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Question about original TYAN Thunder K8W BIOS

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December 18, 2007 7:29:42 AM

Hello Everyone!

On the Dutch forum Gathering of Tweakers, we are discussing a problem about flashing the BIOS of a Fujitsu-Siemens rebranded TYAN S2885.

The thing is, that the FSC (Fujitsu-Siemens Computers) mainboard contains a Phoenix BIOS, whereas the TYAN (as far as I can see) has a AMI BIOS.

My question are:

- can someone confirm that the original TYAN mainboard is equipped with a AMI BIOS instead of Phoenix?
- can someone make a 1:1 dump of his/her S2885 BIOS (version not important) and (very please) send it to me?

Unfortunately the Forum (thus the thread) is in Dutch, so I guess it's not very useful to post a link. (and I'm not here to advertise the board). If you can read Dutch, I'll be happy to PM the link.

The problems with the FSC BIOS are:

[a] FSC stopped development since June 2005, so e.g. Dual Core CPU's are not supported.
The update of TYAN will not overwrite the Phoenix BIOS

Thanking you very much in advance!

Sincerely,

Dennis Ramaekers.
a c 95 V Motherboard
December 18, 2007 8:36:25 AM

Perhaps its the alcohol in my system, but were there any dual core chips released for the original S940? The original S940 is not compatible with the new S940/AM2. There might have been some dual core Opterons developed for this platform, but I can't at the moment remember. Your best option might be to just dump this platform for something faster/better. I'll bet a S939 setup with a 6000+ or better would be faster then anything you could get for that motherboard.
December 18, 2007 8:43:00 AM

A 8 way quad-core Intel system with 128GB will be evan faster than your suggested configuration ;-) Unfortunately i cannot afford it...

There are indeed dual core AMD Opteron's (e.g. 265, 270, 275, 280, 285). Tyans says it's supported...

Please, stay on topic... My question was wheter there is a Phoenix or a AMI BIOS on the mainboard, not if I was building the fastest PC on earth...

Related resources
a c 95 V Motherboard
December 18, 2007 9:51:12 AM

Excuse me sir, but I was on topic. If Tyan says those chips are supported, why don't you go buy one? I was merely try to make sure you didn't buy something that wouldn't work in your board. There are two different types of S940, and they aren't compatible. If you have one of the original S940 boards, the 285 won't work. I know that to be true as the 285 supports DDR2, meaning it is one of the AM2/S940 boards Your K8W is a DDR1 board, and one of the original S940 boards. Again, these are NOT compatible. I know what I am talking about, try treating me with a bit more respect.
December 18, 2007 9:59:16 AM

Ok, my mistake... I didn't want to disrespect anyone, but i know there are problems with the combination of the board and the CPU's... I'm trying to find out if the problem is on the board, or in the BIOS. Since the system is running quite fine on one core/cpu my guess was, that the BIOS was the culprit. Tyans documentation on the board is quite elaborate, but FSC one is not.

So when someone starts with telling me that i could have better... well you know the deal...
a c 95 V Motherboard
December 18, 2007 5:39:30 PM

First, I did some digging. There are some dual core CPUs that are on the original S940. Those that belong to the "countries" list of Cores should work. (Italy, Egypt, etc) I said what I said last night because I searched for "amd 285" and clicked on the first link, which brought me to this website.

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/...

From what I saw, they were talking about DDR2, which means its the AM2 940, not the original 940. Searching on newegg however, all of those chips would have four digit model numbers, not three. (1218 for example, not 160)

So the problem isn't whether they exist, but why you see only one core. Did you just plug the new chip into the motherboard? I ask because unless you reconfigure (more like reload) windows, it will continue to use only one core, as thats what was there when it was installed. You might not even need a bios update, just a repair install of windows.
December 18, 2007 6:33:59 PM

Hey 4745454b!

Unfortunately the problem is somewhat more complicated than this...

I installed Windows with both CPU's (Opteron 875) (and don't lecture me, they were VERY inexpensive ;)  (no, not stolen)) so the multiprocessor kernel is loaded.

When I use CPU-Z I can see that there are indeed 2 cores on each CPU, but one has status 'disabled'

A friend of mine tried 2 Opterons 275's on the same board (in fact, he supplied me with mine) and got the same result. The BIOS lists the CPU's as (875) Reserved134 and (275) Reserved105.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that the OEM manufacturer (Fujitsu Siemens) stopped developement of the BIOS, so an update won't be available (and the most recent one is in the flash allready)

We are now trying to get a bios dump from Tyan, to flash in the BIOS, since the AMI bios cannot be flashed (something with dynamic addresses in the Bios' rom file).

