My computer’s a mess. Here’s the story:
8 or 9 months ago, my brother in law’s computer died, so I offered to pop his Duron into my computer to see if it was the CPU. It didn’t POST, so I figured the CPU was dead… until I reinstalled my Athlon, and it didn’t POST. So, I figured that board was dead. It was an ECS K7S5A, and it worked great until then, so I got another. Right from the getgo, there were problems. It took several power ups to finally POST (apparently a common problem with this board), and my Echo MIA soundcard routinely locked up with it - a major inconvenience. The board worked fine with my Ensoniq AudioPCI.
Recently, I moved from Win98 to 2K, hoping to improve stability. This has been a disaster. I still have the aforementioned board problems, but now my DSL modem is giving me problems. I can’t connect to certain sites (microsoft, mcafee, matercare (??) and others), and now I can’t even get my email. Sounds like a worm, but my virus software doesn’t find anything, and I’ve done a couple of clean installs in the meantime with firewall and AV software being installed before hitting the net, to no avail. Interestingly, all the internet problems go away with an ethernet modem (I’m using an internal, and have tried a USB).
Since the mobo is still under warranty, I’m sending it back, but, until it gets fixed or replaced, I’ll need a new board. I want a board that will just WORK, without weeks of screwing with it. Is there such a thing? I’m using Win2K, Athlon 950, 384 megs of RAM, and the soundcards mentioned above, with an Antec 350W PS.
I’m open for suggestions, cause almost everything I look up on the internet seems to have problems associated with it.
use a board with nforce 2 chipset from Asus, MSI, Chaintec or Abit
K75SA and K7VZA are the most worst boards i had ever seen.
I use Asus boards in my custom made DAWs - see Custom DAWs for details.
I also use Win2K. I don't use Asus/Athlon boards (because I use Intel chips) but my quess is that they make reliable ones. Check out their Asus's web site, look for a board that is suitable to your needs & then do a Google on it. Something will probably come up.
I have a Abit IT7-Max2, v 2.0 which I built & is my kid's machine. I recently installed XP Home on it & discovered that the USB stopped working. I tried everything but nothing worked. I did a search on the net for the board & USB, and viola - I found a review that mentioned the problem & told me what driver I needed to install.
Hope this helps.
Unless you really want to stick to AMD, Charlie’s got it right. Intel and Intel - CPU and Chipset.
I’ve been using Soyo borard because I like the built in Hi-Point controller (4 physical hard drives and 2 physical burners - CD and DVD – don’t ask why I need both unless you want to hear a rant).
I’ve got two (Soyos) and have just ordered another MB, CPU and Memory (3.2 P4, Soyo Dragon 2, 1g RAM…get here Tuesday…WOOHOOO!! —I hope my luck holds wih the Soyo). Anyway, they have Intel chipsets in them and I’ve nver had the kinds of problems others have had, while I see question after question about pops and clicks and crashes and installation troubles from folks running AMD, SIS, Via…combinations other than Intel and Intel.
Some, maybe more that we know, AMD troubles are because of RAM speed tolerance. When the fast AMD CPUs came out a few years ago the spec for RAM tolerance had not be set so MB and RAM manufacturers had to guess at what the final standard would be. They were close, but if you get some RAM that swings one way and the MB swings the other there are major troubles. The ONLY fix is to replace the RAM from another batch in the hopes that it’s tolerance will swing in the other direction. There’s no check for this and now want to know replacing the RAM will help. I suppose after a few years the problem is solved, but that would be only with new stuff. All old motherboards that worked of the early assumptions will always be suceptible to problems…or they will work fine. It’s the RAM MB combination that brings out the worst in them.
I also have 2 Asus and one AMD something. The AMD ha major problems with games and one of the Asus had PCI buss problems. None are Intel and Intel…obvious in the AMD case I suppose.
As a reference check out the FAQs at http://www.echoaudio.com/Support/PC/Quick_Tips.php They has some thoughts about what works well with their sound cards. It’s probably a safe bet that what works well for them will hold true for most soundcards…while the other way around might be asking for trouble in the DAW world.
I recently upgraded, and I too decided to go the Intel route.
Shuttle AB60N (865 chipset), and dual boot 98SE and 2000 Server (I only installed W2000 because I needed it for Cubase SX).
It may not be the fastest setup on the planet, but it’s stable and pretty bomb proof.
Sooo, phoo, why two separate burners ?
* dukcs & runs *
Well OK then…because the CD burner software I prefer wouldn’t recognize the brand new CD/DVD burner as being in the machine – it said there are no CD drives in the machine. Everything else that could burn CDs (WMP, CD data disks, etc) saw it just fine. I could burn audio CDs in WMP, but if I wanted to lay out a song using Fuerio then I needed us the HP burner. The problem is NOT Fuerio. The problem is that Feurio doesn’t handle old burners very well. That could be a Fuerio problem I suppose. It supports most older and newer ones just fine. Turns out the brand new CD/DVD burner is using some older who knows what that Feurio doesn’t support. So my OLD burner is technically much newer than my NEW CD/DVD burner when it comes to CD rom drivers…Is that screwy or what?
