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Why is VIA getting away with this?

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 13, 2001 2:58:56 AM

Why has this situation with VIA and their crap chipsets been allowed to continue? It seems to me that the reputation of AMD and every mother mfg that is selling a board with a via chipset is at stake. Why has AMD, ABIT, ASUS, et al, allowed this?

Case in point, I got my AMD 900 just before Christmas and spent the next week an a half downloading patches, bios updates, agp fixes, usb fixes, reading every hardware site out there, and so on. Probably about 30 manhours total. If I was billing myself I couldn't afford this machine.
Well, the machine is rock solid running at 1Ghz, but the effort to get there simply is not acceptable. I just have to wonder what people buying an OEM AMD PC are really getting. I can't imagine OEM's going though this hassle.

Just think, the week after Christmas I could have been playing games, but instead I got to learn all about AMD, VIA, and ABIT.

I hope this machine lasts a while, cause it will be a while before I subject myself to this via crap again.

Here I was all up tight about AMD heat and scared about cracking the chip when I put the HS on. Silly me, that was nothing. Wish I had researched the via crap beter, because there is no way I would have gone AMD if I knew this.

Again why are the board makers allowing via to get away with this? How can AMD really survive if they continue to rely on via?

More about : question

February 13, 2001 4:15:08 AM

I feel for ya man. I bought my rig about the same time you did. Went through the same problems. My biggest problem was getting the AGP to work at 4x(on the A7V) without it freezing up. Thank the lord for my cable modem for all the downloads I needed to do. Call me crazy but I enjoy tinkering and tweaking my machine. If you just threw it all together in 5 min. and everything worked right off the bat, it just wouldn't feel right. Thats why I'm an AMD junkie!

:tongue: <font color=green> I LOVE INTEL. It tastes like chicken </font color=green>
February 13, 2001 4:27:00 AM

That is why Intel changes a little bit more for their chips. They save a loooot of manhours... hehe


:smile: I LOVE chicken. It tastes like INTEL.
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February 13, 2001 4:27:30 AM

I am not going to argue the fact that you had problems, nor that any one of a thousand other people may have had problems.

I just want want to say that I have never experienced the so called problems many people complain about in the fifteen or so Via/AMD combos I have put together in the last two years. Although I did have a bad experience with one Via chipset, it was paired with an Intel proc though so go figure.

Frankly, I know nothing about Via as a company and am not going to post some bull song and dance about how great they are, I am just stating my experience's with Via chipsets, specifically Via chipsets with AMD procs as it seems that is who Intel is targeting with this rumor mongering crap.
February 13, 2001 4:40:16 AM

I agree, I have built 10 machines in the last three weeks all with via chipsets ( also one with an ali chipset and one with an amd irongate chipset). Apart from installing one driver ( or patch if you wish) the via 4.28 4 n 1 ( of which I only ever install the agp driver) They all set up flawlessly. I did install windows me and not 98se ( hey not my choice it is what people wanted). bios upgrades are not neccesarily the fault of via more like the manufactoreres rushing a product to market ( seems to be the norm nowadays). The duron I just threw together took all of about 2 hours to go from parts to a complete system with OS. This is with a via chipset ( msi 6330). First thing I always do before anything is to make sure I have the latest bios before installing anything. Then set the machine up with nothing but a video card and load the OS. Saves moocho headaches.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
February 13, 2001 12:46:38 PM

I had problems with my A7V as well. I'm wondering why some of us have problems and others do not.
Those of you that haven't had any problems - maybe you are doing something we're not? What kind of motherboards have you been using and with what video cards? What steps do you follow (as far as when to install VIA 4 in 1, sound card, etc). Also, did you try to run any games in any of these motherboards? I didn't have any problems with my A7V until I started running some 3D games.
Maybe together we can all figure out an easy method to all of this...
February 13, 2001 1:01:09 PM

BlindSide im going through the same problem right now with amd and via. I have a a7v motherboard with the viakt133 chipset. I have tired a bunch of different things to get my machine up and running and im having on luck as of yet of getting the OS to install to the hard drive. Im more or less didn't think it would be so much of a hassle. This is my first machine that im building so i know its a learning experience but how far do i have to go to get some type of gradification from building this!!!
February 13, 2001 2:51:57 PM

Like a number of other people, I've built a few VIA based systems without a hitch. Seems to me that most of the boards people complain about are Asus or Abit boards - and I've read a few articles by resellers and engineers that indicate that these manufacturers have a very high RMA rate for the last couple of years.

