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Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 Owner's guide (r006)

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March 3, 2005 2:36:20 PM

Description of my system :

CPU - AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (ADA3200DIK4BI)
MB - Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 (nForce4 4x)
GPU - MSI GeForce 6600GT 128Megs PCI-EXPRESS
MEM - 2 x 512 Megs DDR400 (Infineon HYB250256800BT-5, CL2.5)
HDD1 - Seagate 7200.7+ 160Gigs SATA (Not in RAID)
HDD2 - Seagate 7200.7+ 160Gigs EIDE (Not in RAID)
SOUND - Sound Blaster Live!
PSU - Antec TruePower 380Watts
CASE - Standard "no name" case

What I will do with this thread is to put all the good information needed for GA-K8NF-9 owner. I choose to buy this board, because I don't need all the bells and whistles of nForce4 ULTRA or SLI mobos. The price of this board was very attractive too (155$CA - March 2005).

And if you ask me why I choose Seagate HDD instead of WD or Maxtor, my answer is short : noise. My Seagate drives are barely audible, but I noticed that the SATE drive seems a bit noisier than the EIDE. I choose to not use onboard audio to offload my CPU of the audio processing.

My first impression are very good, the system is quiet even with a CPU overclocking to 2.4GHz. The HDDs, psu, gpu and CPU are all very silent, which please me.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF STARTS HERE :

<b>.-= Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 owner's FAQ =-.</b>

The FAQ is based on my experience with the GA-K8NF-9 with bios release F1, F2, F3j (beta) and F3k (beta).

1. Questions
1.1 General
1.2 BIOS and drivers
2. Problems / Solutions

<b><font color=blue>SECTION 1</font color=blue></b>

<font color=blue>1.1.1 Where can I find the detailed specifications of the GA-K8NF-9 ?</font color=blue>
Detailed specs are available <A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/MotherBoard/Products/Products_..." target="_new">here</A>.

<font color=blue>1.1.2 Where can I read reviews of the GA-K8NF-9 motherboard?</font color=blue>
You can read reviews there :
<A HREF="http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=gbnf44x&..." target="_new">GamePC</A>
<A HREF="http://www.motherboards.org/reviews/motherboards/1489_1..." target="_new">Motherboards.org</A>

<font color=blue>1.1.3 Is there other good source of information about this motherboard?</font color=blue> - <font color=red>UPDATED - 2005-04-11</font color=red>
The best source of information I found so far, is the Rebels Haven forums named : <A HREF="http://www.rhcf.com/sis-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=41" target="_new">"The Gigabyte 64 Bit Motherboards"</A>. There is another <A HREF="http://forum.hardware.fr/hardwarefr/Hardware/-Topic-uni..." target="_new">good thread (in French)</A> about this motherboard in <A HREF="http://www.hardware.fr" target="_new">Hardware.fr</A> forums.

<font color=blue>1.1.4 I see a fan on the chipset in pictures of the board, but my board don't have it.</font color=blue>
Effectively, it seems that Gygabyte do not put active cooling anymore on GA-K8NF-9 boards, probably for an economical reason. Passive cooling gets hot. If you plan to overclock or have stability issue, consider fixing a small fan over the chipset heatsink to improve airflow.

<font color=blue>1.2.1 How do I access advanced configuration in the BIOS?</font color=blue>
When you are in the BIOS, type <b>CTRL-F1</b>.

<font color=blue>1.2.2 Where can I find the latest BIOS for the GA-K8NF-9?</font color=blue>
You can download official BIOS from Gigabyte <A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/BIOS/BIOS_..." target="_new">here</A>. Unofficial BIOS (beta) are available <A HREF="http://www.lejabeach.com/Gigabyte/k8nf9/k8nf9bios.html" target="_new">here</A>.

<font color=blue>1.2.3 Where can I download the latest nForce4 4x drivers?</font color=blue>
The nForce4 4x chipset is nearly identical to the nForce4 ULTRA or SLI. You can get the latest drivers for the nForce4 chipset series at nVidia's website in the <A HREF="http://www.nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp" target="_new">drivers download</A> section. Make sure you get the nForce4 drivers and not the "Unified Driver".


<b><font color=blue>SECTION 2</font color=blue></b>

<font color=blue>2.0.1 Windows XP don't detect the PS2 keyboard correctly.</font color=blue>
In the BIOS put <b>both</b> USB keyboard and USB mouse support to DISABLE.

