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GeForce cards + VIA Chipsets ... *Very Bad News*

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 22, 2001 4:03:45 PM

Like many other people, I assembled a computer with an AMD platform, VIA chipset, and the nVidia GeForce2 GTS ... including a 300 watt power supply.

Ever since, I have run into more problems using this system than any other computer I have ever owned. I've posted here previously about the problems I've had with this machine ... and as you will read, it's been an on-going battle.

System Specs:
Win98 SE
MSI K7T Pro - VIA KT133 chipset
1000MHz Athlon
256MB Crucial Cas2 PC133
Adaptec 29106N PCI SCSI Controller
Adaptec AIC-7850 PCI SCSI Controller (for a SCSI-2 scanner)
18.3GB IBM SCSI hard drive
SoundBlaster Live X Gamer
RealMagic Hollywood Plus MPEG DVD Decoder
NIC Card
Antec 300 watt power supply
(5) 80mm fans
GlobalWin heatsink and fan combo
And last, but not least ...
nVidia GeForce2 GTS w/64MB-DDR

The system ran fine for a few months. I overclocked the video card when playing games, even raising the memory speed to 393Mhz. I was pleased with the performance of the computer, and I got really good benchmarks with 3D Mark 2000.

Then ... out-of-the-blue, while playing MechWarrior 4, the computer locked up, the monitor screen went blank, and the computer refused to boot. The only way to get the computer to restart was to unplug the power supply from my UPS ... and wait for a while, sometimes several hours.

I did not realize what was causing the problem, at first. Like other people, I did everything fundamentally possible to ensure that this was not a software issue, from installing Windows on a freshly formatted drive, to the latest drivers for the chipset and video card. I used probes to test for temperatures, just in case this was heat-related. But ... nothing fixed the problem.

(Note: After the first incident, I never overclocked the video card again. You may have noticed I had several fans in the machine. I took 3 of them out. I also had an NIC card installed at the time; but I removed that also. I am now running an USB ADSL modem, so the NIC card wasn't necessary anymore.)

At this point, I had to conclude that this might be a power issue. The GeForce Faq page had information posted that stated a GeForce card needed to have at least 20 amps available for the 3.3v line in order to run correctly. I saw that the Antec 400W specs said it could provide 28 amps for the line ... so I installed it.

(Note: I kept installing Antec power supplies because these were on the AMD-approved list, and a site that had done some testing found these to be the most stable. But, hey ... don't believe everything you read.)

Everything ran fine for two weeks.

Then, while running a low detail multiplayer game online, the system crashed, and again, would not boot up for nearly two hours. I assumed that this was because the power supply needed to cool.

I fought the system for the next few hours, and watched the video card die. All sorts of artifacts on the screen. Eventually, all I could reach was Safe Mode, and even then, I could barely see the display. I observed that in the BIOS, everything was spelled incorrectly ... and this included the hardware being listed in DOS when the computer goes through the POST.

After installing a new video card, I found that my hard drive's electronics had sustained damage, the sound card was damaged, and one of the memory modules was fried.

I was more than convinced that this was a power issue after I saw all the damage!

Antec power supplies might not be the best ... but a power supply, previously, and successfully tested under load, and 400 watts ... that should have been sufficient to drive this system. However ...

When playing games, or running other 3D applications, the AGP port demands more current than when the system is idle. The 3.3v and the 5v lines "share". This means, when the demand on the 3.3v line is high, less power is available for the 5v line, and vice versa.

I also discovered that a regular AGP port (not the AGP pro) can only deliver 25 amps to the video card.

Basically, this means that whenever I played a game, the rest of my system became underpowered, and believe me, that can be just a damaging to system components as too much current. It just may take the parts longer to die.

My conclusion was that this particular motherboard, with the VIA chipset, does a horrible job of regulating current, especially to the AGP port. I don't think that installing ANY ATX power supply, of ANY size, would make a difference.

Over the last few weeks, I have found literally hundreds of people yelling about this problem. The symptoms are nearly always the same ... lockups when playing games, sometimes only a few minutes into the game ... difficulty attempting to reboot after the crash, sometimes artifacts on the screen, spontaneous reboots with Windows first loads and/or Windows won't completely load the desktop, system tray, and icons.