The usual situation is: something goes wrong. Your OS vendor blames your CPU, your CPU vendor blames the mobo, the mobo vendor blames the chipset, the chipset vendor blames your RAM... Whose fault is it? Who knows?

Dunc
February 13, 2001 11:36:28 PM

I agree it is a hassle to have to upgrade all your drivers but that is true for Intel chipsets as well. I installed Win98, Win98SE, and WinMe on my system at different times. Win98 would barely install with lots of errors and was never stable. Win98SE did a little better but still wasn't great. WinMe installed without a hitch and after spending 5-10 min. upgrading the drivers that I already downloaded previously, WinMe has turned out to be the most stable version. I still have problems, but those are due to the video card VIVO module--no good driver support.

My system:
Asus A7V BIOS 1005c 4in1 v.4.26
900MHz T-bird (no overclocking)
128MB PC133 SDRAM Crucial
30GB IBM ATA/100 primary master driver v.16 build 33
Toshiba 12X DVD primary master IDE
LS-120 primary slave
CDRW secondary master
Elsa Gladiac Geforce2 GTS with VIVO module driver v.6.72 (overclocked with AGP 4X and Fast write on)
SB Live X-gamer slot 3
Firewire card slot 4
Linksys network card slot 5
WinMe

<i>Its not fun AFTER you have fragged everyone.</i> :cool: James
February 14, 2001 2:06:14 AM

Much of your problems are relative to what components you are using and in which slots. Additionally, you could update your BIOS (should be 1005d) and all in one drivers (Should be 4.25a)(yup, again!)...

As for Windows ME, as it runs 30% slower than Windows 98, we don't use it. You should also check your ELSA (Wow, VIVO's gotta be a bitch to keep stable) and SB drivers... those are usually the ones that hose you up in Windows 98 SE.

Good Luck!
Steve Benoit

Stable Technologies
'The way IT should be!'
February 14, 2001 2:25:31 AM

LOL. ME is only that much slower if you leave system restore and pchealth enabled. After that about 3-5% and more stabile in my expeirance. I still run 98SE on my main gaming PC cause hey....5 percent is five percent!

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
February 14, 2001 4:07:10 AM

I think the via problem depends a lot on what you got when you bought the board. For example, my A7V came with 1.004, and I updated to 1.005, which wasn't a big deal. I wonder if some of you people had an older bios on the board.
February 14, 2001 6:21:44 AM

I have to agree with gregorarch regarding it seems that most issues revolve around Asus and Abit products at least from the posts I have seen.

Seems odd as from what I know both companies have solid reputations and I have built several Asus/PIII combos recently with no problems so I do not want to say YEAH ASUS SUCKS, cause I do not really think they do, I am just agreeing that it seems a lot of posts are either Asus or Abit related.

By the way, I personally have a Soyo K7VIA which uses the Via KX133 chipset. This board was almost cheaper than my power supply and it works just freakin great with my Athlon Classic (only problem is upgrading to a T-Bird!). Soyo provided the install steps that I followed regarding the install of Win98SE which was install Windows then install only the AGP and IRQ drivers from the Via 4 in 1 package. I did once experiment with installing the entire 4 in 1 package with disastrous results.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2001 6:45:27 AM

The real problem here is that people are not perfect and companies are motivated by money. Ask yourself this, why do you go to work? The answer is to make money (unless your Steve Jobs and your sole purpose in life is to make the best product as a matter of taste, but seriously) The industry as a whole is bug ridden with code on top of code to fix it. My guess is that in the Intel vs Via chipset battle, Intel is just managed better. They catch and fix more bugs than Via does, plain and simple. No chipset is ever perfect and the motivation to get products out in a timely fashion cripples testing time and verification (the most important step in any product development cycle). Intel spends beaucoup bucks to hire the best and brightest simply to be the have the most timely and most reliable as possible product. I think Intel outspends Via and that's why compared to Intel, Via's are unreliable. Granted, Intel has made mistakes, the whole MTH debacle on my first PIII board and then there was that floating point error... It just goes to show that humans are still human and if the moth in the first room-size computer is any indication, we will always have bugs. The better companies will flush theirs out before the other guys. With Via, I guess you have to wait for all those patches before it finally works right.


