AMD 900 sucks! Help!

Hi - I recently bought an Athlon Thunderbird Socket A 900Mhz and a Chaintech mobo VIA VT8363 ATA 100. Anyhow, I had a P3-550 and a Tekram BX board before this. I do alot of graphics and video work using programs like 3D StudioMax, Premiere 6, Discreet Combustion etc ... I have noticed that the Athlon 900 struggles with multitasking where my P3-550 didnt even break a sweat! I routinely would have Photoshop, Premeire, perhaps Combustion open, maybe a browser and Winamp playing some tunes - all at the same time. I cant do this with the Athlon at all. I could even have 6 or 7 video sequences playing at the same time with the P3-550 and no problems - the Athlon has trouble running 3 videos at the same time...and its a 900Mhz!!? I thought the Athlon 900 would be so much better than a P3-550 but it isnt at all - the P3-550 kicked the Athlon 900s butt. Problem is I already sold the P3 so I am stuck with this Athlon.

My question is this if you dont mind offering a thought ... is there anything I can do to improve the Athlons performance? At least so that it is comparable to how my P3-550 worked? ... this is the second time I feel like I have been burned by AMD - I tried their offerings back in the Celeron 300 and AMD K6-2-350 days ...back then my newly bought AMD 350 performed no better than a Celeron 300. The benchmarks for the Athlon 900 show that its faster but it cannot multitask like the Intel P3 did. Any ideas?

Thanks so much.
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More about sucks help
  1. True, VIA's chipset sucks if you compare it to Intel ones, but this is a life, you get what you have paid for... hehe

    K7 + KT7 + MX300 + VooDoo3000 = :smile:
  2. hmmm... so your saying that the VIA chipset may be the problem? I thought I was getting some "quality" considering the money I spent on it - I should have stayed with the Intel - damn!
  3. Via has an AGP timing issue. It doesn't seem to always be so much of a problem for certain aplications, but maybe the problem is multiplied when you try to do mutiple video task? It's been a while since I read the technical article on the problem, but I think this may be a good lead. Anyway, I'm sure an AMD officianado will eventually come up with some workarounds for you. Welcome to the world of VIA!

    Suicide is painless...........
  4. Now I'm interested in knowing what's up with this ........ Does this mean you cannot do "fast" multitasking on a computer that has the Via chipset & AMD cpu ???

    I'm about 4-5 weeks away from buying a 1gig T-bird & an MSI K7pro2-a mainboard ................ Will I see a definate speed increase going from my 650 classic Athlon to the T-bird ???
  5. hi,There is a good article here in "Tom's hardware" on the via chip and the lack of good drivers for it. There are 2 articles on this, one is correcting the other. The opperating system or something else may be having a hard time communicating with it. Go through the old editorials, I think the link is "other editorials" . Also, you might try writing to the motherboard co. or distributer & Athlon & see if there is another driver avialable. Tom puts in a link to a driver that you might not need, but maybe they can give you feedback on where or when you might look.
    sorry, I havn't a clue, but thought you might want to read that if you haven't.
  6. Did you install VIA 4-in-1 driver? and Video card you have?
    It seems very strange...
  7. I don't have any problem like his, and I have 2 systems(A7V and KT7-RAID) with TB 700 overclocked to 850. My guess is his problem might be on drivers or BIOS.
  8. I have the VIA 4in1 patches in place. My video card is Diamond Viper TnT2 Ultra 32mb but its worked flawless since I got it - at least with my P3 setup. DGP_2000, your question about "fast multitasking" I cant even answer... I'm lucky to get this damn AMD Tbird 900 multitasking anything without slowing the whole system down to a crawl and making everything jerk along.

    I can longer load up my programs to work like I did before with my P3-550. I have to limit multitasking to a max of two programs or the Athlon starts shoutin obscenities at me as it falls to its knees in the agony of being asked to multitask ( hehe, sorry got carried away there!)... this isnt right - could be a drivers issue I agree but I can't wait until someone writes some code that may or may not fix this problem.