I found an entire section of a forum devoted to this issue ... including information on why this is happening:

<A HREF="http://www.insanehardware.com/articles.php?i=00003" target="_new">http://www.insanehardware.com/articles.php?i=00003&lt;/A>

The first thing you'll see, is that this is happening primarily to people with the KT133 chipset, regardless of the mobo manufacturer. Also, people who are using a GeForce card like the MX seem to experience less problems, as these types of cards require slightly less current, and may even be a more efficient design. But people using these cards may experience problems, nevertheless.

The solution? I really hate to say this ... because I have been an AMD fan, right from the beginning ... but the solution, at least for the moment, is an Intel chipset and mobo, like the revamped 440BX, or the 815e. Unless you wish to use RDRAM, and that's your business ... and your money.

I haven't heard enough about the KT133A to know if this problem has been addressed. I also don't know if the newer GeForce cards, like the Ultra, or the GeForce3 handle power the same way. But I would be surprised if there have been any major changes to the nVidia reference design, and the way the cards handle current ... the company didn't bother to correct the problem with the earlier cards ... so why do so now?

I'm hoping that a couple of things will happen in the future. One ... AGP Pro cards will become affordable. AGP PRO 50 and AGP110 (or AGP Universal) can, respectively, provide 50 and 110 amps to the video card and port, using not only the 3.3v line, but the 12v line as well. Second, nVidia and VIA will fix this problem. Or I'll never come anywhere near a mobo with VIA chipset, ever again. Third, power supply manufacturers will recognize the need for affordable, higher power, cooler ATX units that will fit on existing motherboards and inside ATX cases. How many people do you think will want to cut up their cans, and install redundant power supplies? Heck, how many people would even know how to do that? We are PC users, not electricians.

Right now, I have a replacement KT133 motherboard I obtained from MSI, because the parts were still under warranty. I am using a Creative Labs Annihilator2 with 32-DDR, at least until my replacement GTS card arrives. For power, I installed a 400W Leadman PowMax, which seems to be a better constructed unit than anything from Antec. It was no problem to install new memory, but I'm also waiting for the new hard drive to arrive.

The computer is cranky, but running. I CAN play games ... I tested the system with the new 3D Mark 2001. But that's as far as I went ... I don't want to damage the new card or the mobo. Rebooting is still a problem ... I might have to restart the computer two or three times to finally load Windows. But once all the new parts arrive, I am going to put everything in a new can, install an older video card, and set the system aside as an emergency backup.

I'm going to put an Asus Solano2 815e motherboard in my old can, install a 600W ATX power supply from PC Power and Cooling, load up Win2K ... and I expect that all my problems will disappear. I've built systems similar to this for other people, and they haven't had any complaints, whatsoever. This is what I get for trying to get more bang for my buck, and trying to support healthy competition between chip manufacturers ... hit right in the wallet, and very disappointed.

That's the real deal, whether you are using an Abit, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, or any other mobo with this chipset. You've been burned. If you want your GeForce to run the way it should ... go to the Intel platform, get a big power supply, and never look back. It'll be cheaper to buy a new proc and motherboard than to gut your entire machine and start over from scratch when the video card dies, weakens the power supply, and the rest of your system bites the dust.

Comments? Additional information?

Yours truly,

Toejam31
March 23, 2001 1:53:11 PM

I did not check them all, but I think that all of the motherboards on the site that you linked to are all slot A not socket A like the board you have. I thought it was common knowledge that the slot A motherboards using the KX133 chipset had a problem with running Geforce cards. I guess it is not that common.

I have a GF2 Ultra and the A7V (KT133 chipset) with no problems at all.
I think you are going a bit overboard with a 600W PS. I also think it is a mistake to go to Intel. This complete change in platform will cost you a lot of money.

The reason I think this is a mistake is because this problem is related to slot A boards (KX133). Socket A boards (KT133) don't seem to have this problem. Since you have a socket A board, I doubt that the KT133 chipset or the AMD chip or even your powersupply is your problem.
Before spending a ton of money, why don't you change brands of motherboards. Try an Asus A7V133. This will allow you to keep your ram, your socket A chip, and will save you a lot as compared to what it sounds like you are about to dump into a new Intel system.

I really believe that you either killed your board by overclocking too much or you just got a defective board. I would replace it with an Asus or an Abit and you should be fine.

If you do decide to move to an Intel platform, can I have your 1GHz T-Bird??? :smile:
March 23, 2001 2:33:42 PM

OK, sorry toejam, but after a little more research I have come to the conclusion that you are totally insane. Or at the very least you started this thread while you were smoking crack.

