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Gigabyte's P35 motherboards and boot cycles

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March 21, 2008 1:21:47 AM

i'm buying a new desktop and i favour a Gigabyte board (i've always had GB boards in my PCs), but i've seen several worrying problems with endless boot cycles with these boards (GA-P35). It happens too often than just to a few people, so it doesnt seem just bad luck, but a real issue with the boards.

what i'm asking is that if anyone knows if this situation has been fixed so far (by any means) and if the boards are at this point anything close to "stable" and recommendable buys.

sorry if it has been aswered somewhere, but the information is a bit disperse and i only find "fixes", not "solutions".

thanks!
March 21, 2008 2:10:24 AM

Underclock said:
i'm buying a new desktop and i favour a Gigabyte board (i've always had GB boards in my PCs), but i've seen several worrying problems with endless boot cycles with these boards (GA-P35). It happens too often than just to a few people, so it doesnt seem just bad luck, but a real issue with the boards.

what i'm asking is that if anyone knows if this situation has been fixed so far (by any means) and if the boards are at this point anything close to "stable" and recommendable buys.

sorry if it has been aswered somewhere, but the information is a bit disperse and i only find "fixes", not "solutions".

thanks!


I have no problem with gb boards. I am very happy with gb p 35 ds3L and q 6600. it is so easy to oc.
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March 21, 2008 5:49:30 PM

with so many prople still having the problem i can only assume one of the following:

a) there's an official fix and people dont know about it yet
b) there is no fix

so... unless it's a) i dont think buying a gigabyte board is a wise thing to do at this point, right?
March 22, 2008 3:46:48 PM

I don't know if it fixed zeroneleven's problem yet, but the problem can be worked around by installing 1 stick of RAM in the DIMM3 slot and clearing CMOS (just remove the battery on the motherboard) prior to the initial boot.

I've also ran into problems with sleep/hibernation mode in Windows Vista x64. I wanted my computer to go into hibernation mode. It would, but would go into an endless reboot upon waking the system up. Fixed this by setting BIOS standby mode to S3 and DISABLING sleep mode in Vista. Hibernation mode is enabled, and works well most of the time. Sometimes the system hangs at the Vista log on screen and I have to reboot the entire system again. This may be a problem with Vista and not the motherboard though.

After all the kinks are worked out, this really is a great board. I haven't experienced the monitor problems that other people have. Very durable and stable board overall. OC's pretty good. This is the first board that I've really OC'd and it was not very hard at all.

I'm running Intel Q6600 OC'd to 3.00GHz, 4GB Crucial Ballistix RAM, dual video cards, external cooling, in an Antec case.
March 22, 2008 3:55:48 PM

i'm nearly switching for an Asus board, i see so many people having problems with GB boards that if it happens to me too, i'll feel incredibly dumb to still have chosen a GB regardless of knowing its problems.

i'm still investigating the rest of the material, so i'll be waiting for an official fix for this problem. so unless one shows up, i'll have to go for Asus... *shrugs*
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2008 4:17:31 PM

@OP: Those Rebooting cycles are mostly related to the RAM. For some reason Gigabyte P35 (not the X38s and other chipsets) boards seems to have issues with certain kinds of RAM, esp. RAM (natively higher) than DDR2 800. There also seems to be problems with Vista and Gigabyte P35 boards. But, so far I have not run in to any problems with any P35-DS3x boards, except that Crucial Ballastix DDR2 1060 RAM had some problems (the RAM was good).
March 22, 2008 4:30:32 PM

well, if there's some sort of "pattern", that can help "protecting customers". but arent all GB boards "Vista Certified"? or is it more like "show off-ers"...
March 22, 2008 5:24:18 PM

@OP and Shadow(who has been most helpful in the past)

I am also having trouble with the combination of a P35 board, Vista 64, and Crucial DDR2 1065 Ram.

