AMD Mobos

Discussion of all forms of processors, from AMD to Intel to VIA.

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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 8:45 am

My first post on this forum. I'm a longtime reader of The Tech Report and a regular on the AMDMB.COM forums.

Just wanted to see what everyone thinks of the current batch of AMD mobos. I personally have the Soyo K7V Dragon Plus, using the VIA KT266A chipset and I love it. I've also setup 2 systems recently with the ECS K7S5A and for the price I've been VERY impressed with that board. The SiS 735 chipset seems extremely nice. Too bad there aren't more mobo manufacturers that make boards with it.

Anyone have any experience with the Nforce mobos, or the Iwill XP333?

Just tryin to start a little dialog here... :smile:

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: wtburnette on 2001-12-28 08:46 ]</font>
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 9:47 am

Well sir, I can't really comment yet on the Dragon+ myself since it's still waiting patiently in it's box for an xp1600 and a couple Seagate drives. Was planning on using it to do some vid editing, but mildly concerned about performance issues now.

I do however have a EPoX 8K7A with a 1GHz T-bird OC'd to 1.33GHz that's just rock solid. Shame AMD cut off the 761 northbridge. Can't offer any more opinions past this due to the rest of the boxen in the house running on Asus P5As... mmmm P5A goodness....
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 9:53 am

I'm waiting on nForce. Will arrive Jan 2 2002. Looks good and should have less driver prob than Via chipsets anytime IMO!
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 10:06 am

Darth Willis
What performance concerns do you have in reference to the Soyo Dragon+? I'm curious because I have no problems myself, and haven't heard of any.

siddman
Couldn't wait for an Nforce board. I'd had a Soyo board in the past and was VERY impressed with the quality, stability and performance of the board. When I got the DDR itch a month or so ago, the Soyo board was at or near the top of all the reviews I read. I'm not experiencing any VIA related problems with this board (just Nvidia problems)...
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 10:20 am

wtburnette, I'm actually referring to the VIA northbridge PCI latency issue. I'm going to be shuffling around 5-30GB vid files on a RAID-0 array, and the potential file corruption has me nervous. I'm sure VIA will likely patch and fix the issue in the future with a new 4in1, but I'm a pessimist by nature and don't assume anything. If it's fixed, I'll be back on track worry free. If not, I'll likely be looking at another board. (Good thing the price on the Dragon+ was right, free!)

Oh, and just call me Willis. :grin:
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 10:35 am

Willis
I'd heard about the PCI latency issue, but I thought it was a speed issue, not a corruption issue. Ah well, let me know what your actual results are. I'd be interested in hearing... :wink:
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 11:22 am

From what I understand it is mainly a latency issue, but there's always a potential for curruption with latency issues on a grand enough scale. But I may be wrong. Considering the file sizes and the amount of work being done with these video files, I'd honestly rather err on the cautious side until/if it's fixed.

I'll definitely keep you up to date on the progress of my grand experiment with the board. :roll:
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 11:34 am

Good luck with it. Hopefully it'll either not be an issue, or be an issue that's fixed soon... :wink:
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 1:04 pm

I have the new Asus A7V266-E board.
Tried the ABIT board but couldn't get that to work.

I haven't had any problems with the Asus, but I am curious about this PCI latency thing.

I plan on doing some SVCD creation soon, but I'm waiting to purchase two drives for a raid setup. AVI -> MPEG2

Is the latency in any relevant for creation of multigig files?
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 1:45 pm

Well, lessee, first I got an Asus A7M266 (AMD 761) - it was jes fine, very stable. My only complaint was the North Bridge cooling fan was terribly noisy, so I replaced it with a generic 40mm fan. Next I got a Chaintech 7SID (SIS 735) - AFAIK, this is the only microATX DDR SocketA mobo out there right now. It's O.K., except for one major annoyance - my favorite heatsink the Alpha 8045 won't fit cause there's a capacitor in the way. I wound up using a Millenium Thermal Glaciator; it cools well enough, but is noisier than I like.
My current desktop is an ECS K7S5A (SIS 735) with an XP1800+ in it with the Alpha 8045 cooler. I love these ECS mobo's - cheap, stable, reliable; the built in sound and lan are adequate for my needs so I'm only using the AGP slot. I've hear some folks have power supply related problems with this board, but mine has seemed very happy with an Enlight 250 watt unit. I expect I'll stick with this until AMD releases the 0.13 micron Thoroughbred chip and I'm forced to get a new mob. I'm happy enough not to be tempted by the nForce or Darth VIA.
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 1:52 pm

Good board that ECS K7S5A! I'm running my system similar to yours; onboard LAN and sound, no PCI cards. Pretty cool if you ask me. I had an Iwill KK266, which was a very nice, very solid board, but I had a warm reboot problem that bugged me, plus it wasn't as fast as the Soyo K7V Dragon Plus. It's sitting in the closet right now, waiting on a 1.2Ghz Tbird and a power supply for a case I have spare, then it'll be my number 4 system... :wink:
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 6:37 pm

So has anyone out there had any bad experiences with the K7S5A? I've been thinking about replacing my KT133A m/b with one and 256M of DDR, input would be appreciated.
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 8:42 pm

I don't personally know of any problems, but you may want to check out the ECS forum at the AMDMB.COM forums...
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Postposted on Fri Dec 28, 2001 8:59 pm

Hey,just ran across this forum. I don't normally participate but I saw the question in reguard to the k7s5a. I looked around at the different forums for the good and bad to this board and it looked like it was a 50/50 chance of getting a good one. Well, I ordered one and have had nothing but grief. I need to email ECS and see if they will do anything for me as far as exchanging.
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Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2001 12:38 am

Thanks for the input everyone. OT, but I've done an installation using several p4 boxes with ECS mobos and so far no probs. P4S5As if anyone cares. So I think ECS is doing better with QC. :wink:

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Postposted on Mon Dec 31, 2001 9:08 am

If your looking for more info on the K7S5A check out the forums at OCWorkbench. They have a huge ECS forum, and a pretty good K7S5A FAQ at:
http://forum.ocworkbench.com/ocwbcgi/ul ... forum&f=27
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Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2002 12:01 pm

wt,

I am using a abit kt133 board. And am having one hell of a time with DMA and winxp. From all my research its to do with the 686b southbridge I think.