First, the article you linked to doesn't state that it is a problem with the chipset. They state it is a problem with those motherboards and how they interact with the powersupply.
Second, most of the motherboards on that list have nothing in common. The list contains boards that use AMD chips and Intel chips, both slots and sockets. And the chipsets range from the KX133 to Apollo Pro 133A to 440BX. In fact, of the 15 boards that are on that list, only 1 uses the KT133 chipset. However, 6 of those 15 do use the 440BX chipset.
Third, you state that the only way to get around this problem is to move to an intel system running the 815e or 440BX chipset.
Hello??? at least 6 of the boards on that list use the 440BX chipset. So how can this be the solution? I would think you would have more troubles by going to a board with the 440BX chipset.

You basically blame the VIA chipset and indirectly AMD for your videocard/powersupply problems when you have no basis what so ever to do so. In my opinion, your diagnosis of your problem was incorrect from the beginning.
Your problem is totally unrelated to the article that you linked to.
Your problem is that you tried to overclock your video card (and God knows what else) on a MSI motherboard. You fried your board! If you want to do extreme overclocking, you should spend the extra money and get an Asus or Abit board that can handle it.

I have an Asus A7V and I'm quite sure that I didn't get burned. I'm not the one having problems.

Sorry if this sounds too much like a flame but just about everything you have said is so outrageously stupid not to mention wrong. I just couldn't resist.

And I'll still take that T-Bird if you don't want it. :smile:
Related resources
March 23, 2001 9:59:12 PM

I have an Abit KA7 (early edition) and a Elsa Gladiac (GF2) and there is a known issue with the GF2's power usage. The board came first but the way nVidia designed it they changed the power useage/supply requirements and left it up to the Mobo mfg's the change their boards. Well I havn't had any probs although I could return it to ABIT and they would modify my board or replace it. I don't have any probs though. ABIT I know updated their board design after the release of the GF2 because of this. Here's on FAQ:




As we reported yesterday, ELSA has been experiencing a few issues with some mainboards with their GLADIAC series of video cards. Unfortunately they are not the only manufacturer. We have heard of some Asus cards doing the same thing aswell! We have been doing a bit of research and found out what the scoop is with this. As if the IronGate fiasco wasn't enough already for NVIDIA! There are several boards that have come up trumps with being incompatible with the GeForce2 cards and ELSA cards seem to be the ones in the centre of it all. NVIDIA have contacted us and their technicians are looking at the issue and they will be doing some internal testing with them. OK here is what I have found out so far:

Some NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Cards based on the Reference Design using the specified components by NVIDIA (in no way deviating from the R-D card) have problems whereby it will not "post" and display nothing on a cold boot.
The problem is caused by an incompatibility between the card's power unit (usually top left hand side of the card) and a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) Circuit on the mainboard whereby a PWM incompatible Power Supply Unit is used.
PWM Circuits have been widely used on mainboards before the introduction of NVIDIA's GeForce2 GTS and GeForce2 MX line of 3D Accelerators.
Possible cause could be the signal sent to the AGP_VREF pin of the video cards (if this pin is at all used for Voltage detection etc etc). This pin is in the last row of pins on an AGP slot (not AGP Pro).
PWM Circuits are used to allow I/O voltage adjustments in a "Soft" style BIOS, like Asus and Abit and Soyo have implemented among others.
PWM Circuits convert 3.3V for the I/O Voltages from the Power Supply Unit.
Quite a few mainboard manufacturers have started adding some extra components that "talk" to the power system on mainboards so that it changes the PWM's behavior to prevent the incompatibility.
Most companies like Asus and MSI and a few others that manufacture mainboards and happen to also manufacture GeForce2 based cards would have discovered this problem very early on and made the correct adjustments to their cards and boards.
Certain Power Supply Units that apparently use compatible PWMs also overcome this problem without any worries. (I am still looking into this one)
So far I have no idea why it is that NVIDIA did not test their cards with the very popular mainboards that now have this problem. It bewilders me. So far I have come up with a list of boards from around the web that have this problem:

Abit KA7
Abit KA7-100
Abit BE6-II v1.0 & 1.1
Abit BF6
Aopen AX64PRO
Asus K7V
Asus P3B-F
Asus P3V4X
Chaintech 6BTA2 MX10
Epox 7KXA
Gigabyte GA-6BXD
Intel SE440BX-2V
Iwill KV200
Iwill KV200-R
Soyo SY-6VBA
More :) 
Please note that we have not tested all of these boards with all GeForce2 GTS and MX based boards. Some are admitted problems from the manufacturer and some are from readers who have said they have had the symptoms with their systems. All GF2 cards are not imcompatible with all boards above. If you do have more info or perhaps issues you have had, please help yourself and others by discussing this in our Forum.

