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problem with chaintech 7nif2 and mobile athlon

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June 5, 2004 1:22:03 PM

I'm tyring to put together a mini-pc to use as an entertainment center. The hardware put together for this is:

antec aria case
chaintech 7nif2 microatx mobo
mobile athlon xp 2400
1 stick of ddr400 512meg ram
HD and dvd burner (i'll be adding tv tuner cards later if/when i get the thing working).

i spent several hours just trying to get windows installed and couldnt do it. The machine gives me BSOD with various error messages at various points during the install process. the most common error is irql_not_less_or equal or driver_irql_not_less_or_equal

i get this even before windows actually starts installing, when its just copying files from the cd. Its also come back and said the HD was bad and it couldnt format it (tried it with 2 different drives). And it also fails sometimes with no specific error, just saying there was a hardware failure. I've tried disabling everything on the board that i dont need to just get xp installed, but it doesnt help.

I did get xp to install just once, the very first time i tried. but it BSOD 5 seconds after i logged in.

Also, not sure if this is related, but when i boot up, the bios screen says the cpu is a mobile athlon 800mhz. I believe the mobile 2400 should should up as 1.6ghz or 1.8ghz.

There is nothing i can see in the bios (or jumpers) to set the voltage or multiplier speed. Just the FSB speed which i set to 133.

I dont think its overheating... the cpu temp seems to stay at around 110f.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what going wrong here?

thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.
June 5, 2004 9:46:08 PM

no i dont think thats it... i think it had the latest bios on there. I'll dbl check next time i try getting it to work. The latest bios for that board came out last year.
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June 6, 2004 12:09:07 AM

well i think i have the BSOD's resolved. Looks like it was the memory causing it. I found a little note on chaintechs site which said when you use the onboard video you cant use pc3200, you can only use pc2700.

the memory i bought is 3200. I pulled a stick of memory out of another machine. I'm not sure what speed this memory is, but since i got windows installed and i am typing this message from the machine now i think its safe to say it was the memory.

I still have it saying its an 800mhz processor though. Havent been able to figure out how to change that. Cant find anything in the manual/website which mentions being able to change the multiplier.
June 6, 2004 12:37:23 AM

well i ran cpu-z, and it says the multiplier is a 6. Also says the memory is 2700. So that pretty much confirms my BSOD's were from the 3200 memory and using the onboard video. I also found a link to an article which also says you cant change the multiplier:

http://www.viperlair.com/reviews/cpu_mobo/chaintech/amd...

So, does this mean i am stuck at 800mhz?

Here's all the info cpu-z is reporting:

athlon xp-m
barton
1.5~ voltage
family 6
ext family 7
model a
ex model a
stepping 0

core speed 801.8mhz
multiplier 6
fsb 133
bus speed 267.3


and i found this note on another site about the mobile ahtlons:

These would make an excellent addition to a cramped slim-line HTPC or can be overclocked easily for a cool running but fast CPU. Just be aware you will need multiplier control on your motherboard to properly utilize the AXP-M as it comes multiplier unlocked and defaults to a low value

Looks like i am a bit screwed unless chaintech comes out with a bios update that lets me set the multiplier.
a b V Motherboard
June 6, 2004 5:45:09 AM

Assuming the memory wasn't bad, you should have been able to manually set it at PC2700 speed and came up with the same results as running PC2700.

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June 6, 2004 7:55:33 AM

how would i do that? I usually just let the bios auto-adjust everything since i never overclock. So i'm not sure what i would change in the bios to drop the memory speed down.

thanks for the help
a b V Motherboard
June 6, 2004 8:52:28 AM

You'd change the memory speed, usually it's labled 166MHz or 333MHz (depending on if they use the clock rate or data rate), down from 200MHz or 400MHz (same story).

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<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
June 6, 2004 5:51:33 PM

Hmmm, multiplier of 6 yes? And it should run at 1.8Ghz?...so even if you were running it at the correct busz speed it would still only be 1.2Ghz not 1.83 as it should be.

Anyone else find this a little strange?
What do u plan to do on your media center PC? Do you need a fast CPU anyway?

<font color=blue>P4c 2.6@3.25
512Mb PC4000
2x120Gb 7200.7 in RAID0
Waterchill KT12-L30
Abit AI7
Radeon 9800Pro
</font color=blue>
June 6, 2004 9:15:27 PM

if its at .8 right now and i double the multiplier, that would give me 1.6 wouldnt it? and someone said the correct multiplier is 14 or 14.5 i think... i'll have to go back through the posts.

In any case, the only cpu intensive thing the box will be doing is recompressing videos. On my desktop machine with a 2.6ghz pentium, every 30 minutes of video takes about 40 minutes to recompress. I'm just guessing, but i would assume with this box running at 800mhz it would take at least twice as long.

besides, its a brand new box. i just bought it friday. So why should i settle for 800mhz? I could have bought something used for 1/4 the price if i want that speed :) 
June 6, 2004 9:53:36 PM

To get the correct CPU frequency you multiply the FSB by the CPU multiplier (hense the name) therefore 133*6 =798Mhz 200*6 = 1200Mhz. So if you have a multiplier of 6 and the CPU is multiplier locked then you have been sold a falsly branded CPU, a 2500+ should run at 1.8Ghz with a multiplier of 9 not 6.

<font color=blue>P4c 2.6@3.25
512Mb PC4000
2x120Gb 7200.7 in RAID0
Waterchill KT12-L30
Abit AI7
Radeon 9800Pro
</font color=blue>
June 6, 2004 9:53:39 PM

To get the correct CPU frequency you multiply the FSB by the CPU multiplier (hense the name) therefore 133*6 =798Mhz 200*6 = 1200Mhz. So if you have a multiplier of 6 and the CPU is multiplier locked then you have been sold a falsly branded CPU, a 2500+ should run at 1.8Ghz with a multiplier of 9 not 6.

<font color=blue>P4c 2.6@3.25
512Mb PC4000
2x120Gb 7200.7 in RAID0
Waterchill KT12-L30
Abit AI7
Radeon 9800Pro
</font color=blue>
June 6, 2004 10:09:06 PM

its a mobile athlon 2400 ... not the regular desktop xp
!