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Shared PCI slots on K7 Master?

Last response: in Motherboards
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2001 6:56:52 PM

I'm a little worried with everything I am hearing about shared IRQ's on PCI slots on the new motherboards.

I am planning on getting an MSI K7 Master, one of the last components I need for a new system. I already have the following PCI cards which I will be using, plus one more listed below which I have yet to buy. Can I expect trouble?

- Soundblaster Live! 5.1 (OEM)
- 10/100 Ethernet Card (Linksys)

My plan was to add a Tekram 395U SCSI card as well (for a SCSI scanner and DVD drive), since it would be cheaper to buy the K7 Master plus SCSI card than to get a K7 Master-S. I can't even figure out if the K7 Master has an external SCSI port on it or not.

Would I have less troubles if I spend the extra bucks on a K7 Master-S instead of buying a separate SCSI card?

Also, I hear a lot about PCI slot 3, and in some places I hear the sound card should be placed there, and in some I hear the ethernet card should be placed there. I have both, so which do I put in slot 3?

Any enlightenment on this would be appreciated.

a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2001 7:16:30 PM

OK, a little more info. I downloaded the K7 Master manual (Version 1.1) from MSI's site. I found this in it, apparently relating to the K7 Master-S, but presumably one can delete the SCSI references to determine the K7 Master setup (which I did below):

K7 Master:
AGP & PCI2 shared
PCI1 & PCI5 shared
PCI3 & AC97 shared
PCI4 & USB shared
PCI1 ~ PCI5: Bus Master

K7 Master-S:
AGP & PCI2 shared
PCI1 & PCI5 shared
PCI3 & SCSI1 & AC97 shared
PCI4 & SCSI2 & USB shared
PCI1 ~ PCI5: Bus Master

So, it seems to me that I am no better off by getting the K7 Master-S with regard to shared PCI slots. In fact it looks worse... With the K7 Master I can at least disable the AC97 and have PCI3 not sharing anything. With the K7 Master-S, I can't get away from that at all.

Mind you, I'm new to all this so I may have it completely wrong on how I'm interpreting all that.

I still have my choice to make, non-SCSI motherboard with a Tekram card, or the SCSI motherboard version. Either way, I have to figure out where to put my sound card and NIC, and the SCSI card as well if I go that route.

Does it even make a difference?

May 11, 2001 7:17:41 PM

Where can you get a K7-Master-S? Please post the link if you got it ok? Later dude!
Related resources
May 12, 2001 12:54:12 AM

I thought this problem was only on the ASUS A7M266, *sigh*. OK, anyway what's the big deal with shared IRQs anyway? I have the K7 Master, just waiting on TBird 1.33 GHz and DDR RAM, I already have a SB Live 5.1 player. and PCI graphics card and PCI Voodoo. How iwll that affect me if I want to put those in.

If PCI4 and USB are shared, does that mean I can't use USB if something is plugged in to PCI4? That would be REALLY sh*t.

Beer is the devil's piss.
a b V Motherboard
May 15, 2001 11:18:31 AM

I have no idea if it is a big deal or not...

My plan is to get the non-scsi K7 Master. (My scanner won't work with the integrated controller apparently).

I will put my SB Live! 5.1 in slot 3, disabling the on-board sound, and thus having it in a non-shared PCI slot.

I will put the NIC in slot 1, which is only shared with slot 5, so as long as I don't use slot 5 that won't be shared either.

As for the SCSI card, I have to put it in a slot shared with either the AGP or the USB controller. I think USB is the lesser of two evils here, since the only USB device I have (thus far) is my mouse. Hopefully it won't affect performance of either.

Sound reasonable?

May 17, 2001 4:09:27 PM

I have three PCI cards (sound, network, RAID) and one AGP card plugged into my K7-Master with no problems. I'm using the AGP, PCI1, PCI3, and PCI4 slots. I would suggest using PCI4 and staying away from PCI2.
May 17, 2001 6:24:48 PM

i have a k7 master and i have a k7 master-s on the way (should be here by wednesday). i am using a 3C905-TX nic, a sb live! (original), tekram s-390f scsi card, promise fasttrack 100, a smg ata-100 controler, and a radeon 32mb AIW in win2k with no problems. i have almost everything on irq 9, both serial ports enabled, and i still have irq 5 free and i have NO problems at all with my system. also i have the fsb at 115 and the us is still stable :-).

a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2001 10:41:11 AM

That's really great to know. I've just placed my order for the K7 Master! Can't wait to get it and start putting everything together...