HMMMM!!!!!!

<b><A HREF="http://www.seti.tomshardware.com/" target="_new">How fast is your PC</A></b>
March 23, 2001 10:02:18 PM

Did I mention or did you notice this is a very old prob and should definately not affect newer boards (KT133 815 . . .). Mine is an early KX133 board. Pre GF2.

<b><A HREF="http://www.seti.tomshardware.com/" target="_new">How fast is your PC</A></b>
March 23, 2001 11:13:58 PM

First off ... let's try this. I won't insult your intelligence or flame you for having an educated opinion, and you cut out the inane and far-fetched offensive comments. I'm a professional, attempting to solve a long-standing problem that has been frustrating and expensive, to say the least. You, on the other hand, have probably spend less than an hour of your time devoted to the problem I mentioned.

While it is perfectly okay for you to disagree with me (and I don't mind that ... I'd rather be wrong and learn something, than a stubborn idiot) ... the insults are way out of line. I don't smoke crack, and the last time I checked ... my sanity was not the issue that was being discussed.

Now ... let's get back to the actual situation. I'm not only supplying information based on my experience, but hoping for legitimate feedback. Melodrama is only really appealing in the movies.

************************

I also decided to do some checking on the motherboards listed on the Insanehardware page. Out of the fifteen mobo's listed, 6 were old 440BX Slot 1, 3 were KX133 Slot A, 3 were VIA Apollo Pro 133 Slot 1, and 3 were KT133 Socket A. If you wish to check for yourself ... that is perfectly fine by me.

This means there were a total of 9 motherboards on that list that with a VIA chipset, whether Slot 1, Slot A, or Socket A.

I admit, when I first wrote the original message, I was not aware that there was an incompatibility issue between the older 100MHz 440BX chipsets and GeForce cards. The last time I sold a system like this, there was no such thing as a GeForce card. In other words, I don't sell too many systems to overclockers; I primarily cater to families, and no one has wanted a Pentium II in quite a while.

I was not aware that there was some sort of common knowledge of an incompatibility issue between KX133 Slot A mobo's and GeForce cards. Frankly, I know several people with this kind of setup ... and I haven't seen any problems. I knew that there had been some memory bandwidth issues with some VIA chipsets, but I liked the specs on the newer VIA chipsets well enough to have this kind of mobo in my own machine, instead of going with an Intel platform, or using the older AMD Ironhorse chipset. But none of us know everything, or can be aware of every aspect of computing. I do try to stay ahead of the game, and that can be time-consuming, at best.

Let me clarify something, while I'm at it. I'm not making some kind of accusation that the VIA chipset is at fault. What I SAID ... was, "My conclusion was that this particular motherboard, with the VIA chipset, does a horrible job of regulating current, especially to the AGP port." I also said, and again I quote, "The first thing you'll see, is that this is happening primarily to people with the KT133 chipset, regardless of the mobo manufacturer."

I am standing by these statements. I was inaccurate in accidentally misleading people to think that the chipset, itself, was at fault. I will attempt to be more careful in the future when making declarative statements of this nature.

However ... still, most of the problems I previously mentioned, I have discovered to be with motherboards that have the KT133 VIA chipset. I do not know if the chipset architecture has anything to do with the problems I have observed ... but I believe that there is a common denominator with these motherboards that causes these power issues. Perhaps it is a simple coincidence that these motherboards happen to have VIA chipsets. Perhaps it is a flaw in the manufacturing process. I don't know ... and am still at a loss to explain exactly what causes the problem. I just know it exists ... I've it watched it happen on my own system, and it happens more often to KT133 motherboards than any other. This is something I am absolutely certain of ... and it would only take you a few days of research to come to the same conclusion. For your information, although your system is stable, the biggest complaints have been with Asus motherboards. Again, if you wish to go look for yourself, I encourage you to do so.

(I feel I should mention, that my opinion is shared by several other technicians in my area ... it's not just me having nightmares and delusions. For instance, I am in daily contact with a tech who works for Alienware computers, and their staff is also researching this problem, especially concerning incompatible power supplies and VIA motherboards. They sell a lot of GeForce cards.)