What I am running

GA-EP35-DS4 V 2.1
Q6600 @ 2.4 (I cant get system stable enough to attempt OC)
4 total Gigs of Crucial DDR2 1065 RAM
EVGA 8800 GTS 512
WD 750G HD

I was able previously having tons of trouble with BSOD crashes and everything pointed to faulty RAM or a faulty MoBo based on Memtest 86+ tests. however, I discovered that by updating the BIOS to the latest (which for my board is F3 with a Starting BIOS of F1) all of the memory test errors went away. So in my situation, I know for a fact that I have good hardware. The problem is now that for some reason after I update my BIOS to F3 the system will totally crash randomly and after a series of multiple boot cycles the system reverts back to F1 BIOS and then problems just compound from there. Everything from crashes only when playing high end games to getting BSOD when I try to close the program that runs my webcam...silly things like that.

I think the problem is defiantly user error on my part. I think I am "not" setting up BIOS properly, however, there are so many different hardware configurations its almost impossible to find a simplistic and thorough guide to set up each BIOS feature. I am NOT trying to mooch off of other peoples hard work and research i just want to have a stable system so i can start to learn about how to tweak it, and in turn be able to help other having similar troubles. But at this point I am so frustrated from getting the same standard answers from the different hardware manufactures that I am about to send everything back and just order a set up pc from someplace like voodoo or alien...

If anyone is willing to go through my current setups I am more than willing to try anything at this point. I am at the point of either paying someone 50+ dollars an hour to set my pc up or just sending everything back and starting from scratch.
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2008 6:30:02 PM

Like I said before the P35 boards from gigabyte seems to have problems with RAM that is natively rated at above DDR2 800. I will be doing more research in to this problem once I lay my hands on a Crucial Ballastix DDR2 1060.

@bugspin23: Here are some things you could try:

1. Increase DDR2 RAM voltages (esp. since you are running 4*1GB)
2. Try some lower speed RAM (ie. DDR2 800 or 667)
3. Re-flash F3 BIOS then clear CMOS and see.
4. Your board seems to have something called "GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver" I'm not sure what this is but if possible disabling it might help. Also disable SpeedStep,etc.
5. Check out GUIDE - Overclocking P35/X38 Chipsets v1.0 for explanation of BIOS options and recommended settings.

Hope this helps.

PS: If possible you could PM me with an image of your current BIOS settings that are listed under "MB Intelligent Tweaker" aka "M.I.T". I might be able to help you better as I can see what you are seeing in the BIOS.
March 22, 2008 6:40:18 PM

Gigabyte are good boards - Remember that you are only going to see posts about problems because people dont make threads saying their boards are working fine.

I have built 3 pc's recently all with gigabyte boards

First build was with a GA-P31-DS3L and a Q6600 with Crucial memory - Had problem with vista hibernation mode however i just turned hibernation off in favour of sleep and shutdown

Second build was a GA-P31-DS3L with an E6750 with crucial memory - No problems - All worked first time

Thrid build (for myself) i had to most problems with - GA-P35-DS3 with Q6600 and Crucial Memory - First the Quad kept overheating but i think that was probably some trapped air - Remounted it and all was fine. Next prob i had was that vista wouldnt even install. This was an odd problem but it turned out to be a problem with speedstep - Disabled it and all worked fine. A BIOS update would probably fix it but i see no real point to it as i'd probably briick the board.

Although it seems a long ass rant about the problems they are good quality boards but there may be a few nagging problems specially with Vista it seems.
March 22, 2008 6:51:47 PM

how about the memories you used? any above 800?
March 22, 2008 6:54:22 PM

@ Shadow,

I have been able to up the RAM voltage based on the manufacturer settings to 2.2 and timings set at 5-5-5-15

I have certantly considered that I need to be using DDR2 800 instead of the 1065. When I asked Crucial about this I got a "cut and paste" answer of would you like to order new ram from us...blah blah blah

Yes, I agree and have tried to reflash my BIOS to F3 but I havent tried to clear the CMOS...question: Do I clear CMOS before or after the F3 is updated?

Dynamic ES. Right now I have shut it off. Although...the board seems to still change voltages for different things anyway as a feature...maybe I can turn this off?

Reading your listed guide now. I am a "sponge".

Yes, I can try to get an image of the current BIOS. Will I have to do this with a camera or is there a way to take a screen shot from BIOS?

@ Underclock

Yes, all of my Ram Sticks are the same DDR2 1065 the specific part number is as follows BL2KIT12864AA1065
March 22, 2008 7:00:48 PM

@ widjerd

"This was an odd problem but it turned out to be a problem with speedstep - Disabled it and all worked fine. A BIOS update would probably fix it but i see no real point to it as i'd probably briick the board."