<font color=blue>2.0.2 I hear a weird beep when I cold start my PC, the PC boots normally then the beep stops after a while (~15 seconds).</font color=blue>
It's a "normal" behavior if you have SmartFan turn ON in your BIOS. Since the CPU is cold, the CPU fan is not spinning until the CPU temp reach 20 Celsius, then the fan starts and the alarms goes off. If you want to keep your CPU fan alarm, you will have to live with this problem until Gigabyte fix their BIOS to warns user of CPU fan failure only if CPU temp is over 20 Celsius. Or you can deactivate SmartFan in the BIOS, the fan will always spin (at full speed) regardless of CPU temperature.

<font color=blue>2.0.3 Cool'n'Quiet is not working in Windows XP.</font color=blue>
If you follow carefully the steps below, Cool'n'Quiet should work fine. Note that this procedure is applicable to any motherboard that supports Cool'n'Quiet.
1. Make sure the CPU multiplier is set to "default" in the bios.
2. Make sure your CPU fan control is enabled. Because why would you want Cool'n'Quiet activated if the CPU fan is always running at full speed? :smile: Note that Fan Control is "buggy" in BIOS F2. See section 2.0.2 of this FAQ for details.
3. <A HREF="http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/utilities/..." target="_new">Download and install</A> the "AMD Athlon 64 Processor Driver for Windows XP" from AMD's website.
4. Set the "Power Schemes" to "Minimal Power Management" in Windows XP control panel - Power Options.
5. Cool & Quiet should work! To see it in action, <A HREF="http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/utilities/..." target="_new">download and intall</A> the "AMD Cool'n'Quiet / PowerNow! Dashboard" from AMD's website.
<font color=blue>2.0.4 I experience disconnect when I play games.</font color=blue> - <font color=red>UPDATED - 2005-04-11</font color=red>
It seems there is issue with the onboard nVidia NIC. Some people solved this problem by flashing the BIOS to version F1. I personnaly tried 3 different BIOS and it didn't solved my problem. To solve the problem I changed the "Checksum Offload" value to "DISABLE" in the advance nVidia Ethernet Controller options (Control Panel / Network Connections).

<font color=blue>2.0.5 I have high voltage reading for my CPU when I overclock and I didn't change the vCore in the BIOS.</font color=blue>
The BIOS F2 automatically overvolt the CPU to 1.6Volt if you change the FSB value and let the vCore to "auto/default". If you want to fix the cpu voltage value, change the vCore setting to what you want (anything but "auto").

<font color=blue>2.0.6 I see BIOS screenshots that don't have the same options than mine.</font color=blue> - <font color=red>UPDATED - 2005-04-11</font color=red>
Effectively, between BIOS revision Gigabyte changed some menu, some features were not in F1 but are present in F2 and vice-versa. For example F2 gives less informations about Voltage than F1 (reports only "OK" instead of the actual Voltage readings). On the other hand F2 have the M.I.B.2 settings, which offer an "easy overclocking" tool. You choose your memory brand and it overclocks the system automatically. For "Infineon/Infineon" type it overclocks the FSB do 210MHz. The latest beta BIOS F3k don't offer advance memory timing options anymore.

<font color=blue>2.0.7 I have a mix of IDE and SATA HDD (no RAID setup) and I can't boot from my SATA drive.</font color=blue>
By default the Gigabyte BIOS will try to boot on the IDE the main IDE drive only (primary controller, master drive). You must enter the BIOS deactivate all RAID options and force the boot order to use the SATA drive as the bootable HDD. It's an annoying issue. Because every time you flash your BIOS and/or clear your CMOS data, you must reconfigure the BIOS to be able to boot your PC.

<font color=blue>2.0.8 My network become unusable after a couple of hour of intense networking activity (usually Bit Torrent downloading).</font color=blue>
It seems that the actuel nVidia Firewall software is far from perfect. I started noticed this network problem when I tried to download huge bit torrent files that requires many hours to download. I suspected my LinkSys router, since I updated the firmware not long ago and I had to reboot my PC and router to solve my "network is not working after a long period of uptime/activity" issues. Then a couple of days ago, I shutted down the nVidia Firewall software and started massive bit torrents D/L for days... Since then no issue at all. I don't know if it the the combination of Linksys + nForce4/nV-Firewall or only the nV-Firewall that cause the problem. But anyway, I'm back to Zone Alarm! I hope nVidia will fix is Firewall issue.

<font color=red><b>OVERCLOCKING</b></font color=red>

<b>My current overclocking BIOS settings are :</b>
FSB : 240
CPU Multiplier : Default (10x)
vCore : 1.5 Volts
Memory ratio : 166 (83%)
Memory timing : 2.5-4-3-9 (Stable fastest timing of my memory modules)
HTT multiplier : 3x (4x not tested yet)

<b>Resulting speed</b>
CPU 2.4GHz (3800+ speed)
MEM 200MHz
HTT 720MHz
GPU 500MHz/1000MHz (default)

-
GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheRod on 04/25/05 04:07 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 3, 2005 3:05:33 PM

Thanks for all the great info! Doing something like this is great for all anyone who has/will buy one of these boards. Is there a way we can make it into a mini-FAQ and always at the beginningof the MB forum?

