Internet connectivity/buffering issues w/ 10Gbit Ethernet Aquantia AQC-107 NIC built in MSI Godlike Z490 mobo

mjdurstewitz

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I've been chasing this problem for weeks now. While I get respectable data transfer speeds of large .ISO files to my Synology DS2419+ NAS over Cat7 (>550MB) from my MSI Godlike's Aquantia AQC-107 onboard 10Gb NIC, Internet connectivity continually drops, video buffering, etc. when using that same NIC for browsing/watching YouTube videos. I never see an actual loss of network connection status in Windows--just the spinning buffering indicatior in YouTube, or sometimes jumbled text in the browser window.

If I disable the 10Gbit adapter in Windows Network Center and use the onboard Realtek RTL8125B 2.5Gbit adapter for Internet, there is no buffering and no internet dropouts.

To rule out the other hardware, I've swapped the 10G switch and cat 7 cables, I even connected the 10Gb NIC to a 1Gb switch instead and still got Internet buffering. I've changed all of the configuration settings in Advanced Properties in Device Manager for that adapter, I've uninstalled and reinstalled it in Windows 10 2004 (but this problem was occuring in 1909 and 1903 also), performed a manual reset, and I verified I had the latest Marvell 2.1.21.0 drivers. Nothing I've tried has helped. I have looked on the Marvell website, but there does not appear to be any new firmware available for the adapter on the MSI motherboards--and there isn't any firmware of any kind listed on the MSI website for the NIC. I've scoured the Internet and only found one old reference that dealt with disabling "Recv Segment Coalescing (IPv4) and (IPv6)" in Windows Device Manager, but I did that early on in my troubleshooting.

I noticed the same exact video buffering symptoms with an ASUS XG-C100C PCIE 10Gb NIC in a different computer. That ASUS NIC also has a Marvell chipset. And although I was able to flash update the firmware on that NIC to a newer version than what it shipped with, it still did not solve the buffering problem. To fix the problem with that computer, I purchased an Intel Converged X540 T1 NIC, and the buffering problem immediately went away. But since the Godlike mobo has the AQC-107 built in, I'd hate to have to go that route, since one of the main reasons I spent the extra $ for this board was to save the expansion slot for my capture card and not to have to use it for a 10Gbit NIC.

Has anyone else come across this buffering issue and found a solution?
 
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citay

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I see lots of hits about this problem with the AQC-107.
hXXps://www.reddit.com/r/Ubiquiti/comments/bhedkz/issues_with_aquantia_aqc107/
(replace XX with tt, for some reason the forum doesn't allow Reddit links)


And so on, i think it's all similar.

You must be referring to this thread about the Coalescing: https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthre...he-chip-thru-device-manager!/page2#post793584

For some people, a firmware update fixed it eventually, and they link to this thread: https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?117314-New-driver-and-FW-for-aquantia-107

So i think nothing other than a firmware update in conjunction with newer drivers will actually fix this. I would try updating the firmware if i were you. Yes, it's on the mainboard, but you might still be able to update its firmware directly, without having to depend on MSI to provide it.

If the update won't work for some reason, then you will have to contact MSI to provide a custom firmware. But i'm optimistic that you can update the firmware yourself somehow.
 

mjdurstewitz

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Yes, thanks for the link. I chased that thread as well. Updating the ASUS XG C100C 10GbE NIC with the latest Marvell firmware did not solve the problem with that card, but I looked anyway. I really wished they'd have gone with an Intel 10G NIC for the price of this mobo.
 
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citay

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Holy smokes, i just looked up the price. 😧

Well, yeah. Where did all this money go. It's safe to say that the VRM section wasn't exactly cheap, 16 high-end Powerstages with ceramic capacitors, that's not something you see everyday...

All the different chips cost a pretty penny too. The AQC107 should cost around 35-45 EUR if you order in mass quantities. I mean, you just have to look at the prices for the netword adapter cards with it, the cheapest i saw was the QNAP QXG-10G1T for 94 EUR. Then if we look at cards with the Intel 10GB chip, they start at 129 EUR. Is the chip double the price of the AQC107? Possible. But the board is a halo product which shows what is currently possible, i'm sure the Intel chip would've fit the bill.
 

flyingv2815b702e7

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Early adopters root out the bugs.
It comes with the territory, unfortunately.

I can see how you can update the fw when its a stand alone card, the EEPROM is on the card
for exclusive use by the chip. When its a MB bios I think the fw is embedded in the BIOS somewhere
and there is no separate chip. (Same for video BIOS when an APU is detected.)

Updating these could be trickier. Requires the right utilities.

On the other hand, UEFI is actually a modular BIOS and with the right tools,
you can d/l the stock image and rework it to remove or add modules. Wouldn't it be nice if
the NIC firmware was just a module that could be updated? Just a thought.

