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My EVGA 680i Woes

Last response: in Motherboards
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What do you think?

Total: 13 votes

  • You''ve gone insane, and you suck at computers.
  • 16 %
  • Took a risk with early adoption, and got burned.
  • 8 %
  • I''m having similar problems! (or worse...)
  • 0 %
  • The newly released beta bios fixed everything.
  • 24 %
  • I couldn''t be bothered to read the post, it was too damned long. (I''m a lazy bastard with no intent on improving the world)
  • 54 %
December 21, 2006 8:41:34 AM

I don't know how many people I can expect to read this, but understand I am very frustrated and this is one of the few places I think I might be able to get some good support or fellow early adopters who share the same experience. I apologize ahead of time for any spelling or grammar errors, if you are a grammar nazi like I am sometimes(most of the time).

Alright, so I've had the system in my signature up and running for almost 3 weeks now. I think it's safe to say that I'm pretty damn disappointed with it. Performancewise, it's a beast. But it's hardly stable. I took the early adopter risk and got bitten, hard. Long read, but it is necessary since I've had PLENTY of problems.

First boot, I try to install windows and get tons of blue screens mid-install. Memtest reveals I have lots and lots of memory errors. In the range of 70,000+. I switch the slots, memtest checks out fine. So I have two dead dimm slots, with the remaining just happening to be the other pair I can use for dual channel operation. I decide to push on and keep the board, skipping any replacement in favor of not ripping everything apart that took me 4+ hours to put together.

Installation went great. The video card is pretty big, but fit well in my case. Lian Li A10. Had to remove the top 120mm fan because I needed about 3mm of clearance since the socket is so far up top my AC freezer 7 pro wouldn't clear it. Started with a single 500gb seagate drive for everything.

Have since added in an extra expansion bay for hard drives in the 5.25" slots. EX-34 (4 hard drive slots, filled with 3 drives). Close fit with the 8800GTX, almost doesn't fit at all. After lots of cable bending and folding, I manage to get everything in. Man does this case feel cramped now. My drive total is up to 2x250gb in Raid0, with 3 500gb drives for a raid 5.

I put the 250s in raid0 and don't have any problems installing windows. Man, raid 0 really is quite fast. First boot...windows loads before the screen completely fades in, and before the blue bars even appear to start scrolling across. This thing is fast!, I think to myself. Unfortunately, it's about as unstable as it is fast.

I plug in the 3x500s to setup my raid 5. I still had files I wanted on the old 500gb, but I figure I can just grab them off the drive after I'm done installing windows. Big mistake. Nvidia storage controller intercepts the "New hardware found" installation prompts, and immediately tells me I have 3 new drives. Sure, no problem I think. I close that and check my computer. No drives. I check storage management. No new drives. Wonderful! So I decided to go through the Nvidia storage controller. This is where I made a huge error. Apparently, selecting any drive for a JBOD setup will do a quick (about 2 seconds) format of any drive you want in the JBOD. You'd think there would be a warning, and you'd be wrong. There was NO mention of a drive format or data loss. There was NO check for data that was already on the drive. Awesome.

I email Nvidia about this issue. They refer me to my equipment manufacturer, as they only deal with Direct Sales or some other bs. Nice support! I've only just begun to scratch the surface of bad support, as I found out though. The Nvidia email response to my support ticket (exact ticket I sent in is the same as the EVGA email further below):

Hello Kevin,
This support website is designed to support NVIDIA direct sales products, such as the NVIDIA DualTV tuner card and the NVIDIA PureVideo DVD Decoder. We also address Presales questions about NVIDIA based products and technology.

NVIDIA is a market leader in graphics and digital media processors. NVIDIA does NOT build graphics cards, motherboards or PCs. While our partners and customers all choose NVIDIA's technology as a core component for their solutions, they do implement them differently and therefore it is not possible for NVIDIA to directly support their products via this forum.

To obtain support or report issues, please contact the appropriate manufacturer / vendor of your product. For your convenience, a partial list of our partners and customers can be found here.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/hardware_support.html

Best regards,
NVIDIA


No problem, right? Email EVGA and get my new drivers and hopefully a way to reverse the format. Here is a copy paste of the email I sent, and the response I recieve from EVGA:

Question (12/19/2006 12:13:15 PM): I recently purchased a set of new hard drives. After installing windows xp onto a raid-0 setup on my 680i motherboard, I updated to the latest drivers for motherboard, video card, sound card and windows update. After that was completed, I hooked up the hard drive with the older winxp install on it, only to have the nvidia storage controller intercept the "new hardware found" popup dialog. It asked me if I wanted to setup a raid array. I also had 2 other drives of the same type to install on that same boot. The storage controller saw them as 3 new drives and then asked me to select an initialization type (JBOD, raid 0 or 5 - the exact terminology for the nvidia drivers I am not familiar with). I selected the JBOD option and put only the old hard drive on this setup in order to attempt to gain access to my old files. Instead, I found that it did a very quick (about 1 second) format of the drive and it is now labeled as Initialized - but empty - in both computers I have had it in. Is there a way to reverse this? Why wouldn't it have recognized my old files before formatting the entire drive with hardly a warning? I have already contacted nvidia, and they referred me to my equipment manufacturer, since they only deal with direct sales.