- Every private citizen has a public responsibility
February 14, 2001 7:25:59 AM

Nice, seems like a reasonable objective post on the outside, yet look closely, yup, it's another unwarranted slam on Via.
February 14, 2001 12:31:57 PM

hehehe... Okay, but if you turn that stuff off, what are the advantages to going with Windows ME? (If we want to slam anyone, it shouldn't be Via... I mean AT LEAST THEY ARE GIVING US UPDATES IN A TIMELY FASHION!) I honestly can't complain about anyone that provides BIOS or driver updates, especially when these updates come out within a week or two of discovering a problem. We also should keep in mind that with all of the new standards for ATA-66, ATA-100, Live! sound, MX video, etc... It's no wonder that BIOS' and new drivers would have to be introduced.

If you want to bitch, lets bitch collectively about Microsoft! That's one bandwagon I'm happy to jump on!

Steve Benoit

Stable Technologies
'The way IT should be!'
February 14, 2001 10:28:26 PM

Well the benefits would be that even though you turned it off you could turn it back on again when you needed it. Why leave the light on and waste power if you are not in the room? Another benefit is a lot less downloading and installing patches ( although ME admitably has a few no where near as many as 98SE). Better driver support is another. My main reason is time and from my experainces stability, however I realize this may not neccesarily be the case across all platforms depending on hardware.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
February 15, 2001 1:11:50 AM

I installed Win98, WinMe, Win98SE, and WinMe on my system in that order. As I said, Win98 was never stable. WinMe fixed most of the problems. I "downgraded" to Win98SE because of the reported performance benefits. I did not notice any. I even ran benchmarks and did not see a significant difference in the numbers--most were higher but a few were lower. Overall the difference was less than 5% on my system. Stability, though was poor with my system needing to be re-booted more than once a day. With WinMe I get occaisional random crashes but I would say less than twice a week. A 5% performance boost is useless if your constantly have to re-boot your system. Win98SE lasted about 5 days before I re-installed WinMe (each install was on a formated HD).

If Win98SE is stable on your system, then don't bother with WinMe. But if you are having stability problems, then it might be worth it to upgrade to WinMe. Just see my posts on disabling the system restore feature and deleting the _restore directory if you do upgrade.

<i>Its not fun AFTER you have fragged everyone.</i> :cool: James
February 15, 2001 1:18:48 AM

I don't know if "unwarranted" is the word.
Via + AMD + Geforce 2 = one big MF'n headache. I love my computer, its fast, but $h!t, that was just too much trouble to get it working.
ME worked(ha!) just not reliably.
Win2k locked up constantly, although a good portion of the blame goes to Compaq as well...
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 15, 2001 6:37:23 AM

I agree SO MUCH with the subject of this thread...
How can people like Via Engineers escape life in jail (outside Texas) for doing such a stack of S=+%.
Stack is the word !! Thare are lots of layers, and it all end up all over the place...

I have never witnessed such an unstable chipset for the last 15 years I have been into PC set-up...

HL
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 15, 2001 2:14:16 PM

Could be one reason why you see more Abit/Asus posts (and/or complaints) is they probably sell a shitload more MLB's than other board manufs. Thus the natural 'percentage' of people talking about them is higher.

Dunno the actual sales numbers of different board manufs, just a theory of mine based on the fact both Asus/Abit have been around for a long time and are thus (IMHO) generally better known.
February 15, 2001 2:23:33 PM

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but you obviously weren't around for the Intel 810/820/840 Chipset fiasco. I honestly have to say that the only good chipset to come out of Intel in the past 6 years is the 815E. Before that, you have to go all the way back to the 440BX (which is still my favorite chipset.)

To say (in a blanket statement) that Via chipsets are unstable is completely inaccurate and very unfair to the engineering staff at Via (now Cyrix). Sure, they have had their problems, but they have done a great job of working WITH US to work them out, and if nothing else, they have force Intel to stop pushing us down the RAMBUS road.

If it weren't for Via we'd all be paying $1,000.00 a module for RAM right now.