Yet ... with newer Intel motherboards for the PIII, that have the 815e chipset, or the 840 ... I have not seen a single individual complain of power problems. Perhaps that will change in the future, especially with the large power consumption of the P4 ... but that is no more than speculation.

**************************

I'd would like to keep the processor that I have. I have been pleased with the performance of the Athlon. I've considered going to an KT133A board, and buying DDR RAM. But to be honest, the technology is still very new, and I don't have enough "play" money to try and stay cutting edge ... keeping my current system running has been somewhat of a drain on my wallet, and the stock market has not been kind.

**************************

I again would like to say that I did not overclock my system anymore than what was previously described. This is far from the first time that I have overclocked a video card, or a processor, or the FSB on a computer. I know the inherent risks, and the pitfalls. I cannot completely exclude the possibility that overclocking the video card caused it to fail; that's the price you pay for pushing hardware past the recommended limits. But this is the first time I have seen a card fail, in this manner, over this amount of time.

And so, no ... I did not overclock "God knows what else".

**************************

I think that it is great that you are having no problems with your system. However, if you do, I would be very appreciative if you would take the time to describe the problem, so I can see if there are any similarities between your system and mine.

Also ... I still feel that I would be better off using a Intel platform, and a larger power supply. If you wish, I would be happy to describe, in the future, whether or not this change solves any of my current problems.

One last thing. I think you failed to notice that I am using a brand new MSI KT133 motherboard, video card, and memory. Even now ... I have rebooting problems that again appear to be power-related. None of the components in this system have ever been overclocked. I am on my third power supply ... so I cannot blame the entire situation on one faulty power supply. I think the possibility of installing three "bad" power supplies in a row, from two different manufacturers, to be rather slim.

I intend to replace my hard drive and SCSI controller, if they turn out to be damaged. This week, I intend to try out both of these components in a couple of spare computers I have in the shop ... one with the KT133 chipset, and another with the 815e. I'm familiar with the benchmarking results I have obtained using this drive over the past few months, and so, I want to see what kind of results I find in different computers.

If this is what is causing the current problem I have when loading Windows; I should know within the next few days. My free time is limited, so I'll get to it as fast as I can.

*************************

If I ultimately decide to get rid of my Athlon, I'll be sure and post on this forum so you can have an opportunity to purchase it. Since the processor is used, I'm sure that my price will be more than reasonable.


Toejam31
March 24, 2001 1:40:17 AM

I building very soon, and would like your opinion on something. I plan to use the 32MB 5.5ns DDR winfast GF2 GTS Pro. I also plan on useing the new MSI K7T266 Pro(MS-6380) or the Asus A7V266, both use the new Via KT266 chip, do you think that is a bad idea? I want to use the MSI K7 Master (MS-6341) but can't find it.

A revision to mpjesse's signature;
"My Signature Sucks"
March 24, 2001 3:16:43 AM

You are correct, the insults were way out of line. I apologize.
However, I checked and only one of the boards on that list had the KT133 chipset. This is the first time I have ever heard of any AGP/power problems with this chipset. Now I know that just because I haven't heard of something doesn't mean it doesn't exist, however, I visit this forum and many other tech/tweaker/hardware/review sites and have never heard of this problem. This was a problem with the KX133 chipset.
Yes, I did see that you have a new mobo, however, I still say that it is your brand of motherboard. Before you condemn the KT133, try an Asus or Abit board.
And since many of the boards on that list were Intel based, I don't agree with your idea of moving to and Intel platform to solve this problem.

No matter what, good luck and I hope you solve what ails your computer.
March 24, 2001 4:56:01 AM

Bubba; apology accepted. You are a gentleman and a scholar.

Three of the boards on the list (if we are looking at the same list) are KT133. The Asus K7V, the Iwill KV200, and the Iwill KV200-R. I can furnish links, if you wish, for your convenience.

Perhaps this series of problems is entirely restricted to the make and model of my particular motherboard. It would be a relief to discover that this is so ... but the reading I have done on various forums persuades me otherwise.

Because of this, I'll spend some extra time at these forums, and if I happen to run across a situation that I think is similar to mine, I'll post a link(s) here, in this thread. (Expect several links - tomorrow, I've had a long day!)