Answered By Victor J (12/20/2006 7:14:44 AM): it should have given you an indication that all data will be lost if you continue to format. and NTSF (quick) was the format you selected if it was as fast as you say.


It should have given me an indication that all data will be lost, you say? Yes, it SHOULD have, shouldn't it? But I already stated that there was NOTHING close to a warning like that! If only you had read the email. Not only did you fail to read my problem, you failed to answer EITHER of the -two- questions I asked. Reading comprehension is key. No wonder we have to go through 12 years of english composition and reading comprehension. Must've barely scraped by in that area, eh?

After over 6 hours, I manage to use some data recovery software to get the data that I wanted back. There was nothing that important, as it was a fresh install of windows only a week or so old.

I am now in the third week. 2 full reformats have not solved the issues I am having. Windows will not save certain registry values. My desktop theme, which I have switched to Windows Classic, reverts back to Windows XP on reboot. My startup sound, which I have a custom wav for, also reverts back to the default windows startup wav upon reboot. The language bar keeps returning for NO apparent reason, save that someone up there must hate my guts. A reboot will kill any changes I try to make. I can't even turn off mouse acceleration with the CPL Mousefix registry key. That reverts on reboot as well. Things randomly don't work as well. Attempts to startup winamp have failed, with the process just sitting idle in the task manager. If I try to start it up again, I just get multiple copies of winamp.exe, but no winamp. My Add/remove programs list has also frozen. It just sits there all day searching for programs to add to the list. WTF?

This about sums up my experience so far with the 680i motherboard from EVGA. I have yet to try the new bios, and will probably get to doing that tomorrow. It is, however, 4:30 in the morning and I'm sick of dealing with these problems. It's been 4 days since I've gotten the new drives and the only thing I've managed to do is stick them in the case. None of them can be considered working, unless you consider spinning up working. I'm not sure if this is related to the SATA corruption issues that I've read about. I'll leave that up to you to make the judgement.

If you've read through all of this, then you probably have more patience than I do. It's not easy to read bitching. If you haven't read through it, just know that it might change your decision to buy one of these boards.

More about : evga 680i woes

December 21, 2006 9:10:18 AM

If it was me, I would have RMA'd the mobo right away after that memory check. Sounds like you have one of those faulty mobo's.

I do understand NVIDIA's reaction, afterall you didn't buy the product directly from them.

Maybe the bios update will help, I heard it solved the issue in some cases, but not all.

Anyway, enough reason to RMA it in my opinion after reading your story.

You might want to read this linky too:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/chipsets/display/20061219224535.html
December 21, 2006 9:43:58 AM

I bought one of the ASUS 680i boards and I love it. Havn't had a problem since i got it over a month ago. Only thing i can complain about is the chipset gets a little hotter than I would like.
Related resources
December 21, 2006 10:31:58 AM

correct me if i am wrong but i think when you buy the 680i you get free cross shipped rma. what kind of ram are you using? sound like a compatability issue check the timings in the bios. what are your voltages like? sounds like a lot of heavyduty hardware. you have 4 drives right? that and a a 8800 draw a lot of power.
December 21, 2006 12:03:38 PM

If you think you have 2 dead dimm slots, I'd rma the board asap! I don't have a lot of experience with eVGA products, but when buying a mobo, I stick to the tier 1 company's like ASUS, MSI, Foxconn etc. to avoid issues like you've described. You're waaay more patient than most! Hopefully the new bios version you mentioned will fix your problems.
December 21, 2006 4:06:40 PM

Quote:
what kind of ram are you using? sound like a compatability issue check the timings in the bios. what are your voltages like? sounds like a lot of heavyduty hardware. you have 4 drives right? that and a a 8800 draw a lot of power.


2gb Corsair DDR2 800 C4D (Dominator dual channel)
I have a 700 watt Fortron psu. 5 hard drives total. Should be able to handle it, my ram timings are stock 4-4-4-12 at 2t. Had some stability issues at 1t. All voltages are default except ram, which is running at 2.1v.

Quote:
If you think you have 2 dead dimm slots, I'd rma the board asap! I don't have a lot of experience with eVGA products, but when buying a mobo, I stick to the tier 1 company's like ASUS, MSI, Foxconn etc. to avoid issues like you've described. You're waaay more patient than most! Hopefully the new bios version you mentioned will fix your problems.


Yeah, I'm going to try updating it now and do the third windows reinstall in 2 days.
December 21, 2006 4:55:00 PM

What do you think?