I reallt appreciate your effort, and, as I said earlier, it was never my intention to disrespect you in any way... Just a little frustrated that everywhere i ask, i get replies in the same way like "your CPU is too expensive", "you don't that much CPU power" and so on...

Anyhow, if you can get your hands on a BIOS dump (not the downloadable TYAN bios, which needs a allready installed Tyan BIOS to flash) then you would help approximately 25 owners of this board!

Cya!
a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2007 6:53:09 PM

ramaekd said:
Hello Everyone!

On the Dutch forum Gathering of Tweakers, we are discussing a problem about flashing the BIOS of a Fujitsu-Siemens rebranded TYAN S2885.

The thing is, that the FSC (Fujitsu-Siemens Computers) mainboard contains a Phoenix BIOS, whereas the TYAN (as far as I can see) has a AMI BIOS.

My question are:

- can someone confirm that the original TYAN mainboard is equipped with a AMI BIOS instead of Phoenix?
- can someone make a 1:1 dump of his/her S2885 BIOS (version not important) and (very please) send it to me?

Unfortunately the Forum (thus the thread) is in Dutch, so I guess it's not very useful to post a link. (and I'm not here to advertise the board). If you can read Dutch, I'll be happy to PM the link.

The problems with the FSC BIOS are:

[a] FSC stopped development since June 2005, so e.g. Dual Core CPU's are not supported.
The update of TYAN will not overwrite the Phoenix BIOS

Thanking you very much in advance!

Sincerely,

Dennis Ramaekers.


Reads to me that your issue is the BIOS. I know for a fact that certain pcb revisions of the TYAN 2885 are dual core opteron compatible. If FSC did not release a BIOS update to recognize or use dual core opterons, you're pretty much SOL. It is up to the mobo maker to release BIOS updates so the mobo supports new hardware, and in your case, it seems to me that FSC did not.

The Tyan board does in fact have an AMI BIOS and, long story short...an AMI BIOS is can only be updated with an AMI ROM, same with Pheonix...ROM images are not interchangable...sorry...also, I got rid of my 2885 a while ago and did not keep the BIOS images, sorry about that too...

One thing to keep in mind is that dual core Opterons were only compatible with certain pcb revision of the TYAN 2885. Depending on when FSC rebranded your 2885 or when it was made, it may or may not be a mobo revision that is compatible with dual core Opterons. Visit this Tyan support site for more specific info. Not sure how this would translate into the FSC mobo though but it may worth researching.

But, don't fret all may not be totally lost! If you have a pcb revision that supports dual core opterons you can order new and replacement BIOS chips from 3rd party vendors or maybe even directly from TYAN itself. By swapping out the FSC Pheonix BIOS chip with a TYAN AMI BIOS chip, you will effectively swap the FSC BIOS to be the same as the TYAN factory BIOS. Again, as long as your FSC mobo is the right pcb revision and FSC did not make any significant hardware changes to the mobo, then swapping/buying a new replacement BIOS chip will/should work.

Visit this link BIOSMan or BadFlash, both sites sell new and replacement BIOS chips. It could quite possibly be the solution you're looking for as well as an effective and cheap solution to fit your 2885 with Skt940 dual core opterons.

As a side note, I've seen a pair of Opteron 285's sell for less than $400USD on Ebay!

Good luck with this. I hope my info helped. I also hope that your pcb revision supports dual core Opterons so you can get a new/replacement BIOS chip. Again, good luck!





4745454b wrote:


Excuse me sir, but I was on topic. If Tyan says those chips are supported, why don't you go buy one? I was merely try to make sure you didn't buy something that wouldn't work in your board. There are two different types of S940, and they aren't compatible. If you have one of the original S940 boards, the 285 won't work. I know that to be true as the 285 supports DDR2, meaning it is one of the AM2/S940 boards Your K8W is a DDR1 board, and one of the original S940 boards. Again, these are NOT compatible. I know what I am talking about, try treating me with a bit more respect. said:


Excuse me sir, but I was on topic. If Tyan says those chips are supported, why don't you go buy one? I was merely try to make sure you didn't buy something that wouldn't work in your board. There are two different types of S940, and they aren't compatible. If you have one of the original S940 boards, the 285 won't work. I know that to be true as the 285 supports DDR2, meaning it is one of the AM2/S940 boards Your K8W is a DDR1 board, and one of the original S940 boards. Again, these are NOT compatible. I know what I am talking about, try treating me with a bit more respect.