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
March 3, 2005 4:13:21 PM

It's a good idea to make it sticky, but this would be a bit of a problem since there is a lot of different mobos on the market.

I suggested a while ago to the forum admin to crate a FAQ forum where new post would not be allowed but reply yould be possible. In this forum we would have a list of FAQs that the mainteners could update and users could comments. But I never got any feedback from the admin. I think the THG Community is on a "free-run".

I will try to maintain my FAQ as accurate as possible, and I will post to make it bump to the top of the forum everytime I will add something important in it.

I'll probably clean up my personnal comments at the begining of my post in a couple of days and will probably add some comments/questions/answers about overclocking since I plan to do it when I'll have finish installing my drivers/software.

I will add infos about making Cool & Quiet running in Windows XP soon too. I found a few hints on a few web pages about it. I tought Cool & Quiet was "PnP" but it's not!

-
GA-K8NF-9 / <font color=green><b>Athlon 64 3200+</b></font color=green>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<b>No OCing yet!</b>
Related resources
March 3, 2005 6:37:50 PM

More good gouge - I thought Cool & Quiet was auto, too.

I like your rig! I'm actually looking at doing a somewhat similar setup myself, but going s754. I'd be interested in seeing what kind of OC results you get. I would assume you could get to 2.4 pretty easily. Are you going stock cooling? Do you think the Antec 380W will support much OC or are you planning on using another PSU? Are both the HDDs new? If yes, then why go with one EIDE and one SATA (Price and usage of the HDD?)? Why no RAID?
Please excuse the curiosity - just interested in seeing the how/why. :smile:

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
March 3, 2005 7:32:41 PM

Quote:
I thought Cool & Quiet was auto, too.

Cool'n'Quiet is presented as a Plug and Play feature, which is not true. I don't know if it will be natively supported with Windows XP 64bit Edition, I wish! This technology is great, I do really appreciate quiet system since I do nightly download that don't require a lot of CPU power.

Why you go S754? You want to keep an AGP GPU?

Quote:
I'd be interested in seeing what kind of OC results you get. I would assume you could get to 2.4 pretty easily. Are you going stock cooling? Do you think the Antec 380W will support much OC or are you planning on using another PSU?

From what I have read and saw yet, it seems that 90nm A64 are overclocker's friendly. I think I can run my 3200+ @ 2.4GHz on stock cooling. I don't plan to buy extra cooling for now. I don't think I will need more CPU power for a while. For the power supply issue, I'm pretty confident that it can get the job done. I don't have a high-end GPU and from past experience with Athlon XP platform, I de really think that my TruePower380 will not hold me back.

The thing that I'm the more curious about is my memory. It's not brand name, but the timing is good stock, I'll mess with it and see if I can run it at more tigher timing and/or higher frequency. I wish to be able to run it at 220-230MHz with CL2.5. I might even try CL2 with a bit of voltage.

Quote:
Are both the HDDs new? If yes, then why go with one EIDE and one SATA (Price and usage of the HDD?)? Why no RAID?

My EIDE was both a while ago and price is not an issue anymore, it's why I got a new SATA drive. And why not RAID? The eternal RAID or not RAID question. Basically, I need a lot of storage space to transfer my MiniDV Camera video and I need PROTECTION. If I go RAID-1, I will have protection, but I would only have 160Gigs of storage! Not enough! If I go RAID-0, I get 320Gigs, but no protection...

And since RAID only benefits for HDD intensive apps, I don't need it. I do basic video editing and I only render a couple of hours of video every month. So, I don't think these hours are worth a RAID-0 setup without DATA protection. I always have 2 HDD in my systems for backup. I have 2 copy of "My documents" at any time.

I would have like an Intel RAID where you can use part of HDD to build RAID-0 or RAID-1 array. I would have made 3 array on my 2 drives.

60Gigs RAID-0 for OS/Apps/Games
20Gigs (2x20Gigs) RAID-1 for important stuff
220Gigs RAID-0 for my Video files

But I choose AMD over Intel! :smile:

-
GA-K8NF-9 / <font color=green><b>Athlon 64 3200+</b></font color=green>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<b>No OCing yet!</b>
March 3, 2005 8:14:55 PM

Quote:
Cool'n'Quiet is presented as a Plug and Play feature, which is not true. I don't know if it will be natively supported with Windows XP 64bit Edition, I wish! This technology is great, I do really appreciate quiet system since I do nightly download that don't require a lot of CPU power.

