Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

GA-P35-DS3L (rev 2.0) and Intel Q9550 Problems

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
July 13, 2009 11:09:31 PM

Hi, I apologize ahead of time if this question has been asked before, I've searched the forums but found nothing related (and it's a weird one).

I'm having a strange issue with a recent processor upgrade. My system specs are as follows:

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Rev 2.0
Intel Q9550 Core 2 Quad (2.83 Ghz)
OCZ PC3200, 4 gb
Crucial PC3200, 2 gb
HIS Radeon 4870 (512 mb)
Soundblaster X-fi Platinum
380W Antec Power Supply

Running SATA drives in AHCI mode
Running Vista Business 32-bit

2 HDs are hooked up, one is a 10K Raptor and one is a 7.2K. Both are SATA

The processor is a recent upgrade from an Intel E2160 Core Duo (which was then overclocked @ 3.0 Ghz, +0.125V). This processor still works fine.

The mobo's firmware was flashed to the latest version (F9)

USB Keyboard and Mouse (seems irrelevant, but look below)

Here is my problem:

When I first installed the new processor, the system correctly identified it as an Intel Q9550, but attempted to set the clock multiplier to x8 (2.66 Ghz). I manually edited the Fine Multiplier setting under BIOS so that the multiplier was x8.5 to match the specs of the CPU (2.83 Ghz). After this, the system failed to POST and would not long enter BIOS setup. So, I was forced to reset CMOS by shorting the reset pins on the mobo, after which the system would again correctly identify and POST. Instead of mucking about manually in BIOS, this time I just chose Gigabyte's "Load Optimized Defaults" setting which correctly set the multiplier to x8.5. I did have to manually re-enable AHCI for my SATA bus (it is not enabled by default), but that is the only modification I made after restoring defaults. After this the system POSTed, loaded the AHCI drivers just fine, then after the OS selection menu, hung. The Vista loading screen never appeared, HDs did not seek, but the fans started spinning up as if the system load was increasing. I thought that perhaps this was an issue with the AHCI, so I disabled it once again (I'd reinstall the OS if need be), but this had no effect - same symptoms. I tried a variety of things after this, loading failsafes, switching on and off various mobo settings under BIOS, but none of it worked.

An interesting issue I discovered while troubleshooting is that my keyboard locks after a certain point - I found that after about a minute, my keyboard would stop working. No idea on mouse since I never got to boot into an environment with mouse enabled, but the keyboard thing seems consistent across any environment. For example, if I didn't get my BIOS settings dialled in fast enough, I'd be screwed, since I couldn't save & exit properly. Also, when I let my system proceed to the OS selection screen (not sure what it's called, the MSFT equivalent of GRUB), I can't hit enter to start booting right away, I have to wait for the timer to count down from 30... not that either does any good because the system hangs on a black screen right after that.

Given this unusual issue, I thought perhaps this was an power supply problem. In theory this is a smaller process chip, but there's 4 cores... well, I started unplugging peripherals at any rate (that 10K Raptor is a doozy) but this didn't solve either problem (I have a W7 RC1 disc I was trying to boot at this point).

Basically everything else works so I'm thinking the problem is either the CPU or mobo. I think i'm relatively sure it's not the CPU, as it has already been RMAed once (had the same issue with the last one, but figured since the old E2160 worked, it might be a processor issue - it appears not). I've sent this mobo in for a repair before (Gigabyte sent back a repaired board, and not a replacement), and I think chances are low that I can get two defective Intel parts with the SAME problem, twice in a row, though I'll defer to anyone that has more experience in the matter.

I've sent Gigabyte an e-mail about this, but thought I'd ping the community to see if anyone had run into anything similar. Thank you for looking through the long post!
a b V Motherboard
July 13, 2009 11:31:01 PM

@OP: The F9 BIOS for the P35-DS3L is known to have problems/issues in my personal testing (I have tested/tests the Gigabyte P35/P45 BIOS for P45-UD3L, P35/45-DS3R, and P45-UD3P boards). The best "stable" BIOS for that board is the F9b edit:meant F8b "Beta" BIOS. Not sure why, but in my experience this is the most stable one for the P35-DS3L so far.

