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switching from K7S5A to ???

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
October 30, 2001 4:52:10 AM

Hi! Well, I've put in my RMA request for the K7S5A. There's a story for that, with swearing galore, but I'll keep the ranting down to a minimum. I'm wondering what other THG readers are using. I'd love to hear your comments/praises for a motherboard that will actually run on a daily basis, not long enough just to complete a benchmark. I mean, I use email, Word, Excel, surf the web, play a couple game demos here and there. If your in the same boat, I'd love to hear your story. I will be installing WinXP Professional, using DDR memory, and using an AMD 1200. My sights are geared toward the ABIT KG7, EPOX 8KHA+, and the Shuttle AK31(KT266A). The latter two the only ones I've had time to really have a look at since the RMA. Any and all comments are welcomed and appreciated. Even if you know of a MB not listed above is okay by me. Thanks! And installing on the first or second try is a must. I am a full-time student, and I don't have much time in the day to re-install after every little change of the BIOS. I've built computers before this, but gosh, when you've got little time, a DELL looks mighty nice.

More about : switching k7s5a

October 30, 2001 4:57:11 AM

what happened to the k7s5a?
i didnt have any problems with mine...

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
October 30, 2001 5:41:22 AM

i went from a k7s5a (cause of problems) to a gigabyte ga-7vtx-p. i really like the vtx-p, no memory dumps, better onboard sound, no restarts and fast. the H version of the board (it has onboard lan and sound) goes for a tad over $100, the P is about $10-15 more.
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a c 435 V Motherboard
October 30, 2001 7:59:21 AM

I've had my shuttle ak31 version 3.1 for 2 weeks, with no major problems. I had to reload drivers a couple of times, due to too high of fsb setting, but other than that, it's running smooth and fast at 138 fsb. My system is simple (no scsi controllers or extra hardrives), and I use onboard sound. If your setup is more complicated, you may want to try something else.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
October 30, 2001 8:37:25 AM

I share your concern about the cost in time to fiddle with a new computer. I have a regular job and had no idea how much time can be wasted trying to get the new computer up. Dell is the simple answer but they don't do AMD and they usually have some propriatary feature that limits changes.

In spite of the cost in time, I am interested in one more try at rebuilding with a new board. The KT266A chip set group of boards is filling out with a few key ones to go. I hear the ABIT KR7A may be out soon. I see the SOYO K7V Dragon + is now available and has onboard 6 channel audio, Raid, and LAN built in. I am hoping the built in gets by the compatibility problems, so this is my leading candidate now until I see a horror story or two.

Good luck on your new system.
October 30, 2001 10:43:13 AM

my k7s5a is sitting on the table downstairs cause it would reboot randomly all the time. I got a EPOX 8KHA+ coming in via ups from Goroyalpc.com
October 30, 2001 3:28:28 PM

My K7S5A works fine.

If you're set to get another board I can also recommend the Abit KG7, but for the price difference the only thing you get are better overclocking options.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
October 30, 2001 3:35:00 PM

First the K7S5A, then the msi k7t266 pro, now the EPOX 8KHA+?

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
October 30, 2001 6:53:30 PM

I have a friend who had no problems with the MSI K7T266 PRO2 and likes it a lot. I myself have had no problems with my K7S5A. But then again, I have had no need to flash the bios. I think 99 out of 100 users are happy with the K7S5A boards, but they have sold so many that there are plenty of one percenters out there with problems.

Old enough to remember when sex was safe and a personal computer was a slide rule :wink:
October 30, 2001 7:47:14 PM

does anyone know how many of these boards have been sold so far?
i mean, when it first came out, i think that the sales were slow, but they sure seem to have picked up recently...even retail stores are starting to sell them, at least the stores that are local to me.

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
October 30, 2001 10:18:48 PM

The k7s5a is know to have reset problems so it is being returned. The k7t266 pro (I won) and it is working great. the 8kha+ is for another computer. What is your point?
October 30, 2001 11:05:06 PM

Settle down. You know what my point was, but I didn't know that you were working on multiple systems. Glad everything's running fine now.

