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My A8N-SLI Premium Unstable

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  • Asus
  • SLI
  • Motherboards
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January 25, 2006 11:21:29 PM

Hope someone has some suggestions.

Just completed building this gaming PC (my first build):

A8N-SLI Premium
Athlon 64 FX-57
Corsair TWIN2048 3200C2
74 Gb raptors x 2 in RAID 0
BFG 7800GT OC 256MB x 2 in SLI configuration
Thermaltake TWV 500W PSU (SLI Ready)
Gigabyte Rocket 3D Cooler

After a few minutes running, the screen will start to pixelate - first a little , then bigger lines/blocks, then system hangs. Doesn't happen each time. Happens frequently in games (BattleField 2, Star Wars Battlefront II). My first thought was the EZ_PLUG since the manual gave a warning about instability. My PSU main power line is 24 pin on the end that connects to the PSU and 20 plus a separate 4 pin for the mobo. I plugged a 5 pin PSU connector into the EZ_Plug. for the EATXPWR1 connector should I plug just the 20 or both the 20 plus 4?

Thought it might also be over heating. I have done any OC, however I get the hangs more in games than any other time. The last time it hang, however, I was on the desktop with PC Probe II running and the temp was 100 degrees F which I don't think is very high? I did remove the cooler, cleaned off the old compund, and put a more liberal amount back on. Still happens.

It could also be the video cards. I have tried turning off SLI and it still happens. I haven't tried the system with just one of each card to see if the problem follows a particular card.

Finally, I guess it could be the mobo.

I know I've said a lot. Any thoughts on what may be the problem, or how to isolate it?

More about : a8n sli premium unstable

January 27, 2006 3:39:36 PM

Okay, I didn't get a lot of takers on this one :cry:  My guess is that maybe my questions didn't quite make sense.

Anyway, I think I've eliminated cpu overheating as the problem. I removed one of the video cards and using just a single on in a non-SLI configuration (disconnected EZ_PLUG power). Played games, surfed the web, etc, and no problems. This evening I will take out the current card and put in the other one. Kinda hoping I see the problem re-occur. Then I know its the video card.

If the problem doesn't re-occur, then it would seem to be an issue when I'm in SLI configuration. That could be a lot of things I would imagine (bios, card firmware, 2nd PCI-e slot, etc.)

Can anyone help me with my first question regarding the EZ_Plug?

Thanks
January 27, 2006 4:14:06 PM

Quote:
I plugged a 5 pin PSU connector into the EZ_Plug. for the EATXPWR1 connector should I plug just the 20 or both the 20 plus 4?


There are a total of 3 power connectors on the motherboard that need to be used. The first is the ATX, which is 24 pin. Your PSU probably has the capability of removing the extra 4 pins on the end of the 20 pin- DO NOT DO THIS! Motherboard needs all 24 pins. Next you have a prescott style 4 pin connector just above the processor, that needs to be plugged in as well. DO NOT confuse the extra 4 pin ATX connector (on the 20 pin) with a completely seperate 4 pin square connector that you should have. Finally there's the SLI 4 pin molex connector between the first PCIe slot and the CPU. That should be plugged in.

Make sense?

If you have all that plugged in, I would suggest trying to use just one card in the motherboard and see what happens. 100F isn't that hot, so I doubt the problem is heat.

-mpjesse
January 27, 2006 4:32:40 PM

I just finished a similar build, but not with SLI.

Your first msg was a bit cofusing -- does it only happen while gaming? Or does it occur while just web browsing, non-gfx intensive apps, etc. ?

It certinaly sounds like GFX card issue. If one card working independently is not glitching up, then try the other solo. As you say, if both working independently is bug-free, then you have an SLI issue.

If that is the case, double check all your power connections as the last post said, get the latest BIOS update, and nVIDIA drivers. What is your case temp when this happens? Two 7800's in SLI cranking away on a game must generate a ton of heat, and the simplist answer might be that the GFX cards are overheating (not your CPU - 100F seems reasonable).
January 27, 2006 5:27:12 PM

I had a simalar problem on my last build. The problem was traced back to one of the ram chips was bad. If you are using Prime95 for testing make sure you set the memory to use to fit your installed memory. The defaul is small to heat up the cpu cache.