As for updates, I can only reiterate my previous posts in that with the advent of all of these new sound, video and drive technologies, it is only logical that we would be seeing updates. I would rather have to get a free update than have to pay for something all over again (like we all have to do every time Microsoft creates an update... or as they like to put it a new version). Or worse yet, be stuck with a chipset that can't be fixed (Intel 820).

If you don't like Via chipsets, fine, buy something else. The nature of competition in the industry leaves that option open to you. However, if everyone is using Via chipsets you should ask yourself, Why? I mean, manufacturers don't make these decisions out of the blue, there are usually very good reasons behind them. If you are curious as to the details behind those reasons, I would suggest reading the abundant information here on Tom's site. He's done a pretty good job of explaining them.

Steve Benoit


Stable Technologies
'The way IT should be!'
February 15, 2001 2:35:40 PM

I have a couple of AMD boards. Some have the VIA chipset. And I have expienced problems with the VIA chipset but have been able to fix them rather easily.

But to answer the original question. The reason they get away with this is because they have no competition. AMD chipsets are not as fast or widespread so the only real option is VIA. VIA knows this so they don't have to be concerned with crappy products or support because they are in no danger of going out of business, due to lack of competition.

So until another company comes out with a chipset that can give VIA a run for their money, they have us by the short and curlies. :smile: ]

-Gimme oysters and beer for dinner everyday of the year and I'll feel fine.
February 15, 2001 8:56:48 PM

You want the harsh, quick, bloody answer? Well what else are you going to run your Athlon on? An AMD 750 or 760 chipset? I think those are even worse, just not as many of them out in machines so obviously less complaints. I have ran used machines based on both the 750 and 760 chipsets. The most noteable piece of sh*t would be a Micron 1 gig with AMD 760 and pc1600 DDR ram just got one one day to try out. I think I got about 3 fsb in Quake3 with the sound disabled out of the box with a TNT2 Ultra(A vanta was in the machine, but that was replaced). With the sound inabled, well lets just say i had a Quake 3 slideshow. Not to mention that it took about 3 minutes to load a level. Something was definatly wrong there.
February 15, 2001 10:10:20 PM

There is competion but the market is very limited. The problem is widespread though and not limited to chipsets. Most of my problems with the last two computers I built were with the video card drivers. With video cards you have nVidia and ATI and in both cases they release a new card with new drivers before they even get the previous card's drivers stable.

It is true that we share some of the resposiblity for this problem. We want our computers faster and we want it NOW! The manufacturers are more than happy to release their latest and greatest product and let the consumer beta test them for free--actually, you are paying them to beta test their product. On the other hand, you have the benefit of getting the product earlier. I think that is worth a little hassle so yes, I let them get away with it. If you don't, then fine, wait until people like me finish beta testing and let the drivers mature a while. Of course, you will then be buying last years model.

<i>Its not fun AFTER you have fragged everyone.</i> :cool: James
February 15, 2001 10:29:27 PM

Yeah, what he said. LOL.

Steve Benoit

Stable Technologies
'The way IT should be!'
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2001 7:29:48 AM

It is not the motherboards, it is your graphics cards!! I had the same problem. You cannot run certain videos cards on the Athlon Via motherboards without problems. GeForce cards work, I know for a fact. GeForce 1 and 2 and Ultra all work flawless. Viper II , TNT, TNT2 Ultra to name a few (bad drivers for the Athlons and probably on purpose just to support Intel), and other brands donot work right and only allow you to run a 1X AGP, thus killing 3D games if it even boots up. I know this for a fact,It took about 3 or 4 days to figure this out when the Athlon first came out with the help of the video card, MOBO manufacturers, and AMD and now I've been helping many others through this problem. I love my Athlon Via Chipset, well at least the newer ones(KX133 chipset)Irongate did not like most video cards that ran above 1X agp, which made 3d run like crap. And there are numerous hardware bugs still out there that cause compatibility problems with the Via boards, well Intel has the same problem it's just they hide it well. My Athlons boards have worked better than any Intel board that I have ever owned. Also Some memory are incompatible with the ASUS A7V and the K7V ( the crucial, micron, and any other memory that uses the micron memory chips that have a "7.5" or a "75" in the model number) have problems on these 2 MOBO's.

Hope this helps



"Its always Something!" My lifes motto

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Diablo2002 on 02/16/01 04:43 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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