I still disagree on the reset problem, but that's besides the point.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
October 30, 2001 11:22:28 PM

Hi! Thanks for the replies everyone. I may wait and look at the ABIT, although the Shuttle does appear to have what I'm looking for. I've already been to that OC faq many times. So its not like I couldn't get this thing to run the first time and gave-up. I've had it for 15 days, 10 of which I've been trying to troubleshoot. The best luck I've had, was when I disabled everything, even L1/L2 cache. WinXP Pro(legal copy too) loaded, I could even hit the shiny new green start bar. Guess how long that took to install...4-5 hours! When I started the process of re-enabling items in the BIOS, ONE-BY-ONE, after I enabled L2 cache it dumped on me, and destroyed the newly installed OS. That hurts. I know people have had success with this board, its not like ECS intentionally made a faulty product, but in manufacturing there will always be a small percentage that do not perform well, if at all. And my bet is it is a little larger than 1%. I would say 3-4% given ECS is most likely not used to sharp increases in demand like the K7S5A has had for them. But, most threads that I've read from most users is that they've installed the board "without any MAJOR problems." So, then there are a few minor problems. I use my computer everyday. Whether it be for simple email, playing a game or working on homework. I don't have time for RANDOM restarts. I took a gamble on this $60 wonder board, and I lost. I am so glad I ordered at Newegg.com though, since they are willing to RMA the board. Which I will be packing up momemtarily. You know what, I may just have to follow Microsoft's guidelines and pick something off the HCL list :o ( I'll let you guys know what I choose, and when it comes in, I'll let you know how I like it. Take care for now, keep those replies coming in.

p.s. I believe the fault with my board is something interferring with the IDE channels. And the best(think sarcastic though) advice was someone who replied to another user concerning power supply issues. He said try using a 500W power supply, that should do the trick. Why the heck would you buy a 500W PS, which costs lord how much, for a cheesy $60 board. This is another observation I've noticed when people start troubleshooting...they start buying tons of stuff that puts them way outside of their budget. This is just some advice for new users to building, who usually don't have spare RAM chips, or processors to test with, if your looking to build a new system at an inexpensive price, perhaps add an extra $100 to your budget, it will save many a headaches if you cannot get it running. Besides if you end up taking it to a computer shop to see what they can do with it, there goes another chunk of change (usually +$50/hour). But don't spend that extra money on cheesy things like fancy nancy heatsinks, because I guarantee you will be shocked just how loud it really is, spend it on a better PS first, and then look at MB, RAM, etc. Even a better graphics card cannot do anything for you if you can't get a stable, even semi-stable system running. I wish ECS would post my reply that I put up on their knowledge base, it goes a little more indepth with the problems I was having. Remember, just my thoughts. And wow I like to write.
October 30, 2001 11:59:44 PM

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ncogneto on 10/30/01 09:31 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 31, 2001 12:27:25 AM

well i bought a enermax 651ve (550w) because i have my case loaded and thought it could very well be an issue. obviously after getting the new psu it wasn't. just so you know i have:
xp1700
1gb ddr2100
17gb maxtor (backup)
40gb 60gxp (OS)
3x 60gb 60gxp (raid0)
3 sunon 80mm case fans
in-win full tower
cdrom
cdrw
i think that constitutes thinking it was the psu. but as you were saying no major issues? i would consider random memory dumps a major issue. it's not fun editing for an hour and when you go to save it happens :frown:
October 31, 2001 12:30:48 AM

I would love to get my hands on one of these defective boards just to play with to satisfy my curiousity as I have put together 3 systems with the K7S5A without issue....would you care to sell it?

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
October 31, 2001 12:35:17 AM

Hmmm 4 Ide devices plus an additional 3 Ide devices on a raid 0 stripe? Holly mamma! I gig DDR to boot.....Two 512 sticks? Have you checked to make sure one of them is not an issue? Running win2k or win xp?

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
October 31, 2001 12:41:52 AM

yes, 2 sticks of infineon 512/cL2 got em at rjtech.com bout a month ago. this one will have to work for a good while as my main comp so i figrued i'd go all out. running w2k, well i've been running this gigabyte board (ga-7vtx-p) for almost a week now, not one memory dump. i heard from a tech guy that with the k7s5a though, to enable "quick boot" in bios. it's supposed to overwrite power checks the board supposedly does. thus cut off the reboots. if anyone has tried this that was having reboot problems, let us know.
October 31, 2001 1:12:58 AM

Don't punch me out, but could you think about getting another K7S5A? Mine went together very easily and has had absolutely no problems to date. And I am <i>not</i> a real pro at this stuff. Look at the reviews at NewEgg. From August to October 24, 2001, there were 68 unanimously great reviews. In the last week there have been some checkered reviews with people reporting problems. But geez - now you know this board inside and out. If you got a good one, it should slam together really fast for you. I would certainly not blame you for getting something else though

Old enough to remember when sex was safe and a personal computer was a slide rule :wink:
October 31, 2001 4:13:38 AM

My Abit KG7 Raid is doing fine. Computer's stable and reliable as hell, not a single problem yet *knocks on wood*
October 31, 2001 4:56:59 AM

What is the minimum powersupply you have got that system running on? I think that nice 550W is gonna do you a lot of good stability wise, but did you try anything less that was working for you?