Why are you using a single ram chip. You should use 2 (dual channel) to get max performance.
January 28, 2006 9:17:47 AM

mpjesse, thanks for your reply. I have my power connectors all attached as you described. Here's the source of my confusion. In the manual, page 6-5, the section about configuring SLI, it reads " If using a 20 pin ATX power connector, connect a 4-pin ATX power cable to the EX Plug..." Makes you wonder if you have all 24 pins of the ATX power connect, if you should connect anything to the EZ Plug or not. I do have all 24 pins (20+4) connected.

Right now, I've taken the first card out (no faliures) and put the second one in. No failures with it so far, either
January 28, 2006 9:22:04 AM

Quote:
..does it only happen while gaming? Or does it occur while just web browsing, non-gfx intensive apps, etc. ?


It happnes for sure during gaming. But it has even happened when I'm in the Bios Setup, before XP even starts.
January 28, 2006 9:24:03 AM

Quote:

Why are you using a single ram chip. You should use 2 (dual channel) to get max performance.


The Corsair TWIN2048 3200C2 is two sticks of 1 GB each. Total of 2GB of ram.
February 3, 2006 1:23:04 AM

Just a guess, but I am pretty sure that as your PSU heats up it's actual power rating drops below it's stated value. MaximumPC magazine did an article on PSU's and demonstrated most PSU wattage ratings are less than advertised.

When the PSU gets hot and power drops, the cards get starved for power and then the pixelation starts. I have less than ideal temps in the room I run my gaming rig in and after three highly rated PSU's, I broke down and bought a PC Power and Cooling 510 SLI PSU. It cost more than my mobo, but it's rock solid clean power at high temps make it the best PSU on the market.

Quote:
Hope someone has some suggestions.

Just completed building this gaming PC (my first build):

A8N-SLI Premium
Athlon 64 FX-57
Corsair TWIN2048 3200C2
74 Gb raptors x 2 in RAID 0
BFG 7800GT OC 256MB x 2 in SLI configuration
Thermaltake TWV 500W PSU (SLI Ready)
Gigabyte Rocket 3D Cooler

After a few minutes running, the screen will start to pixelate - first a little , then bigger lines/blocks, then system hangs. Doesn't happen each time. Happens frequently in games (BattleField 2, Star Wars Battlefront II). My first thought was the EZ_PLUG since the manual gave a warning about instability. My PSU main power line is 24 pin on the end that connects to the PSU and 20 plus a separate 4 pin for the mobo. I plugged a 5 pin PSU connector into the EZ_Plug. for the EATXPWR1 connector should I plug just the 20 or both the 20 plus 4?

Thought it might also be over heating. I have done any OC, however I get the hangs more in games than any other time. The last time it hang, however, I was on the desktop with PC Probe II running and the temp was 100 degrees F which I don't think is very high? I did remove the cooler, cleaned off the old compund, and put a more liberal amount back on. Still happens.

It could also be the video cards. I have tried turning off SLI and it still happens. I haven't tried the system with just one of each card to see if the problem follows a particular card.

Finally, I guess it could be the mobo.

I know I've said a lot. Any thoughts on what may be the problem, or how to isolate it?
February 7, 2006 10:36:46 PM

Thanks for the feedback. After doing some research, I did suspect the PSU and bought a Enermax Liberty 620W. Still having problems in SLI mode. I put a temp prob into the heat sink fins of one of the cards. Getting up around 140 F, which I'm not sure is excessive.

I've been reading around the net ands finding lots of similar problems with this mobo.
February 8, 2006 10:15:57 PM

Tony,

I bought this board awhile back, and it has froze up on me many many times.

It sometimes locks up running completely normal. (with defaults and no OC)

I think it is junk and I hate ASUS because you can't get anything out of them.

I reflashed my BIOS using their support CD, and the dumb thing flashed me to the wrong board, and I couldn't flash it back of course.

So I bought a chip from Jack Badflash.

ASUS said to send the chip back and they will reflash for free, but should that have happened to start with? NO....

I think I may buy a DFI UT NF4 Expert.

I think this A8N-SLI Premium is junk. Sad to say, but I have had other problems with it booting as well.

Sorry buddy, but this just proves to me I need to do more research before my next buy.
February 8, 2006 10:32:42 PM

Quote:
Tony,

I bought this board awhile back, and it has froze up on me many many times.

It sometimes locks up running completely normal. (with defaults and no OC)

I think it is junk and I hate ASUS because you can't get anything out of them.