This will give you, and other experienced users on this forum the opportunity to check out some of the posts I have seen ... and you guys can make a judgement call. Despite my working knowledge, which I consider to be "fair", I am aware that there are people who come regularly to this forum who have considerable experience that predates my own, and feedback is more than welcome. Hell, I'd send you all money for helping, if I had it to spend!

I would prefer to NOT condemn these chipsets, or to be more precise, motherboards that happen to have these chipsets, as this would certainly save me money, and make solving the problem a much easier choice. Hopefully, with some additional viewpoints from different forum members, I'll be able to have a clearer picture of what is actually going on.

One point ... nearly all the motherboards on the list that are 440BX-based were discontinued. Not all of them, but certainly the majority. I'm sure that you are aware that this particular chipset was given new life when Intel made some changes to the chipset, perhaps due to popular demand. This added support for ATA-66, AGP4X, and a 133MHz front side bus. This was good news, especially with the fiasco of the recalled 820 chipset ... and it made many avid overclockers very happy. Without looking for verification, I can't recall off the top of my head if these chipsets now have native support of ATA-100, but I think they still need an additional IDE controller, either in a PCI slot, or integrated on the motherboard for ATA-100.

None of the 440BX motherboards on the list had this kind of support. All were AGP2x, at best, had a FSB of 100MHz, and only supported ATA-33 hard drives.

I tend to think that this is the most stable chipset Intel has made. This is what I meant by "re-vamped", which just may be poor terminology.

At this time, until I find evidence to the contrary, I still think that moving to an Intel platform would be a good idea. Not just because of my recent problems, but because of common AMD heat issues, and because this kind of system, in several areas, is less of a drain on the power supply. I had known for a while that the AMD processor was a hotter chip, but I was surprised to see the difference in the required wattage at comparable speeds.

Here's a handy link:

<A HREF="http://users.erols.com/chare/elec.htm" target="_new">http://users.erols.com/chare/elec.htm&lt;/A>

Have you had a bad experience with an Intel platform? If so, I'd like to hear about it. Knowledge is power.

Thanks again for the response, and I hope that you will find time to give me additional feedback over the next few days.

Toejam31

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Toejam31 on 03/24/01 02:08 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 24, 2001 5:41:44 AM

As I have not yet had any call for these particular motherboards, and have no hands-on experience with them, I don't think that I'm qualified to give you a recommendation.

Has anyone out there bought one of these boards, and if so, could you post your opinion?

I have tried to get my hands on a K7 Master, but so far ... no dice. Either MSI has held back production on the boards, or they are just in short supply. But I can't get one yet, not even through my distributors, and they are being cagey about the whole thing.

I wouldn't mind having a chance to test the K7 Master-S, with the integrated SCSI controller, myself.

Comments on the hold-up?

If I were you, I'd post again, in the motherboard section of the forum, so your thread can be easily seen. Perhaps someone here can give you some advice.

If I learn anything relevant that I think might be of some significance before you make your purchase, I'll be sure and send you the info.

Toejam31
March 24, 2001 6:27:35 AM

I would appreciate that. I don't think anyone has recieved the K7T266 for it is in mass production now, and due into retailers beginning of April. I was just curious of if you think a new Via set would have the same problems. I also have looked high and low for the K7 Master, and K7 Master-S. I would go with the Master(w/o onboard SCSI) because I don't need it, therefore save the money. I even had some retailers say check back Next week we will have it, that was 2 weeks ago, guess they lied. Well you can send any information you get to me private if you want, my account does accept them. I just can't afford to build a kick ars gameing system and have it crap out 3 months down the road. Of course I would have warrenty but my wife would be pissed, she needs it for teacher stuff.

A revision to mpjesse's signature;
"My Signature Sucks"
March 24, 2001 11:32:20 AM

I Don't trust the VIA chipset 100%. As a matter of fact I tend to recomend Intel to the average person or anyone who just wants a PC to run and not have to mess with it or install updates oaver and over again. I will say that the chipset has matured greatly. I even doubt any new chipset be it VIA, Intel, SIS . . . This goes for any new product. It takes time for them to see all the problems that may arise in different situations and then apply patches or updates to the product itself. After having many problems myself with my ABIT KA7 (KX133), Athlon 750 classic & GF2 I would like to just see reports of compatability and stability. Screw the extra 5 FPS that one can get. That is extremly hard, due to the multitude of combinations of software and hardware, so it's ezsiest ot just benchmark.

