Got a fancy new Pascal-based video card and a Gigabyte motherboard? Staring at a blank screen? Read this

Last week, I pulled the trigger on a long-overdue video card upgrade, jumping from an aging 670 GTX to a fancy new 1070 GTX made by Asus. When it came in the mail, I eagerly shoved it into place on my motherboard, turned the power to my computer back on, and… nothing. While I don’t have a speaker in my case (does anyone these days?), it quickly became clear that it wasn’t clearing POST, which was confirmed when a press of the power button a couple of minutes later (in theory enough time for a full boot) caused it to shut off immediately.

At first, I thought maybe it was a power issue. I have a Corsair 650W power supply that seemed up for the task, but I became a little skeptical. I tried a different power cable. I tried a different PCIe slot, wondering if I’d screwed something up taking the 670 out. I put the old card back in, returning everything to normal. Nothing in the configuration in BIOS jumped out at me.

From here, I turned to the internet for help. Plenty of other people had blank screen issues, but most of those seemed to be hardware failure-related. Then I came across a post by another Gigabyte motherboard owner, who solved their problem by changing the PCIe configuration to manually reflect that it’s a 3rd-gen PCIe card.

This sounded vaguely familiar from my time spent looking through BIOS settings, and sure enough, I found what I was looking for under M.I.T. -> Miscellaneous Settings: PEG Gen 3 Slot Configuration. This is set to Auto by default, and for whatever reason, my Z77X-UP4 TH motherboard (and, I’m guessing, a number of other Z77-based Gigabyte boards) completely fails at automatically detecting the right setting. Once I toggled it to Gen3 and put the 1070 back in, everything was just fine.

So don’t freak out! Just go digging in BIOS for an obscure setting that ideally should never have to be changed.

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