Denster, this post is worthless junk. Just bcs you are having problems with this board makes it worthless junk? Have you ever considered that you may be at fault for the computer's lockups and not the asus board? Flashing the BIOS to an unsupported version speaks very highly of your technical knowledge indeed. :roll:

The fact of the matter is that there are many causes for a windows system to freeze, windows drivers being the biggest culprit. Or, you may have configured your BIOS incorrectly or tweaked your registry wrong or installed some cracked program from the net to cause your instabilty problems.

Blaming it soley on the Asus board is pure bullsh*t, and if you think switching to the DFI board is going to solve your problems, wake up: your lack of experience and computer engineering will follow you to the new board as well.

I'm just sick and tired of inexperienced people whining about "junk products" when they have no F*king idea what they're talking about. :evil: 
February 8, 2006 11:37:16 PM

Oh and I guess your suggestions really helped huh krash-ter?
February 8, 2006 11:46:53 PM

Hey Tony, you are right about finding many similar problems with the asus board, as I have found them as well.

Perhaps I was a bit rash in saying it is pure junk, however my experience with it has proved to be with problems. I also have a gigabyte board and an intel board and I have not one problem with either, and I run the same software on each... There is something about this asus board, though I have yet to put my finger on what it is exactly.

I have switched out processors and components, ram and the like and this board definitely has issues...

I was just trying to share with you, not trying to discourage you, but then old krash-ter had to have his say... He obviously knows so much about it, He is MR KNOW IT ALL

Anyway, I have not tried to use the sli, but I hope the best for you
February 9, 2006 2:02:14 AM

This is great. So now Antec is garbage too? Ha! Are you kidding? You must be. Otherwise, you are a complete moron.

Since Tony has isolated both video cards and they work independently, but not in SLI mode, and not when both are installed, it points to a problem with either the mobo or some other drivers interacting with the nvidia drivers. Heat and PSU have not lead anywhere, so...

Tony, have you tried contacting BFG or nvidia with this issue to see if they have seen in before? Also, Blue68F100 said he saw the same issue and it lead back to a bad RAM module -- have you tried Prime95 as he suggested?

Don't get me wrong from my previous post, there is always the possiblity of a bad mobo: I've built 4 computers over the past two years and one of them, an MSI, had a faulty CMOS chip. But it's such a hassle to RMA and swap a mobo that it's worth investigating everything fully before writing it off as a piece of junk.
February 9, 2006 9:17:45 AM

Quote:

Tony, have you tried contacting BFG or nvidia with this issue to see if they have seen in before? Also, Blue68F100 said he saw the same issue and it lead back to a bad RAM module -- have you tried Prime95 as he suggested?
quote]

Kraster and Denster, both of you have been helpful. I can tell the difference between opinion and fact, and I'm comfortable reading either. As a newbie, I've always kept in mind that the problem with this build could be me :lol: 

Denster, your other components look similar to mine. I do think my Enermax PSU purchase was good even, and I do think it has helped. I know the most important power spec for SLI is the amps on the +12V rail(s), but I'm statring to conclude that a 500W PSU is just marginal for a SLI rig with a high end CPU and lots of other components. You might consider a 600+W PSU.

Kraster, I've run Memtest through about 10 passes with zero errors. Not sure if that's enough. I'll let in run all day today while I'm at work.

I've contacted ASUSTECK and BFG. Frankly, BFG has been most helpful while ASUS has been very slow to respond. I HAVE MADE SOME PROGRESS. Saw a post where one person solved this issue by going to the global video settings and turning VSYNC off. Did that last night and played at least 40 minuntes of Call of Duty 2 with no freeze. Switched to BF2 and played a good 20-30 minuntes, when it statred to pixelate. I was able to back out of the game before the system completely froze. CPU, mobo, and vid card temps were nominal.

I'll just keep reporting what I see to BFG and to ASUSTEK (haven't tried nVidia). Honestly, I have considered another mobo. As much as I've sunk into this thing, what's another $200 :( 
February 9, 2006 9:57:16 AM

I hear you about the $200... WOW you are really giving this board the once over! I have considered buying a new board 2, it was just that this board has all the latest bells and whistles, and it is kind of an aggravation to pay that much to be let down.

But I hope it works out for you... For the most part I have kept everything to a normal hum. I am OC'ing at about 18% and everyting is running OK, again no sli.

