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SiS 735 & AMD 1.4 experience and questions

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Anonymous
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September 17, 2001 8:35:14 AM

I recently upgraded my MSI K7T Turbo Raid with overclocked Duron to an ECS board with the SiS 735, Athlon 1.4 and 256 Mb Apacer DDR CAS 2.

First impression: this system is FAST.. and almost completely issue-less. What a relief when compared to my previous VIA experience. Just about everything worked right away, without even installing any driver/patch (except for the onboard sound obviously). It has been running Set@home and 3D Mark constantly for a few days, without any stability issues to date. Installed win2K and XP 2505, and it was really smooth sailing. I have had the board for a week now, and I’m still waiting for my first crash / illegal operation under either win2K or XP beta. Also, when I look at the event log in w2K its as clean as it gets. With my VIA board it was all yellow and red exclamation marks, no matter what I tried. Even a clean install would give me loads of error messages.

A few things could be improved though, and maybe someone could help me here:

1) IDE performance really is below par. I downloaded and installed the latest IDE driver I could find (dated april 2001), but I still get only 50%of the performance I should get with my harddisk (Maxtor 20 Gb 7200 ATA100 running UDMA 5). This happens under both win2K and XP build 2505. I noticed other users are having the same problem, so I guess I’ll have to wait for SiS to bring out an updated IDE driver ?
2) ACPI standby doesn’t work under XP. Not sure whether the mb is to blame but I got an error in the event log that ACPI bios something tried to write into a protected memory space. Considering this is an early XP beta, I presume this will be resolved with a later release. In win2K it works just fine. As does hibernation and USB beyond 133 fsb and just about anything that didn’t work with as it should with my VIA board.

The ECS is a no-frills motherboard. I knew that, and prefer stability and speed over thousands of tweaking options; however I would have liked to see multiplier and voltage adjustment in BIOS. Especially since the board is rather generous by supplying my Athlon with 1.82v, running it even hotter than it would anyway.

If the IDE performance gets sorted out, I really recommend this board. Especially when you consider the price: less than half what the MSI K7T Turbo non-raid costs currently !! You could even buy an additional PCI IDE adaptor, and still have a cheaper setup that performs better and so far seems much more stable. Im really impressed. The loss of the onboard RAID isn’t too bad either, as I’ll be setting up a software RAID one of these days..

One word on cpu temperature. I know this is a “hot” topic, and heavily debated. I just want to share you my experience: yes, my 1.4 does run hot. 50 idle, 59° under full load. That’s with a Silverado Noisecontrol at 10v , and with 2 case fans and 1 psu fan all running at 6v wires (3 more fans, case, harddisk and GPU are monitored and controlled by a DigiDoc5, im fanatic about keeping noise low). I know 59 isnt good. However, I tried too see how far it would go before becoming unstable, so I disconnected all case fans, and hook my Silverado to a 8v and even 6v wire. Well, I got it as high as 70°c while still being completely stable. So Im not worried at 59.


---- Owner of the only Dell computer with an AMD chip
September 17, 2001 10:52:19 PM

Nice testimonial.
Good to hear you enjoy your SiS735 motherboard.
I really believe the SiS735 will be the Athlon chipset to beat in terms of overall performance, price, and <i>stability/compatability</i>. Now, other people can preech all they want about the KT266A and nForce--but performance won't matter to me (and many other people) if I keep getting lockups, corrupted data, pops and cracklings from the sound card, etc. etc. etc. We are not sure how the nForce will perform, wheather it will live up to expectations or just be another fluke (especially in it's first attempt)--we'll just have to wait and see. As far as VIA goes, I don't care if it is 3% faster than the SiS735, I'll take the more stable chip anytime.

For now, Im just waiting for Asus or MSI to release their SiS735 motherboards.

Question: What do you mean your harddrive is only performing 50% it's rated speed? Are you saying your only getting transfer rates of 50mb/s?? If so, that is normal. YOu will almost never get 100mb/s.

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
September 18, 2001 1:41:00 AM

No one knows if the kt266a will have compatability issues, or the nforce, we must wait and see, I for one however am willing to ditch the sblive to have that sweet 25% speed boost. Also, the bugs are extremely minimised when you apply all the correct patches etc. BEFORE you begin using the rig.

~Matisaro~
"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
~Tbird1.3@1.5~
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September 18, 2001 2:49:51 AM

if you get much over 30MB/s with a single IDE drive then you are approaching the limit. Almost any disk will peak at 35-37MB/s. UATA is a <i>bus</i> speed not a per disk speed. Sure the cache can burst up to 100MB/s but the number of times that would happen such that you can measure is minimal.

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 18, 2001 7:11:10 AM

>I really believe the SiS735 will be the Athlon chipset to
>beat in terms of overall performance, price, and
>stability/compatability

Well, it appears the KT266A already manages to beat the SiS on terms of speed. But I agree 100%.. I couldnt care less about a few percent performance more or less. I'll go for the stability. I've had so many (although mostly minor) issues with my previous KT133A board..
The 735 really feels like my old BX board.. dull, boring, not a thing to tweak, but it simply works and its blazing fast. Not ONE crash to date.

>Question: What do you mean your harddrive is only performing 50% it's rated speed?

on a few benchmarks I ran (sandra, passmark) I got 50% of the performance of my VIA board with the same harddisks. By forcing the "new" IDE drivers and enabling UDMA 5 it got up a bit, but its still too low. I get 17500 under sandra, where a comparable 7200 ATA100 drive gets around 24000. On my VIA board I used to get around 22500 I think. Passmark gives me around 16 Mb/s transfer. Random read write scores very well though, about as good as a baseline 2xATA100 raid.. maybe its because of XP.. I'll test again later under 98 and win2K. Anyway, I can live with that for now since I dont do much harddisk intensive stuff like video editing, but its something SiS should improve nevertheless.

---- Owner of the only Dell computer with an AMD chip
September 18, 2001 8:46:20 AM

Hmmm...those are quite low scores. I have read in other forums that people with the ECS board are getting 20000+ scores in Sandra using the Windows XP Drivers in RC2.

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 18, 2001 9:00:37 AM

I'm using XP RC1.. and also, this Maxtor DiamondMax isnt THE fastest drive out there. I think with an IBM GXP60 or whatever, I might also get to 20k. But with another board/driver these disks should score 24+k.

Anyway, Ill benchmark under win2k and 98 later this week, and I'll post the results. Even if they remain as they currently are, I cannot help myself loving this 735 board. Even if I'd need to buy a PCI IDE adaptor, its still cheap as hell. And stable.. and fast..

---- Owner of the only Dell computer with an AMD chip
September 18, 2001 6:35:27 PM

Nope.
Seems like some people that owns a board with the VIA 686b southbridge are still havig data corruptions while transferring large files and listening to music using the crappy soundblaster live at the same time--even with all the latests BIOS, patches, liveware, drivers, etc.

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Stick_E_Mouse on 09/18/01 11:40 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 22, 2001 4:00:05 PM

RE:
**********************************************************
I would have liked to see multiplier and voltage adjustment in BIOS. Especially since the board is rather generous by supplying my Athlon with 1.82v, running it even hotter than it would anyway.
***********************************************************

There is supposed to be a bios update coming out soon-ish to help improve overclocking but i'm affraid that by the time it is released, another mobo will probably have taken its place.
Being cheap and cheerful shows that it has satisfied its oem status.

</font color=purple> "Remember that after great thought, things are always bought from the lowest bider"
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