My issues with F9 BIOS on P35-DS3L: The vdroop/vdrop was WAY too much (after F9 flash) even tho I have the vdrop/vdroop mod in place. Another problem is it would some times drop/hang the connection to my external HDD/Flash drives when transferring large files (~1.5+GB) requiring me to reboot. It didn't happen often, but it happened enough to piss me off. And btw, it was NOT a issue with the board/drive/drivers. After flashing back to F8b every thing was fine again.

You can download F8b BIOS here: http://europe.giga-byte.com/FileList/BIOS/motherboard_b...

PS:
GUIDE: Overclocking On EP/P35-DS3L

Here is a vdrop/vdroop mod for the P35-DS3L: Overclockers Forums :GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L VOLT MOD
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 13, 2009 11:43:09 PM

Stunning post - I've got to give this some consideration for my system - the load-line calibration function on my board (X48-DS5) seems to actually make the vdroop worse!
Related resources
a b å Intel
a c 156 V Motherboard
July 14, 2009 7:03:15 PM

I set the l-l cal function to whichever state that seems to give me the best stability and that minimizes vdroop.

I have Gigabyte EP35-DS3P and EP45-UD3P with l-l cal on and an EP45-UD3L with it off.
a b V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 2:21:27 AM

1. How did you flash the bios? Certain methods are less reliable then others.

2. What stepping is your Q9550? The reason I ask is that the Gigabyte cpu compatibility table seems to indicate a different bios is required depending on the stepping, although I admit to not knowing anything about this. See the chart here:

http://www.giga-byte.com/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupport...

It lists the F8 bios for the C1 stepping and the F9 bios for the EO. According to the bios list, the F9 version added support for the Xpress Bios Rescue function. How ironic. Seems like you might need a bios rescue. Do you have the function?

The bios download list/table does not seem to differentiate much of anything - even mobo. Does anyone know if this just might mean this list above is the minimum? Are you supposed to be able to always upgrade to a higher number or could the higher number just be for certain processors or steppings?

3. I see you have mixed memory. Do they both have the same requirements? Are you sure they are PC3200 and not PC6400? Are they only 400MHz?

4. I have the same mobo with 4 x 1GB of Crucial Ballistix memory and E8400 cpu. The memory is on the recommended list but I had major issues with it at build. I had to make major - and many - BIOS adjustments to get it to work. Did you have any problems with memory on your old build? Did you make any BIOS adjustments to make it work? If so, did you copy those adjustments after your put in the new CPU and reset your default BIOS settings? Related to this, did the installation of the CPU cause any changes in the BIOS that might reflect on memory issues (just brainstorming here)? When you manually adjusted your clock multiplier - is the FSB or any memory settings different than what you had before? Have you tried running with a single stick of memory? Why do you have 6GB of memory when Vista 32 will only recognize less than 4?
a b V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 2:33:00 AM

Shadow - why are you recommending he go to BIOS 8b - the beta version - instead of the final version 8? I ask, in part, because I have been running 8b since installation and was planning to move to 8 final at some point - or maybe 9 - although now I might reconsider the latter. I used 8b because it was the latest available when I built my system but was told it was best to use a final version. Just never got around to updating - and you know what they say - if it ain't broke don't fix it.

You also stated that the 9b BIOS was the most stable for the P35-DS3L. Why did you then flash down to the 8b BIOS and provide a link for it rather than the 9b?
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 2:46:47 AM

Shadow - I just noticed your 'old rankings' banner, and clicked on it - I had wondered just WTF was going on? I guess I was happy just to quit being called an 'addict' (manic-depressive gone through [finally] successful cognitive therapy - spent enough time as an addict - didn't really want to be reminded!) but was wondering what the new deal was - have they finally and irrevocably lost their collective minds!?!?
July 15, 2009 3:11:21 AM

I sold my old P35-DS3L V2.0. I updated the bios to the F9b and the volt mod in preparation of a Q9550, but I broke down and sold it and an E6750 to buy my i7. I was worried about compatibility or having to buy a new board. F9b worked great with my E6750 which is Merom->Conroe 65nm.
a b V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 3:13:22 AM

LOL Bilbat -you have not gotten by being an addict - it is just postponed. Once you reach 5,000 points you will again be an addict - and stay an addict under the new scheme until you reach 15,000 points and become a veteran. Shadow has this to look forward to also. He is just one step away from becoming an addict. Some of us have posted our objections to the new scheme of awarding points and the new titles at this post:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/32207-12-member-listi...