NOw Toejam I am curious about one thing. How is the current from your wall outlet? This may be a major hazord in older houses or poorly wire, under amped houses. I am in such a situation. My power dims throughout the house every time my refredge goes on and my screen even flickers. I put in a UPS (Tripplite 1050 I blelieve, it's been a while). The PC needs very consistant current. I had a freind plauged with problem after problem. He shipped back many a board, processor and video card amoung other things. He never beleived me when I mentioned the current from the wall. He lived in an old appartment building and when he moved to a new apartment one the first floor, which is seperate fromt eh tenant conditions he was in prior, all his problems seemed to go away. You may want to check that. I do believe Via and AMD are more suseptable to this too (*opinion*).

Good luck and help us all learn. Stability is the key!!!

<b><A HREF="http://www.seti.tomshardware.com/" target="_new">How fast is your PC</A></b>
March 25, 2001 2:31:36 AM

So are you saying that a PIII 1GHz with a intel chipset will perform better than at Athlon 1.2GHz with a Via set? If so do you think the AMD 761 is a better chip? I have been trying to find the K7 Master but I just can't find it. I know PII are reliable, for that is what I have had for 3 years now(PII350), and it has been great. But when money is tight and Intel chips are more than AMD chips of course I want AMD. Now the question is whre do I find that dam K7 Master?

A revision to mpjesse's signature;
"My Signature Sucks"
March 25, 2001 2:57:07 PM

Um don't for get ALI they suppose to be putting out a chipset for the K7 also. When is the true question. I always like there chipsets. Never had tried VIA.
March 25, 2001 4:11:13 PM

Ali yuk! the name alone will keep me away. Sorry but I have something against Magik.

A revision to mpjesse's signature;
"My Signature Sucks"
March 25, 2001 4:45:32 PM

The 1.2ghz Athlon smears the 1gh PentinumIII expecially in flight sims due to the Athlon superior FPU unit. For flight sims the FPU is the key. Looking at any recent benchmarks test comparing systems the Athlon easilily beats the PentIII chips even with the KT133a chipset. I have a via KT133a chipset and it runs superbly well and reliably. Via new stuff is running rather well, do not know about the KT266 chipset.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 26, 2001 9:47:41 AM

No offence Toejam, but based on my experience, or... track record, which my friends gave me, (there is no problem I can't solve), in the whole UNI, and over 4 years.

You lack delicate understanding of each hardware and sections like many other guys therefore you experienced many problems. delicate i.e. (baby like)

Hardware are worst than the worst kind of girl friend you could get, must always treat with tender loving care etc and most importantly understand them inside out.....

This is an art, must be acquired over time.

Never rely on things like AMD approved PSU etc, always use regular stuff!!!! why? the majority wins! theory/idea

Think this way, AMD CPU and VIA chipsets are produces in hundreds of thousands, how many people complain???

less than 1%, how many people had problem but didn't complain? less than 9% therefore over 90% of working products!!!

Again no offence, its you, not the hardware. One day you'll find out! I'm sure

Best regards
cx5
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2001 12:21:09 AM

I have to agree - ToeJam - you are crazy. If your computer starts gliching out - you don't just power it down for two hours and start playing games again. That is why you burned out all your cards, I'd bet money that you actually did something worse in the process of handling everything.

I hope your experience and posting this helps someone else recognize that their are times when you need to stop and pull out the osciliscope. Or see someone who knows how to trouble shoot hardware.

I'd bet you did a "hotswap" like some green IT guy, pulled a card or something on the bus with the power on.

REASON ? I seriously doubt you can find ANY way to fry a memory module with "low power." I'm not an expert with the newest memory technologies - but all the older ones (most importantly STATIC RAM) will not be damaged by low power. High power (power ~ AMPs) will fry memory very quickly. As will "HOTSWAPing" items plugged directly into the bus.

The only truth to what you have posted - is that there are some known issues with power supply.

I have 22 years experience with hardware. And in that time I have seen system failures (items on PC bus as well as board memory) as you described on about 4 times. Each and every time the root cause was neglegence on the part of the technician. I think if you think about exactly what happened. Then you should thank MSI for giving you a new board (if they actually do.)
June 24, 2001 4:09:36 AM

First off ... I have to say, "Good God Almighty. Did you happen to notice the date of the original post?"