Lacking support from the mfr, there is a possible hack.
If you know of a UEFI bios that works (any mfr, any board) and it is just a module,
it should be possible to extract that module and then insert it into your own BIOS.
Yes, its an advanced process not for the faint of heart.

I have used this technique to add NVME boot support to old motherboards.
(The M2 card goes on a PCIe slot adapter.)

But yeah, I agree with the other guy. For the price they should have used a better chip.
 
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mjdurstewitz

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Here's a thought from another thread. Do you have Dragon Center installed?
Sorry, I had this forum set up to notify me if there was any new traffic on my thread, yet I got no notifications.
I did have Dragon Center installed, but I uninstalled it a few days ago as part of troubleshooting. I have the latest MSI mobo BIOS flashed (updated last week). I opened a ticket with MSI today, but this is such a rabbet hole, I'm really dreading this one (considering how old some of the internet video buffering threads I've seen are, and how old the AQC-107 chipset is with no definitive answer to this problem anywhere). I installed an Intel PCIE X540T1 10GbE card last night, and it performs flawlessly with no Internet stuttering or video buffering. That's an old PCIE v2.0 card from 2016, and Intel got it right way back then. Problem is, it's going through the chipset and sharing lanes with my third M.2 NVME SSD. The way the mobo is laid out, the last M.2 SSD drops from 4 lanes to 2, and the last PCIE slot drops from X4 to X1. So my PCIE Gen 2 10GbE Intel LAN adapter was netting me a max of 393GB/sec transfer rate from my Synology Flashstation to one of my other NVME SSDs. An Intel X550T1 Adapter (PCIE Gen 3) would have cost me double what the X540 cost me, and normally, the X540 will saturate the 10Gbit bus with X4 lanes even though it's only PCIE Gen 2. Those X550T1 cards cost what a top grade motherboard costs.
 
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mjdurstewitz

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MSI replied and gave me the option to open an RMA to send back the motherboard. Oh boy. I don't think that's going to fix anything, since I think it's a firmware issue, and the motherboard they send me will have the same problem. Plus, I'd have to rip my system apart and wait for the replacement and have the system down while I wait. I asked them if they had any knowledge of the history of this issue with the AQC-107 chipset, since there are many references on the Internet to this same issue with other mfrs of NICs and mobos. I really think whomever I am talking with at tech support is a tier 1 tech and following a troubleshooting flow chart....
 

fatedust

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How did you uninstall Dragon Center? Did you uninstall both Dragon Center and MSI SDK?
And make sure that cFosSpeed app is uninstalled too.
 

mjdurstewitz

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How did you uninstall Dragon Center? Did you uninstall both Dragon Center and MSI SDK?
And make sure that cFosSpeed app is uninstalled too.
I uninstalled Dragon Center from within Windows' Control Panel's Programs and Features. I did uninstall cFosSpeed, but I did not uninstall MSI SDK. I will do that now. Thank you. What does that do? The only MSI software still on my system is MSI Afterburner for my GPU. One note; even though MSI SDK was still installed, I was not having any Internet video stuttering through the Intel 10GbE NIC, but if I disable that NIC and enable the onboard AQC-107 10GbE NIC, the stuttering starts again. I'll have to try it again, now that I have uninstalled MSI SDK. I also got an Intel X550-T1 PCIE Gen 3 NIC to replace the Gen 2, since I'm currently forced to use it in an X1 PCIE configuration. That gave me 760MB/sec data transfer rate to my NAS, when I was only getting 393MB/sec using the PCIE Gen 2 X450-T1 NIC. Again, no Internet stuttering with the Intel X550-T1 NIC. Copying the same files with the AQC-107 onboard NIC that netted 760MB/sec via 1 lane through the chipset with the X550-T1 NIC netted 1.1GB/sec with the AQC-107, so there is no problem with standard intranet file transfer. It's only Internet streaming where I am still seeing the spinning wheel in Firefox and video stops in Edge using that NIC, whereas that same video runs smoothly with the Intel NICs. That is after I've uninstalled all of the MSI Dragon, SDK and cFosSpeed software.
 
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fatedust

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I'm out of ideas too...
How about using the 2.5G LAN as a workaround for Internet streaming?

Or try to update Intel Management Engine Driver to the latest version 2020.14.0.1600 which can be downloaded from MSI website.
https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MEG-Z490-GODLIKE#down-driver&Win10 64
(someone on other forum reported that this method worked...)

Or update the firmware?
Marvell AQtion Firmware Updater Utility v1.5.0_3.1.109
 

mjdurstewitz

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I'm out of ideas too...
How about using the 2.5G LAN as a workaround for Internet streaming?

Or try to update Intel Management Engine Driver to the latest version 2020.14.0.1600 which can be downloaded from MSI website.
https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MEG-Z490-GODLIKE#down-driver&Win10 64
(someone on other forum reported that this method worked...)