Well, my system won't get much time in the cool or quiet mode - it will be folding up a storm! Still good to know how to set it up, though.
Quote:
Why you go S754? You want to keep an AGP GPU?

LOL not to keep my current AGP card - it's a GF2 GTS! :smile: I like the extra 200Mhz from the s754. I don't change vid cards frequently. Actually, I probably won't change vid cards until I get a new system. Even if I did change them every year or two, I think mfrs will continue to produce AGP for a while longer. At least long enough for me to get a 6800 or X800 down the road if I need it. With the prices dropping on the s939, I've been vascillating between the two options, but I'm really liking the s754.

Quote:
For the power supply issue, I'm pretty confident that it can get the job done. I don't have a high-end GPU and from past experience with Athlon XP platform, I de really think that my TruePower380 will not hold me back.

It's good to hear that about the Antec 380W. I'm going to get the Sonata case that comes with that PSU. My initial plan was to get a Fortron Blue Storm 500W, but if I can save the $90, then I'll be more than happy to put it back in my wallet. Right now I'm approaching it from the perspective - try it with the good Antec. If I need more, then I get the Storm and I'll have a great spare PSU. Do you have a recommendation for a good, quiet case with removable trays for around the same price as the Sonata ($99USD)? I'm also planning on going with stock cooling - at least for a little while. If I get a wild OC hair on my arse, then I'll end up upgrading the HSF for better cooling.
Quote:
The thing that I'm the more curious about is my memory. It's not brand name, but the timing is good stock, I'll mess with it and see if I can run it at more tigher timing and/or higher frequency. I wish to be able to run it at 220-230MHz with CL2.5. I might even try CL2 with a bit of voltage.

How much is the Infineon? I'm debating between the Patriot LLK and either the Geil or Mushkin Value series. Trying to figure out if the Patriot will give me enough stable OC potential to justify the extra $40-50.

Have you had a chance to burn in the system yet?

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
March 3, 2005 9:41:21 PM

Quote:
Is there a way we can make it into a mini-FAQ and always at the beginningof the MB forum?


Dont bother.. no one will read it anyway.. They wont even noticed it!

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 4, 2005 12:19:31 AM

Not everyone would read it - especially lazy noobs, but the important pepople would. There's a lot of great info to be had in this type of post. Some generic to mobos, some for this mobo mfr and some specific to the board. Everyone could benefit from well-documented info like this!

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
March 4, 2005 12:20:37 AM

But in the end you DID click on it.... :smile:

__________________________________________________
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March 4, 2005 11:38:01 AM

Quote:
I like the extra 200Mhz from the s754.

I like the dual-channel, the overclockability, the PCI-EXPRESS support and the CPU upgradability of my S939 platform. I actually got my 200MHz for nearly free... The store where I bought my system did not have 3000+ in stock, they sold me a 3200+ at their cost price, because I'm a good customer that waited 1 month for my MSI 6600GT 128Megs, which was 30$CA cheaper than any other 6600GT.

Quote:
I think mfrs will continue to produce AGP for a while longer. At least long enough for me to get a 6800 or X800 down the road if I need it.

True! But, I really wanted PCI-EXPRESS support for future add-in cards and next generation GPU compatibility.

Quote:
With the prices dropping on the s939, I've been vascillating between the two options, but I'm really liking the s754.

Price difference is not an issue anymore! My mobo was 155$CA and 3000+ was 199$CA. It's the only difference between S939/S754 systems right now. Don't forget that you get nForce4 for this price with everything you need on the mobo, unless you need 8 SATA ports or SLI. GPU are the same price in AGP or PCI-EXPRESS version, so it's not an issue!

Quote:
It's good to hear that about the Antec 380W. I'm going to get the Sonata case that comes with that PSU. My initial plan was to get a Fortron Blue Storm 500W, but if I can save the $90, then I'll be more than happy to put it back in my wallet.

I will actually try te measure the power that my systems will drin from the AC outlet. I have a good multimeter and I studied electronics, I know how to measure current and power (Watts). I plan to add these measures in my mini-FAQ. But I'll do it when I will have time to spare.

Quote:
Do you have a recommendation for a good, quiet case with removable trays for around the same price as the Sonata ($99USD)?

I don't know anything about case, I always buy the CHEAPEST I can find. Mine cost me 25$CA and it don't have anything special except 2 USB ports in front of it. And it's so UGLY! But I don't care, I'm not a modder or an extreme overclocker!

Quote:
How much is the Infineon? I'm debating between the Patriot LLK and either the Geil or Mushkin Value series. Trying to figure out if the Patriot will give me enough stable OC potential to justify the extra $40-50.

