAN1" and "CHA_FAN2" ports will not control PWM fans, even if a PWM fan is connected to the CHA_FAN1 port. For the other systems, these had been fitted with 3-pin fans, and the system would correctly control them. With PWM fans, they just run full bore. Again, I thought initially that there was some damage to the board, until I did some web searches and turned up threads at Tom's Hardware, Overclock.net and other forums discussing this and similar motherboards to show the same frustrating observations.


==== ORIGINAL POST ====
I have a Z68 Gen3 system with an Ivy Bridge 3470 (non-K) processor, which was in process of being configured and re-deployed as a home server. The hardware probably has less than month's time on a usage odometer. It has 16GB of well-tested RAM. This was a project interrupted for a good part of last year, because of a health-care crisis of my aging parent involving her hip-replacement surgery and related issues.

For obvious reasons, or because I want to use the PCIEx16 #1 motherboard slot for a controller card as opposed to dGPU, the BIOS was configured to use the iGPU Intel graphics of the processor. I do not remember the phenomenon I'll describe here as occurring last year when I put the system aside because of our other priorities.

When configured for iGPU and at boot-time, regardless of connection (DVI or HDMI), the system-post display appears on my 27" BenQ HD monitor as if it were posting on a 10" display. The post-time information appears in small print.

I have reset the BIOS, replaced the CMOS battery, tinkered with BIOS settings, used different cables -- but to no avail. There is nothing wrong with the monitor, as I can otherwise test it with other systems.

In order to make the display the right size when entering BIOS, I must go into the monitor's OSD and select "Full" for display mode, which appears to be set to "1:1" when connected to the system in question. "Full" seems to be default when a different system is connected to the monitor. Or, if I wait instead for Windows to boot, the display is properly corrected when the Windows log-in screen appears.

Before I continue with this project, I need to know that the hardware is otherwise reliable for the purpose I've intended for it. It can eventually run "headless," after I've set up the operating system (it is currently configured with Windows 7, to be replaced with 2012 R2 Essentials).

So what is causing my display problem? Is it a symptom of a problem that will emerge later after I've fully configured and deployed the system as planned? is it possibly a problem with the motherboard? Or a problem with the CPU's integrated graphics?

I've also installed a small GT-430 nividia graphics card, after this problem emerged. It robs me of that primary PCIE slot. And of course there is no problem at boot time with the display as experienced with the integrated Intel graphics.
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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When configured for iGPU and at boot-time, regardless of connection (DVI or HDMI), the system-post display appears on my 27" BenQ HD monitor as if it were posting on a 10" display. The post-time information appears in small print.

I have reset the BIOS, replaced the CMOS battery, tinkered with BIOS settings, used different cables -- but to no avail. There is nothing wrong with the monitor, as I can otherwise test it with other systems.

In order to make the display the right size when entering BIOS, I must go into the monitor's OSD and select "Full" for display mode, which appears to be set to "1:1" when connected to the system in question. "Full" seems to be default when a different system is connected to the monitor. Or, if I wait instead for Windows to boot, the display is properly corrected when the Windows log-in screen appears.

Sounds like an EDID problem to me. Something isn't being set correctly by the VBIOS. I wouldn't worry about it, since it works correctly in the OS. You may want to use the HDMI port, since it (sometimes) support hot-plugging.

Weird stuff like this occasionally happens. Could just be a minor compatibility issue between that particular VBIOS and monitor. Sometimes this gets fixed with a BIOS update, but that has likely run its course with a system that old. My own "favourite" was a HDMI port connected to a TV that flat out refused to work with a cable shorter then 5m... weird...
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Sounds like an EDID problem to me. Something isn't being set correctly by the VBIOS. I wouldn't worry about it, since it works correctly in the OS. You may want to use the HDMI port, since it (sometimes) support hot-plugging.

Weird stuff like this occasionally happens. Could just be a minor compatibility issue between that particular VBIOS and monitor. Sometimes this gets fixed with a BIOS update, but that has likely run its course with a system that old. My own "favourite" was a HDMI port connected to a TV that flat out refused to work with a cable shorter then 5m... weird...
I'm trying to think back to before last year, when I was just putting the system together and testing it. I had it hooked up to a 12- or 13-year-old Viewsonic 4:3 LCD display -- which still works great. I was planning to re-marry the system and the display once I've got it all set up and move it upstairs -- where that LCD display currently resides.

So it may very well be that I never connected this box to my BenQ display until I dusted it off to resume my project and plans. It could very well be a minor incompatibility between monitor and Intel iGFX. As for BIOS updates, the system is currently running a mature version released in late 2012, but a newer version at ASUS Global is dated 2015. I suppose I could flash the later BIOS and see what happens.

Really, though, when I think of it, the only reason I'd need the iGPU (or a dGPU) would arise when troubleshooting a system that would otherwise be "headless." When I saw this "weird stuff" as you call it, I began to fret about the system overall, or whether something could be causing the behavior that had more implications for faulty or dying hardware.

Getting your "second opinion" is helping me surmount those little worries, so thank you.
 

TheELF

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2012
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730
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Old style bios (not uefi) boots at 600x480 to make sure it's able to be displayed on any monitor without the need of drivers or anything,as you already noticed usually the monitor stretches the picture to cover the whole screen,for some reason this doesn't happen but it's not an indication of something being wrong or at the edge of failing.It's just the monitor not understanding that it should stretch the image.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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This Z68 board was "Gen3" and Ivy-Bridge-ready. Looking at the BIOS, it seems to be an earlier UEFI-friendly variety. The default for booting is "Legacy," and there is an "EFI compatible" option. Truth be told, I thought for sure I hadn't paid attention to it and it had originally been set to "Legacy." The Win 7 installation I'd installed just to test it used an MBR boot-system drive. When I pull that drive (180GB Intel Elm Crest) and install a newer 250GB Crucial drive (250GB), the OS will be installed on a GPT partition.

So, as I said -- I'll probably run this system "headless" once it's set up. So as long as the Intel Graphics just "works," I'll get off this trouble-shooting detour and back on the main highway . . .

I just thought it was strange. I hadn't seen something like that in years. But I HAD seen it before, in a time I barely remember. I have one more new HDD to test and make "GPT," and then I'm going to light this candle . . .
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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So I had to break it down . . . . The temporary connection of the Ivy Bridge / Z68 system had been routed first through an [Emerson] Avocent DVI/USB KVM, connecting to the BenQ monitor as DVI-to-DVI. I had to rule out the Avocent, and it checks out OK as far as the other ports and their PC connections. If possible that port #3 is somehow damaged, I'd still have to check and reconnect to another known system. There seems to be no damage to the BenQ, since the connection from subject computer was made first through the KVM to DVI, and then with a direct video connection of HDMI-to-HDMI. For that PC, the result is the same. The BenQ can correct temporarily by using the OSD adjustments, when reading the system post message or entering BIOS. The OS brings up the desktop in its proper resolution and aspect ratio. Assuming this is an EDID problem -- I wouldn't know if a BIOS update could correct it. But I had replaced the battery and then reset the BIOS with the CLR-RTC shunt. Now, up to this moment, I've done it twice. The BIOS version was released in 2012. The latest BIOS for the motherboard was released in 2015.