This computer no longer <i>exists</i>. It died, and was replaced with a machine that is stable. The CEO of the company that manufactured the machine was more than willing to replace the computer ... although I had to go through 8 months of hell attempting to keep that sad pile of metal running before he finally agreed that the computers assembled by his company with that particular motherboard and PSU had a high rate of failure and/or defects.

But ... because you found it absolutely necessary to haul out old news, and see if you could get a rise out of me ... sure, I'll bite. Once. But <i>only</i> the once. This thread was dead long ago, and I won't reply to anything you might write again, even if you set yourself on fire. That's a personal problem. (And a rather nice image, from my viewpoint.)

Crazy? Objectively speaking, probably not. But I've never been examined by a professional, so who's to say? I've never tasted lithium or had a shock treatment, and that's probably a good sign.

I did not burn out all my cards by playing games every two hours while the computer continued to have problems ... such as refusing to boot. If fact, I'm still using some of those cards in my current computer.

I consider myself to be pretty good at troubleshooting hardware ... and I have a decent reputation as the guy to see in my area if the problem can't be solved by the user. Which is primarily the reason I come to this forum ... I try to offer help to other people who are not as experienced as I am. And learn a few things, in the process. It works out nicely, most of the time.

I've never hot-swapped a card. That comment was just dumb. You had to really reach to pull that one out of the hat. You must have rubbed shoulders with some complete idiots in the past. Rest assured; I wasn't one of them. I wouldn't have hung out in a room with a guy like you for more than five minutes.

A fluctuating PSU <i>can</i> damage a component. Argue the point endlessly if you wish ... I really couldn't care less. <i>You</i> won't be working on my machine anytime in the future, which is more than likely a real blessing.

It looks to me as if you have had a typically bad week, and spent most of the last 22 years developing an even worse attitude due to several hundred of them. I noticed that you didn't attempt to post anything constructive, but appeared to just have a need to flame someone. My advice to you would be to go home, have a beer, kick off your shoes, and find something else to do besides harassing people for no apparent reason. Watch TV. Read a book. Pinch the maid on the ass. Practice your putting stroke. Go the bathroom and look at some porn. Eat popcorn. Play with your blood pressure cuff. Brush your hair, and use exactly 200 strokes so it is shiny and silky smooth. Do something that doesn't involve sitting in front of a monitor, typing, and spewing venom because you can't get find a way to get laid.

In other words ... get a life. And consider having corrective surgery for your tiny urethra.

Because with your attitude, I assume that everyone around you must walk on tiptoes to avoid disturbing you.

"Shhh. Don't wake Dad; he's hung-over, and his balls hurt."

That's what I think if I think about exactly what you said.

Now let's see if you can contain yourself. My money is on your immaturity and dwindling testosterone to assert itself. Just be aware that you'll be talking to yourself ... the members of this forum are getting sick and tired of useless posts from burnouts.

Toejam31


<font color=purple>My Rig:</font color=purple> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847&lt;/A>
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2001 9:03:58 PM

I posted a while back about problems I saw with Antec power supplies. They are garbage, subject to unacceptable voltage fluctuations, and do not run at their listed capacity. I replaced mine with a generic heavy duty power supply of only 250 watts and cured what ailed my system. Oh, but mine was an overclocked PIII. Anyway, with all the card you had I'm surprised that I didn't hear a complaint about configuration problems, very common to VIA chipsets. I've never had a motherboard burn out parts, but I have been subjectd to extremely difficult configuration problems with VIA chipsets running a system full of cards.

Cast not thine pearls before the swine
June 24, 2001 10:49:11 PM

I completely agree about the Antec PSU's ... I won't be dealing with them, and their products ever again. I ran into 4 bad units from them in a row ... that's far too many.

As for my configuration ... I think I just had a run of unusually bad luck. I wasn't the only one that bought a computer from Alienware around that period of time that ran into major difficulties ... but I have a feeling that I was the loudest! I suspect that the mention of my name to some of those people is a curse word.

All I can say is that it turned me off of VIA, perhaps permanently. Not necessarily due to the chipset, but the design of the motherboards. My guess is that this might have something to do with needing to work around proprietary, patented designs from Intel. Any ideas on that score?

Perhaps I'll change my mind later on ... I see people that are satisfied with a VIA/AMD combo, and that is reassuring for the future. I would prefer for the competition to flourish.

Toejam31

<font color=purple>My Rig:</font color=purple> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847&lt;/A>
June 25, 2001 12:21:13 AM

lol

sounds like you fried your video cards memory! I bet any money you fried your memory!
!