I totally agree, thats why I believe that it is "I" who is making mistakes instead of faulty parts. I have a question. What is speedstep? Is it part of the mobo or vista? when you refer to vista are you using the 32 or 64 bit versions?
March 22, 2008 7:32:07 PM

bugspin23 said:
@ widjerd

"This was an odd problem but it turned out to be a problem with speedstep - Disabled it and all worked fine. A BIOS update would probably fix it but i see no real point to it as i'd probably briick the board."

I totally agree, thats why I believe that it is "I" who is making mistakes instead of faulty parts. I have a question. What is speedstep? Is it part of the mobo or vista? when you refer to vista are you using the 32 or 64 bit versions?


EIST or speedstep is an Intel tech i think that throttles the cpu when idle to conserve power - It is a BIOS options called EIST set it to disabled solved my problem.

I managed to install vista once with speedstep on however the monitor would just turn to standby and all the fans would go to 100% like when you boot it up.

Using vista 32bit home premium currently working (unless i enable speedstep :(  )
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2008 8:03:29 PM

@bugspin23: Yeah, you will have to take the pic with a camera there is not other easy way. (It is possible to emulate the BIOS via a OS, but imo, its not worth it.)


To disable SpeedStep etc,:
Go To "Advanced BIOS Features"
Set "CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)" & "CPU EIST Function" to "Disabled"
Save and Exit.
March 31, 2008 12:09:48 PM

I'm having significant trouble with this board. (GIGABYTE GA-EP35C-DS3R)

Over the weekend, I worked on upgrading one of my current systems that been working for a couple of years, to the GIGABYTE GA-EP35C-DS3R, Intel E2180 CPU w/fan with CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066 RAM and a ZOGIS ZO86GT-E GeForce 8600GT 512MB. The PSU is 500w with 10x2 and 2x2 power cables.

I've been experiencing the problem problem where the system will start for a half second then die when both the 10x2 and 2x2 power cables are connected but power up when just the 10x2 cable is in place. Of course, the 2x2 runs the CPU, so one can't use the board in this state.

I've tried everything that I can think of (i.e. clear CMOS, use one memory stick in different slots, etc.) Nothing seems to work. I'm going to give Gigabyte a call later when they open for business.
March 31, 2008 12:16:34 PM

corsair is good memory but out of curiosity do you have any slower DDR2 that you could throw in there for testing?
March 31, 2008 12:43:35 PM

boonality said:
corsair is good memory but out of curiosity do you have any slower DDR2 that you could throw in there for testing?
I wish I had DDR2 800 (PC2-6400) that I could test with but I do not. However, the mobo clearly says 1066/1333 and lists the E2180 on the list of supported CPUs. So, I assume it should work straight out of the box.
March 31, 2008 12:50:56 PM

I've built my system below and OC'd with the Gigabyte P35-DS3R and LOVE it. Great board.

I liked that board so much that when I built my Dad an office computer, I used the P35-DS3L and again, the build was a breeze.

This week I just built an AMD system for my Mom/Step Dad for use as an internet box. I used a Gigabyte AM2+ board and once again, the build was a breeze. I chose Gigabyte for this build because I never built with AMD before, not like it would really change anything, but because of this I chose a brand I know has always worked for me and has never let me down.

Gigabyte is the first board I look to for all builds, now that is more because I'm most familiar with their boards and I've had nothing but success. The only other board I would consider at this time is ASUS, and that's simply due to their repuation.


The reason you see "so many" bad things about Gigabyte boards is because a lot of people are using them. Now and then you get a bad board, most other times its people just not knowing exactly what they are doing and they think its a bad board. Regardless they post about it, I'm willing to bet if you put a per capita based figure together on the ratio of bad boards to happy customers, Gigabyte would be far from the worst.
March 31, 2008 2:03:17 PM

ALWAYS ALWAYS check that your ram's voltage is correct, don't just stick it in and assume the board bios will run it at the correct setting.And don't just look at the box it came in,or the website you bought it from telling you the specs, look at the sticker on the memory module itself.
March 31, 2008 4:11:00 PM

Something that has worked for others is setting the Performance Enhance feature to standard. The default is turbo.