However it has unfortunately been corrupted by too many off subject posts that probably many won't weigh through. The thread has 278 posts and I would guess that 2/3 are off subject.
a b V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 3:22:04 AM

one-shot said:
I sold my old P35-DS3L V2.0. I updated the bios to the F9b and the volt mod in preparation of a Q9550


What volt mod? You talk as if it is a standard thing defined somewhere. I ask because I am contemplating an upgrade from my E8400 to a Q9550 or Q9650 - another reason I am very interested in this thread.

Come on guys - let's help tiki fix his problem!
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 3:38:39 PM

Quote:
What stepping is your Q9550?... ...It lists the F8 bios for the C1 stepping and the F9 bios for the EO


No processor design is perfect. The first version of a new microprocessor product is the A-0 step. Later, as improvements are made to the product for functional (bug) fixes or manufacturing improvements, the stepping number will increase. Intel produces a detailed document called a "Specification Update" for each of their processor models that covers all of the various steppings, and lists exactly which bugs (they call them "errata") each one has and a description of the bug.

There is an 'identifier' program that will pop back the CPU's ID string (which is different than the stepping name, but can be used...) here:
http://www.intel.com/support/processors/tools/piu/

The original C1 stepping of the Q9550 carries sSpec 'SLAWQ' and returns CPUID '10677h';
the later E0 stepping carries sSpec 'SLB8V' and returns CPUID '1067Ah';
the recent 'low power enhanced' E0 stepping carries sSpec 'SLGAE' and also returns CPUID '1067Ah';

If you have an E0, I would go with the F9 BIOS
Support list here: http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupp...
BIOS list here: http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Mo...
If you have a C1, go with the beta BIOS Shadow recomended here:
http://europe.giga-byte.com/FileList/BIOS/motherboard_b...


Quote:
1. How did you flash the bios? Certain methods are less reliable then others.


To flash the latest BIOS: I must point out here, that there is inherent risk in this. If, say, the power goes out during the process, or your CPU isn't supported properly by the existing BIOS, there's always the possibility that you could 'brick' the board, i.e., turn it into something only suitable to prop open a door... However, with proper technique, the odds of success are very high - and, short of having @BIOS 'die' in the middle of a flash, the built-in recovery stuff (dual or quad BIOS, XpressRecovery, etc.) is very good. I have dumped my BIOS twice (due to a corrupted file) and both times my board simply reverted to the 'as shipped' BIOS, and continued to work fine.

For the F8b you will wind up downloading a file named "motherboard_bios_ga-p35-ds3l_f8b_beta.exe"; easiest way to do it is to create a folder on your desktop, named, say "NewBIOS", and put the .exe into it. Then, open it, and run the .exe; it will extract to three files: "p35ds3l.f8b" (the actual BIOS binary), "FLASHSPI.EXE" (the BIOS 'flasher' executable), and "autoexec.bat", which can be used to make a bootable, self-loading BIOS flasher disk.

There are a few variations of three basic methods to flash the BIOS. One is the included, windows/inet based utility "@BIOS"; NEVER use this! BIOS flashing has its own risks built-in; you really don't want the possibility of a windoze crash added to them. Every time I post this, someone, without fail, will pop up and say "I use it all the time" (which usually amounts to, maybe, twice), or "I've never had a problem" (once); my response is that you can play Russian Roulette, too, and live to tell about it; you can pull the trigger once, and just get a 'click'; maybe the second time, also - but by the third pull, the odds are stacking up against you, and if you keep pulling that trigger, you will blow your brains out!

