B450I Gaming Plus MAX Wifi - Wifi Dies when I use the USB ports...

Liquid Cool

New member
SERGEANT
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
26
Hello...

I have three of these mini-itx motherboards and I'm having the same issue with all three. As soon as I plug in a USB Flash Drive(or anything else) in to the lower two USB ports...the wifi dies. As soon as I pull the device out...it comes right back. Same exact behavior on all three motherboards. I also noticed that whatever I put into those same USB ports...they get quite hot. Even if they're doing nothing.

This anomaly happens 99.9% of the time in the two ports boxed in red. Rarely does it happen in the two USB ports above it and never in the USB ports next to the PS/2 connector.

Dead USB Ports - 720p.jpg


I built three simple machines using an AMD Ryzen 3200G APU, with 16GB's of memory and a Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD. All of the units are powered with an eVGA SuperNOVA 550w G3 power supply. I've also installed fresh copies of Windows 10 Pro with zero tweaks. I only completed all of the updates, added the AMD Graphics driver and Chipset driver...then stopped.

Does anyone have an idea as to what could be going on here?

The only difference I could see is when I change the Power Plans to "High Performance" from "Balanced". It seemed not too happen as often. Although...I could be mistaken...the results weren't that impressive. I'm sure there's a fix out there somewhere, I probably just haven't heard of it.

Any help appreciated....

Liquid Cool
 
Last edited:

Svet

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
76,882
What BIOS verson board is using?
WiFi driver version?
 

Liquid Cool

New member
SERGEANT
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
26
Good morning Svet...

I decided to concentrate my efforts on just one machine. This morning I've been testing one pc using a pci-e x1 wifi card. As far as I can tell....on this one machine...this solves the problem. I plugged flash drives, external hard drives, a camera and cell phone in all of the usb ports. The wifi still worked. The downside...this is no permanent solution AND the motherboard doesn't have a bluetooth header.

My first thougt was that there might not be enough voltage running though those lower 2 usb ports, but why would the USB ports on the front of the case falter as well? I don't know...

To answer your question, I just updated the BIOS this morning to 7A40vB41 from December 10, 2020. On MSI's website, I saw they were using the same numbers as intel for their drivers, so I just used the Intel Software Update Tool. I believe the latest wifi driver is 22.20.0.

Best,
Liquid Cool

P.S. Whoever took the time to move my post/thread...Thank You, much appreciated. :biggthumbsup:
 
Last edited:

Mattech

Member
PRIVATE E-2
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
138
I have three of these mini-itx motherboards and I'm having the same issue with all three. As soon as I plug in a USB Flash Drive(or anything else) in to the lower two USB ports...the wifi dies.
If those are USB 3 ports, then check out Intel's white paper on the subject:

"USB 3.0 has been found to cause interference that may hinder performance of nearby wireless devices in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.":
The purpose of this document is to create an awareness of radio frequency interference to wireless devices operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band as a result of certain USB 3.0* devices and cables. This is a guide to customers of the USB 3.0 RFI mitigation options that are available.
  • Both ends of a USB 3.0 Cable, and to some extent the cable itself, generate interference, especially in the 2.4GHz range.
  • When a wireless (i.e. 2.4GHz band) mouse was tested (with its receiver connected to a USB 2.0 port adjacent to a 3.0 port with a 3.0 device), mouse response dropped off when the mouse was about 3 feet away.
  • With the mouse's receiver using a stacked USB port on top of an active USB 3.0 port, the mouse was essentially unresponsive.
  • With the mouse's receiver moved to the other side of the laptop (away from the active USB 3.0 port), mouse responsiveness was fine up to the max distance tested of 5 feet.
  • The responsiveness of different mice at various distances varied, meaning there is potential to improve wireless performance through more intelligent antenna placement in the mouse by the manufacturer.
  • Interference was able to be reduced (but not eliminated) by adding shielding to either end of the USB 3.0 cable.
Because your antennae are right at the USB ports, then you are likely getting the wireless interference from the ports affecting your WiFI and Bluetooth. There are mitigation options by reading the White Paper that I linked to as well as doing a search for other options people have done.