    Like I said, I got burned by AMD a few years back with their K62-350 which a Celeron 300 could run circles around! I thought maybe by now they had improved considering their sales records and people saying AMD is better and cheaper. Well I dont think those people do serious work with there systems - thats not meant as insult either so dont go flaming me!! - what I mean is they dont necassarily run heavy resource drawing programs or a number of them at one time that would really put the AMD thru its paces...and I'm not talking about playing a game!

    AMD seems to be good much like Cyrix was, for basic OS operation and standard apps but not as a workstation for production purposes - it cant handle it.

    I great example of this problem with AMDs is in audio production where it is really easy to pinpoint a good CPU from a bad CPU - the number of tracks that can be recorded/worked with at one time within an audio production program is directly proportional to the power capability of the CPU in the system... in this case the Intels always win - they consistently have more recording tracks available and the AMD CPUs less tracks - you figure it out from there and remember my multitasking limitations aswell! :)

    Stick with Intel people! Theres a reason, a real good reason, why theres a price difference! ... like someone posted in this thread you get what you pay for ya - aint that the truth!
  9. Make sure you have the newest drivers of everything. How much RAM do you have for you system? From my experience, RAM is more likely to be the cap in multitaksing than anything else not the processor, it just processes (hence the name :)). Althought, the chipset could be a cap, but I don't know much about that.
  10. I have used cakewalk on a PIII 866 and my 900 (@1gig) Tbird and my computer is the superior performer. Maybe it’s your mother board or something else. I am using an A7V and I can’t wait until I get my 7200 RPM IBM. Then this system will really kick ass for Hard disk recording. I’m not doubting your system is performing poorly but it’s not the CPU that’s holding you back. Give us a full rundown on your system.
    But it sounds like your computer doesn’t have enough memory and is using the swapdisk which kills performance on any system.

  11. You definitely have a driver, memory, or BIOS issue. There is absolutely no way a P3 550 will do anything faster than a T-bird 900, whatever the task. I tried recreating your scenario tonight and couldn't duplicate it. I haven't seen what you describe on any of my Athlon machines. Something is not setup properly so don't blame the processor.

    As an aside, do you suppose companies such as Micron would be offering Athlons as workstations, which they do, if they had the types of problems you suggest? I suppose they would if they enjoyed refunding every customers money. You won't find P4's in Micron's new high-end workstations. I can't stress this enough......YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING SETUP PROPERLY SO ENOUGH WITH "AMD SUCKS" CRAP!
  12. Ditch the discount noname motherboard and buy an Asus or Abit. Then go dig up all the latest drivers for your hardware. The Athlon, with its superior FPU performance, can handle what you're asking of it with ease. The problem is definately somewhere else. Its not AMD's fault you scimped on the motherboard, which benchmarks have proven time and time again can make a significant impact on system performance. Make sure you have your memory installed and configured properly, too.

    Everything in moderation
  13. ok here we go. Amd is alot harder to set up than intel.

    1. only connect the vid card. all tha pci/isa cards should be installed one at a time. Do the sound card last.
    2. leave the pci slot 1 by the agp slot left open. The agp and pci slot 1 like to share.
    3. make sure there is no irq'a conflicting with each other.
    4. make sure you get the lastest drivers for all.
    5. get the latest bios.
    6. make sure you have 300 watt power.
    7. get good ram cas 2 micron is good.
    8. make sure you have the lastest 4 in 1 diver for the via board.
    9. read the manual!

    Here is what you should have built
    Abit kt7-raid
    2 30 gigs ibm deskstar in a raid 0
    256 or more micron ram in cas2 with interleave enable
    gforce ultra
    sound blaster live or 5.1
    3com905 networking card.
    plextor burner
    300 watt power supply

    You say people don't do serious work with there systems but you use a Diamond Viper TnT2 Ultra 32mb hahahahaha

    Anytime your ready to put up bench marks against your so called workstation lets go.