Shadow has this step in his overclock guide. A correct setting of tRD promotes memory stability.
March 31, 2008 4:47:55 PM

Two issues that I have run across are the apparent lack of ability to adjust GTL (at least on the DS3L) and no vdroop damper. Adjust VTT/GTL has benefit in maxing out OCs for quads and also preventing chip degradation for 45mm. Vdroop is just plain excessive.
March 31, 2008 5:05:25 PM

I have:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
Q6600 GO stepping
A-Data Vitesta EE 800+ 4*1 gb. DDR2
XpertVision Radeon HD2600 Pro Super

When my board arrived it came with F4 firmware. I immediately updated it to F6 which was then current.
Installing Vista Ultimate 64 bit was a nightmare. It couldn't finish the installation and freeze. I gave up and started to install XP 32. Even that was a lot of problem! I got BSOD when changing user accounts. I cursed myself for buying Gigabyte after using many Abit cards which had all worked OK out of the box.

Later after a month or two and many bios and Ati Catalyst driver changes I have installed the Vista Ultimate 64 bit. It works steady as a rock now. I think the problem lied on earlier mainboard bioses.
a b V Motherboard
April 1, 2008 11:17:24 PM

^ You sure its not bad RAM or bad HDD?
April 2, 2008 4:16:50 PM

boonality said:
corsair is good memory but out of curiosity do you have any slower DDR2 that you could throw in there for testing?


I beg to differ, I had one stick RMA'd a year later and a fairly new(less than 3 months) SD chip randomly die. I left a comment about this on NewEgg and the RAMGuy responded mentioning an RMA. I'm halfway through the process and everything is rolling along in a timely fashion. I would give customer support/care a 5/5 but about the product, well no comment on that :ange: 
April 10, 2008 1:22:13 AM

Shadow703793, did you get to do your tests?

i'm hoping the P35C board i'm going to buy does well with Team Elite 800 memories i'll put in them. i've seen people say it's the "C" boards, it's the Crucial memories, it's the "over 800 memories", it's "bad OC", etc. so i'm hoping for falling in the minimum traps possible.

Do you know what the "E" in the GB's "EP" boards stands for?

if anyone found any more cause/effect combos in the CB boards, please advise!

tks.
a b V Motherboard
April 10, 2008 1:37:09 PM

^ EP stands for Energy Saver Profile. Yes, the problem seems to be with RAM natively higher than DDR2 800 only (so far). I have tested this on P35-DS3R/P35-DS3L/P35-DS4. I used Crucial Ballastix DDR2 1066 and Crucial Ballastix DDR2 800 and some Corsair ValueRAM DDR2 667. Each 1GB test was tested with Memtest86+. The Ballastix 1066 needed to be under clocked to DDR2 800 speeds with a voltage increase then it failed Memtest86+ in ~30min on the DS3L and DS3R, and ~50min on the DS4. Both the Ballastix DDR2 800 and the Corsair DDR2 667 passed with out any problems; ran Memtest86+ stable for ~6hrs on all boards. I recommend you stay away from the EP based and the P35C chipset based motherboards, many seems to have problems with those boards, esp. when OCing. Just stick to plain vanilla boards (ie P35-DS3R)

April 10, 2008 2:37:25 PM

How did you solve the problem about the black screen (no signal input) but all the fans come on? I get one beep then nothing. I tried pulling the battery and all the other trouble shooting things.

Please advise.
April 10, 2008 11:43:02 PM

Great, Shadow703793, huge thanks for your input!
i'll be avoiding those EP and C boards then!

but just how much of an energy saving does that system provide? i mean, i like the idea of things saving energy and all, but what would i be saving, in practice (do other brands, like Asus, offer anything similar?)?

tks.
April 10, 2008 11:52:54 PM

(why can't we edit the messages....)

it seems that the non-EP versions can also have the EP functionalities with the 2.1 rev. so i guess buy an EP and shut the thing down or update a non-EP to 2.1 and then shut it down again does basically the same, right?

so i shuold just focus on avoiding the C boards? or updating to rev 2.1 is "dangerous" altogether?
a c 216 V Motherboard
April 10, 2008 11:58:53 PM