Best thing you might consider is plugging your towers into ethernet cables instead for networking (which I see you already have an ethernet cable plugged in in the picture). Since you're using an APU and aren't using the GPU PCIe slot, you could get yourself a USB 2.0 PCIe card to put in that PCIe slot that could give you about 4 USB 2.0 ports. Yes, they'd be slower, but you would get rid of the wireless interference of the USB 3 ports. Just a thought.
 

Liquid Cool

New member
SERGEANT
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
26
Mattech....

Thanks for Posting. I've already read the white paper, although...I only discovered it last week when I was researching this topic(I sure didn't find much else!). I'm not 100% convinced that that is the issue here, but I'm also not sure that it isn't. Frankly...I can't believe these motherboard companies would sell a product knowing that the wifi might die if you use your USB 3.0 slots? Wouldn't there be more people commenting about this problem if that was the case? It just doesn't seem right. Although, I can't quantify how I can have the exact same problem across three different motherboards in three different builds? I'm sure you're aware of the odds as am I. From my perspective...it's either a manufacturing defect, user error...or the white paper, which IS carrying more and more weight in the argument. I lean towards agreeing with this until it's proven incorrect, but why the lingering doubt? The front ports go dead as well. That...sounds like a voltage issue. I could be wrong.

Before I comment further, I wanted to mention...if you look at the red box in the original photo? The port next to it is the LAN port and it's empty.

I picked these motherboards with a wifi because ethernet cables are not an option. Although, your assumption is 100% correct, APU builds with no graphics card. I guess...perhaps if I'm stuck with this issue I can possibly find a suitable workaround that would probably involve the PCIe slot. I mean...if I RMA the motherboards is that going to solve the solution or can I(meaning we really...;).) get creative and find a suitable work-around? Because frankly...I'm not seeing how the RMA process is going to help this problem unless there is something going on here that I'm not seeing AND besides this issue...I love these motherboards. I don't want to give them up unless forced to do so...

Perhaps...your PCIe 2.0 card could work, but what about using a PCIe wifi card? Does the cable on these connect to a regular 9 pin usb header? I believe it does. I just found a spare on mine and I'm testing it out now. Or, since my wifi is still Wireless N, if I upgraded to a router with 5 GHz and use a "cabled" antenna(like ASUS and Gigabyte give you with their motherboards) with these set-ups? Could that mitigate the issue?

I'm currently testing this combo and it appears to be working ~ so far. Apologize for the quick & dirty photo. For stability, I removed msi's wifi component altogether.

ubit ux200 - 720p.jpg


Again, thanks... :-)

Liquid Cool
 
Last edited:

Mattech

Member
PRIVATE E-2
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
138
if I RMA the motherboards is that going to solve the solution Because frankly...I'm not seeing how the RMA process is going to help this problem
Since you're having the issue on all of your builds, then it's pretty safe to say that it's the wireless interference issue, and getting another motherboard of the same is not going to fix the issue. It was a bad decision for MSI to put those antennae right where the USB 3.x ports are. On my motherboard, the antennae are at the top of the rear panel where the USB 2.0 ports are, away from the USB 3 ports and interference. Although I don't use WiFi unless I'm using Linux.

Yes, a PCIe WiFI card would be an option, and wired antennae that keep the wireless signal away from the USB ports should be sufficient.
 

Liquid Cool

New member
SERGEANT
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
26
Mattech...

Thanks for stopping back in... :-) .

You have a point, most of these companies seem to put these wifi antennas at the bottom(when you have a tower) of all the I/O. My last ASRock board also had the antennas VERY close together. I found that to be hard to use, especially in my old TT P1 when it's lying down.

I went on ebay over the weekend and ordered a "cabled" antenna from Asus. I've never really bought these in the secondary market and I'm not familiar with what is good or not...so, If anyone knows of/is using a good cabled antenna...please don't hesitate to chime in here. I'm waiting for it to come in the mail. I'm going to try it with the stock MSI wi-fi and see where that gets me. If not...the PCIe wifi card is doing the trick.

Best,
Liquid Cool
 
Top