My 512Megs memory stick costed me 95$CA each and they are NO-NAME, which means I can only tell you that it's made of Infenion memory chip, but I can't tell where it was built or by whom. My sticks are double-sided.

I could have bought a Kingston CL3.0 1Gig Kit for the same price, but I would have wait for it. So, I decided to get the no-name CL3.0 DDR400 sticks.

When I ran CPU-Z for the first time, I noticed that the RAM CL was 2.5! I was so happy, if I had bought the Kingston, I would have got worst timing for the same price.

But the proof that my memory is "cheap", the SPD reports Samsung chips. But the sticks are made of Infenion chip. I took a picture of my memory chip and I will search on google about their overclocking potential. I have I have a good batch!

My point is when you buy memory, make sure they are made of good chips (Samsung, Infenion) and they are tested. If the salesman can't prove you that the memory works at CL2.5, ask him, to add a note on your invoice about it, like "memory must work at CL2.5".

I will not have much time this week-end to mess with my system, I'll probably starts my testing later next week.

-
GA-K8NF-9 / <font color=green><b>Athlon 64 3200+</b></font color=green>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<b>No OCing yet!</b>
March 4, 2005 11:43:57 AM

I know not much peopel will actually read it, but I find it handy for myself and other GA-K8NF-9 owner's to gather all the inf I dound about this bard at one place and I choose THGC. At least, I will satisfy myself! :smile:

-
GA-K8NF-9 / <font color=green><b>Athlon 64 3200+</b></font color=green>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<b>No OCing yet!</b>
March 4, 2005 12:31:05 PM

Quote:
I like the dual-channel, the overclockability, the PCI-EXPRESS support and the CPU upgradability of my S939 platform. I actually got my 200MHz for nearly free... The store where I bought my system did not have 3000+ in stock, they sold me a 3200+ at their cost price, because I'm a good customer that waited 1 month for my MSI 6600GT 128Megs, which was 30$CA cheaper than any other 6600GT.

Not all are as lucky as you! I'd order and they'd have what I ordered in stock - no extra 200Mhz for me. :frown: Dual-channel is good, but not worth that 200Mhz. The Winnie's have a higher OC potential, but I think I be able to easily get a 3000+/3200+ New up around 3600+ level on stock cooling. I won't be able to go beyond 3700+ with mine, but if I need to upgrade the CPU, then I can get a 3700+ and OC to 4000+ or better. The s754 has some good OC potential, too. Not as good for extreme OC, but I want my OC to be rock-solid stable for some gaming and lots of Folding!
Quote:
True! But, I really wanted PCI-EXPRESS support for future add-in cards and next generation GPU compatibility.

We all have different needs. ATI is also planning on putting out the X850 cards in AGP...another good option for me when those prices go down.
Quote:
Price difference is not an issue anymore!

I know! The <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">GA-K8NF-9</A> is only $14 more than the DFI Lanparty UT NF3 250 that I'm looking at and the s939 3200+ is only $1 more than the s754. The s754 will perform like a s939 3500+ with little to no OC - that's a big advantage IMO.
Quote:
I will actually try to measure the power that my systems will drain from the AC outlet.

I'd like to see those numbers. If you learn me a little I might be able to do something similar for mine once I get it online...
Quote:
I don't know anything about case, I always buy the CHEAPEST I can find. Mine cost me 25$CA and it don't have anything special except 2 USB ports in front of it. And it's so UGLY! But I don't care, I'm not a modder or an extreme overclocker!

Did you change/add case fans? I really want quiet performance with a good airflow and I think the Sonata will do it well, but I'm always ope to suggestions. I don't mod either, so that's not a factor for me.

Sounds like you may have gotten a good deal on the RAM, too. 200Mhz free and generic RAM that may be ok. :smile: Hope the burn-in/testing go well! I'm going to stick with one of the three RAM I mentioned to be safe - still debating... :eek: 

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March 4, 2005 2:14:52 PM

Was reading this and ... about RAID or not. I can tell you that I've started to use RAID in 2002 with 2 40 gigs Maxtor drive. Then 2 120 gigs WD drive and now, with 2 160gigs SATA Seagate.

And about data protection.. Both Maxtor are still in use and running great today. Both Western Digital are running too.

I can tell you, for having used RAID and not RAID on my 3 previous motherboards (Soyo dragon+, Soltek sl 75frn2-rl and Soltek k8an2e-gr) that it really improve speed. These motherboard were and still are renowed for being fast at stock speed. When I was running them with non-raid setup, they were fast. But with RAID, they were snappy!! If it were not, I wouldnt use it because of the extra trouble to have always 2 identicals drive and drivers install at Windows installation.