<x> I should RMA the board and stop blowing smoke in the THG Forum.

Submit Vote

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December 21, 2006 5:27:33 PM

I have the evga 680i board, the evga tech support is great. The 800 number is in the manual or on their website, they answer 24/7.

I had a lot of your issues, no raid, but multiple drives, and had a lot of stability issues, updated to the new bios of last week, and it has been stable as a rock since.

My cpu OC is now good, but still have issues with OC on the 8800GTX, but am told the next driver for it will take care of it.

Call evga, not nvidia.
December 21, 2006 5:30:21 PM

What i don't understand is why you don't RMA the board.
there is clarly something wrong with it...

SO why don't you RMA it?
December 21, 2006 6:40:45 PM

Yeah i would set the mem to 2.2V and update the bios and try the other dimm slots. If the dimm slots really are dead I would RMA the board for sure and if you don't want to try eVGA again, get the P5N32-E SLI from ASUS. You paid alot for that board and it should be perfect.
December 21, 2006 8:32:50 PM

when i said check your voltages i meant to check them with a program in windows while the computer is under load. your 12v might be dropping too low. i had a similair problem around 4 months ago with an ocz power supply. it was a 700 watt, way more then the system needed but when under load it would drop to 11.70 volts and weird things would happen.....
I can't remember the prog i used but i will try to remember it or you could always use a multimeter.
December 22, 2006 3:51:41 AM

Updated to the P23 beta bios, and things seem to be working out ok. I'll probably end up RMAing the board anyway, but I've already installed windows and all of my programs and settings about 6 times in the past 24 hours so I'm reluctant to change out a motherboard if it's working...

I did check my voltages and they seemed fine. The memory wouldn't give errors when it was tested in the good slots @ 2.1v, but any combination in the 0 and 2 slots would give massive amounts of errors.
December 22, 2006 6:03:35 AM

so you checked it again? Well thats a bummer, i was hoping it was just seated improperly the first time around or something like that. EVGA should cross ship you a new one though correct? So go ahead and use the one that you have and just replace the mobo when it gets there, no need (hopefully) to reinstall windows again.

Sometimes windows used to make me call microsoft everytime i reinstalled it, that was awful, talk about alot of wasted time...
December 22, 2006 6:11:31 AM

After a certain number of activations, windows starts requiring you to call in. I've hit that limit in just these 24 hours. 5 activations is all you get, the 6th you have to call. It wasn't seated improperly; since I'd get errors within 2 minutes, I tried all 6 combinations of ram in those two slots: Stick 1 in slot 0 or 2, Stick 2 in 0 or 2, Stick 1 in 0 and stick 2 in 2, and vice versa. All returned errors. As soon as I switched to slots 1 and 3, I was fine. 9 full passes throughout the day while I was working, and 1 error when I got back. Maybe not acceptable, but I doubt it's the sole cause of all of my problems.
December 22, 2006 7:21:19 AM

Rma the board ASAP!!!!

The longer you keep it the harder it will be to get a replacment or refund.
I have done "tech support" for large major OEM's before and the constant rule of thum is that "if the customer kept it for longer than 3 weeks then they cant prove it was a defective part OOB, and we can say it was EUD!"

this kind of "support" is why I build my own custom systems for friends and buy from Newegg.
December 22, 2006 7:36:16 AM

Quote:
Rma the board ASAP!!!!

The longer you keep it the harder it will be to get a replacment or refund.
I have done "tech support" for large major OEM's before and the constant rule of thum is that "if the customer kept it for longer than 3 weeks then they cant prove it was a defective part OOB, and we can say it was EUD!"

this kind of "support" is why I build my own custom systems for friends and buy from Newegg.


Seems like sound advice. Should I go with the EVGA RMA or the newegg RMA?
December 22, 2006 10:23:29 AM

evga tech support will issue an rma # over the phone and cross ship the board too you. there is no doubt it's shot. they ship out very fast and use expedited so you would probaly get it faster from them. did you already register it with evga?
December 22, 2006 3:22:11 PM

Well i finaly made my vote.
You''ve gone insane, and you suck at computers.
only because you didn't RMA the board when you first noticed problems...
did you think the problems would go away or something??? the board has problems... it doesn't matter how many times you reinstall windows the board is still phucked...

RMA IT!!!
December 22, 2006 3:30:33 PM

If you got it at newegg then ALWAYS use their rma prosess. They are usualy painless and realy good. Just please don't rate the bord low on the site as from what I can tell yours is an aberation...most of those boards from EVGA are REALY AWESOME!!! WAIT FOR THE REPLACMENT AND THEN GIVE YOUR OVERALL RATING OF THE WHOLE PROSESS.

Don't become one of those guys that flames a good board and company because of one error. they make tons of boards and videocards and the amount the make is bound to have a dud or 2. I just sorry it was you.

I wish you the best!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
!