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aiw9700pro problems

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February 27, 2003 11:30:46 PM

I'm sure pretty much everyone here has heard this story before, but I'm really hoping by some magic stroke of luck I've overlooked something. About a month and a half ago, I had a tax return burning a hole in my pocket, and decided to build a new system. Here's the specs:
2GHz Celeron
Abit SR7-8x
ATI AIW 9700 Radeon whatchamacallit pro
120GB Seagate HD

Slapped it all together not even considering the power draw (the fancy-looking case I got from Fry's came with an Enermax 330W PSU). For about two weeks I played with it, and no matter what I tried, it would crash whenever I tried to watch TV or do anything that takes any serious 3D use. It wouldn't really be that bad, but that's why I shelled out for the 9700 to begin with :) 
I've tried WinXP and Win2k, with and without service packs, with the AGP drivers from the CD, from Abit, and from SiS. With the video drivers from the CD and from the ATI site, DirectX 8.1 and 9 and get the same thing every time. The only difference is that after installing WinXp SP1, instead of just freezing or restarting, sometimes it'll crash to the desktop at 640x480x16 and say there was a device error. Every error report that Windows wants to send is related to ati2dvag.dll (ATI video driver).
Using just Netscape, IE, Winamp, etc. doesn't crash it. It usually only crashes when running the TV software or 3D games.

After reading all of the posts, I assumed that my wimpy 330W PSU was the problem, so I bought a no-name 550W (I know I should've bought a name brand, and if anyone wants to give me one, I'll take it *grin*) and put it in today, and was terribly disappointed to have the exact same thing happening. The mobo came with some hardware doctor software that shows all the voltages coming out of the PSU and everything looks completely fine with both the 330W and the 550W, even when I'm running the TV software.
Please please please help, preferably with a solution that doesn't involve buying anything else, or waiting for new drivers :)  In the meantime, I'll just go reinstall Windows for the 80th time. Thanks!

More about : aiw9700pro problems

a b U Graphics card
February 28, 2003 2:11:24 AM

I hate to tell you this but...it could be your board. I've seen problems already with the Asus and MSI versions of 648 board, problems including AGP8x compatability and memory stability. Gigabyte seems to have gotten around these problems, I believe they did so by raising the chipset voltage. Do you have another system you can test it on?

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
February 28, 2003 3:02:49 AM

Well I've tried setting the mobo down to 4x with no luck. All my other computers have a different kind of AGP slot that won't accept the card (you'll have to forgive me, it's been a year or two since I build a box so I'm kind of out of the loop on all the latest standards). Maybe one of the computers at work will take it and at least give me an idea, I'll give that a shot in the morning and see what happens :) 
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a b U Graphics card
February 28, 2003 3:38:26 AM

Actually the fact that your card has an extra notch in the AGP interface is so that it will fit newer boards. It will fit older boards as well! The 9700 Pro is backwards compatable like any other ATI card. The notch is added to newer motherboards to prevent the use of early cards.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
February 28, 2003 10:20:53 PM

well damn :)  Tried it in my older computer and has been running flawlessly, played Morrowind for a few hours, recorded an hour and a half of TV.. looks like the motherboard is probably it (keep in mind the computer that it's in now, this one, has a 250w PSU and has three HDs). Now, the obvious question would be what is a good motherboard to get now? I'll probably take the SR7-8x and CPU and give it to my dad.
I'd like something relatively cheap, probably with another Celeron. Obviously from a reputable company, that takes PC2700 memory and doesn't have a lot of onboard crap (sound and network, preferably nothing else). Any advice? Luckily, the place I ordered the cpu/mobo/HD from goofed up my order and overcharged me, so they're crediting me the extra money *and* giving me my next order at cost, so if I need new parts I suppose now's the time. Thanks for all your help, and I promise as soon as I find out a good mobo/cpu combo I'll be out of yer hair. :) 
a b U Graphics card
February 28, 2003 11:07:38 PM

Well, the P4 Celeron is a very week CPU. I would suggest if you choose to build a new system you select a Northwood P4, the cheapest one you can find. 99.9% of 1.6A and 1.8A processors will run at 133MHz bus ("533" bus) by overclocking. This gives the 1.6A 2.06GHz, and the 1.8A 2.4GHz. So if you can find one of these for around $100, you're far better off than with a P4 Celeron.

OK, the board...you might consider an SiS 655 chipset board. The Gigabyte GA-8SQ800 is the "non-delux" version of the SINXP1394. You can read reviews on all the latest 655 chipset boards at Anandtech.

A simple direct replacement for your current board would be the GA-8SG667 or 8SG800. The main weakness of the 8SG667 is no CPU voltage modifications in BIOS for overclocking. Not sure if the newer 8SG800 has them or not.

You could try fixing your current board by raising memory voltage slightly, if your board supports it. I'm not certain whether it would help, but it's worth a try.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
March 1, 2003 5:07:57 AM

I checked out Anandtech and the Gigabyte mobo looks good, but unfortunately it's not available from the site i've got the discount with. I actually couldn't find any 655 chipset boards there (bzboyz.com).. I know now I'm just being a pain, but I really appreciate the help :) 
March 4, 2003 5:42:56 PM

Ben,

For the record, and I don't know if this will affect your decision to buy, I am having the same problem.

Specs:
Gigabyte GA-8INXP
P4/2.8Ghz
Radeon 9700 Pro (driver version 6.14.1.6292)
PC2100 DDR 266 512MB ECC Registered (single channel)

The system ROCKS during game play but, every once in a while, without warning, I drop to 640x480 and get the device error you mention.

I also thought a new PS would help so I went from a 350W to a 465W Enermax Whisper power supply. I thought I had the problem licked but it has happened two more times today after working for over 12 hours.

I don't know what's causing it but I hope to find something out with some serious research. All I can find so far is Microsoft blames video drivers and the video card manufacturers blame Microsoft. Meanwhile, we're stuck in the middle.
!