Socket A Is Coming: Test of 10 Boards

Problem II: VIAs Busmaster Driver

VIA greatly improved the installation procedure for the drivers. As we already mentioned in the previous paragraph there are no more problems with the initial installation of the 4-in-1 drivers. We tested an update of the Busmaster driver from version 580_2147 to 580_219. Windows always asks for a file catalog that is not in the driver collection.

The file simply isn't there. It's actually not needed! Pressing the Skip File button (three times during the installation) remedies the problem. The UDMA mode can be activated later without any negative consequences. The following scenario creates the same problem: Some BIOS updates change the resources of the motherboard. In this case Windows switches to the "Winstupid" mode, which is similar to temporary amnesia. For example the hardware detection starts up and distributes the resources again. In our tests VIA's Busmaster driver often made problems. On many occasions the driver switches to the lame PIO mode without any warning. You've got to use VIA's IDE DMA tool and don't forget to check with e.g. HD Tach of TCD-Labs. It should show throughputs of way above 16 MB/s. Sometimes the DMA Tool has to be switched to PIO mode to actually get DMA mode.

Uwe Scheffel