The Intel Ethernet i226-V network controller used in many Raptor Lake motherboards can have design flaws that cause momentary (on the order of seconds) disruptions and, as a result, the loss of a stable connection to the network. This is reported by the TechPowerUp portal.
The Intel Ethernet i226-V is the latest mainstream 2.5 Gigabit network controller designed for use on motherboards with Intel chipsets. It replaced the I225-V controller, which in turn was the first consumer network controller from Intel to support data transfer rates of 2.5 Gb/s. As already mentioned, the I225-V also had problems. Users complained about the instability of their work at the declared speed of 2.5 Gb / s (however, it could be forced to work in 1 Gb / s mode).
Many flagship motherboards based on the Intel 700 series chipsets and equipped with an LGA 1700 processor socket use the I226-V network controller with support for a data transfer rate of 2.5 Gbps. Some board models are also equipped with an optional network controller from other brands (e.g. Realtek or Marvell) that supports data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbit/s.
Owners of Intel 700 series motherboards, on which the I226-V controller was first used, have been complaining of sudden loss of wired connection to the network since mid-December last year. Such messages can be found in the support forums. Intel Support Community, Microsoft, Asusas well as in the Reddit forum (1, 2, 3, four, five). These connection losses are temporary and last no more than a few seconds. In many cases they are not even noticed. However, for applications that rely on constant and uninterrupted access to the web (e.g. online gaming, video conferencing services, VPN, PC remote control tools, etc.), such momentary disconnections are very noticeable.
You can check whether your motherboard is affected by this problem in the Windows component “Event Viewer” in the “Windows Logs” and “System” tabs by finding the “e2fnexpress” parameter in the search bar and in particular the event code Event 27 “Intel Ethernet Controller I226-V, Network Disconnected” and Event Code Event 32 “Intel Ethernet Controller I226-V. The network connection was established at 1Gbps full duplex”. According to TechPowerUp journalists, their PCs also encountered this problem. Updating the Intel network controller driver to the latest version 27.8, installing the latest motherboard BIOS, or forcing the network controller to 1 Gb/s did not solve the problem.
The way out for the same TechPowerUp journalists was to switch the network connection to the second network controller on the motherboard. Another option could be to buy a cheap network controller in the form of a PCIe expansion card or use a wireless Wi-Fi channel. However, not all mainboards have a second network adapter. Also, it’s not entirely clear why the user should pay extra to purchase additional networking equipment when the board already claims to have it. In general, such a situation seems unacceptable, especially for such a leading manufacturer of computer components as Intel, which is known for the quality of its network equipment. TechPowerUp journalists are urging Intel and motherboard manufacturers with the I226V controller to take notice and fix this issue as soon as possible.