Is that issue resolved under winxp on the kt266a chipset?.

thanks.
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Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2002 12:21 pm

edsel6502
Are you talking about UDMA, like the PCI latency problem? If so, then all VIA chipsets have this problem. There's a patch, but it's not 100% effective from what I've heard. What specific problems are you having? Feel free to send me PM or email if you'd like...
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Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2002 5:30 pm

WT,

For me its an IDE performance issue.

I only get a max burst rate of 28Mb/s. And all my IDE devices are master on thier OWN controller. I'm using HD Tach 2.61 with no other background apps running.

I'm pretty damn sure the ata100 drives I have can manage a whole hell of a lot better.

Its a common enough problem from my reading on various forums.
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Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2002 7:23 pm

edsel6502
Have you tried the PCI Latency patch? I've heard that some have had great luck with it, while it's caused problems for others. If it really causes you actual problems, then I'd get a mobo with the SiS 735 chipset, which has much better IDE performance...
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 10:22 am

Ok since I've been hearing a lot of fuss about the latency issues with Via chipsets what's a good alternative? AMDs 760 or SiS' 735? I know I've liked some 760 boards but every 735 board I've seen has had something that I've majorly hated(The dual RAM types on ECS' 735 solution). Are there any good 735 boards out there with features comparable to a higher end KT266A or 760 board?
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 10:43 am

ANApex
What exactly don't you like about the ECS dual RAM solution? It doesn't slow the performance down; if you use PC133 it runs that at good speed and if you use DDR, it runs that at good speed. I'm not sure I understand the problem.

The only problem I have with the SiS chipset is that it isn't for someone who likes to tweak or overclock. Other then that, I've used the boards a couple times and they seem very fast and very solid. Nice boards, especially for the price. If you like to OC and tweak the board, I'd go with AMD 760. I've heard a LOT of good about them...
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 10:47 am

Ok well my main problem with them is lack of expandability for me 2 slots only for DDR would be fine for now but later on I would hate it. I'm not the "bleeding edge" type of person when I build a new computer I put the best in at the time and that lasts until my next big computer purchase. The only thing I will change frequently is the addition of memory. So for me if there was an SiS solution using the 735 chipset with 4 slots for DDR I'd be happy. I don't really overclock much either some base performance is what I base my decisions on for what chipset to use.
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 10:56 am

The best I can tell you on the SiS 735 front is that Leadtek makes a WinFast 7350KDA mobo that has 3 DIMM slots for up to 1.5GB RAM.

http://www.leadtek.com/motherboards/7350kda/7350kda.htm

http://www.vr-zone.com/reviews/Leadtek/7350KDA/

The board isn't as inexpensive as the ECS board though, it's ~$100.
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 11:08 am

Ok is the problem with the Via sets even that much to worry about compared with other companies chipsets? or is it just a small percentage of people niggling over 1 or 2 percent?
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 11:14 am

I think it really only effects certain people; those doing video editing, photoshop, etc. The difference however is large, we're talking around 40 - 60% difference.

I'm confused on it a little myself. Look at benchmarks and the KT266A rocks, across the board. So does that mean that there's enough brute power in the Athlon that makes up for the VIA shortcomings, or what?
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 5:22 pm

I too have a Dragon+. I implemented a RAID 0 with 2 IBM 7200 RPM 40GB drives.

Now I don't have any benchmarks to back me up... but my perception is that I'm not having any problems.

I'm wondering if the Promise RAID controller on the motherboard has got it's own bus or something (anybody know?).
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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 5:33 pm

On 2002-01-04 17:22, Fearless wrote:
I too have a Dragon+. I implemented a RAID 0 with 2 IBM 7200 RPM 40GB drives.

Now I don't have any benchmarks to back me up... but my perception is that I'm not having any problems.

I'm wondering if the Promise RAID controller on the motherboard has got it's own bus or something (anybody know?).


If you are expecting stuttering, extreme slowness, or some other failing to cue you off to the fact that the bandwidth output is low, you won't see it.

You could see the VIA issue in a side by side comparison against a non-VIA chipset. Benchmarks will reveal the issue. You probably could even feel the difference if you put the guts of your rig on a non-VIA board (as there is a 30% performance impact).

The Promise controller is grafted to the PCI bus of your Soyo board. It is likely the controller is suffering as I do belive RAID-0 IBM 60GXP drives put out enough bandwidth to hit VIA's wall.

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Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2002 7:24 pm

The only thing I've noticed is a slight stuttering in UT. Nothing major, and that's the only game, but it's been there since I started using VIA back with my Iwill KK266. Any other game I can play at 1600x1200x32 with silky smooth gameplay, but UT stutters slightly, even at 800x600x16...
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Postposted on Mon Jan 07, 2002 1:42 am

Fasttrak100 on a KT7A, bursting over 120MB/s, sustained at almost 60MB/s. The 686B IDE has always been six flavors of crap, perhaps a 20$ Ultra100 IDE card is worth a shot?
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