  14. Train wreck?

    Thermal problem?
    oh, its a AMD... Imagine that
  15. I'm with the smarter people on this post, the problem is not AMD's. I can run UT at 1064 by 768 while running SETI@home with no visual degradation in the game (my system is listed below).

    The problem is most likely the cheap ass motherboard or f-ed up memory or the like. I would start over with a new motherboard and re-install of the OS.

    BTW, which OS are you using? If Win2K (as any workstation should be), there are a few extra steps involved w/ getting the OS installed properly on any VIA motherboard due to poor drivers from VIA. There is a workaround for this but research will have to be done as even a high end motherboard and Win2K will have an issue.

    Good luck and when you buy a better mobo, let us know.

    T-Bird 800Mhz
    2X IBM 75GXP 30GB in RAID0 config
    Geforce2 32MB
    SB Live
  16. jeffg007 and Connie - I dont think theres need to attack me. I havent attacked you have I?? I dont think I did?

    As for Connie duplicating my problems I dont even know how you did that unless you got a lot of money to burn and went out and bought the exact same setup I use...but then I never even gave a full rundown of my setup. So your test doesnt necassarily proveout anything.

    Doing serious work on a PC doesnt mean you have to have the most powerful or most expensive video card either!! I was talking about multitasking not about getting into a drag race over performance specs - LMAO.

    Anyhow I'm not hear to fight with people. We all have our opinions based on our experiences. If you cant roll with the punches then dont read this and dont reply ok :)

    I agree the mainboard could be an issue. Its not an unknown make and isnt cheap $$$ either. I think Chaintech has been reviewed on Tom's even. But heres the prob I have with these statements... I wasnt using the "hype" brand names with my P3-550 setup and it smoked the AMD-900 setup. All the parts are the same aside from the CPU and mobo. I dont "buy" into the name game and the fact that my P3-550 worked sweet and multitasked like a champ proves that having the most popular brand name components is not always a must.

    So where does this leave me. I don't know... my AMD setup doesnt work very well in multitasking. My Intel P3 did. Some say their AMDs work very well for them and thats great.

    If it helps anyone in offering any ideas to try on solving my problem heres my rundown:

    AMD Tbird 900 Socket-A
    Chaintech 7AJA KT133 ATA100 mobo
    512mb Micron memory PC133
    2-40gig Maxtor ATA100 7200rpm HD
    Promise Tech ATA100 Ultra IDE Controller
    TnT2 Ultra 32mb AGP ( laugh but it works sweet )
    300W Enlight7237Q ATX Case
    SB Live Platinum
    Canopus DVStorm Firewire/Composite Video Capture I/O
    ...did I miss anything of importance?

    Perhaps someone could give me a rundown on what their BIOS settings are of what you feel they should be.

    Big thanks to those who try and help without the flak! :)
  17. dsutcliffe - I am using Win2K. Can you elaborate on the problems in configuring a VIA mobo on Win2K for me? I am open to exploring all possibilities before I resort to selling this AMD setup and get an Intel P3 again. Thanks.
  18. Sounds like a software issue to me. Something is conflicting...I have recently built 2 AMD systems and they smoke everything I have seen until now. Until I got the setup correct though, there was a conflict that made it run super slow. My problem was the Ultra DMA settings didn't match the hard drive jumpers. After correcting it, it flew.

    "Water-Cooled CPU Runner"
  19. I had a similar problem when I built my 1.2GHz system and resolved it by making sure that the hard drive was set to use DMA instead of PIO. I had to disable the auto DMA setting in my BIOS and then Windows 2000 changed it automatically. This made a huge difference.

    John Garrett
    System Admin -
    Editor - Exploring Windows NT Professional
  20. It's not your cpu thats having trouble multitasking. it sounds to me like you need more ram. Don't tell me your using 64MB PC100 CL3!