Or update the firmware?
Marvell AQtion Firmware Updater Utility v1.5.0_3.1.109
Yes, I have CAT 7 cables attached to both integrated NICs on the motherboard and was only enabling the 10GbE NIC when I wanted to do backups to my NAS when I needed the full 10Gbit speed. I would disable the 2.5Gbit NIC during the process, and then reverse the process and disable the 10GbE NIC when I was done with backups and wanted to browse the Internet again. But it didn't make sense that I couldn't have 10Gbit AND reliable Internet, which is why I purchased an Intel PCIE X550-T1 NIC and got flawless data transfer + Internet just to prove that it's possible and to completely rule out my infrastructure at home (CAT 7 cabling, managed switch, *router, etc.). I did read that Windows doesn't like having two NICs connected to Internet at the same time, because Windows assigns them both an Internet gateway. And although I found a link that explained a command line process to try to force Windows to remove the gateway on one NIC, it didn't work, so I was forced to manually disable the NIC anyway.
I'll double-check that Intel Management Engine Driver link you provided, just in case it's brand new, but last week I went through and made sure I had all the latest drivers installed when I updated the system BIOS. Thanks! ***Edit: I had already updated that Intel Management Engine Driver, but thanks for providing the link!
I used that Marvel Aqtion Firmware Updater Utility v1.5.1_3.1.109 to flash update the firmware on an ASUS XG-C100C 10GbE NIC that had the SAME EXACT PROBLEM in a completely different computer (X99 system) a few months ago. The ASUS NIC also uses the AQC-107 chipset, so I am beginning to think that there might be an incompatibility between my Verizon FIOS router and the AQC-107 chipset, since both the Intel X540 and X550 10GbE NICs have no problems with Internet communications, while two different AQC-107 NICs are dropping frames, buffering Internet videos, etc.. I haven't found any router settings (frankly, I'm not that router savvy) to make the router more compatible with the AQC-107 NIC. I compared the REALTEK device driver and Intel device driver advanced settings to the AQC-107 settings, and they match, so there was nothing significantly different to point to Internet instability.
But although using the Intel X550-T1 NIC gives me great Internet connectivity but only adequate 10GbE transfer rate (760MB/sec) while with the AQC-107 10GbE NIC I am getting poor Internet connectivity but great data transfer rate--1.1GB/sec to my Synology Flashstation NAS, using the PCIE NIC drops one of my NVME SSDs down to X2 transfer speeds. So I'd really like to find a solution to this integrated mobo NIC problem and be able to use it again. BTW, all the Z490 motherboard MFRs that have integrated 10GbE adapters are using the Marvell AQC-107 (ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI). None of them use Intel. My guess is the cost of the Intel chipset would boost the mobo price so much higher that they would sell even fewer of them.
 
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mjdurstewitz

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Since the motherboard supports WiFi-6 and my existing "Gen 4" Verizon router did not, I've ordered an upgraded "Gen 6" router from Verizon that supports it. Even though my Intel 10GbE NICs have no problem negotiating Internet through that older router, it is my hope that whatever issue I'm having with the AQC-107 chipset is an incompatibility with the current router, since two different AQC-107 NICs in two different computers displayed the same symptoms, and the only piece of hardware I could not swap out in my troubleshooting was the router.
 

mjdurstewitz

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There USED TO be a way to prioritize connections in Windows so that you could set up Internet to run through a specific adapter: https://www.wpxbox.com/use-ethernet-wifi-together-windows-10/
Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, Microsoft removed this capability. That would have solved my problem and allowed me to use the Realtek 2.5Gbit adapter for Internet and the Marvell 10Gbit adapter for NAS backups. I'm still researching if there's a way to do this if the new router doesn't solve the problem with the 10Gb adapter corrupting/buffering Internet.
 

mjdurstewitz

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I found a temporary work-around. I have both AQC-107 10Gb and Realtek 2.5Gb Ethernet adapters connected and enabled. In Windows under "Open Network and Internet Settings," I was able to select the 10Gb adapter IP settings' properties and turn off the slider for IPV4. It now shows as an "Unidentified Network", while the 2.5 Realtek adapter shows as "Private Network" so Windows is using that for Internet. But I just did a file transfer from my Synology Flashstation, and apparently the previous adapter priority table is still valid, because a 25GB file transferred at 1.1GB/sec which means Windows is still using the faster 10Gb NIC for the data transfer even though it's using the 2.5Gb NIC for Internet. Phew, I hope it stays this way after I reboot!
 

mjdurstewitz

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The new Gen 6 Verizon router did not improve connectivity with the AQC-107 10GbE NIC. I was impressed that WiFi-6 download speeds were up to 395Gbit/sec, but internet buffering was still present through the AQC-107 NIC. So, I'm still disabling IPV4 through the 10GbE NIC and running Internet connectivity through the Realtek 2.5GbE Ethernet port and having not problems with Internet buffering or stuttering.
 