The easiest WAY: "<F8> Access the Q-Flash utility" from the main BIOS page, and avoids having to rely on a loaded OS to work correctly to do the flash. If you have a floppy drive, copy the "p35ds3l.f8b" file to an empty floppy, reboot, hit <DEL> to enter the BIOS, hit <F8> to enter the flasher, the first place it will look for the new BIOS is, I believe, the floppy - select the file - it will verify the file, flash, verify the flash, and offer you a keystroke to exit the utility and reboot... If you don't have a floppy, put the file on a USB keydrive, enter the flash utility, and navigate to it; if it doesn't seem 'reachable', you may have to reboot, enter the BIOS, and go to the "Integrated Peripherals" page to enable "Legacy USB storage detect" - remember to disable this after the flash, as it is known to cause wierd problems, including the dreaded "reboot loop"...

Last, but not least, a 'bootable' flasher; if you have a floppy, this is only a little more complicated (but I don't see a real need for it - the BIOS' built-in facility is more reliable, easier, and, if your system is so cooked that it won't enter the BIOS, it's damned unlikely to boot anything)... You need to start out in widows, and format a floppy, checking the "create an MS-DOS startup disk" box; then, open the disk, and erase everything but command.com and msdos.sys to make room for the BIOS goodies; copy the three files your BIOS expanded to, to the disk. Next, a reboot, and a <DEL> to enter the BIOS - go to the "Advanced BIOS Features" page, and set "First Boot Device" to "Floppy", put the floppy we created into the drive, save and exit - on the reboot, the flasher should autoload and 'do' the BIOS; be sure to give it enough time to finish - rebooting during the process (and for some versions of the utility, it doeasn't give you a lot of feedback!) puts your MOBO 'at risk'... If you don't have a floppy, and want to create a bootable USB 'flasher', post back - that gets a little more complex, and I'd like to limit the 'scope' here.

No matter how you've done it, the very first thing to do, after booting to your brand-spanking-new BIOS is to do an "<F7> Load the Optimized BIOS default settings", or simply cursor to it and select it, and then re-boot again; if you still have troubles, try the "<F6> Load the Fail-Safe BIOS default settings" likewise...


Quote:
I see you have mixed memory. Do they both have the same requirements? Are you sure they are PC3200 and not PC6400? Are they only 400MHz?


I do not see this yet addressed; it is indeed, always a bad idea to mix RAM types on a board, even if they show the same nominal specs; either they simply won't work, or you will have to slow them down so badly to accomodate them that the extra memory may as well not be there... And, the point about 6Gb on Vista32 is valid - you can't 'see' it, so why have the extra two in, likely screwing up the original four...

Quote:
What volt mod? You talk as if it is a standard thing defined somewhere.


This is not needed to run a 9550 very fast with excellent stability; it is for obsessives like me who don't mind taking a soldering iron to anything! My 9550 runs a rock solid 3.83GHz (1800FSB) at a mere tenth over stock Vcore...

It would help to have part numbers for the RAM, so I can get accurate specs before I come up with some BIOS parameters to try; it would also definitely help to 'pull' the added two gig...
a b V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 4:43:41 PM

Quote:
Shadow - why are you recommending he go to BIOS 8b - the beta version - instead of the final version 8? I ask, in part, because I have been running 8b since installation and was planning to move to 8 final at some point - or maybe 9 - although now I might reconsider the latter. I used 8b because it was the latest available when I built my system but was told it was best to use a final version. Just never got around to updating - and you know what they say - if it ain't broke don't fix it.

You also stated that the 9b BIOS was the most stable for the P35-DS3L. Why did you then flash down to the 8b BIOS and provide a link for it rather than the 9b?

LOL! I meant F8b is the most stable for the P35-DS3L. Fixed my above post. Nice catch.
a c 177 V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 5:53:47 PM

Ya know - I noticed that, assumed the F9b was just a typo; but I also noticed that on the BIOS page at:
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Mo...

they list:
F9 2009/06/19 'Support Xpress BIOS Rescue function'
F8 2008/07/10 'Update CPU microcode (Support Intel Wolfdale/Yorkfield E0-stepping CPU)'

but on the CPU support list at:
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupp...

they list:
Core™ 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 12MB Yorkfield 45nm E0 95W 1333 F9
Core™ 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 12MB Yorkfield 45nm C1 95W 1333 F8

[bilbat crashes, displaying "context verification error"...]

a b V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 10:14:25 PM

^Really? I have run on F8b with an E0 rev perfectly fine. Let me double check my notes and get back. Could be F8f or some other "Beta" BIOS. I'll check and let you know.
July 15, 2009 10:19:11 PM

rockyjohn said:
What volt mod? You talk as if it is a standard thing defined somewhere. I ask because I am contemplating an upgrade from my E8400 to a Q9550 or Q9650 - another reason I am very interested in this thread.

