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aslon

any suggestions from VIA Pro266T-based board owners

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I'm assembling a dual P3/VIA system for a friend and keep having various small nasty glitches and would like to ask owners of similar systems what are their configurations.

The system will be based either on Iwill 266DVDu-Rn board or MSI Pro266TD (9105) board. I have both here and tried both

SB Audigy or SB Live (have both, tried both)

2x P3 1.26 w/512

Intel Pro100+ Nic

Promise Ultra 100TX non-raid, lots of IDE burners and drives

enermax 350W

Win 2000

I keep getting problems as clicking sound or random video slowdowns for a sec or two (like drop in fps if running some demo constantly - in random places). Also the RAID patch seems only decreased the burst HDD read speeds :

The problems are well-known and there are many solutions to them, and I tried a many of them an dnow asking for some help :)

Installed latest VIA 4in1, latency patch (0.19 and 0.20b), latest WHQL nvidia drivers, for Live used bult int W2K, for Audigy latest drivers from Creative.

Played with card distribution in slots, though probably have not tried all the possible combinations. Played with BIOS too.

Managed to solve sound clicking only with live only on MSI board with 0.20beta patch when manually edited registry to set CreativeBoost to 80. still minor distortion but its ok. With 0.19 stable patch no luck

------

So, so so, the question is

- if you have any VIA Pro266T based system with creative and nvidia cards which versions of creative/nvidia/latency patch/VIA 4in1s you use (if you still remember, heh)

- if you have one of the above boards which PCI slots you use for which card, maybe some BIOPS tweak hints?

Thanks!

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the story with glitches is interesting

I definitely had none with bare system with vidcard only (was running varous demos for some time to check stability)

Installed all the other stuff and only some time later when checking final assembly noticed them. Though about audio right away, removed - still got them.

Then when I assembled all the stuff in another board (first was MSI, now Iwill) seems like I have no video glitches with sound on (but more sound clicks though no IRQ sharing at latency patch is intalled). But again they were rare and random and maybe I'm just lucky. Thats what bothers me, sort of randomness and uncertainty. Maybe its ok? maybe its not?

hard to proof there are no problems but at least want to see what others have and try to fix all I can.

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I had similar popping problems with an Iwill KK266+R motherboard; disabling RAID solved it for me.

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I've got the IWill DVD266u-RN, with the Audigy installed and running Windows 2000. I've had no problems matching what you've experienced. The only serious problem I've had is with the onboard audio causing random bluescreens. Have you tried disabling the onboard audio with the jumper? I think it's mainly a problem with the C-media drivers but I disabled it in hardware just to be sure.

My hardware layout is as follows

AGP - Leadtek Winfast GF4 Ti4600

PCI1 - empty (blocked by the Zalman ZM80A-HP heatpipe cooler)

PCI2 - Intel 100MBit dual-port NIC

PCI3 - empty

PCI4 - Audigy

PCI5 - Compaq/Adaptec 39160D

I'm currently running 2x WD800JB on the onboard RAID as single drives and burst rate is at 85MB/s measured by HDTach.

Current installation was performed in the following order

1 - Windows 2000 Server

2 - SP3

3 - Via Hyperion 4in1 4.45

4 - Via RAID Performance Patch

5 - Latency patch beta20 May 25, 2002

This board is very finnicky with memory, both from a hardware and from a configuration perspective. Be sure to test your configuration with memtest86.

Hope some of this info helps. FWIW, I think this is a great board but not for beginners as there are a number of potential problems with it. Check out the Iwill forums for more info.

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Thanks for all the replies, thanks for the config Chew.

I mostly solved the problems I had but here is some rant about the board or the chipset (not that I dislike the board, but it does require a lot of tweaking before it works good).

I disabled both onboard RAID and sound (via jumpers) and LAN from the very beginning, and I used Kingmax DDR400 memory, probably similar to Chew's memory.

After playing around I found that PCI Slot4 was giving me a lot of torubles. Sound was clickign almost more then playing there (with only video and snd cards on), and W2K wont even boot from IDE card in slot4! (this one is funny, it recognizes the card in the slot, installs the drivers, but when HDD is moved from onboard to the card in Slot4 - no luck. Works fine in all other slots)

So at the end I had Slot2 with Intel NIC, 1 blocked (lol Chew!) by the same heatthink on the video, and Slot 3 audio, Slot 4 tv-tuner (or empty, same result everywhere) and Slot 5 Promise IDE card.

No more sound clicking after latency patch and _completely random_ fps drops.