I know that component could fail, but the KEY here is a GOOD PSU. Put a not too good PSU and your HDD will start to fail. A friend of mine was burning drive very often... no matter the brand. Until he get a BRANDED QUALITY PSU. It has yet to have drive failling or instabillity. Another friend has this problem too. 4 drives went dead in 1 year.. New PSU, none in 2 years.

I now moved my array to my new motherboard, the Gigabyte k8nf-6. I had to repair Windows, as Gigabyte decided not to include a floopy for RAID and the nvidia raid drivers from the floppy from my Soltek board were not working with the nforce4. I end up installing windows on a single drive I had some space on (a 20 minutes adventure) and extracting the drivers from the CD and put them on a floppy. My Soltek was already removed from my case and ready to be installed in my friend case, so I had no working computer to have the drivers on the floppy. A single floppy dont cost too much. What if somebody, without any spare drive or computer want to setup a raid array?? Two windows install instead of one. Not a wise move from Gigabyte.

I kept my socket 754 6 months... not that is was not good anymore, but a friend of mine was in need of a new computer so I sold it to him. I went 939 just to see if the 200 MHz could be noticed... Well, one time I noticed more time to do a simple operation but as of yet, it perform about the same old one. The only slow down I noticed is from the use of an old PCI video card, as my PCIe one died after some hours and had to rely on my spare test card... I'll get another one soon, so I will conduct more test.

At the end, RAID is good if you have good PSU, socket 754 is good and fast and socket 939 is good and fast. Which one is better??? I dont care. They both worked great for me.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 4, 2005 2:18:02 PM

Quote:
AC OUTLET... I'd like to see those numbers. If you learn me a little I might be able to do something similar for mine once I get it online...

Easy! If you have a multimeter you need to plug it like this...

ACx--MultiMeter--PSUx
ACy--------------PSUy
GND--------------PSU-GND

You have to put the multimeter in serial connection. The cheapest and easiest way to do this, is to buy a cheap AC extension and cut the black or white wire from it and to put the multimeter between the cutted wire. Usually multimeter have AC-Amp measurement position.

When the PC is shutdown, you should read ~0.0 Amp, when you power up your PC, the reading will climb. To convert Amp to Watts, you have to do this little calcution :

Amps * Volts = Watts

For example : 4 * 110 = 440Watts

Don't forget that PSU have an efficiency between 50% an 70%, which means that you have to multiply your results by 0.5 to 0.7 to have "real" numbers. So, the 440Watts would become 220 to 310Watts.

So you can boot the pc and check the load at idle, then you burn in and check the load at 100% CPU/GPU load. YOu can do the same for overclocking or not.

The determine the PSU efficiency is quite a job and need resistance load, which are quite expensive and I don't have. But rough numbers are more than enough to know if your PSU is capable of running your system. Let's take my 440Watts, in the worst case this means the load on the PSU is 310Watts, my 380Watts PSU is enough and have a safe margin. But, if you get something like a worst case of 340Watts on a 350 Watts PSU, you might get into trouble!

Quote:
Did you change/add case fans? I really want quiet performance with a good airflow and I think the Sonata will do it well, but I'm always ope to suggestions. I don't mod either, so that's not a factor for me.

My case have en exhaust fan on the side (in from of the CPU) which I plgged into the FAN connector of my Antec PSU and it seems that the rotationnal speed of the case fan is regulated by the PSU, because it runs very slowly and it's quiet.

As I stated before, I'm not an extreme overclocker and my PC is located in my basement. Room temperature never gets over 25 Celsius (worst case, usually under 22 Celsius).

I can't remember which site have done it, but I have read a couple of weeks ago a budget case (under 100$US) review, which I speed-read... Search AnandTech, Xbit-Labs or THG for it.

Quote:
Sounds like you may have gotten a good deal on the RAM, too. 200Mhz free and generic RAM that may be ok. Hope the burn-in/testing go well! I'm going to stick with one of the three RAM I mentioned to be safe - still debating...

Yup! I hope I'm lucky. The first overclocking test I'll do will be with my ram, to know where I can push it. Because I know it will be a limiting factor since, it's not rated DDR500! I must find the fastest timing/frequency combination to use in my rig.


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GA-K8NF-9 / <font color=green><b>Athlon 64 3200+</b></font color=green>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<b>No OCing yet!</b>
March 7, 2005 2:26:27 PM

I added a couple of stuff in the FAQ and added O/Cing informations.