The c boards are combo ddr2 & ddr3. Not a good choice
a b V Motherboard
April 11, 2008 12:22:54 AM

Gigabytes feature an autoreboot feature in case your overclock fails, so instead of clearing the CMOS with the jumper, you wait until it reboots a few times until it finds the appropriate settings for your PC to boot. Hence i believe that most people with the "endless" reboot are just people who failed to overclock properly, usually by not providing enough voltage, OR trying too tight timings for their RAM. I own an GA-P35-DS3P and it is awesome. So far i only had to use the CMOS clear once! And i own the board for a year, and yes it is overclocked since day 1 and i still play with it sometimes. Simply, if i screw up, all i have to do is wait for a few reboots and it comes back to life by itself! No more opening the case and trying to reach for the jumper!

In general, solid overclocker board, good layout, very happy customer! hehe...
April 11, 2008 12:45:58 AM

I recently built a new system with a Ga-P35-DS3L, E6750, 2x2gb G-skill DDR2 800 @1.8v. etc
I have installed XP x64 and Vista without any problems.
I read of all the problems people were having and it seemed like the common problem component was ram at higher speeds than 800 and elevated voltage on the ram.
a b V Motherboard
April 11, 2008 12:57:07 AM

^Exactly what I was saying.
a b V Motherboard
April 11, 2008 1:01:13 AM

Underclock said:
Great, Shadow703793, huge thanks for your input!
i'll be avoiding those EP and C boards then!

but just how much of an energy saving does that system provide? i mean, i like the idea of things saving energy and all, but what would i be saving, in practice (do other brands, like Asus, offer anything similar?)?

tks.


Underclock said:
(why can't we edit the messages....)

it seems that the non-EP versions can also have the EP functionalities with the 2.1 rev. so i guess buy an EP and shut the thing down or update a non-EP to 2.1 and then shut it down again does basically the same, right?

so i shuold just focus on avoiding the C boards? or updating to rev 2.1 is "dangerous" altogether?

Yeah, I would personally disable EP, It really doesn't matter if you get a EP board or not if you disable it you should be fine. Imo, sacrificing performance and/or stability to save like $6-20/year is not worth it. Using SpeedStep would be a better and safer option than EP. Like some one said before no need for DDR3 so keep away from "C" series boards too.
April 11, 2008 6:19:51 AM

I took shadows advice several weeks ago and I havent had any problems with my P35-DS4/ballistix1066 memory since.Before that I had 2 sets of the ballistix 1066 fail after 10-12 days.I manually set the ddr2 overvoltage to +0.35v (On a side note HWMonitor reports it at 2.22v and easytune5 reports it at 2.15v).So my new build has been running stable and I am considering Ocing the e8400 to 3.6 this weekend after I read up on the p35 oc guides.
a b V Motherboard
April 11, 2008 8:07:12 AM

Shadow703793 said:
@OP: Those Rebooting cycles are mostly related to the RAM. For some reason Gigabyte P35 (not the X38s and other chipsets) boards seems to have issues with certain kinds of RAM, esp. RAM (natively higher) than DDR2 800. There also seems to be problems with Vista and Gigabyte P35 boards. But, so far I have not run in to any problems with any P35-DS3x boards, except that Crucial Ballastix DDR2 1060 RAM had some problems (the RAM was good).


My main rig has a Gigabyte EP35-DS3P, 4x1gb Corsair XMS6400 C5's and im running Vista X64 - No issues to report, it replaced my P5B Deluxe Wifi/Ap which had cold start issues.

Set things up correctly - manually set speeds and ram voltages/timings (still worked 100% with defaults)

Currently at 3.42ghz with 1.4v, the rest is stock - easy oc
a b V Motherboard
April 11, 2008 11:02:58 AM

^Exactly. You have good DDR2 800 RAM and 80% of the DDR2 800 RAM (Ie. Crucial Ballastix) can be OCed to 1066Mhz easily.
April 13, 2008 2:17:41 AM

all things considered, i'm choosing a GA-EP35-DS3P.
it's an EP, but the non-EP with rev 2.1 are essentially EP, and these must be easier to find in the market.
it seemed a lot like the DS4 without some DTS stuff which i won't use.
i eventually narrowed down to these two cause i like the silent pipes thing :) 
*loves silent*
!