But I got one REALLY funny thing going.

The system works stable, but: I run a simple HDD bandwidth test (hdspeed) written by the same guy who wrote latency patch and available from that page. It showed some reasonable ~85-90 MB/sec which is good for a Ultra100 card. Then I decided to test stability and started winamp and a few Quake3 copies. It all run well so I closed all but quakes and decided to leave them runnign for some time to test if my video overheats or not. But suddenly I got 20fps instead of 100. Then god knows why I started the above hdspeed... and fps jumped back to 100!

Stop the test - 20 fps. Start the test - 100fps! The hdspeed's Mb/sec stayed constant when quakes were and were not running. Hell, this is funny.

Slot 5 where the IDE card is shares hardware IRQ with the AGP slot (but not "PCI IRQ" as W2K shows it) so I would understand video SLOWING down when HDD is accessed. But why is it RUNNIGN FASTER when hdd is accessed?????? Must be some IRQ stuff, but what exactly...

After reboot until the hdspeed test is run again the quake shows 100fps. IF the test is run WHILE quake is running and then stopped then i get 20 fps. IF it is started again - back to 100 fps. Any, I mean ANY, ideas WHY?

Its not a big deal but its so strange!

Thanks

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OOPS, the last post was about IWill board.

Just FYI: in comparision to MSI board Iwil is better as it lets tweak memory and some other options in the BIOS more AND all PCI slots can get unique non-shared IRQs (MSI board has Slot2 and Slot3 share an IRQ).

But it is definitely very finnicky with memory. On MSI I was able to run the same CPUs and memory at 150 FSB no problem (with CAS2/4way interleave, the only options in MSI's BIOS). On Iwill same stuff wont run faster then 137FSB with some "Enchaced -0T" setting for the memory.

With "less enchanced" or "normal" settings wont boot windows at faster then 135FSB... (again, this is funny - works better with more tweaked settings)

I'm pretty sure the system wont be overclocked by the owner, but itsd always nice to know the system is overclockable - then psychologically it seems its more stable at stock speeds, heh.

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OOPS, the last post was about IWill board.

Just FYI: in comparision to MSI board Iwil is better as it lets tweak memory and some other options in the BIOS more AND all PCI slots can get unique non-shared IRQs (MSI board has Slot2 and Slot3 share an IRQ).

PCI slots 1 and 5 share on the Iwill board. But I guess this doesn't matter since slot 1 is blocked in both of our cases..

But it is definitely very finnicky with memory. On MSI I was able to run the same CPUs and memory at 150 FSB no problem (with CAS2/4way interleave, the only options in MSI's BIOS). On Iwill same stuff wont run faster then 137FSB with some "Enchaced -0T" setting for the memory.

With "less enchanced" or "normal" settings wont boot windows at faster then 135FSB... (again, this is funny - works better with more tweaked settings)

I'm pretty sure the system wont be overclocked by the owner, but itsd always nice to know the system is overclockable - then psychologically it seems its more stable at stock speeds, heh.

How many memory modules do you have installed? I found with two modules things work a lot better when installing the memory as far away from each other as possible (ie slots 1 and 4). Run memtest86 that I linked to earlier to test your memory stability in various configurations.

This board doesn't seem to overclock very well. It has all the features that should enable it to do well, but just doesn't seem capable. There is one problem there may be a solution to for you. Most of these boards supply under voltage to the CPUs. My 1.45v Tualatins only get around 1.4v when the board is set to either auto or 1.45v. Try bumping the voltage to 1.5v in the BIOS and you'll get about the right voltage.

Mind you, I don't know if the error is in the supplied voltage or just the reading of it. FWIW, fixing the voltage levels manually made no difference to my overclocking attempts. I decided to leave my voltage levels low to help minimise temps, as there's no overclocking in my system.

And it's been rock solid even with low voltage. Except when the Cmedia was enabled. Also, when I was trying out WinXP it was no good either, but that was a problem with the NVidia drivers I think not working too well in XP. Using the same drivers in 2k gave no errors at all. Hopefully current driver revisions have resolved this. Maybe even Cmedia drivers will have improved!

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Played with card distribution in slots, though probably have not tried all the possible combinations. Played with BIOS too.

Rather than just playing around, use the interrupt allocation table that (hopefully) is in the manual. Some slots are hardwired to share interrupts with another slot, others with onboard components. Avoid these shared slots if at all possible.

I'm not sure whether the chipset supports APIC mode? If so, enable it and you'll get 7 additional interrupts.

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