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
March 8, 2005 10:04:05 PM

I now have mine at 255 MHz for memory which is set a 166, meaning about 211. My CPU run at 2.3GHz, which is 500MHz from stock with a small voltage incrase, at 1.5v. I set the memory voltage a 2.7v. JIC. The HT is at 3X. Temp around 30 degrees, goes up to 37 after 15 minutes of gaming.. Nothing to woory about.. even if that was 45!

k8nf-9
A3000+
2x512 megs corsair twinx memory

RAID0 on nvidia RAID, no corruption (yet). hope it will stay like that thou.
Radeon x600xt not OC

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 8, 2005 10:37:23 PM

Yeah, who reads FAQs? They are full of useful information, might save time and migraines - who would want to do that? It's just sooo much easier to post a redundant question and watch all the replies to it.

<b><i>Powered by <font color=blue>V</font color=blue><font color=purple>E</font color=purple><font color=red>R</font color=red><font color=purple>T</font color=purple><font color=blue>O</font color=blue></b>
Fueled by <b><font color=blue>CL-</font color=blue><font color=red>ONE</font color=red></b>
March 9, 2005 12:17:30 AM

*ROFLMAO*

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 9, 2005 6:22:35 PM

Quote:
It's just sooo much easier to post a redundant question and watch all the replies to it.

You are so right! [close]

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
April 11, 2005 7:41:08 PM

Updated...
- 1 new Question/answer.
- 3 updated Questions/answers.

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Firefox</A>
April 11, 2005 8:23:13 PM

Thanks for the updates!

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 12, 2005 12:45:22 PM

I try to keep my stuff up-to-date, this might help someone on this forum. I hope so!

I still find my NIC a bit unstable and I can't pinpoint the problem. At least, I can play my games without problems!

I don't like the nVidia Firewall software. It really needs a major overhauls. There is a lot of small issues that are really annoying. I use it because it's hardware based, but I often have to shut it down to make some things work or to try to figure out what is causing me LAN problems.

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Firefox</A>
April 12, 2005 1:00:52 PM

Do you think the NIC instability is related to the NV Firewall? What is Giga or nVidia saying about your issues?

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 12, 2005 3:56:13 PM

Frm tha mail I exchanged with the Gigabyte Tech Support, it seems that there is known issues with the nVidia NIC and it's nVidia fault!

But I don't know if this is really true... I assume that since the nForce4 is fairly new, nVidia have propably a lot to do to cerrect and fix all the bugs related to the chipset.

For now, I don't want to RMA my board because of this "intermittent LAN issue", but if the problem remains with BIOS and drivers updates, I may ask for RMA in a couple of months. And if I'm lucky, I'll get another board that is not based on the nForce4 4x (Rev. A2) since this chipset was made in limited quantity. nVidia have probably switched all it's nForce4 production to Revision A3.

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Firefox</A>
April 12, 2005 4:28:15 PM

RMAs suck, especially with restock fees. It would be nice to get the fix done with driver/BIOS updates... :eek: 

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 12, 2005 4:43:42 PM

I know that RMA are not always fun! But since I have 2 working systems at home, I don't care much... I might miss some gaming (cause me 2nd PC is a Laptop - P4M 1.4GHz + GeForce4 GO), but overall I really want a 100% working mobo. I paid for it, I want it to work!

I promplty returned my 19inches ViewSonic P95F+ because the image was a bit blurry at the bottom right of the screen. I had to argue with the tech. guy, but I won my my lethal argument : "If I would have wanted blurred image I would have bought your low-cost no-name 1600x1200@60Hz 19inches non-flat screen ugly monitor not the hihg-end 19inches ViewSonic with a Triniton tube and 1600x1200@85Hz support."

He took the monitor I got another one that was not a bit blurry in the bottom corner! :smile:

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Firefox</A>
April 12, 2005 4:45:37 PM

Quote:
I still find my NIC a bit unstable and I can't pinpoint the problem. At least, I can play my games without problems!



I'm on a dial-up connection, but sometime connect my computer to high speed internet using the onboard LAN. So far, not a single problem. I did not try online gaming. and nvidia firewall was not used..

So, what do you mean by instability?

I'm planning exchanging my k8nf-9 for the Soltek nforce4. Not that the GB board is bad, but I think that Soltek has an edge over it when it come to speed at stock setting.

<font color=red>Sig space for rent. make your offer.</font color=red>
April 12, 2005 5:12:37 PM

Quote:
So, what do you mean by instability?

First I got disconnect issue in World Of Warcraft that I fixed with the "Checksum offload" trick.

But since then, sometime I lost my network for no particular reason... Sometime I only have to disable the nVidia Firewall, other time I have to reboot my Linksys router or unplug/plug my Ethernet cable.

I will probably disable the nVidia firewall within a few days. This will ensure me that the nVidia FW is not causing the troubles. And as I said earlier, I really don't like the current FW software, the first time I saw it, I tought it was good, but the more I use it, the more I find issue with it.

The most annoying issues are that I can't save a "custom" profile.