What the heck are you drinking...after reading your posts, I think you best stay off the hooch when replying to someone's post. You've got desktop Skt940 AM2 processors confused with server Skt940 Opterons. TYAN did not make a dual socket 940 opteron based mobo that was/is compatible with DDR2. The IMC on the Skt940 Opteron was only made to be used with DDR memory. It was with the Skt1207 Opterons that AMD updated the IMC to be used with DDR2. Also, after reading your posts, you seemed to have (almost) completely misunderstood the OP's issue. I'm not convinced you know what you're talking about...
December 18, 2007 7:06:27 PM

I asked the same question at Tyan, and they replied that only the newer revision of the PCB would support DualCores.

The page they referred to, stated that, when using the E-stepping Opteron, you needed the newer PCB. As far as I can read, the E-stepping has something to do with Energy saving, not single/dual core (since there are e-stepping single and dual cores)

This could mean, that they didn't quite catch my question, or that the information on the page just isn't complete...

I ordered a replacement chip already, but with it, the board doesn't POST.

Later, (after initial topic start) I received a mail from Tyan, saying that the FSC PCB was different from the 'channel pcb' (which i think means that an original BIOS will not work). This however won't stop me from trying... :D 

BTW: I bought my both Opterons for only €150 (around US$220?) ;)  So I laugh when people say they are too expensive...

Since Tyan cannot be responsible for the use of their boards by an OEM manufacturer (Tyan is great, no offence) and FSC will not look into the matter, because "the CPU's are not bought from them" I think there is nothing left than trial and error...

Maybe LinuxBIOS can do the trick?

a b V Motherboard
December 18, 2007 8:53:02 PM

ramaekd said:
I asked the same question at Tyan, and they replied that only the newer revision of the PCB would support DualCores.

The page they referred to, stated that, when using the E-stepping Opteron, you needed the newer PCB. As far as I can read, the E-stepping has something to do with Energy saving, not single/dual core (since there are e-stepping single and dual cores)

This could mean, that they didn't quite catch my question, or that the information on the page just isn't complete...

I ordered a replacement chip already, but with it, the board doesn't POST.

Later, (after initial topic start) I received a mail from Tyan, saying that the FSC PCB was different from the 'channel pcb' (which i think means that an original BIOS will not work). This however won't stop me from trying... :D 

BTW: I bought my both Opterons for only €150 (around US$220?) ;)  So I laugh when people say they are too expensive...

Since Tyan cannot be responsible for the use of their boards by an OEM manufacturer (Tyan is great, no offence) and FSC will not look into the matter, because "the CPU's are not bought from them" I think there is nothing left than trial and error...

Maybe LinuxBIOS can do the trick?


On that Tyan support page, there is a link that takes you to a .jpg showing where to find the pcb revision number. Here's a link directly to that page.

If the FSC pcb was different from what Tyan sent out retail, that alludes to it actually being a different pcb altogether.

I'm glad to hear you already took the steps to get a replacement BIOS chip, that speaks highly of you resourcefulness and desire to make this board dual core opty's. Aside from this, I'm afraid I don't have much more to add, sorry I can't comment on a linux BIOS.

I agree, an Skt940 Opteron is still more than enough horsepower for a gaming/workstation and they can be had at a very reasonable price. I'm actually running 2 single core Opty 256's on a Supermicro H8DCE. Aside from beginning to notice the limitations of DDR, it still chews thru everything I throw at it. I've also got an EVGA 7900GT oc'd to 580/1560 at it plays CoD4 and MoH:Airborne without a hitch.

Good luck! I hope it all works out!

Cheers!


December 20, 2007 4:34:12 PM

Hey All!

In the meantime, i got responses from both Tyan and FSC:

TYAN: The FSC mainboard is different from the Tyan branded ones, so BIOS isn't interchangeable and MB will NOT support DualCore's... Bummer!
FSC: The Mainboard is not designed to run Dual Core CPU's...

Finally some clarity, because, the site (also referred to by chunkymonster) isn't really clear on this matter:

"CPU support for E Stepping CPU requires PCB Revision 04MOAb"

Unfortunately E-stepping is not limited to only DC Opty's but is applicable to both single and dual cores... But the Tyan Support engineer stated that only THAT PCB revision would support DC's...

A word of warning to you all...
!