    - "That's no moon, it's Rambus!"
  21. hehe...Tempus, I listed a brief rundown on my system above - I have 512MB PC133 ... I hope I dont need to add more :)

    My main boot drive is one of the 40gig ATA 100 and it connects directly to the Promise Tech Ultra ATA100 card which is by default DMA enabled and offers no choice to disable it. As Promise said " why would you want to run it slower" so thats why its factory set to enable DMA. Now before everyone jumps the gun and says well the Promise card is causing the problem that simply isnt true. It runs perfect. I am not experiencing slow HD operation at all. I just cant multitask like I could with the P3-550.
  22. You may want to research these fixes for via problems.
    VIA AGP registry patch:

    Win2k VIA AGP Fix: agp&rnk=2&src=DHCS_MSPSS_gn_SRCH&SPR=WIN2000

    via428 drivers:

    Lot of general info at:

    Also, may find something useful here even though it's for the abit board.

    Also, for me in WIn2k with Directx8, the 717 drivers provide the best performance (for me at least):
  23. Although I wasn't attacking you, how can you start a thread with an inflamatory, attention getting subject line like -"AMD Sucks! Help!", and not expect to catch some flak? How about "Multitasking problem - need help". I'm sure you know that AMD based machines wouldn't be as popular as they are, or getting the reviews that they are, if they had the kinds of problems you're having. Trust me, there are probably thousands of people using their AMD computers in a similar fashion as you.

    No, I don't have the same hardware as you (I'd never buy a Chaintech motherboard - cheap components) but I do have an AMD processor and it multitasks almost everything you mentioned without a glitch. Maybe you just got unlucky and got that rare AMD processor that doesn't like to multitask. Figure the odds! Or, a more likely scenario is that you have, as I suggested, a driver, BIOS, memory, or some other hardware issue. Possibly a resource conflict with interupts or DMA? I'm sure you're having a problem but it aint the processor.
  24. "AMD 900 Sucks! Help!"

    I do believe the man's got the right to voice his opinion! just like you guys say things like "P4 sucks!" It's only fair right?

    Btw, the same way you feel about chaintech is the same way a lot of ppl feel about VIA.
  25. You probably got a lemon motherboard. try and return it. I have the exact same setup with no problems.
  26. Dude, I never have to return anything! I use Intel based dual systems exclusively. And I never had a prob w/any bx board dual or otherwise.

    you can't put a price on lost time and productivity!
  27. I think he was replying to hangdaug

    I don't hate Intel............ Do I?
  28. ya he was replying to hangdaug :) ... amazing how heated things can get eh!

    BlindSide... I check those links out - thanks for the info. I found some interesting stuff related and not. None of which have solved any of my problems.

    The AMD 900 is just a sluggish, bad for multitasking processor. I dont want to battle components like this and with all the bloody patches floating around from AMD and VIA makes me wonder how good these AMD processors and VIA chipsets are?!

    Well, I made the decision to sell this AMD 900 and go back to the Intel P3 or maybe a P4. At least they can multitask properly. AMD should change their name to Cyrix!

    Oh and Connie... please stop posting, your not helping but you sure are annoying as hell :)

    Thanks to those who offered some ideas. I am considering this topic closed based on my decision to go back and stay with Intel.

    -= hangdaug =-
  29. Actually AMD is probably better than Intel at it. You probably just got the 1/1000 setup that doesn't work together. Bad luck, I guess! I have ordered a TBird 1.2GHz and A7V motherboard (not waiting for DDR) and I will let you know how it goes. :smile: It's too bad the board and CPU didn't work for you.

    I don't hate Intel............ Do I?
  30. I gotta add this point... everyone says the Chaintech is a cheap mobo and dump it its the problem - etc etc - my Chaintech mobo 7AJA was reviewed along side a slew of others in a review here on Tom's ...

    The chaintech board stood its ground pretty good i think if you look at all the benchmarks. Its pretty much in the middle in terms of performance and in some cases neck and neck with the Abit boards.