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
October 31, 2001 5:02:06 AM

Quote:
And my bet is it is a little larger than 1%. I would say 3-4% given ECS is most likely not used to sharp increases in demand like the K7S5A has had for them.


Not really sure of any of the numbers, but I did read somewhere that elitegroup was the biggest motherboard manufacturer or very close to it. Not sure what truth there was to it, but it would be interesting to know how many boards they manufacture and how many were defective. Considering that it's surely in the thousands at least or the tens of thousands at least, and I've only seen maybe 50 complaints across a number of forums, I'm pretty sure they're doing ok.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
October 31, 2001 5:03:07 AM

dude of course I'll sell it, it is either that or send it back to new york and see if they'll give me the money. But when it resets randomly on you, don't say you want to return it to me or anything. Now here is the only thing about selling it to you, while returning it is a pain I could prob. get at least the cost of the board back minus shipping, selling it to you ? I got it for about $70 with shipping, so will you buy it for $45 (shipping not included and I'm in Seattle)?

I'll tell you what was running with it when it would reset randomly:
(any OS would reset randomly, e.g. ME, 2k, XP)
1.4GHz thunderbird
512 MB PC2100 Crucial ram
EG365P-VE
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
October 31, 2001 7:37:30 AM

Okay, so I was probably way off on those predictions. My bad. On the ECS website, there is a quantity growth chart, and it put them at 10000 units for motherboards in 2000, and an estimate of 15000 for 2001. I think they forgot to label them though, as the revenue growth chart they also show, would put them at $960 for 2001. Yikes! In their milestones link they do list two manufacturing centers that are "million units per month" capable. I've looked on the ASUS website, and they sold 13.5 million motherboards for 2000. So that puts things a little more in perspective.
I suppose if you are a power user chucking out an extra +$140 for that power supply is fine. But I know when I had to pay $63(w/shipping) for my Enermax 350W, I was pushing it. I don't speak for everyone, but considering the PS is the most overlooked part of a computer system (remember all those articles using those very similar words) I would say I'm not alone when most people would feel the same about dropping another +$40-50-60 on a quality PS. My underlying point to it was that building a computer yourself can be a very rewarding experience, one that we like to flaunt to others, and those who are interested, well we usually try to get them to build a system of their own. Its just that not everyone has extra parts lying around, money for extra parts, and enormous amounts of time to spend trying to get things to work. And if your answer to that is "well maybe they shouldn't be building a system", then we should all give up and make Mr. Dell a little richer. I know I might sound like I'm biting peoples heads off, but I'm not, sorry if it appears that way.
As far as repurchasing another K7S5A that just gives me the shivers. But I thought about it for awhile, and the only way I will consider it, is if someone can tell me they've installed an OS, without any hindrances, it does not have weird restart problems like other users have had, and WinXP Professional runs without a hitch. The major problems will prevent you from ever using the thing, the minor ones that people don't always report are the ones that will piss you off everyday. And I'm posting this on your thread because I was giving you the new facts from above, and then just started rambling on like I have before.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
October 31, 2001 7:42:58 AM

I think you might be pushing your luck. I'm happy that you've put 3 together, but buying a defective board is downright ridiculous. Now, asking if you can take it off his hands for free is another thing...
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
October 31, 2001 7:56:15 AM

And as far as complaints, sure, maybe there are only a handful of them in the forums here, but there are 1120 threads on the ECS knowledge base concerning the K7S5A. At least some of them are solutions or hints to what may be the answer to a problem.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
October 31, 2001 8:05:24 AM

Here's something interesting to look at. Go to the ECS website and check out the knowledge base. Scroll down to find the K7S5A. Now, take note of all the replies in any of the K7 series motherboards. Now look around at the rest of the page. Pretty odd. I know I laughed.
October 31, 2001 9:41:16 AM

That is do to the fact that the K7S5A is ECS's first real attempt to sell to the retail market, before they were mainly an OEM supplier.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
October 31, 2001 9:44:05 AM

Sure I will buy it for that, I live in Michigan. Do you paypal? As long as thed board is not dead on arrival and the only issue it has is the reset issue I will not attempt to return it to you.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
October 31, 2001 2:34:13 PM

actually yes and no, a few days ago i swapped out my enermax for my sparkle 400w just to see if it would. though ran fine, cept i had 2 less hd's (no maxtor and only 2x 60gb) and no cd burner. but i'll have to be honest, i did not fully test it with it with the 400w (no heavy loads). my cpu is running to hot for me to do anything :frown: so hopefully my new one should be here today. for the life of me i can't get this 1.4tb to operate less than 53C (that's just idle!!) with retail hsf or even a swiftech mcx370!mainly i got the 550w just so i would most likely not have to worry about psu again.
October 31, 2001 9:10:14 PM

well the billpoint invoice is off. Just tell me if you want me to cancel it.
November 1, 2001 3:42:24 AM

Not quite sure I understand what you mean by "off" off as in you sent it or off meaning you do not want to follow through with it...let me now and money will be on its way.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
November 2, 2001 4:43:47 AM

I haven't had any problems. It's been flawless.