Come on guys - let's help tiki fix his problem!


The same Volt Mod that Shadow listed in his post. This board is known for having bad Vdroop. After the mod my Vdroop was very low. I think I penciled down to 800Ohms from ~1900Ohms. Read the mod and strongly consider it if you plan to overclock a quad core CPU to very high frequencies. The mod is simple to do if you have an Ohm meter and a graphite pencil. I used a mechanical pencil and it worked just fine.
a b V Motherboard
July 15, 2009 11:29:31 PM

This is the first I have heard about this Mod..nice post Shadow.

I also have a GA-P35-DS3L Rev 2.0
I recently upgraded to a Q9650 from an E6750.
At the time of my upgrade the only bios for the Q9650 was F9b beta. I am still running it no problems @3.6GHz
Voltage is a little off. In bios I have it at 1.3v in CPUZ it reads 1.26 idle and 1.21 prime95 small FFT 100% core.
I added +.1v FSB overvolt
and .2v MCH (Gmch)

For RAM I run 4x2GB G-Skill PC6400 @1.8v 5-5-5-15...I was surprised too!
July 15, 2009 11:52:08 PM

Thank you everyone for your time! I am still having problems - since my post I have talked to an Intel tech who suggested my (admittedly older) power supply might be causing fluctuations that would explain my inconsistent startups and keyboard locks - have since replaced the supply with a Corsair 520W I pulled from a different rig! This does not fix the booting problem, but my keyboard lockups have disappeared. Gigabyte tech support has been... silent. Here is what I have tried -

@Shadow703793:

Thank you for the suggestions! I tried to rollback to F8b and I still have the same problems... the pencil mod you suggested seemed to be for overclocking applications, but I got my multimeter out and gave it a shot anyway. @800 ohm I still wasn't able to boot, so I just backed off and cleaned off the graphite w/alcohol. I may try to overclock after I get things up and running, but at the moment Vdroop doesn't seem to be the problem.

@rockyjohn:

1. I flashed it using the Q-flash utility, which is BIOS-based (I believe). It performs a checksum, and then writes the new BIOS over the old one, after which it verifies the new install, though what it is verifying isn't clear. The system POSTs fine, though, after the rollback, and it would seem I could go back to F9 at any time, if necessary, which may be important because...

2. My Q9550 is S-spec SLB8V, which, after a cursory Google search, is an E0-stepping chip. X-press Rescue does not seem to be necessary (as mentioned, I am able to POST fine and, if need be, could enter Q-flash to install a new BIOS). Looking at your chart it appear I may have to go to F9 after all!

3. My memory is mixed, but have the same specs and had been working fine under my previous setup with the E2160. Luckily, this was working fine at stock settings. As mentioned by you and some of the other posters, yes, it was pointless in Vista-32, but that is more a function of me being too lazy to install my W7-64x disc I have lying around :)  I had planned on doing it after this hardware upgrade!

4. Since my memory settings had been stock, nothing really changed from that build to this one - however, I will try to run from a single stick of RAM to see if that has any effect.

@bilbat:

Thank you for the suggestions! The RAM issue seems to be a common thread amongst these posts so I will try running single stick/only matched pairs. As mentioned, I was planning on installing a 64x OS after this upgrade, which is the reason for 6 gigs.

Thanks so much for all your help so far! I'll report back when I've exhausted all possibilities :) 
July 17, 2009 8:40:42 AM

Ah, it worked! As far as I can tell it was two problems - an insufficient power supply and mismatched RAM. Removed the extra 2 gigs and it worked like a charm!

I'm kicking myself because I just assumed the RAM was fine since it booted with my old setup just fine without BIOS tweaks... thanks everyone for your help!
!