And when you switch from an existing profile to another and go back to the profile you were before (From A to B to A). All the changes you made to the original profile are lost! So, I often have to remap port, etc...

Another issue is the inability to filter UDP/TCP ports based on IP source. I would like to limit port 135-139 to only known/trustable machine. And I would appreciate to filter based on source MAC address too. But, you know, I'm a security freak and it's part of my job to maintain Cisco Pix firewall...

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Firefox</A>
April 25, 2005 8:05:42 PM

I new issue arise with the nVidia Firewall software. My solution : don't use nVidia Firewall software for the moment.

The issue appears when the network is up for a long time with a lot of activity (Torrent D/L). I had no issue playing games for hours, but anytiem I tried to D/L huge torrent files (DVD image, etc...), I got an usuable network connection ofter a couple hours.

nVidia still have work to do with the firewall software. My trouble might concern a compatibility issue with my LinkSys router too (WRT54G). Anyway, using Zone Alorm solved my problems. No more problem D/L lots of torrents at the same time.

See ya!

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Firefox</A><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheRod on 04/25/05 04:06 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 6, 2005 10:46:23 AM

Hello all,
i just got this board, the fanless chipset version.I wonder if i will have any problem placing a PCIX graphic card, since this heatspreader is taller then the PCIX Socket.

did any1 encounter such a problem?
the card i bought (and will get in couple of days) is the Leadtek 6600GT Extreme.
Thanks.
July 6, 2005 11:56:18 AM

The Fanless Heatspreader is not too tall for any PCI-EXPRESS GPU. I haven't heard any compatibility issue regarding the chipset heatspreader for this board.

Any PCI-EXPRESS cards fits well on this board.

NOTE : Never flash this MoBo to F3k (beta), with this BIOS version, you can't flash your BIOS anymore. I have to RMA my board, they will replace the BIOS with a new one.

If you have any issue with this board feel free to ask me questions. I have mass with that board a lot since I bought it in Feb./March. It's a great board! All my problems related to that board are nVidia nForce4 driver's problem. If I were you, I would not use the nVidia Active Armor stuff. Since I removed the nVidia firewall, most of my networking issue are gone.

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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Get Firefox!</A>
July 6, 2005 12:19:28 PM

Thanks a lot. i was quite worried when i didn't saw the fan.

i will use this post for another questions. in a couple of places over the net, users and reviews said this board support NCQ. but gigabyte offical tech team says it does not.

u happen to know who is right?
July 6, 2005 12:50:48 PM

There is a lot contradiction in the nForce4 family of chipset.

At first, nVidia found that their nForce4 A2 revision was a bit "buggy", so they sold nForce4 Rev. A2 as "nForce4 4x" with a HTT limited to 4x instead of 5x. But, in fact, most people with nForce4 4x mobos. can clock their HTT to 5x without problems. And from what we know about the HTT, it's not a limiting factor as long as you keep it at 600MHz or more speed (usually 3x FSB SPEED or more in the BIOS). nForce4 4x have another limitation too, the SATA speed is "artificially" limited to 1.5Gb/s instead of 3.0Gb/s. In practice, this means nothing since no HDD can use that much bandwidth.

This nForce4 was produced in limited quantity and the first batch of cheap nForce4 motherboard (mine included) are equipped with nForce4 Rev. A2 silicon. Then nVidia tweaked their silicon to Rev. A3 which is the is now the official nForce4 chipset that equip all newer nForce4 motherboard (regardless of the model or feature set).

I would strongly recommends you to use CPU-Z and check which nForce4 Revision your motherboard is equipped with. If you get a Rev. A3 chip.

nForce4 Rev. A3 support NCQ so all mobo based on that chipset should support NCQ. To be sure, install the nVidia IDE/SATA drivers, then go to the advanced properties of your SATA controller (in Windows Hardware Manager), then check if the "Enable Command Queuing" is checked. If your HDD supports NCQ and the chipset supports it, it should be checked.

My bet on this is that nVidia told the Mobos company that their nForce4 4x would not support NCQ. So, if nVidia would have found that their Rev. A2 silicon had bug with NCQ they could have easily disable that feature through drivers. From most forums/reviews, NCQ is supported on every nForce4 equipped motherboard. I can't confirm that to you personnaly since my SATA-HDD don't natively support NCQ.

I hope this long post will help you! :smile:


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GA-K8NF-9 / <b><font color=green>Athlon 64 3200+</font color=green> @ 3800+</b>
Infineon DDR400 (CL2.5) 2x512Megs
<font color=green>GeForce 6600GT 128Megs</font color=green>
<A HREF="http://www.getfirefox.com" target="_new">Get Firefox!</A>
!