One exception though: I overclocked to 150Mhz FSB and had all my memory timings to the max and the board just wouldn't run stable. That's my only problem, but I don't think that really counts. It booted and ran, but it crashed in toast, and corrupted my start menu of all places?! Switched to a lower fsb.

Running WinXP pro as well as Win98se. My temps are low and my benchmarks are good. The only performance issue I'm still working on is getting my harddrive to perform a bit better. It might be the board, but Sandra reports me getting only 18,000 or so on UDMA100 with a 7200rpm drive. It seems to me that I should be able to do a few thousand better than that. 24000 is what sandra predicts.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by dhlucke on 11/01/01 10:49 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 2, 2001 6:23:24 AM

I suppose 75% of predicted performance is okay :o ) I do envy you though in being able to even install an OS. But no worries about the K7S5A, I'm tempted to try again, but I just don't have it in me. I might wait until Monday to order a new board, still juggling between a few, and now that I hear Abit is coming out with its KR7...
November 2, 2001 9:31:18 PM

I had that probnlem at first as well, in my case it was the DDR RAM itself that was the culprit, the first stick of crucial would'nt cut it at those timings and 150 fsb, while the second would. As a side note CPUCOOL gives you a few more overclocking options with full support now for this chipset(142,147).

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Ncogneto on 11/02/01 06:32 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 2, 2001 9:38:44 PM

cpu cool doesnt require the cpu to be unlocked right?
it is all software?

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
November 2, 2001 10:20:26 PM

That is correct however it is overclocking by means of the FSB not the CPU multiplier.

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
November 2, 2001 11:24:16 PM

and it works on the ecs k7s5a?

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
November 3, 2001 1:17:02 AM

Yup

Video editing?? Ha, I don't even own a camera!
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 3, 2001 5:45:34 AM

Hi! I made the decision to go ahead and buy a new motherboard this week, to replace the K7S5A which this thread originally started out as. The lucky winner: the Epox 8KHA+! Come on down. It's on order from Newegg.com, so I think it should arrive sometime in the middle of next week. I'll post again in here to let everyone know how it runs.

Want to know how I finally settled on this one? I thought so. Although there were bunches and bunches of other factors, it came down to the BIOS. Epox uses an Award BIOS, which I regard as the "Queen's Silver" of BIOS programs, compared to the "Butler's paper plates" or AMI. I remember my buddies old Packard Bell used an AMI bios, I would fret everytime seeing "American Megatrends" load on the screen. And where are they now? haha, okay I was just messing around with all that, oh, except the AMI part.
November 8, 2001 9:39:46 PM

Just thought I would drop you a post to let you know your board arrived today, as did the parts from MR. Athlon. Set it up with a Codegen 350 watt supply ( same as mine) and a gforce 256, one stick ddr ( 256) out of my 512 setup. Immediat post. Before formatting and installing a OS I ran memtest86....Dude! That is one messed up board! Over 3 million errors in one pass. Don't worry I am not complaining this is what I wanted. After this I decided not to install any OS. I have however managed to get it to run memtest error free using the 100/100 setting ( not that this is a realistic option for anyone). I will repeort back later as to how the fix worked and how it performs using an xp processor for others that may be interested.

I must now say that I apologize for recomending this board to so many users. Never in my life have a seen a revision 0 board(s) be so good and then later revision's to be so bad! One would expect later revisions to improve, not get worse!

This is really starting to look like [speculation] like a production line screw up on ECS's part[/speculation]. Carefull examination by Mr.Athlon <A HREF="http://forum.ocworkbench.com/ocwbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb..." target="_new">http://forum.ocworkbench.com/ocwbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb...;/A> has exposed that one of the zn/zp resitiors that control the cpu drive strength was for some reason changed in the later revision's and seems to be responsible for this problem. Whether this change was by design or by mistake is not known at this time as ECS has yet to report and/or acknowledge this although it has been brought to there attention. I would at this time <b> NOT RECOMMEND </b> this board at this time to anyone.

Also, let it be known [opinion] that I feel this is an error on the part of the board maker (ECS) and not the chipset itself (SIS)[/opinion] Unlike another well known non-intel chipset maker.

For what it is worth, I can verify that the problem you encounterd were not do to an improper build ( I am sure you know this but others might like to here it) but indeed a defective board.

Another Cookie? Who is going to pay my dentist bill?
!