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Unable to capture images and getting a “PCI FIFO Overflow” error message

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2016 10:30AM PDT
Product: PCI and PCIe
Computer: Desktop and Laptop
Operating System: Windows and Apple

I am unable to capture images and am getting a “PCI FIFO Overflow” error message in XCAP.
A: This error message indicates that the PCI bus or PCI Express bus on the motherboard does not have enough bandwidth to transfer the amount of data that the camera is generating. Here are the buses PIXCI® frame grabbers are designed for and their typical maximum bandwidth limits:
32 bit PCI - 110 MB/s
64 bit PCI - 400 MB/s
PCI Express x1 - 190 MB/s
PCI Express x4 - 700 MB/s
ExpressCard 54 for laptops - 190 MB/s

To decrease the amount of data that is being passed across the bus, there are a few easy steps that can be taken:
1. Capture a lower bit depth, for example if capturing 12 bit images try capturing 8 bit or 10 bit images instead.
2. If capturing more than 8 bits, try turning on bit packing if the option is available in XCAP's controls. This will decrease the amount of data being passed across
the bus, at the cost of a slightly increased load on the computer's CPU.
3. If capturing color video from a PIXCI® SV5, try selecting PIXCI® ® PIXCI® Video Setup in XCAP. In the “Video Resolution” tab, change the “Data Pixel
Format” to UYVY. Click OK or Apply. This will decrease the amount of data being passed across the bus by 33%, at the cost of a very slightly increased load
on the computer's CPU.
4. Try capturing a smaller image resolution, or try running the camera at a slower frame rate.
In case some other devices on the system may be sharing bus bandwidth with the frame grabber, you can also try the following:
5. Close any unnecessary programs that are running on the computer. Their operation may be accessing devices that share bus bandwidth.
6. If using a frame grabber on a PCI bus (32 bit or 64 bit), remove devices that may be installed on the same PCI bus as the frame grabber. You can also move
the frame grabber to a PCI slot that is on a different PCI bus. Many motherboards only have one PCI bus, or there may be only one available PCI slot, so this
may not be possible.
In case there is something wrong with the motherboard:
7. Update the BIOS on your motherboard to the very latest BIOS version.
8. If all else fails, there may be something wrong with the motherboard; try a different computer with a different motherboard. Some motherboards simply do not
provide the expected bandwidth on their PCI or PCI Express buses.


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