I simply am new to the whole sli thing... I experienced problems just using the board in an average normal way, and experienced some strange things.

You guys have the new GPU boards XFX 7800 and all (i am kind of small time with my $60 dollar 6200's)

Cant OC above 2.4 with my X2 4400+ w/out errors, which is probably the norm.
Also my corsair wont take the 2662 setting , but it is forced to 2.5 otherwise it wont boot.
I am kind of a dummy but then again, I know a little, probably just enough to be dangerous :) 

I actually have 2 GeForce 6200 Turbos I could do some experimenting on my own. I have half-life and need for speed I could apply some high end pressure myself and see what happens, just for kicks. I am not a heavy gamer, but I could pretend it was krashter and that would help me get some aggression out... JUST KIDDING

I play guitar and am into music more...

Aspire XPlorer
A8N-SLI Premium
550W Black Beauty PS
AMD64 X2 4400+ w/Zalman Cooler
3 GB Corsair XMS
250GB Hitachi Deskstar SATA II
GeForce 6200 Turbo
SBAudigy
Terminator TV/FM Card (for Jazz radio)
Olevia 26" Widescreen
Logitech Mx Laser Mouse
Saitek Eclipse Keyboard/Saitek wireless Game Controller
NEC DL DVDRW
Memorex DVDRW
80GB Seagate Ext. Hard Drive
30GB Apple iPod Video
Windows XP SP2 (updated)

I will try some sli and let you know how it turns out
February 9, 2006 1:06:16 PM

Quote:


Kraster, I've run Memtest through about 10 passes with zero errors. Not sure if that's enough. I'll let in run all day today while I'm at work.

I've contacted ASUSTECK and BFG. Frankly, BFG has been most helpful while ASUS has been very slow to respond. I HAVE MADE SOME PROGRESS. Saw a post where one person solved this issue by going to the global video settings and turning VSYNC off. Did that last night and played at least 40 minuntes of Call of Duty 2 with no freeze. Switched to BF2 and played a good 20-30 minuntes, when it statred to pixelate. I was able to back out of the game before the system completely froze. CPU, mobo, and vid card temps were nominal.


Well, it looks the memtest is a dead end then. If you have a bad stick you would have seen it by now. The VSYNC toggle is interesting -- when you went into BF2, did you make sure it was disabled in the in-game settings as well?

You should submit this to nvidia, be sure to tell them the whole story with the single card vs. sli and the vsync. Its sounding more and more like a driver setting issue.:

Nvidia Knowledge Base

Also, in the manual on page 4-33 it describes PEG mode for PCIe in the BIOS. Do you have this setting to Auto as suggested? Have you tried switching it to "normal"?
February 9, 2006 5:09:25 PM

[quote="Kraster...The VSYNC toggle is interesting -- when you went into BF2, did you make sure it was disabled in the in-game settings as well?

...Also, in the manual on page 4-33 it describes PEG mode for PCIe in the BIOS. Do you have this setting to Auto as suggested? Have you tried switching it to "normal"?[/quote]

When you go to the Advanced Tab on the display properties, there's an option to set these globably. You have to clear the checkbox that says leave these under application control.

I have not done anything with PEG, so it's at whatever the default is. My guess is that it's AUTO (not home right now or Id take a look). I can give that a try.
February 9, 2006 5:44:22 PM

Yes, so the global setting should have been applied then. However, should might not be good enough in this case -- Make sure BF2 didn't go ahead and enable it on you anyway!!!
February 25, 2006 12:12:48 PM

Thought I owed everyone an update. PROBLEM SOLVED!!! :D 

It wasn't the mobo at all. Problem was one of my two BFG 7800 GT OCs was bad. I had run with each gpu by itself and they initially both looked good. Guess the bad one got continually wores and it finally became clear it was bad. BFG RMA'd the bad board and life is good!!

Thanks to all for your help. Did learn a LOT through this experience though. One major tip - with high end gpus (like nvidia 7800s), high end cpu, three disk, two dvds, fan controller, media reader, etc, a 500W PSU is Not enough. For high end go with a 600W+ psu. For SLI I'd go for 40+amps on the +12V rail(s). Some may think it's overkill, but might as well spend the extra $30-$40 than have to shell out another $170 for a 2nd PSU and have the first as a paper weight.

Now that I think I'm stable, I can look into overclocking this puppy.
!