I built my DAW with an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe mobo (has the n-force 2 chipset) and it has worked beautifully. I had one minor issue regarding the bios version, contacted ASUS, and they propmptly responded with an email that told me how to solve the problem.
My computer geek buddies told me to go with ASUS and it looks like they were right.
I’ve been using an MSI K7N2 Delta L (N-Force 2 chipset with Athlon XP 2400+) and it works like a dream…
This was one of the boards I was considering, but I was reading on the net that this one (or was it the A7V8X?) had known problems - I was reading a lot last nite so don't ask me what it was, but there were as many complaints as there are for my ECS board. You had no problems with it though, eh?
Something else I should mention - I pulled out 1 stick of RAM, and there are no lockups. Perhaps this board is finicky about mixing differennt brand/sizes of RAM. I still have the internet issues, though.
Thanks for the replies, and I'm open to other suggestions.
Lots of boards are picky about mismatched RAM.
Even though I said I haven’t had any problems with the Soyos I did go through a short time that I was getting random lockups and crashes. It was happening when doing lots of graphic editing in Paint Shop Pro. Paint Shop Pro was a new installation at the time so I thought it was just being buggy.
What I had done was add 256 megs more RAM a week or so before installing Paint Shop Pro. I hadn’t had any problems, I assume, because I wasn’t doing must to use memory, until Paint Shop Pro.
I don’t know why but something made me pull out the new RAM. Regardless of why, pulling the RAM caused the hanging to go away. That seemed funny at the time – less RAM in the machine when doing memory intensive stuff makes the system stable? My first thought was that new RAM was bad, so to find out I pulled the old RAM that I knew worked and stuck in JUST the new RAM — no problems.
What I finally found that it was the combination. I also found out (talked to someone) that 256 meg sticks don’t mix well with hardly any other RAn except other 256 meg sticks except the same kind and somtimes the same brand and SOMETIMES the same batch. In other words 256 meg sticks and be picky. Of course it’s not the RAM being picky.
So, 2256 workes fine and 1256 + 2*128 didn’t work very well at all.
I’d never had this problem before and I’ve done mismatched RAM a lot while using whatever RAM I had sitting around. Keep in mind that all this mismatched RAM was the same speed and differed only in size, bought at the same place during a short period of time (about the time RAM got REALLY cheap for a while).
It was a learning experience for sure.
I think that there are several other forum members using the same mobo (A7N8X Deluxe) and everything I’ve heard is positive. I haven’t read about any problems and my experience has been first rate.
Regarding ram, this board supports double data rate ram (ddr) which means you need two identical sticks to take advantage of the feature. I started with a single stick of 512k and later I added another stick. I could really tell the difference. My system exhibited a noticable speed increase.
A7N8X regular here. Probably should have dropped the extra $60 or so for the deluxe version, as I’ve added RAID and Firewire cards.
Used to run mismatched ram no problems - 1x512, 2x256 in dual channel mode (at 266) Decided to overclock though, so I’ve got 2x512 (although, one is 333 and the other is 400).
Seems to be a very stable board.
ASUS A7V600 here. Athlon XP 2500 “Barton”. Solid as a rock. Via KT600 chipset.
|Quote (8th_note @ Sep. 20 2004,14:27)|
|Regarding ram, this board supports double data rate ram (ddr) which means you need two identical sticks to take advantage of the feature.|
Actually, you get the advertised "double data rate" of DDR even if using only one stick of it. I imagine you're thinking of the dual-channel DDR feature of the A7N8X, which effectively doubles the data rate again on top of what DDR already gives you (two sticks required). So your two 512MB sticks of PC3200 are synchronized to theoretically act like a 1GB stick of PC6400. At least that's how I understand the dual-channel feature (don't have it myself ).
Dual-channel means RAM data, inbound or outbound can take the 8 lane expressway instead of the two-lane country road. It’s all about opening up bottle-necks.
You will get Dual Channel Mode if you populate the memory slots with two or four identical symmetrical DIMMs, such as in these examples - see DDR
Unfortunately, not on my board. The chipset still has to support dual-channel DDR. The SiS 746FX on my current board–and the SiS 735 on my older one–support DDR, but don’t support dual-channel mode. However, nForce2 does, for example. According to this from Tom’s Hardware, the nForce2 was first with dual-channel DDR.
Of course, this is the AMD world I’m talking about, though; I don’t know about P4/DDR boards, or even if dual-channel is now standard with all the latest AMD boards, for that matter. But I do know I ain’t got it!