    I know this is going to start a whole new debate but I dont believe my multitasking problems are the mobos fault - I strongly feel its the AMD processors fault...lack of strength to carry the load. I'll agree the AMD is fast when I am surfing the net or working on some draft designs with one or two programs open but it cannot hold its own like the Intel P3 did when I really piled on the weight and ask it to multitask a number resource hogging programs all at once.

    I've tried a lot of your suggestions and spent a week now banging my head against the wall with this AMD but it certainly hasnt "thundered" and it didnt fly like "bird".

    I'd rather spend my time designing then downloading patches and fixes, and tweaking, changing BIOS settings, testing and posting for help and suggestions - to much hassle for me. Thats why I like the Intel setup - its rock solid and works hard in the areas that are truly important, like multitasking. I can concentrate on my work.

    I wasnt trying and I am not bashing AMD. I've always found there offerings inferior to the Intel in real world applications. Thats my experience. Yours may be different. I only wanted to see if my problems were solvable before changing hardware again. I'll feel more comfortable with the Intel powerhouse performance anyhow.

    Thanks again people! ..signing off. -= hangdaug =-
  31. I would hate to tell you this, but AMD is far superior to multitasking, etc. than Intel. When we say it's your motherboard, we don't mean performance wise. We're talking about quality and stability.

    TONS of people have their AMD 900MHz multitasking perfectly - you seem to be among the unforntunate few who have troubles because of peripheral incompatability...... Something in your setup (right now my answer is your motherboard) is messing up and not letting that T-Bird do what it was made to do.

    I don't hate Intel............ Do I?
  32. Is the p3 550 you refer to a dual cpu system? Otherwise I cannot seem to understand the issue here. I have a p3 750 on I815 board and it cannot multitask quite as well as my T-bird 750 on an older irongate chispset board. I also have used chaintech boards and have had no problems with them as well. Although the boards from chaintech I have used are not the same ( I used the 7ata slot a board), I don't agree with some of the other post as to them being cheap. I think you have something misconfigured or your problems are a bit imaginary.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  33. That fact that you believe the processor is at fault and your inability to troubleshoot and isolate the problem is a good indication of your PC ineptitude and I would suggest buying an OEM machine rather than building one yourself.

    Also, my comments about Chaintech had nothing to do with the performance of their boards; I was referring to the cheap components they use. Regardless of how well Tom Pabst benchmarked one of their boards, Chaintech boards do not use high quality parts.

    Enjoy your new Intel system. It's always nice to pay more for less.

    "Intel Inside, Idiot Outside
  34. Try removing all your boards but the video and test it then. And if the system is still slow change the video driver. If the system is better or good then install 1 board at a time and keep testing the system.

    p.s. Had the same problem with a asus k7v athalon 750 a diamond 550, and a diamond mx300, and i thought it was the video card but it was the drivers for the sound card, after buying a asus agp-v6800 and still the same problem.

    good luck
  35. don't deserve any help. You post a nasty thread, and then when people try to suggest a fix for it you blow them off. Did you even try to update your bios or drivers??? If you're satisfied with selling your 900 that's fine, but don't come here begging for help if you won't appreciate a little advice. Is updating your bios and drivers that hard??

    Everyone that comes in here has had problems with one platform or another and we have our own opinions, but don't ask for help if you really didn't want any.

    If you ever decide to go the AMD route again, I would suggest a better board and a better video card. I personally think the ASUS A7V is a great motherboard. Also, did you buy generic memory? That could have screwed you up too.
  36. BX is still THE chipset to use when it comes to a combo of performance AND reliability/compatibility, & it's 2 years old.....that is the sad part.
  37. Okay, the issue is over. A guy can't get something to work once, so he stereotypes the whole AMD industry. Not his fault if he's too stupid to listen to hundreds of opinions that AMD is better. whatever...