laurence1211

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A very odd problem, traffic dependant throughput issues. What's the windows defender setup like on your computer? Also what antivirus software do you use? It's like something getting in the way of all net traffic but Lan traffic is unaffected.
 

mjdurstewitz

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A very odd problem, traffic dependant throughput issues. What's the windows defender setup like on your computer? Also what antivirus software do you use? It's like something getting in the way of all net traffic but Lan traffic is unaffected.
I only use Windows Defender for antivirus. The setup is standard/default, since this is a new system installation. When using the Intel PCIE 10GbE LAN adapter or the 2.5Gb Realtek onboard NIC, the Internet traffic dropout/buffering issues disappear. I also don't have any Internet issues when I am connected via the system's onboard wireless NIC, so I do not believe it is a Windows Defender issue. It's only when using the onboard 10Gb AQC-107 chipset NIC for Internet that I have problems. However, that same NIC transfers data to my NAS at 1.1GB/sec with no errors or collisions (according to my managed switch logs). So, it's even stranger than "traffic dependent throughput issues," because it's only happening on one of four NICs. I've compared all of the advanced settings in device manager against the other NICs, and they match. I even received a new model router from Verizon yesterday just to rule out a possible router incompatibility with the AQC-107 chipset (since the Intel and Realtek NICS have no problem with Internet) through the old router, but the problem remains with the new router.
 
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laurence1211

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I only use Windows Defender for antivirus. The setup is standard/default, since this is a new system installation, and when using the Intel PCIE 10GbE LAN adapter or the 2.5Gb Realtek onboard NIC, the Internet traffic dropout/buffering issues disappear. I also don't have any Internet issues when I am connected via the system's wireless NIC, so I do not believe it is a Windows Defender issue. It's only when using the 10Gb AQC-107 chipset NIC for Internet that I have problems. However, that same NIC transfers data to my NAS at 1.1GB/sec with no errors or collisions (according to my managed switch logs). So, it's even stranger than "traffic dependent throughput issues," because it's only happening on one of four NICs. I've compared all of the advanced settings in device manager against the other NICs, and they match. I even received a new model router from Verizon yesterday just to rule out a possible router incompatibility with the AQC-107 chipset (since the Intel and Realtek NICS have no problem with Internet) through the old router, but the problem remains with the new router.
Your issue i think is a software issue, admittedly network issues like this are above my pay grade usually, but if i was trying to fix this issue at home this is how i would go about it. Its either the firewall, Qos not acting right, the driver with a setting not right or a combo of these. You want to remove as many things from the mix as possible. Are the download speeds from the nas to the computer via the 10gig also high? This is a random thought but have you tried live booting linux and seeing if the chip works normally with the linux driver?
Edit: Todays date listed for the drivers but not sure its actually new ones: https://www.marvell.com/support/downloads.html
 
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mjdurstewitz

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Download speeds from the NAS to the computer via the AQC-107 are fine; 1.1GB/sec from my Synology FS1018 flashstation to my NVME SSD, so no complaints with intranet speeds. Since the Firewall isn't specific to a particular NIC, and the other 3 NICs have no problem with Internet, I had ruled that out, unless I'm missing something. But when I was having problems in my older X99 system about 6 months ago with an PCIE ASUS XG-C100C 10Gb NIC (also a AQC-107 chipset) that was demonstrating the exact same symptoms, I disabled the Firewall with no improvement early on in the troubleshooting. I checked all of the driver settings and compared the bad NIC against the working NICs, so I drew a blank there and ended up installing an Intel 10Gb NIC in that system which fixed the problem there too. I do not work with Linux at all, I'm afraid. The fact that I had two different systems with two different NICs--but both of them AQC-107 chipsets--was leading me to believe it could be a firmware issue. While I did flash update the firmware on the ASUS PCIE LAN adapter, it made no difference. For now, I have IPV4 disabled on the AQC-107 10Gb onboard NIC and enabled on the Realtek 2.5Gb onboard NIC. So the system is using the Realtek NIC for Internet with no buffering issues, and my intranet is still using the 10Gb NIC for data transfer since it is still a higher priority than the 2.5 Gb NIC. So at least the system is working at full efficiency while I try to figure out why the AQC-107 doesn't like my Internet feed. Thanks for your suggestions! If it is software, it isn't the browser, since I've tried Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and the original Internet Explorer. They all display dropped graphics, random loss of formatted text headers, spinning wheel when playing video, etc. All very random, but they all do it. So the only software in common would be Windows. But then I would expect there to be a lot more complaints about incompatibility with the AQC-107 chipset, but maybe it's because 10Gb just isn't that common at home yet.
 
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