    #Ranked <font color=blue>6 in US</font color=blue> 2v2 Cstrike# -Feb 7 OGL Ladder (well, it's one of the largest ladders)
  38. Hangdaug, concernig your following quote:

    "I'd rather spend my time designing then downloading patches and fixes, and tweaking, changing BIOS settings, testing and posting for help and suggestions - to much hassle for me. Thats why I like the Intel setup - its rock solid and works hard in the areas that are truly important, like multitasking. I can concentrate on my work."

    Well, being an AMD kinda guy, I must say most of "us" can't really argue that point. I build AMD systems continually (most on A7V). It's my opinion (meaning no flamers) that if someone could put together a A7V system that runs like a top, it would be the equivalent of taking a 4 month PC repair course. Just look at the # of PCB & BIOS revisions this board has had. You'd think it was on the market for 2 years already. Put together a PIII/BX or i815e system & put together AMD/VIA/A7V system & you'll know what I'm talking about. I think the biggest loser in this scenario is AMD. They have a clearly superior product (T-Bird/Duron) but are crippled by poor VIA chipsets. This also goes for the mobo manufacturers. I'm really hoping the upcoming chipset from Micron will bury VIA forever.
    I too want to plug in my CPU & whatever adapters I have & then do what I need to do on my PC - work/game/surf etc. I don't want to spend the day in the BIOS or on help/message boards or downloading VIA's patch/update of the week.
    My dream would be a dual T-Bird system on a Intel chipset mobo (yeah, yeah, I know it'll never happen). C'mon Micron, where are you?
  39. I'm sorry, I don't use Win2k for gaming, I do at work but not at home. You might look around on AMD's web site or VIA's website support for a section specifically for Win2K and KT-133 chipset drivers.

    Good Luck

    T-Bird 800Mhz
    2X IBM 75GXP 30GB in RAID0 config
    Geforce2 32MB
    SB Live
  40. Hey, I have a couple Intel & AMD sytems at home. While they all have their idiosyncasies, in the end they do what we need them to do. Maybe PC's are just like kids? Some instinctivley play nice with others while others need a little teaching (or driver update *hehe*). I think building any PC today with the latest T-Bird or PIII is what I would consider a "kik-ass-system", & I'm not one to squabble over a few benchmark percentages.
    Regarding your "Intel Inside, Idiot Outside" remark, I'll refrain from saying thats the most moronic statement I've seen on Tom's boards, & chalk it up to a flash of anger (i.e, you didn't really mean it).
  41. dhlucke and dxkj ... I dont think I "blew off" anyone who offered constructive thoughts on the matter. I did blow off people like you guys who want to be nasty. I'm not even gonna get into with you...your posts say more than enough about your character without me helping.
  42. Maybe it's your diamond graphic card. Even though the VIA service pack should solve most graphic problems it can't solve all . I used to have a Diamond Stealth from my own PII installed in my athlon. This card sucks rock in an athlon. Computer crashes and freezes alot. Got another card and works great.
  43. yes, Diamond blows chunks. About the only good card Diamond ever made was the TNT2 Ultra.

    Satan Clara...... 'Nuff said.
  44. *laughs* don't worry, I'm not going to waste my breath and try to be constructive after you've ignored peoples honest opinions. My only construction is to tell you to re-read all the posts in this thread....

    AMD is not for the faint of heart...

    #Ranked <font color=blue>6 in US</font color=blue> 2v2 Cstrike# -Feb 7 OGL Ladder (well, it's one of the largest ladders)
  45. Make sure your HD is jumpered correctly. If you only have one, make sure it is set for stand alone or cable select. If you have a slave on the cable, it should be master. I just had this problem, but changing the jumper made it work awesome.

    "Water-Cooled CPU Runner"
  46. I disagree the diamond monster fusion was a good card in its day ( 3dfx banshee) as well as the mx300 sound card (aureal) the supramax modems are one of the better cheap modems out there.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
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